Star Wars fans are getting as excited for new alien species as they are for the characters that make up the story. While most of the love belongs to the super cute porgs, many are more interested in the crystalline foxes of the planet Crait. Now, we've learned a bit more about the special creatures, including their name. The species is called vulptices, with a singular animal called a vulptex. We've also learned that the creatures will play some sort of significant role in the story. According to Star Wars creature designer Neal Scanlan...
They live within the burrows and within the tunnels beneath the planet. So there is a time where their ability to shine within the darkness, should provide a guiding light to our heroes.
Of course, Neal Scanlan doesn't explain to Entertainment Weekly what that means, so we're left to guess ourselves how the glowing creature will help out our heroes. We do know that vulpticies live on the salt flat world of Crait and that the planet was home to a previous Rebel base, which the Resistance will apparently run to during the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Apparently, the diet which the fox creatures live on results in them becoming somewhat phosphorescent.This biological feature will be needed by somebody at some point. Perhaps some of our heroes will need to make their escape via the tunnels beneath the planet, and the shine given off by a vulptex will help them navigate in the dark.
The name of the animals came from Lucasfilm story team member Pablo Hidalgo, who took the Latin word for fox, vulpes, and added a bit of galactic flare to it. The name is a nice touch, especially for those that will recognize the name's Latin roots. Of course, there's no guarantee that the creature's name will even be mentioned in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, quite often it seems that Star Wars is full of details created by the story people that never actually become part of the film. Ewoks are never referenced by name in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, and it's unlikely the vulptices will have a more significant role than they did.
It is likely, however, that the vulptices will be more important to the overall plot of Star Wars: The Last Jedi than the porgs, who are the Star Wars creatures who have captured the imagination of most these days. Daisy Ridley has specifically said that Rey doesn't pay the little seabirds much attention, which likely means they won't impact the time that Rey and Luke spend on Ahch-To, they'll just hang out and be cute.