Editorial: The Possible Origin of Supreme Leader Snoke

After reading Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Empire’s End, the conclusion to his post-Return of the Jedi trilogy, I have found that although a lot things were brought to light in the novel, there are still so many unanswered questions. If you were wondering if the identity of Snoke is finally revealed in the book – let me go ahead and disappoint you by confirming that his identity remains a mystery – hopefully one that will be explained in The Last Jedi this December. That being said, the book did open up a few possibilities surrounding his origin, one of which I found to be very intriguing – so much so that I sat down and wrote this little piece immediately after finishing the book two weeks ago. Now that the embargo is lifted and our non-spoiler review has posted, it’s finally time to dig in to a new theory about Snoke provided by the content of Empire’s End. Let’s speculate…



Excerpt from Aftermath: Empire’s End:

Outside the known galaxy is an unexplored infinity, Palpatine explained, one closed off by a labyrinth of solar systems, rogue magnetospheres, black holes, gravity wells, and things far stranger. Any who tried to conquer the maze did not survive…But Palpatine had one in the navy who new something of the Unknown Regions: Admiral Thrawn, an alien with ice-blue skin who came from beyond the borders of the known galaxy. Palpatine only kept that one around because of what he knew of traversing those deadly interstices…

Palpatine said that this galaxy was to be his, but that it was only one among many…Before Palpatine’s demise [he finally found] a way through the unknown. 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.


What was calling to Palpatine? Was he simply mad, or was there something more sinister at work – an unknown entity from outside the known galaxy that was bidding Palpatine to seek it out through the Force? It is interesting that Palpatine’s contingency plan – to purge the failed Empire and build it anew from the ground up – would send his loyal servants outside of the boundaries of the known galaxy, closer to the source of this mysterious signal. Could it be that Snoke himself is this source, an entity from beyond? Well, it certainly seems plausible, but for some more evidence that lends credence to this theory, let’s turn to the old Star Wars expanded universe.



In the previous expanded universe, now dubbed Legends and in effect “non-canon”, there were a vast amount of stories set in the era that has now been replaced by the sequel trilogy (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Episode IX). In the non-canon alternate version of that era, the main threat against the New Republic was an invasion from an alien species known as the Yuuzhan Vong.


When we look into these extra-galactic aliens, I think we will find that there are some possible connections with what we know about Palpatine’s infatuation with the Unknown Regions outside of the known galaxy and the similarities of some of the more notable Vong with the current threat to the New Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke.


Since their introduction in the New Jedi Order book series, the Yuuzhan Vong have been a huge part of the expanded universe, namely as the primary antagonists to the New Republic and Luke’s Jedi Order. While some fans were eager to embrace the new direction, not all were thrilled with the new villains. However, I think fans of the EU can all agree that they were far better than the Ssi-Ruuk (an alien species that came across like an effort to capitalize on the popularity of the dinosaur thanks to the recently released Jurassic Park), a grateful victim to the canon massacre of 2014.



Following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, all their stories (apart from the films and TV series) were sent into the vast Unknown Regions of what’s canon and what’s not – with the First Order of business to start fresh – building a cohesive and unified canon from the ground up.


Since LFL went all Order 66 on the expanded universe, the only story to make its way into the official Star Wars canon apart from the films/tv series was the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic series, as this story was originally intended to be covered by The Clone Wars television show prior to its cancellation.



Although these stories have gone the way of the Ssi-Ruuk, LFL has shown that they are not afraid to pull characters and stories from the non-canon material into the official canon as long as it fits and serves the story. One of the most notable examples of this is the introduction of the blue-skinned Grand Admiral Thrawn in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels (pictured above). The character was also referenced in Aftermath: Empire’s End and will feature in his own novel, Thrawn, coming out this April.


That being said, we should not expect anything to be pulled into canon exactly as it was in the Legends continuity. Changes will be made to the previously established continuity moving forward, and in many cases, they already have been. Perhaps the most heavily affected era of Star Wars mythology is The New Jedi Order era, which is occupied now by the sequel trilogy (30 years after ROTJ).


