Revealed earlier today was the massive Vanity Fair cover story for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It gave us our first images from the film and quite a bit to talk about with new information coming out. In the large spread we learned a little bit about new characters and new planets that we’ll be visiting in a galaxy far, far away. Here’s what we learned about all of them.

We have three major characters joining the casting line up, all of whom appear to be on different sides of the galaxy. First we have Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde of The First Order. In the images we see him paired with Domhnall Gleeson‘s General Hux while on Kylo Ren’s Destroyer. Speculation has paired the two of them as father and son but book fans know that Hux’s father was killed by Phasma and Hux many years ago. So if not Armitage Hux, what is Allegiant General Pryde’s role in The First Order? Unfortunately, it’s unclear whether or not Hux ranks higher than Pryde but we’ll soon learn.

Star Wars; Rise of Skywalker First Look at General Hux and Allegiant General Pryde

First Order leaders General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant) on the bridge of Kylo Ren’s destroyer. PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ. Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Another character that we learned a bit about during Star Wars Celebration was Naomi Ackie‘s character Jannah. Immediately she was asked if she was related to returning hero Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) in any way. Ackie remained coy but didn’t rule it out. In fact, according to the Vanity Fair feature, she’s not allowed to say anything whatsoever about her character. That only fuels the fire, doesn’t it? But what we do see is that she will be teaming up with Finn (John Boyega) in battle on the back of an orbak, a brand new creature introduced in the galaxy. She’s also riding it side saddle, pointing an arrow at an unseen enemy so she’s a fighter, ready for action.

Star Wars; Rise of Skywalker First Look at Finn and Jannah

Finn (John Boyega) and new ally Jannah (Naomi Ackie), atop hardy orbaks, lead the charge against the mechanized forces of the First Order. “It’s extremely surreal to be in it,” says Ackie, “and see how it works from the inside.”

Our final big character comes from Keri Russell playing Zorri Bliss. When we first meet her, she’ll be in the Thieves Den of a new planet called Kijimi. Russell is also not allowed to say anything about her character but mentioned that she has the “coolest costume”. Given that the character is in the Thieves Den, however, we can only assume she plays for the third team in the galaxy: bounty hunters, smugglers, scoundrels, etc. Given that her costume is very reminiscent of Zam Wessell’s from Attack of the Clones, it’s likely she’s a bounty hunter. She wields dual blasters and wears a golden helmet to hide her identity. She also appears to have interesting markings on her belt – could they be from her culture? We can’t wait to find out. (Side note – the helmet looks loosely inspired by Guy Manuel de Homem Christo‘s helmet from Daft Punk).

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker First Look at Zorri Bliss

Keri Russell as the masked scoundrel Zorri Bliss, seen in the Thieves’ Quarter of the snow-dusted world Kijimi. PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ. Courtesy of Vanity Fair

From the story we now know of two planets being introduced into the story. The first is Kijimi, a colder planet with seemingly colder inhabitants. It’s unclear whether or not if it’s a snow planet but there will definitely be snow involved as we learned thanks to the image of Zorri Bliss. The buildings also appear to be very dark stone, which makes it easier to hide illegal dealings at night. Who will find Bliss on the planet and just how long will we be there for? Something to consider.

Additionally we learned about the most important planet. Seemingly. It’s Pasaana, a (mostly?) desert planet where a lot of action takes place. Pasaana is home to the alien Aki-Aki and the horse-like orbaks. It’s also where we see Rey flip over Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter and an epic chase scene involving our heroes from the trailer. Additionally it appears that Jannah will make her way to the planet (if she wasn’t already there) and the mysterious Knights of Ren will trudge the sands as well. It seems that this planet will host the finale of the Skywalker saga, as Daisy Ridley told VF how it began in a desert and it ends in a desert. It’s like poetry, it rhymes. Another fun fact about the planet is that the Aki-Aki were played by local Jordanians!

The only mystery character is Dominic Monaghan, who hasn’t been referenced since his casting. Additionally, it was widely reported that Matt Smith had joined the cast but has yet to be mentioned as well. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for any new knowledge of them!

That’s currently all we know (or assume to know) about the new characters and planets from The Rise of Skywalker. What are you most excited to see? Let us know! Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more Star Wars news. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Abrams and Chris Terrio. The film stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar IsaacLupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie TranJoonas SuotamoBillie Lord, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Dominic Monaghan, Richard E. Grant, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Anthony Daniels with the late Carrie Fisher

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker enters theaters December 20th, 2019.


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Erin Lynch