One of the biggest mysteries to come out of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke, which fans are still debating months later. Is he Darth Plagueis (Palpatine's master), Darth Bane, or Darth Vader himself?
Fans are busy resurrecting every Sith Lord and Dark Sider in Star Wars' vast lore (which drifts in and out of canon), but what if The Force Awakens actually introduced us to someone, or something, entirely more frightening?
It's possible that Snoke isn't even a person, but a spectral (or physical) manifestation of the Dark Side itself.
Snoke IS The Dark Side
Disregarding all that talk about midichlorians from the prequels, which everyone, Lucasfilm included, seems keen to forget. We don't actually know much about the Force itself. So what exactly is the Dark Side? Does it have a bias of good and evil? Or is it just pure power, and what makes it dark or light are the people who use it?
We could dissect the philosophy of the Force all day, so let's just assume that after a millennia of people using the Force and projecting their emotions and values onto it, the Force itself has come to resemble a balance of morality: the Dark Side, and the Light.
Snoke himself could be the Dark Side creating itself in a physical form, taking advantage of the void left by the death of the last Sith lords to manipulate mere mortals into helping the Dark Side dominate the galaxy once more, through the First Order.
If this is the case, what could the Dark Side achieve by seeking out and killing Luke Skywalker, and all other Jedi survivors? Well, as the Jedi mission is to bring balance to the Force, this could reduce the power of the Dark Side. In that way, killing the Jedi would ensure the Dark Side's survival.
All of this depends on the Force itself becoming sentient and manifesting itself as Snoke, and although this would be pretty cool it's a bit far fetched. But there is a slightly more grounded option.
Snoke Was The First Force-User
We know Snoke is old, probably ancient, and he has some vendetta against the Jedi. Andy Serkis told Entertainment Weekly as much before The Force Awakens was even released.
"Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose."
This is tantalisingly vague, but it does establish that Snoke is a "long-range schemer" whose plans have been in motion for decades, centuries, or even millennia.
So back to the speculation: what if Snoke was actually the first person to use the Force? Unaware of its power, Snoke fell prey to the Dark Side. Which isn't, actually, a source of latent evil but the crushing, eroding, weight of the Force.
While this veers slightly into the territory of Eldritch horror, this theory actually makes a lot of sense if we put it together with the idea of Snoke being a Force ghost.
So, Snoke was the first person to ever use the Force and fall prey to its power, was absorbed and yet stayed conscious, forced to watch millennia of Jedi and Sith battle for dominance. But finally he was able to manifest himself again once the Sith died, and now he's out to find the last Jedi and ensure both his survival and dominance.
Pretty neat, huh. Again, this is just another among a plethora of Snoke theories which have saturated the internet after The Force Awakens' release. But a storyline like this would expand the lore, while creating a villain worthy of rivaling Star Wars' best.
Or maybe he's Darth Plagueis.