Why Rian Johnson didn't reveal more about Snoke in The Last Jedi

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi swam the depths of its main characters' stories, digging into Rey's (Daisy Ridley) past and parentage and bringing to light the vulnerabilities and ardent desires of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). It also explored the struggle between light and dark that both Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) faced. But one figure fans hoped to discover more about than they actually did was Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). 

During a Q&A session ahead of the 71st annual British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) ceremony, The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson revealed why he was stingy about giving up information relating to Snoke, and why audiences didn't get to glean from the film additional details on the villain's past. 

"In this particular story, it's much more like the original trilogy, where with Snoke if you think about the actual scenes, if suddenly I had paused one of the scenes to give a 30 second monologue about who he was, it would have kind of stopped the scene in its tracks, I realized. Even though it could have been interesting, something that fans were interested in, as storytellers, we have to kind of serve what the scenes need to be," Johnson stated (via CinemaBlend). "It was a tough thing, even though I knew some fans were interested in it, I also knew it wasn't something that dramatically had a place in this movie. Hopefully it can be addressed elsewhere, or even J.J. [Abrams] may address it in the next movie."

This explanation demonstrates just how much thought Johnson put into crafting The Last Jedi, and also proves that, despite the belief of some fans, he was always cognizant of what audiences were expecting from the movie. Keeping that at the forefront of his mind, Johnson was both able to disrupt what everyone was thinking would happen in The Last Jedi and create an enthralling new story. 

Moreover, Johnson's argument that it wouldn't make sense to focus on Snoke over the central characters is a pretty strong one. Though he was hulking and intimidating and gross to look at (bulging skull plus leathery white skin equals total horror show), Snoke simply wasn't a focal point in The Last Jedi when you think of the big picture. Including even one extra scene to explain Snoke's backstory would extend the film's already bloated run (155 minutes) and take away time that could have been spent with characters who don't get killed off before the third act. 

On the other hand, Johnson's mention that Abrams might play around with Snoke's history in Episode IX seems promising. We'll have to wait until that film is released on December 20, 2019 to see what Abrams chooses to do.