Here at Geek Girl Cantina we’ll be wrapping up the (past 2) week(s) in Star Wars news. What excitement we had! Vanity Fair photos and info dominated the news but we also celebrated Star Wars turning 40 years and more. So try not to flail too much and lets get into it.
Vanity Fair Covers
On May 23d, Vanity Fair unveiled their new Star Wars cover. In the past, it was just one cover but this year we got 4 different covers! One featured Rey & Luke, Finn, Poe, Rose & BB-8, helmetless Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren & General Hux. And finally a solo cover for General Leia. And those were exciting on it’s own. You can check out our coverage of it here.
Vanity Fair Spread
Only a day later, we were gifted with the feature, hearing from a lot of the cast about where The Last Jedi is going. And there were 4 key features that were the main topic but we heard about other things with it. So I will be doing the crazy deed of trying to pull interesting bits of information out and breaking them down. Be sure to check out our coverage of it here.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
As we know, Luke didn’t say anything in TFA and in our first teaser, he talks a ton. So now that we have Luke, what’s going to happen? Well for one thing, we hear from Mark Hamill about how his diet and exercise were going, being a youthful man at 65, the actor struggled a bit. Hamill reveals he had different ideas about the films, starting in TFA. “Han Solo’s death scene, for example. Why couldn’t Luke have made his first appearance around then?”
Now, remember, one of the plots in the earlier films was the telepathic communication between my sister and me. So I thought, Carrie will sense that Han is in danger and try to contact me. And she won’t succeed, and, in frustration, she’ll go herself. Then we’re in the situation where all three of us are together, which is one of my favorite things in the original film, when we were on the Death Star. It’s just got a fun dynamic to it. So I thought it would have been more effective, and I still feel this way, though it’s just my opinion, that Leia would make it as far as she can, and, right when she is apprehended, maybe even facing death—Ba-boom! I come in and blow the guy away and the two of us go to where Han is facing off with his son, but we’re too late. The reason that’s important is that we witness his death, which carries enormous personal resonance into the next picture. As it is, Chewie’s there, and how much can you get out of [passable Chewbacca wail] ‘Nyaaarghhh!’ and two people who have known Han for, what, 20 minutes?
But, Hamill reveals he’s happy to be wrong. (I love Mark’s vision for it, though). Director Rian Johnson later goes on to talk about what he wanted to do with Luke. Right off the bat he confirmed that yes, Luke is looking for the first Jedi temple. And yes, Ahch-To is the site of the first Jedi temple.
While there will be training between Rey and Luke, apparently “it’s not exactly what you would expect”. Ominous. And with Daisy Ridley revealing at SWCO that meeting your hero can be upsetting when you know how they truly are, we know Luke is going to be much different than the man we saw celebrating on the moon of Endor. Johnson further revealed that the film “shows a very different side of the Luke character”. And we learned at SWCO that Hamill fundamentally disagreed with the way Skywalker was written for Episode 8 but has said, again, he’s happy to be wrong. The final bit about Luke comes in a quote from Poe Dameron himself, Oscar Isaac.
So to be there, and to watch Mark revisit Luke, particularly in these scenes we were shooting towards the end of the film, was bizarre and jaw-dropping. It’s like when you see an old band re-unite and go on the road, and they don’t quite hit those high notes anymore—though in this situation it’s completely the opposite. It’s the fulfillment of where your imagination would take you when you imagine where Luke would go, or what he’s become.
Needless to say, Lucasfilm is trying to prepare fans for a Luke they’re not expecting.
While Johnson describes Skellig Michael, there’s a mention of recreating the beehive huts the monks would use on the island. He’s using them to create a “little Jedi village” out of them. It’s inhabitants, Luke Skywalker has been living among them. Johnson refused to say what the indigenous beings looked like, only saying they’re “not Ewoks”. The guardians of the temple have come up in rumors so you may search out those out but we’re getting a new race. A very important one that’s connected to the Force.
