- "You wonder why I keep a rabid cur in such a place of power? A cur's weakness, properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool."
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
Snoke was a Force-sensitive humanoid alien who served as the Supreme Leader of the First Order approximately thirty years after the Battle of Endor. Snoke was a powerful figure, skilled with the dark side of the Force, who had been the master of the the Force-sensitive Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren, and at least one other yet unknown apprentice. Because of his influence, Kylo destroyed the new generation of Jedi being trained by his uncle, Luke Skywalker, destroying his chances of restoring the Jedi Order and forcing him into exile.
In 34 ABY, during the cold war between the New Republic and the First Order, Snoke sent the commanding triumvirate of Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren, General Armitage Hux, and Captain Phasma, to steal the map to Skywalker, which contained his location, find Skywalker, and kill him, thus destroying the Jedi once and for all. During the search, Hux unleashed the Starkiller superweapon under Snoke's approval, on the Hosnian system, incapacitating the New Republic. However, the Resistance retaliated and destroyed Starkiller Base before it could fire on their own base. During the evacuation, Snoke ordered Hux to bring an injured Kylo Ren, who had murdered his father, Han Solo, at Snoke's urging, and been bested by a Force-sensitive scavenger named Rey wielding Skywalker's lightsaber during the battle, to him in order to complete his training.
With open war having begun, Supreme Leader Snoke deployed his legions to seize military control of the galaxy and stepped out of the shadows in order to personally lead the First Order to potential victory. Aboard his flagship, the Star Dreadnought Supremacy, Snoke berated his apprentice for his being bested by Rey, who was now training with Skywalker in a location still unknown to them. When Rey brought herself to the Supremacy due to a strange bond she shared with Ren in the Force, Snoke revealed to her that he had forged the bond between her and Ren and proceeded to tortuously probe her mind for Skywalker's location. Snoke sentenced Rey to death and commanded his apprentice to execute her, but Ren instead killed Snoke, which ended his reign and initiated Kylo Ren as the new Supreme Leader.
- "It is where you are from. What you are made of. The dark side—and the light. The finest sculptor cannot fashion a masterpiece from poor materials. He must have something pure, something strong, something unbreakable, with which to work."
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
Snoke was a humanoid alien who was the leader of the Attendants, a retinue composed of mute alien navigators who originated from the Unknown Regions. At some unspecified point in his life, Snoke acquired a black obsidian stone from the catacombs and mines beneath the castle of the Sith Lord Darth Vader on the planet Mustafar. He affixed the stone to a golden ring he wore, which was engraved with glyphs used by the Four Sages of Dwartii, controversial figures of philosophy from the early days of the Galactic Republic and were represented with bronzium statues in the office of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.
Eventually, Snoke witnessed the rise and eventual fall of the Galactic Empire. Through a secret Contingency, however, many former Imperial officers, nobles, and technologists fled to the Unknown Regions and took the shape of what eventually became the First Order. Although most of the former Imperial officers would have likely perished while crossing this uncharted realm, the ancient hyperspace trails blazed by Snoke's retinue, along some of Grand Admiral Thrawn's vast knowlegde about the Regions, helped them to stay there and organize themselves. Although he was a very powerful practitioner of the dark side of the Force, Snoke was not affiliated with the Sith, which became extinct as a result of the deaths of Darth Sidious and Vader at the Death Star II thanks to the efforts of the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. As such, Snoke, a secretive master of the Force, was a seeker of arcane and ancient lore.
Seduction of Kylo Ren
- "No. It was Snoke."
"He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil."
- ―Leia Organa and Han Solo
Snoke became invested in the Skywalker bloodline, believing General Leia Organa and Han Solo's son, Ben Solo, the grandson of Darth Vader and nephew of the now Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, had the right balance of the dark and light sides of the Force in him. Although Snoke's physical skills possibly had already faded from his fraile body, his Force-aided abilities of persuasion, manipulation and perception were tremendous.
Leia was aware of the influence Snoke could have on her son, but did not inform Han, believing he would not understand, and that, as a Force-sensitive, it was her responsibility to keep Ben away from the dark side. Eventually, Snoke had successfully turned Ben to the dark side, anointing him Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren, and ordered him to destroy Skywalker's revived Jedi Order. Though Ren succeeded in slaughtering the entirety of the fledgling Jedi Order, Skywalker managed to escape into hiding.
Map to Skywalker
- "Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test."
