New details released for Star Wars: The Last Jedi's mysterious crystal foxes

One of the most mysterious sightings in trailers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has just gotten a whole lot less mysterious. 

Star Wars fans have been poring over every new still and bit of footage from the upcoming sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster, analyzing every frame for plot clues and sightings of new and wonderful characters and creatures. 

For the most part, observers have been able to put things together to form compelling theories, but one aspect of all released footage has continued to confound: the mysterious crystal fox creatures that appeared, very briefly, in a trailer for The Last Jedi.

Now, Entertainment Weekly has cracked the mystery of the silver foxes wide open, starting with identifying the creatures' name. Apparently, this here specimen of far-off intergalactic fauna is called a vulptex, with the plural version of the name being vulptices. 

The vulptices are residents of the world Crait, previously seen in trailers and identifiable as "the cool-looking dry planet with the red dirt". According to EW, the creatures are capable of burrowing deep into the ground, and have taken over the empty spaces of an abandoned hideout formerly run by the Rebel Alliance, which successfully beat back the Empire in the original Star Wars trilogy.

The vulptices are among the few full-time residents of Crait, evidently a mineral-rich planet that is hard to survive on. Hardships on the planet have contributed to the foxes' crystalline look, according to Neal Scanlan, head of the Star Wars creature-building team.

"The idea is that these wonderful sort of feral creatures had lived on this planet and had consumed the planet's surface, and as such had become crystalline," said Scanlan. 

According to the designer, the creative team behind the creatures was inspired by "crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction" inherent to them in creating the foxes' spiky-diamond look. 

The principal designer for the creatures was Aaron McBride of Industrial Light & Magic, with the name having been coined by Pablo Hidalgo, a member of Lucasfilm's story group. It comes from the Latin word "vulpes", which translates in English into fox.

For our money, these vulptex guys trounce the too-cute porgs in the pet factor, looking sleek, shiny and cool—though maybe not so cuddly.

Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, we now have our best look yet at these stunning and luminous new additions to the Star Wars saga. Check out the crystalline visage of a vulptex below.

In unrelated news, this is an image of a slightly-less angular Pokémon called a Vulpix. What do you think? Separated at birth, or has Ash Ketchum gone and joined up with the Resistance?

The galactic zoo is growing more robust before our very eyes, and we'll all get a chance to see these new creatures running alongside our old human favorites when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.