Since he’s an actor who often plays the baddies and the weirdos, Andy Serkis is a pro at getting under his characters’ skin to understand what makes them tick. In the case of The Last Jedi’s Supreme Leader Snoke, that’s past trauma, righteous fury, and outright greed. Snoke is not the monk-like Sith Emperor of the original Star Wars trilogy. He’s much more volatile, and a lot more destructive.

Serkis spoke to Entertainment Weekly for their exhaustive Last Jedi edition in this month’s issue of the magazine, and he explained how Snoke manipulated his disciples General Hux and Kylo Ren, and why he’s so angry at the Resistance all the time.

His training of Kylo Ren is not yielding what he wants. Therefore his anger towards Kylo Ren is intensified because he can’t bear weakness in others. Part of the manipulation is goading him with Hux and playing them off against each other.

The thing about Snoke is that he is extremely strong with the Force, the dark side of the Force. He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character. He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.

Serkis also said that this time around, the First Order, though they are sans Starkiller Base, will have “limitless resources” with which to fight the Resistance. (He doesn’t go into exactly how the organization got those resources after the Empire was destroyed in Return of the Jedi, but maybe we’ll learn some of that backstory in this one too.)

Serkis also modified his own performance to fit that of Snoke, taping down his lip on one side to restrict his mouth movements to show off Snoke’s giant head/face injury. But having been mauled hasn’t changed Snoke’s love of luxury and performance, as you can see in his giant throne room and the opulent fabrics he wears. “The way that his court is presented, he’s very totalitarian in that way and flamboyant,” Serkis says. “He enjoys that theatricality, I think.”

EW also released a new photo of Snoke and Domhnall Gleeon's General Hux from the film:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.

Gallery – 28 Awesome Hi-Res Images from The Last Jedi:

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