**WARNING: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI SPOILERS LIE AHEAD**
It’s fair to say that the storyline for uber-powerful baddie Supreme leader Snoke in Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi took many fans by surprise, with Andy Serkis’ motion-capture villain unexpectedly murdered by apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) before we ever learned more about where he sprung from.
Previously, fans had suggested he was a Sith Lord from the old Star Wars books, the original Emperor or even Boba Fett, but now it seems possible we’ll never find out where Snoke popped up from – unless, of course, Serkis himself has his way.
What’s he saving it for? Why, Snoke: A Star Wars story, of course.
“I know what his backstory is! And I’m just saving it for the Snoke spin-off,” Serkis told us in an interview for new Marvel movie Black Panther, where he plays arms dealer Ulysses Klaue.
And Black Panther co-star Martin Freeman even had a possible title for the prospective new film, if it concerned Snoke’s miraculous resurrection…
“When Snoke woke!” he suggested.
“Exactly!” Serkis agreed. “Yes, so I’m going to keep it in my back pocket until I get my own movie.”
Still, fans won’t have to wait until that release to see Serkis in action in a Disney film again, with the actor returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Panther as a character he first brought to life in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – though Serkis now says he had no idea he’d be back for any future films.
“I wasn’t sure where it was going to go at all,” Serkis told RadioTimes.com.
“I actually got involved in Age of Ultron working with Mark Ruffalo on his [Hulk] performance capture stuff. And then Joss Whedon asked me to… he said ‘Look, we’ve got this really cool character Ulyssess Klaue’ – and it was an awesome character to play.
“I then realised of course that it was part of the Black Panther story. But I didn’t know it was going to be leading to this one.”
Co-star Freeman, meanwhile, told us that he was much more in the loop about what to expect for his own character, CIA operative Everett Ross (who first appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War).
“I genuinely did because I had a conversation with [Marvel studios President] Kevin Feige at the end of 2014, so I knew that was the trajectory for Agent Ross, yes,” he told us.
“I knew a little about Everett Ross, but I think our version of Everett Ross is slightly different from the comics. I put my sixpence worth in, and Ryan and I talked a lot about what we wanted the function of him to be.
“We both agreed we didn’t just want him to be goofy white guy, among a load of sexy black people. Do you know what I mean? That would have been deeply tedious. We talked a lot before filming started, a few months before filming started. And he was in total agreement that he didn’t want him to be a cipher character.
“It’s interesting, because that’s the conversation a lot of black actors have in majority white films. I don’t just want to be a function – I want to be there for a reason. And that was me having that conversation in reverse.”
And while he’s not due to turn up in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, the Sherlock star is keen to make an appearance in future Black Panther films going forward.
“I hope so, yeah,” he said. “It was really good fun. We all want to keep doing jobs that we find fun, and this was a really fun job, and one that I’m proud to be in.
“So yeah, I hope we see more of Ross.”
If not, well, we’re sure there’s a part in the Snoke Star Wars spin-off that would be a perfect fit.
Black Panther is released in UK cinemas on the 13th May