- "You think you can turn him? Pathetic child, I cannot be betrayed. I cannot be beaten. I see his mind. I see his every intent! Yes, I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true. And now, foolish child, he ignites it, and kills his true enemy!"
- ―Snoke's final words to Rey and Kylo Ren
Snoke, a Force-sensitive humanoid alien male, was a mysterious being who rose to power as Supreme Leader of the First Order during the New Republic Era. Although he was a master of the dark side of the Force, Snoke was not a member of the Sith Order, which became extinct as a result of the deaths of the last two Sith Lords, Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. Like the Sith, he regarded the Jedi Order as a threat to his plans and sought to complete their destruction while pursuing an agenda of galactic conquest.
Fascinated by the potential of the Skywalker bloodline, Snoke endeavored to lure Vader's grandson, Ben Solo, away from the Jedi path. The Jedi Order was consequently all but destroyed once more with the exception of Solo's uncle and mentor, Luke Skywalker, who fled into exile as the last Jedi of his time. The newly anointed Kylo Ren, having forsaken his former persona as Ben Solo, ultimately became Snoke's dark apprentice and master of the Knights of Ren. Aware of the raw and untamed power within Ren, Snoke believed his new disciple would succeed where the Sith failed—destroying the last remnants of the Jedi Order, and therefore, the hope they inspired across the galaxy.
Under Snoke's rule, the First Order forged a mighty technological war machine, intending to bring the galaxy under the control of a central government not seen since the reign of the Galactic Empire. At the time, it was decided by Snoke that the First Order would be governed from his flagship, the Mega-class Star Dreadnought Supremacy, rather than a traditional planetary capital. Ultimately, the cold war between the First Order and New Republic ended in 34 ABY when Snoke allowed General Armitage Hux to fire Starkiller Base's superweapon on the entire Hosnian system, annihilating the Republic headquarters on Hosnian Prime along with the Galactic Senate. He then oversaw the First Order's efforts to eradicate the Resistance while simultaneously using his Force powers to bridge the minds of Ren and Rey, a Jakku scavenger who trained with Skywalker and developed a Force-bond with Snoke's dark apprentice. After luring Rey to the Supremacy, Snoke ordered Ren to complete his training by executing the Jedi aspirant. Instead, Ren betrayed and killed his master, saving Rey in the process before ultimately becoming the new Supreme Leader of the First Order.
- "It is where you are from. What you are made of. The dark side—and the light. The finest sculptor cannot fashion a masterpiece from poor materials. He must have something pure, something strong, something unbreakable, with which to work."
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
Snoke was a humanoid alien who was a master of the dark side of the Force. At some unspecified point in his life, Snoke acquired a black obsidian stone from the catacombs and mines beneath the castle of the Sith Lord Darth Vader on the planet Mustafar. He affixed the stone to a golden ring he wore, which was engraved with glyphs used by the Four Sages of Dwartii, controversial figures of philosophy from the early days of the Galactic Republic that were represented with bronzium statues in the office of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.
Although he was a very powerful practitioner of the dark side of the Force, Snoke was not affiliated with the Sith, which became extinct as a result of the deaths of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader aboard the Death Star II during the Battle of Endor thanks to the efforts of the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. As such, Snoke, a secretive master of the Force, was a seeker of arcane and ancient lore. He had also been sensed by Sidious shortly before the latter's death, and had also been familiar with Skywalker.
Eventually, Snoke witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire. Through a secret Contingency, however, many former Imperial officers, nobles and technologists fled to the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Most of the former Imperial officers would have likely perished while crossing this uncharted realm if it had not been for the ancient hyperspace trails blazed by a retinue of mute alien navigators that served Snoke, the Attendants, along with some knowledge of the Unknown Regions provided by the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn, which helped the former Imperial officers settle there and reorganize themselves into the First Order. In a matter of time, Snoke unexpectedly became the Supreme Leader of the First Order. The last of the Imperial leadership, including Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, the political lunatic Ormes Apolin, and even General Brendol Hux did not expect Snoke's rise to power and were surprised when it occurred. General Armitage Hux, Brendol's son, was spared by Snoke in order to use him as a tool in his rise to power. Gaining the Supreme Leader's favor meant that Hux effectively wielded greater authority than his rank as a general would indicate; nevertheless, Snoke refused to grant Hux his coveted title of Grand Marshal.
