WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rian Johnson explains why Supreme Leader Snoke's origins aren't revealed in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. Actor and legendary motion-capture performer Andy Serkis made his debut appearance as Snoke in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, he played the character only in a handful of scenes and only through a hologram, which is why fans were hoping to discover more about the dark side user in The Last Jedi - but that didn't happen either.
Serkis reprised his role as Snoke in The Last Jedi, appearing in person this time, but he was promptly killed off by his apprentice, Kylo Ren. Johnson, who wrote the film in addition to directing, made a choice to remove Snoke from the equation and allow Kylo Ren to ascend to the throne of Supreme Leader. Because of that, the film doesn't reveal Snoke's origins and rather uses the character as a red herring to set up Kylo Ren's story for Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX. While that decision to kill off Snoke early on, without revealing any details about his past, irked fans who had been anxiously awaiting to learn about the non-Sith Lord/powerful dark side user, Johnson's reason makes sense when taking the overarching narrative into account.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rian Johnson explains that it doesn't really matter who Snoke is and where he comes from, at least not from a storytelling standpoint, and that's why his background isn't revealed in The Last Jedi. But that doesn't mean he doesn't support another writer or director from going down that path in either another film or companion story.
Not in this story it doesn’t, which is not to say it wouldn’t be interesting — they might explore it in the next movie or elsewhere. I wrote this script before “The Force Awakens” came out, so when I wrote it, the “Who is Snoke?” mania hadn’t arisen with the fans yet. Even if it had, my perspective is it’s similar to how the Emperor was handled. The first three movies you know nothing about the Emperor because you don’t have to, because that’s not the story. You know exactly what you need to know. Whereas in the prequels, you know everything about him because that is the story.
In this movie, Rey doesn’t really care where he comes from, so if in any of their scenes he had stopped and done a 30-second monologue about how he is [Darth] Plagueis or whoever, Rey would have blinked and looked confused and the scene would have gone on … and we would have ended up cutting it in the editing room because it doesn’t matter to the story right now.
While Johnson makes an interesting point about diving too far into exposition and potentially detracting from the story, as well as the pace of the film, it's understandable for fans to be upset since Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan's story for The Force Awakens left much to be desired from the enigmatic Force user, who admitted being powerful enough to connect Kylo Ren and Rey's minds together from across the galaxy, thus allowing them to communicate as if they were directly in front of each other.
As Star Wars fans know, though, being dead doesn't necessarily mean the character is gone forever. Plus, Snoke doesn't actually need to be alive in order for his past to be uncovered. So, here's hoping more of his story is revealed in Abrams' forthcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, the final installment in Lucasfilm's Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Source: Los Angeles Times
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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