As part of its Star Wars: The Last Jedi cover story, Entertainment Weekly has been chatting to Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who has been teasing Supreme Leader Snoke’s involvement in December’s follow-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the introduction of his Praetorian Guard.
“Similar to Rey’s parentage, Snoke is here to serve a function in the story,” said Johnson. “And a story is not a Wikipedia page. For example, in the original trilogy, we didn’t know anything about the Emperor except what Luke knew about him, that he’s the evil guy behind Vader. Then in the prequels, you knew everything about Palpatine because his rise to power was the story. We’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to. We will see more of him, and Andy Serkis will get to do much more in this film than he did in the last one.”
Johnson also dismissed the rumours that Snoke will be portrayed via a puppet, stating that: “No, it’s entirely a mo-cap performance. [Creature designer] Neal Scanlan built a maquette that we had on set for lighting reference and to give the actors a sense of what it was going to feel like. And then we scanned that and [Industrial Light & Magic] used that in their renderings, but Snoke will be an entirely CG creation.”
As for the Praetorian Guards pictured above, Johnson explains that: “The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t. They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians, my brief to [costume designer] Michael Kaplan was that those guys have to be more like samurai. They have to be built to move, and you have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous. They’re his personal guards. They stick with [Snoke]. So they’re essentially bodyguards.”
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set for release on December 14th in the UK and December 15th in the States and sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb), Simon Pegg (Unkar Plutt), and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, and Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park).