Supreme Leader Snoke is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic characters in the new Star Wars trilogy. We were introduced to his holographic presence in The Force Awakens, and he's currently something of a riddle wrapped in a mystery. Just what is this powerful being of the dark side? How powerful is he, and how did he take control of the First Order?
According to director Rian Johnson, we shouldn't expect any answers from The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm didn't have the details planned out when they launched the sequel trilogy, and what little they decided in advance is still a mystery to us. That said, Andy Serkis - the voice of Supreme Leader Snoke - has recently talked a little about how he understands the character. Serkis offers a fascinating insight into who Snoke is and drops some tantalizing hints as to his backstory.
The Secret Is The Character's Pain
The renowned yet under-appreciated actor is perhaps best known to science fiction and fantasy fans as the voice of Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings series. He puts enormous effort into trying to understand a character, working to ensure the voice perfectly represents the identity.
Speaking to Business Insider, he admitted that there was "an evolving design of the character" when he was working with J. J. Abrams on The Force Awakens. That no doubt posed a unique challenge for the actor, as his role was unusually fluid. Serkis found himself focusing in on a single concept: the source of the character's pain, aggression, and emotional center. In Serkis's mind, the focal point was that terrible scar on the Supreme Leader's forehead.
"He's got this cleft in his head and I think it's very painful for him to speak and yet there's an imperiousness about him. He's severely damaged but there's a vulnerability that's he's trying to cover so that was sort of what I was trying to do."
It's an intriguing comment that points to a reality fans haven't really noticed. Supreme Leader Snoke may be the villain of the film, but he's no stranger to suffering. Whatever Snoke has endured in the past has scarred him terribly, leaving him to deal with a present reality full of unimaginable pain. Serkis compares that gaping scar to a "fracturing," almost as though Snoke's skull is literally splitting apart. It's a chilling concept that speaks of a villain whose inner darkness is all that's holding him together.
Serkis also references a vulnerability that he considers core to who Snoke is. That in itself offers a hint to the character's motivations, suggesting that Snoke uses his pain to seduce others to the dark side. His suffering provokes empathy, which gives him an opening to manipulate the emotions of others.
So far, Supreme Leader Snoke remains an object of mystery. He's no human, and is potentially more powerful than any dark side being we've ever seen before. Tie-in novels have suggested that Snoke is an ancient being, "some origin of the Force, some dark presence formed of malevolent substance" who watched the Galaxy for millennia. The last remnants of the Empire encountered Snoke when they fled to the Unknown Regions, and there Snoke forged them into the First Order.
But Serkis's comments dig deeper than any of those hints. Rather than telling us Snoke's story, they offer us a glimpse inside his mind, a hint at what makes this character tick. Rian Johnston may not plan to give us any answers to the riddle of Supreme Leader Snoke in #TheLastJedi, but the second trailer suggests he'll play a major part in the film nonetheless. Serkis gives us a strong sense of just what kind of dark being we should expect to see as the mystery around him grows even stronger, and we can't wait to see his influence shine through in the new film.
What theories do you have about the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke? Let me know in the comments!
(Source: Business Insider)