THE LAST JEDI’s Crystalline Fox Is a Called a Vultpex

Update, November 20, 2017: those crystal foxes on Crait? They’re called vulptices, plural, and vulptex, singular–named after the Latin word for fox, vulpes. Entertainment Weekly revealed the news and discussed how the creatures burrow within the crevasses of the former hideout for the Rebel Alliance, now a base for the Resistance. Head of the Star Wars creature shop Neal Scanlan told Empire, “The theory is they’ve fed off this planet for so long that their fur has become crystalline. They’ve taken on the very surface of the planet they live on.”

He told EW the same and said the designers took inspiration from crystal glass chandeliers. And the best part? They used a dog for inspiration. They made a suit covered in clear drinking straws and put it on the dog to get an idea for the movement of the crystal fur. I hope a picture of that dog ends up in a making of book or a behind the scenes reel.

Get a glimpse of the evolution of the puppet:

Original post:

Star Wars is known for regularly introducing new fascinating creatures. Tauntauns, acklays, rathtars–these are only a few of the many critters in the universe. The Last Jedi will add a few new entries to the creature catalog. We’ve already spent some time getting to know the puffin-like porgs that call Ahch-To home, but a different creature is stealing the spotlight as of Monday: the crystalline fox.

And yes, it’s crystalline and not ice per the film’s writer and director Rian Johnson.

We got our first glimpse of the creature in The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes featurette released in July, but the recent trailer showed them context in the film. They’re on Crait, the mineral world that the remaining Resistance forces have fled to. The planet was once home to a Rebel Alliance base, and in fact, was where Leia first learned about the existence of a rebellion against the Empire. It’s all too fitting if her journey of fighting for what’s best for the galaxy starts and ends on Crait.

But, anyway, the foxes! In the trailer, the crystal foxes are running into a shelter that is likely the Resistance’s base. That means they’re not wild and trying to eat members of the Resistance, like say wampas. Tauntauns were kept inside Echo Base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, but they were used as transportation. I don’t think hitching a ride on these foxes would be so comfortable, because pointycrystals.

You can see the crystals in detail in this animatronic, also from The Last Jedi featurette. The crystal covered caverns we see the Millennium Falcon flying through are under the surface of Crait. So, this fox could be connected to that habitat and the Resistance is offering them shelter. They have an intelligent look about them (sorry, tauntauns, but these foxes look way smarter), so they could be involved in running messages or carrying medicine.

What are your thoughts about the crystalline foxes on Crait? Sound off in the comments.

Images: Disney/Lucasfilm

Amy Ratcliffe is an Associate Editor for Nerdist. Follow her on Twitter. She likes Star Wars a little.

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