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Courtesy Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios

New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Images, Video, & Character Details

There is always so much to learn when Vanity Fair does one of their massive cover stories on a franchise like Star Wars. They deploy famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, enjoy incredible access to the film’s stars, and they share with the rest of us fresh photos, character details and more. Vanity Fair also shot an on-set video in which Leibovitz arrived on set to join director J.J. Abrams, the cast and the crew in the Jordanian deserts. All of this allows us to bask in actual information, rather than theorize about what an international title might mean. There is still a while to go before the ninth and final film in the Skywalker saga premieres, which means any official information we have on The Rise of Skywalker is like manna from the heavens above Tatooine.

This gorgeously shot spread gives us our first bits of information on some of the new faces joining Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo-Ren (Adam Driver). We’ve known for a long time that the likes of Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and Naomi Ackie were in the cast, but up until now, we didn’t know anything about their characters.

New Characters…

Kerri Russel is Zori Bliss

Vanity Fair confirms that Russell is playing the “masked scoundrel Zori Bliss.” In the photo, Russell’s Bliss is pictured striding through the Thieves Quarter of the planet Kijimi. Here’s how she’s described by Vanity Fair:

Her mask helps Bliss disguise both her identity and motives—a useful feature for anyone who might want to blend in at a shady cantina or the Thieves’ Quarter of Kijimi. Ever since the balance of power in the galaxy was thrown off by the invasion of the First Order and the destruction of the New Republic, it has become very profitable for scoundrels to avoid picking a side during the escalating war between Leia’s Resistance and Kylo Ren’s forces.

Naomi Ackie is Jannah

Naomi Ackie is Jannah, a new ally of Finn’s pictured riding alongside the Resistance hero atop a horse-like creature called an orbak. Jannah looks like she knows her way around a good fight—she’s leaning back on her orbak and ready to fire a crossbow.

Richard Grant 

There’s a new face in the ranks of the First Order’s executive class—Richard Grant plays Allegiant General Pryde, who is pictured alongside Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux aboard the bridge of Kylo Ren’s destroyer. General Pryde is General Hux’s father—we’re sure there won’t be any familial squabbling here, as fathers and sons always get along in Star Wars…

New Aliens…

Leibovitz’s photos include a shot of Jordanian locals who play an alien race called the Aki-Aki, who reside on the planet Pasaana, which is “on the edge of the galaxy.”

Old Frenemies…

In probably the shot of the entire photo spread, an image of Kylo Ren and Rey in the midst of an epic lightsaber battle speaks to their on again/off again potential partnership. Vanity Fair reveals that their bond will “turn out to run even deeper than previously revealed.”

The Knights of Ren…

They’re baaaack. Only briefly seen in Abrams’ The Force Awakens, the fearsome Knights of Ren are pictured in the VF spread alongside Abrams and stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart. It’s revealed that these are the figures we saw Kylo Ren fighting in the Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

Check out Annie Leibovit’s on set visit in this video:

Featured image: Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX. Courtesy Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios

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