Supreme Leader Snoke is a powerful user of the Force, and he is shown to be able to initiate telepathic connections between two people who are strong in the Force across great distances (among other powers).

But why didn't he sense what was going to happen in the Last Jedi?

Snoke asks Kylo to kill Rey since she wouldn't join the First Order. Kylo seems to get ready to kill Rey, but as Snoke keeps talking, Kylo takes control of Rey's light-saber (which was sitting by Snoke) and kills Snoke with it.

Snoke even says (just before this event happens) that he is able to sense each of Kylo's thoughts. This was such a significant event and change in the plans (Snoke's plans), why wasn't he able to sense what was happening right next to him?


4 Answers 4


Snoke wasn't reading Kylo's mind. He was sensing his feelings and intentions. Rey was attempting to convince Kylo to return to the light side, and she was failing. Snoke could sense that Kylo was still filled with hate and anger, and he was right. He even accurately predicts Kylo's actions: aiming his lightsaber and killing his enemy. And that is what Kylo did. Perhaps Kylo was able to conceal who he considered an enemy, or perhaps (more likely, in my opinion) Snoke was so sure of his power and control that he didn't even realize the alternative possibility. To quote a legendary Jedi,

Your overconfidence is your weakness.

  • 32
    I noticed that Kylo was turning both lightsabers as well. I thought that helped blind Snoke to what happened.
    – Skooba
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 13:21
  • 9
    @Skooba I thought so as well - Kylo has spent so much time conflicted, he may well be holding two different intentions in his mind at the same time, debating whether to obey or turn on his master. He might not have decided who to kill until the last moment.
    – recognizer
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 22:14
  • 6
    The one other thing I did notice -- at second viewing -- was that Snoke was focused on "pinning" down Rey and making sure she didn't get the light-saber (which she had already just tried.) It could be that his Force-pinning down Rey while also trying to sense Kylo's thoughts distracted him from paying attention to the light-saber that was turning at his side.
    – Sam
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 2:29
  • 8
    Note that Snoke says "strikes his true enemy" and isn't the master a Sith apprentices's enemy as well? like you quote overconfidence is a weakness, probably Snoke was confident that Ren wouldn't turn on him so when he sense Ren's intent to kill his true enemy he never thought to think it could have been him. even if Snoke wasn't a proper Sith Lord like Sidious or even didn't consider himself as one, Ren wanted to be the next Vader and Vader was a Sith
    – Memor-X
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 2:20
  • 2
    Great answer. I loved how Snoke was essentially narrating Kylo's actions, assume Rey would be the victim when he was actually describing his own death
    – Josh B.
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 23:24

The Rise of Skywalker now puts a very different spin on this scene

Given that Snoke is actually Palpatine and part of his plan was always to have Kylo take over the first order and then find him it is highly likely he not only sensed the attack in Kylos mind but he also manipulated Kylo into making it.

  • This is probably the right answer now that Rise of Skywalker is out.
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 17:40

Snoke could have definitely known that Kylo Ren would kill him. I know this answer is disliked, but it goes back to the rule of two and ancient Sith traditions. For all who don’t know the rule of two states that there can only be two Siths, the master and the apprentice. This is entirely canon as well, as it was mentioned in Star Wars the clone wars, which though childish is technically correct in the quote “Remember, the first and only reality of the Sith, there can only be two and you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced.” The reason I bring up the rule of two is because it is the Sith master’s goal to have a successful Sith apprentice, who will surpass them and replace them, usually by killing them. This was what happened to Darth Plagueis (who by the way is canon) and is what Darth Sideous hinted at when talking to Luke (when he is telling Luke to strike him down, to fall to the dark side) Therefore Snoke may have know that Kylo would kill him (Or at least try) and knew that this action would make Kylo fall to the dark side, removing his inner conflict. This would explain why Snoke apparently didn’t see that this would happen, which wouldn’t make sense, because those very strong in the force have been shown to be somewhat Clairvoyant as seen with Yoda and Sideous. I don’t mean to say this is 100% true, I just opted for an alternative theory.


I finally watched this movie. Don't like it, but it did tell the story of how much more powerful Kylo and Rey are in comparison to Luke/Snoke/etc...they just don't have the knowledge of how to use those powers. It seemed like Kylo's intentions are felt wrongly by Luke when he was his disciple(rey states this earlier), and if Luke can fail to read that Kylo was in fact just conflicted, so could Snoke. I mean it's harder to read a person's feelings if that person is stronger in the force than you. So Snoke read what Kylo wanted him to read, not what he was actually going to do.

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