Greetings, Star Wars fanatics! As you know we here at That Hashtag Show pride ourselves on our interaction with you, our readers and fans. Because of you, Star Wars Fanatics is Facebook’s most viewed, Star Wars livestream. As a thanks for that, I am beginning a new, weekly column, “JJ’s Fan Feature”. Each week I’ll showcase one fan theory, idea, and/or commentary taken from the show’s comment board or from our Star Wars Fanatics Facebook page. This week we feature a query posed by Fanatics regular Justin Li: What if Naomi Ackie isn’t portraying Lando’s daughter in Star Wars: Episode IX? What if she plays Grand Admiral Rae Sloane instead?
Rae Sloane: A Background History
John Jackson Miller first introduced us to Rae Sloane in his novel A New Dawn. The book chronicles the beginnings of the Rebel cell that would serve as the basis for Star Wars Rebels. Sloane, a Vice Admiral at the time, served as one of Kanan Jarrus’s primary antagonists. Chuck Wendig tells us the bulk of Sloane’s story over the course of the Aftermath trilogy. Under the tutelage of Imperial demagogue Gallius Rax, She eventually rises to rank of Grand Admiral and, for a time, is the de facto leader of the remnants of the Empire.
Rae Sloane would eventually meet up with Brendol Hux. He is, of course, the creator of the First Order Stormtrooper program. Perhaps you know his son better. (General Armitage Hux of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and soon to be of Star Wars Episode IX.) After a failed coup of the New Republic, Sloane found herself outbound to the Unknown Regions with Hux and his son. Ultimately they would rendezvous with the Star Dreadnaught Eclipse to begin rebuilding the Empire.
Where Does Rae Sloane Fit into Episode IX?
Little is known with respect to what happened to Rae Sloane following the events of Aftermath. We get a hint in Delilah Dawson’s novel Phasma. In the book, Captain Cardinal mentions to then-captain Armitage Hux what Sloane would have done in a situation had she been there. Hux cuts him off, noting that she wasn’t. Hux’s bitter response gives evidence to his friendship with Sloane and his disdain for Snoke. Though Sloane was the heir apparent to lead the First Order, Snoke conversely filled that role instead. How and why remain mysteries.
Naomi Ackie, at just 26 years of age, is clearly too young to play a sequel trilogy era-aged Rae Sloane. However… rumors already have Matt Smith portraying a younger version of Emperor Palpatine. Speculation also has Andy Serkis reprising his role as Snoke. Those roles would likely be in flashback.
If we are privy to see flashbacks to the beginnings of the First Order, and Rae Sloane’s role with it, then Ackie would indeed be perfect for the part. (Writer’s Note: As great as this might be, it’s also unlikely. Leaked set photos have already placed Ackie in scenes with Oscar Isaac and John Boyega. Still, Ackie would make an incredible Sloane. There’s always the possibility of the character appearing in The Mandalorian….)
Thanks to Justin Li for this idea. Look to this space next week for another JJ’s Fan Feature. Otherwise we’ll see you on Star Wars Fanatics!