Star Wars fan theory: a prequel to the trilogy accidentally predicted Snoke’s backstory


Even before the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, people had all kinds of theories about Palpatine’s identity, one of which predicted Snoke’s story.

Star Wars has one of the most committed and enthusiastic fan bases of any created universe in history, which, in turn, leads to all kinds of fan theories. Some are interesting, while others are completely ridiculous. Sometimes though, the craziest theories are exactly the ones that turn out to be true. That’s what happened to Snoke’s identity, although the theory was formed during the prequel trilogy, years before the character was even created.

During the time of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, fans strongly debated the identity of Senator Palpatine. To some, it was clear that Palpatine was the Emperor from the original trilogy, but surprisingly, many objected to the idea that something so obvious could be true. Hence, rumors and theories ran rampant debating how Palpatine could be connected or allied with the Emperor.

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Some fans believed that Palpatine was innocent and was being secretly controlled by Darth Sidious, much like the Jedi later believed in the prequels, but one theory in particular addresses that train of thought and takes it to almost comical length. The the theory dates back to 1998, prior to The Phantom Menace he was even released. The fan suggested that Darth Sidious cloned himself to make Palpatine and used the unwitting senator to do his bidding openly.

Star Wars Emperor Palpatine Supreme Leader Snoke

While the theory seems absurd now, it actually made a lot of sense back then. First, the benevolent senator from Naboo couldn’t be the deformed tyrant of the original trilogy, or so many people believed. Then, it is also worth noting that at that time, the clones had not yet been fully explained in Star Wars. Some of the Expanded Universe material even theorized that the “Clone Wars” that Obi-Wan mentioned in Star Wars: Episode IV – A new Hope they fought between the Jedi and evil clones of themselves. In a Legends novel, for example, the crazed clone of former Jedi Joruus C’baoth made a clone of Luke Skywalker and pitted them against each other, in what appeared to be a callback to older times. With all that material in mind, it wasn’t much of an exaggeration to think that Darth Sidious could have clone himself as the first step in starting the Clone Wars.

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Of course, that theory ended up being wrong because Palpatine and Sidious were, in fact, one and the same. However, it was an almost perfect match with Supreme Leader Snoke’s backstory. Like Palpatine during The Phantom Menace, fans were desperately trying to figure out who Supreme Leader Snoke was when Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens released. All kinds of ideas were launched. From Darth Plagueis to Grand Moff Tarkin to Master Windu, Snoke could have been anyone. Yet hardly anyone predicted the truth, at least not in this decade.

Turns out, the 1998 fan theory was pretty spot on because, contrary to popular theories, Snoke was a clone created by Darth Sidious. He acted as the dark lord’s proxy as Sidious rebuilt his diminished power in the secret world of Exegol by following Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. However, Snoke was nothing more than Sidious’s puppet and was eventually cast aside. While fans who thought Palpatine was a clone may have been wrong, they did it correctly, albeit inadvertently predicting Snoke’s backstory as a clone.

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