The new issue of Vanity Fair has The Rise of Skywalker as its cover story. What can you say about a movie with a carefully-guarded plot, familiar characters, and six months to go before the premiere? Besides going over the history of Star Wars movies and showcasing a series of images by Annie Leibovitz, there are some fascinating on-set stories.
“It’s the things that you can’t anticipate—the imperfections,” says Oscar Isaac, who plays the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. “It’s very difficult to design imperfection, and the imperfections that you have in these environments immediately create a sense of authenticity. You just believe it more.” When Isaac arrived in Wadi Rum for his first week of shooting, Abrams had set up a massive greenscreen in the middle of the desert. “And I was like, ‘J. J., can I ask you a question? I notice we’re shooting on greenscreen.’ And he’s like, ‘So why the hell are we in the desert?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ And he said, ‘Well, because look: the 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.” It’s that something, the presence and the details and the analog imperfections of a real nondigital place, that makes Star Wars so powerful.
And without giving away the plot, there are some interesting tidbits about the new film.
* The Knights of Ren will return.
* Keri Russell plays scoundrel Zorri Bliss, who looks like a feminine Boba Fett.
* The bond between Rey and Kylo Ren is more profound than previously shown.
* Billie Lourd will appear in scenes with her mother, Carrie Fisher.
There's plenty more for Star Wars fans to explore at Vanity Fair.