Star Wars Special: Who is Snoke?

The new Star Wars films fascinate me despite the fact that The Force Awakens was a deeply flawed film I can’t help but hope that there’s a grand plan in place and that The Last Jedi will blow us all away. My current obsession is the identity of the new galactic threat, Snoke. If you are a diehard then you are probably sick of all the theories and insanity surrounding Snoke. Though the film’s creators have tried to lead us into thinking Snoke may be an entirely new creation I just don’t buy it. If you are going to shroud the villain in mystery I see no huge payoff other than a major revelation.

New trailers mean new theories as to who Mr. Snoke really is. Apparently theories on Snoke’s true identity litter the web, most focusing on Darth Plagueis. Now I am a pretty big Star Wars fan but there are sooooo many other things to enjoy and at the end of the day my heart is more concerned with superheroes but that doesn’t mean speculating on Snoke is a bad idea! Here’s what I consider to be the leading candidates.

Darth Nihlius

First appearance: Star Wars Tales 24

If you believe the rumors about Snoke to be true then no other force user resembles Snoke more in terms of power. Nihlius survived by feeding off the force energy of others. His hunger was so great that he was a threat to all galactic life. There have been plot leaks and rumors detailing Snoke’s need to feed off the force to rebuild his body. If true that is Nihlius all day. My only problem with the idea of Snoke being Nihlius, the armor. I just don’t see how Snoke could exist without it. The armor stores Darth Nihlius’s essence. But seeing Snoke put on that armor would be pretty awesome.

Valkorion ( Vitiate )

First appearance: Star Wars: The Old Republic 4

The new canon has established the unknown regions as an important part of the Star Wars universe and with the announcement of a new trilogy that will explore previously unexplored corners of the SW universe, it’s possible the unknown region ( along with Legacy and the Old Republic ) could be on the table. Lord Vitiate was one of the more powerful Sith lords, he established a resurgent Sith empire inside the unknown and was a force entity who took Valkorion as a host. It is highly possible he still lives in some capacity. Also, Vitiate was mentioned in the Darth Plagueis novel which is canon. Plagueis would have been concerned with Vitiate’s ability to exist as a force entity and cheat death.

Darth Malgus

First appearance: Star Wars the Ultimate Visual Guide

One of the more powerful Darth lords in Sith history, Malgus was studied by Vader and Palpatine. We know this thanks to the Book of the Sith ( a highly informative read ). Malgus was defeated and frozen in carbonite, something I suspect could be used as a way to bring such a powerful character like Snoke to the forefront. It would be a way to circumvent Yoda and other powerful Jedi’s inability to notice a force as powerful as Snoke Lurking about the galaxy and it’s a way to keep the prophecy Vader fulfilled intact. Malgus also has a scar similar to Snoke’s.

Darth Revan

First appearance: Star Wars Tales 23

Besides being one of the most popular EU characters, Revan was a sort of prophet for Sith lords like Darth Bane and Palpatine. Without Revan there’s no rule of two, something Snoke is keenly aware of.

Darth Bane

Star Wars: Jedi vs Sith DF Exclusive

Bane was an extremely powerful Sith who created the rule of two, a practice Snoke appears to be interested in following. Bane is a direct creation of George Lucas which gives his a better chance than most of being Snoke. Bane is also a massive fan favorite.

Darth Jadus

First appearance: The Art of Making Star Wars the Old Republic

Jadus makes the list due to popularity stemming from his introduction in the Old Republic. He is also one of the most powerful Sith Lords ever produced by the Sith Empire ( according to Valkorion ) Jadus is a longshot but if we are looking for powerful Sith that could be easily incorporated into the modern canon, Jadus is as good a choice as any but remains highly speculative. Also, there is no comic book first for him.

The Yuuzhan Vong and Nom Anor

It’s unlikely that Snoke is a member of this poorly received alien race. Let’s be honest, fans don’t like them or their stories but they are from the unknown and are both tall and horribly scared. We know that Palpatine was worried about a force outside of the known realm and there are connections there with Thrawn who is now part of the canon but an invading race seems more like an idea for another set of films.

