Supreme Leader Snoke is a dark side user, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Andy Serkis has confirmed he is not a Sith Lord. For most of the Skywalker saga, the Sith have served as the primary antagonists, with the prequels covering Palpatine's rise to power and the original trilogy depicting the fall of the Empire. However, for the sequels, the filmmakers decided to take things in a different direction by making the villains something new. Troubled youngster Kylo Ren is referred to as the "master of the Knights of Ren," implying that the Sith were never restarted in the 30 years after the Galactic Civil War.
Still, with the abundance of Snoke fan theories, many were convinced he was an ancient Sith Lord. A popular hypothesis around the time of The Force Awakens was that the Supreme Leader was really Darth Plagueis, Palpatine's former master who allegedly found a way to cheat death (before Sheev murdered him). That was shot down by Lucasfilm brass before it gained too much traction, and as it turns out, Snoke is not aligned with the Sith at all.
In an interview with Empire, Serkis shared what he could about Snoke's nature, reiterating previous comments he's made the Supreme Leader's pure hatred and vulnerability. He also officially confirmed what some had already suspected: Snoke is not a Sith. In addition to the quote, the magazine shared an exclusive new image, which you can see below:
"Snoke is bloody dark; way darker than Palpatine. He’s riddled with this osteoporosis so his body's twisted, like a corkscrew. He's incredibly damaged, so there's a bizarre vulnerability about him. Beneath that vulnerability, though, is this intense hatred... He’s definitely not a Sith, but he’s certainly at the darker end of the Force. Without giving too much away, that begins to unfold a little in this one."
Out of all the twists and turns The Last Jedi presumably has, this is perhaps one of the least surprising. In Star Wars lore, the Sith use the "Darth" moniker to name their members, and since neither Snoke nor Kylo Ren boasted that title, it's been long thought they are in the process of forging a new path. While some fans would have liked to see the Sith once again do battle with the Jedi in this new trilogy, it's arguably for the best J.J. Abrams introduced a fresh concept to canon. If the franchise is to remain viable into the next decade, the story group can't simply retread familiar legacy elements and cash in on nostalgia. Beyond that, it makes sense in-universe Snoke wouldn't be a Sith. After all, the First Order is meant to represent the evolution of the Empire into something superior, so that could extend to how they practice the Force. Snoke knows Palpatine and Vader failed to maintain control of the galaxy, so why would he repeat their tactics?
Between this and Luke Skywalker's proclamation that it's time for the Jedi to end, it's clear Episode VIII director Rian Johnson is attempting to blaze some new creative paths with his film, and it sounds like they paid off in spades. Earlier this month, the helmsman was handed the keys to the Star Wars kingdom with the announcement of an all-new trilogy he will spearhead once the Skywalker saga wraps up. Whatever he did with the material impressed the higher-ups, so it should be exciting to see what's in store.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018