Though the character of Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be CGI, Andy Serkis' performance should be just as powerful as his previous characters. As we get closer to the December release of Episode VIII, Lucasfilm are finally ready to begin a more earnest promotional push for the movie. The beginning of that brought about EW's new cover story, which unveiled fresh images of Luke and Rey.
It wasn't just the covers, however, as a batch of images from The Last Jedi also arrived. With them, we get a better idea of how each character will look and what position they will find themselves in when the movie begins. Along with the images, new details about the film have been pouring out thanks to the extensive interviews the cast and crew are doing - and one in particular provides some insight into the big bad of the sequel trilogy.
EW spoke with The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson, who offered some information on the process of creating Snoke. While The Force Awakens only featured a massive hologram of the First Order mastermind, this year's film will put audiences face to face with the Supreme Leader. By rather than use prosthetics of any other practical effects to bring the character to life, Snoke will be strictly CGI. Per Johnson:
“No, it’s entirely a mo-cap performance. [Creature designer] Neal Scanlan built a maquette that we had on set for lighting reference and to give the actors a sense of what it was going to feel like. And then we scanned that and [Industrial Light & Magic] used that in their renderings, but Snoke will be an entirely CG creation.”
This mirrors something that Serkis previously told - namely, that he didn't wear prosthetics to play Snoke. Of course, mo-cap isn't "purely computer generated" acting. An actor still needs to do considerable work to add nuance and shading and Serkis' past work as Smeagol/Gollum, King Kong, and Caesar will help bring a sense of depth to Snoke that few other actors could provide. Johnson, for one, can't wait for audiences to see the new villain in action:
“I’d be sitting at the monitor just with my eyes as big as dinner plates It’s one of those performances where after every line, I’d look over at whoever’s standing next to me with an expression on my face like, ‘Oh, my God, we just got that.”
Along with word on Snoke, we've also learned more about the other villain of The Last Jedi: Kylo Ren. Part of Luke's journey in the new film will be grappling with once thinking Kylo was the Chosen One of Jedi lore. Likely, that will play into Luke and Rey's dynamic as they train in The Last Jedi.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019