Seduction of Kylo Ren
- "No. It was Snoke."
"He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil."
- ―Leia Organa and Han Solo
Snoke became invested in the Skywalker family bloodline, believing Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo's son, Ben Solo—grandson of Anakin Skywalker and nephew of the now Jedi Master Luke Skywalker—had the right balance of the light and dark sides of the Force in him. In addition, Snoke had been indirectly responsible for convincing Skywalker to rebuild the Jedi Order in an attempt to break the latter when he had it destroyed alongside Skywalker himself. The corruption of Ben Solo was instrumental to his plan.
Having known of Snoke's interest in her son's potential for power, Organa sought to protect Ben from the mysterious dark side wielder. However, she did not inform her husband about Snoke's designs on their son, believing that, as a non-Force-sensitive, Han would not understand Organa's responsibility to shield Ben from the influence of the dark side. She, therefore, trusted her twin brother, Luke Skywalker, to keep Ben in the light by training him as a Jedi. Despite his nephew's promising future, Skywalker felt the darkness rising within Solo and ultimately believed that Snoke had already succeeded in corrupting his pupil. In a moment of pure instinct, Skywalker drew his lightsaber and prepared to strike the young Solo, but he quickly came to his senses—though not quick enough, as his nephew had woken up to his uncle standing over him with his lightsaber out. Solo struck back against his master, believing that his own uncle had intended to murder him. Although Skywalker survived and fled to Ahch-To, his nascent Jedi Order was wiped out by Solo, who then swore his loyalty to Snoke. By becoming Snoke's apprentice, the former Ben Solo renamed himself "Kylo Ren," the so-called master of the Knights of Ren and champion of the First Order. Organa believed Snoke was to blame for Solo's fall to the dark side, but her brother felt personally responsible as a result of what transpired between master and apprentice.
Snoke, who saw in Kylo Ren the potential to become a new Darth Vader, was confident that his dark apprentice would herald the destruction of the Jedi Order, and therefore, everything it represented to the galaxy, including hope. Due to Ren's inherited status as a Skywalker, Snoke sensed his disciple's potential for limitless power, a result of the strength inherent in Ren's bloodline.
Training in the Rarlech System
- "I need more from you. I need you to find your true power. Your true potential."
- ―Snoke to Kylo Ren during his training.
At some point prior to the attack on Tuanul, Snoke, along with Ren, traveled to a rocky world in the Rarlech system. As they stood at the edge of a cliff, Snoke asked Ren if he was afraid. Ren replied by saying he was not. Snoke then used the Force to push Ren off the cliff and hold him in the air. Snoke said that he knew Ren was afraid, as he should be, because, Ren wasn't in control. No, he was confused and unsure of his convictions. He felt powerless. Snoke proceeded to say that feeling that way was good. Powerless men often turned to anger and lash out blindly, with rage. But powerful beings can harness their rage and use it to strike. For either, they strike or they fall. Snoke then let go of Ren and let him fall, advising him to use his fear, turn it into anger, and turn his anger into power. Ren followed that advice and was able to hold himself up and survive the fall. He then inquired whether Snoke would have caught him if he wasn't able to catch himself. The Supreme Leader replied by saying that Skywalker would have and in doing so, held Ren back. Snoke needed Ren to find his true power and potential if Ren wanted to rule alongside him.
Ren's training on Dagobah
- "Rise above what's holding you back. Strike. Strike against the light side that is within you."
- ―Snoke to Kylo Ren as he duels a vision of Luke Skywalker.
After the training in the Rarlech system, Ren and Snoke traveled to Dagobah. As they stepped off their shuttle, Ren commented that he sensed Luke Skywalker from his time in Dagobah when training with Yoda. As Snoke spoke of Skywalker's training, Ren asked why he spoke of Skywalker with respect. Snoke said if he had Skywalker by his side instead of Ben, the galaxy would have been his a long time ago. Snoke then made Ren go into the Cave of Evil, where his uncle had gone into so many years before.
