Here’s why Supreme Leader Snoke is NOT Darth Plagueis…
This rumor has been circulating for months, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Still, there’s always hope, and we’ve got some reasons why the Supreme Leader of the First Order from Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not the renowned Sith lord, Darth Plagueis.
First, a bit of history. Darth Plagueis the Wise was first mentioned in canon in Revenge of the Sith by Chancellor Palpatine, AKA Darth Sidious. Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker that Plagueis was so powerful, he could influence midichlorians to create life. He says he taught an apprentice everything he knew, and that that apprentice killed him in his sleep.
More from Dork Side of the Force
- The High Republic Adventures (2023) 1 review
- Daniel José Older named a High Republic Adventures character after someone special
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- Kelleran Beq comes to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal becomes No. 1 on IMDb’s Starmeter for 2023
Palpatine doesn’t explicitly say it, but it’s easy to infer the apprentice he was referring to was himself. The relationship between Plagueis and Palpatine, how Palpatine became a Sith and then rose to power in the Senate, is discussed in the novel Darth Plagueis by James Luceno. Plagueis’s murder at the hands of Palpatine is also addressed; though the way it’s written, it’s left a bit open-ended as to whether Plagueis truly died or not.
The book is part of the Legends timeline, which means the events contained therein are not strictly canon. However, Darth Plagueis was released in 2012, before Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney. This means he was still somewhat involved in the creation of a canon for his universe. Luceno said in an interview with TheForce.Net that what happened in the book was approved by the top levels of Lucas Licensing, which at the time ended with George Lucas. A lot of what happened in the story, then, might truly be canon.
One thing we know is canon, however (if George’s word when he still owned Star Wars still stands as canon), is Plagueis was a Muun. This tidbit about the Sith lord’s species, according to Luceno, came from Lucas himself. This brings us to the first reason why Supreme Leader Snoke is not Darth Plagueis.
1. Supreme Leader Snoke is not a Muun.
It’s difficult to tell whether Snoke is a human or a near-human, but it’s pretty clear he’s not a Muun. Muuns have very distinctive facial structures, with long, narrow faces, strong chins, and small eyes. Snoke’s head’s shape is rounder, like a human’s, and his visage, while damaged, is unmistakably humanoid in structure, as well.
2. If Plagueis survived Sidious’s attempt to kill him, what was he doing for all those years between Palpatine’s election and the formation of the First Order?
That doesn’t make sense to me. We’re talking thirty-six or so years from the time Plagueis was supposedly “killed” (right after the events of The Phantom Menace, in the book) to the time Emperor Palpatine is destroyed and the Empire fractured. Then, the Empire has to disperse and reform as the First Order, which is probably going to take at least another ten or twenty years to completely shake out.
If Plagueis was alive all that time, what was he doing? Was he biding his time, waiting for Palpatine to die or for someone to kill him? Did he have a premonition the Empire was going to fail one day, and that they would be in need of a leader of his strength and intelligence to restructure them into the First Order? That seems like a long shot, especially when Palpatine, another powerful dark side Force user, couldn’t foresee his own death at the hand of his apprentice.
It’s not that Plagueis couldn’t have survived and been lying in wait all those years; it’s that it’s an unlikely scenario that would require a lot of explaining. Also, it’s a bit convoluted. Think about it: Instead of creating a new villain, you’re going to take one whom Palpatine mentioned once in a brief conversation in Episode III and make him the ultimate winner of The Sith Survival Show? Not likely.
3. Andy Serkis, who plays Snoke, basically said Snoke wasn’t Plagueis.
"“No, he’s a new character in this universe. It is very much a newly-introduced character,” Serkis says. “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.”"
More from Editorial
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- The Acolyte might change Star Wars storytelling
- No Star Wars for Feige, and I’m ok with that.
- 3 major ways the Star Wars Holiday Special changed canon
- If Jon Favreau remakes the Holiday Special, it needs to star Peli Motto
Serkis said this in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and it’s worth repeating multiple times. Now, I know when something like this comes up, the immediate response is, “J.J. Abrams’s Mystery Box.” It’s understandable, considering how Abrams outright lied about Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, which Abrams directed. However, I think Abrams has learned his lesson since then, and I also don’t think Andy Serkis would be open to making that kind of deception.
However, if we concede Serkis might be lying, the first part of his quote doesn’t make any sense. Plagueis is not a “newly introduced character;” he’s been around at least since the script for Revenge of the Sith was written, before the film’s release in theaters in 2005. While Snoke may very well turn out to be someone we know, he’s most likely not Plagueis.
What do you think? Has this editorial convinced you Snoke and Plagueis are not one and the same, or do you still have doubts? Let us know in the comments below and on social media.