Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly revealed exclusive Star Wars: The Last Jedi covers featuring Luke Skywalker and Rey, as well as a plethora of new images. These were just a taste of The Last Jedi coverage in the special fall movie preview issue scheduled for release this Friday. In addition, several features have been released online, and the latest turns its gaze to Carrie Fisher. The Last Jedi will be the last we see of Princess Leia in the films, and by all accounts she turned in a memorable performance.
Here are a few highlights from EW.com:
After Carrie Fisher’s unexpected death in December, The Last Jedi will mark her final performance as Leia Organa — the Star Wars character who went from orphan to princess, to spy, to senator, and finally general of the Resistance.
She remains a light that will never go out in the galaxy.
“Her character to some degree or another has been defined by loss through this whole saga, starting with the loss of her home planet. She’s just taken hit after hit, and she’s borne it, and she focuses on moving forward and the task at hand,” says writer-director Rian Johnson.
On dealing with her grief…
While the galaxy teeters on takeover by the First Order, Leia is also dealing with personal grief, mourning the death of Han Solo – murdered at the hands of their son, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. The young man once known as Ben Solo has now fully fallen to the Dark Side, just as Darth Vader, Leia’s father, did a generation before.
“She’s suffered quite a bit,” Johnson adds. “While I was figuring out what her deal was going to be in this film, it’s one of the things I talked about with Carrie before I started writing: where the character would go.”
On Leia’s relationship with Poe Dameron…
Despite the hardship, Leia always finds the hope in any given situation. This time, her story is entwined with Poe Dameron, the hotshot X-wing pilot played by Oscar Isaac. Their relationship is not just general and warrior.
And in Star Wars, the notion of family goes far beyond blood relations.
“Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia,” Isaac tells EW. “But also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond.”
“Poe’s arc is one of evolving from a heroic soldier to a seasoned leader, to see beyond the single-mindedness of winning the battle to the larger picture of the future of the galaxy,” Isaac says. “I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.”
The potential for conflict within the Resistance…
“I don’t want to tip the hat too much, but I will say that the heat is immediately turned up on the Resistance,” Johnson says. “Everybody is put in a pressure cooker right away, and relationships crack and strain under that pressure. That was really interesting to me, the notion of putting this small army under a lot of external pressure and showing some of the results within the Resistance itself.”
On bidding farewell to Carrie Fisher…
Everyone who worked on the film has a Carrie story, but the sweetest and most heartbreaking one belongs to Isaac:
“One of my favorite things that would happen from time to time on set would be when Carrie would sing old songs,” he says. “Whenever that would happen I would offer her my hand and we would waltz around the set – on a starship, in a Rebel base, on an alien planet, and she would sing and we would dance. So surreal and beautiful to think about now. For all of her delicious, wicked humor and fiery energy she also had such sweet grace. I miss her dearly.”
You can read this feature in its entirety on EW.com.
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