Characters with more meaning in The Last Jedi than you realized

From the opening frames, it's clear that writer/director Rian Johnson planned to take The Last Jedi into a galaxy far, far away from every Star Wars film preceding it. That's true for both the story and the characters who made that story happen. While some of them didn't get a lot of time in front of the audience, they definitely contributed to the saga—often more than you might realize. Here are all the characters in Star Wars: The Last Jedi who mean more than you think.

General Hux

For a lot of casual fans, the First Order kind of came out of nowhere in The Force Awakens, almost like the filmmakers wanted a reason to keep having stormtroopers, even though they shouldn't have been around anymore. Since, you know, they were basically Ewok tom-toms at the end of Episode VI.

Well, as with anything Star Wars, there's a lengthy backstory now as to how the First Order came to be, and it all started with General Hux. In both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) serves as the order-shouter, the head military honcho who essentially took the place of Moff Tarkin. But the behind-the-scenes extended stories describe how Hux was a child when the Empire was defeated. He traveled into exile with his father and started cultivating what became the First Order using the ideology of the defunct Empire.

As detailed in the novel Phasma, Hux's power within the blossoming First Order continued to grow, and he eventually concocted a plan to assassinate his father (although Captain Phasma did the deed). About ten years after that, Hux was a general in charge of Starkiller Base, and the rest is cinematic history. But judging by the meager screentime he gets, fans probably wouldn't guess that Hux is the reason the First Order is around in the first place.

And while we're on the topic of the First Order…

Captain Phasma

The first question savvy fans might have after watching The Last Jedi is, why the heck wasn't Captain Phasma killed (or at least heavily punished) after basically letting the Resistance waltz onto Starkiller Base and lower the defensive shields in The Force Awakens?

Well, first off, Phasma went into the computer system and framed a lowly lieutenant for that little security breach. Easy peasy.

Secondly, Phasma actually holds a lot more sway in the First Order than the films let on. Aside from Supreme Leader-slash-hobgoblin Snoke, the First Order is controlled by what calls a "triumvirate" of commanders–Kylo Ren, General Hux, and Captain Phasma. Phasma's specific job is to be, mostly, a chrome-plated badass, but also to oversee all the other stormtroopers in the First Order.

She also occasionally steps in and personally trains some of the troopers, notably the FN Corps–which you might recognize as Finn's unit. So to say that Phasma, who personally trained the turncoat who helps destroy almost everything the First Order throws at the Resistance, plays a crucial role in the story is putting it mildly.

Will we ever know for sure? Let's be honest: falling into a fireball has historically killed, maybe, three percent of movie villains who didn't show up again in the sequel. So call us crazy, but our guess is that Phasma will be back for Episode IX.

Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo

It's safe to say that Laura Dern's character, Vice Admiral Holdo, began the movie as something as a thorn in Dameron's side, but by the end of it she totally redeemed herself. The Last Jedi is the first time we've seen this character onscreen, but Holdo actually has a long history with Leia. As in, they're basically childhood friends. According to the young adult novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan, Holdo first met Leia on Coruscant the same year the events of The Empire Strikes Back take place.

Holdo soon learned about Leia's involvement in the Rebellion, and even helped her on a few missions during those early years. When Leia got around to setting up the Resistance in the years before The Force Awakens, her old friend Holdo was one of Leia's first choices to help lead the rebels against the First Order. So even though she's never been on a movie screen before The Last Jedi, you could definitely go back and watch the original trilogy and assume that if not for Holdo, some of those events wouldn't have taken place.

Maz Kanata

First introduced in The Force Awakens, goggle-eyed Maz Kanata seems to know just about everyone and everything in the galaxy. The pirate queen obviously lives an adventurous life, as evidenced by her brief, explosive cameo in The Last Jedi. When we're first introduced to her, Han Solo mentions that she's had her castle for "a thousand years." So she's been around, but how much exactly has Kanata seen?

According to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Kanata was well known by the Empire during the years of Palpatine/Darth Sidious' reign, a.k.a. the original trilogy. But that's easy to believe–those events only happened 30 years before The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Even more intriguing, though, is the idea that Kanata has seen just about the entire history of the Star Wars universe–and been a pretty prominent figure during a lot of it. In fact, the first time fans ever laid eyes on her wasn't in The Force Awakens. In The Phantom Menace, you can glimpse a statue of what's believed to be Kanata in Anakin's bedroom on Tatooine. According to the Star Wars wiki (referencing the canon book Star Wars: Complete Locations), Anakin got the statue from a trader passing through Mos Espa.

In other words, even within the Star Wars universe, Maz Kanata is cool enough to get her own action figures. And baby Darth Vader had one. He probably played with it all the time.

Lieutenant Connix

She's shown up in two movies now, so Lieutenant Connix has to be pretty important, right? Okay, granted, she had like one line in The Force Awakens, but in The Last Jedi, Connix gets much more screentime as the lieutenant in charge of communications between the mother ship and the X-wing pilots.

And mother ship here is an extremely lame double entendre. Connix is played by Billie Lourd, who is actually Carrie Fisher's daughter. Will Lourd's involvement–and by default, her character's–grow in the next episode? It's possible that keeping Lourd in the saga will act as a way to continue Carrie Fisher's legacy, as some have speculated. We'll just have to wait and find out.


Benicio del Toro's character of DJ the codebreaker (well, a codebreaker) was teased months ago, and his extended cameo in The Last Jedi didn't disappoint. From his distinctive stutter to his all-the-shades-of-gray moral stance, he was one of the most memorable new additions to the cast. If anything, it left fans wanting more, and Disney is stepping up to the challenge.

If you thought there was more to DJ's story than The Last Jedi revealed, you're completely right. January 2018 will see the release of an exclusive comic book detailing his backstory, including–hopefully–how he got locked up in prison on Canto Bight. Since he seems to know so much about how the First Order and Resistance are funded, we're guessing he's been involved with the ongoing war for a long while. 

The sweeper boy

It was the biggest ending nobody expected. Not a shot of the remaining Resistance members fleeing to safety, not Luke Skywalker evaporating on a rock—just a young boy Forcing a broom into his hand to sweep a stable, then looking up at the stars while he holds that same broom in a very, very, unmistakably lightsaber pose.

Out of all the characters in The Last Jedi, this unnamed (and apparently uncredited) boy means the most for the future of Star Wars. Whether or not he'll specifically become a player in the ongoing saga, he represents a new generation of Force users. He shows us that despite the film's title, Rey and Luke weren't the last vestiges of a dying religion, but merely the last known characters with a connection to the Jedi. As Luke explained, the Force isn't something you use to pick up rocks–it's the energy at the center of all existence in the Star Wars universe.

Even though the Jedi as we've always known them are done, this little boy in a stable proves that the ability to use the Force is far from extinguished, and is more than likely going to play a huge role in Episode IX.