Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Vanity Fair's 'The Last Jedi' Cover Story Unveils First Look at New Characters

By: Dominic Jones

Yesterday, when the four collectible The Last Jedi covers for the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair were revealed, it was promised that today we would get a look at the full story and gallery of photos by Annie Leibovitz.  And wow!  Did they ever deliver!  The gallery gives us our first looks at some new characters from the film, specifically Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and Benicio Del Toro's intentionally unnamed character.  There are also some stunning shots of Rey and Kylo in action, and a series of photos featuring the late Carrie Fisher.

New Characters

Very few details were revealed about the new characters, played by Dern and Del Toro (pictured above), only their names--or lack of name in Del Toro's case.  Dern's character is named Vice Admiral Aimylin Holdo, who is, according to Vanity Fair, "a prominent officer in the Resistance."  With Del Toro's character, Lucasfilm claims their not being secretive and withholding his name for a later reveal, apparently he goes unnamed throughout the film.  However, he was referred to as "DJ" by the filmmakers which director Rian Johnson promises has some meaning behind it.  Johnson told Vanity Fair, "You’ll see—there’s a reason why we call him DJ."  In addition, while there were no new pictures of Kelly Marie Tran's Rose besides the one from the cover, we did learn that her full name is Rose Tico.

Carrie Fisher
Of course, a lot of the story is dedicated to the passing of Fisher, who passed away late last year after suffering a heart attack on a flight.  While there was no way Leibovitz could have known it while she was shooting them, the pictures released of Fisher and her cast mates are extra poignant given the tragedy that took place.  Picture below are Fisher on set with Johnson, Mark Hamill, and Kathleen Kennedy; Fisher and her daughter Bille Lourd (who plays Lt. Kaydel Connix in the sequel trilogy); and Fisher with Hamill.

Kennedy spoke about Fisher's passing and her reaction to Episode VIII, telling Vanity Fair, "She was having a blast.  The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been."

Kennedy also touched on why Lucasfilm made the very public decision to not use CGI to recreate Fisher, as they did with Peter Cushing for Rogue One, despite seemingly having permission from Fisher's family to do so.  She said, "we don’t have any intention of beginning a trend of re-creating actors who are gone."

The Aliens of Canto Bight
The other big reveal in Vanity Fair's story is our first look at some new aliens.  While this is similar to how the aliens of The Force Awakens were revealed in the 2015 Vanity Fair story about The Force Awakens, the characters in the pictures couldn't be more different.  The aliens of The Force Awakens were the denizens of Maz Kanata's castle, making them smugglers and pirates--the underbelly of the galaxy.  The aliens of The Last Jedi, however, are the galaxy's upper class, wealthy inhabitants of the casino city Canto Bight.  We'll see Finn and Rose's adventure take them to Canto Bight at some point in The Last Jedi  Johnson spoke about Canto Bight to Vanity Fair, saying, "It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe.  I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes."

Heroes and Villains
Perhaps, the most stunning shot in the entire Vanity Fair gallery is of Rey, wielding her lightsaber on the planet Ach-To.  Also pictured are a shot of Rey and Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, another look at Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, and a shot of the droid shop.

Vanity Fair also released a video about Leibovitz's visit to the set of The Last Jedi, featuring Johnson, Ridley, Hamill, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac commenting on what people can expect from the film when it hits theaters this December.

You can read Vanity Fair's cover story and see all the pictures here.

Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th.  The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura, Benicio Del Toro, and Lupita Nyong'o.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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