'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': 7 things we just learned

Gwynne Watkins
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

With less than four weeks until Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters, Lucasfilm is letting a few crystal foxes out of the bag. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly, featuring four variant Star Wars covers, delves into some of the plot points and relationships of Episode XIII while cautiously avoiding any real spoilers. Thanks to interviews with director Rian Johnson and the film’s stars, we have a few new tidbits about how the highly-anticipated adventure will play out. Here are 7 things we just learned from EW. (For the full stories, visit EW.com.)

A Luke and Leia reunion is looking unlikely.

One of the biggest questions for longtime Star Wars fans is whether estranged twins Luke and Leia will find one another in The Last Jedi, since Carrie Fisher died before shooting any scenes for Episode IX. (Lucasfilm has said they will not digitally recreate the character to conclude her storyline.) EW won’t say either way, but their coverage suggests that a reunion may have been planned for the third part of the trilogy, which is slated for 2019 and hasn’t begun production. Nevertheless, director Rian Johnson chose to pair Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia on one of EW‘s four covers. “It’s nice seeing them on the cover though. Even if all we have is that,” Johnson told the magazine.

Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) reunite on the EW cover (Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

Lando Calrissian will sit this one out.

“He’s not in the film and it was never really something that came up,” Johnson said of the fan-favorite character, originally played by Billy Dee Williams. “I mean, I loved that character. It would have been fun to see him, but it’s just not something that ever really had a place in the story.” A younger version of Han Solo’s frenemy will be played by Donald Glover in the standalone film Solo. As for Williams, now 80, his manager told EW that he would be “happy to be in any future Star Wars film if asked.”

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Kylo Ren was a latchkey kid.

The EW story suggests that Leia often had to choose between her loyalty to the Rebellion and her devotion to her son — and that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) resented being in second place. “I think the idea of someone whose parents are very much devoted to the cause, that’s something a lot of people could relate to… Not identifying with [that cause] yourself, I think can give someone a complex,” Driver said.  But it’s not too late for him to come back from the Dark Side.

(Photo: Entertainment Weekly

“Anybody that’s committed to anything, at a certain point in their life … you kind of constantly question why you got into it in the first place,” said Driver. Added Johnson, “I don’t think it’s very interesting if the whole story is just ‘Will Kylo get his comeuppance?’ He’s a more complicated character than that and I think he deserves a more complicated story than that.”

General Leia is stepping down.

The Last Jedi introduces a new character, Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), who was a childhood friend of Princess Leia. Now, she is taking Leia’s place in leading the Resistance. Did Leia step down willingly, or was she demoted? EW isn’t saying, but the magazine does reveal that Holdo has a very different leadership style. “She enters the Resistance to shake things up,” said Dern.

 

Meanwhile, Leia’s protégé Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is rising in the ranks — and clashing with Holdo. “Poe is grappling with how to become a leader and not just a hero pilot, which means keeping those emotions in check, to keep his fervor in check and think things through a bit more,” said Isaac.

(Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Luke Skywalker will be the anti-Obi Wan.

“Rian Johnson could have just made me another benevolent Jedi teacher but, you know, we’ve seen that before. And no one can do it better than Sir Alec Guinness,” Hamill told EW. Instead, Luke Skywalker is “sort of bellicose and has the weight of the world on his shoulders,” as Hamill describes him. The actor promises that we’ll learn more about what has happened to Luke.  “The big question is why didn’t he respond to Leia during [The Force Awakens]? There’s a lot of things you can’t answer until you see this movie,” said Hamill.

Rey is not feeling much loyalty to the Resistance.

Although Rey became an important ally to the Resistance in The Force Awakens, she’s not exactly all in. “The Resistance is really not that much to her,” Daisy Ridley told EW. “I mean, she’s been left her whole life, and very quickly is eager to sort of help other people, which is wonderful. She wants to be part of something. I mean, everyone wants to be part of something.”

Snoke has feelings, too.

Actor Andy Serkis opened up a bit to EW about his villainous character, seen in The Force Awakens only as a giant hologram. As the trailers have shown, Snoke will appear in the flesh in the new film.

 

And Serkis says that his mangled face and body indicate the roots of a deeper, psychic pain. “He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character,” Serkis said. “He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.”

That crystal-covered fox from the trailer is called a “vulptex.”

Not everything is sad in the galaxy far, far away! Just look at these cute li’l guys.

Vulptexes run for cover on the mineral planet Crait. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Read all of Yahoo Entertainment’s Star Wars coverage here.

Watch the Episode IX trailer. 


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