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We break down Colin Trevorrow’s script and art for Star Wars Episode IX

January 26th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Soooooooo…ain’t this a thing. And a half.

A week or so ago rumours started swirling around that Colin Trevorrow’s script for Star Wars Episode IX had leaked online.

Fans will recall that Jurassic World director Trevorrow was set to write and direct Episode IX before he reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye with The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson. Trevorrow’s story pivoted on Luke Skywalker not being dead and word is he couldn’t get Johnson so reconsider NOT killing Luke in his movie.

On top of this, after the death of Carrie Fisher in 2016, Trevorrow had hoped that it meant Luke’s status would have been changed and his movie – while still requiring rewrites because of the absence of Leia Organa – would be able to go ahead.

It was simple. All they had to do was let Leia die in The Last Jedi. And they had two ways to do it. One: they could have letter her die at Kylo Ren’s hands when he blew up the command ship she was one – just remove the (let’s be honest, awful) scene of her flying back to the ship through space.

If that was too difficult then, two: Instead of Admiral Holdo killing herself in the movie to save the remains of the fleet, put Leia in there and giver her a glorious death in the saga. After all, Holdo was a character fans didn’t warm too and until that point, no-one had heard off, so it made for sense to put Fisher in there. I mean, CGI could do that with minimal reshoots, right?

But no. Kathleen Kennedy apparently shot this idea down and left it that Luke was dead (“Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to,” right?).

This left Trevorrow in a position where he felt he couldn’t proceed with his movie and, like others before him, he was gone.

But now details – and awesome production art – from Trevorrow’s movie, which we have learned was called Star Wars Episode IX: Duel of the Fates (seriously, right out of the gates, that feels like a fantastic title, bringing us right back to that fateful battle on Naboo between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan), have appeared on line and it has been confirmed by many – including Trevorrow – to be real.

So, here we present the details and the images of the Star Wars movie that almost was. Now, look, I’m not saying this would have been better than JJ Abrams’ Rise of Skywalker, but unlike that movie, this one seems to bring us back to classic Star Wars while adhering to most of what happened in The Last Jedi, unlike Rise of Skywalker which – and again, feel free to deny this, but you’re wrong – tried to retcon Rian Johnson’s movie. The result was, sadly, almost as disasterous. But that’s for another day.

So… what happened in Trevorrow’s script?

The script that leaked is dated December 16, 2016, which was before Fisher’s untimely passing, so Leia is still a prominent part of the story – unlike Rise of Skywalker where she feels added in (but I understand why this was the case and admire that they tried to give her a noble end).

The script sees The First Order cutting communications between planets to stop the galaxy learning of Luke Skywalker’s defeating Kylo Ren at the end of The Last Jedi.

The opening crawl has no mention of Emperor Palpatine (because Trevorrow as confirmed that Palpatine was never part of the plan. He died in Return of the Jedi and he stayed that way).

Here it is:

The iron grip of the FIRST ORDER has spread to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Only a few scattered planets remain unoccupied. Traitorous acts are punishable by death.

Determined to suffocate a growing unrest, Supreme Leader KYLO REN has silenced all communication between neighboring systems.

Led by GENERAL LEIA ORGANA, the Resistance has planned a secret mission to prevent their annihilation and forge a path to freedom …

Kylo Ren continues his journey to the Dark Side, trying to learn all he can about his grandfather, Darth Vader, and the Emperor.

In a trip to Vader’s castle on Mustafar (where Abrams’ movie opens) Ren finds a Sith Holocron left by the Emperor for Darth Vader many years ago.

From reddit:

“Palpatine has a contingency for Vader if Luke kills him. Vader is to take Luke to the Remnicore system to see TOR VALUM, Master of Sith/Palpatine’s Teacher.

“Kylo Ren remains the big bad of the piece, although Rey still strives to turn him back to the light. Kylo finds himself haunted by Luke’s ghost, who keeps trying to convince his former apprentice to resist the Dark Side once and for all – a notion Kylo scoffs at. At some point, Kylo’s face gets damaged – again – and “Mandalorian armor is smelted and is been applied to his face.”

“Luke’s ghost also keeps appearing to Rey, who continues to train to be a Jedi while also being overwhelmed with self-doubt. It seems that Kylo Ren telling her that she’s descended from dead nobodies has really messed-up her mind and sapped her confidence. But Rey’s stand-alone nature is also part of her strength. During a conversation with Leia, the general says: “You’re not like my father or my brother. You’re new. Whatever happens, remember the force choose you Rey. You’re story isn’t written by anyone else.”

We also know that Lando and his smuggler pals join the fight against The First Order earlier and that Finn starts an uprising on Coruscant, the home of the First Order.

Coruscant under The First Order

It also seems that some very bad stuff was happening under The First Order… public execution by lightsaber guillotine!? I could never see Disney allowing this…:

Rey fights The Knights of Ren – who are much more fleshed out in this script – and kills them all. Oh, and the big reveal? Kylo Ren killed Reys parents on orders from Snoke. Remember him?

We also get a vision of ‘Dark Rey’ similar to that of Rise of Skywalker. You may notice something familiar is the outfit she’s wearing here:

When Rey finds out she goes after Ren and a battle ensues during which Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda’s Force ghosts all appear to try to turn Kylo Ren back to the light side… but sadly it doesn’t work and he is “extinguished” by Rey – I can hear a million Reylos cry out in terror from here.

Rey fights Kylo Ren

The First Order falls once their supreme leader is gone and The Resistance win. A grim detail is that when General Hux learns they have lost, he kills himself with a lightsaber, committing hara-kiri:

So, I’ll not lie, this feels like it could have has serious potential… but I guess we’ll never know at this stage.

Here’s a few other images:

An uprising, perhaps? These remind us of the AT-STs seen in The Mandalorian

Leia gives a message to BB-8 bringing back serious nostalgia from 1977

This image was rumoured to be the death of R2D2…

Kylo Ren drains the life force out of a tree

And one last image…

Interesting footnote… Trevorrow took to Twitter to confirm it’s true, all of it. Except one thing:

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….