Actors have busy schedules. Between film production duties and public appearance obligations, there are always bound to be some conflicts. When it comes to those conflicts, production always wins out. The fact that an actor cancels a public appearance does not always mean it’s because he/she is filming, however. Nevertheless, Star Wars actor Andy Serkis recently backed out of a convention appearance, stirring up rumors of Snoke returning for Star Wars Episode IX.

Serkis, as you know, performed voice and motion capture work as Supreme Leader Snoke in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The mystery shrouding the character led fans to wonder about his origins. In fact, The Force Awakens set Snoke up as the ominous and powerful leader of the First Order, akin to Emperor Palpatine. Fans are now questioning whether Serkis departing from a recent Comic-Con appearance does indeed signal Snoke’s return.

Will Snoke appear in Episode IX?

Serkis was slated to appear at the recent Keystone Comic-Con in Pennsylvania. Notwithstanding, Cinema Blend tells us, Serkis cancelled at the eleventh hour and did not attend. There could be any number of reasons, certainly. When it comes to Star Wars actors backing out of appearances, however, there’s usually truth to the speculation. Look no further than Billy Dee Williams. We previously reported that Williams backed out of a conference in Saskatchewan, leading folks to believe he’d reprise his role and Lando Calrissian. Sure enough, Disney and Lucasfilm later officially announced his return. Whether Serkis will reprise his role as Snoke remains to be seen.

We already know a clean-shaven Mark Hamill is back for Episode IX, which could indicate either a flashback or Force ghost appearance. The same could happen with Snoke, with a flashback scene the more probable of the two scenarios. Kylo Ren did slice Snoke in half, after all, so a live character recurrence is unlikely.

Although… there’s a lot more to JJ Abrams’s Star Wars vision that we didn’t get to see in The Last Jedi. Perhaps Andy Serkis and Snoke have unfinished business to attend to in Episode IX.  

Or, maybe, the motion capture king could be playing a new character altogether. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if someone spots Serkis at Pinewood Studios or the Cardington Ship Yards to know for sure.

Star Wars Episode IX hits theaters in December, 2019. Source: Cinema Blend