Is Ezra Bridger really Supreme Leader Snoke?

Supreme Leader Snoke is the ominous leader of the First Order, who took Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) to be his apprentice—and ever since Snoke made his first appearance in The Force Awakens, fans have speculated about the true identity of this disfigured and dangerous Force user.

One of the more interesting theories involving Snoke is connected to Ezra Bridger, a Jedi Padawan featured on the Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels. Some fans feel the evidence points towards Ezra becoming the future Supreme Leader Snoke, so let's go through the facts, but fair warning—below the cut, this article contains spoilers for The Force Awakens as well as all the other Star Wars movies, Rebels, Rogue One, Bloodline, Expanded Universe/Legends canon, and pretty much anything with the words "Star Wars" slapped on it.

Ezra's lightsaber

Over the course of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra has proven himself to be capable and inventive. His creativity was most obvious when he was given a kyber crystal by Master Yoda and set out to build his lightsaber. He came up with a unique and innovative design, one that incorporated a built-in blaster. After this lightsaber was destroyed by Darth Vader on the Sith planet Malachor, Ezra built a new one with a green blade with a crossguard hilt. Where else have we seen a lightsaber with a crossguard hilt? In the hands of Kylo Ren on The Force Awakens. It's not a stretch to believe that if Ezra devised this new innovation in lightsaber design and he later becomes Snoke, that could be where Kylo Ren learned how to build his.

His fall towards the Dark Side

Throughout the Rebels series—particularly the second season—we start to see Ezra's eventual fall to the Dark Side foreshadowed with his training. Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the strongest and most dedicated Jedi in years, wasn't able to prevent his apprentice Anakin Skywalker from eventually becoming a Sith. Ezra's master—Kanan Jarrus—didn't even finish his own training, so it will be even more difficult for him to control his Padawan. Ezra has already used the Dark Side of the Force, which he harnessed to help control a enormous fyrnock to attack the High Inquisitor.

We see Ezra learning new lightsaber techniques from a Jedi holocron of Anakin Skywalker (recorded before he became Darth Vader). On the planet Malachor, Ezra encounters a Force user who calls himself the "Old Master." The pair agree to work together to retrieve the Sith holocron within the Sith temple. We later figure out that the "Old Master" is actually Darth Maul, and he attempts several times to influence Ezra towards the Dark Side. At one point in their journey, they battle Inquisitors together, and Ezra uses a Force choke and levitation on the Seventh Sister.

Finally, after the events on Malachor that lead to the (presumed) death of Ahsoka Tano, we see that Ezra is using the Sith holocron and hear a voice saying it is changing him (presumably not for the better.) After the death of his parents and Ahsoka, Ezra says he wants to find a way to prevent those he loves from ever getting hurt again. As we know, only Sith deal in absolutes.

His resemblance to Snoke

Many people have noticed certain physical similarities between Snoke and Ezra Bridger. Both have long and distinctive noses, blue eyes, and facial scarring, although the scarring on Snoke's face and head is much more serious than Ezra's. Some fans theorize that Ezra will receive those wounds in a future battle with his master, Kanan Jarrus. The pair have already had a mock duel which ended in a draw, which may be foreshadowing of another duel to come, despite Jarrus being blinded during the battle at the Sith temple.

They both have similar Force abilities

While we haven't seen exactly what Snoke can do onscreen (since he's only been seen as a hologram), we can infer several things about him from his backstory. We know that he must have vast mind-manipulating powers using the Force, since he was able to influence Ben Solo from far away, planting visions and speaking to him directly through his mind. Later, Kylo Ren uses these same techniques in an attempt to break into Rey's mind. It's likely he learned these methods from his Master, Supreme Leader Snoke.

Throughout Star Wars Rebels, we see Ezra display an innate talent for Force abilities that use the mind. He is skilled at telekinesis, and has used his abilities on several occasions to control animals, communicate with others, use Jedi mind tricks on adversaries, and even manipulate the emotions of a crying Force-sensitive infant to calm it down. It seems strange that the new parts of Disney's Star Wars canon would introduce two different Force users so skilled in mind abilities.

Ezra hates the Sith

After the death of his parents, Ezra is motivated to destroy the Sith and the Empire. This was part of his reasons for seeking out the Sith holocron after Yoda told Ezra to go to Malachor. How can Ezra turn to the Dark Side if he wants to destroy the Sith? Primarily because not all Force users are either Jedi or Sith. Cherrut Imwe, a new character introduced for Rogue One, uses the Force to compensate for his blindness. Maz Kanata was  revealed to not just be Force-sensitive, but an actual Force user in a deleted scene from The Force Awakens. A special-effects supervisor at ILM revealed that in a scene which was later cut from the final film, Maz uses the Force to collapse the roof of a tunnel while fleeing from the stormtroopers. The Inquisitors use the Dark Side of the Force in Rebels, but they are not Sith.