In this new and official iteration we find a great departure from the expanded universe story line. Han Solo is dead…Chewbacca lives…Ben Skywalker, the Solo twins, and the younger Anakin Solo have been replaced by a singular descendant of Darth Vader – Ben Solo (the jury’s still out on Rey and her connection). Mara Jade and Kyle Katarn are nowhere to be seen. Changes.


So, I am in no way insinuating with this article that the Yuuzhan Vong will play an important role in Star Wars moving forward, nor am I suggesting that they will even make an appearance. However, as I look at their role and origin in the Legends continuity, I have to wonder if the Story Group at Lucasfilm didn’t at least draw inspiration from these alien antagonists when coming up with the new villain for the sequel trilogy.



Who are the Yuuzhan Vong?



source: Wookieepedia


The Yuuzhan Vong, also known as the “Far-Outsiders”, were a sentient alien species that originated outside of the known galaxy. They resembled a human in form, but were taller and heavier than the average human with less hair on their heads. They were unable to be sensed through the Force which confounded the Jedi and gave them an edge against the Force-wielders.


They were named for their god, Yun-Yuuzhan, their chief deity. According to legend, Yun-Yuuzhan sacrificed his body parts to form the universe, the lesser gods, and the Yuuzhan Vong.


The Supreme Overlord was the leader of the Yuuzhan Vong. What was his role and who was he?



The Supreme Overlord was the grand leader of the Yuuzhan Vong. He alone could address their god, Yun-Yuuzhan, and he was ritually scarred to resemble the diety in appearance. The Overlord held authority and power as Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, and supreme religious leader.


The Supreme Overlord was named Shimrra Jamaane, but it was revealed that another, by the name of Onimi was the true Overlord behind the scenes bending Jamaane to his will.  Who was this Onimi?



Onimi was a male Yuuzhan Vong. He was the only Force-sensitive of his species and was revealed to be the true power behind the Yuuzhan Vong’s invasion of the galaxy. Onimi was marked as a Shamed One, taking the form of a mentally and physically twisted, demented creature.


While Onimi seemed weak, with his torso twisted, short limbs, small hands, and his wretched face being his worst feature, his repulsive physical features and lowly social status caused him to be underestimated. Despite his pitiful appearance, Onimi had the power to manipulate the minds of others.


Onimi manipulated Shimrra and the other Yuuzhan Vong to mastermind the invasion of the galaxy that the species chose as their new home.



While it’s clear that Snoke is unique from the descriptions above, the similarities are striking. If Snoke originates from outside of the known galaxy, it is apparent that the Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong may have given inspiration to the creation of his character – specifically that of the true Overlord, Onimi, the mastermind behind the invasion of the galaxy.



Force-sensitive, twisted and deformed, ritually scarred, manipulative, Supreme…these all seem like traits and characteristics that could easily describe the Supreme Leader of the First Order. While the scarring is very noticable, it is difficult to see the full extent of Snoke’s deformity from his appearance in TFA. The above screenshot from a behind the scenes rendering of Snoke’s body gives us a much better glimpse.


Could it be that the surviving remnants of Palpatine’s Empire encountered Snoke in the Unknown Regions, only to be manipulated by him into taking over their native galaxy? Is Snoke a singular entity? Or is he only one member of a species hell-bent on galactic domination?



Wendig’s final book in his Aftermath trilogy also provides some other possibilites, even tossing around the idea that the Acolytes of the Beyond wanted to resurrect Palpatine to corporeal form once again – a possible nod to his return from the dead in the Dark Empire Trilogy (now Legends) from Dark Horse Comics.


In Life Debt, it was revealed that an individual known as the Consecrated Eremite lived on the Plaintive Hand plateau on Jakku back when the desert planet was lush and teeming with life. In the final book of the trilogy, we read of a well of energy hidden beneath the plateau.  The well is a channel that bores through the schist and mantle of Jakku, reaching all the way to the center of the planet. From the mysterious abyss comes a wellspring of energy – the essence of life. Perhaps Snoke is this ancient Eremite who created the well to drain Jakku of its essence and somehow transfer it to himself. Who knows? Wendig was certainly laying the groundwork for something here, but what exactly he was paving the way to remains to be fully seen or understood.


It is also mentioned in Empire’s End that Palpatine’s advisor, Yupe Tashu, was only one of many leaders of the dark-side obsessed Acolytes of the Beyond. Given this reveal and the fact that we are never introduced to any of these other leaders, it is also possible that Snoke is one of these who ascended to the role of Supreme Leader in the years following Palpatine’s death.


“Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall. The gullible prattle on about the triumph of truth and justice, of individualism and free will. As if such things were solid and real instead of simple subjective judgments. The historians have it all wrong. It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did.”

– Supreme Leader Snoke


We also know from The Force Awakens novelization by Alan Dean Foster (see above quotation) that Snoke witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.  But whether he did so as one of Palpatine’s closest sycophants, a distant bystander from the shadows, or as a faraway observer from a galaxy away remains a mystery as the dark side emanating from the Lucasfilm Story Group currently clouds everything.



There is no clear evidence to support either theory wholeheartedly, but Aftermath: Empire’s End has definitely opened up more possibilities concerning the origin of the big baddie of the sequel trilogy. There is still so much that we don’t know about the character and his motivations. One thing we do know – he is coming for Luke Skywalker – and I’m sure Jabba the Hutt would agree from beyond the grave that if Snoke tries to kill a Skywalker, that’s the last mistake he’ll ever make.



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Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

64 thoughts on “Editorial: The Possible Origin of Supreme Leader Snoke

    • February 23, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      Are you saying Leia is Snoke?!?!?! 😉

      • February 23, 2017 at 7:40 pm

        Until Carrie Fisher died, I was banking on it. But now, I’m not sure how they could pull it off without her.

      • February 23, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        (And it wouldn’t be the first-time we’ve seen Leia assume a male alter-ego to get what she wants.)

    • February 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Two people standing across from each other? Quite common. Seeing things that don’t exist (especially bc that line is in ROTJ)

      The line you want is “We shall watch your career with great interest” which makes more sense for Leia to think that of Rey right there.

      • February 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

        They’re not standing — they’re both using the Force to levitate one inch above the ground.


    • February 24, 2017 at 2:47 am


      • February 24, 2017 at 4:44 am

        Of all the characters in Star Wars lore, Leia had more justifications than anyone else to dabble in the dark side.

      • February 24, 2017 at 5:07 am

        Half-Life 3: The Last Jedi

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Except when they’re not…

  • February 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    A lot of words for not a lot of proof. I don’t see much here at all.

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:45 am

      Same here.

  • February 23, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    “a grateful victim to the canon massacre of 2014” reads like current news, doesn’t it? :p

  • February 23, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Can someone even tell me how to properly pronounce Yuuzhan Vong?

    • February 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      You Zh-Anne Vong.

    • February 24, 2017 at 12:24 am

      Yoo-hoos Han Von gee.

    • February 24, 2017 at 3:54 am

      Yuh-OOO-zuh-huh-AHN Vuh-AAH-nuh-uhn-guh-mah-m-ah-hoo-wow-wow MEEEEEE-suh-lyk-that

    • February 25, 2017 at 5:39 am


  • February 23, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Personally, I would rather see the villain end up being something beyond the known galaxy than seeing the Empiire yet again. I think it would be cool if the First Order was misdirect, a way to connect us into the new threat. But I don’t think LFL/Disney have the balls to do that right now. Maybe in the next trilogy.

    • February 24, 2017 at 5:06 am

      That is one thing I will give credit to the NJO for doing. I wasn’t on board with a lot of the execution, but at least it FINALLY got us away from the endless cycle of “oh no its [random imperial warlord] and his plan to restore the imperial remnant”. The knights of Ren seem promising, but the FO is so similar to the empire and the Resistance is so similar to the rebellion. If they do have another trilogy, especially in rapid succession to this one, I would want something very different from from the original trilogy. Part of me hopes episode 9 ends with the remnants of the first order allying with the New Republic as Snoke escapes to ‘begin the invasion’ or some such.

      • February 24, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Yup. Sadly, the people that love the Empire are very vocal. Hopefully they will have gotten their fix soon and we can explore some new ground.

  • February 23, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Snoke being from outside the galaxy sounds interesting. Can’t say the same for bringing back the vong, however.

  • February 23, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I don’t believe Snoke is Palpatine, but I’ve always loved the resurrection of Palpatine angle of Dark Horse comics.

