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Star Wars fans already know them as the crystal foxes, but we don’t know much else about these secretive beings, until now…the creature is known as a vulptex, and a pack of them would be vulptices.
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.
Neal Scanlan, head of the Star Wars creature shop, talks about the genesis of these translucent survivors.
“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,” Scanlan says. The designers took inspiration from “crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction” they create.
The creatures were designed by Aaron McBride and the name “vulptex” came from Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo, who galacticized vulpes, the Latin word for “fox.”
Foxes that are covered with gems instead of fur is an easy thing to propose, but a lot harder to visualize – and even more difficult to render in real life. For help, they turned to man’s best friend.
“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.”
The dog was only a volunteer for test purposes, showing them how a creature covered with long crystals might actually maneuver, and where the spaces between the crystals would be necessary. From there, the creature shop used that information to build animatronic puppets that could perform in scenes with live actors, while separate static models were constructed to be digitally scanned for animators.
More than just serving as interesting fauna for Crait, they will have an important part to play in the story.
“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.”
Entertainment Weekly ventures into the galaxy of The Last Jedi with four exclusive collectors covers featuring characters who may or may not be on the same side, but their destinies are entwined, check out the interesting descriptions to the characters that Entertainment Weekly have added for each cover
While that may seem unlikely, the second act of every story is where the heroes (and villains) are tested and tempted. As writer-director Rian Johnson picks up the narrative after 2015’s The Force Awakens, his job is not to protect these characters, but to put them in harm’s way.
“There’s a history in Star Wars of the attraction between the light and the dark, whether it’s the story of Anakin basically turning from this sweet kid and seeing his seduction to the dark side, or even with Luke,” Johnson says.
“Even though you never really believe he’s going to go over to the dark side, the whole revelation of ‘I am your father’ has to do with Vader and this darkness that [Luke] thought he could just dismiss as ‘That’s the bad guy. I don’t have any of him in me,’” Johnson adds. “Suddenly he realizes ‘No, I come from him. I have quite a bit of him inside me.’”
That twist (37-year-old SPOILER ALERT!) in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back established the second film in George Lucas’ space fantasy the most beloved in an already worshiped series. It knocked the story off balance. It made fans think: I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
The Last Jedi stands in a very long shadow. But it aims to cast a few shadows of its own.
Resistance mechanic Rose Tico (played by Star Wars newcomer Kelly Marie Tran) is paired with ex-stormtrooper and current Resistance “big deal” Finn (John Boyega) in a mission to the casino city of Canto Bight.
The wounded Finn is ready to be done with war, but meeting a starstruck fan like Rose inspires him to stick with the good guys just a little bit longer. While Rey and Kylo Ren try to knock each other off course, these two are here to keep each other on track.
Not every pairing is so collegial …
Who can’t relate to the perils of new management?
The Resistance paid a high price for its victory in The Force Awakens, and with the New Republic’s capital demolished, Leia’s forces are battered, bruised, and scattered.
A new leader rises to guide the battle against the First Order, Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who doesn’t quite have Leia’s everyman (or everywoman) touch with the troops.
That leads her to conflict with X-wing ace Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). His history, training, and loyalty lies with Leia – but what he doesn’t realize is, so does Holdo’s. Both learned everything they know from the princess turned general.
But for some reason, the more two people have in common, the more they seem to clash.
Among the questions we explore in this issue: whether Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa will ever see each other again.
After the death of Han Solo, the original team of heroes can never be fully reunited. But there is still a chance these two could find each other again, which is especially poignant given that this will be the late Carrie Fisher’s final appearance in a Star Warsfilm.
Not all of the storylines in The Last Jedi aim to break the heart. Some will fortify it.
Guests on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue boarded Starspeeders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park to discover a thrilling new journey to the farthest reaches of space and found themselves landing unexpectedly on a planet in the outer rim of the Star Wars Galaxy – a planet known to C-3PO, and now to us, as Batuu.
This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.
As the Creative Executive on these projects working alongside so many talented Imagineers and Lucasfilm partners, I look forward to sharing more updates from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we further explore the stories and adventures you’ll be invited to discover when our new lands open in 2019.
Also what could be better than riding Star Tours? Riding Star Tours with Mark Hamill! Journey to the world of Crait from Star Wars: The Last Jedi now at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.