WARNING! The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Have you ever heard the tragedy of Supreme Leader Snoke? We thought not. It's not a story Rian Johnson would tell you...
One of the biggest mysteries left over from The Force Awakens was the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke (played by Andy Serkis via motion capture). Who was he? Why was he so powerful in the ways of the Dark Side? Who trained him? And how did he get so scarred and create what was a essentially a new galactic empire through the First Order? Fan theories pegged him as Darth Plagueis, Darth Vader, and even Jar Jar Binks. If you're looking for answers to any of these queries in The Last Jedi, you'll be a little disappointed because Rian Johnson decided to slice the mystery and intrigue in two — what? too soon?
Aside from getting a good close-up glimpse of the villain and his immense powers, we don't know much else about him. Nevertheless, information on his backstory is available in the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary by Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo. The most shocking part about the book's page on Snoke is that he's not a Sith Lord at all.
"Snoke is powerful in the dark side of the Force, but he is not Sith," writes the Dictionary. "That thousand-year lineage streteching from Darth Bane to the last Sith Lord, Darth Vader, was undone when Vader died destroying his mentor, Darth Sidious. The fulfillment of an ancient prophecy foretold the end of the Sith, but it never predicted the end of darkness."
Based on this, Snoke is an entirely new breed of Force user, which opens up a lot more questions. But there's still the question of who trained him, unless he was just naturally strong like Rey. The movie says Snoke doesn't matter, which means all our theories didn't matter, which is fine since a director shouldn't be beholden to every whim of fans. That being said, it could also be argued that a director should consider the fallout with such a popular and ingrained franchise like Star Wars, regardless. There's no clear cut answer and at the end of the day, the property doesn't belong to any of us.
Some audience members got angry at Snoke's demise (among other things) while others praised the move as a risky new direction for the franchise. There's a good chance J.J. could explore his backstory in Episode IX; after all, he's the one who introduced the character. Or he could just let it fall to the wayside in favor of focusing on Kylo as the big baddie. Still, it would be nice to know how Snoke rose to power and got so disfigured because you can never have too much Andy Serkis, right?
What were your thoughts on the slicing of Snoke? Was it a bold move or a cop out like Captain Phasma?