Talkerverse: Snoke Goes Solo

In my previous post – Going Solo: Darth Maul – I considered Darth Maul’s (very) brief cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I don’t want to spend a lot of time recapping that post, but I will note that in it I mentioned that his cameo, while certainly intriguing, left open the possibility of confusion for fans who had no idea he had cheated death in The Phantom Menace. I mentioned how in the lead up to his reveal in Solo, I really thought the mysterious figure behind the scenes of the Crimson Dawn criminal organization was going to be Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order. While I was surprised by Maul’s cameo in the film, and otherwise enjoyed it, I cannot help but imagine the possibilities that might have been if Snoke had appeared instead of Maul.

Allow me to paint you a picture with my imagination brush…

Following the death of Dryden Vos, his lieutenant Qi’ra — who is also Han Solo’s friend/romantic interest —  contacts the mysterious figure coordinating the activities of Vos’ Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. Shrouded by a hood, the figure inquires why it is Qi’ra, and not Dryden Vos, contacting him. In reply, Qi’ra responds…

“Dryden Vos is dead.”

“Vos was a fool and deserving of death. Tell me Qi’ra, what of the coaxium?”

“Stolen from Vos by Tobias Beckett.”

“An unwelcome setback.”

Momentarily pausing, the mysterious figure continues…

“I sense conflict within you, young one. There is more to your story.”

“Beckett had an accomplice…someone I knew from my youth.”

“Is that so? And who was this accomplice?”

“A man by the name of Han Solo.”

Removing his hood, the figure in the hologram now reveals himself to be Snoke. Leaning forward, Snoke responds by repeating the name: “Han. Solo.”

“He means nothing to me,” Qi’ra quickly responds. “He is a remnant of my past.”

Snoke’s eyes linger on the woman, pausing to consider her words before he speaks…

“When I found you I saw raw, untamed power, a connection to the Force unlike any I have felt before. I pulled you from the gutters of Corellia, saving your from the life of a scumrat. And yet, my care is rewarded by the naïve feelings of child.”

“The fault is mine, Master. I beg your forgiveness.”

Sitting back in his chair, Snoke replies: “Indeed, the fault is yours. Return to me and I will break the chains of your…feelings…for Han Solo. “

Before delving into the “why” of the conversation I crafted between Qi’ra and Snoke, allow me to point out an obvious thought residing on the surface of my mind. I believe that Snoke should have been the mysterious figure in Solo: A Star Wars Story precisely because he was given no backstory in either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi. While the need to know every detail of Snoke’s pre-Sequel Trilogy life is not entirely necessary, the desire to know more about Snoke is hard to ignore. That desire is precisely why, following The Force Awakens, individuals started creating theories about Supreme Leader Snoke, attepting to piece together who he might be. Unfortunately, this fun-filled theorizing was met with childish mockery from a the self-proclaimed “elites” of the Star Wars fandom when they chose to insult fan theories with the phrase “Your Snoke Theory Sucks” (I counter this petty derision in my post Your Snoke Theory Doesn’t Suck). But I digress…my base desire, wishing Snoke had appeared in Solo rather than Darth Maul, is a desire to have been given just a small glimpse into Snoke’s backstory, a tiny morsel that fans could run with in their theories.

On this point, Snoke’s presence could have created a connection between Solo: A Star Wars Story and the Sequel Trilogy which “film-only” fans could have more fully understood. As I noted in Going Solo: Darth Maul, the possibility exists (and is true in the case of my neighbors) that fans who only watch the Star Wars films would have a difficult time understanding how Darth Maul is alive since he so obviously died in The Phantom Menace. Instead of this unnecessary confusion, Snoke would have created an enticing connection between Solo and the Sequels Trilogy. Solo: A Star Wars Story could have been even more important, more relevant and necessary, with a brief cameo by the future Supreme Leader of the First Order, a cameo that would have created a connection through presence alone.

But this connection would have been blown wide open with Snoke’s conversation with Qi’ra, especially if the conversation echoed Snoke’s conversations with Kylo Ren. You will notice that in the dialogue I crafted Qi’ra mentions that “Han Solo” meaning nothing to her, an intentional parallel to Kylo Ren telling Snoke that Han Solo, his father, “means nothing to me.” In turn, the same form of parallelism exists in Snoke’s comment that when he found her, he saw raw, untamed power within Qi’ra, a similar statement he makes to Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. Likewise, he insults Qi’ra, calling her a child, just as he insults Kylo Ren as “a child in a mask.”

Emilia Clarke is Qi’ra in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
Han Solo’s childhood friend/lover: Qi’ra.

