Entertainment Weekly has released four new covers touting the magazine's coverage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With the release of the eighth film in the Skywalker saga under a month away, press coverage of the latest Star Wars film is starting to intensify. It's all to be expected, though, considering The Last Jedi's episodic predecessor, The Force Awakens, made $936 million domestically (which, combined with the film's overseas' gross, eclipsed $2 billion globally).
Unlike The Force Awakens, however, The Last Jedi promises to shine a bigger spotlight on the original trilogy's Skywalker siblings, Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia (Carrie Fisher), and for two very different reasons. For Luke, fans were only treated to about a minute of screen time as The Force Awakens completed its narrative with the discovery by Rey (Daisy Ridley) of the long, lost Jedi; while the appearance of Leia, who played a smaller role in Episode VII, is attracting major attention in that it's the last screen performance of Fisher's before her untimely passing last December.
Not surprisingly, Hamill and Fisher are appearing together on one of four special covers by EW highlighting its coverage of The Last Jedi, accompanied by the question, "Will Luke & Leia reunite?" Although it's an obvious question, it seems to be one that hasn't been addressed too often in coverage leading up to the release, especially since footage from the film in the way of trailers, TV spots and behind-the-scenes featurettes largely concentrates on Rey's meeting with Luke on the remote planet of Ahch-To, and her subsequent training by the exiled Jedi master. Undoubtedly, fans will be hoping there will be a reunion of some sort in the film, especially since Han Solo (Harrison Ford) met his fate in The Force Awakens, and Leia is saying her farewell with the film.
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All four covers seem to hold a common theme, which is that The Last Jedi is signaling a big change in the saga. Apart from Leia's departure, another one of the covers pairs Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and asks, "Could Rey fall to the Dark Side?" – which is a legitimate question since the second trailer for The Last Jedi suggests that she needs guidance from the fallen son of Han Solo and General Leia Organa.
The third cover features Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), who will be paired for an important mission in the film following his near-fatal injuries in the last movie - the cover asks, "Can Finn get his mojo back?" The fourth cover finds Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern), a new leader who comes to power in the Resistance's battle against the First Order and who is engaged in conflict with the heroic X-Wing pilot. Appropriately, EW asks, "Can Poe get along with his new boss?"
Naturally, there's more to EW's collector's issue than just the four collector's covers. The publication on Sunday plans to post two new stories: one that highlights Hamill's first day returning to the Millennium Falcon, while the other examines the bond between Rey and Kylo Ren. EW also unveiled a new gallery of images from The Last Jedi. In addition, EW says it will release new stories, videos and images every day this week. It sounds like the Force indeed has been awakened.