Since the dramatic finale of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, fans have been clamoring to see more of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Now, their wishes have been granted!
Ever since they first ran a special for The Phantom Menace back in 1999, it’s become something of a tradition for Vanity Fair to exclusively shoot each installment of the intensely popular sci-fi series. So, to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary, Annie Leibovitz has returned and taken several fantastic photos of The Last Jedi’s insanely talented — and damn good-looking — cast.
These glorious photos may not reveal anything overtly groundbreaking about the upcoming blockbuster, but they do suggest the state in which we may find our characters after that famous opening crawl. Scroll on down to check them out!
The Last Jedi Themselves
On the first cover from Vanity Fair, we have the planet Ahch-To’s most notable residents: Rey (#DaisyRidley) and Luke Skywalker (#MarkHamil), closely resembling how they looked at the end of The Force Awakens. It’s a well-composed shot of the two mysterious warriors looking towards the camera, probably contemplating the ways of the Force or something equally as deep and mysterious.
It remains to be seen what path they will take, or what the future holds for the remnants of the Jedi Order, but apart from the fact that Rey’s still favoring her staff, there’s very little we can surmise from this admittedly cool picture of the pair.
A New Golden Trio
One of the covers offers something a little more intriguing; namely, an official look at Kelly Marie Tran’s new character Rose Tico. Who is Rose, you ask? Well, to borrow from Vanity Fair themselves, The Last Jedi finds Rose as a lowly maintenance worker, before she is soon partnered up with Finn (#JohnBoyega) — together they on an important mission for the Resistance. She’s reported to have quite a lot of screen time, so Rose must be a pretty big deal — watch this space.
Speaking of big deals, it’s great to see Finn back on his feet again, especially since the trailer showed our favorite defector from the First Order still out of commission, after taking a lightsaber to the back. From the looks of things, his buddy Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) will be on hand to join him in his adventure, as well as ensure that Finn doesn’t suffer another grievous wound.
The Resistance’s most accomplished pilot is looking as dapper as ever (he's clearly been raiding Han Solo’s wardrobe), and it's lovely to see that he’s been reunited with Finn. Certainly, they shared a touching bond in The Force Awakens, and the fact that Poe is casually leaning on his pal’s shoulder suggests that we’re set to see even more of their budding bromance in the coming film.
The adorable BB-8 rounds off this dashing and decidedly diverse ensemble, which is sure to set movie fans into greater ecstasies and racist haters into renewed tirades.
The Dark Side Strikes Back
Boo! Hiss! The baddies are back, and they look meaner than ever. General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) does not look happy. He's probably moody because he has to stand next to his main competitor for Snoke’s approval, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
Yup, the Han Solo-murderer is front and centre, with his now-iconic red lightsaber ready for action. Ren’s new dark outfit pretty similar to his attire in The Force Awakens, but it’s definitely sleeker and less ragged than his previous look. We should also note the scar on his face, which appears to have healed quite nicely given how viciously Rey slashed him in their last confrontation. Like Finn, Ren’s clearly been delving into Bacta tanks in between the two films.
The main thing about Ren, though, is the fact that we can see his face in the first place. Throughout #TheForceAwakens, he was rarely seen without his Vader-esque mask, but the first trailer already showed it in pieces. Could we expect to see a brand new version? Or does Ren’s lack of headgear suggest a more personal chapter emerging for the wannabe Sith Lord?
It’s hard to say just yet, but perhaps the most notable thing about this cover is the fact that it’s the first image of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) that we’ve seen where she isn’t wearing her chrome helmet. With her brand new spear and gleaming armor in pride of place, she looks very ready for action. The Resistance better watch out for this terrible trio!
R.I.P. Carrie Fisher
2016 will be a year that’s long-remembered for its many celebrity deaths, and #CarrieFisher definitely ranks as one of the saddest. Vanity Fair respectfully gives the iconic actress her own cover, where she looks proud and resolute as General Leia Organa. Indeed, we’re used to seeing Leia in lighter whites, blues and greens, so this is perhaps the most muted outfit that we’ve ever seen her wearing.
Color is integral to our understanding of the #StarWars universe, so we can infer several things from this change; the first is that they reflect a more sober outlook for Leia following the death of Han Solo (#HarissonFord) at the hands of her son, and the continuing threat of the First Order. The second theory however, is a tad more intriguing. Whilst the fashionable shape of the cloak is very reminiscent of the ensembles that her mother Padmé wore, Leia’s new clothing is strikingly similar to the kinds of robes that the Jedi sported.
#TheLastJedi is set to feature Leia more prominently than its predecessor, though there are plenty of rumors about what her role will entail besides leading the Resistance. However, the most common line of thought is that she will join her brother Luke and confront Snoke and Ren in a battle between the galaxy’s premier Force-users. Could this change of clothing reflect this plot point? Might their folds conceal a purple lightsaber ready to be ignited?
All in all, it’s great to see such lush portraits of our new heroes in that galaxy far, far away, even though we still don’t know much about the plot of The Last Jedi. It’s worth mentioning that we have yet to catch a glimpse of Laura Dern or Benicio Del Toro in character, but there’s plenty of time for them to be revealed before the films’ release in December. Plus Vanity Fair are set to reveal more details about the movie in their next issue. As ever, keep coming back to Movie Pilot for all the latest news and rumors!
How excited are you for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'?
(Poll Image: Lucas Film. Source: Vanity Fair)