The appearance of Supreme Leader Snoke was kept under wraps until the day Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. Many ideas on how he looked and who he really was appeared on the internet. The most popular one was that Snoke was really Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious' (A.K.A. Emperor Palpatine) master. On December 18th, 2015, fans went crazy theorizing that he was indeed Plagueis because of how he looked. Even further, the fact that he was hurt and scarred made many people think that he had a big battle in which Sidius hurt him and left him for dead.
Continue after the break to find out (once and for all) if all of this if true, or if it is just a nice fan theory that turned out to be just that.
In Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine gave us just a simple one paragraph description of Darth Plagueis:
"Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying."
This was more than enough to make us want to know more about him. In 2012 fans got their wish. James Luceno Wrote the novel "Darth Plagueis" expanding on the character's biography. The book described him as a Munn, a species with very similar (or even the same) looks that Supreme Leader Snoke has. The book goes as far as suggesting that he was the one responsible for creating Anakin (you know, all that "conceived by the force" theory). But if we follow the book, he can't be Snoke. Plagueis actually dies in the novel. But, the novel is considered non-canon now. The novel "Tarkin" also by James Luceno (which is canon), confirms the existence of Plagueis and that he was alive at the time Palpatine was just a senator for Naboo. This left the door open to change the characters fate and maybe a future appearance in the saga.
Making Snoke turn out to be actually Darth Plagueis would be a nice way to connect the prequels with the sequels. Having an ancient character, even more powerful and evil than Palpatine, pulling the strings of Kylo Ren and the First Order brings a universe of possibilities to enrich the plot of future Star Wars episodes.
But unfortunately, Snoke IS NOT Plagueis. Entertainment Weekly released a few days ago some pictures of the character along with comments by Andy Serkis (who plays Snoke in the movie). Serkis said the character was aware of the events from the earlier films but was a new addition to the story line. That's pretty much it. He is new to the story line. This means he has nothing to do with previous events in the Star Wars Universe.
Serkis has previously described the character to be "...quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful.” This means he needs help to achieve his goal of galactic domination. That is why he needs Kylo Ren. One more similarity between the original trilogy and this new one: a dark master manipulating a gullible, but yet powerful, apprentice.
I hope more information on Snoke becomes available in tie-in novels or comics in the future. It would be interesting to learn why is he so vulnerable at the time of The Force Awakens, and how he got those scars on his face/head.