If there's one mystery in The Force Awakens that fans can't stop talking about, well, it's the identity of Rey's parents. But second to that would have to be Supreme Leader Snoke, the head of the First Order who we know as "that guy who ordered a giant projector so it would look like he was 15 feet tall." Disney and JJ Abrams have come out and said that Snoke is a brand new character -- but JJ Abrams also said "Benedict Cumberbatch is not playing Khan," so we have to assume he's lying and probably always playing the murderer in games of Mafia.
There are plenty of theories about Snoke's identity, from Darth Plagueis to Grand Admiral Thrawn. One of the dumbest conspiracies by far has to be the idea that Kylo Ren's master is none other than... Boba Fett. At first, it sounds like fanboy garbage with no reasoning behind it other than wanting to see the bounty hunter actually do something in a Star Wars movie for once. But recently, the aptly-named Reddit user TheReturnofBobaFett supplied a ton of evidence that actually builds a pretty strong case. Plus, it solves the whole "Rey's mom and dad" thing along the way.
It all hinges around how much Rey's story is like that of Anastasia. You know, the historical fable that was made into an un-Disney animated movie in the 90s?
Haven't seen the cartoon? That's okay. TRoBF whipped up a handy summary of the similarities between Anastasia and Rey.
A child helplessly watches as a means of transportation carries away the only family she has left.
Years later on the verge of adulthood, the child has been under the care of an abusive authorities figure.
The girl longs to leave the place but due to circumstance can not.
The girl longingly watches a ship depart the place she is stuck.
The girl rescues a helpless character and reluctantly allows it to follow her.
This leads to the girl meeting a young man desperate to escape his past.
The girl finally leaves the place she's been stuck for so long.
The girl is abducted by the villain, the young man pursues and fights for her freedom, ending in him unconcious and the girl fearing for his life.
The girl summons a power within her she didn't know she had and retrieves the villains weapon before he does, much to the surprise of the villain.
The girl is reunited with her family but leaves again to embrace her destiny.
All of these apply to both Rey and Anastasia. Taken separately they seem pretty innocuous, but putting them together all in a row like that makes the similarities hard to deny. It's odd that it's this movie specifically instead of the legend in general, but even in the canon Star Wars book, Bloodline, a music box plays an old Alderaanian lullaby with these lyrics:
Mirrorbright shines the moon, as fires die to their embers
Those you loved are with you still
The moon will help you remember
The words are strikingly similar to one of the major songs in the movie Anastasia.
Far away, long ago,
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart
Used to know,
Things it yearns to remember...
But hey, don't take our word for it. This guy agrees too.
Anastasia and the force awakens have strikingly similar stories.-- Jett Lucas (@mrjettlucas) January 16, 2016
That's Jett Lucas, as in, the son of George Lucas. He knows a thing or two about Star Wars, as you might imagine. Not only is JJ Abrams a family friend, but Jett has said before that he already knows where the new trilogy is going, plot-wise.
So what the hell does all this have to do with Snoke? Well, remember, the Anastasia story kicks off because a villain with evil powers harbored a grudge against a family who crossed him. At the end of Return of the Jedi, who could be left over that would possibly have a bone to pick with the Solo family?
If Rey is The Force Awakens' Anastasia, that would make Snoke the Rasputin. Once known as Boba Fett, Snoke was scarred heavily in the bowels of the Sarlacc Pitt, and blames the Solo clan for pretty much everything. After all, Snoke makes it clear in TFA that he's familiar with both Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon. Why, Snoke might hate the Solos enough to say, order the murder of their daughter? Perhaps the assassin couldn't go through with it, and abandoned the girl on Jakku? That would mean that Rey is Han and Leia's long-lost daughter -- again, fitting into Anastasia's "girl from prestigious family returns after being assumed dead for years" mold.
Suggesting that Rey is a lost Solo makes a lot of things click into place. Remember when Leia hugged Rey instead of Chewie after Han died?
Put yourself in Leia's shoes. Your son just killed the love of your life, and out of the aftermath walks a girl who would have been the same age of your departed daughter -- you'd get emotional too.
It clicks with Kylo Ren, too. If he thought that mom and dad weren't powerful enough to save his little sister, that would give Ben Solo reason enough to turn to someone more powerful. Leia isn't the only one who's reminded of a lost family member at the end of the movie.
Kylo sees Rey and thinks of the little sister he couldn't save, so he offers to help her in his own weird way.
We don't see the Knights of Ren outside of a quick flashback, but TRBF has some interesting thoughts on them and how they relate to Boba Fett, the man who once wore Mandalorian armor.
The Knights of Ren. It is incredibly pertinent to know that the planet Mandalore is still canon, but that "Mandalorian" has not yet once been used in canon so far. The term could now be "Mandaloren" as in Mandeloren Knights. The Knights of Ren. This is further backed by several of the Knights wearing Mandaloren armor.
TRBF goes on:
The name "First Order". Snoke isn't trying to bring back the Empire, he's trying to bring back the first ultimate power the galaxy ever saw and bring it back under Madaloren rule.
The evidence keeps piling up, and there's even more in that Reddit post. But there are a couple things working against the "Boba Snoke" theory.
The biggest one is probably the fact that Boba Fett was never shown to be a Force-user. Now technically, we never see Snoke use the Force in TFA -- he only alludes to knowing a lot about it. That would fit in with Boba Fett's history as a Mandalorian, as part of the people who had a fierce war against the Jedi. Still, it's a pretty big hole in the conspiracy.
That being said, if Snoke was Boba Fett, it would make Kylo's remarks to General Hux a neat bit of foreshadowing.
But hey, maybe Disney has no plans whatsoever to capitalize on the infamous bounty hunter, despite him being one of the most popular characters in one of the biggest franchises on Earth. It's not like they want to sell toys or anything.
Tristan Cooper can be found on Twitter.