I Canto Bight gambling with just any old aliens!

So, in keeping with my “I love aliens in Star Wars” motif, and hearkening back to one of my very first blog entries, I decided to run down all the aliens from the two Canto Bight pictures in the new Vanity Fair Star Wars issue…pretty cool, right? Yeah, I think so too…anyway, as was the theme from Maz’s Castle, Canto Bight appears too good to let any old Rodian or Weequay through the doors, so the casino is populated by a whole slew of new aliens – and not just sequel trilogy new, but entirely new! Exciting, I know…also interesting to note is that there appear to be no droids present at the casino…is this a “we don’t serve their kind” situation, like back on Tatooine, or does everyone just leave the droids at home when they go out for a night of elegant debauchery? For that, I guess, we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s an interesting point…anyway, let’s pull the slots and see if we come up 7s, shall we?

A horse, of course…
So, going left-to-right, as is the Western tradition, the first species we come to is obviously a Thakwaash, right? I mean, if it’s any previously-existing species, it’s definitely Thakwaash. It’s certainly NOT a Bothan, that’s just ridiculous…Bothans are known for espionage and stealth, and there’s no way a species that big is sneaky around anywhere. Period. The only other species I can think of that might also work would be Selonians, but a Selonian at a fancy spot like Canto Bight would be a pretty far cry from their more primitive roots, so I’m not sure why you’d bring that species into the fold in this way. Dollars to donuts it’s a completely new species, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for Thakwaash because why not continue adding to canon with the old EU?

God Emperor of Dune
Okay, so, I’ve not read any of the Dune series (I’ll turn in my Sci-fi card on the way out), but I can’t deny that this incredibly creepy-looking creature does look like one incarnation of the God Emperor of Dune from one of the book covers. Upon looking up said character, though, most of the representations don’t much look like the species in the picture. What I see looks like some kind of Hutt/Human abomination that the implications thereof scare the bajesus out of me…*shudder*…anyway, whatever it is, it doesn’t seem very “Star Wars-y,” which I simultaneously like and dislike:  I like it because it’s outside the box, it’s not especially humanoid-looking, which is something I’d like to see more of in Star Wars aliens, but it’s decidedly goofy-looking as well, and I don’t like that aspect of it. It’s like a poorly-drawn Russian nesting doll that you’d only put out at Halloween to scare children…I’m really curious to see what’s going on below what we can see – does it have arms? Legs? Does it have a Hutt-like body, or maybe it’s more like a centipede and has tons of tiny, strong legs? I don’t know, but whatever it is it gives me the creeps…let’s move on…

Tiny!
At first blush, it’s easy to assume (or maybe hope? I mean, I don’t, but some people might) that this is a Zilkin like Meebur Gascon from Clone Wars, you know, because he’s super small, but if you look closely this tiny guy has what appear to be tentacles for arms where Zilkins have hands (there are other differences too, but this is the most obvious and deal-breaking). My other guess is, and this is a deep cut, that it’s a Vippit from the Legends novel The Cestus Deception. (See, told you, deep cut – this was a Clone Wars era novel featuring Obi-wan & Kit Fisto that I had on audiobook and listened to more than once.) I would be incredibly stoked to find out this little fella was a Vippit, but, again, I’m guessing it’s something completely new. I do like the idea of introducing more exceptionally small, like look up to an Ewok small, species in Star Wars. I didn’t really care for Gascon’s character in Clone Wars, but the species design was really cool. I’m also really interested to see how this little alien gets around and is included in conversation – does he have some kind of hovercraft that he floats around on to be at eye-ish level with the rest of the much taller patrons? That, more than anything, piques my curiosity about this little dude…

Stump Head
This guy looks incredibly familiar, but I can’t find any species that looks exactly like him – it’s as if he’s a conglomerate of several species that were introduced in The Force Awakens with two stumps on either side of his head (thus Stump Head). I honestly don’t have much to say about this fella…he’s a pretty average Star Wars alien, especially for the sequel trilogy. He’ll fit in well with the Ottegans, Abednedos, etc.

