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THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Reveals New STAR WARS Planet

THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Reveals New STAR WARS Planet

We’ve been mulling over that new Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser for the past, oh, two-plus hours, and we truly can’t get enough. It’s full of gorgeous vistas and mysterious allusions to things we don’t yet know about Luke Skywalker and what happened to him since the Knights of Ren ruined his daycare center. But one of the parts that intrigued us most was the arid, rocky planet with crashing ships flying towards AT-ATs in the far distance. Where is that? Director Rian Johnson revealed at Star Wars Celebration that it’s a brand new planet, but its name sounds very familiar to us.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi The planet Crait Photo: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Johnson explained to Entertainment Weekly that the planet is called Crait. “It’s way out there. It’s uncharted,” says Johnson. “It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.” He also says that they employed some unique design elements when creating that world. Most notably in the trailer, the speeders (likely mining vehicles) are tearing up the pristine surface to reveal red ashy plumes.

Krayt Dragon skeleton

The name “Crait,” however, reminded me immediately of another word from the Star Wars universe: Krayt, as in Krayt dragon. Krayt dragons are large, carnivorous lizards that live in Outer Rim territories. C-3PO walks past the skeleton of one during his trudge on Tatooine in A New Hope. They appeared living in several novels and were even creatures to avoid or kill during the Tatooine levels in the video game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, and later in the 2014 game Star Wars: Commander.

Krayt Dragon

Why would they go to the trouble of naming the new planet something that is a homonym of another word in already-existing Star Wars continuity? It’s possible that it’s just a coincidence, but what I think would be a lot more interesting is a babel effect, a derivation of language, the same word being changed as life spread. If Crait is indeed a far-out-there planet in the Outer Rim, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that when different sentient races settled on Tatooine and used Krayt for this animal, they took the word with them to this new planet. Maybe that planet is full of cave-dwelling dragons, so why not name the planet after them?

Just my head-canonical theories, but something to mull over. Is it a coincidence or could it be a cool thing? Let me know your thoughts–and anything else about The Last Jedi in the comments below!

Images: Lucasfilm/Disney Interactive

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and, like everyone, is a massive Star Wars fan. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!
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