By Travis Martin
In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, trailers and images that show antagonists have mostly shown Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the Darth Vader -esque character with the cross guard lightsaber. But there is still someone who Kylo Ren and other villains General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) must answer to within the First Order: Supreme Leader Snoke, played by motion-capture master Andy Serkis.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Serkis says this: “It was quite an unusual situation. I worked specifically with Domhnall Gleeson and with Adam Driver. My first day was basically standing on a 25-foot podium doing Lord Snoke without the faintest idea what he looked like… or in fact who he was! I was very high up, totally on my own, away from everybody else, but acting with them.”
Serkis also revealed that the character “is severely damaged. Although he’s a powerful leader, he comes across as vulnerable. Very scarred and disfigured.” But the actor assures Empire that Snoke is far from vunerable or helpless: “we used sort of a ‘Kongolizer’ method of having sound come out of speakers to give a sense of scale and distance for the character. So it was very challenging and scary, in fact probably one of my most scary film experiences I’ve ever had.”
It is rather strange that Serkis, or any actor, would not have an idea about what the character they would look like. But knowing Serkis and his stellar mocap performances, I bet he had an imagination about what the leader of the First Order and the Knights of Ren would look like, evoking an Emperor Palpatine mood to it. Hopefully, like other conserns I have with the film, Snoke is something new and different from the Original Trilogy. Otherwise, Snoke sounds terrifying. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will release December 18.