Next year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII will of course continue the stories of the characters audiences first met in The Force Awakens (Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, etc.) while also giving Luke Skywalker more to do. Rian Johnson may have revised the script to increase the roles of the returning players, but he still is going to introduce some new faces to the galaxy far, far away. When Star Wars 8 began production back in February 2016, it was announced that Oscar winner Benicio del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran were joining the cast in undisclosed roles.
The ever-busy Star Wars rumor mill has churned up some possible details about the characters Dern and Tran play; the former is thought to be a political rival of Leia’s and the latter is supposedly an information broker that aids Finn on his mission. Surprisingly enough, nothing has been said regarding del Toro, but that changes now. More Star Wars 8 speculation covers all three actors – specifically the physical appearance of their respective characters.
This report comes courtesy of Making Star Wars, a site that has been sharing several Episode VIII scoops over the past few weeks. First, their sources say that del Toro is portraying a “man in black” who unsurprisingly dresses in all-black attire and is considered “dangerous.” When word of del Toro’s involvement first surfaced, it was theorized he would be a new villain, but it might not be as clear-cut as that. Making Star Wars is hearing that del Toro is someone the heroes do not view as a “bad guy,” with a comparison to Lando Calirissian made. It is implied, however, that there’s more to del Toro’s character that will be revealed soon. He isn’t simply a Lando surrogate. All that’s said at this point is that he could be connected to a casino that will be in the film.
Dern has perhaps been covered the most extensively in the early going, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Making Star Wars’ sources say that her character’s personality is “aristocratic and fancy” in a manner the franchise hasn’t seen yet. Dern’s look is described as “The Hunger Games meets Star Wars,” as she wears an elaborate dress and has pink hair in a ‘do reminiscent of the prequel trilogy. It will be interesting to see how she factors into the narrative, but based on what’s been shared so far, it’s easy to see how she wouldn’t get along with Leia. One of the common criticisms of The Force Awakens was that it didn’t dive too deep into the political landscape of the galaxy, so ideally that aspect will be fleshed out further in Johnson’s film. The director contributed story ideas to the politically-heavy novel Bloodline, so it’s obviously something he’s been thinking about.
Making Star Wars was brief on Tran, but their findings indicate that she is very much involved in Finn’s storyline. Appearance-wise, she’s allegedly the “opposite” of Dern’s haughty mystery character, dressed rather normally. More information about her role is promised soon, with the tease that Tran’s situation is “really cool.” John Boyega has mentioned in the past that Tran is a new lead, suggesting that she will be a main character. The Force Awakens notably did not include a love story element, so perhaps there will be some romantic sparks between Finn and Tran’s character. Time will tell, of course, but if the two are to spend much time together, it’s certainly plausible.
Admittedly, these aren’t the juiciest updates for Star Wars 8, but with so little known about the trio of newcomers, fans will certainly enjoy reading up on this. Ever since del Toro, Dern, and Tran signed on, moviegoers have been eager to learn more about their roles. And with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opening very soon, Episode VIII will be the dominant talking point in the Star Wars franchise in the near future, which means there should be a bevy of new rumors on the horizon.