For many Star Wars fans Christmas simply cannot come soon enough. The launch of the first trailer and a stylish new poster for The Last Jedi has kicked speculation into overdrive as to what fans can expect from the upcoming installment in the blockbusting film saga.
As with the previous episode, The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm and Disney have managed to keep information released about the new film to a minimum, which has understandably led many fans to attempt to sort through a huge amount of rumor and speculation about what the future holds for Rey, Finn and the hugely anticipated return of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker.
One such morsel of information to emerge is that viewers are expected to be introduced to a new planet, Canto Bight, in The Last Jedi. According to reports, some filming took place in Dubrovnik last year as part of efforts to bring the location to life, with the planet thought to intriguingly be a single giant casino.
Considering how much effort goes into keeping details about Star Wars under wraps through the use of dummy information and false names, we’ll of course have to wait and see whether this ultimately proves to be accurate. However, if a casino planet was the latest addition to the franchise’s universe, it would make The Last Jedi the latest in a long line of major films to highlight the enduring relationship between cinema and casino culture.
Games based on films
This relationship has manifested itself in a number of ways down the years, including films inspiring many games on offer to players in both land-based and online casinos. 32Red casino offers a host of online slots including official games based on major big screen hits such as wedding comedy smash Bridesmaids and Steven Spielberg’s iconic 1993 hit Jurassic Park.
Both games use imagery, music and video clips to evoke the style and atmosphere of the films – and they’re not the only ones. Away from 32Red, Roxy Palace offers a slot based on James Cameron’s sci-fi masterpiece Terminator 2 and SlotMob also features one related to Seth McFarlane’s cult comedy Ted.
But why do such sites do this? There are undoubtedly a host of reasons but using films as inspiration means they can create new experiences for regular players and also look to attract new ones who may be fans of these movies.
Source: @IllusionChoice1 via Twitter
However, there is certainly more to cinema’s links with casinos than the latter using famous films to get players on their websites. The relationship is undoubtedly a two-way thing, with cinema often having a huge fascination with the glitz and glamour of casinos.
It is hard to pinpoint when the link between the two first began, but casinos are perhaps most commonly associated with one of the most iconic film characters of all time, James Bond. The suave spy’s love of gambling has been showcased in a number of his adventures down the years and the immortal line “Bond…James Bond” was even first uttered as he sat at a baccarat table in a casino in 1962’s Dr No.
While casinos were perfect for the glamour of Bond’s action-packed adventures, they have also been featured in some of cinema’s best-loved crime epics including The Godfather trilogy and – obviously – Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed Casino. Matt Damon even explored the world of underground poker in 90’s drama Rounders, which was recently the subject of rumors relating to a potential sequel that could focus on the growth of online version of the game.
Finally, it is not just The Last Jedi which is set to bring casinos back to the cinema this year either. Upcoming comedy The House, starring Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler and Jason Mantzoukas, is based around the premise of a couple opening a casino to help their daughter through college. The movie is due for release in the US at the end of June.
A lasting relationship
All in all, it is clear that casinos and cinema have had a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship for some time. What is equally clear is that, with the release of both The Last Jedi and The House edging closer, the links between the two show no signs of abating anytime soon.
*Primary Image Source: @StarWars via Twitter