Snake Eyes is one of the main characters in the G.I. Joe film series and the titular protagonist of the spin-off film of the same name.
He is portrayed by Ray Park, with Leo Howard portraying his younger self and Henry Golding portraying him in his titular upcoming spin-off film.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Snake Eyes is an abandoned 10-year-old child who found his way to the home of Arashikage Clan. He battles the young Thomas Arashikage (Storm Shadow), who attacks him for stealing food. However, the orphan's natural ability to fight impresses Thomas's uncle, the Hard Master, who gives Snake Eyes his name, while bringing him under his wing. While Snake Eyes would initially lose to Thomas, Snake Eyes eventually surpasses Thomas and gains the favor of the Hard Master, becoming recognized as Hard Master's top student. Angered at Hard Master choosing Snake Eyes over him, Thomas appears to kill the Hard Master off-screen and is then seen running off in midst of the chaos. Since then, Snake Eyes has chosen to take a vow of silence. Learning that Thomas, now known as Storm Shadow, is a member of Cobra, Snake Eyes fights him, before stabbing him and allowing him to fall into icy water at Cobra's Arctic base, leaving him for dead. Snake Eyes returns to The Pit with the surviving members of G.I. Joe.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Snake Eyes is framed by Zartan for assassinating the President of Pakistan under orders of G.I. Joe. Storm Shadow disguises himself as Snake Eyes to break Cobra Commander out of prison, as the real Snake Eyes watches from the shadows. With the help of Jinx, Snake Eyes captures Storm Shadow and takes him to the Blind Master to pay for his assassination of the Hard Master. However, Snake Eyes learns that Zartan was the one who murdered the Hard Master and framed Storm Shadow for it, and that Storm Shadow only joined Cobra in order to avenge the Hard Master's death. With this revelation, Storm Shadow teams up with Snake Eyes and the Joes to stop Cobra Commander's plan to destroy several countries and take over the world. During the final battle, Snake Eyes allows Storm Shadow to deal with Zartan, by giving him the sword that was used to kill the Hard Master. Snake Eyes and the Joes stop Cobra Commander's plan and are declared heroes, absolved of their accusations, while Storm Shadow avenges the Hard Master's death by killing Zartan before disappearing.
Due to the fact that Snake-Eyes never spoke, he was very mysterious. However, he was clearly a man who kept his promises, and after his Master was killed, he took a Vow of Silence and communicated through hand gestures instead of words. Snake-Eyes had a fierce rivalry with Storm Shadow, which went all the way back to their childhood. Interestingly, Shadow once called Snake-Eyes "brother" despite the fact that they were not related. It's possible that the members of their Clan called each other brother, though this is unconfirmed.
Snake loved the Master of the Arashikage Clan like a father, and when he was killed, the young ninja was devastated. Apparently he hadn't spoken a single word since that day. Snake-Eyes also appeared to share a sibling-like relationship with Scarlett. The members of GI Joe often referred to him as "Snake". Storm Shadow once claimed to the Baroness that Snake never gave up.
Snake-Eyes is a master of ninjitsu and is probably the most skilled fighter and operative in the whole of GI Joe. He is a master swordsman, hand to hand combatant and marksman. He is highly proficient at wielding tonfas, Sai, Nunchaku and all kinds of blank weapons. He was also able to throw shurikens and other objects with lethal accuracy. He can use both traditional and modern weaponry during combat, switching effortlessly between swordplay and shooting. Dual-wielding his sword and a gun, he could slice through multiple armed guards without any trouble. Snake was the only known person in GI Joe who was able to combat Storm Shadow as an equal. He is capable of performing amazing athletic feats as well as moving with great agility. At one point he even managed to fight Storm Shadow whilst gripping onto the side of their vehicle.
- During production of the movie, one of the studio executives kept pressuring Stephen Sommers to remove Snake-Eyes' mask from the character. Eventually, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner had to step in and side with Sommers, pointing out that was how Snake-Eyes was meant to look.
- Because of this, there are a few scenes in the film where Snake-Eyes wears a different, simplified mask and uniform. In general, he's hidden so the differences aren't apparent.
- During test-screenings, audiences were given cards on which they were to rate their favorite characters in the film. Despite the fact that Snake-Eyes was not listed on the cards (since he didn't have a speaking role), he consistently won as a write-in vote.