The Last Jedi has swept the nation with nostalgia and new world building alike. It has answered some of the questions raised in The Force Awakens, as well as provided some new mysteries. Whether audiences loved it or hated it, it built on the foundation of wonder inherent to the original trilogy and bridged the gap to an exciting and emotional final act we can look forward to next year.
Star Wars has always prided itself on providing truly immersive environments with hundreds of unique and exotic alien species. Few franchises have dedicated themselves so vigorously to publishing resources that explore the many creative properties involved in the expansive reaches of space set forth by the films. In this way, fans have been able to get glimpses of not only what appeared in the films, but what didn’t make the final cut (yet still helps to flesh them out). CBR has gathered some truly amazing pieces of concept art that went unused in The Last Jedi, but whose elements may linger in the final cut, or inspired ultimate designs. Phil Szostak’s book The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi boasts a collection of never before seen concept art gems.
15 CANTO BIGHT
The luxurious, vice ridden city of Canto Bight is like Mos Eisley for the rich and famous. There, a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” is cloaked in a gossamer veil of excess and affluence on the planet of Cantonica. Patrons from all corners of the galaxy come to gamble at the card tables, stuff tokens in machines of chance, and bet on exciting races. Nothing is out of reach for the customer with the right amount of chips; a truth Rebels Finn and Rose discover when they visit the planet hoping to find a master code breaker.
This piece shows the sprawling cohort of high-rollers, from Mallastarian aristocrats to high class Twi’lek escorts, in one of the many gorgeously outfitted gambling halls. It looks very similar to what audiences see in The Last Jedi, though perhaps a bit more muted, and more densely populated.
The evil version of BB-8, while as adorable as his colorful counterpart, is resolutely loyal to the First Order. His sinister appearance is in keeping with all First Order tech, designed to intimidate and frighten in shades of red, chrome, and black. Traditionally, the Empire had several counterparts to R2-D2 (all black of course), as the Rebels weren’t the only ones in the galaxy using astromech droids.
This little ball of doom has a squarer head than similar BB series astromech droids, as well as red sensors. The First Order wasn’t known for treating its droids like companions or friends, so it has a cold, malicious demeanor. Despite hype about his interactions with BB-8, the two don’t have any scenes together aboard Supreme Leader Snoke’s flagship Star Dreadnought, Supremacy.
13 BATTLE ON CRAIT
The epic finale of The Last Jedi occurs in a battle on the planet of Crait, a planet that used to house a Rebel base long since abandoned. It becomes the last recourse for escape from the First Order dreadnaught fleet when pods from the last Resistance cruiser land on its surface. Much like Hoth, it’s blanketed in white save for the red salt that lurks beneath its opaque landscape.
Kylo Ren has joined the ground assault to make sure the last remnants of the Resistance are wiped out. He lands his shuttle in front of the troop carriers to confront his former master face to face, hoping to obliterate any chance the Rebels have at escaping. This piece looks similarly to what appeared in the final cut of the film, save for the fact that Crait didn’t have two suns.
12 REY’S JEDI TRAINING ON AHCH-TO
When Rey locates the famous Luke Skywalker on the remote planet of Ahch-To, she seeks answers to the mysteries of The Force. She knows that something has awakened inside her, but cannot focus her newfound abilities. The Force Awakens introduced many possibilities for Rey’s character, including the fact that she would be trained in the Jedi arts by Luke Skywalker (although that wasn’t guaranteed based on their initial meeting).
In this piece, Rey is seen brandishing Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, the first lightsaber that Luke Skywalker ever learned to wield. She’s pointing it at Luke and challenging him, while wearing traditional Jedi attire. In the film, she wore similar clothing to what she wore growing up on Jakku, and never wore a Jedi tunic or robes.
11 STAMPEDE ON CANTONICA
After Finn and Rose spend time on Cantonica trying to find a crackerjack code breaker, they discover the dark side of the lush environment of the gambling city of Canto Bight; racing. The horse-like, furry creatures known as Fathiers with large ears and forlorn expressions are typically beasts of burden on Cantonica but also used for racing.
Rose uses the plight of the abused Fathiers as an analogy for the injustices in the galaxy, a truth that Finn is all too familiar with. When they set the Fathiers free, they begin a stampede to freedom throughout Canto Bight, but unlike in this piece of unused concept art, the stampede was never so concentrated, and took place through the streets of Canto Bight and through some of the gambling halls.
10 CAPTAIN PHASMA
When last we saw Captain Phasma, she was being held hostage by Finn, Chewie, and Han Solo as they infiltrated Starkiller Base. She had been Finn’s superior officer when he was still a stormtrooper and, and initially thought he showed great promise. Finn is pretty pleased when he gets to tell Phasma what to do, and Han suggests they throw her down into a trash compactor. Her fate was unknown when Starkiller Base was destroyed.
When Phasma reappears and squares off against Finn aboard Supreme Leader Snoke’s flagship Star Dreadnaught Supremacy, he loses no time in trying to take her out before she can see him executed. When he gets in a solid headshot, part of her helmet is damaged and we see a glimpse of her face. This piece shows a more lithe Phasma, with more of her face visible in the reflections of her helmet.
9 REY COMBAT TRAINING
Luke’s very first Jedi training began with attempting to wield his father’s lightsaber. Under Obi-Wan’s watchful eye aboard the Millennium Falcon, he wielded the Jedi weapon against a training droid that hovered overhead, orbiting him and shooting low intensity lasers that he was expected to parry. When he was unsuccessful the traditional way, Obi Wan suggested that he wear a helmet that had a visor to obscure his vision. Ironically, without the aid of his sight, he had to rely on the Force to guide his movements, allowing him to block the droid’s laser beams.