    He is after all the big bag of 6 movies and with the passing of the torch to younger actors for this trilogy and possibly more, I think Lucasfilm/Disney should of done something of a fresh spin of the idea. At least having a youthful Palpatine clone wouldn’t be a retread of the old baddie pulling the strings again, but instead a youthful and more energetic character to the screen.

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:43 am

      That would cheapen his death in Episode VI, to me.

      • February 24, 2017 at 5:25 am

        And cheapen the sacrifice of Anakin/Vader.

      • February 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

        Good point, though if it turns up there is another puppet master that was behind Palpatine it will also cheapen his original menace. My other concern is what the average Star Wars fan will have to go on for Snoke without the need to read the comics/books. I don’t want an in depth look into his background, didn’t happen with Palpatine in the OT or the PT, but fans that just watch the films are going to need a plausible connection and reaching out beyond the known regions for the source of the force is a bit lame IMO

        • February 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

          I disagree with your last point. I think it would be very simple to explain that Palpatine was looking for the origin of the Force and the First Order ended up continuing that work and discovering Snoke. It also wouldn’t necessarily make Skoke a puppet master, as there’s no proof that Snoke was actually manipulating Palpatine, just trying to meet with him.

  • February 23, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I know I’m probably out there on this one, but I am REALLY hoping he’s the Sith Emperor from Old Republic! 🙂 He left for uncharted space to restart the Sith Empire and lived eons! And it sets up soooooooo well for some Old Republic love! I actually drew it out on a timeline and my wife said she would LOVE to see it like that (and she’s just getting into SW)….Well, one can hope 🙂

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      If yuo’re still clinging to the smaller, dogmatic box of the Sith, you’re completely missing the point; they’re but a small segment of the dark side. Snoke’s the whole enchilada…

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Your Snoke theory sucks.

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Then why don’t you present an alternative one?

      • February 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

        Oh here comes Officer Outrage – It’s a joke BS, you nincompoop, am I always going to have to spoon feed you? Have you ever been outside your front door?

        • February 24, 2017 at 6:24 pm

          Woo boy…talk about outrage. Calm down, dude. Have a drink. Don’t break your keyboard. It’s not worth the heart attack. Nor is it worth your mother yelling at you. The basement and her bedroom can’t be that far apart and I’m sure the noise carries.

          Now, back to my politely worded question. Rather than responding to someone’s ruminations about the possible origins of Snoke with such childish and remedial statements, why don’t you present your own? This is a place for dialogue about Star Wars and I’m sure we’d be interested in knowing what you think.

      • February 25, 2017 at 5:38 am

        Because Chuck Wendig presented it for him in Aftermath: Empire’s End.


  • February 24, 2017 at 3:39 am

    who posted this trash?

    • February 24, 2017 at 10:10 am

      I did…for the purpose of presenting a possibility concerning the inspiration for Snoke as a character. I’m not suggesting that the Vong will or should be pulled into Canon – nor do I want that to happen personally. It’s just clear given the context of the Aftermath trilogy that him being extra-galactic is a possibility. Not sure what’s trashy about presenting real possibilities derived from the story actually presented by the LFL story group against all the ridiculous Snoke theories that are out there.

      • February 24, 2017 at 10:20 am

        oh sorry.

        • February 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

          I was not offended. I just thought maybe you misunderstood the intent of the article.

          • February 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

            still, im sorry for calling it trash.

  • February 24, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Snoke, could take Luke out.

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      On a date?

  • February 24, 2017 at 4:55 am

    I thought the kernel of the idea in NJO was really good, so I would be all for the idea of snoke being extra-galactic. I think him hailing at very least from unknown regions seems to be unofficial official with all of these aftermath hints. I mean its possible that he turns out to be some random emperor lackey who we never heard of…but that just seems like such a lowering of stakes. I really want snoke to be a kind of being we haven’t yet encountered, perhaps he is the dark sides “chosen one” or a force wielder or any number of things… Snoke needs to be something ancient and powerful, thats all I hope for. If hes just some force-weilding moff we forgot about that would be the worst reveal of all time.

  • February 24, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I am hoping Snoke will be a terrifying villain. Very powerful, even more so than Darth Sidious

  • February 24, 2017 at 6:14 am


  • February 24, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Things like this is why I personally hated the EU…apologies to whoever likes it..I know it’s popular amongst a lot of the community.

