STAR WARS 9 The Rise of Skywalker reveals a shocking Snoke and Palpatine connection which changes everything we thought we knew.
The Last Jedi divided fans but mainly thrilled critics. The Rise of Skywalker seems to be heading the opposite direction, with many critics unimpressed but fans reactions much more upbeat. One thing is absolutely clear. Whatever JJ Abrams may say, the new movie makes no bones about rewriting much of what happened in Episode 8, particularly concerning two of the issues which caused the biggest fan backlash.
Snoke was a major fan favourite in The Force Awakens.
The shadowy and sinister figure was set up as the new Skywalker nemesis and everyone feverishly speculated about what would be revealed in The Last Jedi.
Rian Johnson, however, was determined to subvert every single expectation possible and so Snoke was abruptly dispatched with fans none the wiser about who he was or where he came from.
Early on in the movie, Kylo Ren journeys to Palpatine’s lair on the Sith planet of Exogol.
As he enters the main chamber the camera plans past a huge tank filled with body parts… of Snoke.
Of course, he could simply have retrieved Snokes bisected body somehow – but why would he bother?
The real reason is much more sinister.
Later in the scene, Palpatine brags that he has been manipulating Kylo his whole life.
The voices Kylo has heard, like his grandfather Darth Vader, were placed there by Palpatine.
Similarly, the Emperor reveals that he was pulling Snoke’s strings all along. More than that, Snoek was Palpatine’s creation…
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Many fans now believe that Snoke was a clone, manufactured by Palpatine’s scientists on Exogol.
It seems more likely those body parts were from other clones, rather than the original Snoke’s remains.
This adds another layer to the horrific realisation that Palpatine has been playing a very long game with the main galaxy, the First Order waiting in the wings in the Unknown Regions and then another layer of the Final Order, hidden even deeper in the uncharted regions.
This, at least, gives Snoke’s story arc a proper conclusion and some sense of where he came from and why.
Similarly, Abrams also completely retcons the revelation about Rey’s parents.
Yes, they did abandon and sell her, as was established in The Last Jedi, but only to protect her and her staggering lineage.
The debate will doubtless rage for years over the decisions to allow different directors so much creative freedom that it resulted in a see-saw between different plotlines and basic ideas.