Both literally and figuratively, Star Wars: The Force Awakens teased that Supreme Leader Snoke could be the biggest threat the franchise had ever seen, only for the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi to seemingly kill the character at the hands of Kylo Ren. Given his prominence in the first film in the sequel trilogy, some fans assumed Snoke would have to make a return, though with the marketing campaign leaning more heavily on the return of Emperor Palpatine, fans have been wondering if Snoke was really gone for good. The release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has finally shed insight into the mystery.
WARNING: Spoilers below for The Rise of Skywalker
In the film's opening scenes, Kylo Ren uses a Sith wayfinder to locate the still-living Palpatine, all while walking through ruins of Sith relics. On his journey, Kylo hears Palpatine's words in his head, taking credit for all of the "voices" that had guided him, which include Darth Vader and also Snoke. Among the various relics, Kylo passes by a large cloning vat full of bodies resembling Snoke.
As far whether this confirms Snoke being in the film, it's an obvious "yes" that comes with a number of stipulations.
The implication of Palpatine's words is that he was somehow able to inhabit the physical form of "Snoke," though it's unclear if Snoke was ever a real figure or if they were merely corporeal forms created by the Sith to allow Palpatine to survive. Given that we see Palpatine in what appears to be his actual body, it would seem like he never really died in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and was able to project his will into the bodies of others across the galaxy, yet, with how little we know of Snoke's backstory and his history with Kylo, this potentially poses a number of complications and contradictions.
In short, bodies that resemble Snoke absolutely appear in The Rise of Skywalker, but the concept of "Snoke" and what he represents doesn't play an integral part of the story. Additionally, some of the comments made by Palpatine in the new film could confirm that Snoke never really existed in the first place, which will surely leave some audiences scratching their heads.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
What did you make of Snoke's appearance in the film? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!