I guess the nature of Star Wars always being presented as not the first chronological instalment, and being rebranded as “Episode Four” as early as the following instalment, is why I don’t feel it’s different.
We still don’t need to know more about him, because he’s by his very nature a force to push Kylo Ren in his development. It doesn’t matter how Snoke came to power, what matters is he is in power, and how he’s using that power. Again, looking at Johnson’s intention (Abrams didn’t really have any coherent vision or plan, so he’s not worth looking at in this capacity), the plan was to have Snoke killed by Kylo and set up Kylo as the big bad. This shifts importance onto Kylo’s backstory, which was developed quite well across the films.
Rian even talked about this, saying that a reveal of who Snoke was or how he came to be wouldn’t really change anything for the characters in the story. He’s right. None of our characters care about the how, they want to combat him.
What you’re talking about is an audience desire, not something that would actually serve the story. Contrast this with Palpatine’s return. With Palpatine, we need more information because his reappearance contradicts his death that we’d already seen. Snoke arrives from a previously unexplored place, literally called the Unknown Regions, so his arrival and rise to power does not contradict any prior story. Information about him doesn’t impact anything about the story, partially because he wasn’t in those prior instalments. Even if he had been a crime lord, or Darth Plagueis and Palpatine’s teacher… it wouldn’t matter. His backstory only matters if he comes into contact with someone he had a shared past with.
I mean no offense, but your argument makes doesn’t make sense to me.
You said TFA explaining the First Order doesn’t matter because A New Hope didn’t explain everything about the Empire’s rise, but then you bring up how ANH was rebranded as Episode IV and never presented as the first installment. Well, since that’s the case, we already know how the Empire came to power in the Prequels. So it doesn’t need to be explained further.
The Force Awakens is different because it never bothers to explain where the First Order came from or why they’re so powerful. And there’s not going to be a film to explain this between VI and VII, unlike the Original Trilogy, which got a whole prequel trilogy to explain the intricacies of its backstory. OutboundFlight really explained it best.
For me, it comes down to how unlike a first installment, typically sequels continue the story of their predecessors. You can start midway through a backstory for a first movie, but a sequel? It’s just confusing and makes the first movie feel redundant. Imagine in Episode V’s crawl opened with the New Republic many years after the defeat of the Empire. It wouldn’t make any sense and would make ANH feel pointless in retrospect.
I’m not opposed to Snoke appearing, but it’s so upsetting to watch all of the OT, watch the ending celebration, and be hyped to see a New Republic victorious… and that never happens. We just reset to a Resistance / Empire dynamic again. It feels like there’s a trilogy missing to bridge this gap.
And also, it’s not just “audience desire” that requires the First Order to be explained. It’s just better storytelling to actually cover massive changes in galactic politics, rather than just have a mega-powerful new threat show up out of nowhere. I know they came from the “Unknown Regions”, but that still doesn’t make it make sense.
And responding to your point about Snoke’s backstory: sure, some characters might not care about Snoke’s past. But characters like Luke and Leia, whose entire lives were ruined by the sudden appearance of Snoke, would definitely care about where he came from, especially when they believed that the Dark Side was defeated.
But there’s really no point in arguing about this. Nobody’s going to change anyone’s minds; everyone in this thread has their own opinions, and that’s perfectly natural. : )