May the 4th’s Vanity Fair Pictures

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.

The Cover

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

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SWC: Anaheim 2015

The Risk of Ignoring the Prequels

With the release of the second The Force Awakens teaser trailer on the 16th of April, Star Wars has once again positioned itself as a major Force to be reckoned with. I myself was swept right along by the excitement and spent the following days in a state of ecstasy while watching the live feed from Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim. In the excitement, however, there were a number of extremely bittersweet moments for me, starting during the opening panel with JJ Abrahms and Kathleen Kennedy. It seems that not a single conversation about Star Wars can occur without subtle, or not so subtle, shade being thrown at the prequel films (The Phantom Menace, The Attack of the Clones, The Revenge of the Sith). And after mulling it over, and over, I have realized I can’t be the only Star Wars-fan who is wondering why and questioning what this will do to the fandom.
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