The Last Jedi’s Vanity Fair covers revealed!

Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz have come for The Last Jedi with a vengeance. They ‘re offering four covers (a rarity for them) which they revealed today. Tomorrow we get a look at the inside photos and the full story.

From the cover reveal, we see Phasma unmasked for the first time (RIP the popular Tumblr theory that she’s a Chiss) and learn the full name of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, “the new character with the most screen time.”

The issue will be on newsstands May 31 in New York and Los Angeles, and June 6 nationally. You can also order each cover individually, or get a poster with a subscription.

Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie on Hux and Phasma

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At the Los Angeles Times, Domhnall Gleeson talks about why the character of General Hux appealed to him:

I liked him because he allowed me to explore the notion of authority — he’s someone who enjoys authority and holds onto it at all costs. The costume was brilliant and added a whole other layer for me. We talked about the idea that he’s an obsessive and probably doesn’t sleep much.

So he was pale with dark eyes. We wanted him to look like somebody who was dead set on one thing.

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Meanwhile, Gwendoline Christie discusses Captain Phasma’s lack of face time with Entertainment Weekly:

I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to play a female character where we formed an opinion of her based on her actions rather than the way she has been made flesh. And that concept within a Star Wars movie, a mainstream phenomenon, was very modern and interesting and exciting.

Both characters are confirmed to appear in Episode VIII.

Episode VIII begins production; Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran join cast

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StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)

Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.

Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…


…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.

Meanwhile, as the day winds down…

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Roundup: Does The Force Awakens novelization answers, raises questions about the film

The Force Awakens novelizationBoth io9 and The Daily Dot explore things we’ve learned from Alan Dean Foster’s novelization that aren’t in the movie – including things that got changed. There are some possible hints at the big question regarding Rey, but remember that the novelizations have a rather tenuous connection to canon – they only really count when they’re supported by what’s in the actual films. (As for Rey, I’m not up for picking any teams yet, but I do plan to explore the question of her possible origins at some point.)

→ What happened to those lightsaber scenes, and other things that we saw in the trailer but didn’t make the final cut? J.J. Abrams explains to Entertainment Weekly.

→ Video: J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and other behind-the-scenes folks discuss The Force Awakens after the movie’s official Academy screening.

How to talk to your family about The Force Awakens. Important!

→ Also: Buzzfeed profiles Domhnall Gleeson, Wired interviews Jason Ward of Making Star Wars.