Where the Character’s Are at Mentally
Inbetween bits about Mark as Luke, we get to hear a little bit about the other characters. Johnson talks about how being the middle chapter, he gets to “knock the stool out from under them” so to speak. He’s emphasized that he’s putting each of the characters up against a large challenge, saying “what’s the hardest thing they could be faced with?”. But coming in to the film? Well Finn is in a new bacta suit, having received a deadly blow from Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Rey is with Luke on Ahch-To, optimistic about their training. And Kylo? Adam Driver fills it in.
I feel like almost everyone is in that rehabilitation state. You know, I don’t think that patricide is all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe that’s where Kylo Ren is starting from. His external scar is probably as much an internal one.
To start, we were introduced to Rose at SWCO played by Kelly Marie Tran. We learn her full name in this article plus, she has a sister. Rose Tico will be swept up in adventure with Finn while her sister Paige is being coached by Poe as a gunner. Rose and Finn will be on a mission behind enemy lines as well as going to a new city. We also learned at SWCO that Rose is a maintenance worker for the Resistance, like Finn was for the First Order. So they’ll be able to bond on that level, plus both of them being swept up in a whirlwind of saving the galaxy.
Benicio Del Toro is a man in black. A “shady” character with unknown allegiances who goes unnamed in the film. Production has nicknamed him “DJ” and according to Johnson, we’ll see why he’s given that nickname. I can imagine that DJ will be on the new city that Finn and Rose end up on. He may help them out but also helps out The First Order. We’ll have to see what he brings to the story as time goes on.
Laura Dern is a woman of purple or pink taste. With her hair and dress completely matching, she stands out among the rest. She will be playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a prominent officer of the Resistance. Nothing else is said about her character. However, rumor has speculated that she will butt heads with Leia. And with her outfit, she’s more than likely on the governing side rather then the fighting side.
Our new city! While it’s not mentioned what planet it’s on, we have a brand new city to delight in. Dubbed as a “glittering” casino city, the rich beings of the galaxy will be lazing about there. We got to see two images of some of the inhabitants, most of them wearing black and white outfits. Johnson also gave a little insight.
A Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief. It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe. I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes
Canto Bight is also where we’ll be seeing the vast races of aliens, mostly seen in cantina scenes. While speaking of Canto, Johnson mentioned he wanted to keep the humor in there alongside all the operatic moments. How much humor will we see in Canto Bight is unknown.
One interesting tidbit was about the story group. They were created to keep continuity in not only the films but other Star Wars media as well. But as leader of the story group, Kiri Hart, explains, they don’t push plot lines on the writers. Johnson was surprised at how much leeway he had in writing. However, he made sure to take a small office and met with the story group twice a week to be sure his story was working.
The Wisdom of Carrie
Not exactly about the story but it felt necessary to share. No one helped the new actors more about learning to deal with Star Wars fame like Carrie Fisher. Ridley shared that she’s still trying to learn not to apologize for anything and just embrace it all as Fisher suggested. John Boyega has a different story. When the teaser for TFA first came out, there was racist backlash against Finn. But Carrie put it in perspective.
I remember—and forgive me, I’m going to drop the f-bomb, but that’s just Carrie—she said, ‘Ah, boohoo, who f**kin’ cares? You just do you,’ Words like that give you strength. I bore witness in a million ways to her sharing her wisdom with Daisy too.
Johnson also became very attached to her, citing that she became to the closest to her out of everyone. They bonded as fellow writers. He would go to her house after he’d finish a draft and the two of them would work out the kinks together while sitting on her bed. The cast were still mourning over her loss when the interview was conducted. Hamill told a great story about her and how they were able to rekindle their brother-sister dynamic.
We learned that Leia will have an even bigger role in Episode 8. And one of the saddest things to hear was that Leia would’ve been in the forefront of Episode 9. Harrison Ford was the one for Episode 7, Mark Hamill will be the center for Episode 8 and Leia would’ve been 9. They emphasized that they will not create a CGI version of Leia for the film and that 8 will not be changed despite what’s happened. Episode 8 will be her legacy. But, we know Leia will be deeper in action, per a quote from Oscar Isaac.
We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me. I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me.
Be sure to watch for Leia giving a smackdown to Poe! What for? We’ll find out in a few more months.
And those were the big takeaways. Was there anything you felt that we missed? What do you think of all this info? Let us know!
