And bouncing off The Force Awakens and its own meteoric success – only Avatar and Titanic have grossed more at the global box office – Rian Johnson’s long-anticipated sequel welcomes the return of Rey, Finn and the great Luke Skywalker. But on the other side of the lens, The Last Jedi also makes room for many of the same personnel that worked on J.J. Abrams’ franchise revival – Neal Scanlan included.
The Oscar-winning special effects wizard currently presides over Lucasfilm’s famous Creature Workshop – think Skywalker Ranch, only for the franchise’s delightful aliens – and in anticipation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Scanlan sat down with Empire (no, not that one) to discuss all of the fantastical critters set to appear in the December sequel. And yes, that includes the porgs, who are nigh on the verge of becoming a merchandise sensation.
With Ahch-To, it felt like the only creatures that would ever exist on this island were those indigenous to it, where very few other species and DNA would have reached them. So they’re an extrapolation from the porgs and have bird-like feet, but they’re a further developed race.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely seen the shot of a brave little porg riding shotgun on the Millennium Falcon, and here, Neal Scanlan points to a potential connection between the pint-sized creature and Chewbacca.
That porg in particular shows some very Wookiee traits in the way he’s coloured; his patterning is very similar to Chewie’s.
Another creature that caused quite the stir online was the mysterious ice fox (see below), Crait’s blue-eyed beast that was seen scurrying toward a Resistance outpost – presumably to evade the oncoming fleet of AT-M6 Walkers.
The theory is they’ve fed off this planet for so long that their fur has become crystalline. They’ve taken on the very surface of the planet they live on.
Last and certainly not least is BB-8, Poe Dameron’s spherical droid who steamrolled his way into the hearts and minds of Star Wars fans back in 2015. But in The Last Jedi, it looks like BB-8 will have some company in the form of First Order doppelgänger, BB-9E.
There was this one scene in particular where BB-8 is in disguise and has to try and make his way without being recognized. It just seemed so threatening that his doppelgänger would be the very one that may or may not discover him.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will finally see a release on December 15th, and when it does, rumor has it that Lucasfilm will strike will the iron is piping hot to unveil the first footage from Ron Howard’s Star Wars anthology pic, which now goes by the name Solo: A Star Wars Story.