Ahsoka, the latest Disney+ Star Wars streaming show, officially kicked off with a two-episode premiere on August 22. While the show introduced a lot of new characters and set up some possible mysteries to unravel, the biggest and most mysterious-est is the identity of the masked Marrok, a new Inquisitor-like villain that pops up in the show’s second episode.
But first, a brief bit of context. Ahsoka is set after the events of the original trilogy but before the events of the sequel films, which is the same general era in which The Mandalorian is set. That’s why it’s so odd to see Marrok show up and fight Ahsoka in episode two. The character wears all-black armor and is seen wielding an Inquisitor’s lightsaber, complete with spinning red blades, but Inquisitors are a thing of the Star Wars past. The Force-sensitive operatives hunted down Jedi while they served the Empire and Darth Vader before the Rebels and Luke Skywalker defeated them. So, what’s an Inquisitor doing hanging around post-Return of the Jedi? And just who is this mysterious former Jedi-hunter? Well, so far, the show hasn’t revealed much at all about Marrok. As of the second episode, we’ve yet to hear them even utter a single word.
Let’s get my favorite theory out of the way first: Marrok is Barris Offee. For those who didn’t watch the Clone Wars animated show, Offee was a Jedi apprentice and friend of a much younger Ahsoka. However, she became disillusioned with the Jedi and eventually betrayed Ahsoka, framing her for a bombing at a Jedi Temple. While there were plans to kill Offee in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, those were scrapped and canonically the character’s fate has never been revealed.
Considering most Inquisitors were former Jedi turned to the Dark Side, it makes sense that Offee would join their ranks. She hated the Jedi and would likely join the Empire without much fuss. And while some might point out that Marrok is a man, I’d point to the official Star Wars databank, which uses wording that doesn’t specify Marrok’s gender. What I love about this theory is that it shows an alternate path for Ahsoka, one where after leaving the Jedi Order she turns to the Dark Side. It would be a reminder of how easily we can all fall to darkness and it also would be one hell of a gut punch for the now older, former Jedi.
Now let’s talk about my least favorite theory: Ezra Bridger is Marrok. I hate this theory for a few reasons. Number one, it ignores the events of Rebels, which spent a lot of time dealing with Bridger’s interest in the Dark Side and how it nearly got the better of him. It also feels extremely out of character for the cheery and loyal Bridger to suddenly put on some black armor and start killing Jedi. I also hate this theory because it would mean that Bridger has already returned from the Unknown Regions of Space and became an Inquisitor, making Ahsoka and Sabine Wren’s journey to find him kind of pointless.
And yes, I know that the name Marrok has connections to Arthurian legend and a warrior who was twisted into a werewolf for a few years. Filoni loves wolves and it would seemingly line up with Bridger turning on his friends. I get it, I don’t like it and I really hope this theory is proven wrong sooner than later.
Starkiller aka Galen Marek
Alright, this theory and the next one are where things get a bit wacky. We are entering fan-service supermode. First, there’s the idea floating around that Marrok is actually Starkiller aka Galen Marek aka the ultra-powerful secret apprentice from the non-canonical Force Unleashed games. Y’know, the guy who was able to yank a giant Star Destroyer out of the sky with his mind.
So what evidence is there that this character, who has yet to be mentioned in modern Star Wars canon, might be Marrok? Well, first off they have similar names. That’s not much, but it would also be a way to signal that this isn’t the same Marek we are familiar with. Another piece of evidence is that Galen Marek’s voice actor, Sam Witwer, is listed in the credits of Ahsoka under “Additional Voices” which would be a way to hide his connection to Marrok until a later episode. However, Witwer has also voiced other Star Wars characters—like Darth Maul—over the years and might be voicing a random droid or alien in the show. We don’t know yet.
The last piece of evidence is that Ahsoka showrunner Dave Filoni previously mentioned he had thought about bringing Starkiller back as an Inquisitor during a season of Rebels. That never happened, but now might be the perfect time to pull that lever and bring back this fan favorite.
Let’s get even wilder. What if Marrok is actually Mara Jade? For those who don’t know, back in Legends, Jade was an Imperial special operative who reported directly to the Emperor. Then she was a smuggler, married Luke Skywalker, and later became a Jedi herself. She’s a very popular Legends character and one who fans have long wanted to return to Star Wars.
Keep in mind: There’s very little evidence for this theory. In fact, there’s basically none. But, as of right now, there’s also nothing that suggests this can’t be true. The main thrust of the theory is that Ahsoka feels a lot like Filoni and Disney’s stab at adapting the popular Heir To The Empire novel, where Mara Jade first appears. Jade and Marrok also have similar roles, acting as special agents to a powerful Imperial commander—Jade working for the Emperor and Marrok seemingly working for Thrawn and his allies. But while I know a large group of die hard Star Wars nerds would scream in ecstasy if Jade appeared in Ahsoka, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Sorry.
A Brand New Character
Finally, we need to address the most likely theory: Marrok isn’t some fan service character or some weird deep-cut reference but is instead a new person we’ve never met.
I know for some, this is the least exciting option. But over the years, fan theories have become popular despite them often being wrong. In the Star Wars fandom, people are constantly coming up with wild theories that connect back to a dozen different characters or old books, and they are almost always incorrect. Think about all those terrible Snoke theories! While that might frustrate you or other fans, remember that Star Wars and other large franchises can’t rely only on a rich, detailed past to grow. You gotta shake things up and create new characters.
For example, back in 2008, Ahsoka herself was a new character (she was introduced in the animated Clone Wars film, a prequel to the show) that people didn’t like. I remember the angry comments about her and how annoying she was or how she was ruining Star Wars.
Today, in 2023, it seems impossible that there was a time when Ahsoka was a new face that fans hated. Now, she’s leading a fan service-y show that some see as an attempt to right the Star Wars ship after the sequels—in their minds—failed. A reminder that new characters are good and giving them a chance can sometimes lead to great things. So have your theories, and have your fun, but keep in mind that often the best outcome is something new and surprising, not reheated leftovers from a book you loved as a teen.
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