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In The Rise of Skywalker, we see that

Darth Sidious is not only still alive, but has built a laboratory that includes tanks with Snoke-clones gestating inside. Sidious claims to Kylo Ren that he "made" Snoke.

Snoke's role in the sequel trilogy seems to be to turn Ren to the Dark side and train him as a Sith, even getting himself killed by his apprentice like in the old Sith tradition. Could this be because he is simply a puppet controlled by

Sidious?

If he wasn't a puppet, but rather an individual with free will, why wasn't he a Sith serving his master? He was way more powerful than either Ren or Rey at the time of his death, and had no second thoughts about the Dark side. It seems that he would have been a very useful ally to his master. Instead, he was disposed of, and his master didn't seem overly bothered by his demise.

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    or a poorly written character? – Eric Duminil Dec 31 '19 at 15:49
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Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker The Visual Dictionary: With Exclusive Cross-Sections provides the answer here and it's that Snoke is indeed a puppet built to test Kylo Ren. It doesn't specifically call out Palpatine as the master but c'mon given what we see in The Rise of Skywalker and everything we know it's 99% likely to have been him.

Snoke's entire existence has been built for this moment: to be the final test of Kylo Ren. The Supreme Leader has tested Ren's worthiness as a disciple and-unbeknownest to all-his capacity to inherit the Sith legacy. Snoke is no Sith, but his role has been designed by the Sith Eternal cultists to act as a final crucible, to groom and mold Ren into a master not only of attack, but also cunning.

The Visual Dictionary also has a label on Snoke's face reading:

Singular focus, imposed by his unseen master

If it isn't talking about Palpatine in all of that then there's something even more to these films and that seems unlikely.

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    So by him being a puppet, do you mean that he was actually Sidious all along, using some kind of force disguise? Or a body that Sidious controlled from afar? – Inertial Ignorance Dec 31 '19 at 10:28
  • @InertialIgnorance Just someone Sidious had control over and potentially made. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 31 '19 at 11:44
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    @InertialIgnorance - I certainly interpreted him as a body controlled by The Emperor. That's the only reason for Palpatine to have all those copies of him, and it's a spin on the "Clone Emperor" plot of Dark Empire. Basically instead of Palpatine inhabiting a younger clone of himself, he inhabits Snoke... therefore keeping even his survival a secret while still interacting with the galaxy and leading the First Order. – Omegacron Dec 31 '19 at 20:58
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    I think it must be that. If Palpatine could just clone powerful Force users at will, he would be better off making an army of Snokes. But if Snoke's powers came from Palpatine, then there would be a limit. – Adamant Jan 1 at 7:00

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