J.J. Abrams Laughed At Snoke’s Death In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Snoke in The Last Jedi

Whatever your personal opinion on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it was certainly a surprising watch. Sure, the saga hasn’t been short of shocking twists in the past – Vader as Luke’s father springs to mind – but Episode VIII undercut audiences’ expectations at every turn. One prominent example includes the unceremonious death of Supreme Leader Snoke, who’d previously been set up as the new Emperor Palpatine in The Force Awakens

But how did J.J. Abrams, the man responsible for introducing Snoke in TFA, react when he first discovered TLJ was going to kill the villain off in this way? Well, apparently, he laughed.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Rise of Skywalker director admits that he was tickled by this twist when reading the script for the first time as he thought it was a brilliant example of Rian Johnson’s unique take on the material.

When I read his first draft, it made me laugh, because I saw that was his take and his voice. I got to watch cuts of the movie as he was working on it, as an audience member. And I appreciated the choices he made as a filmmaker that would probably be very different from the choices that I would have made. Just as he would have made different choices if he had made Episode VII.”

Even more so than Snoke’s death, the treatment of Luke Skywalker in TLJ was hugely controversial, with many fans not agreeing with Johnson’s interpretation of the former hero of the Rebellion turning out to be a disillusioned, cynical hermit. Abrams went on to say how this also came as a big surprise to him, but he thinks that the unexpected character development is part of what the sequel “undeniably succeeds at.”

“I felt the biggest surprise was how dark Luke was. That was the thing that I thought: ‘Oh, that was unexpected.’ And that’s the thing The Last Jedi undeniably succeeds at, which is constant subversion of expectation. The number of things that happened in that movie that aren’t the thing you think is going to happen is pretty fun.”

Abrams has previously commented that Johnson’s bold storytelling decisions in Star Wars: The Last Jedi have inspired him to take some risks with Episode IX, after he perhaps hued a little too closely to the past with the very nostalgic TFA. We’ve yet to discover exactly what risks the filmmaker is alluding to, but we’ll find out when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th. Maybe they’ll cause some of us to laugh out loud in shock as well?