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‘The Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson explains why he didn’t bother with Snoke’s backstory

He didn't rule out the possibility of more Snoke in future.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 10, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 5:15 am CDT

 Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

After two years of rampant speculation about Snoke’s backstory, The Last Jedi delivered… nothing. The movie killed him off without explaining who he was or where he came from, and for a lot of fans, that was pretty frustrating.

At a BAFTA event this week, director Rian Johnson explained why he didn’t bother to expand Snoke’s backstory in the movie. Basically, he didn’t think it would actually add anything to the story.

“In this particular story, it’s much more like the original trilogy, where with Snoke if you think about the actual scenes, if suddenly I had paused one of the scenes to give a 30 second monologue about who he was, it would have kind of stopped the scene in its tracks, I realized. Even though it could have been interesting, something that fans were interested in, as storytellers, we have to kind of serve what the scenes need to be.”

Snoke’s backstory and motivation aren’t especially relevant to Rey and Kylo Ren’s character arc. And with a runtime of more than two and a half hours, The Last Jedi didn’t need any extra scenes. Johnson made a good point by bringing up the Original Trilogy, because the Emperor received virtually no character development in a very similar role. Snoke’s enigmatic nature is also a good fit for Kylo Ren and the First Order’s obsession with the past, positioning Snoke as a hollow imitation of Palpatine.

That being said, Johnson didn’t rule out the possibility of more Snoke in the future. “Hopefully it can be addressed elsewhere or even J.J. may address it in the next movie,” he said. Since Star Wars rarely turns down an opportunity for a tie-in novel or comic, it’s safe to assume we’ll hear something else about Snoke’s backstory, even if he doesn’t reappear in Star Wars IX.

H/T to Comic Book Movie

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2018, 10:59 am CST