Rian Johnson, writer and director of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ gave a new interview with EW where he talked a lot about many fans’ new favorite villain in the franchise, Supreme Leader Snoke, as played via motion-capture by veteran CGI actor Andy Serkis.
First, Johnson spoke about the difference between Snoke’s personal group of First Order guardians, the Praetorian Guard (as seen above), and how the differ from the red-clad Royal Guards that were featured as protectors of the Emporer in the original trilogy of ‘Star Wars’ films:
“The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t. 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 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.”
The name seem familiar to you? Johnson intentionally pulled the name of the Praetorian Guard from ancient Roman history:
“If we can get kids’ ears to perk up in history class a little bit when they hear that, that’d be a cool thing.”
Johnson also took the opportunity to talk about exactly how much of Snoke’s back-story will be revealed in the upcoming film:
“Similar to Rey’s parentage, Snoke is here to serve a function in the story. And a story is not a Wikipedia page. For example, in the original trilogy, we didn’t know anything about the Emperor except what Luke knew about him, that he’s the evil guy behind Vader. Then in the prequels, you knew everything about Palpatine because his rise to power was the story. [In ‘The Last Jedi,’] we’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to. We will see more of him, and Andy Serkis will get to do much more in this film than he did in the last one – and that guy is just a force of nature.”
Lastly, Johnson praised Serkis’ ability to bring Snoke to life on the big screen:
“It’s entirely a mo-cap performance. [Creature designer] Neal Scanlan built a maquette that we had on set for lighting reference and to give the actors a sense of what it was going to feel like. And then we scanned that and [Industrial Light & Magic] used that in their renderings, but Snoke will be an entirely CG creation. [Watching Serkis do motion-capture], I’d be sitting at the monitor just with my eyes as big as dinner plates. 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.’”
Sounds like fans of Snoke have much to look forward to when the new film hits theaters in just a few short months!
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ will premiere in American cinemas on December 15, 2017.