- "It's all a machine, partner. Live free, don't join."
- ―DJ, explaining his life philosophy to Finn
"DJ," shortened form of "Don't Join," was the alias of a human male slicer who resided in the galaxy during the war between the Resistance and the First Order. An amoral thief, he spoke with a stutter and was also skilled at slicing into computer systems. His philosophy was influenced by his cynical views; he therefore believed that both sides in the conflict represented two equivalent halves of a system breeding corruption and greed.
At the time of the Resistance's evacuation from the base on D'Qar, DJ was residing on the planet Cantonica, where he used his skills to steal money from the wealthy patrons of the Canto Bight casino city. He offered his assistance for a price to the Resistance operatives Finn and Rose Tico after learning about their mission to recruit a codebreaker. Although he helped them infiltrate the First Order Navy flagship Supremacy, DJ chose to save his own life after they were captured by Captain Phasma and her stormtroopers.
- "Good guys, bad guys, made-up words. Let's see who formerly owned this gorgeous hunk-uh. Ah, this guy was an arms dealer. Made his bank selling weapons to the bad guys. Oh… And the good."
- ―DJ, to Finn
The man known only as "DJ", a nickname that was actually an abbreviation of his personal motto "Don't Join", lived during the era of the New Republic both as a thief and as a slicer. As reflected in his motto, DJ lacked a belief in the black and white moralities of good and evil, and instead saw shades of gray, where no one was wholly good or wholly evil. The only factions to him were his side or the other's side, with his side being the only one that truly mattered. In his mind, good guys and bad guys simply did not exist. When it came to the factions fighting the First Order-Resistance War, he saw the tyrannical First Order and the ambitious Resistance to be two sides of the same coin, despite one seeking to impose a fascistic order upon the galaxy and the other resisting it to defend freedom. He claimed to have a history with the First Order's technology.
At some point, DJ took residence in an apartment located in Canto Bight, a city located on the desert world of Cantonica, a planet known for its casinos and racetracks. The city turned into DJ's playground, where he used his slicing skills and equipment to steal money from Canto Bight's wealthy. He also created a persona called "Denel Strench", a big-time gangster who held DJ as his last living associate. Strench's name became known through Canto Bight, with a handful of individuals believing Strench to be real. In truth, the persona was created to serve DJ to take the fall for his own crimes. The Canto Bight Police Department's record on Strench eventually became the longest in the sector.
What happens in Canto Bight
Running the tables
- "Hit or stand, sir? The droid is right. The book says stand, but it's your call."
"Hit me, my m-m-man. [Loses hand] Oh, well."
- ―The Eclipse dealer and DJ
Shortly after the Hosnian Cataclysm in 34 ABY, DJ patronized the Coruscant Hotel and Casino, where he hit the gaming tables for Eclipse—a holographic card game—with a large sum of stolen money with the intention of stealing even more money by rigging an Eclipse table with virused cash. By uploading corrupted money into the Eclipse table, the game would perform in his favor where the more money he put in, the more money he could withdraw. Ultimately, his plan was to spend a week at Zord's Spa and Bathhouse. DJ eventually settled for a table where he found himself heckled by the gambling protocol droid O1-MG. Unaware of DJ's scheme, the droid was dumbfounded by DJ's aggressive betting and the incredible amounts of money he was losing.
The droid ignored DJ's comments to mind his own business and became increasingly vocal as DJ tipped a waitress and the game's Zabrak dealer with all but one of his betting chips. However, the droid's pestering was culled by Oosha Choi and Pol Ipol, a pair of Canto Bight Police Department detectives known as honest cops, and as such derided by DJ as suckers. As it happened, they were there to warn DJ and interrogate him about Denel Strench, who they believed was after him due to a series of events that began with the detectives hunting down the arms dealer Flestic Crupp. However, the officers were put off by DJ's nonchalant attitude and the dismissal of the deaths of the "good men" on their squad. When Ipol tried to force DJ to come with him, he was stopped by the Coruscant Hotel and Casino's owner, Jorka Edy. The officers were kicked out of the casino for harassing a customer, and DJ was left to continue his scam.
