Breaking Down Vanity Fair’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Article

This morning Vanity Fair released an ultimate preview for the upcoming final film in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Released were a slew of images as well as many new details adding a lot to the story entering Episode IX. We’re here to take a deeper look at some of the images and information and give you all the information you need to know heading into Episode IX.

New Characters:

After it was announced that actor Richard E. Grant would be joining the cast of The Rise of Skywalker, many fans anticipated he would play a villain. Some fans speculated that he would be playing the father or relative of General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) or even fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn. Grant himself teased that he was playing a character fans would be familiar with, although it appears that was a misdirect, as Grant is playing Allegiant General Pryde. Neither the rank nor name has been used in Star Wars previously, but if I had to take a guess, I would assume this character is a higher rank than General Hux. Whether Grant’s character’s introduction is a direct result of Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) rise to power remains to be seen, but we will certainly learn more about the character this December.

Another actress that was on fans’ radars after being cast is Keri Russell, who has worked with J.J. Abrams in the past on projects such as Felicity and Mission Impossible III. A leak emerged in March that suggested Russell would be playing a character named Zorii, and now Vanity Fair has confirmed that Russell would be playing a scoundrel by the name of Zorii Bliss. When we find her in the film she will be a patron of a place called Thieves’ Quarter on the new planet Kijimi, a snow-dusted world most likely on the outer reaches of the galaxy but this has yet to be confirmed.

While not too much new information was revealed about Naomi Ackie’s character Jannah, who was unveiled at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April, we did get this new image of her and Finn (John Boyega) riding creatures called orbaks.

Jordanian locals play the Aki-Aki during the photoshoot.

The Aki-Aki, portrayed by the people of Jordan where the film was shot, are creatures of the desert planet Pasaana, which is described as “on the edge of the galaxy.” Many fans speculated the scenes in Jordan were shot for Jakku, Tatooine or even Jedha, but it appears that The Rise of Skywalker will introduce the fifth desert planet (Geonosis is four) to the saga in just eleven films.

Returning Characters:

After numerous leaks and rumors circled the web for months, Vanity Fair was able to reveal that the Knights of Ren, previously seen in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars directorial debut The Force Awakens, are returning in Episode IX. While not much was revealed, the article did preview some interesting tidbits about the characters, including The Knights of Ren are masked warriors with specialized weaponry who add an element of chaos to the war between the Resistance and the First Order.” as well as “But since The Force Awakens, no additional backstory has surfaced about the identities of these knights, their true number, and the part they played in Ben Solo’s transformation into Kylo Ren.” The article seems to suggest that there may be more than just the few we have seen on screen and that if they are force-sensitive, they most certainly do not wield lightsabers.

A new image of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), was released as he stands besides R2-D2. This image appears to have been created for the article however this might confirm that Luke’s force ghost form will use his robes as seen in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. This image does not give Luke the “force ghost glow” as seen by the force ghosts of the past, so I do not believe this will be his final form in the film.

The relationship between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) has been the driving force of the new trilogy. Their journey will come to a head in this final installment of the Skywalker Saga, as seen in this duel image that could take place on the Millennium Falcon or even the Death Star II. According to the article, the “Force-connection will turn out to run even deeper than we thought.” with Adam Driver calling it a “maybe-bond”. We also have new confirmation that “Rey’s training [is] almost complete thanks to Luke’s sacred books she snuck off with in The Last Jedi, the film will bring a climax to the millennia-long conflict between the Jedi Order and the Sith.”

Other Story Details:

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and Oscar Isaac Poe Dameron with Chewbacca, D-O, and BB-8.

While very few details were revealed about the story in this article, but readers were teased that “Audiences will learn more about the origins of the First Order…” as well as “…Poe Dameron’s rise to leadership in the recently decimated Resistance…” No details were given about the return of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) or new droid D-O.

Members of the crew shade and shine Daniels on set in Jordan.

Anthony Daniels, the only actor to appear in all nine saga films, will have many new things to do in this final installment of the series. The “long-on-the-sidelines character of C-3PO steps up to act as a strong link to the original trilogy.” Daniels also teases that C-3PO’s role “surprises everybody.” We learned from the previously mentioned leak in March that C-3PO might be wielding Chewbacca’s crossbow during the film at some point.

Spotlighting the heroics of Chewbacca, BB-8, and Rey.

Part of what was teased during The Rise of Skywalker panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago was that the “big three” of this trilogy, meaning Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega), would be sticking together throughout this final installment. This is proven once again in this image, which shows Rey, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and BB-8 on similar speeders seen in the trailer during a chase sequence that also involves Finn, Poe, and C-3PO.

Other Images:

Joonas Suotamo, Ridley, Anthony Daniels, and John Boyega on set in Jordan.

Behind the scenes photo of Star Wars in 2019.

Director and co-writer J. J. Abrams and crew in Jordan.

Composer John Williams conducting the Star Wars score.

The 2019 Summer Cover of Vanity Fair

The 2019 Summer Cover of Vanity Fair with Adam Driver

Are you excited for The Rise of Skywalker? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!




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