Andy Serkis is “Supreme Leader Snoke” in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

By May 28, 2015

Ever since word first came down that actor Andy Serkis had joined the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans and observers have been wondering who he’d play. Would it be a motion capture character, following in his traditions from The Lord of the Rings trilogy’s Gollum, or like Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes franchise? Or, would he be appearing in live-action as he recently did in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Now, we have an answer.

According to, the character that Serkis will be playing is called “Supreme Leader Snoke,” and it looks like it will be yet another role the versatile actor will bring to life through motion capture. See the image of Serkis performing the character below (click to enlarge).


Because of the nature of motion capture, and considering the tracking balls on his face are usually designed to capture the intricacies of expression, it seems unlikely that Serkis’ character will be human. What could Snoke be a “Supreme Leader” of, exactly? Considering that it was confirmed that Serkis provided the vocal narration from the film’s first teaser trailer, as well as the expression he’s carrying in the above photo, it also seems most likely that he will be portraying an antagonist. The words he spoke in that first trailer were,

There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark Side…and the Light.

He seems to be conveying the fact that he himself has felt this “awakening” in both sides of the Force, which could indicate that Snoke is a Force-sensitive character. One of the people he could be talking to is Kylo Ren, the red lightsaber-wielding character that will be played by Adam Driver, and he could be acting as some kind of mentor to Ren. With the title of “Supreme Leader,” could he be the heir-apparent to the throne of the Empire in the wake of Palpatine’s death at the hands of Darth Vader?

All of this is pure speculation, but its certainly fun to try and figure out exactly who Serkis will be playing beforehand. Either way, all will be revealed when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
  • David Johnson

    Am Actually looking forward to this Star Wars, haven’t been able to say that in a long time!!!!

  • tommymadden3

    That picture is so creepy! I wonder how long it takes actors to get used to all that mental equipment around them all the time

  • Daniel

    Can’t wait to see who he ends up playing, the recording devices for motion capture look intense, it would probably give me panic attacks being hooked up to all that !