September 1st is officially Force Friday, the day Lucasfilm floods the market with the most desirable new action figures and LEGO sets imaginable. You're talking a wealth of Star Wars content — including a whole lot of merchandise related to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans are scouring through the announcements, looking for hints at just what may be in store in December's most hotly-anticipated blockbuster.
It's already clear that we're not going to be disappointed. Take the example of Supreme Leader Snoke, who's joining Hasbro's popular Black Series line on #ForceFriday. That action figure is sure to leave fans thrilled...
Take A Look At The Model
Ominous and intimidating, Supreme Leader Snoke appears to be a dark side being more powerful than anything we've seen before. You'll notice straight away what's not included in the figure — he isn't carrying a lightsaber. Instead, you'll notice a signet ring on his finger. The stone is described as pure kyber.
Kyber are living crystals, partly alive, composed of both organic and inorganic matter. Jedi and Sith lightsabers contain a kyber crystal, which acts as a lens to focus the Force. In Rogue One we learned just how powerful these crystals truly are; they're the secret behind countless ancient Sith superweapons, and are the power source for the Death Star's superlaser. As Master Yoda noted in The Clone Wars:
"Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a Kyber Crystal was."
Not only does Snoke's kyber seem unusually large, it's also black — and that's not a common color for kyber. Kyber is normally colorless, only taking on a hue when it's bonded to a Jedi or a Sith. Dark side kybers typically turn blood-red (hence the traditional Sith blades), and we've only ever seen one black kyber before. It powers the Darksaber, the blade that signifies Mandalorian leadership.
Just How Powerful Is Supreme Leader Snoke?
This fits with recurring rumors, including ones that were recently publicized by the Star Wars Theory YouTube channel. They claim to have been receiving strangely reliable leaks over the course of the last six months. According to these leaks, Snoke will not wield a lightsaber; instead, he'll use a black kyber to channel the awesome power of his mind. The leaks go so far as to say that Snoke can literally destroy entire worlds using the Force. That's power on a scale we have never seen before.
Now, these are only rumors, and personally I take them with a pinch of salt; if Snoke had that kind of power, I fail to see why the First Order would need to construct Starkiller Base. Still, the odds of these rumors being accurate have just increased, given the Snoke action figures don't show him wielding a lightsaber!
Meanwhile, other models have given us a sense of Snoke's size. Take these two, which compare Snoke to one of his Praetorian Guards:
It seems Snoke is at least seven feet tall — so he's certainly not a human being! More likely is that he's an ominous dark side presence mentioned in Chuck Wendig's novel, Aftermath: Empire's End. There, we learned that Palpatine had been convinced he could sense something powerful beyond belief, hovering at the edge of the Galaxy's Unknown Regions:
"The Emperor was convinced that something waited for him out there — some origin of the Force, some dark presence formed of malevolent substance. He said he could feel the waves of it radiating out now that the way was clear. The Emperor called it a signal — conveniently one that only he could hear. Even his greatest enforcer, Vader, seemed oblivious to it, and Vader also claimed mastery over the dark Force, did he not? Rax believed Palpatine had gone mad."
In the years after Return of the Jedi, the last remnant of the Empire fled to the Unknown Regions. There, they somehow became the First Order — and we can assume it was after coming into contact with Snoke.
Forget your fan-theories. Snoke isn't Ezra Bridger, or Mace Windu, or even Boba Fett. He's something else — "some origin of the Force, some dark presence formed of malevolent substance." And he's more powerful than anything we've seen before.
The most attentive Star Wars fans won't be surprised to hear that Snoke bears a kyber ring. After all, in the run-up to Rogue One we saw the franchise invest a lot of time exploring just what kyber are, and how they work. Over the last year, Lucasfilm's novels have continued to build on the theme. As a result, fans have long suspected that kyber would be an important part of the franchise's future.
Now we know how: in #TheLastJedi, we'll see a very dangerous dark side being harness their power. And worlds may tremble at his will.