While something very big just happened for Star Wars Rebels fans following the announcement of Grand Admiral Thrawn being added to the series' third season as a villain, something much bigger happened for the Star Wars universe: Thrawn just became canon. And you know what that means? This character can now become a part of all the wild theories running rampant in reddit threads, Twitter feeds, Tumblr pages, and feverish conversations between friends. It's nowhere close to anything like "confirmed," but it's certainly, technically a new possibility: Could Snoke be Thrawn in The Force Awakens , after many, many years have taken their toll?
Look, the mere addition to the guy as part of the canon makes it slightly possible. Although, before I get into the reasons why itmight make sense, it's important to ask: would Lucasfilm and Disney really OK this if they knew it would make fans assume that Snoke and Thrawn are the same person before the reveal? Well, considering how quickly everyone jumped on the Snoke is Darth Plagieus train back in December, they'd be hard pressed to make any moves in the Universe without fans piecing bits together, so that might not be the best defense.
So with that out of the way, here are a few tiny details that could help build a case for the Thrawn-becomes-Snoke fire:
The Obvious: Snoke's Got Bluish-Gray Skin
And Thrawn has vividly blue skin. If he were to age severely, like say, from before the events of A New Hope all the way to the time of The Force Awakens, could his saggy, old skin lose its lustre and pigment?
The Also Pretty Obvious: The Eyes
Snoke's eyes seem to be somewhat dark, though the color isn't entire clear. Thrawn has red eyes, which with backlighting, could be that grayish black color that we see in Snoke's noggin.
What Should Have Been Obvious: Darth Plagueis' Nose
It's too freaking long to turn into Snoke's much shorter nose.
Less Obvious: Lars Mikkelsen's Voice
The voice of the actor who plays Thrawn in Rebels doesn't sound like it couldn't eventually become akin to Andy Serkis' performance as the character ages.
A Little Sneakier Still: Thrawn's Aims In Rebels
While Thrawn is working with the Empire in Rebels, we don't hear from him for all of the original three films (now, realistically this is because he was literally created in a non-canon book after the films were made, but now that he's canon, things can get weird). Then, the First Order (inspired by the Empire, but not the Empire) has this dude running the show. Perhaps because he's been at the helm of Empire missions before?
And The Big Problem: Snoke & The Force
Then again, Snoke is supposedly force sensitive, which Thrawn is not. Sorry, folks. But that certainly won't stop people from asking the question:
Though I kinda like this idea...
Theorize on, folks. We'll find out someday and then all the speculative fun will be over.