Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Effects Guru Details The Fathiers Of Canto Bight


Oscar-winning special effects wizard and makeup artist Neal Scanlan has posted some new intel on the fathiers as they’ll appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Once known as the “space horses” of Canto Bight, Scanlan recently revealed to Empire (via Screen Rant) that the fathiers are “majestic” racing creatures that soon become embedded in the city’s gambling culture – Canto Bight is said to be the Star Wars equivalent of Las Vegas. That would also go some way to explaining why Finn and Rose – John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran, respectively – were seen riding a fathier in The Last Jedi‘s official poster, which is presumably inspired by their dangerous expedition to Cantonica.

It’s one that will see the unlikely duo cross paths with DJ (Benicio Del Toro), a known drifter who is loved and loathed for his lackadaisical attitude, while there’s also been mention of a potential cameo from Maz Kanata, whose hideout was blown to kingdom come in The Force Awakens.

Getting back to the fathiers, though, Neal Scanlan also recalled the creative process involved in building a life-sized model:

Fathiers have the power and majestic quality that one might find in a male lion and also beauty in their equine aspects. They’re racing creatures, with bets placed upon them, and are subjected to slightly cruel treatment. We knew any version of those in a wide shot would be CG but we produced a real-scale practical version for the first encounter with a fathier, so it was able to look over the stable door and Finn could touch and act with it. They’re amazing creatures.

The Star Wars franchise has always mixed CGI with carefully planned practical effects, which is part of the reason why Lucasfilm’s original trilogy still stands the test of time – the prequels, by stark contrast, have aged terribly due to an overreliance on special effects.

So we’re pleased to report that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will honor that tradition when the Rian Johnson-directed sequel arrives on December 15th.