The scarce amount of Star Wars: The Last Jedi material out there is leaving fans begging for anything that looks new. Of course, the last thing we saw came from a behind-the-scenes video at the D23 EXPO. Since then, there hasn’t been much to feed off of. Until now.
A bunch of new photos are included in Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie preview issue and with it some new plot details on the film. Because we all know how important it is to keep the future of Star Wars vague. Check out the new photos plus how our favorite characters have changed since The Force Awakens, below.
From what we know, The Last Jedi will start moments after the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where a weary Rey (Daisy Ridley) is finally able to hand off the blue lightsaber back to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). However, the rightful owner seems hesitant to accept it, and without saying a word, the film came to an end. And it seems that relationship will continue to get more cold as Luke rejects her in The Last Jedi. EW says it is the opposite of the reception that Luke got from Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
Which is a foreign concept to Rey as she had been accepted as a friend and a team player in The Force Awakens. She is clearly able to hold her own evading TIE Fighters on Jakku and in a lightsaber duel against the likes of Kylo Ren. So why is Luke giving her a less than warm welcome? Well, it may have to do with the fact that he feels like he is a broken man. After all, he was the one who was teaching Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren, who then was swayed by the Dark Side thanks to Snoke.
Ridley told EW, “‘Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead, I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’” However, the actor says that her goal isn’t to become the hero, but rather to convince Luke to rejoin the fight against The First Order.
But that may prove difficult for Luke, who is convinced that the Jedi must end, as he said in the first trailer.
“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character,” Hamill says. “And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”
As a result, Luke exiled himself to Ahch-To, the island that we saw in The Force Awakens. As to why he chose to do that, director Rian Johnson says it wasn’t because he is a “coward” or “hiding because he’s scared.” Luke knows that his “friends are in danger” and that the “galaxy needs him.” And the film will answer why he chose to seclude himself on such a beautiful yet isolated planet.
But Luke and Rey aren’t the only ones on Ahch-To. The island is also home to cute aliens creatures called porgs. Johnson tells EW that they are a lot like the puffins that inhabit Skellig. In fact, when he was scouting the island, it was covered in puffins, and that inspired him to add these creates to Ahch-To. “So when I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm.”
The other race that currently lives on the island is a race of aliens called the caretakers. Johnson says they’ve been living on the island for thousands of years and are responsible for its upkeep. According to the director, the caretakers are “fish-bird type aliens” that happen to be all female and look like they are a part of some sort of nunnery. In fact, creature designer Neal Scalan was asked to give the caretakers a look that “reflected sort of a nun-like, spartan sort of existence.”
But that doesn’t mean they are like nuns. Though they communicate with Luke, they are not “thrilled” with him being on the island, and just tolerate his presence.
The island itself also holds a few mysteries, like the mysterious Jedi cave paintings that we saw in the first trailer. But don’t expect the film to go in-depth on why those paintings are there or give a critical look into the history of the galactic religion.
“The first designs that we had were temples, and I just kept pushing it back and saying, ‘No, think earlier, think earlier. Let’s push this all the way back and see how deep we can go into the foundations of where this all started.’”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15, 2017.