Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke?

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:



Serkis’s narrating voice has a dark, menacing tone. And so the big mystery has been what type of role would the 51-year-old English actor play? Most likely leaning toward the Dark Side, we surmised.

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A previously unpublished photo of Andy Serkis, also sporting mo-cap gear for his portrayal of Supreme Leader Snoke, is available here exclusively (see photo below).”

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz

“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?

We think our artists misunderstood the assignment.

We think our artists misunderstood the assignment.

… and if he favored the Dark Side?
AndySerkis-VanityFair-EVIL

And they say we don’t pay our artists enough!? What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke?

  1. This might sound far fetched, but supreme leader Smoke may be Grand Moff Tarkin. If be did escape from the death star in ANH, he certainly has the battle wounds to show he barely made it out on time. Besides if you watch ANH after TFA, the similarities between the two are clear.

    • Interesting theory. The facial similarities between Supreme Leader Snoke and Grand Moff Tarkin are certainly there. But as this spoof-video suggests, Tarkin would barely have had any time to escape the exploding Death Star: . But then again, we’ve also assumed (wrongly) that Boba Fett had perished in Ep. VI, yet he’s still alive.

      Side Note: There are rumors that Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, will be CGI’d into “Rogue One”, so that we might see Tarkin on-screen again when the movie premieres in December 2016.

  2. You are not alone! VERY weird that I was JUST watching the scenes with Snoke over and over trying to figure out if he is actually a familiar character from the original trilogy. Looking at the facial structure I noticed the very distinguishable sunken in cheeks of Peter Cushing. The third attempt at some sort of planet blower upper fits into place as Tarkin was the creator of the first death star. Having gone over his scenes frame by frame and zoomed in a bit more. I am convinced that he is no alien species but very disfigured by way of fire and getting his head split open. His right ear appears to be melted. The last thing I caught was when Han told Kylo that Snoke is only using him for his power. Doesn’t Snoke have far greater power if he is a dark side master? Well the answer seems to be NO. It is NEVER said he has any force powers only that he is wise. I am leaning more and more that indeed this may be Grand Moff Tarkin.

    Am I making any sense here? lol

  3. It wouldn’t be as exciting for the audience if the writers introduced a totally brand new character in Snoke with no connections to the old characters. So I think it would be amazingly interesting if we got to see something once only talked about and hinted at in the old trilogy prequels. When Palpatine spoke of Darth Plagius the wise we all imagined him in our minds and imagined the most powerful Sith lord to ever have lived. Mind you Sidious said Plagius could stop the ones he loved from dying but not himself, but if he was so wise, to maybe truly defeat someone you have taught most of your own skills to is to let them think they have succeeded in killing you, so that no more attempts on your life are made…..? Supreme Leader Snoke => Darth Plagius the Wise.. My theory

    • The following video analyzes some great clues, which suggest that Snoke is Darth Plagueis the Wise. The video considers: (1) Appearance similarities, (2) Plot evidence, (3) Dialogue from TFA, and (4) Music – similar themes used for both Snoke and Plagueis:

      Other fans strongly argue that Snoke is an entirely new character (though I’m secretly hoping it’s Darth Plagueis, to complete the circle). The debate will continue until at least May 26, 2017, when Episode VIII is released.

  4. My personal opinion is that it is Jedi Master Siphodis (not sure how it is spelled). It would make sense that he was in league with the emperor. Don’t forget he created the clone army without the jedi knowing.

  5. Interesting, because some characters that we assumed had died (Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace), later turn up alive: Boba Fett’s return is explained here (http://wp.me/p15GBu-1aU) and Darth Maul returns in Season 4 of The Clone Wars.

    Similarly, Master Sifo-Diyas is assumed, for now, to have perished. As the following video summarizes: “The official Galactic Records on Sifo-Diyas state that the Jedi Master perished whilst attempting to negotiate peace on Felucia. He was on his shuttle when it crashed on Felucia’s surface…The Felucians recovered his body and disposed of it in accordance with their customs. This explained why his body was never found.”

    So if Sifo-Diyas’ body was never found (ignoring the Felucian recovery story), this leaves the door open for his possible return.

    Cue to 05:28:

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