I just noticed that he never covers his face-unlike the Emperor. In all 6 previous films, the big bad guy was always in the shadow. But for the new one, the producers decided to leave any hood off of Snoke. When I saw the film, I got a feeling that Snoke was supposed to be the Emperoresque bad guy, though we haven't seen a single thing from him force-wise("yes yes, there has been an awakening") yet. Is there any specific reason he's not covered?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Aegon, Politank-Z, Blackwood, Ward, Cherubel Dec 15 '16 at 8:14

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He doesn’t need to hide his identity

Palpatine didn’t hide his face as some sort of fashion statement. Well, the hooded robes are, but the face concealment is not. Rather, he was trying to conceal his appearance. It would have been disastrous had anyone discovered that Count Dooku’s secret master, Darth Sidious, was really Sheev Palpatine, Senator and later chancellor. There was both the need to communicate with people who couldn’t be trusted to know Sidious’s identity (such as the Trade Federation) and to guard against someone learning it by spying on Dooku or other trusted confidants.

For example, here’s a Palpatine hologram from the original trilogy, with face clearly visible:

enter image description here

On the other hand, here’s a hologram from the prequel trilogy, with the upper part of his face obscured by shadow (and possibly other alterations to the hologram):

enter image description here

This is where he had to hide his identity, of course.

By contrast, everyone knows Snoke is the leader of the First Order. For example, Han and Leia:

He met her eyes steadily. “We’ve lost our son, forever.”

Leia bit her lower lip, refusing to concede. “No. It was Snoke.”

Han drew back slightly. “Snoke?”

She nodded. “He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil.”

The Force Awakens (novelization)

We haven’t seen any evidence that, if confronted with his appearance, anyone would recognize him, nor that it would be a problem for him if they did.

It’s also worth noting that Snoke does wear a robe, but with its hood down:

Seated on the raised platform that was the focus of the chamber was the blue-tinted holo of Supreme Leader Snoke. Tall and gaunt, he was humanoid but not human. The hood of the dark robe he wore was down, leaving visible a pink, pale face so aged it verged on translucence.

The Force Awakens (novelization)

  • On the subject of "possibly other alterations to the hologram," it's also worth noting that we only ever see Snoke via hologram (as of part VII, anyway). – jpmc26 Dec 7 '16 at 2:18
  • @jpmc26 yeah in fact, I actually saw a theory once claiming snoke could very well be a computer. There's no way to say that he actually looks like that, and there's no reason to assume that snoke couldn't be some kind of Dark-side training program designed to lure in new recruits. It would explain the archaic language and weird things about knights and whatnot. Then it would also mean that Ren is the guy in charge whereas snoke might be a second-in-command type thing that Ren decided could have his authority. – The Great Duck Dec 7 '16 at 4:47

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