Every year, Vanity Fair teams up with the crew over at Lucasfilm to deliver an exclusive first look at the latest Star Wars flick.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone knows that this December marks the very end of the Skywalker saga as we know it. True to tradition, Vanity Fair recently gave us our first, in-depth look at the film.
(I’ll leave a link here so you can read it for yourselves).
To keep the film’s contents a secret, the piece was mostly reflective. It looked back at the entire saga, the filmmaking journey, and how the story evolved. However, there were numerous tidbits of information found throughout that give us new insight into what to expect come December.
First things first, as with every one of these things, there comes loads of pictures. None of these pictures are too revealing, but they do offer a stunning peek into what this film will be like. There is no denying that this looks to be the most “Star Wars-y” out of all of the new films yet.
It appears to maintain the same vibe as the originals, while introducing us to, soon to be, iconic new locations and characters. Judging from these pictures alone, the Rise of Skywalker already seems to be an epic and wild ride!
(Here is a link to all of the pictures taken!)
Doubling Down on the Practical
To feel more like the originals, modern day Star Wars has been using as many practical effects as they possibly can. The original trilogy was made in a time where CGI was far less than convincing, so costumes and makeup were their only options.
To many people, especially JJ Abrams (as he has repeated hundreds of times and counting), this is what made Star Wars so special, “it made the movies tangible”. This was a major focus in the Force Awakens, so it comes as no surprise that the Rise of Skywalker isn’t doing anything different.
The trend of blockbusters today is to go bigger, especially with the CGI, than the last movie, but JJ is reversing that. He is a hardcore fan of Star Wars and you can feel better passion when he talks about it.
He is fully devoted to delivering a true Star Wars experience for the masses, and that’s something he should be celebrated for. He also understands the value of practical effects more-so than the majority of filmmakers today.
When asked by Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, about the point of going to these locations if they are still going to use green screen, Abrams gave an answer only a true visionary could.
“[T]he way that the sand interacts with the light, and the type of shots you would set up—if you were designing the shot on a computer you would never even think to do that.’ There’s something about the way that the light and the environment and everything plays together.”
A New Direction
Probably the biggest complaint people have with the Force Awakens is that it was too much like A New Hope. Luckily, the Rise of Skywalker seems to be doing the opposite.
“It felt slightly more renegade; it felt slightly more like, you know, F*** it, I’m going to do the thing that feels right because it does, not because it adheres to something.” – JJ Abrams
Abrams directly addressed the issues with the Force Awakens saying that “I was doing what to the best of my ability I felt Star Wars should be.” Now, as stated in the above quote, he took a looser approach, not caring if it adheres to anything. Abrams trusted his instincts, like a Jedi trusts the Force.
Surprising Roles and Characters
In an interview with Anthony Daniels, after telling a funny story about repeatedly forgetting his lines, quickly says that C-3PO’s role in the film is surprising. This news comes as exciting because his role in the past couple films has been reduced to comedic relief.
As to what that role actually is, there is reason to believe that it will be more action oriented. Looking back to a supposed leaked poster, we can clearly see C-3PO holding Chewbacca’s bowcaster.
The Knights of Ren were also confirmed to be playing a large role in the film. Set up in a brief vision back in the Force Awakens, fans have been clamoring for more information on this mysterious group ever since.
An Epic Conclusion
Being the finale of not only this sequel trilogy, but for the entire saga, while also having to deliver a satisfying experience on its own, I’d say the pressure is on.
If Avengers Endgame and the series finale of Game of Thrones wasn’t enough for you, Star Wars Episode IX: the Rise of Skywalker is an event on the same scale as both of those finales.
There has been no signs so far that suggest this movie underwhelming by any means. The cast have been talking about how epic and shocking it is, and everyone involved feel that they have pulled off the impossible.
The Star Wars fandom has been divided many times, even more so in the past couple of years, but whether you consider yourself a fan of the originals, a prequelist, or even a new fan of the sequels or spin-offs, it looks like this is the movie that will finally restore peace to this divided galaxy.
May the force be with you… always.