When the title of a brand new Star Wars film was revealed to be The Force Awakens, the world celebrated just how awesome that title was. However, it turns out that the title was almost something different entirely!
Pablo Hidalgo, who is a creative executive at Lucasfilm, revealed on Twitter recently that in the early stages, the film went through quite a number of titles. He went on to reveal that one of the titles was the same as an expanded universe novel. While many expected this to be as much as he gave away, it turned out that it took no more than a quick question to find out the most interesting part!
Shadow of the Empire!
For those of you who don't know, Shadows of the Empire (plural) was a book by Steve Perry which described the events between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Here is a synopsis for it:
"It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission and Darth Vader scours the Galaxy for Luke Skywalker, another sinister figure emerges. Cunning and ruthless, leader of a powerful crime syndicate, he will pit himself against Vader for the favor of their mutual master...the dreaded Emperor."
Now, the interesting thing is that they changed the name of the film, and the only reason I can contemplate (aside from not wanting to confuse EU readers with the book that's out of time) is about this other dark apprentice. His name in the book was Xizor, and he was leader of the Black Sun, a galaxywide criminal organization. In the book, he sought to take Vader's place as Palpatine's right hand man. He was described as reptilian in nature but having a certain charisma that "even Leia couldn't totally resist."
My question is this. Judging from this information, is it possible that the film was not called Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire because fans would realise that it is possible that Supreme Leader Snoke IS Xizor?
It all makes sense. Check out this picture below.
That is concept art of Xizor. All the art of him looks quite similar to this, and from the little we have seen of Supreme Leader Snoke, this could easily be him thirty years and one "supposed death" later. If the events of the book Shadows of the Empire are still canon, then they could be explained in Star Wars: Episode VIII by either Leia or Luke, and we could have the reveal that Snoke is Xizor also occur. Unless they already know!
In the film, when Leia speaks to Han about bringing Ben home, she talks about Snoke as if she knows him. In Shadows of the Empire she met him. Wouldn't this all explain it? I agree that Snoke could still be Darth Plagueis, but this theory seems every bit as possible now!
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