Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt Triggers New Supreme Leader Snoke Theories

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 - 9:13AM
Star Wars
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 - 9:13AM
Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt Triggers New Supreme Leader Snoke Theories
Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt hit book stores everywhere today, bringing with it another peek into the state of the galaxy in the wake of Return of the Jedi. The second book in Chuck Wendig's Aftermath series gives us a chance to see how fan favorites such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa are coping with life after the Empire, but it also gives some interesting backstory to some of the newer faces of the Star Wars universe.

As well as confirming that Maz Kanata is a powerful (and feisty) force-wielder, Aftermath gives some much needed info on another of The Force Awakens' breakout stars, General Hux. Played by Domnhall Gleeson in the movies, General Hux is the bastard child of an Imperial Officer who retreated to the fringes of space with the remnants of the Empire's fleet. That much is fairly well known, but Hux's full name is not. As Life Debt reveals, The First Order's maniacal General's full name is Armitage Hux. Hux's family, or at least half of Hux's family, played a big role in the formation of The First Order. His father, Brendol, is thought to have had a major admirer in the form of one of Aftermath's most mysterious figures, Gallius Rax. If you haven't heard the name Gallius Rax just yet, you're about to become very familiar with him, because he has just become the latest character to be linked with the mystery of Supreme Leader Snoke.

Figuring out the true identity of Supreme Leader Snoke has become a major obsession for many Star Wars fans. Multiple theories have already been debunked, but certain events in Wendig's latest book are leading people to believe that Gallius Rax is the man that eventually becomes the Star Wars sequel trilogy's big bad. Here's why:

- Some three decades before the events of Life Debt, Rax starts life as an orphaned child on Jakku at a time when Emperor Palpatine is showing a great deal of interest in the dusty sandball of a planet. Desperately seeking a way off the planet, Gallius stows away on an Imperial ship and is eventually brought face to face with Sheev Palpatine himself.

- During their first encounter, Palpatine commands Rax to come before him, but the young lad is able to resist the Emperor's force-assisted command. This power unsurprisingly piques Palpatine's interest, and Emperor smells the stench of evil destiny in Rax, giving him a choice to either die right there, or serve the plan that Palpatine puts before him. 

Opening quote
"The second choice is, I give you a new life. A better one," Palpatine says. "I give you a task that, if you manage, will lead you to greater things. Not some thing so mundane as a job, but a role. A purpose. I sense in you potential. A destiny. Most people have no destiny,"
Closing quote

- Rax grows to become one of the Emperor's most-powerful advisors. Rax's power is such that he is orchestrating the Imperial forces at a level that is arguably beyond even the Emperor himself.

- Rae Sloane, the Imperial officer who featured in the previous Aftermath book, is set on figuring out exactly who Rax is. It's her description of the man that has triggered these theories of his future identity. Here are just a couple of the ways in which he is described throughout the book.

Opening quote
'That is how she feels whenever she meets him, as if she is meeting the hologram of a dead man made to pass as real.'
Closing quote

Opening quote
'There he stands, no longer garbed in an admiral's uniform but rather in a floor- length robe. Red as blood'
Closing quote

Opening quote
"If only it were that easy. I can't just push one of these buttons and make him appear. He's not a hologram." Though really, he might as well be.'
Closing quote

With these mentions of holograms, it's not hard to see why people are drawing parallels with Snoke. But, Rax's appearance appearance being described as "pale" and his eyes being "Each a black hole swallowing the light," also seem mighty close to Snoke's generl guise in The Force Awakens.

Adding more weight to this argument is the fact that, Rax believes strongly in recruiting and indoctrinating children for his cause, which is something The First Order is known to be more than a little fond of. In fact, we now know that it was this exact kind of behaviour that caused Ben Solo to fall under Snoke's spell. Add to that the fact that, by the end of the book Rax is referring to himself as the Emperor, and the evidence mounts.

Personally, I can't help but think that this is all too obvious. LucasFilm are known to want the Snoke mystery to continue being just that, a mystery. To drop such obvious hints to his backstory in a book would be a bizarre and anticlimactic move. That being said, it's clear that Gallius Rax is being built up to play a major role in the new Star Wars canon, and with Benicio Del Toro set to play a new villain in Star Wars: Episode VIII, it could be there is a link there, but not with Snoke himself. Regardless, with one more Aftermath book still to come (in 2017), it would seem that Rax's story is far from complete.

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