One of the greatest parts of watching any new Star Wars movie is being introduced to a wide array of new and strange alien species. The design and makeup departments do an incredible job bringing outrageous designs to life in the making of the blockbusters, and nothing makes you feel like you're witnessing events of another universe quite like a room packed with a variety of extraterrestrials. It would seem that this was very much recognized by the creative team behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as I recently learned from the film's creature designer, Neal Scanlan, that 180 new aliens were created for the sci-fi feature. Said Scanlan,
One hundred and eighty. That was a lot. Whether 180 make it to the final cut, no one ever knows. Inevitably there is always going to be some fall off, because the movie would just last too long. I don't know which ones have, because I haven't seen the movie yet, but hopefully those that haven't made it with either make it to an extended version or deleted scene version. Or if not, they often will carry forward, because Star Wars to some continuity. So there were characters that didn't make it in Rogue One, that would have come through, giving away nothing specific. Sometimes they are, 'It was just too good a character; shame we didn't get that in the film. Bring him through, he'd be brilliant for this sequence in the new film.'
As Neal Scanlan notes, he can't exactly say whether or not a headcount could be performed on the finished cut of the movie and match up with his total, but regardless that is an impressive number of unique aliens to be created for one movie. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Scanlan during the Star Wars: The Last Jedi press junket this past weekend in Los Angeles, and was blown back when he nonchalantly revealed the magic number when I asked him for it.
Of course, the marketing for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has already introduced us to some of these creatures... including one that has created a social media frenzy. I am, of course, referring to the porgs, pictured up top, which are the puffin-like creatures that live with Luke Skywalker while he remains in isolation. Following their introduction in the marketing for the blockbuster, fans are foaming at the mouth to see more of them, and the wait is almost over.
But Porgs haven't been the whole story. The last trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi also showcased the beautiful crystal foxes known as vulptices, featured running away from some human-driven warfare:
And official stills from the Rian Johnson-directed chapter of the legendary sci-fi saga have showcased another species from Luke Skywalker's adopted planet, known as the Caretakers:
We'll obviously be seeing a lot more than just these three when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters -- which is coming up shockingly soon. The movie will be arriving at cineplexes everywhere next Friday, December 15th -- and be sure to stick around here on CinemaBlend for more from my interview with Neal Scanlan and our chats with the main cast and director!