We Need To Talk About Benicio Del Toro's 'The Last Jedi' Character Choices

by Dylan Kickham
Walt Disney Studios

Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduces a lot of interesting new characters into the sprawling space saga: There's the stalwart, purple-haired Resistance leader, Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern); the plucky, maintenance worker-turned-hero, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran); and of course, enough adorable, saucer-eyed little Porgs to make every fan excited to buy more merch than ever. But the most mysterious new character is without a doubt Benicio Del Toro's shady hacker, DJ. Just what is up with DJ and his interesting manner of speech in The Last Jedi? Where did he come from, and will we ever learn more about him? Let's break down what we know and see if we can stumble on any answers.

Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen The Last Jedi yet and want to avoid any plot details about it until you do, then stop reading. We first meet DJ in a holding cell on the glitzy casino planet of Canto Bight. Finn and Rose Tico have traveled there to find a master codebreaker to help them in their mission of infiltrating Snoke's First Order ship. However, when they find the codebreaker they were looking for (a winky cameo from Justin Theroux), they are quickly grabbed and thrown into the casino's jail cell. That's where they come upon DJ, their shoddily dressed cellmate who overhears that they need a codebreaker and offers up his assistance for a price. Based on appearance alone, Finn and Rose initially disagree, until they see his skills in action as he nonchalantly breaks out of the prison cell.

The thing that most stands out about DJ is how he speaks. Benicio Del Toro characterizes his gruff character with a slight accent and a stutter, which pops up every so often but never makes DJ seem any less intimidating. Since we really don't know anything about DJ's past (including how he even wound up in that casino cell in the first place), this stutter may actually be the most potentially illuminating detail about the new character.

If it is a neurogenic stutter, then it means DJ experienced a stroke or some form of intense head trauma earlier on. Although DJ does do a small bit of fighting with the casino guards after he breaks out, he is set up to be characteristically averse to fighting later on in the movie, saying he prefers to stay on the sidelines and not get involved. But if his stutter developed from a head trauma, then maybe he used to be a more involved fighter than he is now. Then again, the stutter could have also simply been developmental.

DJ also represents something not often seen within the Star Wars universe: a truly neutral character. All the way back when A New Hope came out, Han Solo behaved somewhat similarly to DJ, initially refusing to help out Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi unless there was a price tag attached. Of course, that changes towards the end of that first movie when Han came back to help Luke without getting paid for it, but DJ never breaks from his cold, mercenary code. He agrees to help Finn and Rose only when they promise payment and hand over Rose's medallion as a down payment, and then he betrays them and turns in the Resistance when the First Order offers him even more money. As he leaves Finn and Rose to be executed, he recites what seems to be his modus operandi: the war between good and evil will never end, so why not go wherever the money is.

Since DJ makes it off Snoke's ship safely, he will presumably be back in Episode 9, and we will hopefully learn much more about him then. That is, if Finn doesn't kill him for that nasty betrayal first.