star wars the last jedi trailer 4 rey

It wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie without a bunch of weird aliens to help capture our imaginations. Star Wars: The Last Jedi certainly looks to deliver on that front. A new image showing off one of the new creatures from writer/director Rian Johnson‘s upcoming film has arrived online and while it’s an artist’s depiction and not a photograph, take heed of this minor spoiler warning. If you’d rather have every single surprise kept intact for December, this is your chance to not scroll down and click away.

The image below has a rather strange origin. Some time ago, Star Wars News Net reported that the eighth chapter of the Skywalker saga would feature a large sea monster alien on Ahch-To, the planet that the exiled Luke Skywalker calls home. The site then obtained photos of the creature itself and rather than post the images and face the wrath of Lucasfilm’s legal department, they recruited artist Eli Hyder to draw it in its natural setting.

And here it is:

Star Wars News Net also explained that this creature was brought to life via a nine-foot tall puppet, but they’re not sure if it will play an actual role in the story or if it will function as something cool that Rey and Luke see in the background of a shot:

To put its size in perspective, based on the two pieces, body and head, we estimate it to be around nine feet tall (around 3 meters), and rounded/wide enough to fit a couple of full sized crafty human puppeteers inside if needed! Now there is no way to determine whether or not the puppet will be size-scaled differently in post-production, but the puppet itself is that large. We can not confirm whether this new creature will have any kind of significant role, or just be a nice addition of environmental filler and depth. We all remember the giant pig-like happabore from The Force Awakens, a pretty large scale physical creation that appeared briefly to drink out of a trough and provide some quick comic relief by knocking Finn aside.

For another look, this video from the set of the film seems to reveal the puppet itself, albeit with its head:

The Star Wars movies have a long history of just sticking aliens in the background to add color and vibrancy to a scene. Just think of the rightfully iconic Mos Eisley cantina, where dozens of odd creatures populate every corner, allowing the Star Wars universe to look so much bigger than George Lucas’ budget could allow. There are this many alien species out there?! And Luke and Obi-Wan don’t even bat an eye?! Other Star Wars movies have attempted to capture a similar feeling – Maz Kanata’s castle in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was essentially the cantina on space steroids.

While we’ve seen plenty of Star Wars aliens in bars and cities, we actually haven’t seen that many wild creatures living in their natural habitats (the Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back being a noteworthy exception, of course). With at least a portion of The Last Jedi taking place on a planet that is mostly untouched by civilization, I’m fascinated by what Johnson and his team of creature designers will show us.

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