- "Long live the Supreme Leader…"
- ―General Armitage Hux, to Supreme Leader Kylo Ren
The Supreme Leader was the head of state of the First Order, a hermetic state that came to power in the years following the defeat of the Galactic Empire. Snoke, a mysterious being who possessed a powerful connection with the dark side of the Force, held the title of Supreme Leader during the era of the New Republic. Under his leadership, the First Order completed its military buildup and moved to seize control of the galaxy from the Republic, resulting in open war between the First Order and a group of freedom fighters known as the Resistance.
The reign of Snoke was brought to an end by Kylo Ren; the grandson of the Sith Lord Darth Vader, Ren assassinated the Supreme Leader and therefore achieved what his grandfather could not—killing and usurping his master's place as ruler of the galaxy. With the support of General Armitage Hux, whose allegiance to the dark warrior was coerced by way of the Force, Ren declared himself the new Supreme Leader. His first order of business was to bring a swift and decisive end to the war by annihilating the Resistance as well as the last remnant of the Jedi Order. At the same time, Ren sought to rule the galaxy as the head of a new order in his image.
- "Our strategy must now change."
"The weapon. It is ready."
- ―Snoke and Armitage Hux
The Supreme Leader was the ruler of the First Order, a hermit state that sought to reclaim the legacy of the Galactic Empire. Acting as the head of the military apparatus, the Supreme Leader was responsible for the organization's strategy but could also entrust the execution of his plans to an upper cadre of high-ranking officials by delegating authority to them. Any alterations to the First Order's strategy required the Supreme Leader's approval.
The authority of the Supreme Leader was considered absolute within the ranks of the First Order, with personal interests regarded as secondary to orders from the Supreme Leader. It was the prerogative of the Supreme Leader to summon his subordinates at his pleasure, as well as to administer punishment to those who failed him. Due to the Supreme Leader's status in the First Order, an officer who had direct access to his person effectively wielded greater authority than their rank would indicate.
- "You think you can turn him. Pathetic child. I cannot be betrayed; I cannot be beaten. I see his mind. I see his every intent. Yes… I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true. And now, foolish child, he ignites it and kills his true enemy!"
- ―The last words of Supreme Leader Snoke
The death of Emperor Sheev Palpatine and the fall of the Galactic Empire would mark the dawn of a new era in which the New Republic strove to restore peace and stability to the galaxy after years of civil war. Hoping to ensure that the Empire would never rise again, the Republic attempted to neutralize the Imperial remnants through disarmament treaties and war reparations, effectively reducing the once-powerful Empire to a rump state. However, a group of Imperial officers, nobles, and technologists retreated to the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Rejecting the conditions of the Galactic Concordance, they were determined to restore the legacy of the fallen Empire, and therefore quietly adopted a rearmament policy which resulted in the creation of new fleets and armies. Drawing inspiration from the ideals of the Empire, this movement ultimately evolved into the First Order.
By the time its military buildup was complete, a mysterious being known as Snoke had risen to become the Supreme Leader of the First Order. His reputation as the First Order's ruler preceded him, although few individuals were permitted to see him in person. Governing the First Order from a mobile command post, Snoke delegated responsibilities to subordinates—including Kylo Ren and General Armitage Hux—who reported directly to him. As such, the Supreme Leader entrusted Hux with overseeing the creation of the First Order's war machine while Ren—Snoke's apprentice in the ways of the dark side of the Force—was tasked with destroying the last of the Jedi, his former mentor Luke Skywalker. Having completed the superweapon of Starkiller Base in 34 ABY, Hux persuaded Snoke to authorize the firing of the weapon with the Hosnian system as its first target. With the capital of the New Republic hosted on Hosnian Prime, Hux argued that the First Order could deliver a crippling blow to the Republic government in a single stroke. Snoke agreed with Hux and ordered him to oversee preparations, resulting in the deaths of Chancellor Lanever Villecham and the members of the Galactic Senate, as well as the annihilation of the Hosnian system.
Although Starkiller Base was subsequently destroyed by the Resistance, a paramilitary group founded by General Leia Organa, the First Order felt confident that victory was inevitable. At Snoke's direction, the First Order deployed its vast military forces across the galaxy with the intent of seizing control over the major systems. He also continued to pursue his objectives of eliminating the surviving members of the Resistance, as well as hunting and killing Skywalker. Using Hux's hyperspace tracker, Snoke personally oversaw the First Order Navy's assault on the Resistance fleet. At the same time, he used his mastery of the Force to create a Force-bond between his apprentice and Rey, a Force-sensitive Jakku scavenger who sought to learn the Jedi arts under Skywalker. Having gained new insights into Ren's inner conflict through their bond, Rey ultimately left Skywalker to seek out the fallen Jedi, determined to turn the tide of the war by restoring Kylo Ren to his former persona of Ben Solo.
