The newest entry in the Star Wars saga promises to take us to several new places over the course of the story. However, no place may be quite as interesting as the casino city of Canto Bight. At first glance, a casino full of aliens might simply look like another "cantina scene," but director Rian Johnson says that he wanted Canto Bight to be something a bit different than the places we're used to seeing in Star Wars movies. While so many locations within Star Wars feel old and worn down, the director says he wanted to do the opposite with the alien casino. According to Johnson...
I wanted a new environment that was like dunking your head in a cool bath of water, right in the middle of movie. Apart from the prequels, all the touchstones that make something feel like Star Wars have to do with griminess and dirt. I wanted to do something completely different.
While the prequel trilogy shows a galaxy that is, for the most part, bright and clean, following the Empire's takeover of the galaxy, everything seems to fall apart. The Mos Eisley cantina is a "wretched hive" in every sense of the phrase. The swamp of Dagobah is the definition of filth. Rian Johnson's comments to Empire are spot on. Everything that makes the original trilogy what it is shows a galaxy that is covered in a layer of dirt. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which did everything it could to evoke a sense of the original trilogy, follows this blueprint. Jakku is a wasteland full of people scraping by as salvagers. Nothing in this world feels clean.
It sounds like for the first half of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we'll see a galaxy far, far away that continues this trend, which will make the juxtaposition of Canto Bight all the more remarkable when we arrive there at about the midpoint of the story. The casino city won't be an old, rundown, casino but instead, will apparently be something very different. We're imagining a brand new Vagas casino crossed with all the science fiction technology of the Star Wars universe.
The purpose of Canto Bight within Star Wars: The Last Jedi is only partially known. We know this will be the place where our heroes, Finn and Rose if not others, will meet Benicio Del Toro's character, known only as DJ at this point. He has information that our characters need, though exactly what this information is, or how it fits into the story, is still shrouded in mystery and rumor.
All our questions will be answered in just a few short months when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on December 15. Until then be sure to get up to speed with everything we know about the new movie.