Going into all the madness surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we've got quite a few mysteries to figure out. Not only are we trying to unpack the meaning of "the last Jedi" and uncover the identity of Rey's parents, but we've also got one big question to answer on the dark side: who the hell is Supreme Leader Snoke? We came up with a few theories of our own, but we couldn't help but notice the kind of fodder elsewhere on the internet. That's when we happened upon one truly crazy theory: that Snoke is actually a villain we've seen before — Darth Maul. Let's go over how it could prove true.
1. Darth Maul Is Not Dead
We all remember how Obi Wan Kenobi brutally cuts Darth Maul in half in The Phantom Menace and lets him fall to his death. It seems pretty definitive. But, well, Darth Maul goes on to appear in the TV shows The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. While many reject these TV series as official parts of the Star Wars canon, it's worth noting that Disney has begun producing them. This would mean that all creative decisions made pertaining to the TV shows are likely made with the events of the films in mind. Plus, if Darth Vader can lose half his body from lava burns and survive, there's a chance Darth Maul could too. Even his official bio on StarWars.com corroborates the fact that he did not die.
2. It Would Explain One of Snoke's Most Telling Comments
The whole reason we're attempting to trace Snoke back to a Star Wars character we've already met is because he says one very crucial thing in The Force Awakens. Snoke reveals that he witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire. Considering how the rise of the Empire happens in the first trilogy (Episode I to Episode III) and the fall happens at the end of the second trilogy (Episode IV to Episode VI), we're potentially looking for a character who's been around since the very beginning. If you accept the TV shows as canon and believe Darth Maul survived, he certainly fits in here. As for the second trilogy, just because we didn't see him doesn't mean he wasn't around. He could have been in hiding.
3. His Powerful Origins
Darth Maul was an apprentice of the evil Darth Sidious, one of the most terrifying and powerful Sith Lords on the dark side. It's also clear that he possessed great agility and combat skills. Perhaps his hatred for Obi Wan fueled him and made him hungry for more power and even revenge. With such powerful desires lighting his way, it would make sense that he would strive to rise in the ranks of the dark side. This might explain how he eventually came to be the leader of the sinister First Order.
4. They Sound the Same
If you go back and listen to the handful of lines uttered by Darth Maul and compare them to Snoke's voice in The Force Awakens, it's pretty clear that they sound quite similar. It's not just the gravelly quality of their respective voices, either. They share the same accent, tone, and basic inflection. That's pretty hard to write off.
5. But What About the Horns and the Face Tattoos?
Obviously, the biggest hole in this theory is Darth Maul's unmistakable face tattoos and skull horns. But, I mean, come on! Look at Snoke. It's clear he's been pretty badly deformed by some kind of accident. It stands to reason that Darth Maul could have endured some extensive, brutal body trauma that left his face and head permanently changed. It's also worth noting that Darth Maul's mother, Talzin, is a powerful Force witch. It's possible she found a way to transfer her son's consciousness into a vessel that could better handle him. With Darth Maul inhabiting a different body, his tattoos and horns would obviously be gone.
We're not going to take credit for this pretty out-there theory, though. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, it's all outlined in the video below.
Maybe it's time to put those tinfoil hats back in the closet for now.