Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly revealed the four collectible covers for this week's issue, featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), C-3PO and R2-D2. Of course, a few magazine covers surely aren't enough to give one their Star Wars fix for the day, so, thankfully, the publication has released 23 new photos, along with tantalizing new plot details. Before you delve into the photos, unfortunately, they do not include our first look at Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker. But we do get some new information about this mysterious and beloved character.
We've known since the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer that John Boyega's Finn is a Stormtrooper, and in the months that followed, we learned that these white-clad soldiers are part of a new evil alliance known as the First Order. The actor reveals that these soldiers are raised by the First Order from childhood, and taught that Luke Skywalker was in fact, "a villain who destroyed the benevolent Empire." It isn't known if this First Order propaganda actually affected Luke himself in the three decades after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, but hopefully we'll learn more about Luke very soon. The site also spoke to Daisy Ridley, who shed some light on her character Rey.
"She's been alone for a long time. When something occurs when you're 5, you know what went on but you don't understand the reasoning. She's hopeful for what lies ahead, whether that involves the past or not. Hope makes people good, a lot of the time. You hope for a brighter future, and resentment is outweighed."
These photos also give us a new look at Harrison Ford's Han Solo. In the 32 years since Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi hit theaters, the actor has often said that he wished George Lucas had killed off his beloved character. Now he's changing his tune, revealing that he's glad Han Solo was never killed, adding that this rogue smuggler has been "living" with him all along.
"It could have felt silly, but it didn't. Well, he's been living with me. Out back, in the shack. [Thirty-two] years is going to put some rings on the tree, some experience in the bank, and that's really all I needed."
Another character we get a new glimpse at is Captain Phasma, the First Order soldier played by Gwendoline Christie who is tasked with hunting down the rogue Stormtrooper Finn. Director J.J. Abrams reveals that Phasma's costume was originally designed for Kylo Ren, but the chrome-plated design inspired him to create a completely new character. Here's what the director had to say about how Gwendoline Christie was cast as Captain Phasma.
"I just thought it would be really cool if we could find someone to play the part who was female, and I'm a fan of Game of Thrones; Gwendoline is in that show, [The Force Awakens casting director] Nina Gold casts it, she knew Gwendoline, obviously," he says. "We were very lucky to get to have her in the movie. She's not in many scenes, but her presence is powerfully felt when she's there."
These photos themselves also offer intriguing details that are worth poring over. We know that, at some point, Finn and Poe Dameron meet and become friends, but one of the photos you see below reveals that they actually met before Finn went AWOL, while he was still an active Stormtrooper. Poe is seen with a bloody head injury, which may or may not have come during his interrogation with Kylo Ren. It has previously been rumored that both Finn and Poe are imprisoned together, before they escape from their cell and steal a TIE Fighter.
One of the most memorable shots from the first trailer was our first look at Kylo Ren, activating his crossguard lightsaber in the woods. The final trailer revealed that he actually goes after Finn in this scene, but another new photo shows that Rey is actually part of this scene as well. It was revealed on new Topps trading cards that Rey is actually part of the Jedi order, even though we never see her with a lightsaber, and Finn is part of the Rebel Alliance, even though he is often seen with a lightsaber. While we wait for more details to shed light on these mysteries, check out the latest photos from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in theaters December 18.