It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan. With Disney now in control of the property and releasing a mixture of main installments and standalone films, the generations of fans should expect a new Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future. And the next movie coming down the pipeline is Rian Johnson's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In addition to continuing the main narrative of the franchise, The Last Jedi will also feature the long awaited return of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker. Hamill has been getting more chatty about the film as it gets closer, and he recently revealed one way that filming Episode VIII was different from his past experiences: the budget and overall opulence of the set.
I was on one set, and I'm not giving anything away because Rian has already talked about a casino sequence. The set, with 150 actors all dressed in prosthetics and puppetry and robots --- that set alone could probably easily have financed 100 Brigsby Bears. It was easily one of the most opulent sets I've ever been on. I'm fascinated not by just the scenes I'm in. When I had free time I would go and observe all these different actors and all these different scenes. The amount of talent that just is unrecognized... That's why the credits run for an hour and a half. Because it takes thousands of people to successfully mount an epic of this size.
As if you needed another reason to be excited up for The Last Jedi. It looks like the much hyped scene at the casino planet Canto Bight will feature some of the most extravagant costumes, makeups, and puppetry in Star Wars history. And considering the franchise's long history and iconic creatures, that's really saying something.
Mark Hamill's comment to StarWars.com might be a bit surprising for some. After all, Star Wars has been no stranger to extravagant and opulent scenery. The latter was primarily seen in the prequel trilogy, when things in the galaxy far, far away weren't quite as perilous. Naboo was full of palaces and stunning costumes for Padme and her court to wear. Coruscant was also similarly gorgeous in the prequels, and featured a ton of unique characters and aliens in the galaxy's former capital. Of course, Mark Hamill didn't film the prequels, so it makes sense that Canto Bight would be a game changer for the iconic actor.
It should be interesting to see how Canto Bight's casino planet will be different from the various cantinas seen in the franchise. Mos Eisley was the first of these, from A New Hope, that featured such a mixture of interesting (and dangerous) creatures and droids. This tradition was continued with Maz Kanata's castle in The Force Awakens, but they're both more like holes in the wall than extravagant casinos.