"By the grace of your training, I will not be seduced."
- ―Snoke and Kylo Ren
Following Skywalker's disappearance, Snoke assigned Ren to hunt down the last Jedi, knowing that as long as Skywalker lived, the Jedi and thus hope lived. Ren's search led him to Jakku, where he learned that the final piece of the map to Skywalker was in the possession of the astromech droid BB-8. Snoke ordered the droid's capture or destruction, preferably the former. Despite the efforts of the First Order, BB-8 managed to escape Jakku aboard the Millennium Falcon.
Ren and General Armitage Hux later returned to Starkiller Base to communicate with Snoke via hologram. Hux proposed using Starkiller Base's superweapon to destroy the New Republic government, which was backing the Resistance, an undertaking which Snoke authorized. He then spoke with Ren privately, asking if he had felt an awakening in the Force. He ordered Ren to kill his father to overcome his temptation by the light.
Shortly after the destruction of the Hosnian system, resulting in the eradication of the New Republic government and a portion of its fleet, Ren invaded Takodana in search of BB-8. He later deemed the droid unnecessary as he captured a scavenger named Rey, who had seen the final piece of the map to Skywalker's location. Snoke was later upset to hear that the girl resisted Ren's interrogation. Ren defended himself by explaining that Rey was strong in the Force, albeit untrained. As the Resistance base had been discovered, Snoke ordered Hux to destroy the Resistance before they could find Skywalker, and for Ren to bring Rey to him. However, Ren never got the chance, as Rey managed to escape with the help of her new powers.
Subsequently, Starkiller Base was infiltrated by Han Solo, Chewbacca and Finn, who managed to lower the shields through the aid of a captured Captain Phasma to allow the Resistance fleet to attack the base. Solo then tried to bring Ren back to the light, only for his own son to murder him. In rage and grief, Chewbacca wounded Ren and blew a hole in the superweapon's thermal oscillator, allowing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron to fly in and destroy it, causing catastrophic damage, preventing the solar energy from being contained. When the destruction of Starkiller Base was inevitable, Snoke ordered Hux to bring Ren to him in order to complete his training.
Eventually, the First Order managed to gain enough victories in the conflict that Snoke decided to risk coming out of the shadows to personally lead the First Order to potential dominance over the Resistance.
Fall from power
- "You think you can turn him. Pathetic child. I cannot be betrayed; I cannot be beaten. I see his mind; I see his every intent. Yes... I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true. And now, foolish child, he ignites it and kills his true enemy!"
- ―Snoke's last words, said to Rey
Sometime after the destruction of Starkiller Base, Snoke began directing several maneuvers designed to eliminate any possibility of hope returning to the galaxy. He empowered General Hux to pursue and destroy the Resistance fleet, and was delighted when Hux found a way to track the fleet's movements through hyperspace, thereby allowing the First Order to immediately pinpoint their location.
He also claimed to have used his own powers to link the minds of Rey and Ren through a Force-bond. Through the Force, both Rey and Ren could see each other and communicate from different locations in the galaxy. Believing she could restore Ben Solo to the light, Rey sought Ren out, and was brought to Snoke aboard the Supreme Leader's flagship known as the Supremacy, where the Supreme Leader took her weapon, the legendary Skywalker lightsaber, and placed it next to him on the arm of his throne. Using his own formidable powers, Snoke restrained Rey and tortuously probed her mind to discover Skywalker's whereabouts.
After obtaining the knowledge he sought, he contemptuously dropped the girl, only for her to attempt to summon Anakin's lightsaber into her grasp, which he effortlessly redirected to strike her in the head from behind with a sneer. As a final gesture of contempt, he forced her to watch the destruction of the Resistance's remaining ships via his oculus viewing scope. Rather than breaking Rey's spirit, however, the sight prompted her to summon Kylo's sword to defy him once more, earning the Supreme Leader's respect as he sincerely complimented her for her courage.
Acknowledging Rey now as a genuine threat to both himself and the dark side, Snoke commanded his apprentice to execute her, confident that Ren would not turn in spite of Rey's faith in his former persona, that of Ben Solo, and boasted that he could read his apprentice's mind and see his every thought and intention. Snoke described to Rey everything he saw in Ren's mind, turning the lightsaber to strike true and igniting it to kill his true enemy. In his hubris, however, Snoke failed to notice the Skywalker lightsaber next to him being turned to point right at him by Ren and his triumphant smile became one of pained surprise as the blade activated through the Supreme Leader's withered and twisted body. Snoke remained alive long enough to glare at his former apprentice for his betrayal before Ren summoned the still-active lightsaber to himself, cutting Snoke in half and sending the top half of his body toppling to the floor. Despite his bodyguards' efforts to avenge their leader, the entire Elite Praetorian Guard was destroyed by the combined efforts of Ren and Rey.
