Supreme Leader Snoke has suffered tremendous injuries in his life, and that aspect of his character will be explored in detail during Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film’s director, Rian Johnson, has already stated Episode VIII does not reveal all there is to know about the enigmatic villain, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything to flesh the character out. After appearing solely as a giant hologram in The Force Awakens, Snoke debuts in physical form in The Last Jedi, being set up as a key part of Rey and Kylo Ren’s respective arcs. The full theatrical trailer showed the young scavenger being tortured in Snoke’s throne room, which was described as a test for the heroine.
Not much has been unveiled about Snoke at this point in time, but it is hard to miss the great wounds the Supreme Leader has marked across his face, including a mangled jaw and scar running down his skull. The damage has left Snoke physically handicapped, with actor Andy Serkis saying “his body is kind of twisted up“ and he has “limited movement.” Any Star Wars fan worth their salt knows deformities can be an ideal tool to help dark side users channel their anger and hatred, and that’s exactly what Snoke is going to do.
As part of their massive cover story on The Last Jedi, EW did a feature on Snoke and spoke with Serkis about how the Supreme Leader’s tumultuous past makes for a deadly combination with his Force powers. You can also check out a new image of Snoke giving General Hux a piece of his mind.
“The thing about Snoke is that he is extremely strong with the Force, the dark side of the Force. He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character. He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.”
Snippets of that history should be revealed in Last Jedi (most likely allusions in dialogue), so it will be interesting to learn what happened to Snoke in the years leading up to Force Awakens. He is very confident in the First Order’s ability to crush the Resistance, though he did seem wary about Luke Skywalker’s possible return. Perhaps the two Force masters had a great encounter with each other prior to Luke’s exile, which left Snoke severely hurt. It sounds like the Supreme Leader has a vendetta against the Resistance (and previously the Republic) that is slightly different from Emperor Palpatine’s beef with the Rebellion. Whereas the Empire just wanted to maintain their control of the galaxy, Snoke appears to be motivated more by revenge for prior wrongdoings and is striking back with a tremendous fury.
The Resistance won’t be the only ones trapped in Snoke’s crosshairs. His prized apprentice, Kylo Ren, runs the risk of becoming a disappointment, as the training “is not yielding what [Snoke] wants,” according to Serkis. After the former Ben Solo failed at Starkiller base and is in a compromised emotional state due to murdering Han Solo, Kylo begins The Last Jedi weaker, rather than stronger. The dynamic between the two villains has the potential to be the most fascinating, especially since Kylo could partner up with Rey as he tries to discover his right path. Some moviegoers wrote Snoke off as a generic evildoer after Force Awakens, but it was clear Lucasfilm was laying the foundation for something. Now, we’ll get to see him unleashed.
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