The Force Awakens: Supreme Leader Snoke and Maz Kanata


Entertainment Weekly continued their exclusive coverage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens today, as two new interviews were released with the film’s motion-capture stars Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata). The interviews are quite interesting and give some great insight into two characters that we as fans know relatively nothing about. In fact, the two share a common thread…they are not seen in the trailers, yet their voices have been heard. Serkis’ Snoke narrated the very first The Force Awakens teaser:

“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark Side…and the Light.”

And then Nyong’o narrated the third trailer as Maz Kanata:

“The Force, it’s calling to you. Just let it in.”

EW started the day with Lupita Nyong’o, asking what her quote from the television spot ““I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes.” meant. While the actress couldn’t go into specifics — especially about Maz Kanata’s eyes and capabilities — she did say their traits gave her something compelling to explore. “As an actor for films, your eyes are a lot of the way you communicate anyway. So it was definitely a gift to have that be the means to her magic as a motion-capture character.”

Director J.J. Abrams weighed in on Maz, saying he had some very specific ideas about how she was going to work and what she would do. “I had this pitch about these goggles that she wore. Her eyes are an important aspect of her character, and you’ll see how it plays out.” Typical J.J. Abrams…giving us just enough to keep us on the hook, and keeping our interests piqued at maximum hype.

Next, EW attempted to decode the character of Supreme Leader Snoke. Speaking with pioneering mocap actor Andy Serkis — who portrays Snoke in The Fore Awakens — EW asked him what it was like to be involved with a film shrouded in so much secrecy.

"“It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean, talk about secrecy!”"

This isn’t the first time the issue of secrecy has been broached with the actors. Actor/puppeteer Tim Rose who is reprising the role of Admiral Ackbar in The Force Awakens, expressed his frustration over the secrecy involved with the film, not two months ago. I don’t think Serkis is complaining though…it actually sounds like he appreciated J.J. Abrams’ process and is intrigued on how Snoke will translate to the big screen.

Serkis addressed the evolution of the character of Snoke. “When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully-formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance.” Serkis described not only the appearance of the mysterious Snoke, but his mental state as well:

"“Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose.”"

He goes on to say that there was no way to do Snoke without mocap. His size and facial bone structure are such, that CGI was the only way to go. He also mentions that he doesn’t think Snoke was involved in the previous Star Wars conflicts, that he is a new character to the saga…so all you Darth Plagueis theorists can now put that to rest.

Next: Star Wars Returns to Muppet Roots with Bobbajo

Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres theatrically worldwide on December 17 and 18.