The first known poet in history, Enheduanna, was an Iraqi woman. She wrote about Inanna on tablets in the cuneiform language. The
interesting thing about her is that she had a position or title. It was
“The keeper of the flame.” I think that if a poet should have any role
at all, it should be (wherever and whenever) the same: “keeper of the
—Dunya Mikhail, from “New Directions Interview with Dunya Mikhail,” Cantos (April , 2010)
And finally, official confirmation of Snoke’s Praetorian Guard, which we’ve already seen plenty of thanks to rumors and toy leaks. Director Rian Johnson also says that Andy Serkis’ Snoke will remain a CG character – contrary to some reports we’ve heard that said a puppet or makeup version was in play.
Expect more on Leia, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren in the coming days…
A Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief. It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe. I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich a–holes. Rian Johnson
Rose and Finn’s adventure takes them to, among other places, another Johnson innovation: a glittering casino city called Canto Bight, “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief,” the director said. “It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe.” So much of the Star Wars aesthetic is rooted in sandy desolation and scrapyard blight; it appealed to Johnson to carve out a corner of the galaxy that is the complete opposite. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” he said.
Canto Bight is also where viewers will get their multi-species fix of gnarled aliens and other grotesque creatures, a comic-relief staple of Star Wars movies since Luke Skywalker first met Han Solo amid the cankerous and snouty inhabitants of the Mos Eisley cantina. The Last Jedi is dark enough as it is, so Johnson has made a point of infusing the movie with levity. “I didn’t want this to be a dirge, a heavy-osity movie,” he said. “So one thing I’ve tried really hard to do is keep the humor in there, to maintain the feeling, amid all the heavy operatic moments, that you’re on a fun ride.” [x]
Vanity Fair’s full spread and story is up! You need to go check it out, but here’s a quick rundown what we’ve learned: Laura Dern is
Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo
of the Resistance, and Benicio Del Toro doesn’t get a name at all in the film – though they’re calling him DJ. (Seeeecretsss.) And yes, there are pictures of both. Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico has a sister, Paige, a Resistance gunner, played by Veronica Ngo. And the planet filmed in Dubrovnik is indeed named Canto Bright. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” director Rian Johnson said.
The article also includes some touching tributes to (and photos of) Carrie Fisher, so keep the tissues handy.
Entertainment Weekly has details for several Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi books. The new addition: A collection of short stories focusing on inhabitants of Canto Bight, the ritzy casino planet. The authors are Star Wars vet John Jackson Miller and franchise newcomers Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, and Mira Grant. It will be on shelves December 5.
We first heard about most of them back at Celebration, but there’s still plenty of mystery. Ken Liu’s The Legends of Luke Skywalker (October 31), which “presents its stories as rumors circulating through the galaxy.” Claudia Gray’s Leia: Princess of Alderaan (September 1) is set when the character is 16, when she “decides to become involved in the fight against the Empire.” We’ll also see plenty of her parents and friends, a boon for fans who want to know more about Alderaan.
Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma (September 1) will, as we learned in Orlando, give us her origin story, going back to her youth. The book will “show how she got off the planet that she was on initially and came to the First Order and what did she have to do to get there and what will she do to protect her secrets,” Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain says. “It cuts between the present and the past and shows her as this fearsome warrior on this brutal world that she was on. The First Order comes to that planet, and she sees a great opportunity when they arrive.”