Director Colin Trevorrow has seemingly confirmed that the Star Wars: Duel of the Fates script is legitimate after leaked concept art from his axed version of Episode IX surfaced online.
Official Concept Art from #StarWars Episode IX’s original script, titled ‘Duel of the Fates’, has leaked…
• Force Ghost Luke blocking Kylo Ren’a saber with his hand
• C3PO comforting a damaged R2
• Rey being trained by Luke
• Kylo Ren fighting Vader
— DR Movie News (@DRMovieNews1) January 23, 2020
The artwork, posted in a Twitter thread on Thursday, appeared to illustrate Episode IX’s original script, as the highly-detailed images depicted everything from Force Ghost Luke Skywalker blocking Kylo Ren’s lightsaber with his hand, Rey using a double-bladed lightsaber to battle Ren, C-3PO comforting his severely damaged sidekick R2-D2, and General Leia Organa delivering a message to BB-8 as a touching callback to A New Hope.
Eager to uncover the truth, one fan took to Twitter to ask Trevorrow to verify a couple of the key plot points presented in the so-called leaked concept art. In response, the director tweeted to confirm that the images were, in fact, genuine sketched snapshots of Duel of the Fates, aka the rumored working title for his version of Episode IX.
Yes, this is from Duel of the Fates. But I’d never kill R2…he just took a bad hit. Happens to all of us. https://t.co/ekGMRUdV2g
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) January 24, 2020
He said: “Yes, this is from Duel of the Fates. But I’d never kill R2… he just took a bad hit. Happens to all of us.”
This comes shortly after another Twitter user uploaded various pictures from what appeared to be the non-English edition of The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker book. Fans spotted similarities between the artwork and the scrapped screenplay, as one drawing depicted an alien resembling Tor Valum, who was supposedly the mentor to Palpatine and was going to train Kylo Ren in the film.
On this occasion, however, Trevorrow tweeted to clarify the images were not from his unused story for Episode 9. He wrote, “Some beautiful work in here from artists I was lucky enough to work with, but nothing from our story.”
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According to director J.J. Abrams himself, his version of Star Wars: Episode IX is completely different from the one envisioned by Trevorrow. In fact, Abrams previously revealed he and co-writer Chris Terrio started from scratch when they took over the sequel and began writing what became The Rise of Skywalker.
“We are both a little superstitious about starting with material that might lead us in a direction that’s different than the one we might’ve gone in naturally,” Terrio commented in an interview with TheWrap. “So we didn’t begin with the previous script, there may have been certain elements that we used that had been in the original script and we weren’t aware of it.”
Ultimately, The Rise of Skywalker was met with mixed reviews from fans, with many wishing that the movie had been split into two separate episodes, however, the final chapter in the long-spanning Star Wars saga still managed to cross over $1 billion at the global box office.
In our own review of Episode IX, we concluded that the movie had been “engineered to hit the viewer on multiple levels while struggling to settle 42 years’ worth of story elements,” which we suggested was “too much for any one film to handle.”
For more reactions, take a look at our round-up of IGN staff reviews for the final chapter, find out Episode IX’s Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores, and discover how The Rise of Skywalker’s opening weekend compared to other Star Wars entries.