With just over three months to go before the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga hits the big screen, plot details are beginning to spill out concerning Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi. There's one character in particular, however, that looks like he'll remain somewhat of a mystery even after the film arrives. Johnson is now saying that Andy Serkis' Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order, isn't necessarily the focal point of this adventure and that the character's backstory isn't a part of The Last Jedi's plot. According to the director,
He's a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn't interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.
Rian Johnson's most recent comments make it sound like any Star Wars fans with complicated theories about Snoke's origins may have to wait until the final saga film to learn the character's full history. Then again, Johnson's comments to Empire give him some narrative wiggle room because it still remains to be seen what interesting Snoke reveals might relate to The Last Jedi's plot.
Supreme Leader Snoke was introduced in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. As was the case with Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy, Snoke's first appearance was as a hologram, appearing before Adam Driver's Kylo Ren and Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux. While the hologram was depicted as being massive, we have since learned that Snoke's physical form has him standing about a head or two taller than most characters in the Star Wars universe.
It's also possible that Snoke's origins won't ever be revealed on the big screen. If the character is meant to serve as a replacement for the Emperor in the narrative, Snoke's backstory may ultimately be relegated to tie-in novels or comics. After all, the cycle of villainy in the Star Wars universe harkens back to Liam Neeson's line as Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace when he explains, "There's always a bigger fish." Nature abhors a vacuum and it could be that Snoke is nothing more than the next in line.
Still, fan theories regarding Snoke's identity have have been awfully popular online with suggestions that Snoke might secretly be any number of existing characters, from a somehow still alive Emperor Palpatine to the legendary Darth Plagueis, who Palpatine says in Revenge of the Sith discovered a way to protect his loved ones from death itself. There's even a prominent theory that claims Snoke is really Jocasta Nu, the chief librarian at Coruscant's Jedi Archives in Attack of the Clones. While some of these suggestions may seem more outlandish than others, it's probably a good idea to remember Lupita Nyong'o's Force Awakens line about how through living a long time, "you see the same eyes in different people."
At the moment, however, it's all Snoke and mirrors and it won't be until Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits the big screen December 15 that we know for sure what is revealed. In the meantime, you can stay up to date with a galaxy far, far away using our guide to everything we know so far about the Star Wars sequel.