Times certainly have changed since Star Wars first released back in 1977 and promptly changed the world – and no, I’m not just talking about the lack of bellbottom jeans. Maybe it was due to the lack of internet back then meaning loudmouth fans just didn’t have an easily accessible platform to shout from, but you would be hard-pressed to find any diatribes around how we don’t know anything about Emperor Palpatine. Back then he was just a really evil looking bad guy whose hologram even the badass Darth Vader bowed to – so he must be insanely powerful, right? – and that was enough. It wasn’t until more than three decades later with George Lucas’ much-maligned Prequel Trilogy that we finally got some concrete answers on who Palpatine was, and most would say that they wish they could just have gone back to the ignorant bliss of “hologram hoodie guy”.
I mention all of this because when Star Wars: The Force Awakens released in 2015, there was a whole swathe of fans that were seemingly upset that this film – the first in a trilogy! – wasn’t telling them every detail of every character on-screen immediately. Most of this really silly vitriol was directed at the mystery surrounding Daisy Ridley’s Rey and her unprecedented grasp of the Force, but there were lots of other cases. These of course totally ignored the fact that writer/director JJ Abrams intentionally jumped the action ahead to a time where there have been many changes we’re not aware of, so that new audiences would also have that in media res experience that original fans did. One of those things we didn’t know was exactly who this twisted and diseased looking Supreme Leader Snoke was who was ordering around the badass helmeted Kylo Ren via hologram (deja vu fully intended).
The fan-theories surrounding the origin for the fully CG character, motion-captured by Andy Serkis, grew ever more bountiful and ridiculous, and haven’t actually ever stopped. Luckily, we’re only about two weeks away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and we can hopefully start getting some proper answers. Chatting to Empire Magazine, Serkis definitely wasn’t going to be spilling those answers ahead of schedule, but he was happy to explain that if the gigantic oversized hologram wasn’t enough of a giveaway, Snoke is a whole lot worse than the Emperor was.
Snoke is bloody dark; way darker than Palpatine. He’s riddled with this osteoporosis so his body’s twisted, like a corkscrew. He’s incredibly damaged, so there’s a bizarre vulnerability about him. Beneath that vulnerability, though, is this intense hatred.
Just who this hatred is for, we don’t know. What we do know though is that traditionally emotional extremes are not in the wheelhouse of the Jedi. You would naturally assume then that Snoke subscribes to the teachings of the Jedi’s arch rivals, but you would be wrong.
He’s definitely not a Sith, but he’s certainly at the darker end of the Force. Without giving too much away, that begins to unfold a little in this one
I’ve already posited my own theory around how Star Wars: The Last Jedi could possibly upend the perceived strictly binary of nature of the Force, where just because something was not Light Side, didn’t mean it was Dark Side either. The main focus of this theory was perhaps on the introduction of “Grey Jedi”, but it could be that I forgot to take into consideration the possible nuances of the Dark Side as well? Either way, we’ll at least be getting some answers soon. We hope. Please don’t make us wait for another bad Prequel Trilogy explaining the rise of Snoke, in which it would probably get revealed that he’s some insurance salesman named Stuart Snoke with a preternatural talent for lazer snooker or something.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi also stars Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, and Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. Rian Johnson – who will also be developing a brand new Star Wars saga – wrote and directed. The film is scheduled for release on 15 December.
Last Updated: November 30, 2017