Director Rian Johnson opened up a little bit about Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and also offers details on the crimson Praetorian Guards, who protect him. Every major evil villain in the Star Wars universe needs a crimson guard! When talking about the Praetorian Guards with EW, Johnson says:
“The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t. They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians, my brief to [costume designer] Michael Kaplan was that those guys have to be more like samurai. They have to be built to move, and you have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous.”
I love the design of these guards! They are just really freakin' cool looking and I can't wait to see them in action. Their name actually comes from our own history from the elite special guard who protected ancient Roman emperors.
The director explains that these are Snoke's personal guards and they stick with him all the time. I guess that means whoever comes up against Snoke will have to deal with these Praetorian Guards first. When talking about Snoke and his place in the story, the director says:
“Similar to Rey’s parentage, Snoke is here to serve a function in the story. And a story is not a Wikipedia page. For example, in the original trilogy, we didn’t know anything about the Emperor except what Luke knew about him, that he’s the evil guy behind Vader. Then in the prequels, you knew everything about Palpatine because his rise to power was the story.”
He goes on to say that "we’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to." He also revealed that Andy Serkis' Snoke will be entirely a mo-cap performance. There were rumors that he might be a puppet, but that's not the case. Johnson explained:
“[Creature designer] Neal Scanlan built a maquette that we had on set for lighting reference and to give the actors a sense of what it was going to feel like. And then we scanned that and [Industrial Light & Magic] used that in their renderings, but Snoke will be an entirely CG creation.”
As for Serkis' performance in the film, Johnson compliments him saying:
“I’d be sitting at the monitor just with my eyes as big as dinner plates. It’s one of those performances where after every line, I’d look over at whoever’s standing next to me with an expression on my face like, ‘Oh, my God, we just got that.'"
Snoke's presence in the film is obviously something that fans will have to look forward to.