  • February 24, 2017 at 9:05 am


    • February 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Snnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-exactly. Yuuzhan Vong? HELL NO.

      My name is….Snoke
      My sign is…Snoke
      My # is…Snoke

      He’s not a Sith, nor a Vong. More likely the embodiment of a larger, holistic dark side essence, not constrained by dogma, the Rule of Two, etc.

      • February 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        The article doesn’t claim he’s a Vong. He says his story arc may be inspired but it….which is a reasonable remark.

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I think Snoke is the mouse droid from Episode IV.

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I posted this elsewhere today after watching Jedi Council
    Kind of hoping Snoke shows up in season 4 of Rebels as a Knight of Ren, he gets hold of the Sith holocron and starts to manipulate Ezra to join him, the season can end with Snoke and Kanan fighting over Ezra and Kanan badly damages Snoke (we see how badly Snoke has been injured in TFA) until Ezra steps in to stop Kanan and eventually kills him (a bit like the Anakin, Mace and Palpatine fight in Revenge of the Sith), Ezra then becomes Snoke’s right hand man in the Knights of Ren…who we see in The Last Jedi as Benecio Del Toro as Ezra.

    • February 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Are you Kevin J. Anderson?

    • February 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Nice theory, I’d be happy with that. Alternatively, in-line with the above theory, I’d like to see Del Toro as Thrawn. Palpatine having sent him beyond the known galaxy, died before he returned with Snoke, who now takes control.

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      That would be cool. Plus the characters of Ezra and Kanan are far easier to swallow from a tv show than a new one introduced in a book or comic. Also casual moviegoers are more likely to pick up on viewing Rebels than a book/comic.

  • February 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Awwww… so cute how Pablo is needlessly sucking up to George
    Lucas after all these years. Keep getting paid to be snarky on Twitter
    while making your little Transformers doodles, hot-shot.

    He probably had his own copy of “Star Wars Despecialized” playing on his monitor when he wrote those comments.

  • February 24, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Kitster is Snoke confirmed.

    • February 25, 2017 at 5:36 am

      IT ALL ADDS UP!!!!

      • February 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        It just the facts.

  • February 25, 2017 at 2:49 am

    If Snoke ends up being some powerful ancient dark side user from the unknown regions that spoke to Palpatine and was like a founder of the dark side or something then I might actually be ok with him not being Plagueis. I just want a well thought out backstory and not something random.

  • February 25, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I just hope they make him interesting in TLJ which is not what we got in TFA. Serkiss is capable of giving a better performance than he gave too, He’s no Ian McDiarmid but he can definetly up his acting game a bit for the sequels considering what he’s getting paid.

  • February 26, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Theres some crazy theories out there. I just think Luke owe’s Snoke some money. Luke looks like he lost it all at the casino anyway. I think he’s even rumored to go back to the casino in 8.

  • February 26, 2017 at 6:58 am

    “the Acolytes of the Beyond wanted to resurrect Palpatine to corporeal form once again – a possible nod to his return from the dead in the Dark Empire Trilogy”

    Could Rey be this corporeal form the Acolytes of the Beyond intended to bring Palpatine back to life into? Imagine them trying to mix Palpatine’s blood with Vader’s, believing it would be a stronger corporeal form? Or maybe just Vader’s blood? Or maybe Luke’s blood? Or a mix of Luke’s and Vader’s?

    Kylo and Snoke know about “a girl”, they capture her and find out “she is discovering her powers” and even during combat Kylo suggests to her to train with him. Kylo had just seen Anakin’s old lightsaber fly into Rey’s hands. If Vader’s helmet speaks to Kylo, but Anakin’s old lightsaber chooses Rey, what does that mean? Rey could be Skywalker blood. What if the question is not who are her parents, but the question is who created her?

    Maybe I am just trying to fit the theory I’ve had for a while, since TFA, that Rey is not daughter of anyone but instead created by someone with someone’s blood, possibly Skywalker blood. If Rey was designed by the bad guys, it makes sense that they wanted to use Skywalker blood to match Luke. Ben/Kylo turned out to be Plan B to match Luke. (and I don’t think Kylo likes the idea of being Plan B)

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