Who is Snoke? A theory using canon evidence to find the answer.
I know you’ve likely read a ton of Snoke theories. You’re probably sick of them at this point…but this one is different. I’ve spent a great deal of time researching the canon and in this article, I will be using tons of facts from the canon to back up my theory. No wild theorizing here – just translating the facts as I’ve seen them!
Keep in mind there are spoilers in this for Aftermath, Aftermath: Life Debt, Bloodline, The Force Awakens movie/novel, and Servants of The Empire: The Secret Academy. I also used material from The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. If you’re avoiding spoilers for any of these items, please read later!!
***SPOILERS BEGIN NOW!!!***
I theorize that Supreme Leader Snoke is Brendol Hux, General Armitage Hux’s father. We have not seen Brendol Hux on screen yet, but he has a firm place within the new canon. I encourage you to read this entire article before making any judgements as I’ve constructed a solid back story. Let’s dive into the canon facts!
WHO IS BRENDOL HUX?
Brendol Hux served as a junior officer during the Clone Wars and took orders from the Jedi. As the Galactic Empire rose, he also rose in rank and eventually became Commandant of an Imperial training academy on Arkanis. He is described as “a stocky man with red hair gone gray at the temples and bright blue eyes.” While there, he started a “secret society” known as The Commandant’s Cadets – officers that he considered “Champions of the Empire”. Around 4-5 years before “A New Hope”, He appears in the book “Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy” and says to his cadets:
“This has been a dream of mine for years. I searched for officers who would understand what I proposed, and who could help me create these champions of our Empire. When I didn’t find those officers, I decided to follow my own advice— I would create them. You have been chosen to begin this great work alongside me—to execute my design. Together, my cadets, we shall oversee the creation of legions that ensure the Empire lives forever.”
He also drew inspiration for the perfect soldier from both the Republic’s Clone Soldiers and The Jedi. His idea was to raise Stormtroopers from birth, which is a method that The First Order implements and General Hux feels very strongly about. In “The Secret Academy”, he continues to address The Commandant’s Cadets with his idea for the perfect soldiers:
“The Republic’s clones were effective soldiers because they weren’t just trained for battle but bred for it,” Hux said. “Their training began at birth, with newborns tested for eyesight and reflexes. You’ve all learned that. But what you may not know is that the Jedi were the same way—they searched the galaxy for babies and young children who shared their sorcerous gifts and trained them from the cradle. In both cases, the result was a cadre of superior, fanatically loyal warriors.”
Additionally, the Arkanis Academy was home to Project Harvester. Project Harvester was a plan to abduct force sensitive individuals, carried out by the inquisitors. Brendol Hux was aware of this secret project taking place on his academy, but there are no canon details about what had truly happened to the captured individuals. Dhara Leonis was the only known capture of Project Harvester and was saved by her brother, Zare Leonis (who appeared in Rebels).
As a patriotic Imperial, Brendol Hux raised his illegitimate son on stories of heroic Imperials and how the Empire had saved the galaxy after the Clone Wars. His son accepted Brendol’s view that the New Republic was too weak to save the galaxy from chaos and that the First Order was needed to save the galaxy from itself.
During Aftermath: Life Debt (about a year after the second Death Star wars destroyed), Gallius Rax orders that Brendol Hux and his son, Armitage be rescued from the Arkanis Academy. Brendol Hux becomes part of the Shadow Council to govern The Empire from behind the scenes. The council consists of Admiral Gallius Rax, Rae Sloane, Grand Moff Randd, General Hodnar Borrum, Ferric Obdur, and Brendol Hux.
At this point, Rae Sloane refers to Hux “a slithering thing who views people as tools and props.” and “a big, blustering, ego-fed pig. Gone a bit to pasture, that one: His gut strains at his buttons, his neck is fat, and his firm jaw has gone soft with an unshorn patchwork of facial hair. He looks haggard, lost, angry.”
During a dinner, Sloane decides to try to intimidate Hux by asking “I understand you have a son. Not of your wife—an illegitimate child? Will he be the best the Empire has to offer?” Hux replies with, “Armitage is a weak-willed boy. Thin as a slip of paper and just as useless. But I’ll teach him. You’ll…you’ll see. He has potential.”
After the Battle of Jakku, Brendol fled the remnant of The Empire, along with other Imperials into Unknown Regions, which at the time, the Empire had been exploring.
In “Bloodline”, Lady Carise Sindian contemplates,
“Oh, there were details she didn’t know. Secrets that hadn’t yet been shared with her. But she understood how to interpret shadows. Like, for instance, the disappearance of Brendol Hux, her homeworld academy’s commandant, after the Battle of Jakku. Some said he had only given up—as if such a hero of the Empire would surrender so abjectly.
As late as 6 years after the Battle of Endor, the First Order had begun raising soldiers from birth, (as Finn is 23 at the time of The Force Awakens). General Hux continues to implement his father’s dream of soldiers being raised from birth to create a severe, family-like loyalty within them.
I estimate he would be about 74 years old around the events of The Force Awakens – if he had been born 40 years before the Battle of Yavin and had been 18 years old at the start of The Clone wars. At this point, there is no mention of Brendol Hux’s death.
WHO IS SUPREME LEADER SNOKE?
At this point, little is known about Supreme Leader Snoke. He serves as the Leader of the First Order approximately 30 years after The Battle of Endor. He witnessed the rise and eventual fall of the Galactic Empire. In “The Force Awakens” novel, he’s described as “humanoid but not human” and “a pink, pale face so aged it verged on translucence. Poorly reconstructed, the broken nose added to the asymmetry of the damaged visage. So did the position of the left eye, which was situated lower than the right. Beneath wispy gray eyebrows, they were a startling cobalt blue. Long since healed over, old cuts and wounds marred the chin and forehead, the latter scar being particularly noteworthy.”
It is said that Snoke is strong in the darkside of the force, although we have not seen him utilize it. Snoke had several apprentices before he became invested in the Skywalker bloodline, believing Ben Solo had the right balance of the light and dark sides in him. He eventually turns Ben to the dark side and anoints him Kylo Ren, the master of The Knights of Ren and orders him to destroy Luke Skywalker’s revived Jedi Order. Snoke says to Kylo, “I have never had a student with such promise—before you.”
HOW ARE THEY SIMILAR?
- They both witnessed the rise and fall The Galatic Empire
- They both have had “apprentices” (The Knights of Ren, The Commandant’s Cadets, and possibly force sensitives in Project Harvester)
- Both have blue eyes and gray or graying hair.
- The TFA novel says that Snoke is “humanoid but not human”, but with all of his scars and deformities, he could be a human. Think Obi-Wan’s description of Darth Vader “He’s more machine now, than man…twisted and evil”
- They are both extremely influential leaders who gain fierce loyalties from their followers
- Snoke has no known past, Brendol Hux has no known present or future.
HOW DID BRENDOL HUX BECOME SUPREME LEADER SNOKE?
Here is where I take the previous details I discussed and weave together a story based on the facts I gathered. This is not in the canon – this is my theory and I feel it strongly aligns with the direction of the current story.
It seems that Gallius Rax’s plan is to slowly pick off The Shadow Council to obtain ultimate power. I think it comes down to him and Hux, and Hux ultimately “wins”. In Aftermath: Life Debt, Rax thinks, “He needs them only so long. All of them but Hux. Hux will be necessary.”
I theorize both Brendol Hux, Arliz Hadrassian, and many others abandon the defeated Empire after the Battle of Jakku. They fled to Unknown Regions, where the Empire had been secretly exploring and The New Republic held no power.
In Aftermath, Yupe Tashu tells the Imperial Future Council,
“Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our maps was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”
This shows that there are bases and untouched areas of The Empire that are ready to be used – it’s likely that Hux and the other imperials travel to them to take advantage of their offerings and find a safe space to lay the foundation of The First Order.
From these “unknown regions”, Brendol Hux starts to pursue his dream of raising soldiers from birth – at latest, 6 years after The Battle of Endor. It’s likely The Amaxine Warriors were his first generation of soldiers raised from birth, trained by fiercely loyal Imperials, such as Arliz Hadrassian.
Meanwhile, The First Order had influenced politicians in power, such as Lady Carise Sindian of Arkanis, to secretly recruit those who were sympathetic to the fall of The Empire and wanted it to rise again.
In Bloodline, Lady Carise contemplates her actions to help The First Order:
“It was Lady Carise who had searched for former Imperial officers and their sympathizers among the various subcultures where they might congregate, helping to create the contacts that connected them to the surviving ships of the Imperial fleet. Lady Carise who had encouraged them as they organized from mere malcontents into the burgeoning paramilitary force known as the Amaxine warriors. And it had been Lady Carise who convinced the Centrist leaders in her faction to use the criminal front they’d already established through Rinnrivin Di to hide their funds in order to arm and train the Amaxine warriors. With weapons and training, they could, in time, serve as the shock troops in the initial battles of the great war to come.”
During the climax of “Bloodline”, I theorize that Brendol Hux had been present at the Sibensko base when it had been destroyed, barely surviving and terribly wounded (This would explain his/Snoke’s terrible scars). Arliz Hadrassian knew that she and The Amaxine Warriors had been linked to the napkin bombing as well as a paramilitary group, and that would eventually lead to the roots of The First Order, and reveal the name of their leader – Brendol Hux.
