Entertainment Weekly Features The Rise of Skywalker With New Covers & Exclusive Photos

With the film only one short month away from arriving in theaters, Entertainment Weekly has kicked off their exclusive coverage of The Rise of Skywalker with three new collectible issue covers, comments from director J.J. Abrams and cast members, and an assortment of photos. The three available issue covers spotlight characters from each era of the legendary Skywalker saga – the Prequel Trilogy, the Original Trilogy, and the new Sequel Trilogy.

EW shared a first look at Poe piloting the Falcon yesterday via this photo reveal.

Click each cover image below (including all three covers stitched together) for a larger view and then point your browser here for their exclusive photo reveals.

J.J. Abrams is racing.

The director has been tasked with bringing four decades of the most popular and longest-running sci-fi franchise of all time to an epic conclusion. And nowadays he’s feeling a bit like Luke Skywalker flying his X-wing down the Death Star trench in A New Hope as TIE fighters closed in — under a bit of pressure, in other words, with the fate of the entire Star Wars universe depending on him.

“We always knew we were going to have three fewer months to postproduction this film,” says Abrams, who took over co-writing and directing duties on the movie two years ago after successfully rebooting the franchise with 2015’s blockbuster The Force Awakens. “So much is still being worked on. It’s literally a practical race to get it finished.”

If that admission sounds worrisome, hold your fire on those tweets.

Despite a deadline crunch to make the film’s Dec. 20 worldwide launch (EW’s interview was conducted in late October), Abrams says he’s feeling “infinitely better” at this very late stage about The Rise of Skywalker than he was about The Force Awakens.

“We had more reshoots on Episode VII than this one,” Abrams says. “We had more story adjustments on VII than this one. We didn’t know if these characters would work, if the actors would be able to carry a Star Wars movie. There were a lot of things we didn’t know. On this, we knew who and what worked, and everyone is doing the best work I’ve ever seen anyone do. But the ambition of this movie is far greater than Force Awakens. What we set out to do was far more challenging. Everything is exponentially larger on this.”