In the Force Awakens, the first scene Snoke is in is sort of an unexpected visual - a giant man. We soon learn that this large figure is actually a scaled-up depiction of a presumably 7-foot-tall being. But, regarding the hologram, I have several questions regarding how his hologram figure is depicted.

In practically every installment so far, holograms are represented as a form of light projected in a 3D field above a hologram projector. However, Snoke's depiction shows that his holographic image is blocking the light in the room that the hologram projector is in.

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As you can see, Snoke's face looks eerily dark in some places because he is blocking the only light source in the room with the back of his head. However, we later learn that this light source is NOT part of the hologram, meaning that this light source is one that is physically present at the scene, at the ceiling of the room Kylo Ren and Hux are physically standing in.

Assuming that the holograms are the same technology, how is it possible that a 3D image made of light (Snoke's depiction) blocks another light source opaquely. In fact, you can even see that the (our) left side of Snoke's face is lit up better because the light is not fully blocked on that side. This means that not only is a 3D image made of light blocking another very bright source opaquely, but the 3D image is also solid in some way so that it responds realistically to the lighting around it. The only way for this to be possible is if Snoke's hologram recorder is in a room where the physical Snoke sits in the exact same position with a physical light at the exact same angle and position relative to him.

Of course, this seems nonsensical and illogical so I'm looking for a better answer. Perhaps I am completely off, but I couldn't think of one, given that in the other two trilogies, the blue holograms were translucent and never responded to the destination projector room's lighting.

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    "this seems nonsensical and illogical" ..and gee, we've never seen that before in any Star Wars story.. May 18, 2016 at 0:31
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    +1 for a good question. Holograms in Star Wars have never made a whole lot of sense, though. :/
    – RedCaio
    May 18, 2016 at 1:52
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    He already chose to make his hologram unsensically big. Also, it seems that this room has been built specifically for the purpose of his holographic communications. Therefore it is not as far fetched as one might initially think when we imply that the entire room, including the hologram is nothing but a scaled up version of his actual throne room. May 18, 2016 at 7:21

2 Answers 2


Your assumption that the light and hologram are not connected appears to be wrong - when the rocks start falling from the roof, the light source changes colour and the hologram is disrupted at the same time, showing they are part of the same system. The effect can be seen in this clip

. Presumably they leave the light part of the hologram system on when Snoke isn't being project so people don't walk into things on the way out.

  • In addition, if you watch the ending of the scene where Snoke tells Kylo Ren that BB-8 is aboard the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo, when Snoke's hologram disappears the beam of light he was in mostly fades away too, leaving only a much dimmer beam remaining--this remaining beam might be a remaining hologram as you suggest, or it might just not have been bright enough or aimed in such a way as to be visible through the dark part of Snoke's face.
    – Hypnosifl
    May 18, 2016 at 18:56
  • Right, thanks for the explanation. The "don't walk into things on the way out" really got me.
    – Willingham
    May 18, 2016 at 19:34

Over-emphasis on CGI Special Effects and slick visuals. Heck, it's Star Wars. Like so many blockbusters, it's all about FX and slick visuals.

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