Photo Credit – Solo: A Star Wars Story

On one hand, these small dialogical parallels serve to solidify the way(s) in which Snoke manipulates individuals under his guidance, doing so by breaking them down and ensuring they understand that he is in control. But on the other hand, these parallels also, intentionally, link Qi’ra and Kylo Ren as Force-sensitive proteges of Snoke. In this regard, Snoke’s cameo would not have been the only surprise, but it would have included the added shock that Qi’ra can use the Force. In turn, as an added way of tying her to Kylo Ren, Qi’ra could have gone on to become the very first Knight of Ren, the Master of the Knights of Ren. And, in taking the mantle of title of Master for himself, Kylo Ren could have ripped it away from her when he killed her years later. Oh, the possibilities…

But there is one other angle worth considering in regards to Snoke and his imagined cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and that is the fact that Han Solo’s life would play out with Snoke as a presence in the background. Through the manipulation of Snoke, Ben Solo became Kylo Ren and committed an act of patricide, killing Han Solo and freeing himself, albeit only in part, of his familial burden. Snoke’s relationship with Qi’ra could have served a similar fashion, functioning as a catalyst for events in Han’s life which would ultimately end with the smuggler’s death. Consider:

Han and Qi’ra were friends and lovers on Corellia. Han escaped Corellia but Qi’ra did not. Snoke found Qi’ra, freed her from the planet, trained her, and she became the first Knight of Ren. Years later, Ben Solo would become a protégé of Snoke, ripping the title of “Master” away from Qi’ra by killing her and completing his conversion to the Dark Side as Kylo Ren. In turn, as Kylo Ren, the former Ben Solo would end his father’s life on Starkiller Base.

From beginning to end, Han Solo’s fate, his story in Star Wars, would have been pre-determined and framed by the menacing actions of Supreme Leader Snoke.


The “Talkerverse” is my imagined Star Wars canon where I explore different angles on the galaxy far, far away by altering aspects of the Star Wars canon to fit my own wants and desires. Check out these other “Talkerverse” posts to delve even deeper into my Star Wars mind:

Talkerverse: Vader Kills Maul

11 comments

  1. I would have loved this. As someone who still hasn’t seen ‘Solo’ (and I’m okay with that…if I do, I’ll get there in my own time) hearing of the Darth Maul reveal didn’t cause me to rush to the theatre to see it. However seeing a new dimension to Snoke – a dimension that, as you outline above, has him haunting Han Solo from his youth until his death – is something that would’ve been more enticing. The parallels you craft are also the sort of parallels that I love as a Star Wars fan.

    I’m telling you, eventually I’ll get a t-shirt made that says, “The Talkerverse IS My Star Wars Canon.’ This idea, as with all Snoke theories, assuredly does not suck. Viva la Talkerverse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not entirely sure what Solo didn’t lean into the Sequel Trilogy more, or, for that matter, why it didn’t really lean into Rogue One. There are certainly some little nods here and there, but overall I didn’t get the impression the film was too concerned with tying to the other Disney films in any significant way (with a few notable exceptions like the inclusion of Two Tubes). Granted, I only saw it once so I need to look a bit more closely, but nothing stands out in any significant way.

      As for Snoke, well, the fact that he didn’t appear in Solo doesn’t mean he couldn’t have a connection with Qi’ra in some fashion. Perhaps he could steal her away from Maul and the story could pick up from there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been my experience that “little nods” are the m.o. of much of the Disney Era. I don’t feel as if there’s a grand, overarching story that the filmmakers, authors, etc. are fleshing out so much as they’re creating a bunch of little individual stories filled with (often meaningless save for the I-spotted-it! fun) Easter eggs. Tying ‘Solo’ to the Sequel Trilogy (or, as you said, ‘Rogue One’) would have moved towards a feeling of greater narrative cohesion. I’d appreciate that.

        I like how you’ve left the door open for Snoke to STILL build that connection with Qi’ra, even as the film played out in its original way. I still like your approach a lot better ;). But this is also an intriguing avenue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If I back up momentarily, and I think about Maul having a cameo in the film, I am left with a question: what was the point? If they don’t run with Maul on the big screen again, in a more substantial way, now that he has had his cameo, then what was the point? Or, was it a cameo just for the sake of a cameo, a way of surprising the audience with little reason beyond shock value? If that is the case, I am less inclined to trust the filmmakers in the future (like my neighbors) because it means story-elements are being added solely to shock and awe, and not to elevate the story to a new level. I could appreciate Maul in Rebels because he was, at least, used to antagonize Ezra at times, challenging him in some critical ways. But now that Maul and Qi’ra are together (not romantically…barf) what gives? What is going to happen? And will it even matter in the end? Should I even give a crap?

