Dafne Keen plays an alien-human hybrid in Star Wars: The Acolyte – /Film

If you’re trying to imagine Dafne Keen’s “Star Wars” character right now, just know that she was directly inspired by the flame-haired Rystáll Sant (seen in the photo above). Played by Mercedes Ngoh, the human-Theelin singer/dancer appeared in Jabba’s palace dance number of the special edition of “Return of the Jedi” and memorably flirted with Boba Fett during their brief encounter. Being a gay woman who was still in high school when the special edition versions of the original trilogy were released in 1997 (and was writing “Star Wars” fan-fiction in her spare time, as she confessed to Empire), perhaps not as much of a mystery as to why Rystáll impressed Leslye Headland.

Keen is far from the only actor in “The Acolyte” to play a not fully human Force user, mind you. “Russian Doll” alum Rebecca Henderson (who is married to Headland) also plays Vernestra Rwoh, a green-skinned character who appeared earlier in the High Republic novels and who Henderson describes as “an elderly Jedi master.” Joonas Suotamo, who served as the late Peter Mayhew’s double as Chewbacca in “The Force Awakens” before replacing him in the role, will further round out the ensemble as Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca. The character will be the first of its kind in live action, though we’ve previously seen citizens of Kashyyyk using the Force in animation (most recently, the Youngling Gungi in season two of “The Bad Batch”).

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