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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vanity Fair Covers 'The Last Jedi'

This post was updated on May 24 with the new details and images released by Vanity Fair. 

Following its Star Wars: The Force Awakens cover in June 2015, Vanity Fair is now – as many predicted – covering The Last Jedi for June 2017. This week, they unveiled four brand-new covers and a slew of exclusive photos by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, with exclusive details and reveals to match. 
The first cover features the title character(s), Luke and Rey, on Ahch-To. Their costumes are pretty much identical to what they wore in the last scene of The Force Awakens, but this is the first time that we've seen the two heroes side by side, united by the Force (and possibly blood). The one new addition is Luke's glove, which would confirm that the hand touching an ancient Jedi book in the teaser is Luke's.
The second cover showcases the leading triumvirate of the First Order: Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and General Hux. Hux looks as poised as ever, while Kylo has a new costume and cape. Phasma's appearance is the most notable here; she's seen without her helmet for the first time, and though it's no surprise to see Gwendoline Christie's fierce face, it does suggest that we'll see a more human – but still quite despicable – side of the character. 

Phasma is also wielding the staff that Making Star Wars first told us about in March. Vanity Fair elaborates that this is "a retractable pole arm that collapses into a smaller, easy to carry form." It connects to her own history, which Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo hints is "more low-tech than many would assume." Looks like she'll be trading in her chrome blaster for a unique, badass melee weapon. 
Next, the Resistance. Finn and Poe Dameron are united again, with mutual friend BB-8 sitting in the corner. Next to them is Rose, the biggest new character in The Last Jedi who we already know works as a maintenance worker. Vanity Fair revealed Rose's last name (not that it holds any great significance): Tico. The cover story confirms that her and Finn's "mission behind enemy lines" will take them to the casino city of Canto Bight. 
The fourth and final cover features General Leia Organa standing alone in a dark, almost sinister cloak. Carrie Fisher's co-stars assured Vanity Fair that she has a much larger role in The Last Jedi and truly dedicated herself to her performance. Lucasfilm was planning for Fisher to be at the center of Episode IX in the same way that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill dominated The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, respectively.
Aside from Rose, Vanity Fair sheds some light on Laura Dern's and Benicio Del Toro's new characters. Dern is confirmed to be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, seen in all of her pink-haired glory above. Holdo is a high-ranking officer in the Resistance, though Making Star Wars has told us that she'll be at odds with Leia and Poe. 
Meanwhile, Benicio Del Toro's "shady character" (above) is still called only "DJ" by the filmmakers. His shifty nature and unclear allegiances would perhaps make him The Last Jedi's equivalent of Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back. His real name must be a recognizable one if Lucasfilm is still reluctant to reveal it, although director Rian Johnson hinted that they call him DJ for a reason.

Leibovitz's full portfolio includes all kinds of exclusive looks at the cast of The Last Jedi:
Rey and Luke next to the "Jedi village" on Ahch-To. Luke has been living here with "an indigenous race of caretaker creatures."
Hux, Kylo, and Phasma are all smiles
The monochromatic Resistance
The wealthy inhabitants of Canto Bight who have managed to "live apart from the galactic struggle," according to Hidalgo
Rey training with Luke's old lightsaber on Ahch-To
Kylo Ren swinging his iconic crossguard lightsaber
Rey and Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon
The droids of The Last Jedi, including Anthony Daniels in his gold C-3PO suit
Fisher with her daughter, Billie Lourd, who plays Lieutenant Kaydel Connix
The Skywalker twins reunited
What do you think of these new photos? Which new character are you looking forward to the most? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all. 

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