One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the leader of the First Order who loomed large as a hologram. Andy Serkis played Supreme Leader Snoke and left us all with a lot of questions about the character. Where did he come from? Is Snoke his real name? Have we seen him before?
Many people have offered up theories, but I still firmly believe that Ezra Bridger from Star Wars: Rebels is headed down a dark path that will end with his rise to Supreme Leader of the First Order. I previously wrote an article on this subject which featured evidence from Seasons 1 and 2 of Rebels. Today I want to discuss moments from the Season 3 trailer that support the theory that Ezra Bridger is Supreme Leader Snoke.
Watch the Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 trailer from Star Wars Celebration:
Let me also just be very clear here: None of this is confirmed. Snoke is a total mystery. Whether any of our theories are true or not, Lucasfilm has to deny them. That way none of us curious spoiler hounds can spoil anything for general audiences. Lucasfilm's current stance on Snoke is summarized in this picture of story group member Pablo Hidalgo:
Sorry Pablo, I still have a theory and I've got to share it!
Ezra's Dark Path
The Season 2 finale finally showed us the beginning of Ezra's foray into the dark ways of the Force. He begins to research a Sith holocron and the secrets it holds. The Season 3 trailer shows Ezra holding the same holocron while saying he'll never let his friends get hurt again. (Never Ezra? Only Sith deal in absolutes!) Kanan also says that the holocron is changing Ezra. We can only assume this means it's making him darker. We also see Ezra do a spin-flip move that is very reminiscent of Darth Sidiuous during his battle with Yoda in Episode III, if you ask me.
Ezra is headed toward the dark side, a choice that is very hard to come back from. It took Anakin 30 years to return to the light and he had the best Jedi training and teacher one could ask for in Obi-Wan. Ezra's teacher didn't finish his own Jedi training due to Oder 66, so the pull to the dark side will be that much harder for him to resist.
Ezra Is Anti-Empire
One thing I wondered about The Force Awakens was why call the bad guys the First Order? Why not call them the New Empire? Or even just the Empire? We see in Star Wars: Bloodline, a recent Star Wars novel by Claudia Gray, that there are many people who miss the order provided by the Empire. They liked the government, just not the evil Sith lords that corrupted it. Ezra fits into this philosophy perfectly. Ezra hates the Empire with a passion for oppressing his planet and his family. The First Order believes that the New Republic is falling into the same traps as the Empire before it — that's exactly what General Hux says before they active Starkiller Base.
Ezra may hate Palpatine's Empire, but that doesn't mean he hates the structure it provided. Ezra may even yearn for the first years of the Empire when everyone was at peace and happy, before they realized they were in danger. The Star Wars: Rebels team have actually talked about how the majority of the galaxy may have loved the Empire at first. It eliminated the bickering and indecisiveness of the Republic Senate. Those in the New Order long for those days again. Decisive government free from a politically divided senate and ineffective politicians.
It would make total sense for Ezra to see the flaws in the New Republic and want to fix what he helped create. Ezra being Snoke gives the villain strong motivation to stop the New Republic. Ezra helped form one of the first Rebel cells. He fought along side Ahsoka Tano who helped start and organize the Rebellion. The New Republic was the eventual endgame of the Rebellion, but Ezra may feel that the New Republic is ruining the galaxy. He helped create it, and thus he has to destroy it.
Destroy The Sith
Twice during the trailer, Ezra mentions destroying the Sith. How can Ezra turn to the dark side and destroy the Sith? Wouldn't he then be a Sith? Not necessarily. Star Wars has been showing us a lot about the Force lately. Most notable that not every Force user is a Jedi or Sith. Maz Kanata uses the Force but is no Jedi. Cherrut Imwe, a new character in Rogue One, uses the Force to make up for his blindness yet he too is no Jedi. The Inquisitors use the dark side of the Force, but they aren't Sith.
Sith are normally called Darth or Lord. Neither Kylo Ren nor his master, Snoke, use these titles. Both access the dark side but are not Sith. Could Snoke have worked to eradicate the Sith in the past when he was still Ezra Bridger? Ezra's hatred of the Sith may actually be more proof of his eventual role as Snoke.
Scum And Villainy
This one takes a little back story. In Bloodline we learn that the First Order is in hiding. We don't learn much about them because Leia has just discovered them herself. What we do know is that they are secretly working with and funding criminals and terrorists.
What does this have to do with Ezra? Everything. Rebels Seasons 1 and 2 showed how the Rebels came together. Ahsoka and her Rebel cell seek help from quite a few people. Who exactly? They become allies with Hondo Onaka, a thief and all-around bad — but charming — guy. Cham Syndulla, a bitter terrorist who attacks the Empire for vengeance above all else, eventually joins their side as well. They even kidnap the leader of a Mandalorian terrorist cell.
The Rebellion is built on shaky alliances with the scum of the galaxy. Ezra sees that to change a government you don't agree with, you have to ally yourself with anyone who can assist you — even if they're criminals. Ezra could take that knowledge and use it to construct the First Order. This would, in effect, make the First Order a new Rebellion and flip everything we think we know about Star Wars. It would be one of the coolest revelations they could make and it all hinges on Ezra Bridger.
What Did We Learn?
It looks like Ezra will be turning to the dark side in a bid to help the Rebellion. Will he become Snoke? I believe so. His convictions and beliefs match up with what little we know of Snoke. This also gives Rebels a real reason to exist. Like The Clone Wars gave insight into the main heroes and villains of the Original Trilogy during their early days, Rebels is revealing insight into the origin of the newest villains in the Star Wars saga. I think we'll all be thoroughly surprised by what happens in Rebels Season 3.