We may have less than a year to go until The Last Jedi hits our theaters, but its plot is as shrouded in secrecy as the dark side itself. Apart from the odd snippet gleaned from promotional material and interviews, we can only speculate about what lies ahead for Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaacs).
As for the newcomers, the identities of their characters have been kept behind some firmly closed blast doors, and none more so than Benicio Del Toro's! He's only been referred to as "The Man in Black," who may be the main villain of the picture, or more of an anti-hero. It all depends upon when or where you ask Del Toro — the answer is always changing!
Yet the main theory currently doing the rounds — courtesy of YouTuber Mike Zeroh — is that Del Toro is playing a particularly intriguing character called Sir Vikrum (spelt elsewhere as "Vicrum") Fett.
But is he really playing Boba Fett's son? And if not, who else could he be? Read on to find out...though beware!
*This article may contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You have been warned!*
1. Can We Bet On Fett?
The clone of bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temeura Morrison), Boba and his dad/genetic template have probably had as much influence on the fate of the galaxy as the Skywalker brood. He barely said anything when he was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, and remained reticent throughout Return of the Jedi, but the mysterious #BobaFett has proved to be one of the most popular Star Wars side characters of all. Indeed, soon after it was established, the Old Expanded Universe swiftly retconned his death so that he could menace even more scoundrels well after the timeline of the movies.
It’s hard to envision the fifty year old Del Toro playing Boba himself, since the new canon has yet to confirm the character's future, following that fateful fall into the Sarlacc Pit. Plus, even if he had survived, by the time of The Last Jedi, Boba would be even older than Luke Skywalker (#MarkHamill) which would make Del Toro’s casting even more confusing. Seeing him as Fett’s son, however, could be a very compelling prospect.
Ever since the franchise was resurrected, #JJAbrams and co have been working hard to please the die-hard fans, so bringing back the famous Fetts would further ensure that movie-goers are satisfied. Plus, if Lucasfilm are still working on Boba Fett’s solo movie, casting Del Toro as Vikrum Fett is a good way of gauging interest for the picture, as well as embroidering the current Star Wars canon.
But what about his role in The Last Jedi? Could his description as an anti-hero mean he’s willing to help Rey and Finn to redeem his ancestors? Or will he continue to torment the good guys, as his dad and granddad did?
It’s very hard to say, given the fact that we’re going off so little. Furthermore, it's far from confirmed that Benicio Del Toro will be playing a Fett, and fans have their own theories about who Del Toro might otherwise be playing in the Star Wars universe. One of the most popular of these theories is:
2. Rey’s Father
Apart from the fact that they abandoned her on Jakku when she was little, we know next to nothing about Rey’s parents — so, could this mean...? Yup, this is where conspiracies collide, and whilst it seems dead certain that Rey is going to be a Skywalker or a Solo, there’s nothing to suggest that Del Toro can’t be Rey’s dad outright.
Sure, you could argue that if she was his daughter, Rey would have a similar accent to Del Toro. Then again this is a universe where #MadsMikkelsen’s Danish timbre had no influence on #FelicityJones’s precise English. Plus, it’s long been postulated that Laura Dern is playing Rey’s mother, so it does add up.
3. Gallius Rax
Casual Star Wars fans may not know of this chap, but if you've been keeping up with the new Star Wars: Aftermath novel series then your ears might just have pricked up. Significantly hailing from the desert planet Jakku, Rax is a charismatic, ruthless and secretive character in these books, and his actions have had huge consequences upon the new Star Wars canon after the events of Return of the Jedi.
As an extremely high ranking officer, the ever-scheming Rax directly orchestrated the decisive Battle of Jakku- the consequences of which were evident in The Force Awakens. His pruning of the upper ranks also instigated the formation of the First Order! Yet the most important detail in this tale is that our pal Gallius was directly recruited by Emperor Palpatine, who swiftly moved him up through the ranks because he foresaw a great destiny in the younger man.
Indeed, this uniquely ominous origin story, coupled Rax's duplicitous and shadowy nature has caused many fans to speculate that he is a young Supreme Leader Snoke (#AndySerkis) - before he became badly deformed. However, there's been no confirmation of this as of yet, and Rex's fate in the novel series is far from certain. Plus, if you've ever seen Del Toro in Sicario, you'll know that he can capably play enigmatic, compelling characters. Rax may very well make the transition from the Star Wars books to the silver screen after all!
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4. An Old Ezra Bridger
This is one theory that is gaining a lot of traction across the internet, and not without reason. From their similarly olive complexions, to the fact that Ezra would be a similar age to Del Toro by the time of The Last Jedi, there is a lot of solid evidence to suggest that the young Jedi of #StarWarsRebels may be returning — but perhaps not on the same side he once was.
The only downside to Del Toro being Ezra is that it may spoil his eventual fate in Rebels, and it may weaken the high stakes of Return of the Jedi’s climax, if another capable Force-user aside from Luke, #DarthVader and Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is revealed to have existed out there in the galaxy. Then again, there might be extenuating circumstances for this that have yet to be revealed in the show.
Plus, Saw Gerrera’s (Forrest Whitaker) transition from his animated form in The Clone Wars to his live-action incarnation in #RogueOne confirmed how just closely Lucasfilm is cultivating its burgeoning universe. This alone shows how another link between the TV and movie series definitely isn’t out of the question.
5. King Prana
This one will surely have several people scratching their heads. Yes, King Prana is a pretty left-field suggestion, but there is definitely something to it. Cast your minds back to The Force Awakens, and you’ll recall that King Prana was the fellow whom Han Solo (#HarrisonFord) was meant to be delivering the tentacled Rathtars to.
That’s as much of a mention as he got in the movie, however in the films’ novelization (based upon the shooting script), Maz Katana (Lupita Nyong'o) has an extended talk with Han, and she tellingly mentions that:
"...I heard about the rathtars. King Prana's not happy."
A figure of wealth and authority? Commissioning Han to do a job that he fails to do? Sure sounds familiar doesn’t it? Jabba the Hutt may be long dead by the time of The Last Jedi, but Del Toro as King Prana could fill the sizable gap left by that sinister slug, and hassle our heroes for reimbursement throughout the remaining movies.
According to The Force Awakens’ Visual Dictionary, Prana is an eccentric, conceited yet dangerous individual, and Del Toro has certainly proved he is capable of playing these kinds of characters when he brought The Collector to life in #GuardiansoftheGalaxy.
You might think that a couple of name drops isn’t enough to warrant his inclusion. If so, it’s first worth considering that Jabba the Hutt started out in the same way before he became a major antagonist further down the line. And of course, there are those set photos of Finn and Rey attending some sort of important event alongside some smartly dressed aliens. Who knows? A certain King might be in attendance...
Ultimately, we won’t know for sure who Benicio Del Toro will be playing until we get more information, but these ideas all have merit. Personally, I'm rooting for a Fett to feature in the film, but what about you?