Star Wars Turns 40!
Yes! On May 25th, Star Wars turned 40 years old. The saga began with A New Hope and it changed cinema forever. Celebrations were shared all over the internet. We here at Geek Girl shared our appreciation by sharing a small love letter to the franchise. How did you celebrate? Even the creators of the original trilogy got together. StarWars.com shared a number of articles regarding the 40th that are worth a read!
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 26, 2017
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 30, 2017
The Star Wars Show
Since I was on Bespin to witness a wedding, last week’s news didn’t come out on time. So we have back to back Star Wars Shows! The first celebrates the 40th of Star Wars with a song from the cast of Hamilton along with showing off the Vanity Far spread and an interview with writer Timothy Zahn. The second features a game debut, an office tour (yeeees) and an interview with Mayim Bialik.
On Instagram, John Boyega gave us a treat. He was able to show off his new blaster, courtesy of Rian Johnson. It’s definitely a prop as the LED lights inside glow when he pulls the trigger. You can watch it again and again as he released it as a Boomerang video. Check it out below!
Five Things Not in The Last Jedi
Vanity Fair released a lot more than just the cover story. The interviewer of the cast also broke down some things that will not be in the sequel film. Some striking, others, not so much.
- No new music from Lin-Manuel Miranda
- No explicit political allegory – According to Johnson “The power is greatly diminished if suddenly you have a character stand up in front of the Imperial Senate who has orange hair and is saying, ‘Let’s make the galaxy great again.’ It just cheapens it all and divides the audience. What actually matters, and what these films can actually speak to, are the fundamental building blocks of what makes people good, what makes people brave, what are the things we should be fighting for.”
- No revelations about Finn’s potential Force sensitivity – Boyega seems convinced that there’s something going on with Finn. “I feel like there must be something going on, something that makes me go, ‘Huh, why does he wield one, and what’s that all about?’ It’ll be interesting to see if that’s ever explored.”
- No major creature character
- No big, central-to-the-plot romance – Johnson said that there will not be a “one-to-one equivalent of the Han-to-Leia, burning, unrequited love. In our story, that’s not a centerpiece.”
It’s a little disappointing about the romance however, it doesn’t rule out any romances happening. No music from Lin-Manuel Miranda is okay with me and seemed pretty obvious but I’m intrigued it was addressed! Hopefully we get to learn more about Finn, though.
According to John Boyega, he has insider knowledge about what it’s like to receive a lightsaber wound. In talking with EW, the actor dished about Finn and how he’s become a big deal in the Resistance. But at the start of the film, he’ll be recovering from the blow Kylo Ren dealt him. According to Boyega, the wounds are brutal.
Once it’s in, it continues to burn the skin and the cells. It’s not a piece of flame that whacks your body. It’s not something that works like a stab wound. It’s really brutal.
The more you know, am I right? But Finn is not out for the count long. “It’s a grounding injury. It’s going to take him some time to get back on the ball. But when he does… oh, he does.”
The Lightsaber is Now Rey’s
Vanity Fair released so many stories it’s hard to keep up. One of those stories was about the Skywalker lightsaber. Forged by Anakin Skywalker, gifted to Luke Skywalker, now is in the hands of Rey. And according to the Lucasfilm marketing department, it will be Rey’s from now on. It’s important to note that it’s just the marketing team but despite Pablo Hidalgo‘s teasing, I think we can all assume it will be Rey’s in the future. Given that Luke has his green saber (should he use it), he has no need for the second one.
Hugging Kylo Ren
In one of my favorite stories to come out of the Vanity Fair news bonanza was a story about Adam Driver and his intensity on set. Unfortunately I tried to find it again and can’t so I’ve relied on StarWarsNewsNet to relay the information. For one, Driver’s performances are driven by something personal in his life, something he refuses to share in. “The things about that character that I find painful, that I really relate to, I kind of prefer to keep to myself.” Mark Hamill and John Boyega had different approaches to being with Driver on set. Hamill tried to relate more to him.
