We've got a ton of brand new images from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that are very revealing. Disney and Lucasfilm have been keeping an especially tight lid regarding details of the third and final installment in this sequel trilogy. They didn't even reveal the official title until the trailer dropped at Star Wars Celebration in March. Perhaps that's why it's so surprising that these photos actually contain quite a bit of information.
These images are all part of a new, in-depth cover story on Star Wars 9 and there is much to discuss. For now, we're just going to focus on the images themselves. First off, we have two covers, one with Kylo Ren and one with Rey. They're both set against a desert landscape and looking distressed. There is also an image of the two squaring off with one another on the water in stormy weather, lightsabers in hand, that is truly stunning. It's clear they aren't just going to kiss and make up after what happened in The Last Jedi. There are several photos from behind the scenes that show the cast and crew hard at work. These, for the most part, aren't terribly revealing. However, there is a shot of director J.J. Abrams working with (drumroll please) the Knights of Ren! Yes, indeed after much speculation, the minor characters first teased in The Force Awakens will make their (presumably) triumphant returns here.
We also get our first look at several new characters in these photos. Starting off, we have a glimpse at Keri Russell's "masked scoundrel" character Zorri Bliss. We don't see Russell's face, as the character is decked out in a red jumpsuit with gold plating and a gold helmet. She looks Mandalorian-esque.
There's also a shot of a new First Order threat, Allegiant General Pryde, played by Richard E. Grant. He's pictured alongside General Hux. Additionally, there's a new shot of Jannah (Naomi Ackie), whom we first learned about at Star Wars Celebration. She's pictured alongside Finn, who are riding some new horse-like creatures called orbaks. On the new alien front, we also see some tentacle-faced aliens in colorful robes knows as Aki-Aki, who are natives of a new planet called Pasaana.
Arguably the most intriguing photo with a returning character sees Mark Hamill back as Luke Skywalker who, as we know, died in The Last Jedi. We know he's going to be back, perhaps as a Force ghost, but he looks to be very much in the flesh here, and looking rather angry, set against a fiery backdrop, with his old pal R2-D2 by his side. There is also an excellent image of Poe in the cockpit of the Falcon alongside Chewie and none other than Billy Dee Williams, who makes his return as Lando Calrissian. It's all a lot to take in and, again, there is a lot to talk about. Be sure to check out all of the photos below from the Vanity Fair cover story. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.