The Last Jedi: New Revelations From Star Wars Creatures Boss

Star Wars The Last Jedi

by John Nugent |
Published on

The new issue of Empire comes hurtling towards a galaxy not so far away from yours this week, and among the many exclusives packed within, there comes word direct from Lucasfilm on what we can expect of the fast-approaching Star Wars: The Last Jedi, astonishingly only six weeks away. The latest issue carries an interview with Neal Scanlan, Oscar-winning effects genius who currently heads up the Creature Workshop for Star Wars, giving us some intriguing hints on how his work shapes the course of the Skywalker saga.

One of the tidbits Scanlan revealed to us was that Porgs – the puffin-like birds glimpsed in the trailer (which have already caused a merchandising sensation) – were at least partially related to the Caretakers, the more sentient nun-like creatures who live on the island of Ahch-To with Luke Skywalker. “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,” Scanlan explained. “So they’re an extrapolation from the porgs and have bird-like feet, but they’re a further developed race.”

Scanlan also revealed that the Porg seen in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca in the trailer is befriended by Chewie, as “that porg in particular shows some very Wookiee traits in the way he’s coloured; his patterning is very similar to Chewie’s.”

As for the mysterious Crystal Foxes, also spotted in the trailer, Scanlan offers some background on their origin: "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 Jedi BB-9E

Elsewhere, Scanlan teases a scene where BB-8 is on the run from his evil 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 recognised,” Scanlan says. “It just seemed so threatening that his doppelgänger would be the very one that may or may not discover him.”

For more on the new creatures coming to a galaxy far, far away, pick up the new issue of Empire, on sale Thursday. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas from 14 December.

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