Luc Besson is finally returning to his space opera tendencies for his new film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. For those of us who love The Fifth Element, news of his new film was an exciting surprise. And the world of Valerian looks as rich and imaginative as Besson’s worlds usually are, all the way down to the literal thousands of different alien species we’ll meet in the movie. A new photo introduces us to a character who looks intriguingly like one very important pop singer from Besson’s previous film.

The photo, released by Empire, introduces us to Ambassador Dan Makta.

He certainly doesn’t look human. Besson also told Empire that what drew him to Valerian was how the setting — Alpha Station, also known as the City of a Thousand Planets — was a place where aliens gathered to come together peacefully, instead of destroying things.

Most of the time when you see aliens in a film, they're trying to destroy things. But Alpha is the city of science and culture: everybody is exchanging knowledge. It's a very rich world.

The similarities to The Fifth Element don’t just stop at the setting. Take a look at Dan Makta again, and then refresh your memory of Diva Plavalaguna, that blue-skinned alien who sang the incredible opera rendition during the movie’s finale. They both seem to have similar tentacles growing out of the sides of their heads, no? Does this hint at a connection between the two movies? Will Leeloo or Korben Dallas have cameos? Will someone use a Multipass? Besson could be making a more Tarantino-esque move here, subtly creating a shared universe between his movies that doesn’t necessarily have to impact the plots of any of them. If Dan Makta and the Diva are the same species, Valerian and The Fifth Element could occur in the same world.

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner, blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him.

Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets hits theaters July 21, 2017.

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