The Last Jedi answered a great many questions that fans had after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it raised a great many more. And, in some cases, it completely ignored some burning questions. Director Rian Johnson isn’t backpedaling at all though, as he stands by all of the decisions he made. Specifically, how he handled Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. During a Q&A for BAFTA, director Rian Johnson addressed his decision not to explore Snoke’s past, or really anything about the now deceased former leader of the First Order, beyond getting to see him on screen using his Force powers a bit more. For Johnson, it was all about serving the story and he feels any exposition regarding Snoke wouldn’t have been in service of the story he was trying to tell in The Last Jedi. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“In this particular story, it’s much more like the original trilogy, where with Snoke if you think about the actual scenes, if suddenly I had paused one of the scenes to give a 30 second monologue about who he was, it would have kind of stopped the scene in its tracks, I realized. Even though it could have been interesting, something that fans were interested in, as storytellers, we have to kind of serve what the scenes need to be. It was a tough thing, even though I knew some fans were interested in it I also knew it wasn’t something that dramatically had a place in this movie. Hopefully it can be addressed elsewhere or even J.J. may address it in the next movie. But it’s not something that’s particularly interesting to Rey, so we kind of had to follow through.”
In many ways, Rian Johnson isn’t wrong. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is already, as is, the longest movie in the history of the franchise. And with that, there’s a lot going on. Adding an additional thread exploring Snoke any further might have muddied things up a bit. Still, the movie has proved to be divisive amongst fans and Snoke is a big sticking point for people. Having him killed off with virtually nothing about his character having been explored on screen did serve to disappoint a large section of the fanbase.
As Rian Johnson also points out, J.J. Abrams could still choose to explore Snoke a bit in Star Wars 9. There’s also always an opportunity for a comic book or novel taking a deep dive on Snoke before he became the Supreme Leader of the First Order and how he seized control of the galaxy’s greatest threat. This interview, which comes to us from WaltDisneyStudiosAwards.com, helps shine a light on Rian Johnson’s intentions which, even if they are frustrating to many, seem to be sensible form a storytelling standpoint. Guess we’re in for another couple years of wide-ranging Snoke theories.