Andy Serkis' character in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS revealed!

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Secrets. When it comes to the new Star Wars movie, there sure was a lot of them. Yes, was. Past tense. While Star Wars: The Force Awakens director/co-writer JJ Abrams kept details of the production locked down tighter than the Coca Cola recipe for the longest time, eventually some had to get out. Unexpectedly, a large portion of them were officially revealed all because of one photoshoot. And it seems that the photoshoot gift that keeps on giving isn’t done yet, as one of the most secretive characters has just been unveiled.

All we’ve known about Andy Serkis’ character thus far, is that it was his voice we heard in the voice-over of the first trailer talking about “an awakening”. But in an interview on StarWars.com with legendary photographer Annie Leibowitz about her May 4th Vanity Fair photoshoot, a previously unpublished pic of Serkis is revealed. Also unveiled is the fact that his character will be completely motion-captured and is referred to as Supreme Leader Snoke.

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Damn. He certainly looks menacing! And the title of Supreme Leader would imply that he’s right at the top of the food chain. This has led many to speculate that while Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is the main physical threat of the movie, Snoke – yes, it’s a slightly silly name – is the real big bad behind the scenes of this new trilogy, a la the Emperor behind Darth Vader. Could he be the head of the First Order aka the newly upgraded Empire? He’s voice-over dialogue certainly implies that he’s Force sensitive, so perhaps a new Sith Lord? With no other details given about his character, speculation is all we have to go on for now.

One thing I have to mention though: Despite the fact that Serkis is undoubtedly the master of modern motion-capture, I’m actually a bit disappointed that Abrams is using him in this way. He’s a fantastic, physically imposing actor without having his face covered in tracking dots and CGI, but we so seldom get to see him without digital alterations on-screen. I loved him as Ulysses Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron and was hoping for more of that in this movie (well, minus the Afrikaner accent, of course).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.

Last Updated: May 29, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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