Snoke's death created an immediate power vacuum that Ren took advantage of by assuming his fallen master's role as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, much to the displeasure of Hux. Although Ren desired to rule the galaxy with Rey as his equal, the aspiring Jedi rejected his offer, leading Ren to falsely implicate her in the assassination of Snoke.
Personality and traits
- "The Supreme Leader is wise."
"Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants, he'll crush you. You know it's true."
- ―Kylo Ren and Han Solo, about Snoke
Snoke was the Supreme Leader of the First Order, and appeared to be a calculating and reserved military leader as well as a powerful and skilled master of the dark side of the force. Kylo Ren of the Knights of Ren described Snoke as "wise," while Han Solo and Leia Organa believed he was manipulative and that he exploited Force-sensitive individuals, such as Kylo Ren, only for their power. Snoke was very old, having a vast knowledge of both the past and the Force.[source?]
He displayed tendencies unusual for practitioners of the dark side, displaying an interest in Kylo Ren due to his embodiment of a balance between both the light and dark sides of the Force, as opposed to only one aspect. Although very powerful in the Force, Snoke prefered to issue commands from afar, often using a holographic image of himself that was magnified to multiple times his true height so he could "look down" upon his followers.
Snoke at times showed little emotion, appearing very calm, and didn't appear to be in any form of worry or distress, despite the circumstances against him and the First Order. When Starkiller Base was being destroyed, he calmly expressed his wishes without showing any form of anger or annoyance, a stark contrast to his apprentice Kylo Ren, who was prone to violent outbursts when faced with frustration. Also unusually for a Dark-Sider, Snoke shows genuine respect towards worthy opponents, such as his open admiration towards Rey's courage during their confrontation.
However, Snoke did demonstrate a considerable level of anger and frustration, revealing a dark nature that rivaled that of even the late Emperor Palpatine. Like most dark siders before him, he suffered from immense conceit and arrogance, which Rey noted when meeting him. This ultimately proved to be his downfall, when Kylo Ren proceeded to bisect him via remotely activating Skywalker's lightsaber, as he was goading the latter to kill Rey, with Ren exploiting Snoke's ambiguously-worded statement of who he was to kill beforehand.
Despite his intelligent, sophisticated and at times calm demeanor, Snoke was actually known to be incredibly sinister, cruel, arrogant, egotistical, narcissistic, terrifying, and overall a truly monstrous individual from presumably the most diabolical kind much like Palpatine before him, although arguably far darker in overall nature than even the deceased Emperor. Similar to other practitioners of the dark side, notably the Sith, Snoke was motivated by fear, specifically the fear of losing his power.
Additionally, Snoke was a cruel master as well as a predator, who identified weakness and exploited it, demonstrated by how Snoke dominated not just the First Order but specifically Ren and Hux, making him a brutal tyrant.
Snoke's appearance was scrawy and frail, also possessing large hands. He had a distinctive, idiosyncratic bone and facial structure. His hologram used on the Starkiller Base projected him several times larger (around 25 feet) than his natural appearance, towering over Kylo Ren and General Hux. Snoke had an elongated face with pale, heavily scarred skin and pale blue eyes. He sported a large scar from the top of his head, all the way down to his brow. Snoke also had what appeared to be a scar or burn on his right cheek that caused his mouth to be contorted. Snoke's left cheekbone was malformed. Snoke wore a simple cloak, and tended to speak slowly and enunciate his desires with a forceful undertone. However, at other times, he wore a gold outer cloak with a gray underdress. Because of his physical frailties, which left him way past his prime in terms of physical strength, he relied on material comforts such as slippers to deal with his ailing body which most possibly was in a constant state of pain due to his advanced age and damaged skin.
Powers and abilities
- "There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?"
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
Snoke had the power of telepathy and was able to use Force chokes and throws, even across great distances. He was powerful in the Force Ability of Mind probe, as demonstrated by his use of it on Kylo Ren shortly before his death. He was also able to use Force lightning, which he used on Ren. His skills with the Force, unlike his physical strength, were still tremendous even upon his death.
