[WARNING: HUGE STAR WARS SPOILERS THROUGHOUT!]
Alright guys, The Force Awakens is out, and it is amazing! So now we can finally stop theorizing about the film right? All of our questions have been answered, all our theories have either come true or been proven wrong.
We can finally stop picking apart every single piece of the film and be completely satisfied with it, right?
Of course not! If anything, seeing The Force Awakens has caused fans to think up even more outrageous theories and speculations! I love outrageous theories as much as the next guy - I practically live for them- but man, Star Wars has a ton of them!
While I'm certainly not encouraging folks to keep mum when they've got a huge theory, I will say that the amount of Star Wars theories on the internet is A LOT—even for me!
I've tried to stay away from doing a huge and crazy Star Wars theory, mainly because Star Wars is the only franchise that I want to be surprised by every time I see a new film. But sometimes, the human mind doesn't work that way. Sometimes you have a thought so big, so absolutely mind-blowing, that to ignore it would be a crime!
What is this insane thought you ask? Well, it was around 3 in the morning and- seeing as how I wasn't tired in the slightest- I decided to go ahead and surf the Internet.
Since I had already seen the film, I could scour every part of the Internet without having to worry about spoilers for The Force Awakens. I read some of the aforementioned crazy theories, I laughed at the countless TR-8R memes, and I looked at some pretty creative fan-made art.
Eventually, I made my way to Tumblr, as every person who stays on the Internet long enough does. Being extremely careful to remain on the 'PG' side of the site, I stumbled across some awesome gifs made from the trailers for the film.
Kylo Ren's Sinister Motivations!
One of the most defining moments in the film is when Kylo Ren talks to the charred mask of his grandfather—Anakin 'Darth Vader' Skywalker!
I never really gave the scene much thought. Yeah it was a big moment, discovering that Kylo had the iconic helmet of the biggest villain in Star Wars history. But it never really crossed my mind that there might be something more to this scene than Kylo wishing to continue his grandfather's legacy.
But then, it dawned on me. Why was Kylo trying to continue what Darth Vader started? It made no sense! After all, in Return of the Jedi, we witness the evil tyrant rejoin the Light side of the force, before tragically drawing his final breath.
This was a big scene, everything in the original trilogy led up to it. Luke and Leia finally had closure, and Darth Vader had finally become Anakin again. So then why is it that Kylo Ren is trying to finish what he started? What even gave him the idea to do such a thing?
Well, some might argue that maybe he didn't know about Anakin's return to the Light Side—maybe he only heard the stories of Vader's evil tyranny across the galaxy. After all, Vader returned to the good side in a moment that was surely a private one between father and son. But no, that wouldn't really make much sense. I mean, you would think after everything they'd been through, Luke and Leia would tell everyone how in the end, their father made the right decision.
So maybe Ben Solo made the transition to Kylo Ren because he liked Darth Vader's actions? Maybe he just agreed with his grandfather's (former) opinion. But that really wouldn't make much sense either. Ben is the son of Han and Leia Solo/Organa, and was trained by Luke Skywalker himself. He's had nothing but positive role models around him at a young age, so him thinking that an evil dictator bent on destroying the galaxy was in the right doesn't seem very plausible. And then there's the answer that the film supposedly gave us:
Supreme Leader Snoke Manipulated Him
Supreme Leader Snoke, the mysterious leader of the First Order, and Kylo Ren's master. It's revealed in The Force Awakens that Snoke was the one who turned Kylo over to the Dark Side. So that's it, case closed right? Well, I'm not so sure.
See, while it's true that Snoke was the one who convinced Kylo Rento betray Luke and the other Jedi trainees and join the Dark Side, I don't believe he was the only instigator.
Snoke may have corrupted Kylo's mind, but there must have been someone else. Someone who told him that continuing Darth Vader's abandoned legacy was a good idea. Who is that someone?
