Today’s Vanity Fair cover story on Star Wars: The Last Jedi has given us our first look at one of the movie’s new environments: the lavish casino city of Canto Bight.
Classically, one of the Star Wars setting’s most recognizable aesthetics is how run down it feels — an unusual trait for a science fiction setting. That aesthetic often took a back seat in the prequel trilogy as it focused on the upper echelon of galactic society: senators, queens and a dominant and stable Jedi Order. The Force Awakens resurrected the lived-in feel of the original trilogy, with sets like Rey’s gutted AT-AT home, an older Millennium Falcon and the rough-spun military quarters of the Resistance.
Director Rian Johnson wanted to combine a bit of both these approaches in Canto Bight, according to Vanity Fair. To contrast the sand and (metaphorically) shady junkyards of Rey and Luke and Anakin’s upbringings, Johnson said “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes.”
Canto Bight is “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief,” according to Johnson. In Last Jedi, it will come into focus as we follow Finn — and new character Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran — on a mission behind enemy lines.
It’ll also be where we get our visual buffet of bizarre alien designs and costumes — a Star Wars standard, and Vanity Fair’s selection of Annie Leibovitz portraits shows what I can only refer to as some “looks.”