Once inside, Ren experienced a vision of his uncle Luke, saying that he didn't want to fight him. Ren said he didn't care and ignited his lightsaber. Snoke sensed that decision and commended Ren for making it. After a short duel between the two, Ren was able to kill the vision of Luke, by letting the hate festering inside of him out. But the vision had only begun.
Ren then experienced a vision of his parents, begging him to stop. He replied by saying that Ben wasn't his name, Kylo Ren was. But Leia insisted that Ben was his name and that he was still their child, whom they loved. Though struggling, Ben activated his lightsaber and acted as if he was striking down his parents, but only striking a tree with his lightsaber, showing that though he hated his uncle Luke, he still loved his parents. Kylo then proceeded to destroy the cave. Though Snoke remarked that the Cave of Evil had been there for thousands of years, and he wished to bring other apprentices to it. Ren answered by saying that the past was the past and that Snoke wouldn't need any more apprentices.
- "Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test."
"By the grace of your training, I will not be seduced."
- ―Snoke and Kylo Ren
Following Skywalker's disappearance, Snoke assigned Ren to hunt down the last Jedi, knowing that as long as Skywalker lived, the Jedi and thus hope lived. In 34 ABY, Ren's search led him to Jakku, where he learned that the final piece of the map to Skywalker was in the possession of the astromech droid BB-8. Snoke ordered the droid's capture or destruction, preferably the former. Despite the efforts of the First Order, BB-8 managed to escape Jakku aboard the Millennium Falcon.
Ren and General Hux later returned to Starkiller Base to communicate with Snoke via hologram. Hux proposed using Starkiller Base's superweapon to destroy the New Republic government, which was backing the Resistance, an undertaking which Snoke authorized. He then spoke with Ren privately, asking if he had felt an awakening in the Force. He ordered Ren to kill his father to overcome his temptation by the light.
Shortly after the destruction of the Hosnian system, resulting in the eradication of the New Republic government and a portion of its fleet, Ren invaded Takodana in search of BB-8. He later deemed the droid unnecessary as he captured a scavenger named Rey, who had seen the final piece of the map to Skywalker's location. Snoke was later upset to hear that the girl resisted Ren's interrogation. Ren defended himself by explaining that Rey was strong in the Force, albeit untrained. As the Resistance base had been discovered, Snoke ordered Hux to destroy the Resistance before they could find Skywalker, and for Ren to bring Rey to him. However, Ren never got the chance, as Rey managed to escape with the help of her new powers.
Subsequently, Starkiller Base was infiltrated by Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Finn, who managed to lower the shields through the aid of a captured Captain Phasma to allow the Resistance fleet to attack the base. Solo then tried to bring Ren back to the light, only for his own son to murder him. In rage and grief, Chewbacca wounded Ren and blew a hole in the superweapon's thermal oscillator, allowing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron to fly in and destroy it, causing catastrophic damage, preventing the solar energy from being contained. When the destruction of Starkiller Base was inevitable, a frantic Hux reported this to Snoke who was remarkably blase about it, instead, ordering the general to bring Ren to him in order to complete his training.
In spite of the loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order managed to gain enough victories in the conflict that Snoke decided to risk coming out of the shadows to personally lead the First Order to potential dominance over the Resistance.
Fall from power
- "You will not bow before Snoke. You'll turn. I'll help you."
- ―Rey, to Kylo Ren
Sometime after the destruction of Starkiller Base, Snoke began directing several maneuvers designed to eliminate any possibility of hope returning to the galaxy. He empowered General Hux to pursue and destroy the Resistance fleet, which initially failed when an assault on their base not only saw the Resistance slip away but the loss of a First Order dreadnought. Snoke immediately contacted Hux to make his anger clear, using the Force to painfully humiliate the general but was delighted when Hux revealed a way to track the fleet's movements through hyperspace, thereby allowing the First Order to immediately pinpoint their location.
