Vanity Fair’s The Last Jedi article features some absolutely fantastic photos from Annie Leibovitz and also happens to reveal the names of Laura Dern and Benecio Del Toro’s new characters, spends time remembering Carrie Fisher, gives details on the film itself, and introduces the new casino city called Canto Bight. Really, it’s all about the photos and this year’s are stunning.
Seriously, the moment I started clicking through the photo shoot I was first given chills and my draw dropped at the photo of Rey practicing with Anakin/Luke’s lightsaber and then I had immediate tears seeing Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, Luke and Leia, brother and sister, embracing like true siblings. There was no way for Annie Leibovitz to know certain pictures would have such emotional resonance, but they now hold a poignant reminder of what the world lost with Carrie’s passing. Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed for the article and discussed (as she has previously) that they are essentially starting over with Ep. IX due to her passing, as Leia was set to be front and center in the final film of the new trilogy.
As for new actors to the saga, Lauren Dern and Benecio Del Toro, it was revealed they’ll be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo of the Resistance and “DJ,” a character with no clear allegiances, respectively. There wasn’t any real details given beyond that, though for “DJ” Director Rian Johnson promised, “…there’s a reason why we call him DJ,” and I’m pretty certain it won’t have to do with him hosting a sick dance party at one point. As previously revealed at Celebration Orlando 2017’s TLJ panel, Rose is once again mentioned to be going on a vital mission for the Resistance with Finn. Rose not only gets a last name now, Tico, but also a sister in the gunner Paige, played by Veronica Ngo, a Vietnamese actress who Vanity Fair writer David Kamp saw in a scene being coached by Oscar Issac’s Poe Dameron.
It seems whatever mission Rose and Finn go on, it takes them to a casino city (it’s home planet not mentioned) named Canto Bight which Rian Johnson bluntly describes as a, “…playground…for rich assholes.” He goes into a bit more on his thoughts on creating a rich, glitzy, seemingly clean planet:
“’…a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief,” the director said. “It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe.” So much of the Star Wars aesthetic is rooted in sandy desolation and scrapyard blight; it appealed to Johnson to carve out a corner of the galaxy that is the complete opposite. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour.’”
The photos tease a nice variety of species, and I hope the tall, giant eared, fur covered one happens to be a Bothan (UPDATE: It definitely isn’t and well, it should’ve been obvious), while space formal wear certainly makes for gorgeous Star Wars costumes (much like Luke’s in the first part of the comic crossover, The Screaming Citadel), especially for cosplayers. I’m looking forward to this planet as much as I am Crait, which offered the cool visual of the red dust being tore out from under the planet’s surface by Resistance skimmers.
Here are a few other things:
- Pablo Hidalgo had an interview with VF as well, where he talks about Holdo’s magenta hair, the lack of allegiances to any side in the galaxy conflict by those in Canto Bight, and more.
- David Kemp, the writer of Vanity Fair’s article, took to Reddit for an AMA. One of the bigger things he revealed is how Rian Johnson told him they don’t spend too much time on Snoke in the film. I, for one, am okay with this as it keeps the main characters in the spotlight and I’m sure he’ll get more screentime in Ep. IX anyways. Also, he says it’s ALL John Williams for this score (so no JJ Abrams/Lin-Manuel Miranda songs).
- Entertainment Weekly tried to get in on the action Tuesday night by releasing an article containing their interview with John Boyega, who teases Finn truly is a big deal in the Resistance now and that lightsaber wounds are much more horrible than we realized. I have to say, when thinking back to EW’s cover stories, I prefer how Vanity Fair just dumps the whole article on one day over how EW runs little tidbits over a course of the week.
- There are four covers for Vanity Fair’s The Last Jedi issue and a collectible poster to boot if you subscribe.
There will be plenty more info trickled out over the next few months, including the start of the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi program in September, followed closely by the film on December 15, 2017!
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