Star Wars turns 40 this month, which means we would have seen a wave of new tributes and commemorations even if there wasn’t a brand new film in the saga arriving in just seven months. The impending release of The Last Jedi, though, elevates this particular anniversary to a galactic scale.
Just as they did with The Force Awakens, Vanity Fair put The Last Jedi’s cast and creators on their cover story. Naturally, the magazine brought along its secret weapon: Legendary pop culture photographer Annie Leibovitz.
We’ll have to wait until later in the week to see what closely guarded secrets the story may reveal. For now, we have Leibovitz’s four covers and they’re all stunning. First, there’s Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill as Rey and Luke, side-by-side as student and master.
Then there’s a little bit of the Dark Side with new looks at Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) and a helmet-less Captain Phasma (the resplendent Gwendoline Christie).
Here’s a new look at Resistance fighter Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a character introduced at Star Wars Celebration last month. We’ll learn more about her soon, but for now she’s kinda shoved aside by the lovefest going on to her right. Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) have never looked more like Space Boyfriends than they do in this image. Just make it official already, Star Wars.
And finally, we arrive at this gorgeous but bittersweet image of the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. The Last Jedi will be Fisher’s final appearance as Leia and the film will arrive almost exactly one year after her death. That means seeing her onscreen and in the many marketing materials leading up to the film is going to be a hard thing for all of us. Even as we celebrate Star Wars, we mourn the loss of its ultimate Rebel. This portrait, though, is not a sad thing. In the days and weeks after her death, fans and friends alike remembered Fisher’s humanity and humor. We remembered how vulnerable and honest she could be about her own struggles and took joy in her ability to laugh even through the pain.
But Carrie Fisher was also Hollywood royalty, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Even at her most humble and raw, there was a movie star lurking behind those stunning eyes, waiting for her cue. This image is Fisher as a regal silver screen goddess, defiant and iconic even in death.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives December 15.