'The Last Jedi' Cast Members Reveal Details About Benicio Del Toro's Character

Thursday, 10 August 2017 - 8:20PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Thursday, 10 August 2017 - 8:20PM
'The Last Jedi' Cast Members Reveal Details About Benicio Del Toro's Character
Lucasfilm
Of all the mysteries surrounding the upcoming The Last Jedi, one of the most interesting is the identity of the character that Benicio del Toro is playing in the film.

We know almost nothing about this shadowy figure, known only as "DJ," except that he's somehow connected to the gambling planet Canto Bight, that he dresses all in black, and that he's a bit slimy. There's been plenty of rumors that he's connected to various characters like Boba Fett, but either way, he seems to fulfill a similar role in this movie in that his allegiances belong to whoever pays him the most for his services.

Now, according to Entertainment Weekly, we've learned some new things: chiefly, that DJ isn't necessarily evil, but you certainly wouldn't want to leave him alone with your credit card details. Del Toro himself describes DJ thusly:

Opening quote
"I don't know if he's a villain. People are saying that, but it's like they read a different script than I read."
Closing quote


So if he's not a villain, what is he? John Boyega, whose character Finn will likely be meeting DJ on Canto Bight, gives a bigger insight into del Toro's character and how he fits into the movie:

Opening quote
"We just need a codebreaker and he's the best in the galaxy. Unfortunately, he's very dodgy and only in it for financial gain. He doesn't fight for any side... He has distinct opinions. The Resistance bombs the First Order one day, the First Order bombs the Resistance on another. It's an ongoing war that will never end. For him, he's trying to benefit off of that - which doesn't make him the person you want to trust."
Closing quote





In this way, it almost seems as if DJ will be a reflection of Luke Skywalker's grumpy new "the Jedi must end" attitude, and a sentiment that we haven't really seen in Star Wars up until now: that those who aren't involved in the daily struggle against the Empire or the First Order or the Sith in general don't really see a difference between the Light and the Dark. Regimes may change in the galactic core, but far away on the Outer Rim, it doesn't really matter who's in charge.

This perspective plays a big part in some of the Star Wars Expanded Universe stories that are now no longer canon, such as the fantastic (if incomplete) roleplaying game Knights of the Old Republic II. In this game, the player character, a former Jedi, comes across a series of people who just don't care about the lengthy history of wars between the Jedi and the Sith - they're out for personal survival, and that means ignoring the big galactic politics and the war between good and evil.

Interestingly, this game also features shady characters with talents for breaking security. It seems that Lucasfilm has drawn from lots of different elements of the Expanded Universe in order to create del Toro's DJ, and that can only be a good thing. One of, if not the best part, of The Force Awakens is Finn the repentant Stormtrooper - a type of character that we'd never seen before. Perhaps with DJ we'll see something else new, in the form of a very morally gray character who's not necessarily allied with either the good guys or the bad guys.

Whatever role del Toro will play, franchise newcomer Kelly Marie Tran - who plays another Resistance member named Rose - was pretty impressed by his performance. In her own words:

Opening quote
"When I was onset with that character, I felt like there was a tiger in the room, and I always had to be watching. Like an animal, at any moment he could do something, and I didn't know what."
Closing quote


If even half of that energy translates onto film, it sounds like del Toro will have knocked one out of the park with this performance. Get ready for what might well be your new favorite complex, multifaceted Star Wars character.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out December 15, 2017.
Science Fiction
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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