Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was not interested in the origins of Supreme Leader Snoke. Introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the new version of the Emperor complete with threatening hologram, fans began to wonder if Snoke was somehow tied to the legacy of the Sith. Perhaps he was one of the famous Darths from the EU that had been integrated into the movies. Then Rian Johnson proceeded to chop him in half with a lightsaber and move on because Snoke’s not a particularly interesting character.
But apparently every question needs an answer (ambiguity is the enemy in the age where everything has a Wikipedia entry), so Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens with Kylo Ren coming to Exegol, the Sith Planet that’s home to Zombie Palpatine. As Kylo moves towards Palpatine, he’s told that Palpatine was always the voice guiding him whether it was through Palpatine’s voice, the voice of Darth Vader, or through Supreme Leader Snoke. In the background, we can see a bunch of Snoke bodies floating around in a chamber of liquid. The implication is that Snoke was a clone created by Palpatine to do Palpatine’s bidding.
Of course, this just raises a bunch of new questions. How did Supreme Leader Snoke come to power? How did he lead the forces of the First Order? Snoke clearly has Force powers, so if he’s a clone, why didn’t Palpatine create a new clone army of Sith warriors? Also, if Palpatine has the power to create clones, why not clone himself directly?
The reveal that Snoke is a clone is ultimately unsatisfying because Snoke is a shallow character. He’s an evil dude surrounded by more interesting people like Rey and Kylo Ren. He was a figurative Emperor stand-in in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and Abrams decided he should also be a literal stand-in by revealing that Snoke is a Palpatine-created clone in The Rise of Skywalker. Of course, this doesn’t make Snoke a more compelling character in any way, but because some angry nerds demanded answers on a Reddit thread somewhere, Abrams and Lucasfilm chose to oblige.
Snoke is a clone. That’s the origin of Snoke. Now you know.