        I want to care, I really do, but my gut tells me not to.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Given what they do with Maul on ‘Rebels,’ I can’t imagine it having any larger point than simply a cameo for the sake of cameo. What could they do with Maul? Where could they go with him? To what end? I think it was the shock. And, cynically, I think it was also there in the hope that people will go seek out “the rest” of Maul’s story, buying DVDs, comics, and other things like that. I don’t think the marketing tie-in was the first or largest motivator behind that. I think the, “Oh shit!” shock moment was what they were going for. Plus, it lends itself to helping the “in crowd” of Star Wars feel extra important…even though the overwhelming majority of the people who watch these films are like your neighbors. But I do think the hopes of selling more as people look for more Maul may’ve been part of it.

        Honestly, I doubt there was ever a plan to use Maul on screen again after this. I can’t imagine they had anything locked down. MAYBE if ‘Solo’ performed better and they turned it into a trilogy then MAYBE we’d’ve seen more Maul. But I think they looked at it as an exciting one-and-done. I say trust your gut. I fear it was, largely, meaningless.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. “I think it was also there in the hope that people will go seek out “the rest” of Maul’s story, buying DVDs, comics, and other things like that.” <—— I hadn't even considered that. Seriously, I was thinking about it so specifically on the lines of a cameo only, with the possibility of more story to come, that I didn't even consider the possibility that it was done to get people to go back and consume the stories that are already out. I really really hope that isn't true.

        Now, in regards to making the "in crowd" feel extra important, I can honestly say that I do not feel very important. There again, there is the "in crowd" and then there is the "self important crowd", a subgroup of the in crowd that is REALLY key to it all. Considered a character in Solo was named after someone in the "self important crowd" by Hidalgo then yes, I think you COULD be right.

        I am with you, though. I don't think there is an intention to use Maul on screen again. I think this was a one-off cameo that won't have a satisfying conclusion. That doesn't mean, in the end, I dislike the cameo. I can understand and appreciate it, I just think there was a better option: Snoke.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I hope some of my darker speculations above aren’t true too. But I feel, in many ways, I’ve been conditioned to think the worst in the Disney Age. Part of that is my own bias, and I own that completely. But part of it comes from what we’ve seen of the “Disney machine” and how the Story Group and the “self-important crowd” (as you so aptly dubbed it) conduct themselves too. So I don’t know. I hope I’m wrong. I hope it was just a one-off cameo where they didn’t think the whole thing through.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. At this point, I just sort of accept Disney for what it is: a multi-billion dollar company that is interested in it’s bottom line. That a multi-billion dollar company is also the owners of a modern-day myth, and can alter that myth to ensure that the bottom line is met, is fundamentally weird. But, I can’t do anything about it. I can just choose when and how I participate in the mythos of Star Wars: what I buy, what I consume, what I enjoy. Beyond that, I cannot single-handedly do anything to change what Disney will do with SW. All I can do is change what I do with SW.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the reimaging you designed with Snoke instead of Darth Maul as the secret baddie at the end of Solo! It could have provided so many plot possibilities and would be a bridge between several of the films. Such a lost opportunity for Disney…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Nancy! I am certainly okay with Maul’s cameo, but I am never-the-less disappointed that Snoke wasn’t included. Serving as a bridge between films would have been a really important aspect of the Snoke cameo, too. Rather than crossing the threshold of storytelling mediums (film – tv shows – comics – books) with Maul, the film-to-film threshold would have been a much more direct and simpler approach. Le sigh, if only…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi IT,

    You are buddies with Michael Miller, right? I think he was the one who told md about you. Love you fan-fiction pieces. I think that is such a great way to satisfy the unrest and unhappiness of some fans. I will check out your work.

    We also have our podcast, Neekology 101 on Spotify where ever tenth episode we have a fan-fiction radio like show. You never know what can come of this. Maybe we can talk later about some of your ideas on our show or who knows possibly collaboration. (I threw that idea with Michael, but it wasn’t the right timing. It could be later.) It might be a great time to tinker with ideas with the fan frenzy at this time.

    Let us know,

    Gary God Among Geeks/Neekology101

    On Sun, Aug 19, 2018 at 7:05 AM The Imperial Talker wrote:

    > Imperial Talker posted: “In my previous post – Going Solo: Darth Maul – I > considered Darth Maul’s (very) brief cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I > don’t want to spend a lot of time recapping that post, but I will note that > in it I mentioned that his cameo, while certainly intrigu” >

    Like

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