How did Kylo Ren kill Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
In Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren is being taunted by Supreme Leader Snoke into killing Rey. Snoke proclaims, “I see his mind. I see his every intent…I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true…he ignites it and kills his true enemy.”
However, either Snoke is wrong or Kylo tricked him, because Kylo kills Snoke instead of Rey, and Snoke is clearly shocked by this.
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That appeared to be the end of Snoke’s story. However, in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, we see Kylo in the living Emperor Palpatine’s lair on Exegol, and in the lair, we see a vat filled with several clones of Snoke. Palpatine then reveals, “I made Snoke. I have been every voice you have ever heard,” at which point he changes his voice to Snoke’s.
He goes on, saying “the First Order was just the beginning.” Together, these lines imply that Palpatine created and controlled Snoke, meaning Palpatine created and controlled the First Order as Supreme Leader Snoke. So, presumably, Palpatine controlled Snoke’s actions.
Kylo tricked Snoke…Snoke is Palpatine…did Kylo trick Palpatine?
Palpatine, who is arguably the most powerful character in the series, who has nearly omniscient abilities, was tricked by Kylo Ren, who he had overpowered earlier in the same movie (through Snoke)? In the first throne room scene in The Last Jedi, we saw Snoke send Kylo flying with his Force lightning.
And, in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Palpatine could sense when Luke Skywalker wanted to use his lightsaber to strike him down. So, there is no reason Palpatine (through Snoke) should not have detected that Kylo was going to kill him.
As soon as Palpatine sensed that Kylo would strike him, he would have killed Kylo. This act would have driven Rey to anger, as she hoped to turn Kylo from the Dark Side. Right now, this early in her training, she would have been susceptible to the Dark Side, as she did immediately reach for the dark during her lessons with Luke.
Rey, reaching for the darkness within her, would lash out at Snoke, who would subdue her just as he did with the Force moments prior. He would hand her off to his guards, who would restrain her. At the same time, the events happening outside the ship would still be occurring, meaning Vice Admiral Holdo would destroy Snoke’s ship.
Snoke would survive though, as his throne room was relatively untouched. He would evacuate the ship with Rey and his guards. The escape of the Resistance would continue as it did in the movie, and they would still make it to Crait, where Chewbacca would still draw the TIE Fighters away in the Millennium Falcon.
This is where the events on the ground would begin to change. Chewbacca may not be able to hold off the TIEs on his own without Rey as his gunner. But regardless of Chewbacca’s success, the Resistance would not have been able to escape the bunker without Rey moving the boulders blocking their exit.
Without Rey, everyone in the Resistance would have been captured and killed, even Leia, without Kylo there to spare her. Afterwards, if Chewbacca survived, he would have no choice but to go into hiding, removing himself from the story.
Star Wars: Palpatine’s plan begins
With the Resistance crushed and Kylo Ren dead, Palpatine calls Snoke to Exegol, bringing Rey with him. Snoke would likely still need the Sith wayfinder, which Palpatine would lead him to on Mustafar, just as Kylo found it on his own. One way or another, Snoke would make it to Exegol with Rey, and present her to her grandfather, Palpatine.
Palpatine’s plan from Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker would begin to unfold, as he gets Rey to kill him so that his spirit can be transferred into her body. Palpatine, restored to full power, would combine his hidden planet-killing forces on Exegol with the First Order in order to take over the galaxy. With no Rebellion, Resistance, or Jedi to fight back, he would assume complete control of the galaxy.
Star Wars: What about Luke?
Of course, there is one loose end: Luke Skywalker. Would he stay in exile? Would he still use Force projection to go to Crait to buy time for the Resistance, waiting for Kylo, who would never show, only to die? Or would he come out of exile to fight Palpatine? Could he even defeat a full-powered Palpatine-possessed Rey?
It’s hard to say what Luke would have done. Even if he did do something, he may not be able to defeat Palpatine and his new fleet without the Resistance.
Comment what you believe Luke would do if the scenario played out this way.