Sith generally style themselves with the title "Darth," or simply "Lord." Neither Supreme Leader Snoke nor Kylo Ren use these titles. If Ezra previously eradicated the Sith before becoming Snoke, this might explain the lack of the title.

Ezra hates the Empire

Wait, what? Why would Ezra—the staunchly anti-Empire Jedi Padawan—go on to lead the Empire? Well, first of all, the antagonists in The Force Awakens are not the Empire, but the "New Order." In the Claudia Gray novel Star Wars: Bloodline, we learn that many people enjoyed the sense of order that the old Empire provided, if not their corruption by the Sith and their oppressive ways. This also explains why Snoke and Kylo Ren are not Sith. Ezra hated the Empire for oppressing his planet and family. In The Force Awakens, we learn that the New Order believes the New Republic (the new government that formed following the Rebellion victory at the Battle of Endor) is falling into the same patterns as the Empire. Those who originally supported the New Republic may see the Senate and decentralized government as ineffective. If Ezra is of this mindset, he may see it as his responsibility to destroy the thing he helped create with his actions during the Rebellion.

Ezra's helmets

This may be a silly one, but Ezra does have a habit of stealing Imperial gear and equipment for his own personal use—including the helmets of various Imperial troops. If you paid attention during The Force Awakens, we see the charred and melted helmet of Darth Vader in Kylo's possession. It's unlikely the young man came across this relic himself, so Snoke most likely gave it to him during his attempts to sway him to the Dark Side. It's entirely plausible that Ezra may have recovered the helmet himself following the final demise of the Death Star.

Bad guys sometimes make good friends

In Rebels, Ezra and his friend frequently team up with bad guys—thieves, villains, and even terrorists. We eventually see Hondo Ohnaka, Cham Syndulla, and even a Mandalorian terrorist leader join or assist the Rebels in various ways. During the aforementioned Bloodline novel, we learn that the New Order (then in its infancy) is in hiding, and is working with and/or funding various criminal elements, terrorists, and other "evil" organizations. Who would have the experience required to work with such scum in order to further a greater goal? Someone from the remaining crew of the Ghost on Rebels—including Ezra Bridger.

Luke was the last Jedi

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Master Yoda tells Luke Skywalker that he is the last Jedi. However, in Rebels, Yoda meets with both Ezra and his master Kanan Jarrus in a Jedi temple on Lothal. We also see Jedi-trained Ahsoka Tano during the first two seasons of Rebels. This means that between the timeline of Rebels and Yoda's conversation with Luke, these characters must either die—or be turned to the Dark Side, as happened to Anakin Skywalker.

The point of the Rebels series

Unlike the Clone Wars animated series, which primarily focused on known characters from the Star Wars movies, Rebels introduces us to a mostly new cast of characters. Why did Disney choose to explore their stories instead of doing a series on the adventures of Han, Leia, and Luke in between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens? Possibly because the characters in Rebels have more to do with the current trilogy than we realized—especially if they turn out to hold the origin story for Supreme Leader Snoke.

Evidence against this theory

None of the previously discussed evidence is all that concrete, to be honest. A lot of it could be coincidence or confirmation bias. Snoke is supposed to be ancient, having witnessed "the rise and fall of the Empire." Ezra was born on Empire Day—the day they first came to power—so technically he could say the same thing, but that's a stretch. He'd be about 54 years old at the time of The Force Awakens, and even though the Dark Side can twist the visage of those who use it, Snoke looks much older than that.

Supposedly, Snoke is a humanoid alien, and not human like Ezra. Some have suggested that Snoke could be a Munn—or even Darth Plagueis, who resembles him more than Ezra.

Final verdict

It's hard to see Ezra being the one creating the New Order, no matter how much the New Republic has gone astray since his old days in the Rebellion. It's much more likely that if he does fall to the Dark Side, perhaps fighting and killing Kanan along the way, he'd go into hiding rather than get involved with the spiritual successor to the Empire.

Those involved with the show have given evidence that kills this theory. Andy Serkis (who voiced Snoke on The Force Awakens) said that Snoke is a new character. We also learned that Snoke's appearance wasn't decided until October 2015—just two months before the movie was released, and several months after the second season of Rebels began. J.J. Abrams and Neal Scanlan didn't want a character that looked just like Darth Sidious, and so the Snoke character was going to be young(er), albeit twisted by the Dark Side like Palpatine. They even considered making Snoke a female before casting Andy Serkis. The fact that Snoke could have been a female and his appearance was in so much flux so late in the post-production process suggests he likely has no connection to any other Star Wars character. Finally, Rian Johnson had this to say about all the Snoke theories floating around:

As much as it would be cool to have an origin story for Snoke tie into Star Wars, it's hard to buy into this theory. There's too much evidence to the contrary, and most of the "evidence" supporting it is paper thin and speculative. Benicio del Toro's character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi has a better chance of being Ezra than Snoke. Anything is possible, but Ezra = Snoke doesn't seem likely.