New details about Benicio del Toro's mysterious role as "DJ" in Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been revealed. While much of the anticipation about the sequel revolves around returning characters like Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren, Episode VIII also introduces a trio of fresh faces to the galaxy far, far away. Kelly Marie Tran's Resistance mechanic Rose Tico has received the most attention of the three newcomers thus far, given her close involvement with Finn's undercover mission. The other two - Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo and DJ - are largely being kept under wraps for the time being.
In regards to the latter, all fans have seen so far is an image of del Toro in costume as part of Vanity Fair's spread in the spring. Writer/director Rian Johnson could share that DJ is a "shady character" who actually goes unnamed in the film (though, there's a good reason he's referred to as DJ). Many are curious to see how he factors into the narrative and where his allegiances may lie, giving The Last Jedi yet another element of intrigue. Now, some more information about the enigmatic figure has come out.
As part of EW's continuing coverage on The Last Jedi, star John Boyega discussed certain aspects about DJ, revealing the character is part of the secret mission assigned to Finn and Rose:
"We just need a codebreaker and he’s the best in the galaxy. Unfortunately, he’s very dodgy and only in it for financial gain. He doesn’t fight for any side. He has distinct opinions. The Resistance bombs the First Order one day, the First Order bombs the Resistance on another. It’s an ongoing war that will never end. For him, he’s trying to benefit off of that — which doesn’t make him the person you want to trust.”
The exact circumstances for how Finn and Rose meet DJ are being saved for the film, but these comments nevertheless set up an intriguing dynamic for Johnson to explore. That the Resistance is willingly aligning themselves with such a unscrupulous individual is an illustration of their vulnerability. Despite destroying Starkiller base, the group is still extremely desperate and reeling after the Hosnian system was wiped out. The galaxy is in a state of chaos, and the ragtag freedom fighters are on the ropes. Many Star Wars characters are either good or evil, but DJ is something else entirely, using the war for his own benefits. An close comparison is Lando Calrissian in Empire Strikes Back, though there are more than enough differences between the two to make del Toro's character unique.
Newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose, also offered her thoughts on DJ, remarking that during their scenes together she "felt like there was a tiger in the room" and "at any moment he could do something, and I didn't know what." With a skilled helmsman like Johnson behind the camera and the Oscar winner del Toro bringing the character to life, the hope is DJ's sequences are as tense and unpredictable as Tran is teasing. The journey to Canto Bight is shaping up to be a wild ride for audiences, where anything is possible.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019