Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Is Grand Moff Tarkin the Secret Identity of Supreme Leader Snoke?

Tarkin Snoke
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Rumors continue to range about the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke from Episode VII! Is it possible that he is in fact the trainer of Emperor Palpatine in the ways of the Sith, Darth Plagueis? Could it be that Snoke is in fact a resurrected Darth Vader, pulling the strings of the remnants of the Empire, along with Kylo Ren? While there has been some speculation that Snoke is no one aside from himself, let’s look into the clues and evidence behind whether this new master of the First Order is in fact somehow the lesser viewed villain from the original trilogy, Grand Moff Tarkin.

As far-fetched as this rumor is, it’s worth investigating all the same, as Tarkin was a force within the Star Wars universe, acting as a right hand to Lord Vader, while being the non-Force wielding leader of the Empire. Much like Boba Fett, Tarkin is a character who’s range was far expanded within the fandom, as well as in the Expanded Universe, which is now defunct to make way for the universe that is created by Episode VII and the adventures of Rey, Finn, and Poe.

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

First, Snoke bears a striking resemblance to Tarkin, the Lord of the First Order’s exterior looking extremely similar to that of the onetime commander within the rank of the Empire. While you could make the argument that Tarkin was about as far from a Force User as you could find, we never actually know if Snoke can use the Force himself. Much like his monstrous appearance, a lot is called into question with Snoke, as his giant appearance could give way to a more sickly frame and his ability to use the Force could have been conjured in the minds of his enemies in order to make himself seem more powerful.

Snoke also has an in-depth understanding of Darth Vader and the Empire, which is something that Tarkin had himself. Acting as Vader’s right hand man would have given him a wealth of information that he would be able to use in the future if he indeed had become the Supreme Leader Snoke. If he needed a patsy, plucking the force wielding son of Han Solo and Leia behind his giant holographic persona would make for the best route if any. Aside from all this, the fact that the First Order is SO similar to the Empire is another chin scratcher when it comes to why Snoke would decide to go with a force so close to the one before which had failed. Tarkin would want to resurrect the Empire, but to create it in his own image through the persona of Snoke.

At the end of the day, Grand Moff Tarkin was never truly shown to have been killed in the original trilogy, and scratching his way back into the galaxy in the shadows would make for a fantastic twist. While we won’t know exactly who Snoke is until the next Star Wars movie hits, it’s fun to theorize a character like this that is so steeped in mystery. What do you all think? Any other theories on who Snoke may be?