Vanity Fair Cover Reveals New Episode IX News


Photo Credit to Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz

J.J. Abrams on set with the Knights of Ren. Photo Credit to Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz

Nicholas Silva, Editor in Chief

A lot is hanging in the balance when it comes to The Rise of Skywalker. Not only is it the end of the Skywalker saga, which has spanned all three trilogies of Star Wars’ epic, but it is also a redemption path for Disney in fan’s eyes. The Last Jedi, while it will probably be seen in a much better light by the close of the new movie, cast a massive divide amongst fans of the franchise.

However, in a time-honored tradition,  Annie Leibovitz was on set in Jordan, snapping away moments of the historic film. Not only that, but a plethora of interviews have also shed a great deal of light on the film, and it seems like it is really shaping up to confidently secure it’s position, and reaffirm faith in the light side… and the dark.

First off, Rey is, according to Vanity Fair, very well along with her training. As seen in the opening shot of the teaser trailer, she is confident and her powers are strong. With Luke gone, she is very likely ready and able to resurrect the Jedi, or perhaps make a new line of force users, the Skywalkers, as fans speculate and canon teases.

Kylo Ren and Rey dueling. Photo Credit to Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz

This is made more possible by other on-set rumors; that the light and the dark side will finally either be balanced -or destroyed. Adam Driver teased that the force connection that Kylo and Rey share is going to be developed, and run deeper than previously seen, and he referred to it as a “Maybe bond”. If Kylo could get over his dark side wannabe phase, maybe the two could work together, balance the force, and found the Skywalkers. Whether or not this happens will be an interesting point of the movie, but there is definitely going to be at least one more duel before this happens. Perhaps it will be like the Luke v. Vader fight in Return of the Jedi, only Kylo survives.

Also, the Knights of Ren will finally make their action-packed full time debut. But this is an important component. In the trailer, it looks like Kylo is cutting them down, so do they perhaps turn on him? Is this part of his turn to the light side, or is it that the other fallen padawans returned to the light?

Richard E. Grant and Domhnall Gleeson in character. Maybe.
Photo Credit to Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz

Another important revelation is Richard E. Grant’s character. According to the article, he will be playing Allegiant General Pryde of the First Order, and was pictured with General Hux on the bridge of the Star Destroyer Finalizer. This will likely disappoint the plethora of fans that were expecting him to appear as the blue-skinned genius Thrawn, however, that possibility shouldn’t be discarded out of hand. There are still contenders to play the character, or, the whole Allegiant General Pryde character could be an elaborate plot to conceal Grant’s true role, and throw nosey fans off of the scent.

There’s also a touching shot of Lando, Poe, and Chewie in the Falcon. Billy D. Williams is the last standing original actor, aside from Anthony Daniels, so it is very nice that they brought him back. Although, even with her passing, Carrie Fisher will still be in Episode IX. Using unused footage from The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams was able to bring Leia into the movie, writing scenes around the footage, and even bringing her daughter, Billie Lourd who plays Lieutenant Connix of the Resistance, into some touching scenes with her mother.

There was certainly far more information revealed, but these were the major takeaways. You can find the whole cover story here for more.