Immediately after his audience with Hux, Snoke turned his attention to his disgraced apprentice, remarking on how he had begun to lose faith in his apprentice after his failure at Starkiller Base and his further conflict over having murdered his father, having felt from afar Ren's struggle when he killed his father. Snoke's taunts caused Ren to attempt to attack him, causing the Supreme Leader's guards to react aggressively, but Snoke effortlessly brushed aside the attack with a bolt of Force lightning and went back to his throne, reminding Ren that as long as the Jedi persisted in the galaxy, so too did the hope that could defeat them. He then chastised Ren out of the throne room by saying him that he was just a child with a mask rather than the successor of Darth Vader, and that Vader would be ashamed of him.
But once Ren left the throne room, Snoke smiled to himself. He must've used this reprimand as a way to motivate his apprentice. If that was the case, then it worked: Ren destroyed his mask on the turbolift with all the pent-up rage he could muster before preparing for what appeared to be the First Order's final victory.
Seeking to shift the tides in his favor, Snoke claimed to have used his own powers to link the minds of Rey and Ren through a Force-bond. For doing so, Snoke manipulated Ren's insecurity to his advantage, knowing his apprentice couldn't hide his conflict from Rey, who couldn't pass up the chance to redeem the former Ben Solo. Through the Force, both Rey and Ren could see each other and communicate from different locations in the galaxy. Believing she could restore Ben Solo to the light, Rey sought Ren out, and was brought to Snoke aboard the Supreme Leader's flagship known as the Supremacy, where the Supreme Leader took her weapon, the legendary Skywalker lightsaber, and placed it next to him on the arm of his throne. Using his own formidable powers, Snoke restrained Rey and tortuously probed her mind to discover Skywalker's whereabouts.
After obtaining the knowledge he sought, he contemptuously dropped the girl, only for her to attempt to summon Anakin Skywalker's weapon into her grasp, which he effortlessly redirected to strike her in the head from behind with a sneer. In one instance, after dropping Rey to the floor, Snoke laughed and mused that Skywalker had been "so wise" as to hide from him. He decided that once the Resistance was destroyed, he would command his forces to Ahch-To and obliterate the entire Temple island so Skywalker and the Jedi Order could be given the death he desired. As a final gesture of contempt, he forced Rey to watch the destruction of the Resistance's remaining ships via his oculus viewing scope operated and designed by the Attendants. Rather than breaking Rey's spirit, however, the sight prompted her to summon Kylo's sword to defy him once more, earning the Supreme Leader's respect as he sincerely complimented her for her courage.
Acknowledging Rey now as a genuine threat to both himself and the First Order, Snoke commanded his apprentice to execute her, confident that Ren would not turn in spite of Rey's faith in his former persona, that of Ben Solo, and boasted that he could read his apprentice's mind and see his every thought and intention. Intending to torture the girl with every detail up to the moment of her death, he shut his eyes and described to Rey everything he saw in Ren's mind, turning the lightsaber to "strike true" and igniting it to kill his "true enemy." However, Snoke's visions and Force senses betrayed him. Once he reopened his eyes and awaited the coming strike, his triumphant smile became one of pained surprise as he felt the blade of a lightsaber piercing through his withered and twisted body. At the same time, his telekinetic hold over Rey collapsed. The Supreme Leader looked down to find the Skywalker lightsaber having been turned, aimed, and activated in his direction. There was only one in this room who had the ability and cunning to pull off such a feat through the Force: Ren.
Snoke tried to say something but couldn't. He remained alive long enough to glare at his former apprentice for his betrayal before Ren summoned the still-active lightsaber to Rey's grasp and the blue blade cut through the Supreme Leader's waist and wrists, dismembering him. His upper torso then collapsed heavily to the floor at the base of his throne, leaving his hands on the armrests and his lower torso sitting on the throne.
With Snoke dead, Ren proved himself to be a worthy successor of Vader, as he achieved what his grandfather failed to do in the past and when he had the opportunity: overthrow his master in the Sith way, the ancient Rule of Two. Ren had used Rey's presence to kill Snoke, in an act of ascension worthy of Darth Bane's Rule.
- "Our Supreme Leader is dead! We have no ruler!"
"The Supreme Leader is dead."
"Long live the Supreme Leader."
