Welcome to Crait, your sunny, mountainous, distant new vacation spot in the Star Wars universe. So what’s up with this strangely-colored planet that’s new to the galaxy far, far away? Let’s break down what we know.
According to Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, Crait is an uncharted world that’s “way out there.” That may put it somewhere in the Unknown Regions, a huge quadrant of the galaxy that’s mostly gone unexplored by galactic adventurers. Jakku is right on the edge of this mysterious sector, and Starkiller Base was buried somewhere deep within. The First Order is known to have an affinity for the Unknown Regions, having hidden there for years while secretly building its military forces.
Geographically, Crait appears to be a world covered in a dusty, white substance. The original scoop by MakingStarWars describes its cracked surface as a “giant salt flat,” underneath which run veins of lava and valuable minerals. Imagine Mustafar covered in snow or pollen, and you’ll have a decent foundation to build on. Scenes featuring the cracked, white ground were shot on location in Bolivia. There are also sharp mountain ranges visible that rise almost straight up out of the ground.
Crait is home to a mining operation that is of special importance to the Resistance. Johnson said that the mine goes all the way back to the days of the Rebel Alliance, which used its minerals a financial resource. Today’s Resistance could still be doing the same thing, but word has it that the Resistance is also using Crait as its new base of operations. If so, that’s a development that suggests the First Order found (or will find) the original Resistance base on D’Qar, as seen in The Force Awakens.
Based on what’s shown in the teaser trailer, it looks like the First Order is set to find the Resistance base on Crait as well. A fleet of huge First Order walkers are visible in the distance, no doubt advancing on the base — giving the scene a Battle of Hoth vibe. These new walkers are rumored to be much larger than their Empire Strikes Back counterparts though, called Heavy Assault Walkers, or “AT-4X”es.
Instead of snowspeeders, the Resistance sends out a squadron of ships that appear to skim the surface almost like kite boards, stirring up some kind of red sediment from under the white dust. It’s been suggested that Johnson’s striking use of red in this scene is intentional, possibly a foreshadowing of dark events about to play out. Red is, after all, the color that Star Wars traditionally associates with evil, and the Dark Side of the Force.
These fighters, which vaguely resemble B-Wings, could be repurposed vessels originally used in some kind of mining capacity. Everyone’s favorite hotshot pilot Poe Dameron could even be behind the controls of one of these “skimmers,” considering the trailer included a glimpse of what looked like his prized black X-Wing being destroyed in its hangar. But this is all pure speculation.
The amount of screen time Crait will get in The Last Jedi is unknown, but director Johnson said that the planet “plays a key role” in the film. It’s possible the quick shot in the trailer of General Leia Organa examining a galactic map alongside some of her generals could be from the interior of this Resistance base (though the architecture suggests a space cruiser is more likely). If Leia is indeed based on the planet, then Crait could be the site where we finally get to witness the general’s long-awaited reunion with her brother Luke.
What else do we know about Crait? Not much, as Johnson and Lucasfilm are holding on tightly to their Last Jedi secrets. Eagle-eyed fans have turned up one additional tidbit, though. In last year’s book, Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, there’s actually an early reference to Crait. A character named “Lieutenant Heff Tobber” is listed in the book as having been “stationed as a transport pilot at the Rebels’ Crait outpost prior to its abandonment.”
Rogue One took place in the days immediately leading up to A New Hope, so this means that the Rebel base on Crait was abandoned long before the events of the original trilogy. What might have caused the Rebels to abandon this base? No answers are immediately available, but the timeline lines up nicely with the events of Star Wars Rebels. Seems like a perfect candidate for inclusion in the animated show’s upcoming fourth season, don’t you think? Especially since past seasons of the show have intentionally tied into bits of The Force Awakens and Rogue One.
What do you think Crait holds in store for the heroes and villains of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments!