The latest entry in the Star Wars saga answers a lot questions people had about the late Supreme Leader Snoke. The enigmatic villain was surprisingly killed off in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and then seemingly replaced by the return of Emperor Palpatine in the newest movie. But Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker offers a major reveal about Snoke in one very quick visual, which answers a lot of the mysteries surrounding the character without explicitly explaining anything except for a vague statement from Palpatine himself.
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
In the beginning of the movie, when Kylo Ren first arrives on Exogol after tracking down the Emperor, he mentions that he killed Snoke, prompting Palpatine to reply that he "made Snoke." We then see a big vat filled with various chunks of Snoke's body, including two different torsos and heads. This indicates that Palpatine's followers genetically engineered clones of Snoke to act as a vessel for the Emperor's bidding.
Brandon confirmed that this was the case, revealing they thought it was an effective way to fill in some gaps of information without spending a lot of time with a character explaining anything.
"I just think that came up as a visual effect that we thought would be really fun for an audience, to create a visual that would tell that whole story," Brandon explained. "I believe that's successful. We didn't have to change a lot of dialogue. You just see one shot [...] and you kind of get it. I love stuff like that. We can just have a moment where you just see something in the background and you go, 'OK, I totally get that.'"
This might seem like a jarring pivot to explain how Palpatine, a character who was not seen in the previous two movies, was actually responsible for Kylo Ren's turn to the Dark Side as well as the rise of the First Order. But director J.J. Abrams explained to Uproxx that Palpatine had to play a role in the saga's finale.
"Well, when you look at this as nine chapters of a story, perhaps the weirder thing would be if Palpatine didn't return," Abrams said. "You just look at what he talks about, who he is, how important he is, what the story is — strangely, his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing in theaters.