First appearance ( via flashbacks )

NOTE: The Vong were first identified in the novel Vector Prime written by R.A. Savatore

Darth Plagueis the Wise

First appearance: Tag and Bink II, Revenge of the Clone Menace 2

I am not going to spend too much time on Plagueis even though he is the most likely candidate. You would have more fun searching Reddit and spending an afternoon reading about the possibility of Snoke being Palpatine’s master.

I will say this, there are some serious reasons to suspect Plagueis and even some links. He was obsessed with manipulation of what makes up the powerful connection between the force and it’s users. He was a scientist, obsessed with immortality. It’s even possible he created the Skywalker bloodline through some sort of genetic manipulation. Then there are some odd occurrences like a recent book that expands upon his origins, mentions in the book Tarkin which is canon and the Force Awakens use of the opera music from Episode 2 where Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Plagueis.

To me, Plagueis is the most logical choice.

NOTE: due to the inclusion of Tag and Bink in the upcoming Solo film, appearances of the characters are non-canon so technically Plagueis’s first is now also canon!

Marka Ragnos

First appearance: Tales of the Jedi, Dark Lords of the Sith 6

Marka is another ancient, powerful Sith lord who is possesses enough power and force ghosting ability to put him on the list. Unfortunately there are no other real connections to speak of other than a small connection to Darth Plagueis.

Darth Sion the Lord of Pain

First appearance: Knights of the old republic 34 ( named )

So this animal cheated death by using his great anger to rise from the dead and hold his mangled human form together. He has the scarred look of Snoke but beyond that I am just not so sure. Sion was powerful but in his time there were stronger force users and I think the film is going to make Snoke much more powerful than Sion ever was.

I can find no actual comic appearance for Sion but it is possible he appeared in one of the KOTOR comics from Dark Horse. He was also referenced in the Darth Plagueis novel which is canon.

Ezra Bridger

First Appearance Star Wars, Kanan the Last Padawan

We don’t know how his story will end but I doubt he could be Snoke for similar reasons stated above. If he were to survive how could he have escaped Vader and Palpatine’s cleansing?

Director Orson Krennic

First appearance: Rogue One, A Star Wars Story 3

OK, this one is just not gonna happen but there are some lunatics out there who wish it to be true so I have included this undervalued first.

Galen Merek ( Starkiller )

First appearance: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

It’s possible Vader’s secret, the cloned apprentice could be Snoke though the odds are low. Remember, Snoke has intimate knowledge of the Skywalker family which was probably obtained through Palpatine records/ holocrons or possibly Vader himself. The problem…there’s already been a character named Galen recently so a name change would have to happen.

Tarre Vizsla ( first Mandalorian Jedi )

First appearance: ?

Snoke appears to have a black Kyber Crystal ring, Rogue one shows a file on Scariff called “ Black Saber “ which further solidifies its inclusion in the canon.

Legendary Mandalorian leader, Tarre Vizsla created this weapon over a thousand years ago and if he found a way to use dark energies to extend his life it’s certainly possible he is Snoke.

Tarre has no comic appearances. It is possible he appeared here but I cannot confirm this. I do know this is the first appearance of the darksaber later called the Pre Vizsla Sword which was also made into a toy during the Clone Wars show.

Darth Nox

First appearance: Unknown

Nox makes the list due to his immense power and his quest for immortality but he has no known comic appearances though it’s possible he appeared somewhere in the Dark Horse comics.

Exar Kun

First appearance: Star Wars Tales of the Jedi, Dark Lords of the Sith 4 or the ashcan

If Luke were training his Padawans on Yavin 4 he could have stumbled across Exar’s tomb. Exar also was a hunter for Sith relics and found ways to extend life. The odds are low on him though. He may have appeared in the ashcan first.

