In honor of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars this week, Vanity Fair has unveiled their massive cover story on the next chapter of the classic saga, The Last Jedi. Yesterday brought not one, not two, not three, but four brand new covers for VF’s upcoming issue, giving fans another exciting look into Episode 8’s most important characters. It left us wondering when we would see the full spread from Annie Leibovitz; that answer came today.
Along with the new images, VF attached a bunch of new juicy details with them in the complete spread. If you are someone who wants to try and go into The Last Jedi with knowing as little as possible, I’m stop right here. If you don’t mind, carry on and bask in the glorious new details for Rian Johnson’s film.
Benicio Del Toro & Laura Dern’s Characters
Being a new Star Wars film, it’s inevitable that we would meet new characters for at least this movie, and perhaps beyond. The Last Jedi does feature a few, but first up is the seriously mysterious character played by Benicio Del Toro. Those on set the film refer to Del Toro’s character as “DJ,” but isn’t mentioned by name in the film. Director Rian Johnson says there’s a specific reason he’s been given that nickname, and it will be revealed in the movie. DJ is said to have unclear allegiances, someone who works for his own advantages, which leaves us wondering if he can be trusted.
Unlike Del Toro’s character, the details revealed about Laura Dern’s character are a little bit more solid and give us a better idea on what kind scenes we’ll see her in. She will be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Holdo, whose elegance you can see above, is a prominent officer in the Resistance. No other details have been revealed at this point, but many rumors have suggested that she doesn’t get along with Poe Dameron and possibly Carrie Fisher’ General Leia Organa. That alone could indicate division between the Rebel side, which would make for some very interesting story points.
The Last Jedi Characters Will Face Their Toughest Challenges
We basically know nothing regarding story points for The Last Jedi. Sure we know simple things like Rey and Luke or Kylo training with Snoke, but when it comes to actual story points, we’re in the dark. And no, this spread didn’t say anything more on that, but Rian Johnson did let us know that his goal from the beginning was to give each of the characters the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced:
“J.J. [Abrams] and Larry [Kasdan] and Michael [Arndt] set everybody up in a really evocative way in VII and started them on a trajectory. I guess I saw it as the job of this middle chapter to challenge all of those characters—let’s see what happens if we knock the stool out from under them.
I started by writing the names of each of the characters, and thinking, ‘What’s the hardest thing they could be faced with?’”
Luke Skywalker Hasn’t Been Alone
While we only saw seconds of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams’ film revealed a ton about the last Jedi. He’s been “missing” for some time and the reason for that, as Han Solo put it, referring to his newly formed Jedi Academy, “one boy, an apprentice, turned against him, destroyed it all.” Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s obvious that that boy was none other than his nephew, Kylo Ren, formerly known as Ben Solo. Following the tragedy, Luke set off to find the first ever Jedi Temple, where no one has heard from him sense.
Johnson ha confined that that all is the case. Luke did indeed go searching for the beginnings of the Jedi, and he found what he was looking for on Ahch-To, the all water planet Rey and Chewie find Skywalker on at the end of The Force Awakens. But what did Skywalker find? Was anyone there? Is he alone now? Thanks to Johnson and the awesome spread from VF, we now have an answer to one of those questions.
While they were filming on Ahch-To’s real-life location of Skellig Michael Island, Johnsons revealed that the set builders “duplicated the beehive-shaped huts where the monks lived on Skellig and made a kind of little Jedi village out of them.” That village isn’t just meant to be a remnant of the old Jedi temple that was left behind. Johnson reveals that Skywalker has been “among an indigenous race of caretaker creatures.” Nothing more was revealed, but the director did assure fans that these are “not Ewoks.”
The full spread from VF features a ton of more really cool tidbits for the upcoming sequel, including a cool mission scene that takes John Boyega’s Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose to a Casino, an intense scene between Poe Dameron and General Leia, and Mark Hamill’s thoughts on returning to the highly elevated Skellig Michael Island.
While nothing major was released, the hype is real. The promotional period for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has officially begun and while I’m sure it’ll take a little bit of a break due to the film still being over six months away, this is a sign of great things to come. I’m now more interested than ever in learning about who the hell DJ and Holdo are. Who are these creatures Luke’s been living with? What kind of shit did Johnson put our characters through? I’m stoked to find out. As for these new images, that are fantastic. Leibovitz continues to capture Star Wars in a very different kind of light. How can you not geek out over seeing Rey with Anakin and Luke’s old lightsaber? Or even better, see the last few images of Carrie Fisher with those she holds dearest? Johnson’s The Last Jedi hits theaters in a theater near you on December 15th, 2017.