Vanity Fair, February 2005
Photographs by ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
Text by Jim Windolf
Reproduced without permission.

A good reason to subscribe to a magazine ... they had run a cover for Ep 1, too! Somebody over that is a mad fan! The text and photos are from Vanity Fair magazine.

STAR WARS: THE LAST BATTLE If the return of Darth Vader doesn't make Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith irresistible, an army of Wookiees should do the trick. Jim Windolf gets a preview of the epic's final installment from an unusually candid George Lucas, who reveals the true nature of his helmet-headed villain. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz.

Opening May 19, Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith (Twentieth Century Fox) is set on eight different planets, with an entire army of Wookiees, more than 2,300 special effects, and what promises to be the ultimate lightsaber duel. As the final installment in this six-film, 33-year epic heads to theaters, Annie Leibovitz shoots the movie's on-screen and behind-the-scenes heroes. The photographs appear exclusively in this month's Vanity Fair and on

Every living—and mechanical—Star Wars star ever? May the photo's force field be with you! From left: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, master and commander George Lucas, Natalie Portman, Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, Samuel L. Jackson, Jar Jar Binks, Jimmy Smits, Christopher Lee, Liam Neeson, Pernilla August, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, General Grievous, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, and Mark Hamill. ('Hut note: Where the heck are Ray Park and Alec Guiness? Okay, Alec is dead, but why skip Darth Maul??)

On the set in Sydney, Australia, stunt coordinator and sword master Nick Gillard (far left) watches over Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen as they enact the climactic lightsaber duel, between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. At right, Michael Byrne, fencing double for Emperor Palpatine, and Kyle Rowling, the double for Count Dooku, get ready for their turn.

Anything you see in the Revenge of the Sith universe that's not part of the natural or digital world was created and built by production designer Gavin Bocquet (seated on floor at right, grinning) and his team of artisan all-stars, which includes, from left: Matt Connors, Peter Russell (on floor), Ian Gracie (arms crossed), Ken Barley (rear), Greg Hajdu, Colette Birrell, Steve Sansom, Phil Harvey, and Richard Roberts.

Costume designer Trisha Biggar checks the sleeve on a "peacock gown" worn by Natalie Portman in the role of queen turned senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. Padmé's gown is one of more than 500 costumes made for Revenge of the Sith by Biggar and her team, which includes, from left, Gillian Libbert, Ivo Coveney, Nicole Young, and Michael Mooney.

The job of Industrial Light & Magic animation director Rob Coleman (far left) is to make sure there's a seamless blending of digital characters, such as Yoda, and the film's real-life actors, such as Samuel L. Jackson (second from left), shown here as Jedi knight Mace Windu. I.L.M. still photographer David Owen readies his camera as John Knoll (second from right), a co-inventor of Photoshop and the visual-effects supervisor on Revenge of the Sith and its two predecessors, looks on. Sequence supervisor David Weitzberg (far right) keeps digital track of the goings-on at the table.

Creature-shop creative supervisor Dave Elsey, fabrication supervisor Lou Elsey, and creature-shop supervisor Rebecca Hunt (on floor) were responsible for the care and management of Wookiees (see empty suits) as well as dozens of other creatures during the making of the latest iteration of the Star Wars saga.

In a Sydney warehouse, from left, property master Ty Teiger, props/model shop supervisor Peter Wyborn, and team members John Paul "Lon" Lucini and Trevor Smith enjoy some downtime with a battle droid.

Don Bies (right) is the droid supervisor who helps to make R2-D2 and his fellow R2 units such lovable characters. Bies holds his son, Ben, in the Sydney shop while colleagues Matt Sloan (droid mechanic), Zeynep "Zed" Selcuk (droid coordinator), and Justin Dix (droid technician) take five from wrangling mechanical men and glorified vacuum cleaners.

Anthony Daniels, who plays the droid C-3PO, poses on the Sydney set with attendants Don Bies, Justin Dix, Zeynep "Zed" Selcuk, and Matt Sloan. Daniels is the only actor who has been in all six Star Wars films.

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