THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
We recently had reports detailing an unused script that former Episode IX writer/director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) had been developing titled Star Wars: Duel of The Fates and while a lot of the stuff from that script was scrapped including a pivotal role for Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, which felt like a calculated move on the part of J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio.
It is starting to become more apparent that a lot of cool stuff even from J.J. Abrams’ version of the film was scrapped in the development phase as well and most of it seems to be pertaining to Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren.
Hold on to your butts, because it looks like Abrams ignored a lot of what was being developed at Lucasfilm’s art department.
Fans from different parts of the world have already got their hands on early copies of The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and have posted online (via Imgur/Twitter) a heap of concept art from the film which frankly doesn’t reflect the movie we ended up getting last month.
The imagery sets a much darker/grim tone which includes a massive battle on Mustafar leading up to Vader’s Castle with Kylo Ren and The Knights of Ren cutting through a horde of enemies with storyboard images giving the impression the sequence was much larger in scale (possibly on par with a Lord of The Rings battle) that seemingly was either never shot or completely scaled-back before production.
It would be hard to argue that an extended battle scene would have been the better way to go since it would have given The Knights of Ren something to do besides standing around.
There is also a sequence between Kylo Ren and some sort of alien creature being referred to as the Oracle on Mustafar, a sequence completely removed from the film. I’m simply baffled why they felt the need to trim back so much of these Mustafar scenes when there were so many filler characters sprinkled throughout.
Another interesting sequence that was removed was Kylo Ren visiting the Jedi Temple on Coruscant (with what look like alien guard dogs), this would seemingly confirm that the planet wasn’t the one destroyed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and there is a good chance the scene was replaced with the Sith homeworld of Exegol in the Unknown Regions.
I say that it was replaced mainly because with all this concept artwork that has leaked the one character that hasn’t showed-up is Emperor Palpatine, the main antagonist for most of the final act.
It is possible that they did abandon a lot of the ideas during the art phase, but it seems weird how much was cut. We’ve seen plenty of cool stuff in the past cut and even The Force Awakens had Vader’s Castle at one point (revealed in concept art).
Here are most images from what looks like more scrapped scenes with Kylo including one with Rey by his side, what might be the ashes of Darth Vader, and a few with Chewbacca imprisoned.
Some of the Rey images are neat as we see her with a double lightsaber during her training sequence, a scrapped underwater scene where Rey swims to get access to the sunken Death Star using her lightsaber to cut her way in.
We also get a better glimpse at Darkside Rey including what looks to be her force-choking Kylo Ren possibly during the Death Star confrontation. One of the issues I had with the Death Star scene was that the ruins had been sitting in an ocean for 30+ years you would have though it would looked a less squeaky clean, well, the artists thought so too.
I have to assume the Abrams, Disney, or Lucasfilm decided against going too dark with the film given the young audience, however, it does feel like they removed a little too much from my perspective.
This next piece of concept art happens to be my favorite of the bunch. One featuring the Luke and Leia during their brief training session flashback with some badass costumes. It doesn’t hurt to end things on a positive note as that sequence was pretty damn cool.
Here is a cool jacket design for Finn, which I don’t remember seeing in the film either.