If every “leak” that hit the internet before The Last Jedi had proven true, we would have watched Supreme Leader Luke Skywalker fight Ben Solo and Rey Kenobi on Endor. This is to say that Star Wars rumors must be treated with a healthy level of skepticism. But the latest report about a major plot point for Episode IX feels different than most “spoilers.” It would be a great, logical development that echoes back to another major story from the franchise, and it would lead to a satisfying and fitting end for at least one character who could help destroy the only thing he cares about.
According to a report in The Sunday Express, the last film in the trilogy will find Kylo Ren looking for a First Order mole, who has been giving the Resistance information. Who might care enough about the Resistance to help them? The person who hates them the most, General Hux, and his reported justification is one of the main reasons this rumor makes so much sense.
“Hux is a fanatic dedicated to the aims and convictions that underpin the concept of the First Order as the only way to establish a stable galaxy. But, like any classic villain, he can only see his own aims and is blinded by his own hatred and envy of Kylo Ren.
Kylo has always been driven by his personal demons but Hux is utterly committed to the First Order and his devotion allows him to justify anything as a means to a glorious end.”
We know Hux, who was about to kill Kylo Ren when he found him unconscious in the throne room, detests the new Supreme Leader and everything he stands for. Hux believes he should have been the one to assume Snoke’s position (if not for that whole “Force choke” ability). The end of The Last Jedi–when Kylo’s hatred for Luke blinded him, allowing the Resistance to escape–confirmed for Hux that Kylo’s concerns are about himself, while Hux cares only about the First Order. That fanaticism, combined with his over confidence, vanity, and pride, is why he would take such a drastic and dangerous step.
It’s hard to overthrow a ruler who might also be the most powerful being in the entire galaxy, so Hux would have to undermine him from within using nefarious tactics. He can feed the Resistance enough intel to hand Kylo a series of minor losses that cause the First Order to lose faith in him. Once the Supreme Leader doesn’t seem so capable of leading, he can be mutinied, and General Hux can assume the position he believes he alone is fit to hold. This not only fits with how Hux feels about Kylo, it fits with who he is–a vicious, power-hungry, single-minded snake. And based on Snoke’s description of Hux, it’s easy to see how Kylo would be blind enough to end up in “a cat and mouse” game.
“You wonder why I keep a rabid cur in such a place of power? A cur’s weakness, properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool,” Snoke said about Hux to Kylo. Snoke knew his General was a rat, one he could easily control with a piece of cheese at the right time. Kylo Ren couldn’t manipulate a mouse with a whole block of cheese, nor would he care to when it comes to Hux. Kylo cares about Kylo; he won’t invest in keeping Hux happy or in line, which is why that “rabid cur” will be even more motivated to destroy him the only way he can–with treachery.
Everything about this rumor makes sense for the characters, and it also sounds appropriate for J.J. Abrams who co-wrote the script. Hux will be trying to execute a secret coup, just like Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. Abrams, whose The Force Awakens was heavily influenced by A New Hope, has said he hopes to tie all three trilogies together, and this would do just that. This makes sense for the movie on a macro and micro scale, as the next stage in the tense relationship of Hux and Kylo.
Hux could help the Resistance just enough to cause Kylo Ren’s demise, all without truly risking the strength of the First Order, which he would then ascend to rule over. He would then be in a perfect spot to set up the Resistance with faulty intel from a trusted source, which he could use to destroy them for good. By playing both sides, just like Darth Sidious, he could destroy all his enemies while assuming power legitimately.
Only one problem–there’s no way Hux is capable of pulling it off. Hux is a freaking moron who got played by Poe Dameron pretending he couldn’t hear him. He’s going to manipulate Kylo Ren, the First Order, Rey, and the Resistance? No chance. What Palpatine did took years of planning and a diabolical genius unmatched in the galaxy, not to mention the power of the Dark Side. Hux has no backbone and big sideburns.
Snoke pegged Hux–he’s a wild dog who can be useful for certain tasks. But Kylo doesn’t have the ability to manipulate him, and he can’t recognize the threat he is. But Hux doesn’t know his own limits either; he doesn’t have the talent to pull off this plan. His vanity and ego will lead to his demise. The question isn’t whether he can usurp his new Supreme Leader, it is whether he’ll drag down Kylo Ren with him.
If Kylo and Hux’s internal struggle ends up destroying the First Order instead of the rebellion, that would be an ending worthy of Star Wars.