One of the biggest things to arrive online this week was Colin Trevorrow’s leaked Star Was 9 script, long before it became The Rise of Skywalker. In the final version of the movie, co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill only returns as Luke Skywalker in one scene, albeit a pivotal one. However, as we learned from the script leak, Luke would have had a much bigger role, had Trevorrow’s version of the movie moved forward.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Luke appears near the third act of the movie when Rey goes to Ahch-To, intending to isolate herself from the Force. Just as she’s about to cast her lightsaber into the burning wreckage of Kylo Ren’s Tie Fighter, Luke appears to grab it and says that a Jedi’s weapon deserves better. Luke then reveals to Rey that he was wrong and gifts her Leia’s lightsaber as well. Their exchange puts her on a path to confront Palpatine and, ultimately, has a large role to play in balancing the Force.
Things would have played out quite differently in the Episode IX script written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the duo behind Jurassic World. Their version would have been subtitled Duel of the Fates. As we learned in the leak, Luke would have actually been training Rey as a Force ghost. Rey would have been considering abandoning her training and Luke would have had to convince her otherwise. They had several scenes together. But the biggest change is that Luke would have also been interacting with his nephew Kylo Ren. Luke would have essentially been haunting the man formerly known as Ben Solo and attempting to get him to reunite with Leia. This is in fact prophesied by Luke Skywalker when he warns Kylo about striking him down in The Last Jedi.
Toward the end of Trevorrow’s Episode IX script, Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda’s Force ghosts appear to try and save Ben Solo, but their attempts are futile. That leads to one of the other big changes, which is that Kylo Ren’s redemption arc didn’t pan out in this version. On the surface, Luke would have had a lot more screen time. Digging below that surface, what would have been accomplished with that screen time reveals just how different these movies were.
Colin Trevorrow was originally hired to helm Episode IX, in part thanks to the success of Jurassic World. As the process rolled on, there were clashes behind the scenes in terms of creative direction. Ultimately, Lucasfilm and Trevorrow parted ways over vague creative differences that we didn’t truly understand the full scope of. We still don’t, but the script leak does give us a window into what Colin Trevorrow wanted to do, and what Lucasfilm didn’t agree with. Who knows? Maybe years down the line, when the dust settles, we’ll get some sort of graphic novel that brings this version of the movie to life. But probably not. You can check out a summary of the differences from the script from the Fandom Twitter account below.
Colin Trevorrow’s original ‘Episode IX’ script had a ton of key differences than J.J. Abrams’ #TheRiseOfSkywalker
But was it better than the final film? pic.twitter.com/cGsT9LAmx0
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) January 15, 2020