One of the most unexpected moments from last year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the unlikely death of Supreme Leader Snoke, played through motion capture by the legendary Andy Serkis. The Faux-Emperor put his trust in the wrong person, and Kylo "I gotta be me" Ren cut him in half. Kylo took over as Supreme Leader of the First Order, and all of the mystery surrounding Snoke seemed to go up in snoke-smoke.
Some fans were angry that Snoke never got a backstory in The Last Jedi, as that was a major dangling mystery left over from The Force Awakens. The closest morsel we get in The Last Jedi is a brief glimpse of some robed figures in Snoke's throne room, and Pablo Hidalgo's Visual Dictionary for the film says that these figures are "navigators" from the unknown regions. That's not much to go on, but Andy Serkis has recently confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that a full backstory for Snoke does exist.
As he says, "we wanted him to have a great deal of mystery, but we did... J.J. [Abrams] and I discussed it, and Rian [Johnson] and I did discuss backstories to him, where he came from." Serkis goes on to make it clear that he has to keep anything related to that backstory a secret, as there's no telling where the Star Wars storytellers might use that information. He does add that he thinks that there is "something cool about that" and that the continuing mystery, though frustrating for some, "allows for further exploration and layering at a further point."
On the subject of whether or not Snoke could return, Serkis reiterates previous statements, saying that "there is room for him to come back." He believes that there is "a lot more to be had from the character for sure," but is also quick to say that no discussions have taken place yet. He mentions that "anything's possible in a Star Wars movie," and he's certainly right about that.
Obi-Wan Kenobi may have gotten cut down in the very first film, but that certainly wasn't the last we saw of him. Though Star Wars creator George Lucas has always maintained that Dark Side wielders cannot manifest themselves into Force ghosts the way that Jedi do, that doesn't stop them from coming back in other ways. Darth Maul shared a similar fate to Snoke (being cut in half in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace) and not only survived, but became bigger and badder than ever in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels. Darth Bane found a way to preserve a part of his spirit on the Sith planet Moriband in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Emperor Palpatine himself found plenty of ways to inflict his will on the galaxy after being tossed down the shaft — the comic miniseries Shattered Empire and the story mode for Star Wars: Battlefront II both contain evidence of it.
If all of these villains can find a way, why can't Snoke? Snoke is no Sith, but he's definitely rich in the Dark Side. Like Serkis says, anything is possible.
How and where Snoke's backstory will be told in detail is anyone's guess at the moment. Though Episode IX could cover it, there's always the possibility that a show, comic, or book could flesh it all out. Snoke: A Star Wars Story may never happen, but a full-on Snoke novel about his history in the unknown regions could certainly become a thing.
For now, sadly, old man Snoke remains yet another one of Serkis' classic characters who have recently snuffed it. When he's asked if there is anything more we should know about Snoke, Serkis says that he played him as being "incredibly threatened by this female, which he's not used to or doesn't understand." According to Serkis, it is Snoke's underestimation of Rey that ultimately makes him half a man. As he says, "I would say he's pretty misogynistic in that respect. Interestingly. For our time."
If you need all the Snoke you can get 'till you can't Snoke no more, you'll be able to stream the man himself next week, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes to digital platforms on March 13. In the meantime, what is your Snoke backstory conspiracy theory? Let us know in the comments.