Snoke was far more powerful than Rey or Kylo Ren, as evidenced by the time when he toyed with Rey aboard the Supremacy. He managed to effortlessly toss Rey around the throne room and resist her attempts to retake the Skywalker lightsaber, when moments later, Rey and Ren were shown to be evenly matched in their struggle to Force pull the lightsaber towards each other.
Snoke was powerful enough to be able to create a Force-bond between Ren and Rey, even over astronomical distances. One bond was so powerful, in fact, that it created a Force Projection between them. 
Behind the scenes
- "He's aware of what's gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it'd be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree."
- ―Andy Serkis on Snoke
Snoke was portrayed by Andy Serkis (via motion capture) in the films Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. His name was officially unveiled on May 28, 2015, and his voice was first heard in the initial teaser trailer for The Force Awakens.
The character's appearance underwent many changes throughout the development of The Force Awakens, with the character's final appearance not being decided on until October 2015, two months before the film's release. J.J. Abrams and Neal Scanlan didn't want the character to look old and decrepit like Darth Sidious, and even considered making him female. Ivan Manzella sculpted at least two busts to try to hone the look of the character. Snoke's final appearance was based in part of the horror movies of Hammer Films, the conception being that Snoke was rather handsome in his younger days, but was consumed and twisted by the dark side as he became more powerful. Snoke's physical appearance in The Last Jedi was first shown in a leaked image of an upcoming LEGO set, and was later officially revealed with the teaser image of the Star Wars Force Link BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset that was unveiled at Force Friday 2017. Andy Serkis wore artificial facial hair for this film.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2017, Andy Serkis said that Snoke's injuries were inspired by injuries sustained by soldiers in the trenches of World War I. In addition, in an interview with Empire magazine, Serkis claimed that the disfigurements Snoke possessed were caused in part by osteoporosis that was severe enough that he appeared "as twisted as a corkscrew", and that this was part of what made Snoke "darker than Palpatine."
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson said he killed off Snoke to give Kylo Ren a compelling set-up for Episode IX. When asked if he had planned to elaborate on Snoke's back-story in Episode VIII, Johnson replied, "It would have stopped any of these scenes dead cold if he had stopped and given a 30-second speech about how he's Darth Plagueis. It doesn't matter to Rey. If he had done that, Rey would have blinked and said, 'Who?' And the scene would have gone on. [pause] And I'm not saying he's Darth Plagueis!"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Appears in hologram)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of the film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in 34 ABY. As Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi carries on immediately from the events of The Force Awakens, it can be assumed to take place in the same year.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ Tauber, Chris (December 6, 2015). Who's the Real Bad Guy in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?. People. Retrieved on December 6, 2015.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 BB-9E on the Star Wars App-Enabled Droids by Sphero (Screenshots: 1)
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Empire Reveals New Look At Snoke From 'The Last Jedi'. Jedi News (November 29, 2017). Retrieved on November 29, 2017.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Andy Serkis: Supreme Leader Snoke Is Motivated By Fear - CONAN on TBS
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (November 22, 2017). Andy Serkis says pain and greed drive Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on December 17, 2017.
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (November 12, 2015). Supreme Leader Snoke: Andy Serkis on the 'damaged' villain of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on January 6, 2018.
- ↑ Thrower, Emma (November 17, 2015). Supreme Leader Snoke: Andy Serkis talks Star Wars' latest villain. Empire. Retrieved on November 17, 2015.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Star Wars Force Link BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Marnell, Blair (2017-05-30). New LEGO Leaks Reveal Snoke and THE LAST JEDI Spoilers. Nerdist. nerdist.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved on June 2, 2017.
- ↑ Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens credits
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (May 28, 2015). Ten things Andy Serkis can say about 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on May 28, 2015.
- ↑ Lee, Ashley (September 15, 2017). 'Breathe': Andrew Garfield Recalls How Andy Serkis Briefly Directed as Snoke From 'Star Wars'. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on September 19, 2017.
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (November 22, 2017). 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi:' Andy Serkis reveals Snoke's tortured history. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on November 22, 2017.
- ↑ Breznican, Anthony (2017-12-17). The Last Jedi spoiler talk: Rian Johnson on Supreme Leader Snoke's startling scenes. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on December 18, 2017.