New Characters Played by Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro

Since this is a Star Wars movie, we’re going to meet some new characters who will inevitably get turned into action figures, and a couple of them have just been revealed.

First up, there’s a new character played by Laura Dern named Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and you can see her in the photo above. She’s a prominent officer in the Resistance, but that’s all we know about her so far. Rumors have pegged her as not getting along with Poe Dameron, which indicates there may be some division among the group of rebels. Perhaps she also clashes with General Leia as well?

 

Next up is Benicio del Toro as the nameless new character seen above. The filmmakers working on The Last Jedi refer to the character as “DJ” (Johnson says there’s a reason he’s been given that nickname which will be revealed in the movie), but he isn’t mentioned by name in the movie. DJ is said to have unclear allegiances, so we’re not sure if he’ll be someone we can trust or not.

Finally, in a quick part of the Vanity Fair cover story, reporter David Kamp says part of his post-production visit included watching Rian Johnson as he reviewed some scenes from The Last Jedi while teams from Industrial Light & Magic joined in video video conference from offices in London, San Francisco and Vancouver. In one of the scenes, Poe Dameron is coaching a gunner named Paige, who is played by a Vietnamese actress named Veronica Ngo. It sounds like this character may be a significant one, because Paige is the sister of Rose Tico, the new character played by Kelly Marie Tran. Is there a chance Paige dies in battle, inspiring Rose to become more than just a maintenance worker in the Resistance?

 

Finn and Rose Have a Mission That Takes Them to Canto Bight Casino

There have been rumors that Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) have some kind of mission that will take them undercover among the First Order, and the Vanity Fair article basically confirms that by saying Rose’s plotline “involves a mission behind enemy lines” along with Finn. Part of that mission takes them to a brand new location that we’ve never been in the Star Wars universe: a casino city called Canto Bight.

We’ve heard the name Canto Bight before, but it wasn’t clear if it was going to be the name of a planet or just a location on a planet. Now we know that it’s the name of a city that is described by Rian Johnson as “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief.” You can see the kind of clientele that Canto Bight attracts in the image above.

If you thought Mos Eisley was full of a bunch of weird aliens, Canto Bight might up the ante a bit. Not only will there be a wide variety of new aliens at Canto Bight, but they will all be rich jerks too. Johnson elaborated, “It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe. I was thinking, OK, let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes.” So be prepared to meet some snobby aliens in the Star Wars universe.

 

Poe Dameron Does Something to Piss Off General Leia

Even though Poe Dameron and General Leia are on the same side, it appears that at some point in the movie, the X-wing pilot does something that does not sit well with his commander. Isaac talked to Vanity Fair about part of his experience working with the late Carrie Fisher on The Last Jedi, and he offered this anecdote:

“We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me. I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it.”

Whoa, what? At some point, General Leia gets so mad at Poe Dameron for something that she slaps him. As we said before, there have been rumblings that Poe Dameron clashes with Laura Dern’s character, so maybe he does something that goes against the Admiral’s wishes, and General Leia slaps him for disobeying orders, maybe because he gets some people killed. That’s just speculation on our part, but that’s a very interesting detail to say the least.

 

Star Wars: Episode IX Would Have Focused More on Carrie Fisher

The death of Carrie Fisher has changed the trajectory of Star Wars significantly. Though we’ve heard that the actress’ death won’t result in any changes in the story for The Last Jedi, it did require a complete overhaul of what will happen in Episode IX. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy reiterated in the Vanity Fair interview that Carrie Fisher was enjoying the hell out of playing Leia again:

“She was having a blast. The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”

But sadly, Carrie Fisher is no longer with us, and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow is currently working with Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team to figure out how to proceed without bringing back General Leia. That means that Leia’s role in The Last Jedi is more poignant, because it’s “the film farewell of both the actress and the character.”

What does that mean for the fate of General Leia as a character? There have been rumors that Leia gets injured in The Last Jedi and spends some of the movie in a coma. Now that the character won’t be brought back for Episode IX, maybe she tragically never comes out of it. We just hope she reunites with her brother Luke before we never see her again.

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That’s all the relevant details that came out of the cover story at Vanity Fair. If you want to see more of the photos from Annie Leibovitz’s shoot, you can check them out over there. Otherwise, the magazine posted this behind the scenes video below for you to get a look behind the scenes of the photoshoot and catch even more glimpses of the characters in The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on December 15.

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