The Reason Why Palpatine REALLY Made Snoke

Image Credit: Disney, Lucasfilm 

The recently published The Star Wars Book by Lucasfilm retcons much of Supreme Leader Snoke's backstory. The book explains why Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious needed him at all.

While the return of Emperor Palpatine in the final trilogy was a nice tie back to the original trilogy, many fans questioned the need for a new big bad in the form of Snoke. Darth Sidious was, after all, the biggest and baddest of them all. Snoke seemed pointless. Or was he?

The Star Wars Book, a new compendium, explains why Supreme Chancellor Snoke was essential to Emperor Palpatine's plans. Sith Eternal cult members used the planet Exegol to summon Palpatine's spirit and enable him to possess a clone body. Exegol is known as a vergence in the Star Wars Universe. A vergence is a nexus or concentration of the Force centered around a person or place. Exegol, in particular, is a place where "the veil between life and death [is] thin."

However, there was an unforeseen trap. The book explains, "The processes are far from protected, and Darth Sidious' cloned body rapidly deteriorates, trapping [Palpatine] on Exegol as his frail form is unable to leave. In the confines of his recuperative sanctuary, he plots the next phase of ultimate Sith vengeance, and the final defeat of the Jedi."

Palpatine could not leave the Sith stronghold. Yet, he needed a way to continue with his plans while searching for a viable host. It also served him best to keep evidence of his resurrection hidden until he was ready to return. Thus Operation Cinder is set into motion. Sentinel Droids carried out this particular campaign. They sought Imperial loyalists and routed any remaining Imperial leaders with a hint of conscience. The rest of the military exercise exacted revenge on the galaxy. It also served as a cover to destroy all of Palpatine's hidden bases. The aftermath of Operation Cinder further buried any hint of Palpatine's rebirth.

Imperial forces rigged the planet Jakku as a bomb. It was to be the operation's piece-de-resistance. Once the Jakku exploded, Palpatine's forces would set out for the Unkown Regions to reunite with the Emperor. The novel Aftermath: Empire's End, by Chuck Wendig, details how this plan fell apart. Jakku never detonated. The forces of the New Republic were able to dismantle the planet-bomb just in time. In the meantime, the Imperial forces that made it to the Unknown Regions found a new base but no leader.

It took some time to construct, but Sidious created a new, controllable, genetically engineered body in the form of Supreme Leader Snoke. Palpatine created him as a vessel to command the galaxy. Snoke had no idea what he was. He certainly did not have any real free will of his own. Snoke was nothing more than a medium for Sidious's spirit. He even had false memories implanted within his mind to complete the illusion. These false memories give credence to Snoke's awkward back story because it was all fake.

Snoke was a temporary solution to a larger problem. Sidious needed a way off of Exegol via Essence Transfer, the Dark Side power, which allowed one to take possession of another body. That is why he turned first to Leia's unborn child. Ben Solo was the grandson of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker. In Wendig's novel mentioned above, Leia sensed a Dark Force surrounding Ben while still in her womb. Palpatine may have successfully force bonded with Ben early in the young child's life.

However, there was someone better, a direct heir in the form of Rey, his genetic grandchild. He teased his existence to the galaxy to lure Rey to Exegol so that he could complete the Essence Transfer. After the transfer completed successfully, he planned to exit Exegol with his fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers. Of course, his plans were foiled again by some plucky youngsters alongside their experienced friends.

The Star Wars Book contains many other useful factoids that help further unify the Skywalker storyline. Lucasfilm Story veteran Pablo Hidalgo supervised its creation. It also includes contributions from Cole Horton and Dan Zehr. It is worth every penny.
Image Credit: Disney, Lucasfilm