Here's Why Supreme Leader Snoke Is Probably Not Darth Plagueis

One of the unanswered questions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is "who is Supreme Leader Snoke?" Not much is revealed about the character, played by performance capture mastermind Andy Serkis, in the film. But there is a small group of Star Wars fanatics that believe he is Darth Plagueis, a character set up in the Star Wars prequels. While it might be nice to have the puppet master of this new sequel trilogy tie into the larger Star Wars saga, I never really bought into the idea. And now I believe I have some proof. Hit the jump to find out why the Snoke Darth Plagueis theories are most likely wrong.

Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the previous trilogies follow.

Who Is Darth Plagueis?

Okay, before we attempt to debunk this theory, let's explain who Darth Plagueis is. In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker the story about a dark Sith lord who had the ability to cheat death. You can watch the clip above, but here in the main quote:

Darth Plagueis was a dark lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise. He could influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

Palpatine, who was trained by Plagueis (confirmed by the Star Wars Encylopedia), claimed to have killed the Sith lord in his sleep. George Lucas has said that Plagueis was a Muun, a thin, narrow-faced species of alien with a flair for finances.

A Star Wars book, Darth Plagueis, told the story of the character's backstory but it is no longer considered Star Wars canon. That said, the newer novel Tarkin, written by the same author, canonizes some elements from the earlier Darth Plagueis novel. The video above from Star Wars Minute recaps the "Legends" backstory of the character.


Rey's Staff

It should also be mentioned that leading up to the release of The Force Awakens, Star Wars fanatics theorized that Rey's staff was actually the staff of Darth Plagueis. You can see it in the above image of a Darth Plagueis action figure. However, Rey's staff did not turn out to have a secret lightsaber blade, as many of these fans had theorized.

The Comic-Con Denial

The filmmakers were asked about the possibility at Comic-Con, as seen in the clip above. Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan apparently didn't even know who Darth Plagueis is (and why would he, seeing as it wasn't part of the original trilogy). J.J. Abrams attempts to cover for him by saying "Larry is just messing with you," but it really seems apparent to me that Kasdan has no idea what the fan is talking about. Abrams goes on to tell the fan that while it's "too early to start talking about story," the answer is "no."

You would think that would be enough to settle the argument right there, but some hardcore Star Wars fanatics are conspiracy theorists of the highest order and won't take that at face value. And of course it doesn't help that Abrams has lied in the past to protect secrets (remember Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness?), although even Abrams has since admitted that was a mistake.

After the jump I explain why Supreme Leader Snoke is probably not Darth Plagueis.

Andy Serkis Denial

But even Andy Serkis has said that Snoke is "a new character in this universe" who has been outside of the conflict shown in the previous films.

"It is very much a newly-introduced character," Serkis told EW. "He's aware of what's gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it'd be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree." ... "Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful," Serkis says. "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."

But here are the facts: JJ Abrams has denied it publicly, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan seems to not even recognize the name Darth Plagueis, actor Andy Serkis says its "a new character in this universe," and if thats not enough evidence then I present the following to you...


The Reason Snoke Probably Isn't Darth Plagueis

Over the weekend I came across a piece of evidence that seems to prove that, at very least, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan did not intend for Supreme Leader Snoke to be Darth Plagueis. I pointed out this bit in my Force Awakens changes post this morning:

Supreme Leader Snoke was one of the last characters finalized for the film, alongside Maz Kanata in October 2015 (10 weeks before the release of the film). Neither J.J. Abrams nor creature creative supervisor Neal Scanlan wanted Snoke to be old and decrepit like the Emperor, and at one point they even explored the idea of the character being female. They even built a full-size maquette of the concept.

The fact that they were toying with the idea of Snoke being a female character proves that they did not intend for the character to be Darth Plagueis. Palpatine very clearly refers to Plagueis as "he." That said, while Abrams and Kasdan did not intend for the character to be Plagueis, that doesn't mean that Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson or Episode IX writer/director Colin Trevorrow couldn't decide to go in that direction.

Josh Brolin Thanos

Why Does Snoke Even Have to Be a Reveal?

So why would it be interesting to have Supreme Leader Snoke be Darth Plagueis? Yes, it would tie the big bad of this sequel trilogy in with the rest of the Star Wars saga. Fans also point out the similarities between the soundtrack for Snoke and the soundtrack for the scene in which Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Plagueis.

But if they were going to do this, why not just call Snoke "Darth Plagueis"? What would the point of a big reveal even be? Who would even notice? A handful of Star Wars fanatics in the theater while the rest of the audience would have no idea who Darth Plagueis even is. I guess it worked for the Thanos reveal in the Avengers end credits scene?

Let me leave you with this: Why do we even need to know Snoke's origins? Why is this even a question we're grappling with? The Emperor was never given a backstory in the original Star Wars trilogy and no one seemed to question it. The prequels filled in the story later on. We know that Snoke seduced Ben Solo to the dark side, and maybe that's all we need to know.

If you enjoyed this feature on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may want to check out some of the following articles:

  • The Ultimate Guide To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Easter Eggs
  • We Have the Answers To 26 Unanswered Questions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • How Force Awakens Changed During Development: Jedi Killers, Force Ghosts and The Doom Star
  • 10 Insights From the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Novelization Not in the Movie
  • Star Wars Episode 8 Theories: Who Is Rey's Father?
  • Who Is Constable Zuvio and Sarco Plank and where were they in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?