I know what you're thinking, why the heck would Darth Vader tell his grandson to join the Dark Side? Like I said, Vader's return to the Light side was a HUGE moment in the trilogy, one that Disney wouldn't dare to make pointless by having Vader suddenly go back to the dark side.
So why do I think he convinced Ben to become Kylo Ren? For the greater good. See, I don't believe that Vader has suddenly turned evil again, but I do believe that he's using the dark side of the Force to ensure the safety of the galaxy.
He wants Snoke and the First Order destroyed, and to do that, he starts speaking to his grandson from the grave. He tells Ben that he needs to "finish what he started". But while it sounds like he's telling him to destroy the galaxy, he's actually telling him to save it! He's not saying finish what Vader started, he's saying continue the legacy of Anakin Skywalker!
He wants Kylo to get close enough to Snoke to kill him, and destroy the First Order! This explains why Kylo is so emotionally torn apart. Vader tells him that he must do anything to get close to Snoke, ANYTHING. Unfortunately, that "anything" also meant killing his own father. That's why Kylo asks Han for help before stabbing him, because he realizes that the only way for him to earn Snoke's trust is by killing the person he loves the most; his father, Han Solo.
Vader needed Ben to completely denounce his past and become 100% Dark side so that Snoke would trust him enough to get close. Even if it meant that people had to die on the way.
But I know what you're thinking; why? Why is Anakin doing it this way? Why is he forcing Ben to go down this dark and lonely path? Surely he trusts his son and daughter right? After all, they managed to stop him pretty well. Why doesn't he trust them to stop Snoke and the First Order themselves? Well, I do have a theory as to why Vader chose this specific route. And it's a doozy, so bear with me.
Snoke's True Identity!
Throughout the Interwebs, you'll find countless Star Wars theories—almost all of them relating to the true identity of the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. Who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he so hellbent on destroying the galaxy?
Some say he's a scarred Boba Fett, who survived his encounter with the Sarlaac Pit and is back for revenge. Some say he's Darth Plagueis, the former master of Darth Sidious - somehow alive, and ready to rule the galaxy now that his traitorous apprentice is dead. And others say he's The Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels, who survived his apparent death and is back to wreak havoc on the galaxy once more!
Andy Serkis, who portrays Snoke via CGI in The Force Awakens, has proved all of those theories wrong - stating that Snoke is an entirely new character to the Star Wars canon. This means he can't be Boba Fett, The Grand Inquisitor, Or Darth Plagueis, Sideous, Bane or any of the other plausible Darths out there! So now we're back to square one on the Supreme Leader's identity! Who could he possibly be?! How many scarred, nearly dead humans could there possibly be out there?!
But that's just it, maybe Snoke isn't human at all. Maybe he's not even alien. All the theories that have come out so far have stated that Snoke is either a disfigured human being, or some sort of alien - such as a Muun. But what if that isn't the case? What if Snoke is something much more powerful than a human or a random alien race?
What If Snoke Is The Force?!
Well, the Dark Side of it at least.
I can already tell I've lost a ton of you. I realize I sound like the village fool, or that guy with the 'End of the World!' sign that always hangs out around busy highways. But before you grab your pitchforks and torches, please hear me out.
I'm taking this way back into Star Wars canon, and with that being so large and complex, I'm certain my theory will have some holes in it. But I do believe that Supreme Leader Snoke could in fact be the physical embodiment of the dark side of the Force.
First off, I should mention that some Force users - on either side of the Force - believe the Force to be more than just a metaphysical power or energy. Some believe that the Force is an actual entity, a deity of sorts. Anakin Skywalker, who is said to have been born from the Force itself, is believed to have shared this belief.
Let's take a look at the scenes involving Snoke. Whenever we see him, he's being projected in a dark temple-like area. He's sitting on a giant stone chair, and his "hologram" is always projected very large - presumably to symbolize how powerful he truly is.
