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Master Azronger
Master Azronger
Moderator | Champion of the Light
Moderator | Champion of the Light

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Empty Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon)

January 26th 2021, 3:40 pm
Message reputation : 100% (9 votes)
This dissertation seeks to explore how powerful Darth Sidious is in Disney Canon relative to its other characters. Credit for a lot of the sources goes to @Gideon/Tempest; the argument for Snoke’s inferiority to Sheev as it pertains to his eligibility as a suitable vessel through essence transfer is the brainchild of Dominis over on KMC, with him and Gideon refining the case through consequent discourse; and @XSUPREMEXSKILLZ gets the credit for the argument for Palpatine’s superiority over the Ones of Mortis when he is drawing on the power of all the Sith. This blog merely collates all the arguments and sources together.

A) THE CASE FOR SNOKE AND WHY IT’S FAULTY

A statement from The Secrets of the Jedi has been used to prop up Snoke as a peer of the Emperor as of Return of the Jedi. It is from Luke Skywalker’s perspective, and reads as follows: ”Unlike Emperor Palpatine before him, Snoke was not a Sith Lord, but his mastery of the dark side was equally impressive--and terrifying.”

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Snoke_sucks_1
(https://i.redd.it/l3qhaijd1bi41.png )

Most people seem to focus solely on the ”Unlike Emperor Palpatine before him” clause, which they connect to the rest of the sentence to emphasize a supposed comparison by Luke between Sheev and Snoke in their respective mastery of the dark side. However, an alternative interpretation is that Luke is not comparing Snoke to Sheev specifically, but is comparing Snoke’s mastery of the dark side as akin to a Sith Lord’s, and is merely using Sheev as an example of a Sith because he was Snoke’s predecessor. The sentence - ”Unlike Emperor Palpatine before him, Snoke was not a Sith Lord, but his mastery of the dark side was equally impressive--and terrifying.” - still makes perfect grammatical sense when read in this way, as any professional linguist would attest. Furthermore, let’s turn our attention to the antecedent sentences: ”While I was training a new generation in the old ways, the New Republic was facing a far-too-familiar threat. A faction known as the First Order was taking form under the influence of Supreme Leader Snoke.” I’ve bolded and underlined the key part - the reason Luke is using Palpatine as his example of a Sith instead of, say, Vader isn’t because Snoke’s strength in the dark side necessarily matches Palpatine’s, but because Palpatine was the dark side-wielding despot in charge of the previous imperialist faction directly preceding Snoke’s rise to prominence, hence the usage of the adjective ”far-too-familiar.” In other words, Luke is saying that a new imperialist faction bent on galactic domination has risen in place of the old Empire, and while its leader isn’t a Sith like Palpatine was, his dark side abilities are still hot shit.

To elucidate further, Canon features dark side groups distinct from the Sith, and has on occasion emphasized the Sith’s formidability over other sects, Kanan’s evaluation of Vader relative to the Grand Inquisitor coming to mind immediately: ”You know we encountered an Inquisitor before, but this was nothing like that. The fear, the anger, the hate…” Luke himself would know the difference, having fought the spirit of the Grand Inquisitor and effortlessly bested the Knights of Ren. So, as this seems to be a point of confusion for some, Luke is not necessarily comparing Snoke to any individual Sith Lord, but is merely using the term to denote he is immensely powerful in a general sense, moreso than trifling dark siders like the Inquisitors or the Knights of Ren. So, to reiterate, he is not placing Snoke on Palpatine’s level specifically.


(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpAQkrFsNBo&t=2m )

https://readcomiconline.to/Comic/Star-Wars-2020/Issue-6?id=175672

https://readcomiconline.to/Comic/Star-Wars-The-Rise-Of-Kylo-Ren/Issue-2?id=165958

B) SNOKE WAS AN INSUFFICIENT VESSEL FOR SIDIOUS’S POWER

The Rise of Skywalker novelization depicts the Emperor’s dying moments in ROTJ from his perspective, and reveals that the clone body into which he transferred his essence was imperfect and could not contain his vast power. He remained trapped in the defective corpus for decades until he finally discovered a sufficiently strong vessel that could hold his strength in Rey. The implication, therefore, is that Snoke was not able to contain Sheev’s power as he was created somewhere in the interim but was not taken over despite the latter having myriad, unconscious Snokes stored in pickle jars in his laboratory, ready to inhabit whenever he pleased. No, Snoke would not have been a ”perfect vessel” like Rey, but he would still have been preferable to a literal corpse that requires alchemical fluids, a mechanical harness and other Sith paraphernalia to subsist and move around in. Snoke is infirm, but he does not require external assistance to be mobile and survive. Thus, the only explanation for the fact that Sheev did not opt for a body that was physically superior to his existing one in every way is that it was just not strong enough to contain his power in the Force.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Expanded Edition wrote:Falling...Falling...Falling... down a massive shaft, the betrayal sharp and stinging, a figure high above, black clad and helmeted and shrinking fast. His very own apprentice had turned against him, the way he himself had turned against Plagueis...whose secret to immortality he had stolen.

