Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a pretty crappy movie. Maybe not the worst thing ever committed to film, but the kowtowing to angry fans with nonsensical character changes and sloppy writing has led to one of the weakest films in the entire saga. It didn’t have to be this way, especially not if original director Colin Trevorrow remained attached.
On the subreddit /r/StarWarsLeaks, some intrepid fans have discovered Trevorrow’s original script for Episode IX. Titled “Duel of the Fates,” the plotting for this entry would have better capitalized on the rifts created during The Last Jedi and taken its characters in some creative directions. Co-written by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the two pay homage to the past and move forward with some creative zest. Why didn’t we get this film again?
The best thing about this script: Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico would have played a more pivotal role. Rose was divisive among fans after The Last Jedi, but her lack of screentime in Rise of Skywalker felt like the worst case of backpedaling imaginable. Under Trevorrow’s direction, her subplot would have tied up her arc from the previous film and given the character a dignified send-off.
The death of Carrie Fisher seems to be the main reason this script didn’t go forward. The date on this supposed script was roughly one week before her passing. Without Leia’s presence, there’s no way this story could have worked as Trevorrow wrote it. There’s nothing anyone could have done about that, which is a shame. I’ll give J.J. Abrams props for working in unused footage of Leia, but the possibilities here sound much better than what we got.
If you’re interested in checking out all of the details, you can watch a breakdown over on Reddit. Be warned that it may annoy you how far Disney backpedaled from this obviously better script.