Almost four years removed from the release of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, new information is still coming out about the film that divided the fan base like no other. Writer and director Rian Johnson continues to speak about his time with the film and the decisions he made making it, recently commenting on one character the fans have always been fixated on: Supreme Leader Snoke.
Ever since his introduction in Episode VII: The Force Awakens, numerous questions have surrounded Snoke, the mysterious leader of the First Order. Following Luke’s defeat of the Emperor in Episode VI, it was not immediately clear how a Dark Side user as powerful as Snoke could still linger in the galaxy. In the eyes of Rian Johnson though, this question wasn’t as interesting as others thought it was.
Author Sariah Wilson shared a discussion she had with the Knives Out director on Twitter Wednesday, giving some behind-the-scenes information on how Johnson wrote the character.
To him, Snoke was just an afterthought.
Johnson’s comments help add understanding to his decision to abruptly kill off Snoke in the climactic throne room battle in The Last Jedi. Clearing Snoke from the story did allow some unique plot development for Kylo Ren, as he rebuked his dark master but still continued to struggle with the pull to the Dark Side despite his absence.
In the end, it’s unclear if his lack of focus on Snoke benefitted the trilogy or hurt it. Although killing off Snoke did clear narrative space to focus on Kylo Ren, Episode VIII left some interesting questions about the mysterious character unanswered.
Director J.J. Abrams attempted to clarify some of the questions lingering around the mysterious character he created at the start of the trilogy. At the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker, Snoke was revealed to be a puppet of the Emperor in some way, with multiple Snoke-like figures shown in a tank on Exegol.
This answer only added more questions for many, as it wasn’t exactly clear what Snoke was: A clone? A Force-creation of some kind? Something else entirely?
It seems like Snoke’s uneven story arc is just another symptom of two directors (Abrams and Johnson) having different visions for a trilogy they both played a hand in creating.
Nonetheless, at least we now know for sure what Johnson thought of Snoke, although his abrupt death in The Last Jedi may have already made that clear.