J.J. Abrams may not be bringing anything new from "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" to Disney's D23 in Anaheim this weekend, but fans still have reason to celebrate.
The film has released a handful of new images in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, but they're mostly of Jar Jar Binks. Just kidding. Take a look below to see what's in store in the highly anticipated December release -- including some familiar faces and a new face hoping to strike terror into the hearts of rebels everywhere.
EW and its staff have been tweeting some of the photos. Here's the cover image of the nefarious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), complete with his controversial hilted lightsaber:
Ren, seen below with his stormtrooper pals, has a back story that's slowly being filled in. "He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren,” Abrams explains, adding that Driver "threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way."
The new photos have also given fans their first good look at the baddie known as Gen. Hux, played by Domhnall Gleeson ("Ex Machina," the "Harry Potter" films), who's a bit more dashing than previous "Star Wars" villains. Will he be as memorably twisted and evil as Darth Vader was in the 1977 original?
We've recently gotten a glimpse of the evil First Order's war machine -- including what could be a new-and-improved AT-AT, but the latest batch of photos include the good guys as well.
The film's cast combines newcomers Driver, Gleeson, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow with veteran stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.
In the article, Abrams confirms that he will not be directing "Episode IX," saying, “No, I’m not going to direct Episode IX, as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies." Meanwhile, "Looper's" Rian Johnson will be helming "Episode VIII," set for release in 2017. Abrams, along with "Star Wars" vet Lawrence Kasdan will continue to oversee the new trilogy's narrative arc.
Below, Abrams and Kasdan confer on the set. Not a green screen to be found.
Here's the cover shot, minus the text and logos and what have you:
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hits theaters Dec. 18.
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