- ―Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren
Immediately after his death, Snoke's bodyguards attempted to avenge him, but despite their efforts, all of the Elite Praetorian Guard were killed by Kylo and Rey. After the Guards had all been killed, Ren stared at his Master's body, before offering Rey a place at his side. Rey begged him to help save the fleet and tried to pull her lightsaber back from him. The combined opposite pulls of Rey and Ren destroyed the blade, knocking Ren unconscious when he hit the floor while Rey was able to escape the doomed starship. Hux later entered to find Ren alone on the ground, and the body of the Supreme Leader. The lower half of Snoke's body then slipped off the throne and on to the floor beside the torso, right before Hux's eyes.
Snoke's death created an immediate power vacuum that Ren took advantage of by assuming his fallen master's role as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, much to the displeasure of Hux. Although Ren desired to rule the galaxy with Rey as his equal, the aspiring Jedi rejected his offer, leading Ren to falsely implicate her in the assassination of Snoke.
By the time of the battle of Grail City, some First Order officers, such as Colonel Barrut and her crew, weren't aware of Snoke's death and Ren's rise to power. When Wing Commander Poe Dameron informed them about Snoke's fate before destroying the Fortitude, the Maxima-A class heavy cruiser which they commanded, two of Barrut's crewmen believed that Hux had taken Snoke's role as Supreme Leader, only for Barrut to refuse to believe Dameron's claims, as they must have been lies.
Personality and traits
- "The Supreme Leader is wise."
"Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants, he'll crush you. You know it's true."
- ―Kylo Ren and Han Solo, about Snoke
Supreme Leader Snoke was a secretive, enigmatic figure who coveted arcane lore. Rather than establish a permanent base of operations, he preferred governing the First Order in a mobile command post from where he could contact his subordinates, though his exact location was unknown. He was both wise and cunning, having risen to power by undermining the First Order's leading officials through guile. A master at manipulation, he lured Kylo Ren to the dark side of the Force by using the young Jedi's desperate need for a teacher to his advantage. Although he regarded Armitage Hux as a "rabid cur", Snoke recognized the general's usefulness and believed that even a person's weakness could serve a purpose if properly manipulated. Despite holding a low opinion of Hux's character, the Supreme Leader shared his underling's belief in the necessity of a powerful military force. In addition to overseeing a militarization program that violated treaties signed with the New Republic, Snoke often sanctioned Hux's military strategies and showed approval for his technological innovations.
Snoke was fascinated with Ren, not only for his apprentice's inherent potential for limitless power but also because he regarded him as the embodiment of the dark side and the light, and encouraged Ren to use the teachings of both. Despite this, Snoke adhered to the dark side and viewed the light as the weak and pathetic side of the Force It was Ren's raw, untamed strength in the Force that led Snoke to believe his student could achieve a level of power comparable to that of Ren's late grandfather, the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Disappointed by Ren's defeat on Starkiller Base, the Supreme Leader berated him as a failed apprentice—a child in a mask—who was unworthy of Vader's legacy. In light of Ren's failure, Snoke began to doubt whether his disciple would ever overcome his conflict between the two sides of the Force. As such, he also began to consider the possibility of casting Ren aside for good, just as Han Solo warned his son moments before his death. Nevertheless, Snoke used his skills at manipulation to stoke Ren's conflicted soul, knowing that his apprentice would fail to hide his emotions from Rey after they became linked to each other through their Force-bond. It was through Ren that Snoke sought to manipulate Rey, convinced she would fall into his trap by believing that Ren could be turned from his dark path.
Like his apprentice, whose mask provided him with a more imposing presence, Snoke relied on theatrics when interacting with his subordinates via holographic transmission. Although the Supreme Leader was, in reality, around seven feet tall, his holographic form magnified his height several times over, allowing him to "look down" upon his followers. While he initially tolerated his apprentice's desire to emulate Vader by wearing a mask, Snoke thought it was absurd and later ridiculed Ren's affectation.
Snoke's intelligent, sophisticated, and at times calm demeanor masked his more sinister qualities such as cruelty, arrogance, egotism, and narcissism. He was a terrifying, monstrous individual who possessed a dark nature that rivaled even that of the late Darth Sidious. Snoke's demeanor shifted from calmness to anger, depending on the situation. Upon learning of Starkiller's impending destruction, he simply told Hux to evacuate the base with Ren, only to later scold and physically reprimand his apprentice out of frustration. When presented with the chance to use the Starkiller superweapon against the New Republic, Snoke agreed with Hux's plan to lure the First Order's enemies out of hiding in spite of ending billions of lives in the process.
