Snoke Origin

Now that the dust has settled on Force Friday II, it’s clear that we don’t know much more about Star Wars: The Last Jedi than we did before all the merchandise for the movie hit shelves (though we did learn a bit more about Benicio del Toro’s character). But the good news is we’re getting closer and closer to the release of the next chapter in the sci-fi saga, and more and more details are hitting the web every day. In fact, there should be a new trailer within the next couple months to hold us over until the film arrives in December.

In the meantime, director Rian Johnson is talking a little bit about the mysteries that the sequel holds. One of the biggest question marks is Supreme Leader Snoke, played in motion capture by Andy Serkis. Who is he? Where did he come from? While Rian Johnson isn’t giving up any details, he does offer some insight into how the villain will be presented in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but fans were hoping for all the answers about his past may end up a little disappointed.

Any hopes of seeing a Supreme Leader Snoke origin laid out in front of us should be kept in check. Rian Johnson explained that when it comes to how he’s using Snoke in The Last Jedi, he’s taking a cue from how Emperor Palpatine was utilized in The Empire Strikes Back. Johnson tells Empire:

“We got the whole story of Palpatine’s rise to power in the prequels, but in the original films he’s exactly what he needs to be, which is just ‘The Emperor.’ He’s a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn’t interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.”

If the prequels taught us anything, it’s that knowing too much about the background of a character takes away the mystery and the threat that character poses. Though Darth Vader may still be the most badass villain that the Star Wars universe has ever seen, the character was tainted somewhat when we saw the whiny kid he was before he took on the mantle of Sith apprentice. Therefore, it’s probably best that we don’t learn too much about Snoke, at least for the time being.

There’s a chance we might get some insight about Supreme Leader Snoke with how he deals with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). We know Snoke recognized the power that lies within the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and his father believed that the deformed villain was only using him because of that power and his ties to Luke Skywalker. The journey of Kylo Ren might end up giving us more of Snoke’s perspective and goals, and it sounds like his arc could take a surprising turn.

Rian Johnson opened up a bit about Kylo Ren, and it almost feels like there’s a chance for the character to be redeemed, even with the murder of his father solidifying his descent into darkness. The director said:

Star Wars boils down to the transition from adolescence into adulthood. That’s the heart of these films and Rey is most obviously the one that hangs on. But it’s also Kylo. In the originals you project entirely onto Luke, while Vader is the scary other — he’s the minotaur. The fascinating thing about Kylo and Rey is that they’re two sides of something. We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man; dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family. He’s not Vader — at least, he’s not Vader yet — and that’s something I really wanted to get into.”

There have been plenty of instances of teens running astray of their family, only to come back home and realize their mistakes. Is there a chance Snoke will push Kylo Ren too far and make him realize that everything he’s been doing has been misguided and wrong? Johnson indicating that he’s not Darth Vader yet suggests that there’s still a chance for him to turn back. After all, Vader ended up seeing the error of his ways and betrayed Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, so it’s never too late for Kylo Ren to redeem himself, right?

If Kylo Ren ends up turning away from the dark side, I can only imagine how much that will piss off Supreme Leader Snoke, and then we might really get to see the wrath of this villain unleashed. That’s pure speculation on our part, but that would make for an interesting twist that we haven’t seen executed on this level yet.

Empire’s October issue will be dedicated to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so there should be more interesting details to behold soon enough.

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