[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) captured the imaginations of many people, and with many questions left unanswered fans are busy filling the internet with theories. One of the characters most speculated about is Supreme Leader Snoke, the enigmatic Dark Side being. Towering above Kylo Ren and General Hux, Andy Serkis' Snoke is certainly imposing. But is he a Sith lord?
Turns out, no he definitely isn't. And we actually knew this before the film was released, thanks to JJ Abrams explaining Kylo Ren and Snoke's role...
Spoiler warning: warning, spoilers!
But before we get into why Snoke isn't a Sith, let's have a quick recap of the most compelling theories...
Bane Or Plagueis?
Fans have been quick to draw connections between Star Wars 7 and previous films in the Star Wars universe. To support the idea that Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis, Palpatine's master, this theory points out the similarity in the two characters' musical themes.
Beyond the parallels, there's not much evidence to go on, and Plagueis is actually dead by the time The Force Awakens roles around. Of course, there's a slim chance he managed to bring himself back to life, thanks to his power in the Force.
"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."
(Oh yeah, midi-chlorians. I'd forgotten those existed.)
Another strong contender for the secret identity of Supreme Leader Snoke is Darth Bane, as described in this theory.
Bane is a character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, now declared non-canon after Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm.
"Working to make everybody equal didn’t leave much chance for anyone to achieve greatness."
The sole survivor of the Sith massacre, which occurred over 1000 years before the Star Wars prequels, Darth Bane is an incredibly powerful and very popular Sith lord. In fact, he was the one to instate the Rule Of Two which commands that there must only be two Sith at any one time. This fan-made trailer explains his backstory, and it's pretty cool: check it out!
The problem with this theory? Darth Bane isn't immortal, and is supposedly long dead. Of course, this is scifi and death isn't always permanent. But there's one definitive reason why Snoke isn't either of these characters...
Dark But Not Darth
JJ Abrams has made it pretty gosh darn clear that he wants to distance himself from both the prequels and the Expanded Universe. For him, The Force Awakens is an attempt to return to what made the original trilogy great, and he said as much at SDCC last year.
"We tried to sit down and ask ourselves, what feels right? We treated the films, especially 4, 5, and 6, we treated those as canon."
And then there's the fact that while Snoke and Kylo Ren are definitely on the side of darkness, Abrams doesn't consider them Sith at all.
"Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force."
JJ Abrams revealed this in an interview with Empire before Star Wars Episode 7 was released. So why not Sith? When we consider the original trilogy this makes a lot of sense - the backstory of the Sith was created by the early Expanded Universe novels after the original trilogy was released.
George Lucas may have always intended Darth Vader and the Emperor as Sith lords, but this wasn't actually revealed in the original films. If Abrams is trying to get back to what made the originals great, ambiguity about the Dark Side villains is definitely a part of that. So while Snoke is hiding many secrets, being a Sith probably isn't one of them.
Andy Serkis has also revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Snoke is not a character we've already encountered.
"He’s a new character in this universe: very much a newly-introduced character."
Of course, all of this could be a red herring, but I'm willing to bet that when we finally learn who Snoke is, and what he has planned, we'll be totally surprised. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments or write your own post!