Director J.J. Abrams told Vanity Fair he was "terrified at the prospect of directing Harrison [Ford] as Han Solo"

By Jacqueline Andriakos
May 04, 2015 10:45 AM

Fans can properly salute Star Wars Day thanks to new first look photos of the Star Wars gang in costume.

The cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens posed for exclusive character portraits in Vanity Fair‘s June issue, which hits newsstands May 12.

Shot by Annie Leibovitz in London’s Pinewood Studios, the cover showcases Harrison Ford back in his famous role as Han Solo, posing beside Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

Vanity Fair June cover
Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

The spread also includes never-before-seen characters in Episode VII of the franchise, including Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and Lupita Nyong’o as a C.G.I.-created pirate Maz Kanata.

Director J.J. Abrams told the magazine he was “terrified at the prospect” of directing Star Wars veteran Ford, who is still on the mend after crashing his vintage WWII plane March 5 on a golf course in Santa Monica, California.

“It wasn’t just about directing one of the great actors in film history. It was about directing one of the great actors in film history playing a character that was certainly one of his two defining characters,” Abrams said.

He also added that the Indiana Jones actor “was excited to get back in those shoes again, which was really interesting because I thought he hadn’t been a fan. I kept hearing those rumors when I was a kid.”

After Ford returned to set after breaking his leg in June while filming, he came back stronger than ever, explained Abrams.

“In a weird way, it was the greatest gift to the movie that, once it was clear Harrison would be okay, the way that the crew came together, I’ve never seen a crew bonded like that,” he told VF.

“And when Harrison came back, when I say he came back better and stronger than ever, I can’t overstate that. There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie,” he said.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec. 18.