“Now that the Amaxine warriors had taken the fall as Rinnrivin Di’s funders and partners, no one would look any farther into his finances…and trace that money beyond backwater planets to the very heart of the First Order itself. Even now, the riches earned through the smuggling and gambling interests of Rinnrivin’s cartel were helping to refit and rearm the former Imperial fleet, bringing them back to their full power and glory so that they would be once again ready to conquer.” (Lady Carise, Bloodline)
Arliz Hadrassian knew she had to create chaos within the senate to buy the First Order time to relocate, allow Brendol Hux to heal, and cover The First Orders’ tracks. The First Order released a sliced video showing Ransolm Casterfo with the Amaxine Warriors – looking like he approved of (and was part of) them. She then travelled to Hosnian Prime to assassinate Tai-Lin Garr and to commit suicide, successfully creating a distraction.
With Casterfo arrested for treason and Leia no longer credible due to her true parentage being revealed, the First Order successfully removed the only two opposing powers that could reveal them for what they truly are. All that was left to protect The First Order was removing herself and her connections from the investigation that would likely happen based on Leia’s information pulled from the Sibensko base.
“Leia Organa,” Hadrassian said. A slow, terrible smile spread across her face. “You’re lucky I’m thinking strategically.” (Bloodline)
After the Senate had settled from the chaos, it’s likely they assumed all who had been involved with the conspiracy were dead – everyone at the Sibensko Base and their leader Arliz Hadrassian. The Senate no longer had any trails or motives to follow and felt there was no longer a threat.
Around this time, 5-6 years before The Force Awakens, Brendol Hux recovered from his Sibensko Base injuries and in a similar fashion to previous Imperial leaders, he decided to shed his “Brendol Hux” identity and become Supreme Leader Snoke. Simultaneously, he also learned that Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker’s father had been Darth Vader. He started pursuing Ben Solo for his unique lineage of having both powerful light side and dark side users in direct relation. When the news became public, Leia had started to send a message to her son, but never did.
This must have been an incredibly difficult time for Ben – knowing that his mother, father, and uncle had all known this fact, but never told him. This must have caused him to seriously distrust his family – allowing Snoke room to forge a relationship, manipulate him, and tell him all these “wonderful” things he knew about Darth Vader…Things that his family likely did not tell him. Things that made him believe he had more potential and power in the dark side than in the light. This won Ben’s trust. Additionally, turning Ben would also serve as revenge against Han and Leia for being part of the Sibensko base’s destruction.
After joining Snoke, Ben became Kylo Ren and Snoke orders him to destroy Luke and his Jedi order. Snoke knows how powerful the Jedi are, and is aware of the threat they pose. He worked with them in The Clone Wars and oversaw the capture of them in Project Harvester. Extinguishing Luke as the carrier of the Jedi flame would be a triumph for destroying the powerful knowledge of the Jedi and how to train future Jedi. Kylo Ren is only PARTIALLY successful and becomes obsessed with finding and destroying Luke.
The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary states that Kylo’s agenda “always trumps military objectives” and that his placement “resembles that of Darth Vader – this is entirely by design.”
We see General Hux and Kylo Ren have a serious rivalry throughout The Force Awakens. General Hux seems jealous of Kylo’s place with Snoke – like Kylo is the son that Snoke always wanted and General Hux can’t fulfill that role. (Think back to Brendol described him in Life Debt!)
Kylo seems to pick on General Hux and makes a slam on his father’s idea in the following lines:
“How capable are your soldiers, General?”
“I won’t have you question my methods.”
“They’re obviously skilled at committing high treason. Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army.”
“My men are exceptionally trained—programmed from birth—”
Even in the end of The Force Awakens, Snoke orders Hux to leave Starkiller base and bring Kylo to him. As much as General Hux hates Kylo, he would rather save him than disappoint his father.
I encourage you to re-watch The Force Awakens with this rivalry in mind. General Hux seems like he REALLY wants his father’s approval.
This is also a reoccurring them theme in Star Wars – shitty dads and absent moms!
The final point I’d like to delve into is about force sensitivity – there’s no canon evidence here. We haven’t seen Snoke use the force. We haven’t seen Brendol Hux use the force. Brendol could’ve been hiding it, similar to Palpatine. There could be a major revelation in “Aftermath: Empire’s End”. I have a feeling that something major will happen on the secret Imperial research base on Jakku…or something weird will happen in these “Unknown Regions”. Either way, we’ll know relatively soon!
So that’s my theory! I will likely end up being totally wrong, but it was a lot of fun to put together and explore the new canon. Thank you for reading!
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