Fan theories are great, right?
I have to assume that, were there social media in 1977, someone would have thrown out ‘What if Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father?!?! lol jk #thankscarter’ with the response ‘#nojive,’ etc. Imagine the evolution in emojis we would have today!
More than nearly any other film, in recent history, Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens has invited massive fan speculation, and for good reason. The story is remarkably open-ended, leaving room, both prior to and after the events shown in the film, for rampant interpretation. It neatly allows for those who engage primarily with the films of the series and not the books, comic books, video games, color forms, lunchboxes, and whatnot. (i.e. the vast majority of fans) to express unique views on the motivation or repercussions of the actions of the characters in the film.
And we are lucky enough to live in a age where we can share these with one another, instantly.
So, after seeing the film for the third time, I developed a theory that I thought was pretty unique. It’s one I have yet to see, but I won’t claim that I’m the first to say this, in case someone else beat me to the punch.
Keep in mind, this is all just speculation, but, regardless, I must warn that there are potential spoilers ahead. Read on at the risk of your future self having Episode IX totally ruined.
Let’s talk about this Supreme Leader Snoke dude.
What do we know about him?
Well, he has been gravely injured at some point. He, or someone in his employ, is powerful enough in the Dark Side so as to be able to train Ben Solo to be one of the most powerful Sith we have seen on film, with the shocking admission that Kylo Ren has not yet completed training. We know that Snoke is the driving force behind the rise of the First Order, a political organization that uses the concepts, imagery, and tactics of the fallen Empire in order to threaten the sovereignty of the Republic. We know that both General Hux and Kylo Ren defer to his leadership, even to the point of working together despite not being fond of one another.
That’s quite a lot, actually, but we’re not done there.
We know that Snoke is unwilling or unable to deal with the events of Awakens, personally, and that his response to this is to set up a massive room, the only purpose of which is for those who follow him to interact with him via the largest hologram we’ve seen in the Star Wars Universe.
Andy Serkis recently revealed that Snoke is not, as many have speculated, Darth Plagueis. While it is possible that Serkis has actually not been made fully aware of the identity of the character, I’m going to move forward as though this is fact.
Now, with that knowledge, we can speculate some things.
First off, Snoke is a mover and shaker, but not the kind who likes all the pawns to know who is moving them around the board. By having his commands presented through his two proxies, it’s possible that many others in the First Order are not even aware of who is pulling the strings.
We can assume that Snoke has been around for a while, possibly hundreds or thousands of years, and that he has been alive for every Star Wars film, thus far. He clearly presents a very ancient, wounded demeanor. He was probably badly beaten at some point in the past, and this defeat led him to operate in secret for many years.
We can assume that Snoke is the Force User who trained Ben Solo to be Kylo Ren. However, he never uses the title of a Sith Lord, nor does he use with Ben. It is possible that ‘Kylo’ is the Sith equivalent of the Jedi term, ‘Padawan,’ meaning ‘student,’ or, perhaps, that Snoke hails from some other agency that uses the Dark Side.
We can assume that Snoke is probably not as big as his hologram presents him to be (just like the Emperor turned out not to be a giant head), but his ego is so demanding, that the idea of having a tiny, or even life-sized hologram is too abhorrent to him to even be considered.
With these assumptions, some additional details can come into play.
For one, Snoke has been clearly planning his rise to dominion for a long, long time. In this, it’s possible he manipulated events that occurred during the rise of Dark Sidious, the Clone Wars, the fall of the Jedi, and, possibly even the rise of the Rebellion and the fall of the Empire. That such a powerful individual would not involve himself in the manipulation of prior events would mean that he was unable to do so, possibly through incapacitation. Regardless, I would not be surprised if he maneuvered the pieces on the board during occurrences of Galactic import.
But, that’s not why we’re here.
Assuming that Snoke is somehow invested with the characters of the Star Wars mythology, one can surmise a number of possibilities, but the one that kept creeping up on me was kind of awesome:
Snoke is Anakin Skywalker’s true father.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘But the Force created a child within Shmi!’ Well, as you may recall from Episode I, even the Jedi have a hard time buying this one. The most that is said is, essentially, ‘Well, I suppose it’s possible.’ Even still, the Jedi never really make more of a mention of it and it’s pretty much forgotten by the time we get to Episode II.
