Yeah, I know, I’m a little late to the party on this one, but this is my space to do with as I please and it doth pleaseth me to speak on this subject now…anyway, by now everyone and their brother knows that Andy Serkis is playing a mo-cap character named…*drum roll*…Supreme Leader Snoke in the next chapter of the Star Wars saga. And with this new-found information, people have begun rampant speculation about who his character really is…or have just started doing a weird, happy dance while screaming “OMG IT’S PLAGUEIS!” Before I talk about that, though, I want to talk about my initial reaction to the name, and do a little investigation into what it could mean.
I don’t remember exactly how I first came across the news that Codename: Uber had a real name, but I do remember thinking something along the lines of “omg, really…Snoke?” And then, because I watch entirely too much South Park, I thought immediately of the episode where they’re mocking 24 that involves a suitcase nuke, or “snuke,” in Hilary Clinton’s lady parts…that’s right, the name of what I assume will be the new ultimate villain in the universe reminded me of “snuck a snuke up your sniz.”
https://secure.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=Y10U8Nx2-N0s3vPq–lo4w&partner=southpark&sourceUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fsouthpark.cc.com%2Fclips%2F155539%2Fsnuke-found&embed_age_gate_intro=trueAs you can imagine, I wasn’t altogether thrilled with it…but, as appears to be happening with many other people, I warmed up to it after I thought about how most of the names in Star Wars are kind of dumb if you take them completely out of context and just think of them as a singular character name…like “Savage Opress,” or any of the Sith names, really, or “Dooku,” so I let go of my anger and decided to try to figure out where they might be coming from, what prompted the decision to go with “Snoke.” Besides, just look at his face in that photo they released…you could call him Polly Prissypants and, with a look like that, nobody’s going to mess with him.
What have you been snoking?
So, “snoke,” according to merriam-webster.com, is a variant of “snook” (shhh, I know, just nevermind), which is a large vigorous bony fish. There’s also another variant, “snoek,” that leads to “Thyrsites atun” (how cool would “Supreme Leader Thyrsites” sound, right?), and, if wikipedia is to be believed, Thyrsites atun is a long, thin, species of snake mackerel found in the seas of the Southern Hemisphere. I found the “snake mackerel” part interesting because I’ve heard people musing about how “snoke” is just a letter off from “snake” and that snakes are traditionally evil, sneaky creatures in storytelling mediums, so “snoke” was just a way to sound like “snake” and evoke those feelings in the audience without blatantly calling him “snake.” That logic makes sense to me, but seems a little more juvenile than I’d like to believe, so the idea that the name comes around to being snake-like in meaning on its own holds up better in my head. It’s also interesting to note that these fish not only resemble snakes in that they’re long and thin, but also by being “predators, with fang-like teeth“…so it’s no harmless bottom-feeder, but an angry-looking killer worthy of being the namesake for the Supreme Leader…
But what of the fish aspect? Could he be a Selkath? A Quarren? A Mon Cal? (The Mon Cal General Grievous from Darth Vader #6!?!? …kidding…) I actually don’t think so, but what if The Force Awakens is being quite literal and Snoke is some kind of ancient, evil, Kraken-like sea creature that’s been awakened from what was supposed to be an eternal slumber by some Force event, maybe not even something huge or cataclysmic, but something that’s a tossup between coincidence and the “will of the Force”…it certainly gets the gears turning…something in that vein is the only way I won’t be slightly disappointed if Snoke turns out to be Plagueis, as many people seem to think.
OMG IT’S PLAGUEIS!
First of all, let me say that I do not think Snoke is Plagueis…but I think he could be. If it’s determined that, right before being killed by Palpatine, Plagueis used his power to “keep the ones he cared about from dying” to somehow put himself into a sort of stasis in the Force, then I would be all-in on Snoke being the “awakened” version of Plagueis…either by means of reanimating his old, decayed body, or by taking on some kind of new host (which starts to get a little sketchy, but I’d be willing to see where it went). In the end, though, I don’t see Palpatine as the kind of person to leave things to chance after having betrayed such a powerful master. My guess is killing him in his sleep didn’t involve smothering him with a pillow and walking away once the body stopped fighting back…I imagine he at least decapitated him…and, if it were me, I’d probably chop him into several pieces and then burn him, just for good measure. We’ve seen the wrath of a thought-to-be-dead apprentice in Darth Maul, I’d hate to see how magnified that would be if it were a master…
But, all that said, my best guess right now is that Snoke is a new, unknown villain trying to enact his own great galactic scheme for total domination…and that sits just fine with me. I’m curious to hear what other people think of the subject, as long as they don’t just blindly think he’s Plagueis…if that’s the case, at least make something up, even if it’s dumb…anyway, until next time, may the Force be with you…