(Warning — the following contains GIANT, HULKING SPOILERS for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as well as potentially huge ones for future sequels. As Yoda once so sagely advised Taylor Swift: "Say I did not say I did not warn you, do not...")
Now, even for a movie filled close to bursting with intriguing, carefully mystery-cloaked characters, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens sure did leave a whole lot of fascinating plot threads dangling tantalizingly in the metaphorical wind. From Rey's parentage to Maz Kanata's everything, via a certain legendary Jedi and the true cause of his disappearance, the wait for Episode VIII is looking set to be painful and question-filled.
One of the most intriguing lingering threads, though?
Just What Is the Deal With Supreme Leader Snoke?
After all, what we know about the (possibly, but probably not actually) gigantic holographic supervillain is essentially that he's large (but probably not really), and villainous. Which tells us... pretty much nothing. It seems as though he was involved in turning Kylo Ren away from the side of the light, but it's not clear exactly how, or why — and his ultimate goals could be as grand as taking over the galaxy, or far more small-scale than we could ever imagine.
All of which makes Snoke absolutely fascinating — as well as opening up a clear pathway for some distinctly mind-boggling fan theories as to just who he is, and what he's up to. The latest, and perhaps most enticing?
Supreme Leader Snoke Is Secretly... Kylo Ren
Yup, that's right. That Kylo Ren.
The logic goes a little something like this:
Kylo Ren, being torn between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force, eventually finds himself physically torn apart by the strain... and his Dark half tears itself out from him, and becomes a corporeal entity known as Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke, then, is quite literally Kylo Ren's Dark Side, made real.
That, Though, Isn't Even the Strangest Part
Y'see, that alone doesn't actually explain how Snoke and Kylo could both be hanging around the galaxy at this point — seeing as Kylo is still clearly struggling with both sides of the Force.
Snoke Is Kylo Ren... From the Future
That's right — if the theory is to be believed, Kylo Ren is one day set to find the Dark Side of himself expelled (which seems like the sort of thing Luke would try to do) only to wind up with his dark half traveling back in time (presumably via hologram/Force ghost in order to persuade his younger, whole self to kill his own father. Not only that, but we'd almost certainly see a scene mirroring the classic "I am your father" scene in Empire Strikes Back, in which Snoke turns to Kylo and tells him "I am you."
At which point the whole thing would seem completely insane — were it not for the fact that Episode VIII director Rian Johnson is something of a specialist in mind-bending time travel sci-fi (check out Looper) and twist-filled drama (see The Brother Bloom). In other words, he's possibly the only director who could — were it to happen — actually pull it off.
Plus, it opens up the possibility of a now heroic Kylo sending his own spirit back in time to save a certain irascible smuggler's life — thus giving Episode IX the sort of mildly upsetting happy ending we currently think we want but will probably all be super mad about if it actually happens.
It's all still very much a long shot — and it seems far more likely that Snoke will be someone completely unexpected (and likely nothing to do with any previously appearing characters), but in the meantime, it's one hell of an intriguing theory...