De wanna Wampa?
Just kidding, this doesn’t look like a Wampa at all, really, but they are carrying the big, white and hairy torch from Gigorans into The Last Jedi. It took me a while to notice this, but these guys are really, really wide – if you look to the left of Stump Head, that’s big, white and hairy’s arm…crazy, right? I’m guessing this fella takes up several seats at the poker table…as far as existing species that this guy could be, I got nothing…I wonder if his species is supposed to have a bald head, or this guy is just really old and has gone bald up there? That’d be kind of an interesting little tidbit to add to the Visual Dictionary (keep that in mind, Pablo, no charge)…

Anus Face
You can all thank @MattSpaetzel for that image…but, when you really think about it…yeah…I tell you what, too, aliens that hang out at Canto Bight are creepy – this is not a casino for the faint of heart…anyway, aside from looking like it has an anus on its face, this lady (I assume lady as it appears to be in feminine attire, but who knows what’s what for this species, and any other for that matter) looks to me like an Ongree with an extra set of eyes, teeth turned to weird lips, and then all scrunched up in the middle of the head…other than that, there is definitely nothing else I can think of that looks anywhere close to this creeper…like I mentioned before, they’re definitely hitting some less-than-humanoid notes with this crowd, but they’re hitting them in a way that’s really dialing up the creepy…they need to find the balance, but I guess it’s not as easy as it sounds, just ask the Jedi…

The Watcher
So, yeah, the human-not-human close to Anus Face looks like a Watcher from Marvel comics – bald with a head that’s just a bit too big for the body, but otherwise pretty much human. So I guess we have our first cosmic Marvel/Star Wars crossover…thanks Disney…in all seriousness, though, this is some uncanny valley kind of creepy…she’s almost human, but not close enough and it’s really weird to look at…I’m telling you, if I’m in the Star Wars universe I am never, EVER anywhere near Canto Bight casino…to quote Jar Jar Binks, “The beings hereabouts are kwazy!”

God Emperor of Dune with a melting face…
On the next page, or just across the image if you don’t actually have the magazine, we have another decidedly non-humanoid-looking alien that’s reminiscent of the the earlier God Emperor of Dune, but this one has an actual head jutting out of the hump back body that then looks like it’s melting off…which sounds incredibly creepy, but it’s actually one of the less creepy species so far…again, there’s really nothing I can compare it to other than the alien from a few pages back – one thing is for sure, they’ve been pretty original in their creations for Canto Bight…as of now none of them would crack my 40 Alien Species list, but I give definite kudos for seemingly throwing caution to the wind…

A Mon Cal in a tent?
Alright, immediately behind the last alien there appears to be another non-human that’s wearing what looks like a fancy, white, upside-down tent…now, to my incredibly keen eye (if you know me, that’s hilarious because my vision is terrible), that looks like the top of a Mon Calamari’s head, especially if you take into consideration the customization options you had for Mon Cals in Star Wars Galaxies…obviously, there’s very, very little to base this on, but I think we can all agree that there’s certainly some kind of alien species back there, and I’m going all-in on it being a fancy Mon Cal, fearlessly representing original trilogy species…

Curved Conehead
Is this a female Cerean? Do we have prequel representation to go along with the original trilogy’s Mon Cal?!?! Okay, okay, the Mon Cal is a stretch, but this could easily, legitimately be a Cerean, right? Or maybe a subspecies or different race within Cereans where the coned head curves more backward than going straight up? Or maybe this is just how all female Cereans heads are? I’m not sure if there’s a female Cerean in canon yet, so that’s possible…if not, and this is an entirely new species, I have to say that’s pretty lazy…it’ll be on the level of creating the previously-mentioned Ottegans when you could have just made an Ithorian – and I hear you, “wait a minute, Bryan, don’t you champion adding new species to Star Wars?!?!” Yes, yes I do. But if it’s a new species because of slight modifications to old species, then, really, how new is it? I’d much rather they take a little time to be creative than essentially swoop an existing species’ head back and call it something else…

And that’ll do it, ladies and gentlemen! Certainly not as many species to go over as with Maz’s Castle, but this is definitely an intriguing group…I’m really curious to see how these aliens and Canto Bight in general play into the story of The Last Jedi. Who among the heroes and villains will also be present at the casino? Why are they there? Has someone laid a trap? Is it a neutral place for spies to divulge secrets? And who’s this seeding “DJ” character, and is he present at the casino? And here’s a theory for you:  what if he goes by “DJ” for the same reason FN-2187 goes by Finn? Huh? What if DJ is ex-First Order as well, maybe DJ-4763? It’s not the worst theory you’ll ever hear (for the record, in my opinion, “DJ is Ezra” is the worst opinion you’ll ever hear, but god bless anyone who thinks that and whatever other speculations they come up with)…anyway, that’s enough from me, take a gander at the new species joining the galaxy far, far away and let me know what you think about them in the comments below, and, as always, may the Force be with you…

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