So it appears Snoke has a weapon we haven’t seen in the films but does have a history in the comics. If Snoke somehow uses ancient Sith magic as his primary power then he could be wielding a Sith amulet. These amulets have varying powers but are capable of holding their own against any form of attack. Some heal ( which Snoke seems to need ) and some have the power to create direct links to the rich Sith history. I suspect that the black ring he wears is either the darksaber crystal ( it was canonized thanks to the TV show Rebels ) or a Sith amulet. We do know that Vader had one integrated into his armor and Ben has the remains of that armor. In any case, if Snoke’s weapon is a Sith Amulet they first appeared here:


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    Think the opera scene where Plagueis is described is Episode 3?

    • Topher

      All that writing and THAT’S all you have to say!!!!!!?

      Thanks bud, You are correct. The 2 should be a 3!

      • Avatar

        Heh, sorry man. Thanks for these right ups. Do appreciate all the work that goes into them. They keep pulling me back into the hunt as I’m trying to dial it back.

        You’d have to think it’s gotta be Plagueis so they can make the connection to the previous films. Not that it can’t be a completely new character but that would be a bit left field, even for some of these other characters.

        Which means I’m probably wrong. ?

  • Avatar

    Wow Awesome article. Fun read! I would love it to be nihilius or revan.

  • Topher

    I would like to add that the connection I speak of concerning Marka to Pkagueis was simply a mention in Luceno’s book Darth Plaguies. That book is designated legends even though Plagueis is a canonized character. But…Luceno’s novel Tarkin is canon and by referencing certain events in the Plagueis book, the work canonizes parts of the Plagueis novel

    There is also another material called cortosis which could be the material Snoke’s ring is made from or woven into that gold cloak. The material repels blaster fire and lightsabers and can redirect their energy. It first appeared in the Plaguies novel but was later made canon thanks to its inclusion in A New Dawn.

  • Ben Steiniger

    Wow topher! That is a massive amount of SW info that those of us who didn’t really follow the Dark Horse run can use. Thanks!

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    Star Wars films make the majority of it’s money off the general audience. Yes, its hardcore nerd base is larger than that of the comic book movie audience, but any reveal has to be within the general audience realm and able for the general audience to “get”. That’s why Vader as Luke’s father worked so well. I think the only quasi-nerd reveal that might work is Plagueis, only because he’s referenced in the prequels. But even that has been forgotten by the average movie goer. The only nerd-nods we’ll see are things like Chopper in Rogue One or Tag and Bink in the upcoming Solo. My money is on ‘Snoke is Snoke’.

  • Topher

    I agree with you too a certain extent. The thing is making any sort of jaw dropping event is nearly impossible. Introducing something new to fans that has a history in other media pleases everyone if done correctly. Everyone is expecting Rey to be a skywalker and I think any family connection would really just get a collective meh from die hard fans and regular movie goers alike.

    I also forgot to include the Shaman of the Whills. He is directly responsible for Yoda’s ability to force ghost and it is technichally part of the recent trilogy only Lucas chose not to film anything about the Shaman. The new films are already picking the best parts from the EU ( Madalorians/darksaber, Thrawn, ) and even original but unused/ important things like the Whills. The Whills became an important part and one of the best parts of Rogue one. Previously unknown to casual fans they created in their blind guardians a fan favorite. I suspect they could do the same with a design like Nihilius or Revan.

    My problem with Snoke being Snoke is that there would have to be a pretty creative way for such a powerful Sith or master of the dark side to exist for the prophecy we all love to make sense. One thing is true, Disney wants fans to believe Snoke is Snoke.

    • Avatar

      Interesting. From all the way too many Star Wars sources I take in I get the feeling that the Rey Skywalker theory is over. Seems too ‘on the nose’, and mostly what I’m hearing is what I said on opening night of The Force Awakens: She’s a Kenobi. However, I’m starting to feel like even that might be so last week.

      One thing I’m convinced of is that Snoke is definitely not Sith. I think Kylo is going light and Rey is going dark, and she and Snoke might re-start the Sith. What prophecy are you talking about with Snoke?

