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And Here Come the Star Wars Waterworks Again

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Yesterday’s Vanity Fair cover images were just the beginning of their reveal of new info about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and likewise, they were just the beginning of our inevitably strong reactions. Today, we’ve got even more images, including some with Carrie Fisher that we were never going to be quite ready for, as well as details on Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro’s characters, and more!

The whole story and interview with director Rian Johnson and the rest of the gang is worth a read, as he discussed the creative process for Episode VIII and the freedom he had with it, but a few bits stood out. First, though we’ve all already assumed it, it very much sounds like The Last Jedi will be an Empire-like trial for our new trio of characters—and everyone else, perhaps. Johnson said, “I started by writing the names of each of the characters and thinking, ‘What’s the hardest thing they could be faced with?'” He also told Vanity Fair, “I guess I saw it as the job of this middle chapter to challenge all of those characters—let’s see what happens if we knock the stool out from under them.”

Rey certainly looked like she was being put through the ringer near the beginning of the movie alone in the excellent opening shot from the first trailer, so we can only imagine where things go for her from there. Meanwhile, Finn and newcomer Rose Tico will make their way to a casino that’s less run down than the rest of the Star Wars universe, where we’ll also get some relief from all of Last Jedi‘s heaviness in the form of some oddball aliens. Elsewhere, Ep. VIII will introduce Benicio del Toro’s unnamed, “shifty” character, referred to by the production as “DJ,” as well as Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo of the Resistance:

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Of course, the subject of Leia and Carrie Fisher came up, and true to form, our hearts were ripped out and stomped on with talk of how Episode IX could’ve been her movie, with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy saying, “The minute she finished [work on The Last Jedi], she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”

That thought will haunt us for a long time to come as we wonder what might have been, but we can’t help looking forward to her work both on screen and behind the scenes in The Last Jedi, as Johnson said he worked closely with Fisher on refining the script. There are also touching stories about how she bonded with the rest of the cast, including taking great joy in slapping Oscar Isaac repeatedly for a scene in Last Jedi, which is just how we’d like to remember her.

Check out Vanity Fair’s full story for more details and images, including del Toro’s character, and for now, we’ll leave you with this one of Fisher and her daughter, Billie Lourd, who also makes an appearance in Last Jedi.

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(via Vanity Fair, images: Vanity Fair/Disney/Lucasfilm)

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