Now that the dust has settled on Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and all of its faults, one has to wonder how the movie ended up as disappointing as it did and surely the vision Colin Trevorrow (who was the original director before he got sacked) had for the film couldn’t have been worse than that.
Well the original Star Wars script written by Colin Trevorrow and his partner Derek Connolly has leaked and in the biggest surprise this side of the galaxy, it is parsecs better than Rise Of Skywalker.
The leak, which is a YouTube video from Robert Meyer Burnett, who is a filmmaker with industry contacts, appeared on the ‘StarWarsLeaks‘ subreddit, which I can vouch for as having a surprisingly good track record for Star Wars leaks (unsurprisingly). Disney and Colin Trevorrow have yet to comment on the leak but The AV Club has been able to independently confirm the leak’s legitimacy.
Anyway, let’s get onto the good stuff. So Trevorrow’s movie is titled Duel Of The Fates (already a far better title than Rise Of Skywalker) and his last draft was written back in December 2016, meaning that there could’ve been original revisions before he got sacked.
Still, the story of Duel Of The Fates as we know it is narratively and thematically far more engrossing than Rise Of Skywalker. I’ll break down the biggest plot points, changes and general cool moments below but check out the video here if you want as it’s super interesting (the good stuff starts at around 25:55).
- Rose Tico was a much more important character (#JusticeForRose) and is on an important mission with Finn, C-3PO and R2-D2 to get allies to assist the Resistance in their battle against the Resistance.
- Rey has a new double-blade lightsaber forged from her staff and Luke/Anakin’s ruined lightsaber.
- Kylo Ren is on Mustafar and looking for a Sith Holocron. Very similar to what unfolded in Rise Of Skywalker but is much more fleshed out here.
- Kylo is haunted by Luke Skywalker’s Force ghost, who tells him to go back to Leia.
- Palaptine doesn’t exist as a character, only in the form of a recording in the Sith Holocron Kylo is looking for.
- The Palpatine Sith Holocron recording is a contingency plan for Vader if Luke kills him: Vader was to take like to Tor Valum, Palpatine’s master.
- Kylo discovers it was love that caused Anakin’s fall to the Dark side.
- Kylo finds Tor Valum – who is described as “Lovecraftian” which is awesome – trains with him and ends up fighting (and losing) to a Vader phantom.
- Kylo’s arc basically revolves around ending the ways of the Sith as we know it.
- In a parallel journey to Kylo, Rey’s story revolves around trying to end the ways of the Jedi and wrestling with her beliefs and Luke’s teachings (clearly a follow on from The Last Jedi).
- Poe, Chewie and BB-8 basically help Rey on her journey. Not that big but at least Chewie gets to fly an X-Wing.
- The whole “bring Kylo back to the Light” plot still exists.
- Rey is indeed a nobody and not the grandaughter of someone famous or whatever.
- Kylo killed Rey’s parents under orders of Snoke, meaning no chance for that kiss
- Rey and Kylo fight with her trying to convince him to come back to the light. She fails and Ben is “extinguished,” whatever that means.
- Resistance wins, First Order loses (of course)
- Han Solo also appears to Kylo in Duel Of The Fates, not unlike Rise Of Skywalker
This was just a quick summary of Duel Of The Fates and you can watch the video about for a much more thorough breakdown of the script. But based on what Burnett described, Trevorrow had some seriously interesting ideas and concepts for Star Wars. I mean, a Lovecraftian Sith Master is just goddamn cool.
But alas, the higher ups at Lucasfilm passed on Duel Of The Fates in favour of Rise Of Skywalker for some inexplicable reason. To be fair, Trevorrow was coming off a flop (The Book Of Henry) and Jurassic World wasn’t exactly good (even though it made money) so it’s understandable why the suits were nervous about giving him the keys to a Star Wars movie.
While we don’t know who leaked the script, everything we’ve learned about Duel Of The Fates has left us with the most intriguing Star Wars “what if.”
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