Though J.J. Abrams used practical effects whenever possible in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was necessary to utilize CGI for one particular character: the villainous Supreme Leader Snoke. The hideously scarred baddie was only glimpsed as a giant hologram in the film, but that was most likely just a clever way to introduce him without giving too much away, and he will almost certainly appear in the flesh in the still untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII. Plus, he may not be a CG creation this time.
The guys over at MakingStarWars.net reckon Snoke – who was played via motion capture technology by Andy Serkis in The Force Awakens – will actually be a practical effect in Rian Johnson’s follow-up, and will be brought to life using a seven or eight foot-tall puppet, operated by several people to get him to walk.
Snoke didn’t go down too well with some fans who felt he looked a little cartoonish, so it’s entirely possible they’ve decided to go another route this time around – though if this rumor does turn out to be on the level, my guess is they’ll also use digital effects to alter his appearance in post, much the same way as they did with Unkar Plutt from The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is on course to hit theaters on December 15th, 2017. In the meantime, you can find out a little more about three of the new characters we’ll be meeting right here.