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Is the planet Crait in Star Wars: The Last Jedi inspired by Pluto? The color combination white and red looks kind of like Pluto. Any canon or interview on this will be highly appreciated.

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The color combination white and red looks kind of Pluto. Any canon or interview on this will highly be appreciated.

The red and white colors are meant to symbolize the progression of battle, and how violent it can be.

From an interview with Ryan Johnson, in response to the red-and-white motif that's ever present in The Last Jedi:

The idea for Crait, very early on, was a visual idea that was there even before I started writing the script. Snoke’s throne room, which is the other big red environment, was something I had that I was fixated on. The idea of this theatrical space. Snoke uses theatricality, and so it’s this very striking, graphic, bold space, and red felt right to me for that space, as well. It’s probably a combination of me just liking bold, graphic design like that, and the natural development of it. Red just felt right for this middle chapter. It felt kind of dangerous.

And then,

[Crystal foxes] live on Crait, which is a mineral planet. Crait started with a very graphic idea of red underneath white, and how that could transform during the course of a battle.

and

Also, I knew that [ski speeders] had to have this stabilizing ski, because I wanted to take advantage of the red and the white on Crait, and kick up that red, and have that jetski spray behind them.

So, at least from this interview, it appears that Ryan Johnson chose red specifically because of the theatrical effect it has, and because of how "dangerous" it is. And then, he chose white to contrast against it to heavily illustrate the progression and intensity of a battle.

The filming of Crait took place at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, South America, which is actually the location of the world's largest salt flat (go figure). A great article regarding this can be found here. When comparing the final product Crait with the original landscape of Salar de Uyuni, the two still look extremely similar, and perhaps differ only by the red salt that's found on Crait.

As of now though, I'm unable able to find, nor am I aware of, anything that indicates the red-and-white motif was derived from something specific (e.g., Pluto).

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It seems more likely to be an analog for Mars or better yet, the asteroid Pysche according astral geologist Ken Herkenhoff with the United States Geological Survey and co-investigator at the Mars Science Laboratory.

The Following are some exerts form the article linked:

Have actual scientists ever come across anything like Crait? Ken Herkenhoff, an astrogeologist with the United States Geological Survey and a co-investigator at the Mars Science Laboratory, told Inverse that the fact that Crait is a “mineral planet” isn’t a great clue because all rocky planets contain minerals. But there are two options that stand out above others.

“We have found salts on Mars, and Mars is red, so that’s a possible analog,” says Herkenhoff by e-mail. “Another possible comparison is Psyche, the metal asteroid that may contain economic resources.”...

If Mars is an analog for Crait, the red of the soil could be a hint to the levels of oxygen on the planet. On Mars, the red of the soil and rocks is an effect of iron oxidation (the same process happens when iron rusts on Earth). The oxygen levels on Mars comprise 0.1 percent of the atmosphere, although scientists believe the planet may have contained more oxygen billions of years ago. The interaction of oxygen and iron is what creates the red color that permeates the planet — and could be why the soil on Crait, once kicked up by the ground-skimmers, is red as well.

Though Crait is a planet in the Star Wars universe, it also resembles a smaller type of celestial body in our universe. Psyche, one of the most massive asteroids in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, is a fitting comparison because it, like Crait, could support space mining.


NOTE: That is not to say that color scheme choices should not also be seen as in-universe symbolism beyond real-world associations, because that in essence is more important to the film IMO.

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