In 1999, Vanity Fair offered an in-depth early peek at the cast of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. An eager global audience collectively sighed, realizing they would have to get used to saying things like “Qui-Gon Jinn” and “Jar Jar Binks” and “I don’t like Star Wars anymore.” Now, 16 years later, VF and superstar photographer Annie Leibovitz are back with the best batch of behind-the-scenes footage from the new franchise-rejuvenating Star Wars that we’ve seen yet.
Times have changed since the last trilogy rolled out. Information about movies is now disseminated carefully on a meticulous timetable. Star Wars casting news and character details have been slowly leaking for a long time, cultivating anticipation with every dollop of promising, JJ Abrams-curated space imagery. However, while the film is still cloaked in plenty of mystery, the Vanity Fair package has some new revelations, including a first look at Lupita Nyong’o on set and the villain played by Adam Driver, previously only glimpsed in a mask.
If you thought you couldn’t be more excited about The Force Awakens after that incredible last trailer, maybe these photos or the video below will change your mind—or at least distract you from all the nerds in your life saying “May the 4th be with you” today.