However, Snoke anticipated Rey's intentions and used the bond to lure her to him. After successfully probing her mind for the location of Skywalker, Snoke commanded Ren to execute Rey. Although he previously berated Ren, calling him a child and unworthy of his grandfather's legacy, Snoke was confident that his apprentice had now fully embraced the dark side—no longer sensing weakness but strength and resolve emanating from his apprentice. To his shock, Ren used Rey's lightsaber to bisect Snoke at the waist, killing his master and saving Rey in the process. After defeating Snoke's personal bodyguards, Rey urged Ren to save her allies but the First Order warlord came to believe that the Resistance had to be destroyed along with all reminders of his past in order to usher the galaxy in a new era under his rule. To this end, he invited Rey to rule the galaxy at his side, but she ultimately rejected his offer and fled to help the Resistance, causing Ren to blame Snoke's death on her.
Knowing that the last of the Resistance would make their stand on the planet Crait, Ren ordered Hux to send their forces in pursuit of the survivors. Hux was initially opposed to following orders from his rival, leading Ren to silence the general's protests by asphyxiating him through the Force. Unable to breathe, Hux was intimidated into proclaiming Ren as the new Supreme Leader. Under Ren's leadership, the First Order all but destroyed the Resistance at the Battle of Crait, but due to the intervention of Luke Skywalker a handful of survivors were able to escape with the assistance of Rey.
Style of officeEdit
- "Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army."
- ―Kylo Ren, referring to the Supreme Leader
As master of the First Order, Snoke was addressed by his official title, "Supreme Leader," or as "Leader Snoke" by his subordinates such as Kylo Ren and General Armitage Hux. Following the demise of Snoke, Ren was henceforth referred to as Supreme Leader due to his status as Snoke's successor. Though initially opposed to following orders from his rival, Hux was forced to acknowledge Ren's authority and therefore began addressing the knight by his new title.
- "And, uh, if the price is right I can break you into old man Snoke's boudoir."
- ―DJ, referring to the Supremacy
Acting as the head of a hermetic state, Supreme Leader Snoke preferred to lead the First Order from a mobile command center instead of a traditional planetary capital. As a result, the Supremacy—a Mega-class Star Dreadnought—was utilized as the Supreme Leader's headquarters and, by extension, a mobile capital of the First Order. A gargantuan capital ship spanning more than 60 kilometers wide, the Supremacy was also a warship that possessed considerable firepower. In addition to housing shipyards and army training grounds, the ship contained a throne room where Snoke would broadcast his image across the territories of the First Order through holographic technology. It was in the throne room where the Supreme Leader was attended by his alien servants and elite guards.
In the wake of the Supreme Leader's assassination, the throne room sustained considerable damage as a result of Kylo Ren and Rey's battle with the Praetorians. At the same time, the Supremacy was cut in half by the Raddus, the Resistance flagship which entered hyperspace while facing in the direction of the First Order battleship.
The Elite Praetorian Guard was a cohort of eight sentinels, heavily armored and well-trained in melee combat. Following in the example of Emperor Palpatine's Imperial Royal Guard, the Praetorian Guard served as Supreme Leader Snoke's personal bodyguards, and therefore, tasked with protecting him against any threat to his safety. The Guard as a whole was divided into four pairs, each brandishing their own unique melee weapons such as vibro-voulges, electro-bisentos, and vibro-arbir blades.
In the aftermath of Starkiller Base's annihilation, Kylo Ren was summoned to the Supremacy throne room where his master scolded him for his failure in the presence of the Praetorian Guard. The apprentice rose to his feat in a fit of anger, causing the Praetorians to snap into an attack formation although the Supreme Leader swiftly subdued Ren with his Force powers before signaling the Guard to stand down. Later, Ren returned to the throne room and presented the prisoner Rey to Snoke. The young Jedi hopeful made an attempt on the Supreme Leader's life, to which the Praetorians again responded by taking an offensive stance only to stand down once more at their master's command. After overpowering Rey through the Force, Snoke implored his apprentice to take the life of Rey. Using guile and subterfuge, however, Ren assassinated his master, causing the Praetorians to engage both him and Rey in an attempt to avenge their slain leader. In spite of their efforts, the entire Praetorian Guard was destroyed by Ren and Rey.
List of Supreme LeadersEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
The position of Supreme Leader of the First Order first appeared in the 2015 sequel trilogy film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams. Rian Johnson, director of the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, said he killed off Supreme Leader Snoke to give Kylo Ren a compelling set-up for the 2019 film Star Wars: Episode IX.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ (Slide 22)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1
- ↑ Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens credits
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi credits
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (2017-12-17). The Last Jedi spoiler talk: Rian Johnson on Supreme Leader Snoke's startling scenes. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on December 18, 2017.
- Supreme leader on Wikipedia