Additionally, Snoke was a cruel master as well as a predator, who identified weakness and exploited it, as demonstrated by how Snoke dominated not just the First Order but specifically Ren and Hux, making him a brutal tyrant. He particularly enjoyed using his powers to penetrate the minds of his victims and subject them to agonizing scenes, picking apart their courage and resolve slowly over time.
As powerful, cunning and cruel as he was, Snoke was no different from other masters of the dark side in that he still felt fear, specifically a fear of Luke Skywalker and the return of the Jedi. He was convinced that if Skywalker, the last living Jedi at the time, ever returned from exile, he would herald the rise of a new generation of Jedi Knights. Despite his hatred for the Jedi, Snoke actually respected Skywalker while also fearing him, knowing that the legendary Jedi Master wasn't weak but misguided, even musing that had he taken Skywalker as his second-in-command instead of Ren, the galaxy would have been already his by the time of the cold war. He regarded the Jedi Order as a threat to his designs and, therefore, plotted to destroy it entirely by killing the last Jedi. Upon meeting Skywalker's final apprentice, the Jakku scavenger Rey, Snoke remarked that she possessed the qualities of a true Jedi and, as such, was resolved to see her die before she could also become a threat to his plans. As noted by Rey, however, Snoke was prone to underestimating those around him, such as his own apprentice. He exulted when sensing Ren's newfound resolve, completely unaware that the dark warrior intended to save Rey by striking down his own master through subterfuge. Indeed, very much like Sidious before him, Snoke failed to understand that Force visions are not absolute; he saw the truth, just not what he expected.
Snoke's appearance was frail, with large hands. He had a distinctive, idiosyncratic bone and facial structure. His hologram used on the Starkiller Base projected him several times larger (around 25 feet) than his natural appearance, towering over Kylo Ren and General Hux. Snoke had an elongated face with pale, heavily scarred skin and pale blue eyes. Even in person, however, he was still very large, standing over seven feet in height. He sported a large scar from the top of his head, all the way down to his brow. Snoke also had what appeared to be a scar or burn on his right cheek that caused his mouth to be contorted. Snoke's left cheekbone was malformed. All these maladies were because he suffered from zygoma. During the cold war, Snoke wore a simple dark cloak, and tended to speak slowly and enunciate his desires with a forceful undertone. However, having moved from the shadows to rule openly with the advent of open war, Snoke's wardrobe changed to reflect his more materialistic side and his designs on ruling the galaxy; instead of the simple cloak, he now wore ornate golden khalat robes with a gray underdress, tied at the waist by an elegant golden belt, and on his finger he wore a ring of gold and obsidian engraved with runes from the Four Sages of Dwartii. Because of his physical frailties, which left him past his prime in terms of physical strength, he relied on material comforts such as slippers to deal with his ailing body which was in a constant state of pain due to his advanced age and wounds, and he could not defend himself in a physical fight, instead relying on his Elite Praetorian Guards to deal with any threats to him.
Powers and abilities
- "There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?"
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
While not trained as a Sith; Snoke was nonetheless an extraordinarily powerful and skilled Force-sensitive, having great mastery over the powers of the Force and was particularly strong with the dark side. His teachings blended traditions of both the dark and light sides. His mastery of the Force was so great that Snoke was capable of exerting his power with the barest minimum of gestures to devastating effect even from great distances. His abilities included telepathy, Force choke, and telekinesis, which he was able to use on other beings even across great distances. Like his apprentice, Snoke possessed the power of mind probe and his skills were far greater, easily succesfully employing it on both Rey and Ren prior to his demise. As a master in the ways of the dark side, Snoke could conjure Force lightning from his fingertips—a power he perfected to the point where he could fire it down at a metal surface and let it ricochet right into the intended target. The effects of his lightning-based attacks were immensely painful, as noted by Ren, who backed down in deference to Snoke's superior knowledge of the dark side. While his physical strength atrophied along with his wounded body, Snoke remained tremendously strong in the Force until his death.
