I feel a disturbance in the force... a presence I have not felt since... SPOILERS! If you read on expect to find spoilers for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' as well as the prequels and original trilogy.
People have been going crazy over the theory that Supreme Leader Snoke — the big bad from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, could be Darth Vader in disguise. Although I personally disagree with this theory, it's been gaining a lot of ground with fans who feel it's worth discussing.
It's fantastic to see that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has prompted continued debate and speculation regarding the story and characters. The theory has some merit, in that the pair have shockingly similar scars; also, it would be a fantastic evolution of character to see the Apprentice return as the Master.
However, as I've previously revealed — I disagree with the theory that Snoke and Vader are the same guy. Yet it is in circulation and gaining some momentum amongst the fans; so let's debunk it, shall we?
That which follows is my official debunking of the theory, as I take on the masses and officially explain why this is just another theory.
1. Vader died in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy
If we lived on a moral and fair Earth I could end the article right here, but unfortunately I'm sure a few of you need a little more to go on. Considering the original Star Wars movies are still very much canon, we can be safe in the knowledge that Vader died in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, as you can see in this clip:
Yes, the Star Wars universe is science fiction and surreal as hell, which certain people wont let us forget (I'm looking at you Neil DeGrasse Tyson). However, if Disney — otherwise known as "the new overlords of Star Wars" chose to bring Vader back... and bring him back as a master of the Dark Side... I'm pretty sure there would be a full-on geek riot.
2. We've seen Vader's Force ghost
One thing about Darth Vader being dead in the Star Wars universe (a point I cannot stress enough) is that we've seen his Force ghost. At the end of Return of the Jedi our heroes were living it large on Endor, partying with severed Stormtrooper heads and glorifying the horrors of war. It's at this point where we see Anakin Skywalker with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi: all very much dead.
Even in the Star Wars universe, when someone is dead they're usually pretty damn dead. Yes, in the non-canon novels Palpatine returned through use of cloning technology, but I'll cover why this isn't the case with Vader in just a moment.
Some have commented that a helmet-less Darth Vader looks similar to Supreme Leader Snoke, but besides having a few similar scars the pair look nothing alike. I'll maintain that the head and cheek scars are strikingly similar, but besides that they look completely different.
Also, let me point out that Vader's body was burned to a crisp, and getting back to cloning for a moment: physical disfigurements do not imprint on the DNA. This ultimately means that if Snoke were a Vader clone, the similar scars would make no sense whatsoever.
4. Vader turned to the Light Side
Moving on from the fact that Darth Vader is dead and that we've seen his Force ghost, we also saw him redeem himself at the end of Return of the Jedi, after which his Force ghost was back and chilling with Yoda and Obi-Wan. Having been a huge follower of Star War lore in games, novels and movies, there are very few instances of a Jedi or Sith going dark after their death, especially if they were Light Side prior to their death.
We could debate this fact endlessly. Yes, a single act of Light Side behavior doesn't redeem a lifetime of absolute evil, but the fact remains that we saw Light-Side Anakin at the end of Return of the Jedi, so to have him return as evil would simply be poor writing.
5. Kylo Ren
Just to finish off my rant... I mean "article," let's discuss the impact of this theory on Kylo Ren. We've seen that Kylo's loyalty to his grandfather, Darth Vader, is absolute. If Snoke were Darth Vader then Kylo Ren's loyalty would come without question; that, and it would be senseless for Kylo to devote his time to talking to Vader's helmet if he was already serving Vader.
Snoke could be hiding his identity as Vader, but it would be counterproductive to do so with Kylo Ren, who has only embraced the dark side to honor his grandfather and finish what he started.
Although I don't agree with the theory, it's fantastic to see Star Wars back at the front lines of pop culture. By all accounts the future of the franchise is looking brighter than ever, so I'm sure we'll be seeing many more theories serving to explain a galaxy far far away.
Do you think Darth Vader and Supreme Leader Snoke are the same person?