Lucasfilm

Tantalizing new details about "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" have emerged in Vanity Fair's massive cover story about the movie, which includes a suite of stunning photos by Annie Leibovitz (which you can see below) and extensive interviews with director J.J. Abrams and cast members.

Here are five things we learned from Vanity Fair:

    • The Knights of Ren are back! After their introduction in "The Force Awakens," the badass masked fighters return in Episode IX.
    • Kylo Ren's arc was planned from the beginning of the new trilogy. Adam Driver says, "I knew little bits from my first meeting with J.J. An overall arc was very, not vague, the opposite, it was very clear—[there was] an end in sight even from the very beginning. The details obviously hadn’t been worked out, but we had talked about the very thing that we’d been working towards with this last one.”
    • "Star Wars" newcomers Keri Russell and Richard E. Grant finally get identities. They both feature in Leibovitz's photos. Russell plays "the masked scoundrel Zorri Bliss, seen in the Thieves’ Quarter of the snow-dusted world Kijimi." Meanwhile Grant is pictured with the First Order's General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) as Allegiant General Pryde."
    • Billie Lourd refused to let Abrams cut her scenes with her late mother, Carrie Fisher. "I want to be in scenes with her. I want it for my children when I have kids. I want them to see.”
    • Using footage of Fisher from "The Force Awakens" to include Leia in "Rise of Skywalker" was a bit "bizarre" for Abrams. "It’s hard to even talk about it without sounding like I’m being some kind of cosmic spiritual goofball, but it felt like we suddenly had found the impossible answer to the impossible question. It was a bizarre kind of left side/right side of the brain sort of Venn diagram thing, of figuring out how to create the puzzle based on the pieces we had.”

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair