‘Star Wars the Force Awakens:’ Supreme Leader Snoke’s Identity Revealed? (Spoilers)

By December 21, 2015

Before you read on, this article contains mild spoilers for The Force Awakens. Read on at your own risk. 

Star Wars the Force Awakens was released this past weekend and was PERFECT in my opinion. The fans have been united in their praise for the movie which is also racking up tons of critical praise – the movie is currently sitting on a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a rare example where the critics and audience agree – something we haven’t seen in a Star Wars movie since, well, Return of the Jedi.

In thinking about this critical response there is also a new hotbed of questions being asked by the fans. I would argue that the movie created more questions than answers. For me, that’s just fine. I love the idea of a movie trilogy taking its time to tell a story over three movies – you aren’t going to get ALL the answers right out of the gate, right?

And let’s be honest here – there are so many new threads of conjecture happening now, in most cases revolving around the parentage of Rey, it will be hard to address every single one of them. That’s why I want to focus on ONE POINT – one mystery I think I have, officially, solved. It’s speculation goes all the way back to day one of casting and it’s something that has been rumored among all the die hard fans for a while now…

Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

Collider recently did a fantastic article that lists some of the more interesting theories out there about Snoke and his identity (my favorite being a bat-s**t crazy one that Snoke is actually Boba Fett. Come on!) The theories of who and what Snoke is in the larger scheme of things in the Star Wars Universe will be hotly debated, I’m sure, until we get the answer – perhaps in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII or maybe even in Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX. 

But I think I’ve stumbled across irrefutable proof of the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke… and it’s basically confirmed my suspicions of said identity – as well as many of my own colleagues and friends that are in on every little detail in the Star Wars Universe…

So without further ado… Supreme Leader Snoke is actually…

Darth Plagueis

It makes perfect sense and is the one plot point that will connect the prequels to the new sequel trilogy that started this past weekend with The Force Awakens. 

I don’t need to offer up much evidence – merely one point that will trump any and all points of the contrary. But first I have to give mad props to one of my Twitter followers. He was the one that alerted me to the hard, cold fact.

David Triana deserves a heap of praise for not only figuring this out but engaging me on Twitter. We had an awesome time going back and forth with our geeky speculation. So props must be given where props are due.

Back to it then – Supreme Leader Snoke is Darth Plagueis and that fact was there for us all along to discover. And it was given to us by everyone at Disney and Lucasfilm – no cloud of mystery on this one. Just a simple bit of digging and here we are.

First, listen to the ‘Palpatine’s Teachings’ track from the soundtrack of Episode III Revenge of the Sith:

Palpatine’s Teachings

Now, cue up the track of ‘Snoke’ from Episode VII’s The Force Awakens:

Point. Set. Match.

Supreme Leader Snoke is Darth Plagueis. John Williams, master of the movie score is also a master at creating memorable themes that are identified with a character from a film, especially in Star Wars. I can think of a number of themes that, when I hear them, immediately know which character he is referencing. I think of Luke’s theme, Han and Leia’s theme, Yoda’s theme, Obi-Wan (the Force theme) and the Imperial March to name just a few. When you hear these tracks, you are automatically transported to the movie and the character in particular.

So when you look at the two tracks, from Episode III and now Episode VII, there’s really nothing more to argue. The music is identical to one another. When Palpatine tell’s Anakin of Darth Plagueis, an unsettling, almost chanting refrain underscores the scene – the theme is for Plagueis. When Snoke is revealed to us in Force Awakens, the same music scores the scene connecting the two theories into one, simple explanation – IE a theme that is tied to one character.

Now, the rest of the clues fall into place. In an EW article, Andy Serkis commented on his character, telling us that Snoke,

Obviously he’s not a nice guy. And he’s a long-range schemer, not an impulsive hothead type. Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. 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.”

The mythology of Darth Plagueis we learned in Episode III fits this description almost perfectly. He is vulnerable, damaged… This would go along well – Plagueis was “killed” by Palpatine to usurp the power and become the one, true Sith that would take over a galaxy. But Plagueis, as we were told, could essentially, cheat death. ‘He could manipulate the midichlorians and create life.’ The ongoing conversation I have with all the Star Wars faithful is that Plagueis was never defeated by Darth Sidious (the Emperor) and managed to keep his body in tact while using the Dark Side to repair and ultimately, resurrect – coming back stronger than ever.

Species aside (in the Legends literature that is no longer canon, Plagueis was a Muun alien) from what I can see from Force Awakens, there is not a specific race mentioned – and to me, Snoke just looks human. Granted,  one has been through hell and back. Scarred, skinny and on the edge of death itself.

Could JJ and Kasdan, along with Lucas and everyone at Lucasfilm have planned this all along? In another tip of the hat, does Kylo Ren also tip us off when he refers to Snoke as wise? As in Darth Plagueis the wise?

Snoke is Plagueis, Plagueis is Snoke. Let’s take all the clues and speculation and just look at the facts – the music from Episode III Palpatine’s Teachings underscores the story of Darth Plagueis; and Snoke’s theme brings it all home. They are one and the same (listen to them again together; the tunes’ match is uncanny).

The reveal was set all along. JJ knew that sooner or later, a Star Wars Fan/Geek/Faithful would put two and two together. So is there really anything left to question? Snoke is Darth Plagueis. Simple as that.

And so for everyone out there in the Nation, are you in agreement on this reveal? Did JJ and his team, including John Williams, plan this all along?

Make sure you check back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

Mark Reilly
Born a geek a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - Tustin, CA - Reilly is a seasoned writer and producer with over twenty years experience in the film industry. He is the co-host of 'Far, Far Away' here on GeekNation as well as 'Meet the Movie Press' on the Popcorn Talk Network; which airs live every Friday morning at 9am pst. Tweet him at @Reillyaround
  • Matt Hooper

    Probably was going to be, but now that the uber nerds guessed it–they will change it. You guys are why we can’t have cool things.

    • Jacob Hamelin

      It’s a popular theory with a lot of strong points to support it. Despite the whiny few haters, the writers would be stupid not to follow through with this one. If we’re following an unbroken chain of Sith Lords, where the hell would another one come from unless Plagueis had the ability to cheat death and extend his life beyond Sidious’s betrayal? Sidious and Vader were otherwise the last of the Sith.

      • Balabanto

        According to canon, sadly, no. You are not correct. Darth Maul is still alive. And he has motive, method, and time to plan. You are Darth Maul. What do you WANT? You want revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi for chopping you in half and tossing you down a shaft. Well, Kenobi is dead. So you have to destroy his student, Luke Skywalker. How do you do this? Well, first you have to spend a whole lot of time rebuilding your power base, under the noses of two mighty sith, one of whom was partially responsible for having your legs chopped off. When you finally get there, what’s your first move? You find the guy who is named after the guy who chopped your legs off, and turn him to the Dark Side. This will devastate a new generation of Jedi and plant the seed of doubt in Skywalker, who is the only real threat to the Dark Side coming out on top. Then he can be turned, too. It’s actually a pretty good plan if you look at it this way.

        • Jacob Hamelin

          So you theorize that Snoke is Darth Maul?

  • John Border

    Have you listented to both at the same time? They fit very well together!

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      I was telling everyone at the office the same thing! It’s sort of insane how they essentially link up as the same track!

      • Chris Skalicky

        That’s insane how well they fit together! Playing them together I couldn’t tell which track was which. It sounded like all one piece of music. I love it!

  • Nathan Noah

    Could Snoke be a badly damaged Palpatine as well? Plagieus was clearly a Muun in those books, and Snoke doesn’t look like one at all. Battered and disfigured would fit that it could be Palpatine all over again. I think Snoke being Plagieus is a cooler tale to be told though.

    • Guilherme Martins

      remember, in canon plagueis has no specific race

      • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

        ha! Exactly. Just commented same.

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      Him being a Muun isn’t canon though. Only the name so I don’t think it could be Palpatine.

  • Phillip Quartz

    I forget if it was in the Legends or not, but I recall that Plagieus was from a banking clan family. If you go to the animated Clone Wars series (which is canon) you may notice that the figure we see the hologam of in Ep VII looks a lot like a member of one of the banking clan race.

  • Michell Astudillo

    I hope you are wrong. “The Force Awakens” (rightfully) distanced itself from the prequels and this new batch of movies should do the same, any callbacks to the awful prequel set is only going to taint the new ones.

    Bring plaeguis back to the ring and all the freaking nonsense of the prequels will leak back, we’ll have Lukes counting Rey’s midichlorian levels in no time while Jar Jar Binks force ghost steps on Bantha poo.

    • Chuck Sylvester

      Regardless of people’s feelings, the prequels are part of the canonical Star Wars universe, you know? If they felt as though this old Sith master who was canonically described to be able to cheat death is the perfect candidate for their main antagonist, why not use it? Because people thought the prequels were bad? They had some great ideas, and JJ even took a few of them for his movie (Ewan McGregor recorded some lines as Obi Wan in the flashback sequence Rey had, and Kylo Ren mentions “clone army” to Hux; you may contest that second point with clones being mentioned in ANH, but they never said clones were the ones fighting, just the phrase “Clone War”.)

      Bringing one single aspect of the prequels into the fold, a character who is only ever briefly mentioned in what is arguably the best prequel movie, doesn’t mean you automatically get the midichlorians and the bad acting and the bad characters. The writers know what people liked and didn’t like, and Darth Plageuis was not one of the things people didn’t like.

      • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

        Well said Chuck. I completely agree with you on this point. I personally would love to see Plagueis as the connective tissue to the Prequels.

      • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

        Mark, I’m totally on board with the notion that Snoke could be Darth Plageuis. The matching musical scores offer a huge hint, and it would be utterly shocking if it were a coincidence. There are many saying, “Oh, Darth Plageuis is dead because Palpatine said so.” This assumes Palpatine was speaking the truth when he told the story to Anakin, who he was manipulating. I think we all know better. On another note, there’s a constant thread in the Star Wars movies of incarnation, embodiment (e.g., Anakin was in reality an incarnation; the Force can be embodied in a lightsaber, etc.). With all the talk about the projection of Snoke in THE FORCE AWAKENS and the speculation as to his species, I think it’s moot. One thought: the remains of Vader/Anakin (again, we believe an incarnation created by Plageuis) from Endor reconstituted and embodied by Plageuis as Snoke. I admit, it’s far-fetched. But just throwing it out there (especially given Ren has Vader’s mask in his possession, and calls him “grandfather”).

    • Lily Lilac

      You can still have Plagueius without the awful parts of the prequals. In the EU it’s heavily implied that Plageious created Anakin Skywalker through dark side and force experiments. You can totally include that Plageious created the Skywalkers without bringing up midchlorines.

  • Lily Lilac

    It’s also worth nothing that Pleagious has been specifically brought back in the new canon books in the novel “Tarkin” which contains scenes of Sidious reflecting on his old master. The author of “Tarkin” also wrote the now not-canon novel “Darth Plageious” and as allowed to bring back and canonize specific details about Plageious (though his race or appearance are never mentioned in Tarkin). It’s worth nothing that the new canon is already discussing Plageious.

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      See this is another point! The new canon books are looking to establish a new line of story and why bring up Plagueis if they didn’t want to use and/or set up for later.

  • wraithkelso

    I 100% agree with you Mark, but, one of my friends had this to say “Yeah. Very similar music for characters that are (at least) very similar. Personally, I’m still hoping that “snoke” is actually Palpatine resurrected via clone body.”

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      That’s becoming a very big speculation. I just don’t buy it’s similar music for Emperor.

  • GeekAt50

    I thought that too but JJ Abrams recently stated in an interview that Snoke is not Darth Plagueis or Palpatine.

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      Has JJ ever lied to us before…? #Kahn.
      In all seriousness, I just can’t believe he is anyone other than Plagueis. John Williams creates themes to characters and this seems way too on the nose.

      • Andy Mcqueen

        look up lord cronal, he is pretty much a 100% fit, not mentioned in anything canon, a creation of the co-director with JJ and if you read the description of him, he has been around for ages, he was plaptines right hand, doing work in the background

        Also his name was “blackhole” which to me is a description of what starkiller base was (sucking up a star can only be done by something as powerful as a black hole)
        Pretty heavy foreshadowing there if you ask me

        he was an alchemist, has died twice, is a broken frail weak bodied man and master of manipulation

  • Christina Louise

    Why would he drop his name, though? Why would he drop the Darth title? It doesn’t seem Snoke is a Sith persay, instead just a dark force user, since the Knights of Ren exist – which would drop the rule of 2.

    • Danny J Smith


    • Brandon Dwellingham

      But most of the Sith had alter egos. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. So, Supreme Leader Snoke/Darth Plagueis follows that pattern. Remember, they are great deceivers, working behind the scenes until they “reveal” themselves. Another Sith, Darth Maul refers to his own “reveal” in The Phantom Menace when he says, “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have our revenge.”

  • Danny J Smith

    Here’s my only problem, other than having to explain what he doing the whole time…JJ and Kasdan have thoroughly explained why they wanted to stay completely away from midichlorians. Whether you agree or not, they basically said without saying it that they hate midichlorians. Why would they make their main bad guy a character whose canonical backstory (and non-canonical too) is based entirely on midichlorians and their ability to be manipulated. To me, it just seems like a reach. JJ admitted using Khan was a mistake too, for what that is worth. Ominous music that is similar is hardly proof, and neither is a very vague backstory that can be applied to any evil character. It just honestly makes no sense to me and jamming up some excuse as to where he was the whole time feels like is would cheapen the franchise, not tie it together. That’s just me, I guess we will wait and see.

    • Thomas Anthony

      They don’t have to use midi-chlorians to explain his story. Simply that he used the Force to resurrect. If Jedi can come back as thinking, speaking Jedi then why can’t the Sith have their own perverted version of this ability? Furthermore, where would this powerful Sith come from if not Plagues? Just some random, super powerful Sith dropped from the sky?

      • Danny J Smith

        Well, while you are right that they wouldn’t need to use them to explain it, there is no telling if he is even Sith. As far as The story goes, the last two Sith are dead. There were dark side users before the Sith, stands to reason there will be others after. I just think it’s too convenient, and lacking imagination. But believe me, if that is the case, I’ll find a way to love it!!

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      I’m in agreement with Thomas. Just because he’s canon in Ep III and midichlorians have been mentioned, doesn’t mean they have to do it here. It might be a reach but, at least for me, I would love the tie to the prequels to connect all three sagas. I think it would be a brilliant movie.

  • G. Oakes

    Palpatine said Plagueis teached him how to cheat death, so it could also be Palpatine.

    • Brandon Dwellingham

      Actually, no he didnt. Palpatine always said he and Vader could discover the secret together.

      • Ryan Stike

        In addition, we’re all assuming that Sidious wasn’t making up the part about power over life and death to manipulate anakin’s weakness for Padme… It could easily have been a ruse all along. We’re talking about someone who lies for a living.

  • scottcrow

    I’ve been thinking about this and am glad someone connected the music as it really is the key. However, I’ll offer a different theory. What if Palpatine learned to cheat death from Plageuis and the theme we are hearing is for Palpatine / Sidious and the Supreme Being is Sidious after falling in the reactor?

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      What Brandon said below – Palpatine wanted help from Vader so I still believe it’s Plagueis. But you never know in the Star Wars universe.

  • http://www.newlogicentertainment.com/ Tha JackaL

    That’s the first thing I thought when I saw him in the movie… He just looks like he’s been dead and resurrected like he could cheat death. This is a brilliant idea if true…

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      Thanks! Yeah, I’m open to other theories but this seems too coincidental.

  • Brian Rewis

    It makes sense. In the books Darth Plageius is one of two Sith Lords that manipulate the Force to cause Darth Vader’s immaculate conception, so if they decided to go with that bit of fan service then it would make sense why he would want to keep that bloodline close to him.

    • Matt

      Who was the other Sith Lord?

  • Em

    Personal thought?

    Snoke is the Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels. It would be a strong way to tie the new canon materials together beyond a few name drops or cameos here and there. The Grand Inquisitor is a Pau’an and – although he looks one way in the television series – look at the Pau’an race when they appear in films. Black eyes. Grey skin. Exaggerate head shape and long limbs. Much like Snoke. Now imagine one that has been burned horribly, as if he had been consumed by a raging inferno. Looks a lot like Snoke looked in his holographic projection.

    The visual similarities work.
    The commitment to the Empire works.
    The fact that we never knew the Grand Inquisitor’s name works. Grand Inquisitor Snoke? Supreme Leader Snoke?
    The fact that he would be strong enough in the Dark Side to take apprentices, but not strong enough to resurrect the Sith, would explain the Knights of Ren AND allow Vader and Luke’s defeat of the Sith to remain a lasting legacy. It works.

    So that is where I am keeping my own hopes.

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      I think this is a great theory and would totally buy it as well. I love that, as you said, it can tie in the new canon and connect to movies/tv. Well said.

  • Nik

    I simply fear that your strongest piece of evidence is the music, and they’re cosmetically similar, but not really thematically. The music from Palpatine’s teachings has a single vocal drone and some ambience that fades out, and is replaced by other instrumententation that carry the melody. Snoke’s theme is more chant like, changes pitches, and acts as the melody. You can even hear the syllables taper off, unlike the solid drone in Palpatine’s. Also, I think the melodies are different. The two tracks might work as companion pieces, but that’s not saying much when they are presumably in the same key signature and one of the tracks only has a drone and ambience for 75 % of the time that the tracks could be listened to simultaneously, considering Snoke’s is only 2 minutes. Really, I guess where I would come out on this; the similarities don’t seem strong enough to establish a theme, but rather the chant/drone vocals simply pull out this essence of darkness and power. (I do hope that you recognize I offer my opinion solely to get another perspective in the mix. I really enjoy Star Wars, but I don’t know all the ins and outs of the story and characters. So take my comment however you will.)

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      I LOVE this comment. Great breakdown of the music and I can see you have a better ear than me from this. Since the music, to me, sounds very similar and Plagueis is canon (in name from Ep III) I point to it as a strong case and not coincidence. But this is Star Wars and moreover JJ – Snoke could be someone we haven’t met or even, gasp, just plain Snoke.

  • David Sebastian

    Plagueis is dead.

  • Franklin Massenstein

    Clearly it’s Sauron…C’mon guys…

    • thecreatures


  • jedikitty

    It isn’t Plagueis… it is Palpatine/the Emporer! He killed Plagueis after learning his powers and somehow used the dark side to keep himself alive in some form or another.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      As I mentioned in a reply to another post here, this assumes Palpatine was telling the truth when he shared the story of Darth Plagueis with Anakin. Remember, Palpatine was a manipulator by nature. We can be sure very little he said contained much truth. Which means he could easily (if not very likely) have been lying when sharing the details of the story. (There’s also the “point of view” theme in the Star Wars universe. “But you said Vader killed my father,” said Luke to Obi Wan. “Well that depends upon your point of view,” Obi Wan replied.) Not everything is as it seems, or made to seem.

  • Ian Mountz

    “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. ” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Remember our first lesson taught by Master Kenobi? Well pay attention to what The Force Awakens is telling you because the old dead fossil is still taking us to school.

