Fans' negative reception to Supreme Leader Snoke's death in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is astonishing for Mark Hamill, the actor reveals himself. Nabbing more than $1.3 billion at the global box office, the latest installment in the space opera's episodic saga is a clear mass success for Lucasfilm, but it has become one of the most controversial blockbusters in recent years. Writer and director Rian Johnson's take on the beloved lore earned him both praise and criticisms from the massive fan community. But for Hamill, some of the condemnation doesn't make sense to him.
Kylo Ren's decision to turn on Snoke and kill him in a jaw-dropping way was one of them. Having had enough of his master's lack of confidence in him, Han Solo and Leia Organa's son menacingly cut off the mysterious villain in half. But while many thought that it was the moment of redemption for Ben, the act was more of a stepping stone for him to fully go to the dark side. With Snoke now gone, Kylo Ren has assumed the position of the current trilogy's big bad guy and effectively scraps hopes that he can be redeemed like Darth Vader in Return of The Jedi.
Hamill sat down with GamesRadar where talked about everything Star Wars, particularly regarding some of the backlash that The Last Jedi received. The veteran actor candidly shared that he didn't understand the criticism especially on Supreme Leader Snoke's shocking death:
“I was surprised everyone was so upset that they got rid of Snoke. From Rian’s point of view, it was a big favorite for [Episode] 9 because he’s not important. It clears the deck to have the conflict between Kylo and Rey without him getting in the way and having to explain if he’s a clone or if he’s related to Palpatine... all that stuff."
In hindsight, much of the criticism on Snoke's death stems from how he was set-up in The Force Awakens. He was similarly characterized as the Emperor Palpatine of the new trilogy, and naturally, Star Wars fans concocted a very different fate for him than what we got in The Last Jedi. But it was a great way to throw a curveball at the community who is clamoring for something unique and different. Episode VII was greatly criticized for being a rehash A New Hope, and if Johnson and his team followed the obvious by making the Supreme Leader the master puppeteer that manipulates behind-the-scenes, then Episode VIII may have also suffered similar disapproval from some loyalists, calling it Empire Strikes Back version 2.
Having said all that, perhaps driving the point that Snoke is not important in the overall story could've been executed better. Fans barely know anything about him and while he may no longer be pivotal in the narrative moving forward, he was the catalyst to Ben's ultimate turn to the dark side as Leia revealed in Episode VII. Considering the spirit of the sequel revealing what brought about the current conflict, the least Star Wars: The Last Jedi could've done was divulged what his ultimate goal was. And from there, it's up to Kylo if he wants to pursue it or have a different course of action in 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