After tipping the dealer again, DJ made for the door, having contacted the security team of the Vesustrian resort for an escort to their casino sometime earlier. However, Edy had learned of DJ's scam and followed him out, only to be confronted by Ipol, Choi, and the Vesustrian security team, led by a brutish security guard named Dezmoont. All three parties avoided making a scene by letting Dezmoont escort DJ to the Vesustrian, with Edy doing so in the hopes that a rival casino would fall to the same scam.
- "You don't gotta do anything but enjoy yourself here, High Roll. And on that topic, you even think about pulling whatever you did in the Coruscant Hotel and Casino in here? That's when I clock in for real."
- ―Dezmoont gives DJ a warning upon entering the Vesustrian
After welcoming DJ to the Vesustrian, Dezmoont revealed that he was well aware of DJ's abilities and promised to keep a close eye on him during the duration of his stay. As such, the security guard stuck to DJ's side at every stop DJ made, which included a visit to a fathier track, a tauntaun display, and an upscale restaurant. Upon learning that DJ was apparently being followed by Strench, however, Dezmoont upped the security surrounding DJ.
DJ chafed under the constant surveillance, though, and negotiated a deal to get Dezmoont off his back that included giving the guard the go-ahead to beat him into a pulp if Dezmoont caught him cheating. After Dezmoont left, DJ picked up on a game of Eclipse while Dezmoont watched from a cam droid. While playing, DJ met the podracer pilot Groff Fordly, whom DJ tended to bet on. In exchange for some chips, Fordly offered to give DJ a ride around the Canto Bight strip in his speeder. At that point, the conversation was interrupted by Crupp, who had been released from prison apparently because of Denel Strench, who also told Crupp where to find DJ.
Although Vesustrian security stepped in before DJ could be harmed, DJ nonetheless became aware that someone was impersonating Strench. Moments later and after DJ accepted Fordly's offer, Dezmoont returned having had DJ's cheating revealed to him, courtesy of Strench. With help from Ipol and Choi, who arrived to belatedly warn DJ about Crupp, DJ evaded Dezmoont's men and took off into Canto Bight with Fordly.
Dezmoont gave chase, though, and followed DJ through the city streets. Fordly protested his involvement in what had become more than just a ride, and as such demanded all of the chips DJ had. DJ complied and handed over 250K worth of chips before ordering Fordly to take a sharp turn that led them into a collision with a parked vehicle. However, the collision occurred in front of Canto Bight police officers, who arrested the pair, thus making DJ unreachable to Dezmoont.
At that moment, the cam droid from the Vesustrian, which had followed DJ throughout the entire speeder chase, confronted the slicer, who recognized the cam droid as being O1-MG. After being kicked from the Eclipse table at the Coruscant, O1-MG, feeling slighted, took off for DJ's apartment and rummaged through his computer files, where he found the Strench persona: the file was so detailed that when it was downloaded into O1-MG it managed to replace his core data, partially replacing his own identity. Ipol and Choi destroyed O1-MG shortly after, and DJ was placed in a Canto Bight prison.
Finn and Rose
Leaving Canto Bight
While this was happening, two Resistance operatives—the technician Rose Tico and a stormtrooper defector known as Finn—and the droid BB-8 traveled to Canto Bight in search of a slicer who could neutralize the technology which enabled the First Order to track the Resistance fleet through hyperspace. However, Rose and Finn were arrested by the Canto Bight Police Department and locked in a prison cell with DJ. Not convinced that DJ could help, they refused his offer. DJ then unlocked all the cells, much to Finn and Rose's surprise.
As they made their escape, DJ turned a corner and saw BB-8 seemingly take down a few cops. A cop then showed up and told DJ to put his hands in the air. As BB-8 shot several coins at the cop, DJ knocked him out. They then stole a yacht, Libertine, and picked up Finn and Rose, who were about to be found by the police.
