Bit by bit, Disney/Lucasfilm is peeling back the mystery of “The Force Awakens” before it arrives in theaters this December. The roll-out has layers…like an onion or a parfait.

The latest layer to be revealed? Andy Serkis in full “costume.”

Over at, Annie Leibovitz gave an exclusive interview about what it’s been like to have exclusive access to the iconic saga over the years for her photoshoots. There were a handful of tiny reveals — BB-8 is referred to by male pronouns, how Leibovitz requested Lupita put on the MoCap rig to show off that side of movie magic — peppered throughout.

Then halfway through the interview, the bombshell is dropped. Andy Serkis will play a new character known as Supreme Leader Snoke. What does that mean, exactly? No one knows and that’s the point. The wild speculation rumpus begins anew!

Image Credit: Vanity Fair. Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

This isn’t the first time the title of Supreme Leader has popped up in Star Wars lore. It’s been used both by the droid army in reference to Asajj Ventress in canon, and as a title of veneration for the Imperial Warlords in the now retconned Expanded Universe.

The obvious answer would be Supreme Leader Snoke is either the leader of the new First Order or a high-ranking general. If so the Empire is truly dead, long live the Empire. Having Serkis in a MoCap rig indicates he is playing an alien. Under Palpatine’s leadership, no non-human would’ve risen that far in the ranks. Unless. Could Supreme Leader Snoke be the reimagined version of Thrawn? As a Chiss, Thrawn was the only non-human to ever rise to Grand Admiral before he was swept away during Disney’s housecleaning of Star Wars lore. Perhaps some of his origin story was salvaged to be grafted on to whatever role Supreme Leader Snoke has to play (though doubtful Serkis is playing Chiss as that merely would require contacts and blue body paint).

Or perhaps “Supreme Leader” is merely a tongue-in-cheek title for one of the many smuggler denizens of Jakku.

Or — and this is tin-hat territory — perhaps the MoCap photograph is a complete fake-out.

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for more information!


Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.