There will be plenty of familiar faces on the big screen when "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi" opens in theaters on Dec. 15, 2017 — from Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker and the late Carrie Fisher's General Leia Organa to Daisy Ridley's Rey and John Boyega's Finn. But the cast of our all-time favorite film franchise has changed a bit since "The Force Awakens" debuted in 2015. (Goodbye, Harrison Ford; hello, Benicio del Toro!) To help you get up to speed, Wonderwall.com compiled a helpful guide to the newest characters occupying the galaxy far, far away and the actors bringing them to life. Keep reading to get the scoop…
Kelly Marie Tran stars as Rose Tico, a maintenance worker for the Resistance. According to Vanity Fair, her plotline involves a mission behind enemy lines with Finn. "She's this nobody, this background player, which is what makes her interesting," the newcomer told Entertainment Weekly of her on-screen alter ego. "She's not the best. She's not royalty. She's someone who is just like everyone else."
RELATED: Our favorite female sci-fi stars
Kelly Marie Tran has been acting in various small projects since 2011. She had a two-episode stint on "About a Boy" in 2014, has popped up in various CollegeHumor Originals and had a small role in the 2016 Netflix movie "XOXO." She'll be making her first major breakthrough with "The Last Jedi."
RELATED: The sweetest sci-fi love stories
According to Vanity Fair, Benicio Del Toro stars as a "shady character of unclear allegiances" in "The Last Jedi." (Director Rian Johnson told Vanity Fair that the character had been nicknamed DJ, though that's not actually his name. "You'll see — there's a reason why we call him DJ," he said.) According to his official character description, DJ is "an enigmatic figure whose tattered, threadbare clothes and lackadaisical attitude conceal a sharp mind and expert skills."
You know Benicio Del Toro from films like "The Usual Suspects," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Snatch," "Sin City" and "Guardians of the Galaxy." The Puerto Rican star also took home an Oscar in 2001 for his performance in "Traffic" and earned a second Academy Award nomination in 2004 for his work in "21 Grams." He shares a little girl, Delilah, with Rod Stewart's daughter, model-socialite Kimberly Stewart.
Laura Dern stars as Vice Admiral Holdo, a prominent officer in the Resistance who came up in the ranks under General Leia Organa. "She enters the Resistance to shake things up," the actress told Entertainment Weekly. "You have to sort of figure out whose side you're on or what your feelings are about her," she added.
Laura Dern, the daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, is known for her work in films like "Blue Velvet," "Wild at Heart," "Jurassic Park," "I Am Sam" and "The Fault in Our Stars." The blonde beauty earned Oscar nominations for her performances in "Rambling Rose" and "Wild" and scored Emmy nominations for her work on "Afterburn," "Fallen Angels," "Ellen," "Recount" and "Enlightened." She finally took home an Emmy earlier this year for her performance on "Big Little Lies." (The actress also starred on the "Twin Peaks" reboot in 2017.) Laura has a son and a daughter with her ex-husband, Ben Harper.
Veronica Ngo (pictured in 2009) portrays X-wing gunner Paige Tico, Rose's sister, who fights on the frontlines alongside Poe Dameron, according to Entertainment Weekly. The model-actress — who's been cutting her teeth in films in her native Vietnam, where she's considered a major star, since 2006 — scored her first big breakthrough in Hollywood with 2016's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny." Veronica has also directed two feature films in her home country and released a handful of albums as a pop singer. She'll appear alongside Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace in the Netflix movie "Bright," which debuts later this month.
Hermione Corfield portrays A-Wing leader Tallie Lintra. The English actress made her feature-film debut in 2015's "Mr. Holmes" and had small roles in "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation" and "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword." She's also appeared in "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" and starred on "The Halcyon."
According to Entertainment Weekly, the adorable Porgs are native to the planet Ahch-To, where the first Jedi temple is located — and where Luke Skywalker has been hiding off the grid. (They were created to resemble the puffins that nest on the Skellig Islands off the coast of Ireland.)
The Caretakers, a race of all-female humanoid aliens, also call Ahch-To home. "They're kind of these sort of fish-bird type aliens who live on the island," director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. "They've been there for thousands of years, and they essentially keep up the structures on the island." Added the filmmaker of the new species, "I wanted them to feel like a remote sort of little nunnery."
The Samurai-inspired Praetorian Guard are Supreme Leader Snoke's elite personal bodyguards. "The Emperor's guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn't," director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. "They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians… have to be more like samurai. They have to be built to move, and you have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt — who previously worked with "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson on 2012's "Looper," 2008's "The Brothers Bloom" and 2005's "Brick" — has a small role as the voice of an alien in the film. "It's a very brief little thing, but it's fun, and if you watch the movie, maybe you'll be able to hear and pick out Joe's voice in the movie," Rian revealed in September 2017. The other actor who's appeared in all of Rian's feature films, Noah Segan, will also have a cameo in "The Last Jedi," though it's unclear whether he'll serve as a voice actor or appear on screen.
According to some reports, Justin Theroux will have a small but important cameo as a "an expert slicer" — or hacker — who has some sort of pivotal moment in "The Last Jedi." Other bold-faced names who are rumored to have cameos in the film are Prince William, Prince Harry and Tom Hardy as Stormtroopers, English actor-comedian Ade Edmondson in an undisclosed role and Take That singer Gary Barlow, who shot down reports that he'll appear as a Stormtrooper but declined to shed light on his role in the movie.