After escaping from Cantonica on the stolen yacht, DJ requested Tico's pendant of Haysian smelt as payment up front for his services. Finn was opposed to the price, knowing its sentimental value to Tico, but Tico accepted his condition so that the slicer would help their cause. Finn demanded DJ give the pendant back, noting it meant a lot to her. When Finn saw DJ going through all the compartments of the ship, he realized it was not DJ's ship. DJ noted that he and BB-8 stole the ship together. With DJ's help, they infiltrated the First Order Navy flagship Supremacy, which contained the tracking system they sought to disable.
Cutting a deal
Disguised in the uniforms of First Order officers, the infiltrators made their way to the target area, where DJ used Tico's pendant to disable a locked door before returning the item to her. At that moment, however, the trio was surrounded by Captain Phasma's troopers, having been detected aboard the warship by the droid BB-9E.
The prisoners were taken to the main hangar, where DJ revealed to Finn and Tico that he had traded information about the Resistance—including their plan to escape to the planet Crait—to General Armitage Hux in exchange for his freedom and a large sum of money. He then departed from the Supremacy with his reward, leaving his one time allies to be executed on Phasma's orders. Ultimately, Finn and Tico both survived as a result of the sacrifice made by Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, ramming the Resistance flagship Raddus through the Supremacy at hyperspeed.
Personality and traits
- "T-T-Take it easy, Big F. They blow you up today, you blow them up tomorrow. It's just business."
- ―DJ and Finn
DJ was an exceptional slicer and a genius at code breaking. An unscrupulous thief, DJ always marauded in the shadows at Canto Bight, frequently stealing the things he needed. He could effortlessly pick the lock to a jail cell or open a sealed door by using a piece of Haysian smelt. According to DJ's personal philosophy, the only way to live a free existence was to not choose a side. He was resolute in his opinions and refused to join the First Order or the Resistance as their rivalry escalated into open war. He regarded neither side as good or evil, believing that both factions were part of a system built on greed and corruption.
Although he refused to join a side in the conflict, DJ was capable of working with either faction if it suited his interests. He helped the Resistance in their attempt to disable General Hux's tracking system, but ultimately turned against them by cooperating with the First Order in return for his life and the compensation of a reward. To bind oneself to any cause, DJ believed, would ultimately lead to one's downfall. It was all simply "business" in his line of work.
Behind the scenes
- "Maybe you could find him in a Bob Dylan song or a Tom Waits song. Or maybe in a Dostoyevsky novel. You'll find DJ in one of those stories. You don't know what he is. But that's the idea... You don't know if he's good or bad."
- ―Benicio Del Toro on DJ
DJ is a character portrayed by Benicio Del Toro who first appeared in the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. Del Toro was previously cast as Darth Maul in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, but left the project after George Lucas cut the majority of Maul's lines. Writer/director Rian Johnson considered using Lando Calrissian to fill the character's role in the story, but reasoned that Calrissian had firmer moral convictions and wouldn't outright betray the heroes.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – DJ – Most Wanted 1
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition audiobook
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: A Junior Novel audiobook
- The Last Jedi: Rose and Finn's Secret Mission
- The Last Jedi Read-Along Storybook and CD
- The Last Jedi Golden Book
- The Last Jedi Adaptation 3
- The Last Jedi Adaptation 4
- The Last Jedi Adaptation 5
- Spark of the Resistance (Mentioned only)
- Spark of the Resistance audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Character Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – DJ – Most Wanted 1
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of the film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in 34 ABY. As Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi carries on immediately from the events of The Force Awakens, it can be assumed to take place in the same year.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- Kamp, David: Cover Story: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Definitive Preview (May 24, 2017) on Vanity Fair (archived from the original on February 21, 2020)
- 10 Actors Who Turned Down Roles In Star Wars published by What Culture on whatculture.com (archived from the original on March 18, 2020)
- Perez, Rodrigo: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rian Johnson Talks About The Absence Of Lando Calrissian (December 19, 2017) published by theplaylist.net on theplaylist.net (archived from the original on March 2, 2020)