For the two years between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Supreme Leader Snoke was one of the most theorised about movie characters in the world.
Aside from Rey’s parentage, Snoke was seen as the question to be answered, and a classic example of J.J. Abrams mystery box storytelling technique. Who was he? Where did he come from? Is he Darth Plagueis? No? C’mon, he’s Darth Plagueis, isn’t he?!
Rian Johnson, in keeping with a lot of the subversion in his Episode VIII, cut down Snoke and all those theories with him halfway through the movie. It was a shocking twist, as it had been assumed Snoke would fulfil the Palpatine role across the trilogy. However, while he is dead, the actor behind him, Andy Serkis, has hinted at the possibility of a return. Speaking to /Film, he said:
“Look, it’s Star Wars, so you never know how life, or whether life can be come back to or not. Whether you can be resuscitated or brought back. I was shocked. Dramatically, it felt absolutely right for that moment in the film, so I didn’t question it. I just think it’s a very, very important scene, so I didn’t question it. But I do, I know it’s left fans feeling like, that they were really searching for something there. And what I’m saying is, who knows?”
Serkis is being reasonably vague, but is very much suggesting that the door is open for more Snoke. It’s quite likely we will get more through comics and novels, which has been part of Lucasfilm’s modus operandi in the Disney era, but Serkis is likely talking more about the final movie in the trilogy. With Abrams directing and co-writing, there’s a greater chance of Snoke returning than if, say, Trevorrow had stayed on or Johnson had taken the reigns.
That’s only furthered if he really is Darth Plagueis, a Sith who had discovered ways to create life and stop others from dying. But even if he’s just Snoke, which seems to be the case, there are ways to bring him back, with the most obvious being as a Force Ghost, or even being an illusion, since he was clearly strong with the Force even if not actually a Sith. And it’s clear why there might be some demand for a return, given we never got any backstory to him, but that doesn’t mean he should come back. In fact, it’d be a decision that undercuts a lot of Episode IX’s potential.