After all, Rey was going to wield a double-bladed lightsaber in the filmmaker’s screenplay and, as you can see above, some of that artwork showed the Jedi doing exactly that!
Well, Trevorrow has taken to Twitter to confirm that the artwork which has popped up online isn’t from the movie he reportedly titled Duel of the Fates. Instead, it seems like J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio borrowed many of his ideas early on before deciding to take things in a vastly different direction.
Either way, that artwork provided a fascinating look at what might have been in The Rise of Skywalker and it’s crazy to think that there’s a whole host of concept art still out there somewhere which would give us a much better idea of what Trevorrow had planned for this movie before those pesky “creative differences.” Unfortunately, we’ll probably never get to see that!
Check out Trevorrow’s comments below along with that gallery of artwork:
Some beautiful work in here from artists I was lucky enough to work with, but nothing from our story. Credit where credit is due. Love @PhilSzostak’s books…
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) January 19, 2020
Hit the “View List” button to check out a gallery of leaked
concept art from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!
This was more than likely a vision showing what would become of Rey if she were to join Kylo Ren but the villain sitting atop that floating throne certainly makes for a unique piece of imagery.
In Colin Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX, Coruscant and the Jedi Temple were set to factor into proceedings in a big way and here we see Kylo Ren heading for that ancient location.
It appears as if Darth Vader’s ashes were going to communicate with Kylo Ren in some way, possibly leading him back to the Light side of the Force…it’s hard to say without proper context, though.
This is an alternate take on that confrontation between Kylo and Rey aboard his Star Destroyer and the use of that white background certainly helps both characters pop off the screen in a visually unique way.
Rey has managed to get her hands on Kylo’s lightsaber but what is that they seem to have been fighting over? It could be Luke’s repaired lightsaber or the MacGuffin from an earlier version of Episode IX.
This piece of artwork provides a behind the scene look at the thought that was put into the battle between these two on the Star Destroyer and it definitely looks like Rey has managed to gain the upper hand.
This could be a vision or a glimpse at what might have been during the final battle but that is indeed Obi-Wan Kenobi there, appearing as a Force Ghost to help Rey in what looks like a moment of need.
Between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Rey managed to reforge Luke Skywalker’s damaged lightsaber and this artwork shows some alternate takes on the finished result.
Due to Carrie Fisher’s death, her role in The Rise of Skywalker was always going to be a minor one and this beautiful piece of artwork shows General Leia looking wistfully at the Millennium Falcon.
Kylo Ren tears his way through those locals on Mustafar and it’s just a shame this was such a minor part of the film…and that we needed a book to tell us that it was this iconic planet!
This is the “Oracle,” a character who may have been removed during reshoots. Kylo Ren was originally either going to be summoned by this creature or would have tracked it down for unknown reasons.
It’s also possible that this is the ancient Sith Master who was set to play a key role in Trevorrow’s version of the movie and someone Kylo was eventually going to kill using vampire-like the abilities it had taught him.
An alternate take on Rey and Kylo’s battle in the remains of the Death Star, it looks like the iconic weapon was once meant to be in a much better condition than what we found it in.
Again, it’s hard to say for sure whether this is a vision or a glimpse at the final battle but it looks like Rey would have gained the upper hand over Kylo during one of their battles and…sliced his head off?
Another possible tease about Rey’s turn to the Dark Side, it’s worth noting that she’s wieilding a green lightsaber here (which may or may not be Luke Skywalker’s blade from Return of the Jedi).
It looks like Finn is being interrogated by Kylo and his Knights here and this is actually a sequence which was reportedly going to be in Trevorrow’s final draft of the movie he called Duel of the Fates.
A closer look at Rey managed to avoid being taken out by Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter, it’s hard to imagine what the villain was going for here unless he was trying to test the Jedi (remember that he was trying to recruit her to take down the Emperor).
The Pasaana speeder chase was thrilling to say the least and these alternate designs show just Rey, Chewbacca, and BB-8 attempting to outrun the First Order without Poe Dameron and Finn in toe.
This sequence made it into the final cut of the film and it’s actually surprising seeing just how close to the final version this was as our heroes explored the caves under Pasaana.
It looks like one of the ideas which was explored during pre-production was for Kylo Ren to walk out of his TIE Fighter while surrounded by those colourful clouds of smoke BB-8 had unleashed.
Rey can be seen using her lightsaber underwater here and this sequence is also from Trevorrow’s version of the film as the Millennium Falcon was once going to crash into icy water.
These storyboards show more takes on a battle between Rey and Kylo Ren but the version that ended up in the finished product was arguably pretty damn great as they fought on top of the Death Star’s remains.
Is Kylo Ren walking on air or have we just caught the villain mid-jump? Either way, it looks like a pretty different type of setting for the battle between the movie’s two leads.
As the ocean roars around them, Kylo and Rey engage in a fight to the death. It’s an incredible piece of imagery and one that definitely translated well to the big screen.
This looks like the Jedi Temple on Coruscant but are those creatures anything like the Loth-wolves we saw in Star Wars Rebels? They clearly have it out for Kylo Ren anyway!
While Trevorrow’s screenplay would have seen Coruscant’s poor and disenfranchised making a home out of the Jedi Temple, it seems it was abandoned in the version where Kylo would have gone there to explore it.
It’s great to see Kylo seemingly mulling over his future as he stands on the remains of the Empire’s one-time planet killer and not all that different to the shot of Leia looking at the Millennium Falcon.
Here, we see the Emperor’s secret Sith fleet rising from the ground to try and take over the Galaxy once and for all. His Final Order was made up of the children of those hooded worshippers in that temple during the final battle.
As Rey and Kylo battle within the shattered remains of the Death Star, a wave hits the decks below and seemingly brings an old TIE Fighter with it in the process.
Are we the only ones who don’t remember seeing these TIE Fighters in The Rise of Skywalker? Despite that, you’ll find them on merchandise, including some LEGO sets.
A closer look at one of Palpatine’s new Star Destroyers, the red colouring gives them a fresh look at one which obviously ties into the new, red Sith Troopers who ultimately played only a very minor role in proceedings.
Are those the Knights of Ren or Sith worshippers who are dancing around the flames behind Kylo Ren? It’s hard to say for sure but the villain can be seen wearing the reforged version of his helmet so this was clearly made for The Rise of Skywalker.
Kijimi played only a very minor role in The Rise of Skywalker before being destroyed by the Final Order. We still don’t know how exactly Zorii Bliss conveniently escaped the planet in time.
She may have had a change of heart and decided to join the Resistance, of course, but that certainly came around quickly and was pretty good timing considering what happened next.
Chewbacca can be seen here being taken into custody by the First Order and this likely would have been how he ended up in the clutches of Kylo Ren (more on that later).
It actually looks like Rey was going to explore the underwater remains of the Death Star at some point, an idea that was first suggested during production on The Force Awakens.
That’s clearly Rey looking at the water outside but who is that behind her? It doesn’t look like Kylo Ren so perhaps there were different plans for this sequence on the Death Star once upon a time.
These shots definitely bring back memories of Rey’s time as a scavenger on Jakku but that was obviously the point as her story arc came full circle in The Rise of Skywalker.
It’s a great shame that something like this didn’t make it into the final cut of The Rise of Skywalker as Kylo addressing his new Sith Troopers or just walking through them would have shown just how powerful the Emperor’s army was.
The creatures those former First Order Stormtroopers rode into battle on looked like regular horses with a few prosthetics applied but these versions were clearly quite a bit more alien in nature.
The Sith Troopers arrive ready to cut down the Resistance in their tracks and it’s a shame that these members of the Final Order ultimately weren’t any more than just background players in the film.
Once again, we see Rey travelling underwater to retrieve that Wayfinder and this definitely would have made for an action sequence unlike any we’ve really seen in a Star Wars movie before now.
Rey’s exploration of the Death Star didn’t reveal as many Easter Eggs as fans may have hoped but it was definitely fun to explore the remains of Emperor Palpatine’s Throne Room.
This awesome piece of concept art shows the moment Kylo Ren confronted Rey shortly before she used the Force to jump into the Millennium Falcon and leave the villain behind.
This eclipse makes for a very interesting piece of imagery and might have tied into Palpatine’s return as the Dark Side of the Force once again started taking over the Galaxy.
There’s no denying that the Sith Troopers looked cool and the decision to give them red armour was a clever way of linking them to the guards who once kept watch over the Emperor.
The flashback to Luke training Leia was brief but awesome and here we get to see an expanded version of that as the brother and sister engage in a lightsaber duel.
Rey and Kylo Ren didn’t engage in a lightsaber battle during this meeting aboard the Star Destroyer but that was clearly the plan once upon a time and it could have made for a fun sequence.
As Rey burned Kylo’s TIE Fighter so that she too would be trapped on Ahch-To, the Jedi Knight appeared before her and inspired the hero to do what was right and put an end to the Dark Side once and for all.
Aside from his new helmet, Kylo didn’t really get a new look in The Rise of Skywalker but Lucasfilm clearly considered giving the villain a haircut and it’s surprising just how much of a difference that makes.
Wielding the lightsaber which once belonged to Anakin Skywalker, it’s hard to say whether Rey has fully embraced the Light or Dark here but she definitely looks pretty damn cool.
How amazing would this have been? Kylo must have had a relationship with Chewbacca as a child but that’s not something these movies ever explored and, after what happened to Han Solo, a sequence like this would have been amazing.
