(Warning possible Spoiler for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This is just speculation we know until December 2017 for Star Wars Episode VIII.)
Supreme Leader Snoke Is Darth Plagueis????
One of the most developed theories surrounding Snoke is the idea that he’s actually Darth Plagueis. Before we delve into what that would mean for future movies and the fate of Kylo Ren, let’s take a look at just who Darth Plagueis is supposed to be. Plagueis was introduced to viewing audiences in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, in which Sheev Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, says the following:
“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. Then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.“
The master/apprentice relationship between Palpatine and Plagueis wasn’t confirmed on screen, but an official encyclopedia link on StarWars.com said that Darth Sidious was indeed trained by Plagueis. One theory posits that Plagueis was wise enough to either avoid being killed by his apprentice or to bring himself back to life altogether.
What does this mean for the newly introduced heroes and villains of the latest Star Wars trilogy?
Well, Ren and Hux are headed to pay Snoke a visit, so if he’s actually Darth Plagueis, the earliest we’ll find out is Episode VIII. Snoke has already lured Kylo Ren over to the Dark Side and was responsible, albeit in a second-hand bit of manipulation, for Han Solo’s death. An extended theory that Snoke = Plagueis presumes that the ancient master of the Dark Side is actually intent on achieving immortality, perhaps through transferring his consciousness into his well-trained and youthful apprentices. This theory comes from another character in a series of novels that are not official canon, but could have provided the kernel of an idea to use for Snoke’s motivations.
What this could mean is that, given Plageuis’ powers, this ancient evil would have trained Palpatine and even created Anakin Skywalker (remember that bit about midi-chlorians and the fact that Anakin was a virgin birth…)
With the intent of achieving total control of the Dark Side and the Force itself, and nurturing a vessel that he might one day inhabit to continue his dark reign. In a bit of Star Wars coverage reaching back to 1983, Metro dug up an interview in Prevue magazine with Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand, who mentions having discussed the entire nine episode saga with George Lucas:
‘If you follow the direction, and project into the final trilogy, you realise that you’re going to meet the supreme intellect, and you think how is it possible to create a man who has such profound cunning that he can not only control Darth Vader, but the fate of Luke Skywalker? Control the destiny of the whole galaxy? You’ll be amazed!’
So what we’re seeing here is layers of villains throughout the film series: Darth Vader, Darth Tyranus, and even Darth Maul, each guided by Emperor Palpatine, who’s ultimately under the tutelage of Darth Plagueis; if this theory is correct, the final trilogy in the saga will reveal the ultimate evil at last. That means that Kylo Ren could either become the next vessel for that evil, or redeem himself to fight alongside unexpected allies, like Rey (and maybe Finn) to defeat Plagueis and his plans once and for all. Why else would Snoke be as concerned with the awakening of the Light Side of the Force in Rey as he is with locating Luke Skywalker, the last remaining Jedi who could resist him?