Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has premiered, we can finally answer the question, “Who is Snoke?” … Kind of.
Almost as much as they’ve been wondering, “Where’s Luke?” fans have wanted to know who Andy Serkis’ character, Supreme Leader Snoke, is and what he looks like. We now have the answer to the latter question, but the rest is still a mystery. We still don’t know where he came from, how he came to be Supreme Leader of the First Order, what the extent of his powers are, and how he managed to seduce Kylo Ren to the dark side.
For now, we’ll give you a description of his appearance, as well as what little we learned about his activities in the galaxy far, far away from the movie. Beware if you haven’t seen the movie, as what follows are major spoilers for the film.
To be honest, Snoke reminds me a bit of Voldemort. His skin is the same ghostly pale color, and though he’s not missing a nose, his face is extremely disfigured. It’s not clear what species he is. In the movie, he appears as a hologram sitting on a chair, and like the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back, his size is greatly exaggerated through the transmission (chief of creature and droid effects Neal Scanlan told People Snoke is only 7 feet tall). He and his chair appear to be enormous; General Hux and Kylo Ren have to crane their necks to look up at him.
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It appears that Snoke is a well-known enemy to General Leia and Han Solo by the time the events of The Force Awakens take place. We also know it was Snoke who seduced Kylo Ren, AKA Ben Solo, to the dark side. What we don’t know is how he did this. Ben was being trained by Luke to be a Jedi when his turn occurred, which presents a few different possibilities. Snoke could have been a trainee alongside him. Or, he could have been a voice in Ben’s head projected from afar, sort of like how Darth Vader communicated with Luke Skywalker from ship to ship in The Empire Strikes Back.
Speaking of Darth Vader, it was not confirmed that Snoke is a Knight of Ren. He called Kylo the master of the Knights of Ren, which makes me think Snoke is something above that; perhaps he’s carrying on the mantle of the Sith, and has engaged the Knights, placing Kylo at their head, to do his dirty work.
Regardless of whether he’s a Sith or not, I’m interested to find out if he has any connection at all with the Emperor. If he was alive during Palpatine’s reign, surely Palpatine would have sensed his presence. Or perhaps he did; maybe Snoke was an Inquisitor under Darth Vader’s command (which would connect back to the Knights of Ren’s worship of the Sith lord).
The Force Awakens has given us more questions than answers about Supreme Leader Snoke, which is likely what it was designed to do. Hopefully we’ll receive more information about him before Episode VIII premieres, as it won’t debut until May of 2017. A year and a half is a long time for someone Snoke’s size, in both physicality and presence, to remain hidden.