Red. Blood red.
It’s the color scheme of the Last Jedi title. It dominates the sky in the teaser poster. In Star Wars lore, it’s traditionally a sign of evil. Darth Vader’s eyes had a faint red tinge, and his scarlet saber igniting in darkness could strike fear in the hearts of Rebel soldiers — just before striking them dead. (Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber is red too, in honor of his grandfather.)
Rian Johnson, writer and director of the new film, employs this part of the spectrum for a specific reason, and we saw it prominently in the trailer, as speeders lined up in formation to fly along the surface of a new world, dragging stabilizers that rip up the scorched surface into blood-colored plumes of ash.
EW has exclusively learned the name of this world is Crait.
“It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted,” says Johnson. “It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.” The director (previously best known for Brick and Looper) noted how there are some “beautiful design elements and I hope some really unique ones that we’re able to bring into it.”
The shot of these small ships darting toward gigantic walkers mimics the snowy Hoth battle sequence from The Empire Strikes Back, but this white crust is salt. “The white dusting of salt over this red, ruby-ish mineral base,” he says.
According to Johnson, Crait is the site of an “an old rebel base there that’s now abandoned” and the planet was one of the first things he had in mind when planning The Last Jedi.
“It ends up playing a key role in the movie,” he says, adding that the Resistance fighters — flying in the skimmers seen in the trailer — “show up where they have to deal with a very pressing and immediate threat.”
But what is the significance of the red surface that’s kicked up by the fighters? Red is the symbol of blood in basic human nature — but blood can stand for violence or family. Maybe both, in some cases.
Johnson nods at this. “Go ahead and run with that,” he says.
There’s plenty more to learn about The Last Jedi before its Dec. 15 release. But here’s one mystery that’s been solved.