June 3, 2015 – The rumor-mill that Andy Serkis would be playing a major role in The Force Awakens ramped up when fans detected his voice in the first Episode VII teaser, released in late November, 2014:
Thanks to a recent StarWars.com interview of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, we now have a photograph of Andy Serkis in his CGI-gear AND we now know his name. One sentence buried in the article reveals the character name:
A previously unpublished photo of Andy Serkis, also sporting mo-cap gear for his portrayal of Supreme Leader Snoke, is available here exclusively (see photo below).”
“Supreme Leader Snoke” does not exactly illicit feelings of compassion, tenderness and benevolence. Quite the opposite, when we consider Star Wars‘ history of naming its bad guys with some awfully heavy-sounding names: Grand Moff Tarkin A/K/A General Tarkin (played by the late Peter Cushing); Emperor Palpatine; Count Dooku; Darth Sidious; Jabba the Hutt; and so on.
Also consider Serkis’s other movie roles, which earned him the nickname “the godfather of motion capture”: He has played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001-2003) and in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012); King Kong in the film of the same name (2005); and Caesar in both The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). Pretty heavy stuff.
To date, we still do not know what Supreme Leader Snoke will look like. No concept sketches have leaked out yet, to our knowledge, and no physical description has been offered by Lucasfilm.
We therefore asked our studio artists to give us their best educated sketch, based on the information above. What would the Supreme Leader look like if he were on the side of the Resistance and favored the Light Side of the Force?
And they say we don’t pay our artists enough!? What do you think?