Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Leonard Kirk
Published by: Marvel Comics
Chronology Placement: Set five years before “The Force Awakens”
Supreme Leader Snoke was one of the most intriguing parts of The Force Awakens, appearing as a huge shadowy hologram to order both Kylo Ren and General Hux about. While his reign was cut short (literally) in The Last Jedi, I was looking forward to finding out more about the character through Expanded Universe materials. Predating the reveals in The Rise of Skywalker, this single issue story from Tom Taylor and Leonard Kirk explores the fractious relationship between Snoke and his new apprentice, whilst dropping hints about Snoke’s connection to Palpatine. Taylor’s script revisits that iconic cave of visions in Dagobah, and forces Kylo Ren to face his own demons. There’s a great sequence towards the end of the issue that not only foreshadows Snoke’s over-confidence in his ability to read his apprentice’s thoughts, but also Kylo Ren’s frustrations in being unable to sever his emotional connection to his parents on his own.
The artwork from Leonard Kirk is astonishingly beautiful, beginning with a glorious full page close-up on Snoke’s gnarled face. He manages to capture the regal, yet grizzled look of Snoke – managing to be both similar and different from Emperor Palpatine. Kirk’s artwork captures the emotion of the story, evoking the eerie nature of Dagobah years after Luke and Yoda’s time there. Tom Taylor does a great job at showcasing the complicated relationship between Snoke and Kylo Ren – hinted at in The Force Awakens – as well as showcasing the inherent flaws in both men that eventually lead to the sudden confrontation between the two in The Last Jedi. His characterisation of Kylo Ren is wonderfully subtle, reflecting Adam Driver’s own performance in the sequel trilogy. While Snoke never really got an opportunity to shine as an antagonist or a “supreme leader” in the movies, this issue gives us a better look at the kind of man he was and how his arrogance would inevitably lead to his downfall.
Score – ★★★★
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – “Supreme Leader Snoke” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains“, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.