With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in theaters next week, fans’ excitement and Internet buzz is at a fevered pitch. Intrigued by what we might find, we created a query to investigate not one of the movie’s young stars such as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, or Lupita Nyong’o, nor its returning triumvirate of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, but instead one of the lesser publicized roles in the upcoming film.
With still quite a bit to be revealed about the film’s plot we decided to put out focus on actor Andy Serkis whose role in the film is still mostly unclear, but who also stars in various other films and would receive a fair amount of chatter before and after this film launches.
Searching for mentions of the actor’s name with Star Wars and The Force Awakens, we found most conversations fell into two separate categories.
The first were more general discussions and mentions of the film from news sites and blogs where Serkis’ name was brought up as one of the actors involved in the project but in which he wasn’t the main focus of the article. This made up the majority of the mentions we tracked, and there were no big takeaways other than the fact that Serkis’ involvement in the project isn’t nearly as interesting to fans as who will appear behind Kylo Ren’s mask, what’s up with the design of his lightsaber, or the fan theory that Jar-Jar Binks might be the greatest villain in the galaxy.
The second type of mentions of Serkis were those questioning just what role Serkis has in the film. Based on short interviews from director J.J. Abrams and Serkis, and a large amount of fan speculation, we believe his character “Snoke” is a villain, but no one knows much concrete about the character, causing chatter online. While some hope to see him revealed in a way that legitimizes Darth Jar-Jar, others have happier (but probably just as unlikely) hopes for Serkis’ role in the film: