Supreme Leader Snoke debuted in The Force Awakens as a larger than life hologram, immediately igniting extravagant fan theories about the villain's origins. The character got a much more integral role in The Last Jedi, but writer/director Rian Johnson toyed with bringing him to life using practical makeup effects before settling on utilizing Andy Serkis' motion-capture abilities to convey the character.
"Rian got a sculpt done by the creature team, which completely transformed the look of Snoke away from the almost gelatinous zombie look that was in The Force Awakens, and stamped him into the real world," visual effects supervisor Ben Morris shared with Deadline. "We had that maquette on set, and we also made sure that we had an older actor who we could shoot on every time we had a shot."
Serkis provided the character's voice in The Force Awakens, but as he did nothing more than sit on a throne in that film, The Last Jedi required more of the performer.
"So we would have Andy Serkis in his performance capture outfit. He’d have a head-mounted camera system on—we actually had four cameras, two stereo pairs watching his face," Morris noted. "We were capturing his body movements, and we had two or three witness cameras
All of these elements came together to start bringing the character to life, resulting in a surprising impact on the film.
"With all of that reference, Rian went into editorial and started
The decisions with the character going forward delivered the filmmakers a far more horrifying character than originally intended.
"When you look
You can learn more about the process
Do you wish Snoke had been created with practical effects? Let us know in the comments!