The Last Jedi creatures

I got chills when I read the first words in the opening title crawl of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” It took the entire duration of that film for us to discover where he went, but after 30 years, we finally learned that Luke (Mark Hamill) has been holed up on an oceanic planet called Ahch-To, the location of the first Jedi Temple.

But while he hasn’t been around other people in a long time, he hasn’t been completely alone. We know that there’s a race of cute penguin-looking creatures called porgs that have been hanging out with him, and now we’ve learned about a whole new batch of Ahch-To residents worth talking about.

The Caretakers The Last Jedi

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we have a first look at a new alien species, referred to as “The Caretakers.” Writer/director Rian Johnson describes them like this:

“They’re kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island. They’ve been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island.”

They essentially function as the nuns of the Jedi temple:

“They’re all female, and I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery. Neal Scanlan’s crew designed them, and costume designer Michael Kaplan made these working clothes that also reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.”

We know the porgs (who were inspired by puffins that lived on Skellig Michael, the Irish island that serves as the real location for Ahch-To) have a special bond with Luke and aren’t thrilled to see Rey when she shows up. (Their cute appearance belies their sharp teeth, which will likely be bared at Daisy Ridley.) But even though Luke has been on that planet for years, the Caretakers haven’t exactly made friends with him. They can communicate with him, but Johnson says they basically just tolerate his presence at the Jedi temple.

Speaking of the temple, Johnson said he encouraged his design team to travel to the far reaches of history when creating the temple, as he was trying to create a vibe that this place has the “foundations of where this all started.” And while The Last Jedi apparently doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of the creation of the religion, Johnson said there are some things at this location that will deepen the Star Wars mythology, so we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for easter eggs (especially for The Journal of the Whills, which it looks like we saw during the film’s teaser trailer).

In addition to all this, we also know that there’s a 9-foot-tall sea creature that lives on that same planet, but details are still so scarce that we aren’t sure how much screen time that particular creature will have. We’ll find out when Star Wars: The Last Jedi blasts into theaters on December 15, 2017.

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