Alongside the bountiful cameos celebrities and other actors will have in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a very special homage will be paid.
[Warning: The following contains light spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.]
Director Rian Johnson confirmed that an adorable, canine-inspired alien species will make its debut in The Last Jedi that pays tribute to Carrie Fisher’s famous support dog, Gary. Johnson tweeted out the confirmation after a fan reached out with an image of the alien featured in an official photo.
YES! Wow, good eyes.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) December 6, 2017
Choosing Gary as a way to pay homage to Fisher, who will still appear in The Last Jedi as the iconic General Leia Organa, makes sense. The dog is famous for his goofy appearance, notably his droopy, lopsided tongue that hangs out of the corner of his mouth and a pair of wild eyes. Of all the adorable creatures to base an alien species on, Gary makes a lot of sense.
Though Gary never made an official appearance in a Star Wars movie, he’s a member of the cast’s extended family. Gary went everywhere with Fisher and would routinely appear on stage during Star Wars events like Star Wars Celebration. In the photo above, Gary can be seen sitting in his own chair next to Fisher during an interview the actress gave to Good Morning America in 2015.
The Last Jedi marks the last time that Fisher will appear in a Star Wars film. Disney and Lucasfilm said the actress would not be digitally added to Episode IX, but former director Colin Trevorrow did confirm aspects of the film’s narrative would have to be altered to account for Fisher’s death.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will see an important bond grow between Fisher’s Organa and Oscar Isaac’s fighter pilot, Poe, will be released on Dec. 15.