When the first Star Wars sequel trilogy movie The Force Awakens was released eight years ago, fans were puzzled over the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. The new big bad boss of the First Order met an untimely end when Kylo Ren mutinied and sliced him in half during The Last Jedi. Yet by The Rise of Skywalker, we discovered that he’d been a clone created and controlled by a resurrected Emperor Palpatine all along. This twist has certainly divided fans, but whether they like it or not, it’s now part of the canon. As for Snoke’s origins, they appear to be being heavily teased in Disney+ show The Mandalorian, set several decades before the events of the sequel trilogy. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Back in The Mandalorian Chapter 12: The Siege, fans were convinced they spotted a proto-Snoke clone growing in a tank of an abandoned Imperial outpost on Nevarro. And now this week’s episode, appears to be pointing to this theory further.
Chapter 19: The Convert is a spin-off episode largely without Mando and Grogu, instead following Dr Penn Pershing on Coruscant, the home of the governing bodies of the New Republic. Fans will remember many scenes of the prequel trilogy took place here.
The former Imperial scientist and clone engineer appeared in the first two seasons of the show, having tested Grogu’s blood when he was kidnapped by Moff Gideon. He assessed at the time that they’d be unlikely to find another subject with such a high “M count”, presumably referring to Midichlorians that make beings Force-sensitive.
Dr Pershing had spoken of cloning an individual from a single genetic strand, having hoped to “combine multiple strands to create replicas that incorporated the best genetic attributes of both donors.”
He claimed the Empire had “twisted” his work into “something cruel” and makes it clear in the new episode that he wants to work for the good of the New Republic. However, he comes across Gideon’s former communications officer Elia Kane, who tricks him into continuing his research and stealing it before wiping his memory.
Considering the clones in the last season and this on-going research, surely those loyal to the old Empire are at work on this technology as they had been prior to Darth Sidious’ fall.
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In his quest for immortality, Darth Sidious and his cultists experimented with cloning technology to increase his lifespan. On the planet Exegol the Sith Eternal continued this unnatural work by birthing Snoke, a strand-cast rejected by Palpatine for a different body.
Nevertheless, he would go on to use the force-sensitive being to be his puppet as Supreme Leader of the First Order. And perhaps Grogu’s blood mixed with the cloning technology will go on to create Snoke in the first place.