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Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are ahead!
The Star Wars franchise isn't shy about killing off characters, but few deaths have arguably been as surprising as Supreme Leader Snoke's in The Last Jedi. Following The Force Awakens' release in 2015, a lot of fans had questions about where Snoke came from, how he was knowledgeable in the Force, etc. However, not only did The Last Jedi not provide any answers about Snoke's past, but the antagonist was suddenly killed off in the latter half of the movie by Kylo Ren. Among the many people who were shocked by this twist was Snoke's actor, Andy Serkis, recalling his feelings about first learning the character's fate thusly:
I was shocked. Dramatically, it felt absolutely right for that moment in the film, so I didn't question it. I just think it's a very, very important scene, so I didn't question it. But I do, I know it's left fans feeling like, that they were really searching for something there. And what I'm saying is, who knows?
In case you need a refresher on how exactly Snoke's quick demise went down in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, after Snoke was finished torturing Rey for information on Luke Skywalker's whereabouts aboard The Supremacy, the tall, decrepit Dark Side wielder ordered Kylo Ren to kill her. However, rather than activate his own lightsaber and strike down Rey, Kylo opted to activate Rey's lightsaber instead and sliced his master in half. It just goes to show that you should never insult your apprentice when a fancy laser sword is pointed in your direction. After The Last Jedi's release, director Rian Johnson revealed that he decided to kill Snoke to further Kylo's development and make him the new Supreme Leader of the First Order. With that kind of leadership change, Johnson didn't think there was any point in keeping Snoke around.
As if being sliced in half wasn't enough, Snoke's Star Destroyer was also destroyed during Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so there's pretty much nothing left of his body. There is a fan theory floating around of how Snoke could still be alive, and while officially speaking Snoke has bitten the dust, Andy Serkis also acknowledged during his interview with Slashfilm that when it comes to Star Wars, anything is possible. As the actor put it:
Look, it's Star Wars, so you never know how life, or whether life can be come back to or not. Whether you can be resuscitated or brought back.
Even if Snoke isn't somehow resurrected during Star Wars: Episode IX, that doesn't necessarily mean we've heard the last of him. Andy Serkis also recently mentioned that he has talked with Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams about Snoke's past, so depending on what kind of story Abrams and writer Chris Terrio have in mind for Episode IX, perhaps we'll finally receive some details about the character's backstory. But for now, consider Snoke as a permanent resident of Deadsville.
SPOILERS: What The Last Scene In Star Wars: The Last Jedi Really Means, According To Rian Johnson
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still continuing its theatrical run, and Star Wars: Episode IX will come out on December 20, 2019.