Warning: SPOILERS for both the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie and its novelization are in play. If you haven't seen the film and/or want to keep the new revelations from the book a secret, bookmark this article and come back later.
Next week, the previously delayed novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will finally hit shelves in stores all over. While it was a bit mysterious as to why the tie-in book was delayed to coincide with the home video release of writer/director Rian Johnson's entry in the Star Wars canon, it became a bit clearer when news of"additional content" from previous drafts of the film's script would be included. Now we know a good number of details from supposedly deleted storylines, and throughout a good number of those items, one thing is clear: Supreme Leader Snoke has a lot of backstory that wasn't told in the film version of The Last Jedi. Enough that a whole film could, and should, be based around his life.
Throughout the narrative that author Jason Fry's novelization weaves, there's quite a bit of continuity between the last days of Emperor Palpatine's Empire and the beginnings of The First Order that would replace it. Not only that, but Supreme Leader Snoke's rise was one of surprising and ruthless efficiency, leaving himself at the top of the chain of command after his competition was dispatched. The biggest shock, though, is the fact that both Palpatine and Luke Skywalker knew of Snoke's existence, with Luke even interacting with him for a time in order to further his understanding of the Force. As you can tell, without even reading the book, Supreme Leader Snoke has a lot going on behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Even without the exact context of the material that's been reported as being included in Star Wars: The Last Jedi's noveilization, there's enough material here that could be used for anything from a prequel movie to a series of novels that tell the story of Snoke's origins, his climb to power and ultimately his downfall. And it would make sense to do so, as not only would this help flesh out the Star Wars extended universe to a better extent, but it would also go a long way to make amends with fans disillusioned by the way that the films handled the Supreme Leader's role. Not to mention that with Game of Thrones masterminds David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in the midst of planning their own series of standalone films, it's hard not to see their previous work putting them on the top of the list to make this happen.
It's no stretch to qualify Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a controversial film with audiences. The two big mysteries -- Rey's parentage and Snoke's origins -- were left unsolved, as part of the film's message of breaking from the status quo that the Star Wars series has operated within. And while J.J. Abrams' return to the franchise may give some hope that he'll somehow reverse these plot points in Episode IX, Abrams' approval of Rian Johnson's plotting of The Last Jedi would pretty much write that theory off. Exploring the how and why of Snoke's rise to Supreme Leader isn't completely out of the question with a standalone adventure outside of the episodic structure. If anything, it could give folks the answers they're looking for, without changing how the saga proper continues down the path it's been sent down after Star Wars: The Last Jedi's events. In a sense, fans can have their cake and eat it too in this scenario.
The universe of the Star Wars series at large is still in flux, as Episode IX will more than likely mark the end of Rey's story, as well as that of the Skywalker legacy. Standalone movies like Rogue One and Solo may still come along, yet that option could get old fast once too many popular characters and events have been mined for content. So the two new, separate film series that will exist outside of the episodic structure will need to choose subject matter that draws a crowd, and fits into the Star Wars franchise. Putting together Supreme Leader Snoke's backstory is not only solid idea for one of those trilogies, it's also something the fans would be bound to flock towards.
For now, you'll be able to read about Supreme Leader Snoke's past, and other exciting additions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi's "extended edition" novelization, when it arrives at all fine booksellers on March 6. However, if you just want to stick with the version of the story you saw in theaters, the home video release of the film will give you just that on March 27.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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