This article will contain spoilers from the Star Wars Novel Aftermath: Life Debt
Every since the debut of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, in theaters in 2015, a number of theories have risen concerning the identities, origins, and connections of certain characters. The most pressing and arguably, most obvious, is that of Rey. Conversations have come up about characters like Finn, and Maz Kanata as well, but another question that seems to be racking fan’s mind is, “who is Snoke?” Who is this man who proudly wears the title of “Supreme Leader?” Some say he’s the wise Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis, others think that he’s the Emperor himself, somehow survived or resurrected within a new body. Just recently, another theory entirely dawned on me.
I just finished reading Aftermath: Life Debt, an excellent second book of a trilogy written by Chuck Wendig, capturing the events that occur, just after the destruction of the second Death Star. The Empire is in disarray, their totalitarian control wrenched away by the fresh birthing New Republic. Grand Admiral Rae Sloan, captains the Empire’s last Super Star Destroyer and is the new face of the Empire as it now stands. There is however another figure, shrouded in mystery that commands a frustratingly esteemed level of respect. He goes by the name Gallius Rax.
Admiral Gallius Rax is a man whom few know the background of, but commands much respect. He pulls the strings of the Empire’s major operations, following the destruction of the second Death Star, using Grand Admiral Rae Sloan as something of a puppet in the process, while he “humbly” plays the role of “adviser.” She, being as cunning as she is, finds this disconcerting and goes to dig up information on him. She discovers that the Emperor himself has had him by his side since childhood. We also find out at the prologue and epilogue of the novel that the Emperor did indeed employ him with dark tasks at a young age, on the planet Jakku. Coincidence that this is the opening planet in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Nevermind the fact that by the end of the novel the Empire invades the desert planet at Rax’s behest.
Rax puts together something called a Shadow Council, composed of only the highest ranking of the remaining Empire, and among those on the council is Brendol Hux, who is father to General Armitage Hux, who is featured in Star Wars Episode VII. The Council may or may not be related to the Knights of Ren. We don’t have that information just yet, and this is still early on. Princess Leia hasn’t even given birth to Ben Solo (who will later become Kylo Ren) yet. We also get no clear description of his race, only learning that he is a “paled skinned and black haired orhpan.” I find this vagueness compelling. Something else I find curious is that near the end of the book, the Shadow Council flirts with giving him a title deserving of a leader, as with the apparent death of Grand Admiral Rae Sloan, they are left “leaderless” according to Borrum.
“No. I am far too humble for such mighty titles. I shall take for myself the title of Counselor to the Empire.”
This feels like a tease to me as he has clearly taken the lead, and wanted at title less pretentious than “Emperor.” At least for now. I imagine this is a foreshadowing to him later taking the title of “The Supreme Leader.” Given his looming presence of over the course of the novel, it is clear that he is someone important, and at this point in time, more than even Plagueis, I take him to be the most likely candidate for Snoke. Hopefully, in the final novel of the trilogy Aftermath: Empire’s End we get some further clarification and insight into who exactly Gallius Rax is.