As promised, Vanity Fair has released the full spread of Annie Leibovitz’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi portraits, and we are officially even more excited for the next installment. Why? Because in addition to more portraits of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as General Leia—and one feels-tugging photo of the two together—there’s so much to ponder about the new movie’s plot… like Laura Dern in the kind of outfit cosplayers will have so much fun with, and a whole subplot involving a “James Bond-ish” casino!
Minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
One of the most eagerly anticipated character is Rose Tico, a new Resistance fighter played by Kelly Marie Tran. Hers is the largest new role in the film; writer/director Rian Johnson shed some light on just what that is:
Rose and Finn’s adventure takes them to, among other places, another Johnson innovation: a glittering casino city called Canto Bight, “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief,” the director said. “It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe.” So much of the Star Wars aesthetic is rooted in sandy desolation and scrapyard blight; it appealed to Johnson to carve out a corner of the galaxy that is the complete opposite. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” he said.
Can you say Organa’s Eleven?
Canto Bight is also where viewers will get their multi-species fix of gnarled aliens and other grotesque creatures, a comic-relief staple of Star Wars movies since Luke Skywalker first met Han Solo amid the cankerous and snouty inhabitants of the Mos Eisley cantina. The Last Jedi is dark enough as it is, so Johnson has made a point of infusing the movie with levity. “I didn’t want this to be a dirge, a heavy-osity movie,” he said. “So one thing I’ve tried really hard to do is keep the humor in there, to maintain the feeling, amid all the heavy operatic moments, that you’re on a fun ride.”
Then there’s Laura Dern’s character, who we were disappointed not to see revealed at Star Wars Celebration. But can you blame them for saving her for her own debut?
Dern plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, “a prominent officer in the Resistance.” Other new arrivals include Benicio del Toro’s mysterious unnamed character, who the filmmakers referred to as “DJ” (Johnson: “You’ll see—there’s a reason why we call him DJ”) and Paige Tico, Rose’s sister and a gunner who trains under Poe.
Read the cover story at Vanity Fair, full of interviews and other tidbits, like Carrie Fisher slapping Oscar Isaac 27 times. The Last Jedi comes to theaters December 15.