In this piece, we see Rey surrounded by dozens of training droids. Instead of a lightsaber she’s wielding the same staff she used on Jakku, applying the same technique as Luke against the droid’s attacks. This scene was never utilized in the film, but would have been a nice homage.
8 CANTO BIGHT HIGH ROLLER
Like the cantina sequence in A New Hope, the scenes in Canto Bight harkened back to the debauchery and salacious mischief found in the Mos Eisley spaceport. To the rhythmic music of samba beats and exotic steel drums the galaxy’s rich and famous swirled around in dazzling outfits that audiences had only gotten glimpses of on metropolitan planets like Coruscant.
Patrons like this long necked, oblong headed female humanoid were in abundance, though it’s difficult to gauge whether she ended up in any of the many scenes taking place in the gambling halls. Though she is elegant enough to be found in the famous gambling city on Cantonica, certain screen time was allocated for fan favorite species that were more recognizable, leaving these beauties on the cutting room floor.
7 THE CARETAKERS
The remote planet of Ahch-To where Luke Skywalker secluded himself from the galaxy was not entirely uninhabited. Though he was the only human in residence, other species dwelled there with him. There were the giant green manatee cow things called thala sirens, who were flippered marine mammals that produced a green milk safe for human consumption, and spetan channelfish that Luke used for food. And in terms of sentient beings, there were the Caretakers, looking like the lovechild of a bald parakeet and a turtle. They kept up the remains of the ancient Jedi dwellings and kept the sacred texts safe.
In The Last Jedi, the Caretakers ended up looking much more reptilian and were devoid of the colorful patches we see in this concept art. It’s hard to determine whether they’re praying, fishing, or both.
When the last of the Resistance fleet has to abandon ship and crash its pods on the surface of Crait, a planet covered in white salt, they find they are not alone on the planet. Referred to as “crystal critters” by Finn, these fox like creatures with coats that appear to be made from shards of ice or “crystals” are in fact Vulptex.
They were designed to bear a resemblance to glass chandeliers, and when they run they make a similar “tinkling” sound. While the vulptices in this concept art look a little more dog like, the film version ended up looking slightly more feline, almost like a glacial lynx. These elegant creatures don’t get a lot of screen time, but they add a unique element of beauty to grim circumstances.
Porgs, those lovable, oh-so-marketable little creatures on Ahch-To that combine all the best features of pugs and puffins. In fact, there is a practical reason that they exist; too many puffins were getting in the shots of The Last Jedi that porgs were created to combat the problem. Then they were made to be as cute as feasibly possible because why not?
Rather than the colors of an Australian Shepard, Porgs were almost purple, yellow, blue, and anywhere in between. However, since nothing on Ahch-To ended up being very bright colored but instead rather drab, the porgs were colored in the brown, beige, and white color palette you see in the film. Since they’re equally as mammalian looking as avian, it makes sense that their “plumage” isn’t all that vibrant.
4 STAR DREADNAUGHT SUPREMACY
In order to allow time for the last remaining Resistance ships to make the jump to hyperspace, Finn, Rose, and their new codebreaker ally need to sneak aboard Supreme Leader Snoke’s Star Dreadnaught Supremacy and disable the tracking device that’s able to lock onto any ship and follow it into hyperspace. Otherwise, the Resistance would keep jumping across the galaxy and the First Order would be seconds behind, regardless of their coordinates.
To accomplish their dangerous task, the Rebels have to disguise themselves as First Order officers, which look an awful lot like traditional Imperial officers. BB-8 has also managed to disguise himself as a fancy copying machine. Obviously their codebreaker looks different because well, he’s not Benicio Del Toro who would be our first guess as to what a "codebreaker" would look like.
3 DOGFIGHT ON CRAIT
Once the First Order discovers that the last remnants of the Resistance fleet have escaped in pods to the salt soaked planet of Crait, all hope seems lost. Down they descend with a ground assault, protecting a giant battering ram that uses “Death Star tech” to essentially focus a giant laser beam at the reinforced blast door in front of the abandoned Rebel base. The few remaining Resistance pilots, captained by flying ace Poe Dameron and reinforced by Finn and Rose, engage the ground assault with aging rust buckets that threaten to fall apart at every turn.
Though the final battle in the film has all the elements contained in this concept art, the First Order’s ground assault vehicles end up resembling Imperial AT-AT’s than they do these hulking crab-leg beasts.
2 KYLO REN
While audiences were divided on whether or not Kylo Ren was actually a worthy successor to Vader when he appeared in The Force Awakens as the villain of a new Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi shows a much more aggressive version of the dark side warrior. If there was any doubt about his capability for savagery, it is put to rest by the sheer undiluted anger that seems to course through his veins with every temper tantrum.
Would skinhead Kylo Ren have made for a scarier villain? It’s possible, especially since he’s acquired a shiny new scar across his face and towers over the other members of the cast. But ultimately he doesn’t need so drastic a change in appearance; ditching the helmet was statement enough.
1 THE KNIGHTS OF REN
Audiences were introduced to the fabled Knights of Ren in The Force Awakens, in which a group of Dark Jedi, led by Kylo Ren, slaughtered Luke’s Jedi Academy students and burnt his Jedi Temple to the ground. Originally, we were to see more of them in The Last Jedi, and not just in flashback sequences seen by Rey as part of mysterious visions.
Sadly, the Knights of Ren were never seen again, nor were they mentioned. There are several flashback sequences involving that time period, including scenes of the temple burning and amidst the rubble, Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren, but no infamous warriors. Were they created by Kylo on the spot, or were they an ancient order? The galaxy will never know, but this concept art shows what they might have looked like if we’d seen them.