Vanity Fair has released a set of photographs by Annie Leibovitz (along with a short video) taken on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They reveal a few clues about what’s coming up, and offer a couple of character plugs as well, filling in the gaps on where everyone fits in to this new trilogy. Obviously, the splash phrase on the cover “The Empire Reboots!” is meant to tell us something as well.
So here’s what we think. SPOILERS for what is revealed in the article below. Prepare yourself for aliens! And ships! And armor! Dramatic poses!
So Oscar Isaac’s character, Poe Dameron, is labelled as a “Resistance” fighter (which is the thing now in place of the Rebel Alliance, it would seem). Here he is posey-posing by his X-Wing.
Emily: Work it, Isaac. Look at that handsome fellow. Although I, for one, will be calling this movement “La Resistance” for the foreseeable future. Sorry, everyone.
Natalie: This is the point where I sadly accept that my under-the-radar crush is now a mainstream nerd pinup. We’ll always have your disco dance in Ex Machina, Oscar.
Leah: I like that he’s combining the “Luke stares at the twin suns of Tatooine” thing with a classic pin-up pose. He looks so majestic!
This is Lupita Nyong’o getting her face motion captured for her character—finally revealed to be space pirate Maz Kanata. Apparently, she’s got her own smuggler castle. So, like Jabba? But we’re not sure on her allegiances. So maybe not like Jabba?
Emily: Look, having John Boyega and Oscar Isaac as leads in this is a great way of making the Star Wars universe more inclusive on the human front. But you got Lupita Nyong’o for the film—veritable queen in her own right, and acting tour de force—and you made her CGI? Just… boo. Not saying that the character won’t be magnificent, but I want to see her lovely face.
Natalie: Please don’t make her Avatar blue, pleeeease.
Leah: Yeah, I have to second Emily here. After all the assertions that the new films were using puppetry and real effects, you decide to make one of the most beautiful people on the planet CGI? Having said that, though, the words “space pirate” and “smuggler castle” are giving me hope.
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, who is now confirmed as the dude wielding the crossguard lightsaber. And in case you were still confused about the red lightsaber and where that makes you fall on the good-evil scale, he is flanked by some upgraded snowtroopers.
Emily: Adam Driver almost looks photoshopped into this picture. I can’t figure out if it’s because wearing all black is making his head look extra big, or…. yeah, I got nothing. Apart from the fact that I’m into the updated snowtrooper gear.
Natalie: Why aren’t you wearing a helmet, Kylo Ren?? Yeah, this looks more like a posed photoshoot for the next season of Girls—Adam turns to the dark side because Hannah won’t take him back?—than a still for The Force Awakens.
Leah: I would buy this album.
An array of smugglers and space pirates in Maz Kanata’s castle.
Emily: Kind of a Jabba’s palace vibe? But this lot look a bit more comfortable around each other. Really loving all the prosthetics here, the aliens are badass. Excited to see cosplayers try and replicate that red helmet.
Natalie: Is that lady droid supposed to be a tribute to Dot Matrix?
Leah: See, this is how the Suicide Squad should look. I’m really digging these costumes, that little Venom-looking dog creature, the red manta guy at the end, and, waaaait a second, is that Trumpy? OK, I’m somehow even more excited for this smuggler castle.
And J.J. Abrams talking to Daisy Ridley as her character Rey prepares to speeder off across desert planet Jakku.
Emily: That stock director pose needs to be banned forthwith. It doesn’t look like they’re really doing any work, no one is fooled, go home. Stop pointing at random stuff. Also, I’m a little concerned about Rey’s desert clothes—the reason why you wrap the fabric around limbs is so sand doesn’t get into your clothes and irritate your skin. But her shoulders and legs have bare patches, so this is kind of goofy as a costuming choice? Just saying.
Natalie: Ditto on the clothes. Anakin already told us how annoying sand can get!
Leah: It’s weird that no one is looking where J.J. is pointing. It’s like they’re all pointedly ignoring him, which kind of undercuts the director shot, doesn’t it?
There is also another photo that has not officially been revealed of Gwendoline Christie in her chromtrooper armor. So that’s awesome.
Alright, everyone—what do you think? What does it all mean? Are we joining the Resistance?