'Star Wars': Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke?

What do we know about the new big bad of a galaxy far, far away?
Jonathan Short/Invision/AP

His voice was the first heard in the original teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but since then, Supreme Leader Snoke has remained a mystery — so much so that even Andy Serkis, who voices the CGI character, told Entertainment Weekly he wasn't sure what he looked like during production. So what do we know about the new big bad of a galaxy far, far away?

J.J. Abrams has described the character as "a powerful figure on the dark side of the Force," with Serkis himself teasing that the character is "quite an enigmatic character and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. … Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose."

What is that true agenda? Serkis won't be drawn, saying only that 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" — which, to be fair, someone who's a powerful figure on the dark side probably should be.

Don't take that to mean that Snoke is a familiar face with a new name, however; Serkis clarified to EW that he is "very much a newly introduced character." (While we're talking about busting rumors, Serkis previously had deflated expectations that Snoke was particularly athletic. "I'm not leading a band of gymnasts or acrobats," he said last year.)

The actor said that the final look of the character — which remains under wraps, unless he's shown up on a poster and we've not realized it — "almost came out of discussion and performance" during the shoot. "I’ve been able to see the look and design of the character grow and change as the performances change. So it’s been really exciting in that respect."

And what does that design actually look like? "He is large. He appears tall," Serkis told EW. "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]."

A powerful, vulnerable villain who uses the dark side of the Force to his own ends and has a visually spectacular design too distinctive for real life? Prepare to meet the next Darth Vader when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec. 18.

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