"I think it might be a Strand-Cast."
"I don't think it was engineered."
―Din Djarin and Kuiil, on Grogu[1]

Supreme Leader Snoke was a Force-sensitive genetic strandcast.

A Strand-Cast, alternatively spelled strandcast, was an artificial life form genetically engineered through the process known as Strand-Casting. During the New Republic Era, the Sith Eternal—a cult that served the reborn Sith Lord Darth Sidious—engineered various strandcasts on the distant world of Exegol, including Supreme Leader Snoke and Rey's father. Whereas Snoke was a genetic strandcast who possessed a powerful connection to the Force, the father of Rey was an ordinary human despite being cloned from Sidious' template. His daughter was nonetheless Force-sensitive through her birth as an offspring of the Palpatine bloodline.


"Using a technique known as Strand-Casting, countless modified clone bodies were produced from my genetic template. All but one of them were utter failures. The lone survivor of the cloning process lacked any connection to the Force."
―Darth Sidious[2]

Snoke was one of many genetically identical strandcasts created on Exegol.

Strandcasts were genetically engineered life forms, a type of clone specimen that was an "artificial genetic construct."[3] They were created through a version of the cloning process called Strand-Casting.[2] By adding the genes of other specimens to a base template,[4] the original host's genetic code was significantly altered to produce "not-quite-identical"[5] modified clones, otherwise known as strandcasts.[2] Despite their origins, strandcasts were still capable of exercising free will.[3]

Strand-Casting[2] was known to cause various genetic flaws, producing defective and unhealthy specimens;[5] consequently, it had a high mortality rate, with nearly all of Darth Sidious' modified clones failing to survive the cloning process.[2] A significant flaw in the genetic technology was that using the base template of a Force-sensitive did not necessarily or automatically ensure that the resulting strandcast would inherit its progenitor's connection to the Force.[5] Nevertheless, it was possible to deliberately create a strandcast who possessed strong Force powers.[3] A strandcast, a modified clone, can get clones of themselves.[6]


Empire and aftermath[]

"You talk about fear. But even now, you forget where it all begins… with pain. The scalpel of creation. I used it to make all of these things. I can use it to make anything."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[7]

Darth Vader discovered that his master created artificial specimens who existed in a state of pain.

Strandcasts were grown in gene farms.[1] The Sith Citadel[7] an ancient stronghold located on the planet Exegol in the Unknown Regions[8] housed several vats of strandcasts created through the experiments of Darth Sidious,[7] the Sith Lord who ruled the galaxy as Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine. Having long coveted immortality,[3] the Emperor sought to transfer his consciousness to a new body in the event of the death of his original body.[2] The artificial specimens that he created lived in a state of intense pain.[7] Around 3 ABY or 4 ABY,[9] Sidious' program was discovered by his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader. Although Vader defeated a cadre of his Sith Master's creations, Sidious maintained that any of them were capable of replacing his apprentice.[7]

Around 9 ABY,[10] the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin became the caretaker of Grogu, a mysterious alien foundling who was strong with the Force. Djarin believed that the child could possibly be a strandcast. Kuiil, an Ugnaught who worked in the gene farms, thought that Grogu looked evolved and "too ugly" to be a genetic construct.[1]

The creation of Snoke[]

"As part of their genetic experiments, my followers attempted to create another being that came to be known as Snoke. Although his body proved unworthy of containing my dark essence, Snoke's natural sensitivity to the Force would make him a powerful puppet nonetheless."
―Darth Sidious[2]

Snoke was conceived through the Sith Eternal's genetic experiments that produced numerous artificial strandcasts.

Darth Sidious was resurrected on Exegol, where his consciousness took possession of a clone after his original body was destroyed during the Battle of Endor. The cloned body was a product of cloning techniques utilized by the Sith Eternal cult. Despite his revival, the Emperor's host form was incapable of adapting to his connection to the dark side of the Force, resulting in its rapid decay. Sidious was trapped within a rapidly decaying vessel and consequently confined to Exegol. Further genetic experimentation by the Emperor's Sith cultists resulted in[2] the artificial genetic strandcast[3] that became known as Snoke. Despite Snoke's strong connection to the Force, Sidious did not see him as a worthy host for his consciousness. Nevertheless, he chose to use Snoke as a proxy for the Sith; a figurehead Supreme Leader through which he could control the First Order[2] that had risen from a remnant of the Galactic Empire.[11] After the creation of Snoke, Sidious used Snoke's unique DNA to create several clones of him. They were Snoke's clone "brothers," kept in a hibernated state and sustained in a tank filled with nutrient fluid.[3]

Darth Sidious used Snoke as a proxy for controlling the First Order and training Kylo Ren, the grandson of Vader.

