Even though Supreme Leader Snoke died in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans may still eventually learn the character's full backstory in the future. When Kylo Ren's dark master was introduced in The Force Awakens, many presumed he would be the sequel trilogy's big bad, but that was hardly the case. In one of the most shocking plot twists in years, Snoke was outed as a red herring in Episode VIII, murdered by the former Ben Solo (who went on to appoint himself new Supreme Leader). This creative decision was one of the more divisive aspects of The Last Jedi; some praised it as a brilliant subversion of expectations, while others felt Snoke was wasted.
Lucasfilm ironed out a history for Snoke that actor Andy Serkis knows, but Last Jedi director Rian Johnson opted to not delve into it since it wasn't relevant to that particular narrative. The filmmaker compared Snoke in the sequels to the Emperor in the original trilogy, where audiences barely knew anything about the villain. It would appear Snoke's time on the big screen is finished, but the studio may not be done with the character just yet.
While speaking to Screen Crush, Serkis mentioned he's had conversations with J.J. Abrams and Johnson about Snoke's backstory, while vaguely teasing some details may be unveiled:
We did, yeah. We’ve talked about it. We wanted to keep it a mystery and, you know by the way, it is Star Wars so who knows what might happen. Without giving anything away.
Snoke's complex past seems like ripe material for the non-movie canon (novels, comics, etc.) to explore. During the build-up to The Last Jedi, we learned Snoke was an extremely "vulnerable" individual who was motivated to destroy the Resistance by "what's happened to him personally." Based on dialogue in the sequel movies, it's also clear Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia were well aware of Snoke's existence prior to Ben Solo's turn, so there's definite potential for a series of books that dive into that story. In the post-Episode VIII world, the story group should have more freedom in crafting tales set in that era. Especially with Episode IX more or less working with a clean slate, there isn't much backstory information to save for the films.
Speaking of Episode IX, Serkis was asked by /Film if he's heard anything from Abrams about the finale, and the actor has not. While the motion-capture maestro is open to returning if the cards fall into place, it's far from a guarantee Snoke will be back on the big screen. His death was one of the most monumental scenes in the saga in regards to what it meant for Kylo Ren's arc, and Abrams would run the risk of undermining that if Snoke shows up again. Plus, unlike comic book movies, Star Wars isn't really known for reviving deceased characters. Besides some Force ghosts (who are Jedi only), people who die in the movies typically stay dead. Snoke may be a part of Lucasfilm's plans, but it won't be for Star Wars 9.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019