5 Ideas on Andy Serkis’s Stars Wars: The Force Awakens Character

The internet was aflame with fresh news about Star Wars: The Force Awakens—the reveal of Andy Serkis’s character, one Supreme Leader Snoke, and the Vanity Fair photo by Annie Leibovitz of Serkis in his performance capture gear.

There is really no more information about Serkis’s character, but of course that hasn’t stopped people, including us, from speculating. Take the featured image above—might that figure on the stage behind the Stormtroopers be Serkis's character?

What we do know is this:

It was Serkis’s character who narrates the first Force Awakens teaser. His voice is…slightly menacing, no?

Then again, as IGN pointed out, the assumed villainy inherent in Serkis’s narration could be meant to throw us off—his Supreme Leader Snoke could be a good guy. He could be a good guy, but then there’s that title, “Supreme Leader,” which is rarely anointed to someone with a democratic bent.

What we do know for sure is that Snoke won’t look like Serkis—the performance capture suit that Serkis has perfected is going to be used to transform him into something else, whether he’s inhuman, half-human, sub-human, he's not going to look like Serkis. Jumping into the speculation game, we’re offering five ideas of what kind of being Serkis could be, and would love to hear from you on what you think.

1) Unlike Serkis’ famed work as Caesar in Planet of the Apes and Gollum in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, perhaps his Snoke will be a being on a much larger scale—say, something like his work as King Kong? With that performance capture suit, Serkis’s movements can be adapted to a creature of any size—perhaps Snoke will be a much more monstrous character.

2) Serkis has been brilliant at imbuing animals and the former hobbit Gollum with emotion, but what if his Snoke isn’t an organic being at all, but a machine? Like General Grievous from The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith, Snoke could be more machine than anything else.

Obi-Wan vs. Grievous on Disney Video

3) What if Serkis’s Snoke was less a formidable warrior like a General Grievous or some kind of Sith and more in the vein of one of the most beloved antagonists in the Star Wars galaxy? What if instead of skill with a light saber, Snoke was more of a wheeler and dealer, and a grotesque figure, like our very favorite intergalactic slumlord?

My Kind of Scum on Disney Video

4) The performance capture suit could be used in another way; instead of turning Serkis into an other-worldy character, it could be used to turn him into a ruined human. Think of Darth Vader right after he was defeated by Obi Wan and left to burn on the volcanic planet Mustafar. His Snoke could be hideously scarred, and, like Vader, those scars could be what fuel his desire for revenge (provided his has a desire for revenge).

5) Imagine if J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars folks went a completely different direction—what if Serkis’s Supreme Leader Snoke was more like a shape-shifting creature encountered in the many Star Wars spinoffs, like a Changeling, a Bedlam Spirit or a Filar-Nitzan? There’s nothing stopping Serkis’s performance capture suit and the wizards at ILM from capturing multiple performances from him.


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.

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