Although both Rey and Ren possessed a raw connection to the Force, Snoke's abilities eclipsed their powers due to the greater knowledge and experience at the Supreme Leader's disposal. In addition to subduing Ren with a single attack, Snoke toyed with Rey by telekinetically tossing her across his throne room. He could even overpower her when both were using the Force at the same time, as he demonstrated by overriding her control of the Skywalker lightsaber, causing it to avoid Rey's grasp before turning around and smacking her in the back of the head. Despite his frail appearance, Snoke was strong enough to slap Ren in the face hard enough to draw blood, out of anger for ignoring his orders to leave his mask aboard their ship.
Snoke had the ability to bridge the minds of two Force-sensitive individuals who were bonded through the Force. By using his powers to connect Ren and Rey to each other, the two were able to see and hear each other despite the millions of light-years that separated them. As their bond deepened, they could even make physical contact with one another. Through it all, both remained oblivious to Snoke's third-party influence until he outright revealed his manipulation of their connection. In the end, however, Snoke's visions and Force senses failed him. While exulting at the resolve he sensed in his oft-conflicted apprentice, he did not sense his own impending death by the son of Han Solo.
Behind the scenes
Creation and development
- "He's aware of what's gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it'd be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree."
- ―Andy Serkis on Snoke
Snoke was portrayed by Andy Serkis via motion capture in the films Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, the first two installments of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, released in 2015 and 2017 respectively. His name was officially unveiled on May 28, 2015, and his voice was first heard in the initial teaser trailer for The Force Awakens. According to Serkis, Snoke's mannerisms, in particular his gold bathrobe in The Last Jedi, was derived in part from attire worn by Hugh Hefner, the late founder of the Playboy adult magazine.
From the beginning of the production, the character who would ultimately fill the role as main antagonist of the film was nicknamed "Uber" though any specific ideas were clearly defined by that point. Snoke's appearance underwent many changes throughout the development of The Force Awakens, with the character's final appearance not being decided on until October 2015, two months before the film's release. J.J. Abrams and Neal Scanlan didn't want the character to look old and decrepit like Darth Sidious, and even considered making him female. Ivan Manzella sculpted at least two busts to try to hone the look of the character. Snoke's final appearance was based in part of the horror movies of Hammer Films, the concept being that Snoke was rather handsome in his younger days, but was consumed and twisted by the dark side as he became more powerful. Snoke's physical appearance in The Last Jedi was first shown in a leaked image of an upcoming LEGO set, and was later officially revealed with the teaser image of the Star Wars Force Link BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset that was unveiled at Force Friday 2017. Andy Serkis wore artificial facial hair for this film.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2017, Andy Serkis said that Snoke's injuries were inspired by injuries sustained by soldiers in the trenches of World War I. In addition, in an interview with Empire magazine, Serkis claimed that the disfigurements Snoke possessed were caused in part by osteoporosis that was severe enough that he appeared "as twisted as a corkscrew", and that this was part of what made Snoke in his opinion "darker than Palpatine." Serkis has gone on to say that Snoke's malevolence comes out in reaction to the injuries that he has suffered which he blames on the Resistance, fuelling his hatred for them. Serkis explained that Snoke's desire for power is motivated by greed, bitterness, and fear.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson said he killed off Snoke to give Kylo Ren a compelling set-up for the 2019 sequel Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. When asked if he had planned to elaborate on Snoke's back-story in Episode VIII, Johnson replied, "It would have stopped any of these scenes dead cold if he had stopped and given a 30-second speech about how he's Darth Plagueis. It doesn't matter to Rey. If he had done that, Rey would have blinked and said, 'Who?' And the scene would have gone on. [pause] And I'm not saying he's Darth Plagueis!".
Upon the release of The Force Awakens, multiple fan theories about Snoke's identity emerged online. The most famous was, however, that he was Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious' Sith Master mentioned anecdotally in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, who possesed the power to prevent death. Another popular fan theory was that Snoke was Star Wars Rebels protagonist Ezra Bridger. Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo dismissed the Darth Plagueis theory in May 2016.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Appears in hologram)
Notes and references
- Supreme Leader Snoke on Wikipedia