What we learned about The Rise of Skywalker from Vanity Fair

Per usual, the Vanity Fair story on the upcoming Star Wars film – The Rise of Skywalker, the final episode of “the Skywalker saga,” the grand finale of all three trilogies, etc. – was chock full of information. Granted, most of it’s peicemeal, but that’s where we tiny fan blogs live, isn’t it? Let’s dig in.

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Episode IX rumors: Concerning the Knights of Ren, and the movie’s MacGuffin

As we patiently (or not) await the Episode IX title, Making Star Wars has a nice set of rumors/possible plot details to briefly sate (or enrage) hungry fans. First up, we have a little something about the Knights of Ren, alongside a bit of speculation as to what it means. Then, and just as mysterious, what is the movie’s big MacGuffin? They don’t know, but there’s a bit here on how it (may) drive the plot.

Let’s all remember that the one big thing about rumors, though: It’s all a game of telephone, and sometimes guesses and assumptions made along the way get all mixed up in a tiny bit of truth. Remember, MSW had Knights rumors from last time that turned out to be nothing. As always, I recommend not taking these things too much to heart – at least until we have proof in the form of something official, anyway.

All we’re getting from official sources are firm silence and some minor teasing, so rumors have to do. For now.

This weekend in Episode VIII: Set photos, more Knights of Ren

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Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)

→ Making Star Wars has a follow-up report to Wednesday’s spoilerific Knights of Ren piece, about another sequence that seems to feature the group. Again, these could very well be big spoilers, so click forewarned.

→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.

Rumors: Benicio Del Toro isn’t playing coy, and are these more Knights of Ren?

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Benicio Del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks for an important role in Episode VIII, told Entertainment Tonight that “it looks like it’s gonna happen.” Let’s hope that Rian Johnson is more forgiving of information slips than J.J. Abrams…

Indie Revolver has a collection of concept art that could very well be more Knights of Ren, the group that (apparently) gave rise to our pal Kylo.

→ You want leaked action figures? Knock yourself out.

→ After dropping a big bombshell on fandom last night, Star Wars 7 News plays it a bit safer today, with… The film’s marketing plan. Their apparent willingness to leak images aside, I don’t find SW7N the most trustworthy site, but the bit about “a mandate from the absolute top down” rings fairly true.