Luke Skywalker and Rey are spotlighted on the cover for Empire's latest issue, and the magazine kicks off their Star Wars: The Last Jedi coverage by sharing new details about Poe Dameron's X-wing. With summer now in the past, the latest episode of the Skywalker family saga is right around the corner, roughly three months away from theatrical release. Lucasfilm has characteristically kept plot reveals down to a minimum, but they are satisfying the cravings for new information with strategically-timed spreads in publications such as Vanity Fair and EW. As we come down the home stretch, it's Empire's turn to provide some goodies.
Just last week, the outlet unveiled a beautiful holographic cover for subscribers depicting Rey's hand passing the Skywalker lightsaber to the robotic appendage of Luke. Now, the newsstand cover (which is also holographic) has come out, showing the dynamic duo in full as they prepare for what lies ahead. Additionally, the first of their exclusives sheds some light on one of The Last Jedi's vehicles - Poe's modified X-wing.
First up is the cover, which shows the weary Luke and his new apprentice standing back-to-back. It teases readers with learning "the full story of Luke Skywalker's emotional return," suggesting at least one section of Empire's 8-page feature will concern the old Jedi Master, who remains the topic of much intrigue. You can check it out for yourself in the space below:
As has been extensively covered in the past, the relationship between Luke and Rey is the beating heart of Episode VIII, which is unsurprising considering the film's title is a direct reference to Skywalker. However, they aren't the only characters that will show up in the movie. The war between the Resistance and First Order rages on, with both sides trying to make sense of a galaxy in chaos following the destructions of the Hosnian system and Starkiller base. At the forefront of this conflict will be Poe Dameron, the best pilot in the Resistance. Since the group uses some out-of-date tech, even Poe needs all the help he can get, and that's where the engineers come in.
While speaking to Empire, writer/director Rian Johnson offered a tiny nugget on Poe's personal X-wing, which is codenamed Black One. The ship has been retrofitted to include a temporary additional thrust that enhances its speed so Poe can outrun enemy fire. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long but it gets the job done in a pinch. You can see it in action by looking at the image above, where Poe flies head-on into a formation of Star Destroyers. This conceivably could be from the space battle that's seen in the teaser trailer.
Admittedly, this isn't the juiciest Last Jedi update one could ask for, but this is only the beginning of what should be a week of reveals from Empire. They seem to be leading with the small stuff, building towards something bigger. After all that's already been shared at this point, there may not initially appear to be all that much left to garner, but there could be something special that awaits fans as they continue to count down the days to December.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019