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Posted by Mike K on May 24, 2017

Via Vanity Fair:

In May 2016, Annie Leibovitz visited Sybil Head, a high coastal perch on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, to photograph Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley for this month’s Vanity Fair cover story. At the time, the actors were filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film’s writer-director, Rian Johnson, had dreamed up a “little Jedi village”—the mysterious place where Hamill’s grizzled Luke Skywalker has been hiding out all these years—and a team of Irish craftsmen had dutifully realized Johnson’s vision, creating a picturesque, convincingly ancient-looking setting that evokes Skellig Michael, the remote Irish island that had been used for filming the scene in which Ridley’s Rey met Luke at the conclusion of the previous installment of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens.

The upside of such a dramatic locale is that it is profoundly beautiful. The downside? A sheer drop into the cold North Atlantic, just steps from where Leibovitz was operating her camera. To prevent her from inadvertently tumbling into the drink while she maneuvered around her subjects, the photographer was outfitted with a climbing harness.

Leibovitz was on safer ground at London’s Pinewood Studios, where most of The Last Jedi’s interior scenes were filmed. There she presided over an elaborate shoot involving the denizens of Canto Bight, the decadent casino city of which V.F. offers the first glimpse. In addition, Leibovitz took portraits of the new Star Wars characters played by Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro, as well as of such now familiar figures as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson).

Leibovitz also shot portraits of Hamill as Luke and Carrie Fisher as his twin sister, General Leia Organa. But it was an eleventh-hour idea to shoot Hamill and Fisher together. Leibovitz had photographed them for Rolling Stone in 1980, the era of The Empire Strikes Back; she and V.F. senior photography producer Kathryn MacLeod, who coordinated this issue’s cover shoot and its corresponding portfolio, thought it would be nice to get an up-to-date photo of the Star Wars siblings. Sadly, the photograph is their valedictory portrait; Fisher passed away last December.

Visit VanityFair.com for the full article, portfolio and behind the scenes video from the set of The Last Jedi.


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About the author

Mike is one of the founders and owners of the Collector's Cantina. He lives in Central MA with his two children. He has been a Star Wars fan since he was a kid and saw Star Wars in theater. Mike is the Vice President and co-Editor of the site. He is also responsible for the Graphic Design, News, Event Coverage, Social Media management, and Photography.

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