He’s very moody and intense. I remember saying to Adam, ‘I don’t know how you work, or your technique. But, at some point, you were my nephew. I probably bounced you on my knee. I probably babysat for you. There’s that side, and now we’re both estranged from the Skywalker family. All I’m suggesting is, if you’d like, maybe we could go to lunch, we could get together and hang out.’
Apparently Driver never took him up on that offer. Boyega on the otherhand had a very different approach. One that is so very John and I love it.
“I give Adam hugs randomly, just for no reason,” he said.
“And does he take it?” I asked.
“He just stands there,” Boyega said. “He just waits for me to be done.”
I need video of this. We’ve seen John hugging Harrison Ford and him just taking it. I just want to see Driver standing there, scowling, while Boyega is looking up at him while hugging him, giving him doe eyes. It’s just…it’s hilarious to think about.
Mark Hamill’s Input
Yes, more Vanity Fair. This time, the actor was able to highlight how much of a fan he is of the series. But then he highlights thoughts he had about where Luke Skywalker comes in during Episode 7. We already talked about one thought he had about coming together with Leia to see the defeat of Han Solo. But another one he had, one I know fans thought too, was the battle in the snow.
The moment in the forest, when the saber rattles?. I go, ‘Oh, baby, here I come!’ And then it flies into her hands? I said, What the hell, she hasn’t even trained!
He told that story during The Last Jedi panel at SWCO too and it was hilarious. With his ability to tell stories, it just makes it all the funnier. Another bit that has been talked and debated about was Hamill’s big comment about where Luke is going in the future.
I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you’ve created and do my best to realize your vision.’
He since went on to say that he is really happy with both stories. And has admitted that he’s happy to be wrong.
The Future of the Saga
Vanity Fair continued to roll out the info. They sat down with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to talk about the future of the films. Noteably, this article is in interview form. So we’ll pull the important question/answers out.
Vanity Fair: And also, with The Force Awakens, two years ago, the public didn’t know who Rey, Kylo, Finn, and Poe were. The reception of those characters has been positive, and it could have gone either way.
Quick nugget, Mark Hamill and Laura Dern joined Rian Johnson to witness The Last Jedi being scored. Bonus includes what I hope is a true fact.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 22, 2017
— Laura Dern (@LauraDern) May 23, 2017
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 23, 2017
Oscar Isaac Talks Carrie
On May 25th, Oscar Isaac stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Because of the 40th anniversary, they talked Star Wars. Isaac had a funny story regarding The Force Awakens script but it soon turned to talk of Carrie. He admits that most of his scenes are with Carrie and tells the story I just love hearing. Check out the full bit below but the Star Wars talk ends 4 minutes in.
- We will see the face of Captain Phasma in The Last Jedi, but the face from the photograph, in which she appears next to Kylo Ren and General Hux, does not represent her appearance in the movie. And yes Phasma is a woman. (don’t know who doubted that…)
- The books on the tree shelf in the trailer are in fact old Jedi books.
- Luke hides his robotic hand with a brown glove that we’ve seen in the newer photos.
- “We should not trust the characters of Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro, Vice Admiral Holdo and DJ respectively. Their appearances can deceive.”
- Luke and Leia have a scene where they meet.
YES. YEEEEES TO THE LAST ONE. Yeeeeeeeeees. Though! Pablo has since tried to back pedal on that statement. His exact words was that “the space siblings have moments as well”. So, we will take that with a grain of salt but I will still freak out because if they don’t meet, I’ll be devastated that the twins never meet up again. Just saying.
In this final bit of news, we have a funny tweet from Rian Johnson. He, like others, are being badgered with Star Wars questions and concerns. Johnson seems to take it in stride for the most part. So here we have a bit of dad humor.
If there's one thing Star Wars does well, it's preserving its characters. pic.twitter.com/DPIvNHSTqY
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 1, 2017
What an event. There was some more news but I feel like we need to digest all this info. Did we miss anything you thought was important? Let us know! Be sure to come back next week for more Star Wars news.
- 8 Powerful Women That Rule the Galaxy in STAR WARS - May 4, 2020
- May the 4th Be With You: 41 STAR WARS Characters That Made an Impression - May 3, 2020
- Toss a Coin to These Fabulous WITCHER Covers - April 15, 2020