Supreme Leader Snoke might’ve been killed by Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the towering space wizard still has a rich, untold backstory. The actor who plays him certainly knows much more than the rest of us, and he delights in keeping it mostly a mystery. But The Last Jedi novelization has even more details.

In an interview published Tuesday with Entertainment Weekly, renowned mocap actor Andy Serkis, who’s played Snoke since The Force Awakens, confirmed that despite minimal official details, he previously discussed Snoke’s backstory with both The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

Serkis imagines him as “a couple of hundred years old” with a litany of egregious injuries from “previous battles” that have left him permanently scarred, made worse by “a sort of decay.” Snoke wasn’t always just a menacing leader wielding power from a blood-red throne room. He used to be a fighter — before somebody caved in his skull.

Snoke's throne room is seriously imposing, but he probably wasn't always this grandiose.

“I’ve always approached him as someone who is obviously in a position of supreme power,” Serkis said, “but actually, there is a level of vulnerability about the character.” He may be one of the most powerful Force users we’ve ever seen, but Snoke’s many injuries probably made him physically vulnerable: “The way that his face is caved in, he has those deep scarifications. His skull’s almost been crushed.”

“He is withered and slightly twisted in his spine, so that gave him that lurch,” Serkis added. “Those injuries are things that he has carried for a long time, and it’s almost like a form of arthritis.” This physical vulnerability made Snoke operate from a place of fear, a position he probably knew was risky.

“When you’re operating from a level of fear, you operate dangerously as a leader,” Serkis rationalized. Typical of most villains on the Dark side of the Force, Snoke ruled from a place of fear.

In The Last Jedi novelization, Snoke recognizes himself as “an unlikely fulcrum” for the First Order’s leader, “just about the furthest thing from what the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s Empire had imagined as a leader.” Snoke’s strength wasn’t just as a Force user; it was also in scheming and killing off his competition and seizing control of the Empire’s remnants for his own purposes.

Snoke actor Andy Serkis in motion capture gear.

“He knows that as a leader you run the risk of people rebelling, you run the risk of people turning against you, the people that are closest to you,” Serkis said, and we all know full well that this is exactly what happened in The Last Jedi. Rey rightfully called Snoke out, saying that he underestimated both her and Ben Solo.

And then Ben Solo cut Snoke in half.

Centuries of battle injuries transformed Snoke into a decrepit, fearful creature. He’s truly half the man he once was, especially after learning the hard way what happens when you operate from a place of fear.

In the several centuries that he was alive, Snoke no doubt saw some incredible things. The Last Jedi novelization reveals that like Palpatine, Snoke had mined the Unknown Regions of the galaxy for knowledge of the Force: “The galaxy’s knowledge of the Force had come from those long-abandoned, half-legendary star systems, and that great truths awaited rediscovery among them.”

Will Rey or Kylo Ren one day discover these great truths? Will we ever learn the full extent of Snoke’s history?

Serkis, like the rest of us, hopes that Snoke’s full backstory might be explored in other Star Wars stories one day, but for the time being, you probably shouldn’t expect Snoke to return in Episode IX.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released digitally on March 13 with the physical Blu-ray due out March 27.

Now check out this: “Insane ‘Last Jedi’ Theory Connects Snoke And Anakin”

Photos via Lucasfilm (1, 2)

It took eleven years and five Michael Bay movies to get here, but with Bumblebee, the live-action Transformers films finally look like the ‘80s cartoons.

On Monday, Paramount Pictures released a new live-action trailer for Bumblebee, the Transformers prequel from director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) that will explore the origins of the humble yellow Volkswagen-shaped Autobot. And in a treat for hardcore bot fans, the film’s trailer sports Autobots and Decepticons with boxier silhouettes, which better resemble the iconic cartoon, than the organic alien look of the previous films.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still a few months away, but we may already know the full character lineup. Recent leaks suggest there are just two remaining spots in the roster, and we probably have a pretty good idea who will fill them. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest Smash Bros. Ultimate roster leaks, and whether you should trust them.

Welcome home. Never sleep again. Shirley Jackson’s acclaimed 1959 horror novel The Haunting of Hill House is coming to life as a new Netflix series, and the first trailer is so bone-chilling spooky, it might earn a permanent spot in your annual Halloween marathon.

On Wednesday, Netflix sent chills up everyone’s spines when the streaming giant released the trailer for The Haunting of Hill House, starring Michiel Huisman (Orphan Black), Carla Gugino (Wayward Pines), and Kate Siegel (Ouija: Origin of Evil). The series debuts on October 12.

A girl has a name in gen:LOCK — and her name is Cammie MacCloud.

Actress Maisie Williams, best known for her role as Arya Stark on the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, has joined the cast of Rooster Teeth’s gen:LOCK, a new sci-fi animated series also starring Michael B. Jordan, David Tennant, and Dakota Fanning. The series is set to premiere in 2019.

Oh, brilliant. Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor is debuting very soon, and she’s moving Doctor Who to primetime Sunday nights on the BBC.

On Wednesday, BBC announced “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who (and the first starring Whittaker) will premiere on Sunday, October 7. The rest of the season will premiere on Sunday nights at a time slot yet to be announced.