UPDATE 2: TLJ EW Coverage Day 2: Details on the Crystal Foxes of Crait, Actress Kelly Marie Tran, and Holdo!
The Last Jedi coverage continues over at EW, as Anthony Breznican brings us information about the elusive, mystical crystal foxes of Crait. We learn what they are called, and how they were brought to life in the film.
The crystal fox is known as a vulptex. A pack of them is referred to as vulptices.
As Breznican explains in the Entertainment Weekly piece, the foxes are inhabitants of the planet Crait, since deserted by the Rebellion against the Empire years ago. As many of you may know the new comic “Storms of Crait”, shows Luke and Leia on the one time Rebel base during the time of the original trilogy.
As Ian Malcolm states in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way.” The vulptices would be a perfect example of this, as Breznican explains their ability to live and prosper in an otherwise unlivable world:
“These inhabitants of the mineral-rich world of Crait run across the salt flats and burrow deep within the crevasses of this former hideout for the Rebel Alliance, which in galactic lore dates back to the events of the original trilogy. In the decades since, they have come to roam free through these abandoned structures. The vulptices stand as proof that even the most inhospitable worlds cans harbor life.”
INSPIRATION FOR THEIR DESIGN AND NAME
The head of Lucasfilm’s creature workshop, Neal Scanlan, explained how they came to create these beautiful creatures:
“The idea is that these wonderful sort of feral creatures had lived on this planet and had consumed the planet’s surface, and as such had become crystalline. (The designers took inspiration from) “crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction.”
The most interesting part about how this creature came to fruition is the old-school manner in which they tangibly conceptualized it:
“We had a little dog come in and we built a little suit for it, and we covered that suit with clear drinking straws,” Scanlan said. “It was amazing to see him run around. It could run and jump, and it had this wonderful sort of movement to it. It had a great sound to it, as well, because all the little straws moved and flexed with the animal.”
That sounds like something right out of a documentary about the making of 1983’s Return of the Jedi!
The name for the foxes was created by Lucasfilm story group’s Pablo Hidalgo, who put a Star Wars-ish verbiage spin on the term “vulpes”, Latin for “fox”.
It sounds like the vulptices will serve more than as beautiful scene-filling, depth-adding creatures, they will actually wind up aiding the Resistance fighters, whether that be inadvertently or willingly:
“They live within the burrows and within the tunnels beneath the planet,” Scanlan says. “So there is a time where their ability to shine within the darkness, should provide a guiding light to our heroes.”
We will have more from Breznican‘s EW coverage of The Last Jedi later today, which we’ll update right here so stay tuned!
Kelly Marie Tran’s Dream Realized
Anthony Breznican’s coverage of The Last Jedi continues here. This time focusing on the actor, instead of the character, and you’ll understand why!
Struggling to break through in an almost impossible industry, Kelly Marie Tran was working at a typical office job when she finally got the news that changed everything.
“The day I found out, Rian was like, ‘Oh we want you in this movie,’ I had just left work on my lunch break to go to this meeting,” she recalls. “Afterward, he told me that I couldn’t tell anyone, so I went back to work and answered phones and answered emails, like nothing happened. It was the most bizarre experience. Inside I was like, Ugh! Crazy!”
Imagine having to go back to taking calls for a company at a 9-to-5 office job after hearing you will be in Star Wars? I wouldn’t be able to think. Kudos to her for even going back! It evidently took a while for it all to really hit Tran even after production was underway, still unsure of her status or life-changing role’s effect on her, but as Breznican perfectly points out, she was breaking ground, perhaps without initially even realizing it, nor it’s massive impact:
“One thing that has registered for this daughter of Vietnamese immigrants is the significance of being the first Asian-American woman to land a lead a Star Wars movie.”
Tran explains how she was almost (and sadly) used to the fact that she didn’t often see herself represented in pop culture.
“Growing up I watched a lot of [pop culture] and didn’t really get to see a lot of people that looked like me,” she says. “I think that I’m really lucky to be this person, and I get to be part of this franchise. I hope that it is a move in a better direction.”
We are looking forward to seeing Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, being a part of the Resistance, joining Finn on what looks to be a fun adventure in the middle chapter of this trilogy!
Anthony Breznican’s Entertainment Weekly coverage of The Last Jedi rolls on!
Although the Resistance rocked the First Order with a big blow, destroying the Starkiller base, we can’t forget that before it met its demise, Starkiller destroyed several planets of the New Republic, including its capital. The Republic is DECIMATED, and it appears new leadership is on its way to make some changes. Enter Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo:
“She enters the Resistance to shake things up,” Dern tells EW.
Oscar Isaac explains the complicated relationship he has with Holdo, being that he is, and has always been, a faithful supporter of his General, Leia Organa. This can obviously lead to some tension between a devoted fighter and a new leader.
“It’s definitely appropriate that they’ve paired us because a lot of the friction and conflict comes between Poe and that relationship with Admiral Holdo, who is this person that’s been — at least temporarily — put in charge of the Resistance,” Isaac says.
It certainly seems as though Holdo is not showing up to make friends, well at least not to worry about people liking her anyway. She is there for business, business being doing what she feels is necessary to keep the Resistance alive against the First Order:
“You have to sort of figure out who’s side you’re on or what your feelings are about her,” Dern says.
Holdo certainly seems like she is a more measured leader, thinking about strategy and how to handle things less than being active or reactionary. We know Poe likes to “blow stuff up” and get into the mix, so he may not gel well with her reserved approach, which we are assuming is in place in a direct contrast to tactics Poe is familiar with under Leia’s leadership.
“Even if something seems like it’s not the most heroic thing to do in the moment, thinking about the bigger picture is sometimes more important,” Isaac says. “That’s something he’s trying to wrap his mind around, but at the same time, with the Resistance being in such a precarious situation, he wants to do the right thing, and doesn’t want to just wait and let things happen. He doesn’t necessarily agree with the way Holdo sees the role of the Resistance in this particular moment.”
We know that Holdo has known Leia since they were kids from Claudia Gray’s novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, so we shouldn’t take this as some brand new brash leader stepping in to change and undermine Leia. That’s not the plot device here. No this is someone who has actually followed Leia’s lead in the past, but perhaps due to recent events a shift in policy, or at least another voice is necessary, and this is something Poe and the rest of the Resistance will have to adjust towards.
Although Holdo has known Leia and followed her lead over the years, as Breznican puts it:
Of course, in Star Wars, students sometimes have a habit of going astray. That could apply to either one of them. Or both.
We expect more EW coverage from Anthony Breznican tomorrow, so stay tuned!