14 days until Star Wars: Did the prequels give away 'The Force Awakens' mystery villain?
One of the most mysterious characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is Supreme Leader Snoke. We know Andy Serkis plays him, we know the character has an agenda of some kind…and that’s it. Nothing has been revealed about the character’s species or allegiance. The only thing we have to go on* is this quote Serkis gave to EW:
“Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful […] 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.”
*Officially. Please do not post leaked details in the comments.
But what if Snoke has been here all along? From before “Phantom Menace,” mentioned only in passing lines of dialogue and hushed whispers. What if Snoke is Darth Plagueis?
For those of you who haven’t been following along, I recently completed a rewatch of the “Star Wars” prequels which I livetweeted. By “Revenge of the Sith” I had some strong suspicions that Darth Plagueis wasn’t as dead as the Emperor believed. A quick Google search showed I wasn’t the first to put two and two together — because fandom is awesome — but no one seemed to have put together a comprehensive article about WHY we all feel this way.
SPOILERS AND SPECULATION FOR THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE BELOW (OBVIOUSLY):
First of all, let’s back way up. Who is Darth Plagueis? First mentioned by Palpatine in “Revenge of the Sith,” Plagueis was a powerful Sith Lord of “legend” who found a way to cheat death by affecting midi-chlorians. Palpatine had specific knowledge of this story:
Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. Then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.
It was this tale that planted the seed in Anakin’s mind that turning to the Dark Side was the only way to save Padme’s life. More importantly for our purposes, Palpatine’s story made many fans think HE was the apprentice. The recent Star Wars novel “Tarkin” confirmed this theory.
Written by James Luceno — who also penned “Star Wars: Darth Plagueis” before they banished the Expanded Universe to the realm of Legends — “Tarkin” reestablishes many of Plagueis’ traits in the new canon. It confirmed Palpatine was still Plagueis’ apprentice shortly after he became Naboo’s senator, though it was left ambiguous about when Palpatine supplanted his master.
So now we’ve established that Palpatine was Plagueis’ apprentice and at the end of the day, the student killed the master…or did he? While Palpatine claims to have murdered his teacher in cold blood, this line to Anakin after the death of Mace Windu betrays his lie:
To cheat death is a power only one has achieved through centuries of the study of the Force. But if we work together, I know we can discover the secret to eternal life.
Palpatine doesn’t care if Padme lives or dies — and according this fan theory, her death is CAUSED by the Emperor — he just wants to live forever. Like his master, Darth Plagueis.
But how could Plagueis have survived assassination? Clones. In the Expanded Universe, Palpatine literally had a room full of clones that he could transfer his essence to in the event of his untimely death. During the final season of “The Clone Wars,” Yoda goes on a journey to unlock the secrets of Jedi immortality. During one of his trials, the difference between life after death for the Light Side and the Dark becomes clear:
Captivated by the physical realm, the Sith are.
Jedi are content to become spirit guides after shucking this mortal coil, while the Sith hold on to their physical bodies for dear life. If Plagueis had command over midi-chlorians, it’s possible he could move his essence from one body to another. Especially if he’d already commissioned his back-up from cloners on Kamino.
What if Darth Plagueis’ alter ego was Sifo-Dyas? When Obi-Wan discovers the clone army ready and waiting for him on Kamino in “Attack of the Clones,” it is revealed the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas put the order in place over a decade ago without the knowledge or approval of the Jedi Council. This confuses Obi-Wan as Master Sifo-Dyas was killed before that. Later on, “The Clone Wars” confirms the murder of Sifo-Dyas by spice drug lords at the behest of Count Dooku.
Oddly, Count Dooku then sends the body of Sifo-Dyas to Palpatine as proof of the Jedi’s demise. Why on Earth would the Emperor need to see the body? Unless he wasn’t dead…yet. It is unlikely drug dealers could kill a Sith Lord, but what if they didn’t need to? It’s possible the whole thing was faked to make it appear Sifo-Dyas was dead and throw the scent off the creation of the Clone army until the opportune moment. Sealed away for delivery, it would then have been easy for Palpatine to attempt to kill his master “in his sleep” and assume control of their plot to take over the galaxy.
Suspecting treachery, Plagueis could then have bided his time in a clone body until his full strength returned and “The Force Awakens” again.
Or maybe not. We’ll find out soon!
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” answers all our fan theories on December 18.