    So we are to believe that in the 32 years since ROTJ a giant scary hologram named Supreme Leader Snoke who seems to be powerful with the Darkside of the Force has managed to build the First Order and seduce Luke’s pupil Ben Solo to follow the dark path as well. It’s the Wizard of Oz Darkside style. They even cast the amazing Andy Serkis to make it more credible.

    Supreme Leader Snoke is Leia. She broke bad after becoming Luke’s first pupil. She is pretending to be Snoke.

    “Search your feelings. You know it to be true.” – Darth Vader

    Presumably Leia was the only other person who could be as powerful as Luke.

    She watched as her planet and family were destroyed.

    She fell in love and pushed out Twins, both are not exactly recommended for Jedi.

    Now she has two armies and everyone fooled except Luke.

    Luke knew he lost his sister to the Darkside and couldn’t save Kylo but could save his niece Rey. So he hid her and went exile knowing only the child could redeem the parent.

    The first clue in the film is in the first scene with dialogue as Max Von Sydow and Oscar Isaacs discuss how great Leia is.

    Both Snoke and Leia are desperately searching for Luke to find Rey.

    It’s perfect. It’s the “I am your father” moment for episode 8.

    “If you will not turn to the dark side then perhaps she will…” — Darth Vader

    • http://geeknation.com/ Mark Reilly

      Okay. I’ll buy it ;-)

  • lukethekook

    Musically, it’s the same motif – check out this breakdown. https://youtu.be/vd_8-NCN5CU

  • joel_otero

    I know who he is- he is

    Supreme Leader Snoke.
    Hopefully in the next few films we will learn to respect him as a character. Not a foil.

  • http://minerdchist.com Minerdchist

    I LOVE this theory and can totally see it being the case. My only issue with it is, if Snoke is Plageuis, why wouldn’t he teach Kylo to create a true lightsaber? I mean, sure it could be part of his training (plagueis throwing off the title and rituals of Sith altogether after he saw the ultimate failure of the sith methodology, both old and new.) to create a stable one. But to me, it seems a little odd that none of the Knights of Ren we’ve seen have a traditional, stable lightsaber. Not a huge issue, but noteworthy imo.

    Then again, the Knights of Ren could be the rookie league/academy to some new Sith Order that Snoke is in charge of. Or the padawans of Luke who turned to the dark side with Kylo.

    No idea for sure either way, but sure is fun to speculate.

    • Theo

      His lightsaber is stable, the effect is from different crystals which creates the corsucan effect. Several of the novels describe this effect.

      • Sergio

        Bro, the lightsaber in fact, is not stable, this is revealed in the Visual Disctionary, actually, his kyber crystal is cracked.

  • Brian

    I have a feeling that JJ and Disney didn’t and don’t relish the idea of reminding anyone about the Prequels.

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  • Theo

    I could also see him being Palpatine, considering they are keeping aspects of the Legends EU.

  • Snukka644

    What if it’s darth Vader. (Not anakin ) like an alter ego Thpe deal. Remember palpatine said let’s find the way to come back from death together. Maybe they did find out. They both have the same head indent on the top and burned faces…

  • Ryan Stike

    I have always been of the opinion that there were possibly many more Sith out there aside from Vader and Sidious. We know Vader aided in hunting down and killing all the Jedi, but we are never told anything about how many Sith there are who can weild the force. This is actually ambiguous as far as the films go. In that respect, Snokes could be a brand new character with a unique background. And as for the Plagueis theory, can we even be sure that Sidious didn’t just invent that part about controlling life or death in order to manipulate anakin’s weakness? I mean, it is obvious from the way he tells the story that Plagueis existed, but the rest could have been fabricated to suit his needs. We are after all talking about a career liar. Just a thought.

  • Andy Mcqueen

    snoke = lord cronal

  • Nathan

    Leia clearly says to Han
    “It was Snoke, SHE seduced our son to the dark side”