SPOILERS for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi ahead
Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson shares the story build up that led us to the death of Supreme Leader Snoke.
In hindsight, The Last Jedi had its fair share of plot twists. Most of them are not in the “I am your father” way but shockers nonetheless. One of the biggest ones is Supreme Leaders Snoke’s abrupt death at the hands of his own protege, Kylo Ren. The gasp-inducing sequence basically negates the countless theories about the mysterious entity we were first introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because, in the end, he no longer matters.
During the EW-hosted Q&A following an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences screening of The Last Jedi, Johnson shared some insights on one of the most shocking scenes in the sequel, which drastically change the way we perceive this ongoing saga. Luke basically said it: “it’s not going to end the way you think,” and it certainly did not particularly with what we all thought was the big bad of the threequel, Supreme Leader Snoke:
“When I was working on the character of Kylo, I came to a place where I thought the most interesting thing would be to knock the shaky foundation out from under him at the beginning of this movie…By the end of this film, he’s gone from being a wannabe Vader to someone who is standing on his own feet as a complex villain taking the reins.
“But then the question is: What place would Snoke have at the end of that?…That made me realize the most interesting thing would be to eliminate that dynamic between the ‘emperor’ and pupil, so that all bets are off going into the next one. That also led to the possibility of this dramatic turn in the middle, which could also be a really powerful connection point between Kylo and Rey.
“It would have stopped any of these scenes dead cold if he had stopped and given a 30-second speech about how he’s Darth Plagueis…It doesn’t matter to Rey. If he had done that, Rey would have blinked and said, ‘Who?’ And the scene would have gone on…and I’m not saying he’s Darth Plagueis!”
It would have been cool to know Supreme Leader Snoke’s origins, especially with the way his character has been built up as this entity who has seen the whole Star Wars saga arc. It’s possible we will learn more in Star Wars: Episode IX, but that depends on how J.J. Abrams progresses the story from where Johnson left it. Snoke knows about Darth Vader and is able to tap into the Force, but the fact of the matter is, this is not his story, which is why his history is not really that significant to the narrative Johnson was telling. Fans still want to learn more about the former Supreme Leader, and there could be non-movie canon materials that delve into it. For now, the character has served his purpose in the sequel trilogy, tipping Kylo Ren to the dark side, to the point of no return.
There is a significant part of the Star Wars fandom that was not exactly thrilled with the creative choices the Johnson took in The Last Jedi. Some of the felt like he took too many risks to the point that oftentimes, it no longer feels like it’s the Star Wars that we know and love. However, this is actually the best way to progress the saga: spin it on its head, introduce new concepts that could be the building blocks for more films set in the galaxy, far, far away and challenge the past to evoke more questions that could be answered in the future. If anything, Episode VIII changed the usual dialogue when it comes to franchise films centering on theories about what comes next by grounding on the present and dissecting everything that has just happened.
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