Since The Force Awakens descended into our galaxy and reminded the world that it's not only cool, but mandatory, to like Star Wars again, the good folks of the internet have done quite a lot of talking about exactly who Supreme Leader Snoke is (the consensus being that he must be descended from, or himself be, a more familiar name from Star Wars lore).
But the question of who or what Snoke is or how he ties into #StarWars history might be the wrong one. What if the more pertinent question is what Stoke wants and how that ties into Star Wars 8 and the galaxy's future?
The Dark Science of Essence Transfer
For a Sith Lord, few ideas could hold more allure than obtaining the power to cheat death. The ability to spend several lifetimes exploring the dark side of the Force and everything it's capable of is the ultimate goal for those in pursuit of absolute domination of the galaxy.
The practice of transferring one being's consciousness into another human body has its benefits (bodies expire long before the sharpest minds are ready to let go), but it's also riddled with danger — failure to bond with the new host body would result in your spirit being consigned to The Void, which, clearly, is not ideal. It's for this reason that Darth Plagueis refused to attempt transfer of his soul into another body, while Darth Bane attempted to use his apprentice, Darth Zannah, as the host, but was overcome by her sheer willpower.
Darth Sidious, like Set Harth a millennium earlier, successfully practiced essence transfer by creating clones of his own body and thus prolonging his reign. By all accounts, though, the possibility of things going wrong is so strong that the practice is generally avoided, and in Star Wars lore cloning has become the more popular method of achieving something close to immortality.
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Supreme Leader Snoke
So where does Snoke factor into this? My theory is that the Supreme Leader's ultimate goal is essence transfer, and that time is running out for him. His face is severely disfigured, which could suggest advanced age, but could equally be a hint that Snoke previously attempted to transfer his consciousness into another host body, but the attempt failed, hence his hideous disfigurement.
The experience of Darth Bane is a cautionary tale about how essence transfer can go off-script, so it's likely that, if searching for a host body, Snoke would need a subject who was young, permeable, and emotionally volatile, somebody unable to summon the willpower to fight off the invading consciousness. Who fits that bill?
Yup, Kylo Ren ticks every box. He's neither powerful nor influential enough for Snoke to value him as somebody who could continue his legacy after he's gone, but he's easily manipulated and therefore perhaps the perfect host. A bigger question mark lingers over whether or not Star Wars 8 would dabble in essence transfer at all, considering the concept has never been introduced on the big screen prior to now. If it's a little late in the day, at least it's something fresh narratively, which this sequel trilogy could use — and Snoke effectively threatening to erase Kylo's consciousness from his body could be the beginning of a great redemption arc for Ben Solo.
Star Wars 8 hits theaters December 15, 2017. Could Supreme Leader Snoke have an interest in essence transfer, or is this a tinfoil theory too far?
Does Snoke want Kylo Ren for his body?