A towering humanoid, Snoke was physically frail but also strong with the Force, in particular the dark side. Snoke denied any lineage to the ancient Sith Order; possibly unaware of his own origins, Snoke was capable of independent thought yet still influenced by his creator. In addition to taking control of the First Order, the training of Kylo Rengrandson of the Sith Lord Darth Vader[3]—was the purpose behind Snoke's existence,[8] allowing Sidious to sidestep the tradition of a Sith apprentice ascending through the death of their Sith Master.[3] By serving as Ren's master, Snoke groomed the young Force warrior to become an heir to the Sith legacy, molding Ren into a master of attack and cunning. When Snoke died by his apprentice's hand, he fulfilled his purpose as designed by the cultists who engineered him.[8] After Snoke fulfilled his purpose, Sidious had no use for Snoke's clones, and cut off their life support, killing them and leaving their corpses to float in the vats that contained them.[6] When Ren arrived on Exegol and found his master's deceased clones, and after discovering the true origins of Snoke, Ren lost much respect for his former master and felt vindicated in his decision to usurp the title of Supreme Leader.[12]

The son of Darth Sidious[]

"I rejected this useless creature, but I chose to let it live. Even if this 'son' was undeserving of my legacy, I surmised that the Palpatine blood rushing through its veins might someday become useful. As always, my theory would soon prove correct…."
―Darth Sidious[2]

Sidious rejected his "son," a cloned strandcast who lacked his father's power in the Force.

Further attempts at Strand-Casting by the Sith Eternal resulted in a series of modified clones, produced from Darth Sidious' genetic template[2] with the additional cells taken from a variety of specimens.[3] As with their previous attempts, however, the cultists failed to create a host vessel that was capable of housing the Emperor's spirit due to its strong connection to the dark side. Only one strandcast survived the cloning process that killed the rest of the clone bodies.[2] The sole survivor was biologically human;[13] an offshoot of the Emperor's genetic experiments,[4] he possessed excellent health[5] but was devoid of any connection to the Force. The cloned strandcast's "father" disdained him[2] for his ordinariness;[5] although Sidious acknowledged their blood connection to each other, he rejected his "son" nonetheless, referring to him as "it" and a "useless creature."[2]

The Emperor's son sired a daughter, Rey, whose grandfather saw her as the genetic heir to his legacy.

The Emperor dismissed his son as an unworthy heir to his legacy, but he allowed him to live due to his biological link to the Palpatine bloodline. Sidious theorized that while his scientific experiments failed to create a suitable Force-sensitive host, an heir could still be produced[2] through natural methods.[5] Sidious' granddaughter, Rey, was born in 15 ABY;[14] unlike her powerless father, she was born strong in the Force like her grandfather before her. While Sidious had not anticipated his son's relationship with the woman who gave birth to Rey,[5] he saw in his granddaughter an opportunity to ensure his legacy's survival, having deemed her the genetic heir to a new Sith Empire.[2]

Sidious was determined to possess her before his cloned body fully deteriorated,[5] but his son escaped into hiding along with his mate and their daughter. The strandcast, whom Sidious rejected as a son, rejected his father in turn.[2] The Sith assassin Ochi tracked the strandcast to the desert world of Jakku and killed him at Sidious' behest, but otherwise failed to locate Rey.[5]


Non-Canon Appearances[]


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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The-Mandalorian-logo.png The Mandalorian – "Chapter 7: The Reckoning"
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 The Star Wars Book
  4. 4.0 4.1 Skywalker: A Family at War
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Darth Vader (2020) 11
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  9. The events of Darth Vader 11 take place after the Duel on Cloud City and before the Battle of Endor, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas date to 3 ABY and 4 ABY, respectively. Therefore, it can be deduced that the events of Darth Vader 11 also take place during one of those years.
  10. StarWars.com SWCC 2019: 9 Things We Learned from The Mandalorian Panel on StarWars.com (backup link) establishes that The Mandalorian is set about five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Therefore, the events of the series must have taken place around 9 ABY.
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  12. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
  13. Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary states that Rey is nineteen years old during the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which is dated to 34 ABY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore it can be deduced that Rey was born in 15 ABY.