      • Topher

        So the prophecy I speak of is the chosen one who will bring balance to the force. We know that ends up being Anakin. If Snoke is as powerful a force user as he appears then there is just no way Yoda wouldn’t know about him or feel a presence of great power especially after his death and return as a force ghost. Also the prophecy would mean nothing if there was still someone left who is that powerful with the dark side. It just doesn’t make sense and unless there’a good explanation it cheapens the central plot of the entire saga.

        I like the idea of Rey going dark and Ben to the light but there is one problem. I just don’t know if audiences can forgive the cold blooded murder of ones father.

        • Avatar

          Dude, I keep hearing this thing about audiences not being able to forgive Ben for killing Han, and (nothing personal) that’s the most narrow minded and mongoloidian thing I’ve ever heard. Darth Vader/Anikan cold blooded murdered his wife, his best friend, thousands of other men and women, and scores of really bad child actors. If the “audience” can’t enjoy a good redemption story then they can go eat pudding with Bill Cosby. Rey going dark only works with Kylo going light. UNLESS! They join forces to overthrow Snoke and re-start the Sith together.

          As for THE prophecy. I know this goes against my first Snoke theory, but we don’t even know if he IS using the dark side. He could be something entirely new. And if he is a powerful dark side user, how do we know that Yoda hasn’t been telling Luke about Snoke all these years. Maybe that’s part of the reason he’s in hiding. Han and Leia seemed to know a lot about Snoke and how powerful he is, so I’m guessing Luke does to. And I can’t imagine Luke has gone coward simply because he messed up with Ben.

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          • Topher

            OK well your tone is a bit aggressive. Despite that I will offer this tempered response…

            Vader is a beloved character. There are reasons why, So far Kylo possesses nothing remarkable both in character and as an actor. For fans to forgive ( and I’m not even sure fan have done so ) Vader’s past transgressions, Kylo would need to possess all of the things Vader did; a great voice, iconic costume, laser swords, superpowers and that legendary twist to name a few. Look, we love to love the bad guy,
            when he’s cool.
            Kylo is the antithesis of cool. He redemption isn’t interesting, not to mention he killed off the franchise’s most popular character and a cultural icon. No one is gonna forgive him for that.

            The only thing he really has going for him is that sword. Despite mixed reactions it turned heads. Unfortunately Kylo is lacking in other key areas and his petulance is more irksome than anything else.
            I’ll be clear, Rey is the star of the film.

            As for Snoke, everything I say in this article amounts to nothing more than informed, speculative guesswork. Your theories are just as valid as mine although I try my best to provide some evidence for every single book I mention. So sure, Snoke could be anyone we know or no one. But….
            Do you think Disney is going to make the sequels to the most successful sci-fi franchise in history about a villain who doesn’t wield the force? Though possible, I find such a theory highly unlikely.

            Thank you for commenting!

  • Avatar

    Ooh I forgot about cortosis until you brought it up… the imperial knights had gauntlets of it and I think it could basically short out a light saber if I recall correctly…
    I’d love to see that show up in the movie….his ring would be a great way!!

  • Avatar

    Now that…
    Was a CRUSHINGLY informative article (and I thought I knew it all). Very concise and even the real longshots you give the possibility to.
    Fantastic read! Kudos!

  • Avatar

    Excellent article Topher! Your case for each is well thought out and concise. I agree with you as well that there is no real redemption of Kylo Ren. The audience is definitely against him. While I respect the actor for serving our country I don’t really care for his acting ability.

    • Topher

      Driver had that one good, uncomfortable sex scene that wasn’t with a regular cast member on Girls. Beyond that I can’t think of anything he’s done that has been memorable.

      Thanks for reading as always!

  • Topher

    I also want to add that cortosis does have a comic appearance; Star Wars 42-45 ( Rite of Passage ) Dark Horse.

  • Topher

    I want to add one more suspect: Gallius Rax who’s story was told in the Canonized book Life Debt. He was an Orphan on Jakku and given a mission by Palpatine to help search for some significant artifact on the planet. Originally I though the artifact might be the staff Rey carries but it could also be that ring I have mentioned. He is not a well known character so it’s not likely he is Snoke but he should be mentioned.

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