WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary.
While it’s not a mystery of the level of Rey’s parentage or Snoke’s origins, questions about Benicio Del Toro’s enigmatic role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been persistent. He’s dubbed “DJ” by writer/director Rian Johnson, with the ever-present quotation marks indicating that isn’t the real name, or even initials, of the devious hacker (or “slicer,” in Star Wars parlance). So what does “DJ” stand for? It’s a deceptively complicated question that isn’t fully answered by The Last Jedi.
For starters, “DJ” is never uttered in the film; Del Toro’s character is never addressed by name — any name.
Perhaps he’ll gain one in Marvel Comics’ upcoming one-shot, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – DJ, which promises to explore his backstory. For now, however, we have to look to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary.
Released today, to coincide with the debut of The Last Jedi, the book is canon, offering nuggets of information about the film’s characters, vessels and locations. And “DJ” rates his own two-page entry that sheds some light on the shadowy figure, and reveals just what those two letters stand for.
Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) cross paths with “DJ” in the casino city of Canto Bight, where they hope to find a code-breaker who can hack the First Order’s system and gain them entry onto Supremacy, Supreme Leader Snoke’s massive flagship. It turns out that Del Toro’s character, who’s sitting in a jail cell, is exactly who they need, if not precisely who they were looking for; he’s well-acquainted with First Order code.
According to the Visual Dictionary, “DJ” also has a storied past with the Canto Bight police department, and arranges his own arrest for a petty crime — if only so he can get some sleep in a jail cell, free from harassment by authorities.
But “DJ” is more of a credo than a name: It stands for “Don’t Join,” the words stamped on a tin plate affixed to his hat. He’s a con artist, a grifter; he can’t afford to get swept up in a movement like the Resistance. But he’ll pitch in, if the price is right.
“He thinks larger causes are for fools, since society is just a machine looking to turn everyone into a cog,” reads the Visual Dictionary entry. “First Order, Resistance, or New Republic — it doesn’t matter where on the spectrum such a cause may lie; ultimately all are meat grinders that chew up their followers with the same disinterest.”
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. The film is in theaters worldwide.
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