What’s the deal with Snoke? That’s a question Star Wars fans were asking for years before the end of the Sequel Trilogy, and it’s something they’re still asking even after it’s concluded. Both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi left the backstory of the big, evil boss of the First Order vague, but The Rise of Skywalker pulled a major revelation out of its hat in a very throwaway manner in its opening scenes: Snoke was a clone puppet for the secretly still-alive Palpatine.
Ok, so Snoke is just a clone that Darth Sidious somehow controlled, but that doesn’t explain why he had several dead Snoke carcasses hanging around his lair on Exegol, or even why he created such a desiccated and clearly malformed puppet in the first place. ScreenRant has done some digging in the old Expanded Universe, however, and may have come up with an explanation that neatly fits with what we know.
In 1991’s Dark Empire comic series, it’s revealed that the Dark Side has a deleterious effect on clone bodies. This is explained fuller in the Jedi Vs. Sith handbook, which says: “because the clones are one step removed from the natural life process itself, they are much more vulnerable to the effects of the dark side, and age at an extremely accelerated rate.”
Though this does relate to the EU and so may no longer be canon, the Dark Side’s negative effects on clones does add up perfectly with both Snoke’s appearances and the excess Snokes Kylo Ren sees when he tracks down Palpatine. Exegol is a nexus of dark Force power, so it’s no wonder Snoke was so emaciated and clearly tricky to create. In fact, this also explains Palpatine’s own struggles with forming himself a healthy clone body.
Without the deterioration of both his own forms and the Snoke clones, Palpatine probably would’ve preferred to have had a bigger presence in the galaxy before the announcement of the Final Order. If we can take this theory as true, though, he was forced to keep to the shadows as both himself and Snoke as he tried – and failed – to perfect the cloning process.
Do you think this Star Wars theory holds water, though? Join the conversation in the comments section.