Notice the quotations around hologram; I did that because I'm about to blow your mind! What if Snoke isn't a hologram? Think about it, Snoke is in a dark room, akin to a shrine room of some sorts, and there doesn't seem to be any hologram technology around.
Not only that, but Snoke looks incredibly different from all of the other holograms we've seen in the Star Wars saga. He doesn't have the same sort-of blurry image, his is more clear. Then there's the way he appears, in a light shining from the top of the temple, directly onto a giant throne—just like some ancient deity. But even if he is a spirit, how does that make him the spirit of the Dark Side?
The whole "Snoke is a spirit" thing has been theorized before. But most theories have stated that he's the spirit of some Sith lord-such as Darth Bane, Darth Plagueis or The Grand Inquisitor - if not just damaged-but-alive versions of the characters.
These are all interesting and plausible theories. But as I said, Andy Serkis unfortunately squashed them all by stating that Snoke was new to the Star Wars canon. He also stated that Snoke knew of the events that transpired in the past. This means that he can't be anyone we've seen before, but he could still very well be the spirit of the Dark Side.
Even though the Force has always been there, we've never actually seen it in the canon. It's been used, talked about, and explained several times by several characters, but we've never technically SEEN the Force. If Snoke was the spirit of the dark side of the Force, not only would he technically be a new character, but he'd also obviously be aware of all the events that have transpired in the past.
So Why Now?
So yes, I believe that Snoke is the physical embodiment of the Dark side of the Force. But if that's the case, why are we just seeing him now? Why hasn't he shown up before? Well, first, I feel I should clarify that I do not believe that Snoke is the embodiment of the Force, JUST the Dark side. There could very well be a deity-like embodiment of the Light side out there as well.
You might have noticed that Snoke looks incredibly damaged. He's got scars all over his face, and he's got a very particular, broken-looking bone structure. How could the Dark side of the Force have physical scars? Well, before I answer that, let's look at the name of the film Snoke debuts in.
It might sound like just a name, or perhaps a metaphor for the fact that Star Wars is finally back, but I think there's more to it then that. Throughout the story of Star Wars, the good guys have always won.
Vader killed Darth Sidious, and in turn, died himself. Luke and the Rebels celebrated their victory over the Empire, and the Light side triumphed over the Dark side! With the Force not only being basically the life energy of the galaxy, but also actual entities in the form of Snoke and possibly others, just imagine what happens to Snoke every time the Dark side fails. He's damaged because the Dark side is dying, literally! The Light side is prevailing, and pushing the Dark side out of the universe. Every time a Sith lord is killed, every time the Light side wins, Snoke is weakened! And now, with Luke trying to train a new wave of Jedi, a new generation of Light side supporters, Snoke needs to act! The Force has awakened, every part of the Force, even the Dark side. And he's angry! That's why he's appeared, and why he chose the grandson of the Anakin Skywalker - the chosen one - as his apprentice!
That's why Darth Vader chose this path, why he enlisted his grandson in the fight against Snoke. The Resistance can't possibly defeat Snoke if he truly is the Dark side incarnate, and Vader knows it. We've seen how much Kylo is like his grandfather, but maybe it's more than appearance and personality that he shares with him.
Kylo, like his grandfather before him, is the chosen one. He's the only one who can stop Snoke, the only one who can finally end the battle against the Dark and Light sides of the Force!
And that's my theory! I know, it's incredibly long and wild. I'm certain it's got plenty of holes for people to pick at, but as I said, most theories do. If Snoke really is the Dark side, that'd be a pretty cool inclusion to the Star Wars canon. But if he isn't, I'm interested to see who Snoke truly is. Whoever or whatever he is, we'll find out for sure eventually! Maybe in 2017, when Star Wars Episode VIII releases in theaters. See you then!
Thanks For Reading!
[By the way, this theory went through a lot of changes in my head, but it couldn't have become what it is now without some help from a friend of mine!]