Snoke in 'Force Awakens'. Is he Darth Maul?

Darth Maul Is Snoke And Other Star Wars Theories About ‘The Last Jedi’

The Darth Maul Is Snoke theory has been going around for a while in Star Wars fandom, but there seems to be a reason to think it just might be true. With the title of the upcoming movie revealed as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this Darth Maul theory – and many others – are swirling around the Internet.

One of the big mysteries surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the question of just who Snoke is. We only see him as a somewhat vague – and probably enlarged – figure projected in front of his minions for a few moments during the film, which made it anybody’s guess who he might really be.

Darth Maul on speeder.
Darth Maul on speeder. [Image by Lucasfilm]

It’s been proposed by some that Snoke might be a clone of the Emperor Palpatine or even the resurrected Emperor himself. Others have suggested the outrageous idea that somehow – despite the fact we saw Anakin Skywalker’s redemption, death and appearance as a force ghost – Snoke might be Darth Vader. But for various reasons, Darth Maul makes more sense.

The character of Darth Maul first appeared as the apprentice of the menacing Darth Sidious in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Highly athletic, skilled in combat and possessing a double bladed lightsaber, Darth Maul was the first Sith Lord that the Jedi had battled in a long time.

Snoke suggests – in the short scenes in The Force Awakens in which he speaks – he has seen the rise of the Empire and its fall, meaning he has to be a character that was around before Palpatine became Emperor. Darth Maul would certainly meet that requirement, his later apparent death notwithstanding.

Darth Maul in 'The Phantom Menace.'
Darth Maul in ‘The Phantom Menace.’

Obviously, if Darth Maul were actually dead, it would be hard to argue that he was now Snoke. But although it may surprise some casual Star Wars fans that have only seen the movies, Darth Maul was brought back from seeming death to appear in both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series.

A minor point – but perhaps an important one – suggesting that Snoke just might be Darth Maul is that they sound the same. When you listen to Darth Maul speaking in The Phantom Menace, the voices are almost identical.

But if Snoke is Darth Maul, why doesn’t he look like him? Where are the colorful tattoo/skin patterns and the horns? This is where the theory gets a bit iffy, but there are believable explanations for this problem. For one thing, Darth Maul has had what can safely be called a hard life. And getting cut in half by Obi-Wan was only the beginning.

For the purposes of bringing the popular character back for the animated series, George Lucas and Star Wars found a way for the Force to keep Darth Maul alive long enough for – initially robotic legs – and finally real legs to be provided for the character again. The nitpicking question of how he survived so long without a gastrointestinal tract is beside the point, since according to canon he did.

And the physical torment of Darth Maul didn’t end with that. In one of the episodes of Star Wars Rebels, we see Darth Maul being defeated and captured by the cackling Emperor Palpatine and then tortured with Force lightning. As was demonstrated when reflected Force lightning changed the appearance of Chancellor Palpatine himself into the malformed Emperor we’ve all come to know and love, Star Wars canon makes it clear that Force lightning can create scarring and deformities.

Also, in the Dark Horse produced comic Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir– which is canon in the Star Wars universe – we know that after Darth Maul was captured by the Emperor, he was handed over to Count Dooku to be mercilessly tortured for who knows how long. Missing horns and scarred and damaged skin could all be explained by this torture.

And given that Snoke looks to be very frail, scarred and otherwise in pretty bad shape, it’s easy to believe that his current appearance bears little resemblance to what it once was. So, as unlikely as it may seem, it just may be that in either Episode 8 or Episode 9 we will get the huge reveal that Darth Maul has returned.

Finally, it’s just possible that the title of the next Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, may not apply to Luke Skywalker or Rey as many people think. As noted by NBC, there is reason to think that Luke might just die in Episode 8. If this happens before he can train Rey in the ways of the Force, this would make a still surviving Darth Maul/Snoke – from a certain point of view – the last Jedi.

[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]

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