This means that they completely handwave the fact that ANAKIN CAME FROM SPONTANEOUS CONCEPTION!!!
Isn’t that kind of an important point?!
What if, and I’m only spitballing here, some stranger came to the Outer Rim crapsack of Tatooine and found some amount of potential in poor, doomed Shmi. Perhaps he thought that he could train her in the Dark Side but, rather, she proved to be too kind or unable to find focus or ‘Reasons’ and she could not be taught or turned. However, she could still prove useful to him.
Either through manipulation (which gets a little rapey) or through seduction or, maybe even, through actually caring for Shmi, this stranger produced an heir. Possibly with sex.
Upon realizing this had occurred, this stranger used his massive power in the Dark Side of the Force to wipe the memory of him from Shmi’s mind. Perhaps he even wiped years from her memory! Maybe they went on adventures and battled against crime lords on the Outer Rim, and stuff.
Marvel! I’ll totally write the Shmi mini-series! Guest-starring her lover, whose passion for her is equal to hers for him, but their very natures will, inevitably, force them to go their own separate ways!
And the name of this suitor?
Snoke wants an heir to his raw power that he can transform into the perfect student. He wants someone to pass on his many years of acquired knowledge so that his legacy can always be felt across the Galaxy. He wants his Kylo.
And he is very patient.
Observing Anakin, Snoke might see potential that is weakened by sentimentality and mercy. Even when Anakin becomes Darth Vader, Snoke would see him as flawed and broken, rather than powerful. Pass.
He might have observed Leia, growing up in the courts of Alderaan, believing herself to be the heir to a Queen. She is passionate, he may think, but cares too much for those who are weak. She hates tyranny and serves the cause of freedom. Pass.
Potentially, Snoke could have even located Luke. A farm boy who dreams of flying in the war he knows rages over his head. Wasted potential. Pass.
And then there’s Ben Solo.
All off Leia’s passion and righteous fury alongside the moral compass of a smuggler who has walked the left hand path far more than he has the right. And all of the potential of Anakin, Luke, and Leia; all the raw, seething Force energy of the Skywalker line, in someone whose passions could be turned against the Light Side; against the Jedi; against his Uncle Luke.
Snoke sees this and steps from the shadows with an open palm.
And Ben begins his descent into darkness and despair.
The only way to save the children of the Skywalker line is to hide them from Snoke. And so, Luke and his wife leave their only child on a remote world, hoping that she will survive, believing that she will be out of the reach of evil. Upon their return, they find that Snoke has transformed Ben Solo into Kylo Ren, and Kylo Ren has transformed the Jedi Academy, Luke’s lifelong work, into a charnel pit; the only survivors being those who swear allegiance to Ren.
And Snoke’s manipulation is complete; a manipulation that began the day he set the edict of no more than two Sith at a time. I’m not saying Snoke is Darth Bane, I’m saying Darth Bane never happened but what did happen was Snoke. And I’m saying that his edict to the Sith was just one more lie.
A true Snoke in the grass.
Not a bad theory, right?!
I was pretty pleased with myself and felt pretty good that I had set up a website where I could expound upon my crazy theories, at will.
Still, it’s nothing more than analytics, speculation, and fun. Because that’s what all the fan theories and the movies and the toys and the color forms are about, really. Getting away from those terrifying aspects of the real world long enough to immerse ourselves in a fiction and try to gain a deeper meaning of it. Escape is nothing new; nearly all people have some means of escapism and one can generally challenge those that do not with some aspect of their lives. It makes us able to return to the real world and attack those ongoing concerns with new energy, new life.
So, that’s all this whole thing is: a crazy-ass theory wrapped in a blanket of fun and wearing a silly hat.
(Although, Marvel Comics, if you’re still paying attention and don’t like my Shmi mini-series idea, I have a great pitch for a Lobot comic I’d like to pitch you.)
Credit where credit’s due: my wife came up with the name of this article.
UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that Darth Bane is canon in the current Star Wars saga. However, I’m not changing my theory as Darth Bane also remains stupid.