As Star Wars: The Force Awakens grows closer, we’re starting to learn more and more about all the characters, new and old. Rey was abandoned by her parents on Jakku. Princess Leia is now General Leia Organa. BB-8 is a she. But, there’s still one character we know almost nothing about: Supreme Leader Snoke. Other than a mysterious voiceover in the very first teaser trailer, we’ve seen nothing of Andy Serkis’ mo-cap villain. But now, as part of Entertainment Weekly’s big double-issue Star Wars cover story, we know a little bit more about Snoke.

In the first Force Awakens trailer, we hear Serkis’ Snoke intone, “There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?” We presume he’s talking to Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren because J.J. Abrams would later say of Snoke, “[Kylo Ren] works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.” Since then: nothing. And we’re not the only ones. Serkis says he didn’t even know what the character was going to look like.

“It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean talk about secrecy!”

And there’s a good reason he didn’t know what Snoke was going to look like, because a lot of it changed based on Serkis’ performance. Says the actor: “When we first started working on it, [J.J. Abrams] had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully-formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance.”

Serkis couldn’t talk about what Snoke would look like, but he did drop some hints. “He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design – you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics. It’s too extreme. Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure.”

So who is Snoke and what does he want? Well, you’re going to have to go see The Force Awakens to find out all the details, but Serkis explains, “Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage.”

Before you think he may be The Emperor reincarnated, or some other existing Star Wars character, Serkis does confirm that he’s “a new character in this universe.” But, just because he is new, doesn’t mean he’s blind to the events of the past 30 years. “He is aware of the past to a great degree.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18.

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