Plagueis had not acted fast enough in his own moment of death. But Sidious, sensing the flickering light in his apprentice, had been ready for years. So the falling, dying Emperor called on all the dark power of the Force to thrust his consciousness far, far away to a secret place he had been preparing. His body was dead, an empty vessel, long before it found the bottom of the reactor shaft, and his mind jolted to new awareness in a new body--a painful one, a temporary one.

It was too soon. The secret place had not completed its preparations. The transfer was imperfect, and the cloned body wasn't enough. Perhaps Plagueis was having the last laugh after all. Maybe his secret remained secret. Because Palpatine was trapped in a broken, dying form.

The heretics of the Sith Eternal toiled, splicing genes, bolstering tissue, creating unnatural abominations in the hope that one of these strandcasts would succeed and become a worthy receptacle. The heretics would do anything, risk anything, sacrifice anything, to create a cradle for their god-consciousness.

Nothing worked, but their efforts were not entirely in vain.

One genetic strandcast lived. Thrived, even. A not-quite-identical clone. His “son.” But he was a useless, powerless failure. Palpatine could not even bear to look upon such disappointing ordinariness.

The boy’s only worth would lay in continuing the bloodline through more natural means.

And it was through that eventual union, unexpected as it was, that Rey was born. The perfect vessel. Strong enough to contain all the power of the Sith. His granddaughter…

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) PickledSnokes-TROS

And to be clear, Sidious is able to body-hop at will - we know he can because he did so at Endor. He was ”trapped” in the rotting cadaver because he had no one else to inhabit who could have endured the immensity of his essence. Staying in his current vessel was the only option he had, hence him being ”trapped.”

C) SIDIOUS’S POWER LEVEL AFTER HIS DEATH

Some have proffered an alternate explanation for Sheev not possessing Snoke despite him being a physically superior vessel by suggesting the Emperor experienced a spike in power between his death and Endor and the creation of Snoke - and therefore make Snoke only unsuitable for the newly-empowered Sheev as opposed to ROTJ Sheev - but I have not seen a single scrap of evidence for this, not one. The wealth of sources around TROS, from the movie itself to the ancillary material, refer to Sheev absorbing the power of Rey and Ben’s dyad as ”restoring” him, not amplifying or augmenting or any other adjective indicating growth. Most damningly, the new Star Wars Book from 2020 outright states Sheev was depowered as the Sith Eternal cultists await his return to ”full power,” making it clear his restoration wasn’t merely referring to his physical frailty but an actual reduction in Force power he had experienced sometime after Endor - this would most likely have been when he died in ROTJ and was forced to inhabit a defective vessel, as all his time after that point was spent on ”his obsessive explorations into rejuvenation.” Starwars.com also adds that ”The Emperor drains their life force to add to his own,” meaning the Force energy from the dyad was added to Palpatine’s own reserves of Force energy, not just spent on regenerating his physical body. There’s also an article on ilm.com (I view it in the same light as sources like The Art and Making of The Force Unleashed or The Art and Making of The Old Republic - it’s a legitimate, published source that offers usable information, but in this case simply happens to be online rather than in book form) that states Palpatine has ”slowly recovered for decades,” indicating further that he’s been seeking to regain his former strength rather than having already surpassed it, and a more explicit statement saying ”the once all powerful Emperor was no longer in his prime but a shadow of his former self,” reminiscent of the verbiage used to denigrate Vader in comparison to Anakin.

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Snoke_sucks_2

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Unknown

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Sheevs_recovery

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Sheev_is_a_shadow_of_his_former_self

https://www.ilm.com/visual_development/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-developing-a-heart-of-darkness/

But what about Palpatine supposedly possessing the collective strength of all past Sith? Starwars.com answers this as well: ”Finally, Palpatine unleashes his full power on the Resistance fleet,” indicating that lightning storm was solely the product of Palpatine’s personal power rather than borrowed power from his precursors. He is only referenced as calling on the strength of all the Sith in his clash with Rey, and even then the wording suggests an active effort on his part - he has to deliberately summon their power; it does not passively dwell inside of him.

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Unknown

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) 09b18daf7736801077ff129468def1da-Full

So, tying all of this together: undead Sheev prior to his rejuvenation is far less powerful than he was in ROTJ; only upon draining the Force dyad does he achieve the level of strength he once possessed (whether he gained a surplus and became more powerful than before is unclear). Despite this, undead Sheev has been identified as more powerful than Snoke by both Kylo Ren and starwars.com; the former also deemed him stronger than Luke Skywalker in his prime, who is also hinted to be superior to Snoke.

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Unknown

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Unknown

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Snoke_sucks_3

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Expanded Edition wrote:But the Force itself belied any perception of frailty because a cloud of darkness and need swelled from the creature, along with power like Kylo had never before encountered. It was exhilarating.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Expanded Edition wrote:”The Jedi apprentice still lives,” the Emperor said. Kylo was in a corridor of the Steadfast, but he was speaking with Emperor Palpatine--whose power was even more vast than Kylo had realized. Only Rey had been powerful enough to communicate over long distances like this--or maybe it was their strange connection that was powerful. Not even Snoke had been able to do it.

