‘Star Wars’ villain Emperor Snoke was originally meant to be female

·Contributor
Ivan Manzella opens up about creating Star Wars' Supreme Leader Snoke (Image by Lucasfilm)
Ivan Manzella opens up about creating Star Wars' Supreme Leader Snoke (Image by Lucasfilm)

Star Wars’ creature designer and sculptor Ivan Manzella has opened up about the early ideas for The Force Awakens and the return of the franchise, including that Supreme Leader Snoke was supposed to be a woman. 

Manzella admitted as much during her recent appearance on the Force Material podcast, teasing that the first design he originally worked on for Snoke before the 2015 blockbuster was very, very different to the finished character.

Read More: Andy Serkis only just found out Star Wars 8 is called The Last Jedi

"I think initially when they spoke about her, she was female. Because the first image I did I based on a female, but then that just very quickly went away.”

“So either it was just in passing or something. But I think I just did one image and that was it, and no one else did anymore. I don't know if anyone did really, then from then on it just became the male."

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Andy Serkis during the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' photocall at Corinthia Hotel London on December 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Andy Serkis during the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' photocall at Corinthia Hotel London on December 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Manzella wasn’t given any backstory for Snoke when he began his work. Instead, all he had to go on, was a description of a “Hammer ghoul type character.” 

One thing Manzella did know, though was that he wanted Snoke to look vastly different to Emperor Palpatine, even though Ian McDiarmid’s villain repeatedly popped into his head. 

Read More: The best Easter eggs and cameos to watch out for in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' (SPOILERS)

In order to achieve his vision, Manzella did various illustrations with “mechanical bits to keep him alive a bit. Not like a respirator, but like breathing bits and tubes. One of the images was a tube coming out of his nose I guess kind of keeping him alive.”

“There was quite a few drawings and I did quite a few little maquette heads... I guess he kind of just looks like an old man. But as we did the maquette we just went quite gross and sort of deformed and stuff like that."