Rey’s training to become a Jedi was going to be a lot more intense once upon a time and that double-bladed lightsaber is indeed the version from Trevorrow’s screenplay for Episode IX.
Dark Side Rey wields two lightsabers here and this version of the character is arguably a lot cooler than the fanged take which made it into that all too brief vision in The Rise of Skywalker.
This is more in line with what we saw in the final cut of the movie but there’s no sign of the weird, double-bladed lightsaber which she ended up spinning around in The Rise of Skywalker.
Yes, the Oracale does indeed seem to be a creature sitting atop a giant baby’s head and, honestly, we would have loved to see how all this was going to be explained in the movie itself!
A fight ensues in the Death Star’s Throne Room and the stakes couldn’t be higher as these two go to war with each other. It’s just a shame we didn’t get to see more of what the Emperor was hiding in there!
We’re not sure where this is meant to be but Kylo Ren cutting his way through to Rey makes for a great visual and this was likely on board his Star Destroyer or the remains of the Millennium Falcon.
During that aforementioned battle in the hangar, it seems like the plan was for Kylo Ren to get the upper hand and that likely would have preceded the hero making her escape on the Falcon.
This artwork seemingly shows the moment Kylo was about to be confronted by the memory of his father, Han Solo, as the setting appears to be almost identical to that scene from the film.
They can fly now? Indeed, and this piece of artwork offers an early look at how this exciting chase on Pasaana was brought to life during the pre-production stages.
Some slightly different takes on Rey’s costume, it’s clear that Lucasfilm wanted to change her appearance to some extent and that hood paying homage to Leia obviously made it into the final cut.
Yeah, this is just getting weird now…
This take on the Oracle certainly fits in more with what you’d expect from a Dark Side user and it looks like Kylo may have found this creature on the ruins of Mustafar.
Pasaana was an extremely colourful location but it’s interesting that D-O was also included in this sequence seeing as the heroes didn’t find him until quite a bit later.
Leia took over Rey’s training following Luke’s demise in The Last Jedi and that begs the question of why she didn’t do that from the start rather than sending her after her brother (who clearly didn’t want to be found).
This shows the moment Rey used her Force powers to heal that creature beneath Pasaana, an ability which was shown the same week in an episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+.
Rey has become extremely capable since we last saw her but she’s clearly still not a full-fledged Jedi but it does feel like she’s earned that “Skywalker” name by the time all is said and done.
Rey bids farewell to Leia but is given Luke’s lightsaber to take with her. Even using that old footage, Abrams did a good job of making sure this had at least some emotional weight behind it.
Look closely at these storyboards and you’ll notice that Kylo seems to be fighting his weigh through the remains of Darth Vader’s castle an Mustafar, a location only Rogue One has really bothered to delve into.
Here, though, Kylo is joined by his fellow Knights, a group of characters who were something of a non-factor in the final version of the movie given their limited screentime.
Seeing Kylo tear his way through these aliens was awesome and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of the Supreme Leader embracing the Dark Side of the Force here.
This is definitely intriguing. As you can see, Kylo Ren is joined by some First Order officers and Stormtroopers but what are they looking for in this desolate wasteland?
The Rise of Skywalker never really bothered to explore what it meant for Kylo to be the new Supreme Leader of the First Order but that’s just one of many things from The Last Jedi that this movie overlooked.
There must have been plans for the Knights of Ren to play a much bigger role in proceedings once upon a time as it looks like they were going to join Kylo on most of his journey.
The Final Order Star Destroyers looked like regular Star Destroyers with a bit of red on them but these were quite a bit different and a complete redesign of the iconic spaceship.
A clear homage to the meeting between Darth Vader and the Imperials in A New Hope, a sequence like this did make it into the final cut but didn’t look anywhere near as unique.
More takes on Chewbacca’s capture at the hands of Kylo Ren, it appears as if the Supreme Leader was even going to torture his father’s best friend at one point!
Darth Vader’s helmet remained close to Kylo Ren throughout The Rise of Skywalker but he soon learned that it wasn’t his grandfather he had been communicating with but Emperor Palpatine instead.
This is a downright amazing piece of imagery and one which would have been phenomenal to see on the big screen. As it stands, though, the finished sequence looked pretty good.
Kylo Ren wasn’t always going to find redemption in this finale to the Skywalker Saga but that did become the case in a later version of Colin Trevorrow’s screenplay and then in Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams’ take.
Lucasfilm used some clever camera tricks and CGI to give Carrie Fisher’s General Leia new looks in The Rise of Skywalker using footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Poe with a beard? That certainly would have been a good look for the Resistance hero as would those different pilot uniforms showing that the Resistance no longer has access to the equipment they once did.
These alternate designs for Finn’s costume in The Rise of Skywalker make him look quite a bit more visally distinctive and that yellow jacket certainly would have helped him stand out from the crowd.
Concept art via Reddit.