Bothans. Just the name alone conjures up the most famous Star Wars quote about the alien species. “Many Bothans died to bring us this information,” intones Mon Mothma (Caroline Blakiston) during Return of the Jedi. So many Bothans died, in fact, that none are left to be seen in the film. For decades, fans had to imagine what kind of species would have a predilection for espionage. Then along came the Expanded Universe and, suddenly, we knew. They looked like werewolves.
But all of that was swept away when Disney purchased Lucasfilm. The entire Expanded Universe became known as “Legends” and the Bothans once more disappeared. Without one on screen, there is still no canon version of the species (unless you count this). But fans have lived in hope that Bothans will one day make an appearance. With the new Annie Leibovitz photos of The Last Jedi for Vanity Fair, we all thought we finally had our man alien werewolf. In one of the group shots of the casino-planet of Canto Bight, a tall and distinguished gentleman alien stands head-and-shoulders above the crowd. He looks all the world like a shaved Bothan, and since the species has appeared hairless in some iterations, it wasn’t much of a leap to assume this dapper fellow was indeed a Bothan.
Sadly, we are wrong. But fans were wrong so loudly and in such numbers that Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo was forced to take drastic action on Twitter.
Of course, just because Hidalgo crushed everyone’s hopes and dreams for an aristocratic Bothan lord doesn’t mean he felt the need to tell us what alien species the creature is instead. We’ll inevitably have to wait until the Star Wars: The Last Jedi companion table book comes out. Until then, keep your eyes on the background because a Bothan has to show up eventually, right?