Joseph Gordon-Levitt has always been a major Star Wars fan. When he attended the world premiere of The Force Awakens back in 2015, Gordon-Levitt famously turned up in a home-made Yoda costume. It featured a white robe, pajama bottoms, a beanie with pointed ears, and of course green face-paint.
Gordon-Levitt has always been strongly associated with Rian Johnson, writer and director of The Last Jedi. In fact, he's appeared in every single Johnson film to date. So it comes as no surprise that the talented actor has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in The Last Jedi too.
Meet Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Abednedo
The Last Jedi introduced us to a new, dark side of the Star Wars galaxy. Finn and Rose headed off to the hedonistic planet of Cantonica, to the coastal city of Canto Bight. There, the galaxy's movers and shakers congregate to celebrate their ill-gotten gains. We swiftly learned that the number one industry is war profiteering. Given the galaxy has been in a near-constant state of conflict for the last sixty years, it's no doubt a profitable career.
One of the residents of Canto Bight is an Abednedo named Slowen-Lo, and he's actually played by Gordon-Levitt. You'd never be able to recognize him; Abednedo may be humanoid, but the race have fleshy nose slits, protruding eye sockets, and dangling mouth tendrils. They're actually played via animatronics, with the actor wearing a sort of "helmet" with animatronic eyes and nose-slits.
The name Slowen-Lo is a deliberate reference to the Beastie Boys song, Slow and Low. There's actually an amusing Star Wars tradition that Abednedo are named after references to the Beastie Boys. J.J. Abrams introduced us to an Abednedo in The Force Awakens, calling the character "Ello Asty" (a reference to the album Hello Nasty). Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo decided to honor Abrams, giving other Abednedo names like "Roodown" (Root Down) and "Brasmon Kee" (Brass Monkey). Marvel Comics swiftly followed suit, introducing Abednedo named "Sowa Chuan" (So What'cha Want) and "Oddy Muva" (Body Movin'). Even the Star Wars novels have joined in, with Chuck Wendig calling one Abednedo "Awls Ooteek" (Paul's Boutique).
The Last Jedi may subvert a lot of classic Star Wars tropes, but this time round it decided to continue the trend. Slowen-Lo only appears briefly, but plays an important role. He's the alien who rats Finn and Rose out to the Casino Bight police.
Gordon-Levitt is clearly delighted to have appeared in a Star Wars film, tweeting his thanks to Rian Johnson:
For the record, the other actor in question is Noah Segan, who plays a pilot preparing for battle in The Last Jedi.
- 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: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019