THE LAST JEDI Will Barely Feature [Spoiler]

Earlier this week,  Vanity Fair awed the whole of the internet with a Starkiller Base-sized behind-the-scenes profile of The Last Jedi. As if the piece wasn’t rich enough in interesting tidbits about the forthcoming chapter of the Star Wars saga, one of the publication’s imperial officers, David Kamp, pulled a Bodhi, nobly bringing prized information to the Reddit community… which, if you’ll allow me to mix in a third incongruous Star Wars metaphor, is essentially the Mos Eisley Cantina of the ‘net. Among the more interesting pieces of information that spring forth from Kamp’s Reddit AMA involves The Force Awakens‘ ghoulish First Order puppet master, Supreme Leader Snoke, and the role he’ll play in  The Last Jedi. Or won’t.

As it turns out, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson told Kamp that Snoke’s part will be downgraded even further for this second chapter of the new trilogy. “I asked Rian Johnson about Snoke—Who/what is he?” Kamp said on Reddit. “And Rian was fairly up front in saying that Snoke is not a character he particularly gets into in TLJ. Hmmm.”

“Hmmm” indeed. Granted, it isn’t terribly shocking to hear that Snoke might take a backseat to the events of The Last Jedi‘s foremost players, especially now that Luke Skywalker is back in the spotlight for a long-awaited return to soul-searching, Force-training, sunset-staring, and power converter-up-picking. (All that stuff eats up a lot of screen time, you know.) Considering how many comparisons to Emperor Palpatine Snoke has thus far earned, it shouldn’t be especially surprising that the shadowy figure looming large over this new intergalactic generation should follow in the footsteps of his forebear–if you’ll recall, Palpatine barely had any onscreen material at all until Return of the Jedi.

Then again, we can’t evade the concern that Rian Johnson may have shied away from the inclusion of Snoke in his story because the character, as many of us had to admit upon watching The Force Awakens, doesn’t seem to be all that interesting (at least when compared to the far more dynamic humans, droids, and Wookiees in his company).

While this kind of erasure might seem a good solution to a dullard of a baddie, it may actually suggest a great threat to the dramatic oomph of the series as a whole. Should we be further worried that the Supreme Leader’s presence in the Star Wars series will, as a result of relegation to the backdrop, render dramatically inert much in the way his fellow Disney-owned, throned-affixed evil overlord Thanos’ has in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Kind of a catch-2D2.

All that said, Brick and Looper director Johnson knows his way around dramatic build, so we’re mighty excited to see what he’s working on for The Last Jedi, and what it’ll leave us with for the eventual final chapter of the saga. And hey, with plenty of spinning theories about the true identity of Snoke, who’s to say some form of him won’t rear its head in this next picture?

Images: Lucasfilm

Has The Last Jedi‘s mystery character been revealed?

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