Adam Driver may be the only person not charmed by a John Boyega hug and other The Last Jedi tidbits

Vanity Fair is following up their blockbuster cover story and portfolio with a number of The Last Jedi sidebars today.

→ First up, how seriously Adam Driver takes his role as Kylo Ren. Includes priceless anecdotes from Mark Hamill and John Boyega.

→ Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson dodge questions about the title.

Rey’s lightsaber is now officially Rey’s lightsaber, says Pablo Hidalgo. (Sorry, Anakin.) And what about Luke’s? (The green one.) Well…

What’s not in The Last Jedi? Romance. There’s “no one-to-one equivalent of the Han-to-Leia, burning, unrequited love.” Johnson says. “In our story, that’s not a centerpiece.” Good.

→ And finally, Kathleen Kenndy on Carrie Fisher, Episode IX, and other future films.

So many photos! The Vanity Fair spread is live

Vanity Fair’s full spread and story is up! You need to go check it out, but here’s a quick rundown what we’ve learned: Laura Dern is Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo of the Resistance, and Benicio Del Toro doesn’t get a name at all in the film – though they’re calling him DJ. (Seeeecretsss.) And yes, there are pictures of both. Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico has a sister, Paige, a Resistance gunner, played by Veronica Ngo. And the planet filmed in Dubrovnik is indeed named Canto Bright. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” director Rian Johnson said.

The article also includes some touching tributes to (and photos of) Carrie Fisher, so keep the tissues handy.

Writer David Kamp will be answering questions about the story on Reddit later today.

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.

The boss: New Kathleen Kennedy profile, and about that slave bikini…

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Vanity Fair has a new interview and profile of Kathleen Kennedy in the wake of The Force Awakens. The most interesting part, perhaps, comes from writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America:)

“She talked about the way in which the conventional approach to these things is that a script starts from an outline, and that’s what everybody focuses on before there’s a word of dialogue.” In Kushner’s recollection, Kennedy was urging the writers to turn their focus to the characters. She kept saying to them, “Who are these people? I don’t know who these people are.” Kushner felt that “she was expressing an impatience about character being secondary to story line, which violated something very essential for her.”

He went on: “We had an interesting conversation about how a lot of playwrights start with outlines because it gives you something to hold on to, but that you know the characters are likely to derail the outline once they start doing what they do.” He and Kennedy talked about how “there’s no telling what will happen once you have invented a person. They may be willing to do what the outline says to do, but they may have very different plans in mind.” The sense Kushner got was that Kennedy “was pushing people to be unafraid of being lost for a while. It was good to see her holding the banner of complexity in the middle of this huge enterprise of Star Wars.” The machines, in other words, have not won.

She also addresses Leia’s slave bikini:

Referring to a notorious scene in Return of the Jedi, I asked Kennedy if she would ever have put Princess Leia in a golden bikini—the famous “slave Leia” costume that is embedded in the collective unconscious of legions of men who were adolescents in the 80s. “With a chain around her neck?,” Kennedy asked, arching an eyebrow and laughing. “I don’t think that would happen.” She quickly added that she didn’t think George Lucas would put her in that bikini today.

Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, on the other hand, says “George is not apologetic about that bikini.” I don’t doubt it.

The article notes that there isn’t a ban on the slave bikini – but I’ve always suspected the real story is that there’ll be less bikini, as opposed to a blanket ban, considering the source of the ‘banning’ brouhaha is a pinup artist.

In any case, you’re going to want to read the whole thing.