May the Fourth is always a special day to be a Star Wars fan because it’s the day on which you can be as open and ridiculous about your Star Wars obsession as you want to be. In the case of Vanity Fair, this has regularly meant a cover and a spread dedicated to the Star Wars film coming out. Lucky us, they repeated the tradition this year with some great behind-the-scenes pictures from the The Force Awakens set. Alongside this, there were some name and character reveals, which were all really exciting. All the pictures below belong to Vanity Fair.
As far as covers go, I’d say this is a pretty great one. The tag lines ‘The New Heroes! The Old Heroes! The High Stakes’ definitely fits with the five characters chosen here. Although the cover doesn’t show us anything that we haven’t seen before, focusing in on Finn, Rey, BB-8, Han Solo and Chewbacca makes me think that the emotional arc of SW:TFA might potentially be about them. Clearly these are the characters which Abrams wants the audience to focus on most, at least for now. Vanity Fair always seems to have chosen covers with an “emotional” impact, rather than showcasing the villains etc, if one thinks back to the 2002 Anakin/Padme and the 2005 “whole family” covers.
Kylo Ren/Adam Driver
It should come as no surprise to have it confirmed that Adam Driver is indeed playing Kylo Ren, yet I think it’s interesting to see that Kylo is a human. The mask had led me to think that potentially we were dealing with a character that either wanted to remain disguised or was potentially disfigured the way that Darth Vader was. I personally don’t think this is the best of pictures since Driver looks slightly edited in, but I am still a major fan of the costume. It’s different from the Sith costumes we’ve seen before while clearly following in their tradition.
Maz Katana/ Lupita Nyong’o
Now for the character reveal that I am most excited about. There were some rumours that the hand initially holding Anakin’s lightsaber in the new teaser trailer was Nyong’o, but this picture makes it clear that her character is CGI. Best about this reveal for me is the fact that she plays a pirate. If I look at the pirate figure best known to me within Star Wars-canon, that would be Hondo Ohnaka from The Clone Wars series. He is a hilarious character who hides a good heart under a ton of swagger. Personally I think we will probably meet Maz on Jakku within the first part of the film, but any conjecture is still very much valid here. Also known is that she has a castle, which is filled with the riffraff below.
Who could they be?
I’m thinking that, as a pirate with a castle of her own, it wouldn’t be unlikely that Maz Katana has a similar crew the way that Jabba the Hutt, or even Hondo, did. All these creatures look like they would have fitted perfectly into Jabba’s palace. I like the different designs going on here and the throwback that they represent. Clearly there is a continuation here from The Return of the Jedi but I think we can be pretty sure there will be some CGI characters added to the mix.
Poe Dameron/ Oscar Isaac
I think we can be pretty sure this picture will find its way up onto the walls of fans’ bedrooms. Isaac called Poe the ‘best fricking pilot in the galaxy’ and in the footage we have seen of him thus dar it is very clear that he is not to be separated from his X-wing fighter. Sent on a mission by a certain princess, he clearly ends up on Jakku, judging by the sandy background. Also, looking at Isaac’s dramatic pose, I think we can be sure to say he is rather sure of himself and is bound to rival Han Solo for sass.
Captain Phasma/ Gwendoline Christie
The Vanity Fair article confirmed one more rumour on the internet, namely that the Chrome Trooper was indeed played by kick-ass Gwendoline Christie. Called Captain Phasma, she is clearly in charge and will probably be key in the First Order. I think it’s great that SW:TFA is showing how the First Order is different from the Empire by having female and diverse characters among its storm troopers.
Daisy Ridley & Abrams
I love the staging of this picture. With the Jakku local in the foreground, I feel that Leibovitz and Abrams are making a clear statement that the latter’s Star Wars film will be as detailed and intricate as the Prequels and Originals. Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey, is still a bit of a mystery, with many hoping she is secretly a Skywalker or a Solo. I can’t wait to see how her character develops since she is clearly central to the story. From what I have seen on Abrams’ film so far, he has done his utmost to keep the diversity of look that set Star Wars aside from most other sci-fi.
What we haven’t seen yet!
So far, there are still a number of characters we haven’t “really” seen! We have, probably, seen Leia and Luke’s hands but what they look like now and what they’re doing with their time is still a riddle. Similarly, we have heard nothing of the characters played by Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis and Domnhall Gleason. Although Max von Sydow could quite possibly be the small, shadowy figure we see behind the storm troopers in the teaser trailer, but it is still up in the air.
What do you think of the pictures? Do you think they reveal anything new?