Theories about Supreme Leader Snoke's true identity

First things first: spoilers ahead, y'all. Now, if you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you know that the malevolent Sith are still alive and well. Even though Darth Vader threw Emperor Palpatine into the space garbage and zapped himself to death in the process, the Sith legacy somehow survived through the machinations of Supreme Leader Snoke, a mysterious hologram who commands the First Order, the uptight General Hux, and Kylo Ren. Snoke is the guy who supposedly has had his hands in every evil space-pie for as far back as Star Wars has existed, but we still have no idea who he is. Here are some fan theories that might reveal his true identity…

Darth Plagueis

Forget about the fact that Darth names are generally dumber than most PlayStation Network screennames. Darth Plagueis was briefly mentioned in the prequel trilogy as a Sith Lord who had enough control over midichlorians to be able to create life and death at his whim. We never see Plagueis, but we know that he was Palpatine's master, and that the future Emperor killed Plagueis in his sleep, because that's just what Sith do for fun. Expanded Universe stuff, which may or may not intersect with current canon, depicts Plagueis in a way that seems to have a number of physical similarities in common with the Snoke character we see in The Force Awakens. But that's not really enough to make this theory a sure thing.

Another Padawan

There's something among the Sith called the Rule of Two, in which a Sith Lord can only train one junior Sith at a time, but it's a rule that is broken almost constantly, because the Sith have a problem with authority and usually kill their bosses when they get upset. When Emperor Palpatine was just called Darth Sidious, he trained Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Darth Tyranus, so it's entirely possible that there are other, off-screen Sith in training throughout any Star Wars film. Snoke could be a product of Plagueis, Tyranus, Sidious, or just about anyone who ever swung a saber in the name of evil.

The Emperor Reborn

One can safely assume that the old Emperor can do a lot more than just shoot lightning from his fingers, since it takes a lot more than Pikachu powers to rise through the ranks. In the Expanded Universe, Emperor Palpatine comes back from the dead a few times in different forms, causes serious problems, and dies again. Does he have the death-defying powers that he learned from Plagueis? The return of the Emperor would give every Star Wars film a common evil thread, but for now, Andy Serkis holds the CGI role instead of the original actor, Ian McDiarmid. It would be some very clever misdirection if Snoke is actually the Emperor, even more senior than before.

Jedi In Disguise

The award for the most unrealistic fan theory goes to the one that theorizes Snoke is really Luke Skywalker. Based solely on the fact that Palpatine was once able to play both side of the Force for his own purposes, a few insane fans have suggested that Luke is still working with the errant Kylo Ren, but in disguise. With how little we know about Snoke, anything is technically possible, but it seems like a whole lot of trouble for Luke to put on a Halloween costume any time he needs to answer the door for Hux and Ren, so let's just throw this one theory into the trash with the Emperor. This ain't Mrs. Doubtfire.

A Hologram

The Jedi and Sith have their own sci-fi flash drives, and they're called a holocrons. These closely guarded artifacts project holograms, and are used to store the deepest, darkest secrets of their respective Orders. Snoke is known to maintain a "mobile base" rather than camp out in any one location, and we've only seen him in hologram form. So is it possible that Snoke is the collective intelligence of the Sith in AI form? We'd hope that he'd choose a prettier face as an all-knowing computer program, but the whole "old man" thing is also pretty disarming. When do we find out if midichlorians are just a really bad computer virus?

A Guy Named Snoke

The most popular and realistic theory surrounding Snoke is that he's just a guy named Snoke who never showed up on screen before. Not everyone in Star Wars has to be related, you know. We know that Snoke has been around since the Clone Wars, so whatever he was doing during the original trilogy is still a mystery. But he could have been involved with every known Darth, dating back to Plagueis and earlier. No matter what, we can be fairly certain that we'll be finding out how this secret Snoke guy caused many of the events in the A New Hope, whether we knew it or not. Get ready for the retcon.