When The Rise of Skywalker originally came out, I found the criticism to be relatively harsh. I felt it had something of a self-fulfilling-esque property to it: people were hating it because they wanted to hate it.
Don’t get me wrong, I was rather critical of the film from jump street — I’ve written hundreds upon hundreds of words about how truly haphazard Disney’s 9th inning inclusion of Palpatine was — but after leaving the theater, I didn’t find the movie to be the utter abomination that everyone else considered it to be.
But then I rented it over the weekend, and, woooooo buddy, I couldn’t even get through the first hour. Turned it off and ate the five bucks. The film — which is being kind, as it’s more of a Franchise Frankenstein Monster — is far, far worse than I remember it to be.
Look, I get Carrie Fisher and the Princess Leia character are iconic, but on second viewing, you can feel how deeply out of place her scenes feel, almost as if the entire film was retrofitted around those moments. The dialogue stinks to high hell — from Poe and Rey’s manufactured adversarial banter to the now-infamous “They fly now? They fly now?! They fly now!” — it’s all a mess.
To make matters worst, the original Episode 9 script from Colin Trevorrow — the Jurassic World director who was the first director attached to the project — leaked online and it turned out to be pretty fucking awesome.
Titled Star Wars: Duel of the Fates — named after the iconic John Williams track from The Phantom Menace — Trevorrow’s script presented a much clearer conclusion to the Skywalker Saga.
The leak says that Duel of Fates puts a bigger emphasis on Kylo Ren, Rey, The First Order, and the Resistance, than the eternal Sith lord. Palpatine is mentioned in the breakdown, but based on the scene descriptions in the breakdown, he doesn’t seem to actually appear in the film.
There are some great highlights in this alleged leaked script, too. Rose Tico and BB-8 get a heist sequence of their own. The Resistance, including Poe and Finn, steal a god damn Star Destroyer. Kylo Ren fights a Darth Vader. And Chewie even pilots an X-Wing.
In the end, it’s revealed that Kylo Ren killed Rey’s parents. She’s not a Palpatine, she’s just Rey. The Force Ghosts of Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda all assist Rey in her final battle against Ren. The Jedi all try to bring Ben back to the light, but they are unsuccessful. As the leak says, “Ben is extinguished.” [via Esquire]
Now, a few months after the script first leaked, famed YouTuber Mr. Sunday Movies has turned Trevorrow’s vision into a humorous animated short film.
Thankfully, for as poor as The Rise of Skywalker is, The Mandalorian ended up kicking ass and returns this October to Disney+.
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Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com