Back in 2020, Inverse asked over 1,200 readers for their best Supreme Leader Snoke theories. The villain of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi was granted little character development before being unceremoniously knocked off, while his clones floated in perpetuity in Palpatine’s Exegol lair with no plans to avenge their... brother?
Those readers could have never guessed what some are speculating now: Supreme Leader Snoke is actually the beloved Andor character Kino Loy. Both Snoke and Kino are portrayed by Andy Serkis. Do the similarities between them stop there?
Andor Season 1 follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) about five years before the Rogue One crew’s heroic act of martyrdom to aid the overthrow of Emperor Palpatine. During his many misadventures, Cassian is jailed at the Narkina 5 prison facility, where he experiences the inhumane treatment of the Empire’s prisoners.
Cassian’s tough shift manager, Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), is desperately trying to keep his head down and get through the last year of his sentence. He runs a tight ship, but the exploitation of his fellow prisoners trumps his good-faith attempts at ensuring his team survives their harrowing penal servitude. After a man in his unit is euthanized and rumors about a new policy of lifetime incarceration begin making the rounds, Kino and Cassian devise an escape plan.
The prisoners are triumphant and leap into the facility’s surrounding waters, but Kino backs away from the edge and tells Cassian he can’t swim. Cassian is toppled into the sea by an eager inmate, and the last we see of Kino he’s apparently sacrificed himself for the greater good.
Does Kino Loy survive?
Things may look bleak for Kino by the end of Andor Episode 10, but Andor creator Tony Gilroy was recently interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed that Kino may not be dead... yet.
When asked, “‘I can’t swim’ is such a heroically tragic moment since Kino (Andy Serkis) led his fellow prisoners to freedom knowing full well that he wasn’t going to make it out. Do you presume Kino was executed shortly thereafter?” Gilroy responded, “I don’t know. He’s not dead. Is he dead? I don’t see him dying [in Episode 10].”
That’s somewhat promising, but it doesn’t mean Kino gets his happily ever after. Some fans think Kino Loy is the origin story for Supreme Leader Snoke, a villain voiced by Serkis in the sequel trilogy. Could this wild theory be true?
Does Kino Loy become Snoke?
Per Serkis in a Jake’s Takes interview, the answer is no.
“I was very concerned for the fans, their rumor mills, the Snoke theories would start flooding in and people would be sort of starting to piece together, ‘Well, is Kino Loy related to Snoke?’ — and I have to tell you, he’s not! And let’s just put that to bed, and everyone can just not have to go that route.”
However, he also said that he would really like to “infill the lore behind Snoke,” noting that he believes there’s more fertile ground yet to be covered.
The Inverse Analysis — It’s a stretch, but Andy Serkis could be trying to push fans off the trail of speculation to hide the big reveal that Kino Loy, is, in fact, the precursor to Snoke; the Sméagol before Gollum, if you will. As he said, we don’t know much about Snoke’s story.
What we’re told about Snoke is that Emperor Palpatine’s goons created him in a series of cloning experiments conducted to make Palps immortal. Snoke’s body was frail, but he was useful because of his Force sensitivity.
We aren’t told who provided the body that would later be cloned to create Snoke and his “brothers.” Kino Loy could be captured after failing to swim to safety, and later used as a guinea pig by Imperial scientists. Kino doesn’t appear to be Force-sensitive, which weakens this theory, but maybe the experiments find a way to combine the sensitivity of a Sith master with the body of a middle-aged Englishman.
Whether or not Kino becomes Snoke, we do know that Andor fans want to see more of both characters. Hopefully we’ll learn Kino’s fate, and hopefully it’s not such a dreary one.
Andor is streaming on Disney+.