Among the scenes we know about in Star Wars: Episode VIII, the Casino scene is one of the most intriguing. Let’s run through what we know and see what is in store for us. Potential Spoilers below!
The Casino scene goes way back to a report from Making Star Wars, who we believe first leaked the scene. At that time, it certainly sounded like this would be part of the scenes filmed in Dubrovnik, and the tuxedoes and other formal wear was just from people dressed up to go out gambling.
Next, we have a link between the casino scene and Luke Skywalker. This link also comes to us from Making Star Wars, along with a few other tidbits about the scene. In the article, Jason Ward tells us that:
The casino scene: There are lots of different aliens, like the bar (cantina) sequence in A New Hope but on a larger scale than we’ve seen before. (Note: We’re waiting on the details of their attire which will confirm Dubrovnik or not.)
Luke walks around the casino looking for someone (the players involved have no idea who).
It definitely does sound like a Cantina scene, or like Maz’s castle but even bigger. One of the amazing things about Maz’s castle was that a significant portion of it was filmed as part of one shot. It will be interesting if they maintain that style and delivery in this film.
When you hear these kinds of things, it definitely suggests the question of whether or not Lando will be in the movie. Lando was a legendary card player, so he would be right at home in a Casino. It would be great if Luke was looking for Lando for something that connects back to Return of the Jedi or something right after. After all, from the article above, we have the quote “Luke walks around the casino looking for someone” that the other characters don’t know about. Who could it be? This raises the question of whether or not we will see Billy Dee Williams.
In his most recent interview (that I can find at least) Billy Dee Williams comments that he wasn’t asked to be part of Episode VIII. That would certainly challenge the idea that Lando will play a part in this scene. Billy Dee could be playing coy, but it doesn’t sound like it:
Could they have another actor play Lando? Although this sounds unlikely, consider they have just cast Donald Glover to play the young Lando in the Han Solo spin-off flick. It wouldn’t be farfetched for them to CGI Glover to make him look a little older to play an old Lando. This will be a risky move, but it could further connect the movies through maintaining this actor. They just used CGI to amazingly transform Robert Downey Jr. to make him look young in Captain America: Civil War. It doesn’t seem implausible for them to do the opposite. This is definitely the kind of scene that would need to be done carefully, or otherwise it could end up looking strange. Therefore, I don’t completely shut out the idea of Lando playing a role. I’m not necessarily saying this is how they’ll do it, I’m just saying without Billy Dee, this is the only other plausible way we’ll see Lando in the casino scene.
However, the answer to who Luke could be looking for could come from a recent leak from, you guessed it, Making Star Wars. Making Star Wars definitely came through for us for The Force Awakens, so they’re our best bet for this movie too. This new leak says that Benicio Del Toro’s character is connected with, and might even work at the casino. The article describes him as a classic “Man in Black”. Now, I think that is a very specific phrasing. While others have speculated this is a Sith-like connection, I’m thinking more of the “Men In Black” variety, in the classic paranormal sense. I can’t help but speculate that Del Toro could be investigating supernatural, “Jedi” phenomena. Imagine a scenario where Luke was using the Force to influence one of the casino games. This could harken back to the old “chance cube” from The Phantom Menace, possibly.
So there are two possible scenarios that come to mind here. The first scenario is that Del Toro’s character is someone at the casino that Luke is looking for. The second scenario is that Del Toro could be part of the security force of the casino, that investigates the use of the Force to influence the “games of chance”. The last point is speculation on my part strictly from MSW’s use of the phrase “Men In Black”.
If the latter theory of the leak is true, and Luke get’s busted for using the Force at a casino, then he might go on the run, leading to another Dubrovnik leak we have heard, of someone doing a Force-push in the alleys of the city in Dubrovnik. Luke could have run out of the casino, and had to use the Force on some security guards out to get him. Here is the Force-push video we saw in Dubrovnik (found via MSW):
So this is just a little bit of speculation that could link the scant bit of evidence we have. Still we are a ways out, and we’ll keep you posted on how these scenes will shape out. But for now it would be cool to see Luke on the run after revealing his Force-powers in the casino.