When we last saw Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he ordered General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to go fetch Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) so that he may train him in the Dark Side of the Force. At the time, we only saw him in a holographic form, leaving his true look a mystery. But Star Wars: The Last Jedi will give us a first look at the real Snoke, and Praetorian Guard, the royal guard who are assigned to protect him. More on the story below, along with new images from the upcoming film.
Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a part of their Fall movie preview issue. In it, we’ve learned about Luke Skywalker’s self-exile and how Rey will get him out of it, and Finn and Rose’s new mission to learn about The First Order. Now new details about Snoke are emerging.
Much like the Red Imperial Guards that protected Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy, Snoke’s Praetorian Guard are red armored protectors assigned to be at Snoke’s side. But there is a difference between the two. For once thing, the Praetorian Guard ditches the red ceremonial garb that the Imperial Guards were known for and trades it in for armor and weaponry befitting a samurai.
“The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t,” writer-director Rian Johnson tells EW. “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 the 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.” Johnson adds that the Praetorians are Snoke’s personal bodyguards because they never leave his side.”
While we will learn a little more about Snoke in The Last Jedi, don’t expect to get a full history of the character. However, Johnson says, “we’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to.” Which means we can probably expect to see some really big things in Episode IX. At least that’s what I hope.
But unlike the looming Emperor Palpatine, whose look was costumes and makeup, Snoke will be a mo-cap character. The director said Creature designer Neal Scanlan built a maquette that they had on set for lighting reference which would give the actors an idea of what they were working with.
“I’d be sitting at the monitor just with my eyes as big as dinner plates,” Johnson says. “It’s one of those performances where after every line, I’d look over at whoever’s standing next to me with an expression on my face like, “˜Oh, my God, we just got that,” said Johnson of Serkis’ menacing performance.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15, 2017