‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Star Andy Serkis Reveals New Details of Supreme Leader Snoke

Actor discusses character’s appearance, place in franchise’s history

StarWars.com/Vanity Fair

Andy Serkis will bring new villain Supreme Leader Snoke to life in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The actor, famous for his motion capture work in films like “Lord of the Rings” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” will do the same for the epic sci-fi franchise’s latest heavy.

The character hasn’t been seen in any of the promotional material released thus far, but Serkis discussed his physical appearance and relationship to the franchise’s history in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Check out the four biggest takeaways from the interview below.

Serkis Didn’t Know What the Character Looked Like When He Got on Set

“It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like,” Serkis said. “I mean, talk about secrecy!” He said that the look of the character evolved during conversations with the film’s co-writer and director, J.J. Abrams.

“When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance,” Serkis said.

Snoke Is “Vulnerable”

According to Serkis, Snoke is “strangely vulnerable” for a character that wields so much power. “Obviously he has a huge agenda,” he said. “He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose.”

The Character Had to Be Created Digitally

Serkis says that the physical appearance of the character made creating him through motion capture essential.

“The scale of him, for instance, is one reason. He is large. He appears tall,” Serkis said. “And also just the facial design — you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics. It’s too extreme. Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure. You could never have done it [in real life.]”

Snoke Was not Involved in the Events of the Previous Films

While “The Force Awakens” will bring back many familiar faces, like Han Solo and Leia, Snoke’s relationship to the rest of the “Star Wars” universe remains to be seen.

“[He’s] a new character in this universe. It is very much a newly-introduced character,” Serkis said. “He’s aware of what’s gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it’d be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree.”