After five years, Supreme Leader Snoke has returned—well, in a way.
Andy Serkis, who brought the villain to life via mo-cap for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, unexpectedly popped back up in the Star Wars universe recently thanks to the Disney+ series Andor.
However, despite formerly playing Snoke, this time, he plays a man named Kino Loy, who is the floor leader in the work prison where the leading character finds himself trapped.
Currently, the character seems entirely separate from Snoke, which is likely to remain the case. However, that hasn't stopped some fans from generating wild theories that Kino will one day become Snoke.
Now, the incredible actor behind the new character has spoken about what makes Kino tick and his thoughts on fans' expectations regarding his past portrayal of Snoke.
Andy Serkis On His Kino
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Andy Serkis spoke about his new role in Andor as Kino Loy, who is basically the foreman of Cassian's work floor.
This isn't the first time Serkis has been a part of the Star Wars universe. He premiered as Supreme Leader Snoke in The Force Awakens and went on to be unceremonially killed in The Last Jedi.
However, the actor knows that "people will think" there's some sort of connection between Kino and Snoke.
While he doesn't elaborate on the point any further, he does explain how it was his "love [of] Rogue One" that convinced him to join the project:
"[Laughs.] I know! It’s a difficult one because I’m sure that’s exactly what people will think. And why would they think other? I was a bit confused as to whether to do it or not, but it was purely because I love Rogue One. I truly loved the grounding of that film in a world which felt both real and yet still felt epic. Also, I’m getting to play a character at the opposite end of the spectrum of a highly powerful Supreme Leader. [Kino Loy] is someone who is a real person in this world."
When asked if movies such as The Shawshank Redemption and Cool Hand Luke served as an inspiration to what audiences were watching unfold on Andor, Serkis confirmed that projects like those were "talk[ed] about."
Though, according to the actor, the key difference between the series and those films is how the Disney+ series showcases "a sterile environment," one where "you're not able to have any personal effects:"
"Shawshank almost feels luxurious because you can get to listen to opera! [Laughs.] We did talk about those films. But this was a sterile environment, where you’re not able to have any personal effects. It’s not like someone’s coming around with some library books for you to read or you can go work in the kitchens for a bit or whatever. Even the showering system: a door shuts, we all stand there in line. This vapor comes, you don’t even get to wash. You stand there, and you get vaped. And then you walk out and you put on your work clothes, which are the same as your evening clothes. It’s just like [another circuit, another mechanism]..."
As for why there are only humans in the prison (at least, that audiences have seen so far), Serkis pointed out how "the human beings in this setting have become irrelevant:"
"They are the lowest of the low. The human beings in this setting have become irrelevant. You did feel like you had been dehumanized and that you had no identity and that your identity was exactly the same as everybody else. So it was a massive kind of leveler in that respect."
But what is the backstory to this mysterious Kino? The actor revealed that he imagined his character formally "working as a foreman" who "[stood] up for workers' rights:"
"What I imagined of Kino’s backstory, before he was in prison, was that he was a union leader. He’s used to working as a foreman. I wanted him to come from a place where he was put in prison for, perhaps, standing up for workers’ rights, and then put into a position of authority because that’s what he does. He is a natural leader. But he really just wants to serve his time. He’s got a family. He wants to get out and get back, and assumes that that’s going to happen after his incarceration."
In a separate interview with Collider, Serkis reiterated that the character attempted to distance himself from caring about any other prisoners in an attempt to "survive the sentence, the torture, [and] the desensitization:"
“When he was incarcerated, he then almost sheds any desire to look out for other people apart from himself. Just do his time and get out. To try and get out and just survive the sentence, the torture, the desensitization. I think it was that desensitization that made me perhaps have that slightly lost but kind of hardened and toughened shell.”
What's the Future of Kino?
Given how episode nine ended, it seems certain that Kino's now joined Andor in the fight against the system. More namely, he's going to be part of the effort to break out of their current imprisonment.
But will he make it out alive? That's where it feels like Kino will fall short; he's been perfectly maneuvered into the self-sacrifice position.
If that is indeed what happens, conspiracy theorists will no doubt pose theories about how the Empire probably nabbed his body and started using him for cloning experiments—leading to the eventual creation of Supreme Leader Snoke.
On the other hand, maybe Kino will survive and become a key part of the Rebellion. Unfortunately, though, seeing as he doesn't appear at any point in Rogue One, his chances of survival still aren't very good.
Andor is now streaming on Disney+.