One of the most divisive subjects of discussion about Star Wars: The Last Jedi has to be the fate of Snoke.
Warning: This article contains major plot spoilers.
Fans just cannot accept the fact that the supposed powerful master of the Force was killed easily in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, by his conflicted apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) no less. It is not so much as the death though, but how it was handled.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director-writer Rian Johnson explained why he chose to get rid of Snoke.
His goal was to transform Kylo Ren from being a “wannabe Vader to someone who is standing on his own feet as a complex villain taking the reins.”
He did this by knocking “the shaky foundation out from under him at the beginning” of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
“But then the question is: What place would Snoke have at the end of that? That made me realize the most interesting thing would be to eliminate that dynamic between the ’emperor’ and pupil, so that all bets are off going into the next one. That also led to the possibility of this dramatic turn in the middle, which could also be a really powerful connection point between Kylo and Rey (Daisy Ridley).”
The popular Star Wars watcher and YouTuber Star Wars Theory, who was one of the ardent fans who profusely posted theories and speculations about Snoke ever since his introduction in the Star Wars universe, had a couple of problems with Johnson’s reasoning though.
He wonders why Johnson wanted to make things unpredictable going beyond Star Wars: The Last Jedi when the point was for him to build on Star Wars: Episode 9.
The YouTuber added that the movie did not even provide answers to some of the biggest questions posed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making it feel more of a filler than a sequel.
He also pointed out that there was no foundation to knock off of Kylo Ren in the first place because he was as unstable and conflicted as he was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens moving into Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars Theory believes Snoke’s death would have done the opposite and slowed Kylo Ren down because there will be no one to provide him guidance, which he clearly still needs.
It is to be pointed out that his change of mind may have something to do with Rey. During their Force connection, which was initiated by Snoke, Kylo Ren realized that he does not have to do his master’s bidding to rule the galaxy and that he does not have to follow every step his grandfather took, including being Palpatine’s puppet.
He discovered that with his Force powers and Rey’s, he could fulfill his true destiny while ultimately removing his leash from Snoke and solving their deepest of troubles, which is being alone in the world.
Some fans are not taking what was shown in Star Wars: The Last Jedi at face value having learned their lesson that things are not always as it seems in Star Wars and basically in every other franchise at this point.
This is why fans think that Snoke is not dead yet. Some say that his story will still be fleshed out in Star Wars: Episode 9 and that he will be back with a vengeance, which is not a stretch since he is a powerful dark sider. However, the scene with his tongue sticking out is understood as Johnson’s way of saying he is a goner.
Also, some, including Star Wars Theory, just do not believe that Kylo Ren is compelling enough to be the main villain. He was definitely far from stable upon seeing his uncle in the final act of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His emotions could still get the best of him.
The YouTuber believes that it will be more interesting to have a new force of power to emerge out of nowhere to challenge him in Star Wars: Episode 9, perhaps the second apprentice that Lucasfilm teased.
Some feel that Snoke should have had a backstory told in the film to at least justify that Kylo killing him was a big deal. The First Order was just already up and running when the saga started. There was no explanation how the supreme leader pulled all that off.
Johnson did not think it was important to the story, pointing out that there was nothing revealed about Palpatine’s past in the original trilogy as well. He does believe that Snoke’s history is “interesting.”
“I never want to poo-poo the fans coming up with theories. It’s part of the fun of being a “Star Wars” fan. If there is a place for it in another story, I hope it gets told.”
There are also those who still cannot wrap their head around the fact that Kylo Ren managed to trick his master. While he always had the tendency to disobey him—it is the main reason he and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) clash in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the first place—it is how he got to deceive an expert manipulator whose primary use of Force power is with the mind that baffles them.
Fans cannot just buy into Kylo Ren being more powerful than him because there wasn’t enough build up for that too, which is what they feel should be what this film should have focused on in the first place.
Yoda did have a throwaway line in the movie where he implied that masters like them are what students grow beyond, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi did not show that this was the case for Kylo Ren and Rey, at least not yet.
Based on Johnson’s statements, however, Snoke met his doom in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Whether he will return to the franchise or not remains unclear at the moment.