One of the most beautiful animals we’ve ever seen in Star Wars glimpsed in the latest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer was the crystalline fox seen running across a barren, icy land. In fact, it’s called a vulptex (plural: vulptices), an inhabitant of the former Rebel Alliance hideout world of Crait where it darts across the salt flats and burrows into crevasses.
Since the events of the original trilogy, vulptices have come to roam free on Crait, something that is set to be a breathtaking sight in The Last Jedi.
“The idea is that these wonderful sorts of feral creatures had lived on this planet and had consumed the planet’s surface, and as such had become crystalline,” Neal Scanlan, head of Star Wars‘ practical effects creature shop, told EW. “The designers took inspiration from “crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction” they create.
In a making-of video Lucasfilm released, Scanlan explains: “We’ll do a combination of a hand puppet, animatronics in the face, and then we’ll make a perfect version for the CGI team who’ll be able to scan it and bring her to life in any way that Rian [Johnson, the director] wants.”
The vulptices look astounding and they’re set to play an important part in the film’s plot.
“They live within the burrows and within the tunnels beneath the planet,” Scanlan added to EW. “So there is a time where their ability to shine within the darkness, should provide a guiding light to our heroes.”