December 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM EST

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Drama, Sci-fi and Fantasy
release date
Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
Rian Johnson
Current Status
In Season

Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

That question has vexed Star Wars fans for years, as many reached back into old novels and monologues from the prequels for possible answers.

One of the more popular guesses comes from a fable the Emperor told Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith about Darth Plagueis, the ancient Sith master said to have conquered death — only to be betrayed by his apprentice.

While the “Snoke is Plagueis” debate became faster and more intense, endless other possibilities arose. Steele Saunders, host of the Star Wars podcast Steele Wars, even came up with a T-shirt emblazoned in the old Kenner toys font: Your Snoke Theory Sucks.

The most plausible idea was a simple one: Snoke would just be Snoke — a new character with his own backstory, just one that hasn’t been told.

As part of a post-screening Q&A for The Last Jedi this weekend, I got a chance to ask writer-director Rian Johnson about the ominous villain (portrayed by Andy Serkis) and what the movie decided to do — and not do — with him.

To hide the spoiler, let’s hear from the filmmaker about Snoke’s surprising moments on the next page.

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