Each Star Wars: Aftermath book has provided us with more hints to Snoke’s origin and Empire’s End is no different. This will contain light spoilers for the books, so feel free to read it first and then come back. Let’s start with a quick recap of what we know from the first Aftermath book. One of the Emperor’s advisors, Yupe Tashu, says that Palpatine believed that the power of the Darkside came from somewhere in the unknown regions. Yupe and the other advisors built laboratories and communications stations at the edges of the galaxy seeking the source of the Darkside. In Life Debt, we learn that one of those stations was on Jakku but wasn’t constructed, rather it was found and unburied.
Finally, in Empire’s End, we learn it’s true purpose. Insider were ancient computers used to chart the unknown regions. Palpatine spent decades sending beacons, droids, men, and women to uncharted space. Most were lost forever, but slowly a safe route was uncovered. Their knowledge of the unknown was enhanced by Grand Admiral Thrawn. Sometime before the Battle of Endor, navigation coordinates were established that would lead deep into the unknown, possibly to a new galaxy. Palpatine’s goals were exactly that. The facility on Jakku was originally a part of a contingency plan should the Emperor ever fall. Were he to die, he wanted to tear down the Empire that failed to protect him and allow a select few loyal followers to venture into a new galaxy to start fresh. However, when the coordinates were set so deep into the unknown regions something unexpected happened.
However, when the coordinates were set so deep into the unknown regions something unexpected happened. Palpatine began receiving a signal through the Force. Something only he could feel that Darth Vader could not. Whatever it was, Palpatine became convinced that something out there was waiting for him. Calling to him. Some origin of the Force. Some dark presence formed of malevolent substance. His visions changed the purpose of the observatory on Jakku to a contingency to an expedition, but the Emperor perished before his journey could begin. Strangely enough, it would appear Palpatine was not the only being to receive visions of the Darkside. Every single member of the group known as the Acolytes of the Beyond began having dreams of visions of darkness, dreams of Sith, both ancient and recent.
So, now it’s time to speculate on what all this means. From what I can gather, the Empire’s exploration into the unknown regions awoke something. Something ancient and powerful. The obvious something here being Supreme Leader Snoke. Maybe awoke isn’t the right word because according to The Force Awakens novelization he watched the Empire rise and fall. So maybe I should say Palpatine’s explorations angered Snoke, or at the very least caught his attention caused some sort of reaction from the being. Whether the visions were on purpose or some sort of on conscience event, I believe they originated with Snoke. I tend to believe that he chose and sent visions to specific beings, but how or why? I couldn’t even begin to say right now. Ever since The Force Awakens and the first Aftermath book were released I’ve been guessing that Snoke is a completely new character who for whatever reason, made his home in the unknown region. My current guess is he’s a being that found the literal source of the Darkside and has chosen to stay there. Empire’s End continues to point us in that direction. However, I think I need to adjust that thinking slightly because I now believe that Snoke is from even further. It sounds like he could be from a completely separate galaxy.
Before people jump on Legends connections with the Yuuzhan Vong I do not think Snoke has any ties to them. Yes, the Vong are from another galaxy, but they also have no ties to the Force. Snoke clearly does. I think the fact that they possibly come from outside of the known galaxy is the only similarity between the two.
What do you think? Is the Aftermath series giving us hints at the origin of Snoke or is it pointing to something else entirely? Let us know in the comments.