Snoke Darth Plagueis Theory

Star Wars fans are notoriously detail-minded. Just look at the selection of Star Wars-related books that publisher DK releases. There are ultimate guides, visual dictionaries, atlases, blueprints of weapons and ships; it goes beyond the scene-by-scene breakdown and crosses into in-universe knowledge you won’t necessarily find on screen, all to help make the characters, objects, and places of Star Wars all the more real for the die-hard fans.

And in those details, fans may sometimes find some hints about what’s to come in the feature films that sell billions of dollars worth of tickets, getting a leg-up on those who only hit the theater each year. They’re not necessary to understand or enjoy the core story of the Skywalker Saga, but they can certainly build it up and enhance it. Such has been the case since Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, and the Story Group at Lucasfilm has started coordinating everything related to Star Wars. If there’s a book or comic or animated series or narrative-driven game in the works, it gets the Story Group stamp, as they help storytellers bring the world of Star Wars into a whole new galaxy.

And if you’re willing to do some detective work, it certainly looks like the recent books have been laying the groundwork to explain Supreme Leader Snoke, the villainous leader glimpsed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the uncharted areas of the Star Wars universe.

Spoilers ahead for recent Star Wars novels.

thrawn novel

Thrawn’s Introduction

The recently released Thrawn shows off the Story Group in action in more than one way. The novel, written by Timothy Zahn, tells the now-canon origin story of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a popular character first introduced in the “Legends” novels formerly known as the Expanded Universe, and brought into modern canon on the animated Star Wars Rebels series.

The fan-favorite blue-skinned character comes from a special part of the Star Wars galaxy identified only as the ominous “Unknown Regions.” This area of the galaxy is becoming increasingly important in the Star Wars story and may give us more hints about just who the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke in the Sequel Trilogy really is, and what he wants for the galaxy.

star wars the unknown regions

The Unknown Regions

The Unknown Regions have held importance throughout the history of Star Wars, but they have been gaining traction in recent years. Identified specifically as “The Unknown Regions” (commonly confused with “Wild Space”) in the novel Tarkin, the Unknown Regions have been mentioned in nine canon novels before and after the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They’ve also been mentioned in comics, and in the aforementioned reference books. That’s a lot for a nebulously-named area of the galaxy. In the “Legends” continuity, the planet Rakata Prime in the edges of the Unknown Regions had a key role in the story of the Old Republic – even that planet was brought into modern canon in The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary.

Recent years have also seen the Unknown Regions brought to the fore as the planet Ilum (introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars), which was a primary source of Jedi Kyber crystals. Some fans think it may be the planet that Starkiller Base was carved out of by the First Order. Both Wild Space and the Unknown Regions have been mentioned across several pieces of new canon material – including one especially surprising one.

zeb

Wild Space

Wild Space, bordering the Unknown Regions, has been equally important. In Star Wars Rebels, it was revealed that the homeworld of the Lasat (Zeb’s species on the show) was in Wild Space. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Wild Space was the location of the very first story in the series, presented in the movie that kicked things off. Wild Space was also home to Mortis, the traveling planet that “Force gods” known simply as Father (balance), Daughter (light), and Son (dark) lived upon. In the Aftermath trilogy, the “pirate ruler of Wild Space” Eleodie Maracavanya was also introduced.

empire's end

Aftermath: Empire’s End

Many fans were heavily focused on the character of Gallius Rax in the Star Wars Aftermath trilogy by writer Chuck Wendig, as he was set up as the de facto leader of the Imperial remnant and orchestrated much of what would become the First Order. The mysterious character was a devotee and personal student of the Emperor, leading some to believe that he’s a prime candidate for the true identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.

Well, we’re here to tell you that’s almost certainly a big red herring. And Rax’s presence, and the hints at his involvement in birthing the First Order, are meant to distract you from the real clues in the book.

In the final chapter, it was revealed that Emperor Palpatine had recruited Thrawn “because of what he knew of traversing those deadly interstices” of the unknown regions. The Sith Lord who brought about their ultimate revenge against the Jedi had been contacted, in a way, by something or someone beyond those regions:

“The Emperor was convinced that something waited for him out there–some origin of the Force, some dark presence formed of malevolent substance. He said he could feel the waves of it radiating out now that the way was clear. The Emperor called it a signal – conveniently one that only he could hear… He believed that something lay beyond, and so that became a singular obsession.”

The Emperor’s singular obsession, and a major part of his contingency plan if the Empire were to fall, lied beyond the Unknown Regions. It’s possible this points both to the past and the future – it could be linked to the aforementioned Mortis and those incredibly powerful symbols of the Force, and to Snoke himself, as well.

Indeed, the end of the book saw the Imperial remnant, hand-picked by Palpataine and Rax, taking a unique path through the Unknown Regions, a path that was no doubt dictated to the Emperor by Grand Admiral Thrawn himself. They saw creatures, a magnetic burst, and storms before finally locating the other loyalists.

Continue Reading Snoke’s Backstory >>

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