There’s a fun trend in the most recent crop of Star Wars movies to stick well-recognized celebrities into the films in unrecognizable cameo roles. Simon Pegg and Daniel Craig both showed up in The Force Awakens, for example, one as an alien junker and the other as a Stormtropper guard. While Tom Hardy had his The Last Jedi part cut out, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is indeed in the final version, and his alien character actually carries over an Easter egg from the previous entry.
In The Force Awakens, there’s a resistance X-wing pilot named Ello Asty, a nod to the Beastie Boys’ 1998 album, Hello Nasty. He even has the phrase “Born to Ill” written in the made up Aurebesh language on his helmet. As Entertainment Weekly notes, Gordon-Levitt’s Last Jedi character appears to be the same species as Ello, and his name is Slowen-Lo. That would be a clear reference to the Licensed to Ill track “Slow and Low”. If the theory holds, it appears there’s an entire race in the Star Wars universe that is only named after the Beastie Boys’ music.
Gordon-Levitt’s role likely came from his close working relationship with director Rian Johnson; the two teamed up for 2005’s Brick and 2012’s Looper. As for where Slowen-Lo appears in The Last Jedi, spoiler warning: When Finn and Rose land on Canto Bight to find the codebreaker, Slowen-Lo is seen reporting their parked ship to local authorities. He returns a bit later to help identify Finn and Rose just as they’re about to complete their mission.
Listen to “Slow and Lo” below.