- “There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark Side... and the Light.”
- ―Supreme Leader Snoke[src]
Supreme Leader Snoke is the primary antagonist in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Snoke is the supreme leader of the First Order and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo's master.
Snoke founded the Knights of Ren and based its practices off of ancient Sith teachings from the planet Malachor. He trained eight apprentices, with his most prized pupil being Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and the grandson of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Snoke was critical in the seduction of Ben to the Dark side, and when his turn was complete, Snoke christened him Kylo Ren.
In appearance, Snoke was heavily disfigured, with large scars across most of his face and skull. He was quite frail-looking, and had large hands and deathly pale skin.
Snoke is intelligent, calculating, and wise. Unlike his apprentice, he is very calm, level-headed and reserved However he is also very manipulative as he exploited Force-sensitive individuals, such as Ben Solo, only for their power.
Snoke displays tendencies unusual for practitioners of the Dark side of the Force; he shows little emotion, as he is usually very calm and collected, and did not appear to be in any form of worry or distress despite the circumstances against him and the First Order. When the Starkiller Base was being destroyed, he calmly expressed his wishes without showing any form of anger or annoyance, a stark contrast to his apprentice Kylo Ren, who is prone to violent outbursts when faced with frustration. However, despite this, Snoke did demonstrate a considerable level of anger and frustration after learning of failures from Armitage Hux and Kylo; though he only directed his anger and frustration towards Hux.
His reason for choosing Ben Solo as his apprentice (as explained in the novelization of The Force Awakens) is that as Anakin Skywalker's grandson, he is a focal point in the Force; a perfect balance of light and dark.
For mostly unknown reasons, Snoke has a dislike for Luke Skywalker. However, in the film's novelization, Snoke is shown to believe that Vader's compassion, sentiment and love for his son, Luke, was the reason for the fall of the Galactic Empire. He also passed on that belief to Kylo during the latter's apprenticeship.
Snoke also was very old; old enough that he had seen the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire. It was partly due to this that he was smart in keeping the First Order from making the same mistakes as the Empire did, and would not hesitate to instigate plans that would force his enemies to reveal themselves. In the novelization for The Force Awakens, it was on Hux's suggestion that use of Starkiller Base might force the Resistance to reveal itself which led to his approval of the superweapon's use. He further kept his personal secret base mobile, so as never to be located by his enemies.
Powers and Abilities
- The Force: None of Snoke's powers are actually shown yet. However, it can be assumed that he is powerful and has a strong connection to the Force. He was however, able to sense an awakening in the Force which he knew Kylo Ren could feel as well.
- High-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator: Snoke is highly intelligent and wise. As the leader of the First Order and the Knights of Ren, Snoke is a highly skilled tactician and a capable leader. Snoke's skill in manipulation is so strong that Snoke even managed to manipulate and deceive Ben Solo into becoming his apprentice, turning him against the New Jedi Order.
Snoke sends Kylo Ren and the First Order on a search for Luke Skywalker following his disappearance. At Starkiller Base, Kylo and General Hux contant Snoke via hologram to report the progress of their individual assignments. While Snoke is irritated when Ren admits his search has been delayed, Hux proposes using Starkiller's superweapon against several New Republic planets who have been caught supporting the Resistance, which Snoke authorizes. After Hux is dismissed, Snoke confides in Ren of a disturbance in the Force and urges Ren to kill his father to overcome the Light side's temptation and fully embrace the dark side.
After capturing a scavenger named Rey who had seen a piece of the map to Luke, Ren asks Snoke to let him train her in the ways of the Force as an asset, to which Snoke orders Ren to bring him to her. However, Rey manages to escape before this can happen and, after Ren defeats Finn, duels him in lightsaber combat as the Resistance attacks the base, causing the planet to collapse. Moments before the base's total destruction, Hux contacts Snoke and Snoke calmly orders Hux to bring Ren to him in order to complete his training.