The Original ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Script Leaked, and It Was More Faithful To Past Movies and Series
Before J.J. Abrams was brought on to direct and write The Rise of Skywalker, with Chris Terrio as a co-writer, the movie had gone through a few creatives. One of the most notable was Colin Trevorrow, who’s known for the Jurassic World movies. He also had a writing credit on the film still, although he didn’t write the script of the movie currently in theaters. But a recent leak of his script has surfaced on the interwebs and it’s much different than The Rise of Skywalker and is more faithful to a lot of past Star Wars lore and media. Spoilers ahead for The Rise of Skywalker.
The title was ‘Duel of the Fates’ and was written as a direct sequel to ‘The Last Jedi’
The site The Playlist reported that a post from the infamous r/StarWarsLeaks subreddit shared new info regarding Trevorrow’s script. It linked out filmmaker and YouTuber Robert Meyer Burnett’s reading of the alleged script. The Playlist corroborates a lot of the info, and many believe it’s real. The title was Duel of the Fates, after the musical theme heard for the first time in The Phantom Menace, but runs through the whole prequels. It’s a great title considering the whole script pays subtle tribute to the prequels and The Clone Wars.
For one, the general theme of the movie is the same. As The Playlist points out, the First Order is still reigning terror over the galaxy, Kylo Ren is the new Supreme Leader, and the Resistance is riding on the high of Luke Skywalker’s stand on Crait. The opening crawl mentions that Kylo Ren is choking communication among planets. Palpatine is mentioned but not brought in, as Trevorrow said in the past. It’s also obvious in the accounts that this film plays off everything Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi.
Finn and Rose are more front and center, with fuller stories
In this draft of Episode IX, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 are back at it again on a mission at the very beginning. They later move on to Coruscant, a once vibrant planet that fans haven’t seen since the prequels where it acted as the capital of the Republic. It’s a lot grimier this time around thanks to the First Order, but Finn gets a more complete arc.
He comes in contact with a “fallen Stormtrooper without his helmet on” when he and Rose steal a Star Destroyer. According to The Playlist, this “was meant to re-ignite his internal conflict when it comes to killing his former brothers and sisters in arms.” He later leads a small battalion of defected Stormtroopers, kind of like in The Rise of Skywalker. And Rose’s part was much larger, which was a major criticism for J.J. Abrams’ version of the movie.
Rey and Kylo Ren travel to Mortis
A major thing from this alleged script is the inclusion of Mortis. This will stick out to any fan of The Clone Wars since it was a major arc in Season 3. It introduced ancient characters the Father, Daughter, and Son of the Force. As Qui-Gon Jinn explains to Obi-Wan Kenobi in a vision, Mortis is “unlike any other. A conduit through which the entire Force of the universe flows.”
It’s where Anakin sees his future (but it’s wiped from his memory), Ahsoka dies and is resurrected, and it’s confirmed further that Anakin is the Chosen One. It’s a big deal in the grand scheme of the Force, so it would have been very relevant to include it in Episode IX.
Rey and Kylo Ren battle on Mortis and he reveals that he killed Rey’s parents (again, no relation to Palpatine). As Kylo is about to lose, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda come back as Force ghosts to bring him back to the Light Side, but it’s too late and he dies.
Rey is the leader of her own destiny
In the end, the Resistance still won and Rey goes on to teach the next generation of Force-sensitive children. Which, yes, includes broom boy. There’s a lot of other things, like Rey and Poe on a mission simultaneously to Finn and Rose’s, Kylo being haunted by Luke, and Kylo wanting to find a Sith Holocron, like what’s seen in Star Wars Rebels.
Instead of being toppled with Palpatine’s lineage, Rey isn’t related to any major Force-sensitive person from Star Wars. Of course, that’s still an obstacle because she feels she isn’t good enough or ready to be a Jedi and face off against Kylo again. Burnett reads one line that Leia was supposed to say to Rey that sticks home how powerful this story could have been, with Rey reliant on her own destiny and not that of others like Ben or Palpatine’s.
“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.”
Will this ever be confirmed by Lucasfilm as real? Most likely not; they’ll probably ignore this all. But the script brings together important aspects of the prequels, original trilogy, and the animated television series without making it feel like fan service, from what we read. If only for the title, this movie would have been an intriguing addition to Star Wars.