The release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is growing ever closer, and we’ve now been treated to a whole load of information about the mysterious crystal foxes that made their brief debut in a recent trailer.
The icy creatures are known as Vulptex (or vulptices collectively), and they’re known to dwell across the salt flats of Crait, a largely uninhabited planet that formerly acted as a hideout for the Rebel Alliance in their battle against the Galactic Empire.
According to EntertainmentWeekly, the creatures are supposed to represent the idea that life can thrive in the most hostile of environments.
Neal Scanlan, the head of the Star Wars creature shop, explained: “The idea is that these wonderful sort of feral creatures had lived on this planet and had consumed the planet’s surface, and as such had become crystalline.”
He later added: “They live within the burrows and within the tunnels beneath the planet. So there is a time where their ability to shine within the darkness, should provide a guiding light to our heroes.”
Describing the inspiration for the creatures, Scanlan explained how a real life dog was covered with straws to help designers gauge a clear picture of how the Vulptex should appear and move.
“We had a little dog come in and we built a little suit for it, and we covered that suit with clear drinking straws” Scanlan explained.
“It was amazing to see him run around. It could run and jump, and it had this wonderful sort of movement to it. It had a great sound to it, as well, because all the little straws moved and flexed with the animal.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set for release on December 15.