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Meet the new Star Wars characters of 'The Last Jedi'

From a shifty Benicio del Toro to a regal Laura Dern, the 'Star Wars' family continues to grow in new directions.


May 25, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
A gathering of creatures that will be seen in the glittering casino city of Canto Bight in 'The Last Jedi.' A gathering of creatures that will be seen in the glittering casino city of Canto Bight in 'The Last Jedi.' Photo: Vanity Fair
May 25, 2017 | Latest Photo

Celebrated American photographer Annie Leibovitz has once again used her unique talent behind the lens to capture the strange and beautiful world of "Star Wars."

As with "The Force Awakens," Leibovitz was granted behind-the-scenes access during filming of "The Last Jedi" to create portraits of returning characters like Rey, Luke Skywalker and General Leia Organa (played by the late American actress Carrie Fisher). Not surprisingly, she also trained her lens on a few new characters that promise to have a major impact on where the trilogy goes next.

American director Rian Johnson, who crafted "The Last Jedi's" plot strokes with Israeli filmmaker Ram Bergman, told Vanity Fair in an interview that he also made made every effort to give the film some levity.

"I didn’t want this to be a dirge, a heavy-osity movie,” he said. "So one thing I’ve tried really hard to do is keep the humor in there, to maintain the feeling, amid all the heavy operatic moments, that you’re on a fun ride."

Take a look at some of the new characters featured in "The Last Jedi" below.

Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo

Actress Laura Dern plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in 'The Last Jedi.'Actress Laura Dern plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in 'The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Vanity Fair)

Sporting a bizarre purple hairdo that looks more at home in "The Hunger Games" than in the "Star Wars" franchise, American actress Laura Dern nonetheless looks like an imposing and regal new addition to the cast. According to the Vanity Fair piece, Dern will be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a high-ranking official in the Resistance.

According to Canadian-Chilean Pablo Hidalgo, a Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive, Dern's character is human. Her hair, however, is the result of her "cultural background."


A night at Canto Bight

This odd collection of high society aliens will be featured in the 'Star Wars' universe's newest location, the luxurious Canto Bight. This odd collection of high society aliens will be featured in the 'Star Wars' universe's newest location, the luxurious Canto Bight. (Photo: Vanity Fair)

While the previous "Star Wars" films have mostly focused on locations devoid of any luxurious undertones, "The Last Jedi" promises to change that. Speaking with Vanity Fair, Johnson said he decided to explore a corner of the universe where the rich and upper-class go to play; a kind of Las Vegas for aliens. To that end, he created the glittery science fiction playground of Canto Blight.

“It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe," he said. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich a**holes."

The characters above are just a few of the haughty aliens we can expect to hold court at Canto Blight. Neal Scanlan, the American creative supervisor of the Star Wars creature shop, is shown seated in the bottom right.

Benicio Del Toro as 'DJ'

Benicio Del Toro may play a smuggler in 'The Last Jedi.' Benicio del Toro may play a smuggler in 'The Last Jedi.' (Photo: Vanity Fair)

Ever since it was announced that Benicio del Toro was joining the cast of "The Last Jedi," fans have been puzzling over the role the versatile Puerto Rican actor would be playing. In the VF article, Johnson would only reveal his nickname as "DJ," adding that the reason why would be made much clearer later. He also described him as a "shady character of unclear allegiances."

In an earlier interview, del Toro himself made clear that his character isn't necessarily good or bad.

"I am going to be playing in Episode 8 of Star Wars. The villain, I don't know if he's a villain," he said. "People are saying that, but it's like they read a different script than I read. It's nice to keep people in the dark. A little bit of mystery is good."

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