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Vulptices (singular: vulptex) were a non-sentient species of omnivorous and gregarious canids from the mineral world Crait. They were distinguished by their coats made up of white crystalline bristles.

Biology and appearanceEdit

The vulptices were a fox-like[5] species of canids with a flexible body native to the mineral world Crait. Their most distinctive feature was a coat of crystaline bristles/spines that served as protection against their predators. Their facial bristles (or whiskers) also helped them gauge whether they could fit into a tight space. Vulptices had excellent low-light vision and keen senses. They were omnivorous, feeding on tubers and small burrowing mammals they dug out from under Crait's salt crust. According to Doctor Paqin Mesoli, who wrote field notes on the vulptices for the Nupayni Mining Consortium, those creatures might also have been sensitive to magnetic fields.[1]

BehaviorEdit

Vulptices dwelled in highland caves and canyon. In fact, Dr. Mesoli theorized that they had summer dens beneath Crait's salt crust, and winter dens in caverns.[1] They lived in groups referred to as skulks,[4] regrouping three to four families with as many as ten creatures by family. Dr. Mesoli, however, observed those skulks came together in larger social structures, with as many as one hundred vultpices sharing a particularly advantageous den.[1]

Although not sentient, the vulptices were clever animals that formed strong bonds and hunted in cooperation. Dr. Mesoli suspected that they used their bristles to communicate, shaking them or brushing them against stones to generate specific sound patterns.[1]

HistoryEdit

After the Rebel Alliance abandoned their outpost on the planet, a skulk of vulptices had come to roam free through the abandoned structures.[5] Decades later an extremely curious skulk of vulptices was present on Crait during the time of a battle that broke out between the First Order and the Resistance on the planet surface.[2] The skulk found their way into the abandoned outpost while the door was closing, and they remained in the outpost while the battle of Crait was going on. While Luke Skywalker was distracting the First Order, the vulptices had somehow found their way out of the outpost, which seemingly had no escape. Finn inquired where the "crystal critters" had gone. One was spotted and helped them escape through a tunnel near the back of the outpost. However, the exit was blocked by a large pile of rocks. Rey used the Force to move the rocks out of the way. The Resistance was then able to follow the creatures out of the base.[6]

Behind the scenesEdit

"The theory is they've fed off this planet for so long that their fur has become crystalline. They've taken on the very surface of the planet they live on."
―Neil Scanlan[src]
Crait crystal creature

A Vulptex on the salt-covered surface of Crait

Vulptices were designed for Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi,[3] the eighth film in the Star Wars saga, which was released on December 15, 2017.[7] They were first revealed in The Last Jedi behind the scenes footage from the D23 Expo released on July 15, 2017,[8] displaying the animatronics that were used to bring the creatures to life.[3] The vulptices made their first appearance in the Crait sequence of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue,[9] Disney's simulator ride theme park attraction, which debuted at Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios on November 17, 2017.[10]

According to Neal Scanlan, the creature effects supervisor for The Last Jedi, feeding off Crait for a long time was the reason behind these foxes' crystalline fur. In this way, "they've taken on the very surface of the planet they live on."[11] The designers took inspiration from "crystal glass chandeliers and the sort of luminosity and elements of refraction" they create.[12]

The Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo came up with their name from the Latin word for fox, and the name of the fox genus, vulpes[12] and vertices (singular: vertex), or the corners of any polyhedron, a shape associated with crystals.[13]

Although the filmmakers originally experimented with creating the creatures in part as a practical effect using live animals, the final version was entirely CGI, as it was felt that the version with live animals did not match the beauty of the design which had been created.[14]

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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