Science-Fiction Weekly – Snoke's Identity Revealed?
In the latest canonical Star Wars novel, Life Debt, the unexplored years leading up to the events of The Force Awakens are taking shape. The book gives us more insight into the Knights of Ren, General Hux’s family, Leia’s pull to the Force, and the puzzling character simply known as The Operator, who debuted in the novel Aftermath.
The big takeaway from the new novel, which primarily takes place a few months after the events of Return of the Jedi, is the potential reveal of Supreme Leader Snoke's identity. Yes, Star Wars fans have yet another story to dissect and discuss. J. J. Abrams recently shot down the theory that Darth Plagueis was Snoke, and Rian Johnson poked fun at the ideas people had with a post-it note that simply said, “Your Snoke theory sucks,” but in the months following these denials, Life Debt’s revelations carry significant weight, and many smack of Snoke.
It all begins with The Operator. We learn in events preceding the Battle of Endor that his name is really Gallius Rax, an orphaned boy who was enslaved on Jakku at an early age. Sound familiar? In an attempt to break free from his confines, Rax stows away on a ship called the Imperialis, but his presence was felt by Emperor Palpatine. The Emperor gave Rax a choice: a quick death, or the chance to be a part of something bigger. Rax wisely accepted life and was taken under the Emperor’s wing. We don't know what the Emperor did with Rax, but we do know he was eventually entrusted as the guardian of an excavation site on Jakku. What could the site hold? That’s another topic worth theorizing about. It’s something the Emperor wants, something likely tied to the Force. “The spot there in the dirt where my droids were operating is precious,” the Emperor says. “Not just to me, but to the galaxy at large. It is significant. It was significant a thousand years ago and it will be significant again."
In the years that followed, a character named Grand Admiral Rae Sloane tried to investigate Rax’s past, but found him to be a ghost under the Emperor’s watch. Rax eventually moves on to join the Imperial military, and becomes a force within it, rising to be one of the key players in the Battle of Jakku. And get this; his star destroyer was the Ravager, the crashed vessel we see on Jakku in one of The Force Awakens’ first shots. Could this battle be where he got his scars? The symbolism of Rey investigating the crashed star destroyer is too good to deny. There's something there.
Rax also forms a secret Imperial Shadow Council with other Imperial leads. We don't gain much insight into it, but we do know that Brendol Hux is a part of it. Brendol is the father of the General Hux we see in The Force Awakens. General Hux runs Snoke's military. Shadow council. Hux. It all adds up.
Some people also point out that Rax’s ideology of what the Empire should be also lines up with the little we hear from Snoke in the film. I think that connection is a little flimsy at this point, but yes, the evil ways of the Empire are carried out in Rax's actions.
These theories could be debunked in 2017’s upcoming book, Empire’s End, but the connective tissue between Rax and Snoke is hard to deny, and Lucasfilm is giving this character an interesting role within the universe. He is featured prominently in the first and last chapters of the book. To be at the side of the Emperor, he has to be someone special. I’d love to hear your theories on this new player in the Star Wars universe, and any additional ones you might have about Snoke in the comments section below.
Now let's get overly crazy with the theories. What if one of Rey's "parents" or "grandparents" was actually Emperor Palpatine? I don't buy this idea, but this video is certainly interesting, most notably in the shared fighting styles of Rey and Palpatine.
Outside of the Star Wars news, make sure you read my final thoughts on Valley, and Dan Tack's breakdown of Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars. I'll leave you this week with the fantastic trailer for Red Dwarf XI. It's been a busy few weeks, and I haven't had a lot of time for this column, but I'm hoping you find them useful and interesting. Feel free to leave me your two cents, and I can try to cover the stuff you want to see. I'll be back in seven days!