TL; DR: ROTJ Sheev >> Undead TROS Sheev > GM Luke > Snoke

D) SIDIOUS’S POWER LEVEL WITH ALL THE SITH

This argument may come across as outlandish to some who have a deeply ingrained and long-standing belief in a specific hierarchy of Star Wars characters, namely that the Ones of Mortis reign supreme above all. Herein I will undo just that notion by arguing Sidious, with the Sith collective backing him, operated on a level of power not only in excess of the Son and the Daughter, but far in excess of them both combined.

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Unknown

The basis for the argument comes from Star Wars Insider issue 194, which identifies Rey as ”an unprecedented Force prodigy,” meaning her connection to the Force ran deeper than anyone else’s in history, including Anakin Skywalker’s. From there it’s simply a matter of comparing their respective efforts in subduing the Ones and in destroying Palpatine: the former was done by Anakin with considerable but nonetheless manageable effort when he embraced the divine Force fulcrum that was Mortis, whereas Rey, even with all the Jedi behind her, required external equipment in two lightsabers to successfully deflect the Emperor’s lightning back at him, and still died in the process. The crux of the argument is therefore simple: a greater Force prodigy than Anakin at her full potential struggled exponentially more to defeat Palpatine than Anakin did to defeat the Son and the Daughter, meaning Palpatine with all the Sith has to be an exorbitantly stronger Force-wielder than the Mortis Children, even combined. Whether he’s beyond even the Father, however, is unclear, but if one takes his comment that ”only the Chosen One could tame both my children” to include himself, then the Sith Eternal Emperor becomes unequivocally the most powerful character in all of Star Wars Canon.


(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=groYO_51bwY )


(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX4OZuBIUuA )

TL; DR: Rey w/ all the Jedi and two lightsabers = Sheev w/ all the Sith > Rey w/ all the Jedi but w/o lightsabers > Mortis Anakin > The Father >> The Son and Daughter combined

_________________
Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Sheev_sig_3
The Slick Obi
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Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Empty Re: Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon)

January 26th 2021, 4:57 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Pretty good assessment (that I agree with), although, I think that last section might be taking it a taaaad too far. There is one problem I do have, though. If beginning of TRoS Palps is quite weakend while still being stronger than anyone Kylo Ren has known, then that would have to mean that Luke barely grew in power after RotJ or it makes a fundamental change to canon: Anakin was never Palpatine's equal.
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Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Empty Re: Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon)

January 26th 2021, 7:30 pm
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ah yes, rey > anakin in potential. yup.
DarthAdi
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Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Empty Re: Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon)

January 26th 2021, 8:17 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
I agree with most of the post, but there is a problem with the last part.
The canonicity of the insiders is dubious.
Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Polish10
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January 27th 2021, 1:45 am
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)

oof
Nute_Chethray
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January 27th 2021, 8:50 am
Great thread, and glad to have you back Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) 3344068304
DarthAnt66
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January 27th 2021, 9:55 am
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MDarthAdi wrote:I agree with most of the post, but there is a problem with the last part.
The canonicity of the insiders is dubious.
Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Polish10

Martin acting like any Canon source goes through any review, lol.
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Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Empty Re: Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon)

February 8th 2021, 4:23 am
@Master Azronger  Really interresting thread.

However I have a few questions about the scaling that you've made explaining that Sheev + all the siths > the Ones of Mortis.

First of all you claimed that "unprecedented Force Prodigy" = most powerful Force user (if full potential reach).

But another interpretation can be made about the expression and that is as valid as your. It can be understand as "someone whose increase of power was the fastest in the history" which didn't translate into "someone who will be the most powerful".

A simple graph to illustrate this:

Darth Sidious vs. Snoke, Luke, and Others | How Powerful is Darth Sidious? (Canon) Anakin10

The second point where I have some difficulties to follow you is the fact that you claimed that both amps (Mortis fulcrum for Anakin and all the jedi for Rey) only allow them to reach their full potential. But it don't seems impossible (from my point of view) to see this external amps as something that boost both Rey and Anakin above their respective full potential.
Their full potential only allowing them to survive being exposed to such power during this short time.
With this taken into account I don't see a clear way to compare the Mortis amp and the all jedi amp thus making your point moot. Even more we don't know if the Chosen one at his full potential can defeat both the Daughter and the Son making even less plausible to create a comparison between them and all Sith Power Sheev.

The last problem comes directly from the quote of the Father: " Only the Chosen one can tame both my children". If we take this as something true, how can "all Jedi amp Rey" or "all sith amp Sheev" be more powerful than both the Son and the Daughter ? Did they suddenly become also "Chosen One"?

This three problems that I have made me think that your comparison isn't so efficient and thus claiming that "all sith power Sheev" is more powerful than both the Son and the Daughter is not so credible.
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