Warning: spoilers follow for The Last Jedi. If you haven't seen the movie yet, jump to hyperspace and away from this article.
Canto Bight, the opulent locale in The Last Jedi, brought us fathiers, Benicio del Toro's DJ, a bevy of fancy attire, and a little drunk alien trying to shove coins into BB-8. The guy that mistook our favorite spherical droid for a slot machine is Dobbu Scay, and though he's a purely CG character, he was brought to life in a motion capture performance by none other than Mark Hamill.
The Last Jedi VFX supervisor Ben Morris told Nerdist, "Mark came to Rian [Johnson]. Mark's done an awful lot of computer game voices for characters, but he's never had the chance [to do mo-cap]. So, he said, 'I want to put the dots on, man. I want to do that mo-cap thing.'"
The director obliged. “Rian made a little cameo for Mark," Morris said. "We brought him after the main shoot to our ILM and performance capture stage in London. We spent an afternoon with him, staging those moments with Rian. That was quite bizarre.”
Morris continued, “We actually built the gigantic wire frame BB-8 that was a little to the right side so that Mark was the same height as the toad dude. So, we've got this enormous BB-8, like the Christmas bauble, that's made out of wire. I think Mark had a great time. And we leave that as the basis for his performance ideas for the character.”
Creature shop head Neal Scanlan said they made a maquette of Dobbu Scay, who Morris affectionately calls “the toad dude” and combined Hamill's mo-cap performance with puppeteers—Scanlan and Morris really work in tandem to bring the creatures to the galaxy.
Scanlan explained, “Digital made a very big version of BB-8, and so we performed it. Warwick [Davis] and Jimmy Vee played the real scale character with the real sized BB-8, and then the digital guys had a big BB-8 made and Mark played the character to the big BB-8. They motion captured his performance and then scanned in the characters and created it as a full digital character, which is great.”
So next time you watch The Last Jedi and see the little wobbly alien stuffing coins into BB-8, remember that's Hamill in a mo-cap suit. If we're lucky, Lucasfilm will share behind-the-scenes photos.
Did you have any idea Dobbu Scay was Mark Hamill? Tell me in the comments.
Images: Lucasfilm/Disney, DK Publishing
Amy Ratcliffe is an Associate Editor for Nerdist. She likes Star Wars a little. Follow her on Twitter.
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