One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the New Star Wars films is the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. Right off the bat I want to say this I do not think Snoke is Nihalus, Plagius, The Son, Abeloth, Vitiate or any of the older villains. Why do I think this ?
Because it would complicate things for all the new viewers! The Star Wars films are made for casual and hardcore fans alike, bringing in concepts such as Abeloth would just draw up to much old material and lead us down an unnecessarily complex path. Nor is he Mace Windu or Maul, he is something older and more powerful than them.
Snoke himself even says that he has seen the rise and fall of the Empire.
The theory I have grown to love is that Snoke is some sort of Force Parasite. An ancient humanoid who is needs the force to survive. A better way to describe is a Force Undead but the opposite of a Force Ghost. Where Yoda died and became one with the force Snoke didn’t and become alien from it, so he is like a Force Zombie or Force Vampire. Snoke needs to kill Force users to sustain himself. Dont forget what Han Solo said:
‘Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants, he’ll crush you. You know it’s true.’
What does this mean? I think Snoke needs powerful force users so he devour their power, maybe Luke isnt in hiding?After all its a self imposed exile, an exile to keep him away from Snoke, so thay he may learn ancient knowledge to help him combat this ancient threat. Meanwhile Snoke is helping Ben become Kylo so he will be more powerful and thus better to sustain Snoke. Now that Rey has appeared he will probably have his eyes on her and Lea too.
If you look carefully in the trailer you can see Snoke torturing Rey, but maybe this is him trying to syphon off her power or maybe he is trying to turn her to the dark side to try and increase his power.
“It takes strength to resist the dark side. Only the weak embrace it!”
“It is more powerful than you know.” ― Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul
It has been seen in other what is now older stories that Sith can Force Jedi to succumb to the darkside by either breaking them physically like the Emperor tried to do to Luke, or mentally like Vitiate did to Revan. There is a chance that some of this lore carried over, we know that Darth Bane is still canon so maybe Vitiate is too.
If you look at earlier pictures of Snoke, from The Force Awakens, he definitely looks more weathered, now this could be change in artistic design and mean nothing but what if this is just proof that Snoke is growing in power and slowly but surely healing himself.
So in closing I think Snoke is an ancient power, the power Palpatine was searching for in the novels set between episodes 6 and 7. Maybe he is an ancient Sith Lord maybe he is’nt but he is intrinsically tied to the Dark Side. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that agree with this, but I guess we will all have to wait a few months to see the truth.