A good chunk of the first act has her attempting (along with Finn, Poe, and eventually Rey) to sabotage the transportation of ore used for building Star Destroyers at the Kuat Shipyards, a pre-established location in Star Wars mythology. Just the other day, YouTube channel The Burnettwork broke down what host Robert Meyer Burnett claimed was Colin Trevorrow's original script for Episode IX, which was then called Duel of the Fates.
Supposedly written in December 2016, about a week before Carrie Fisher's unfortunate passing, Trevorrow's script features many key differences from The Rise of Skywalker, such as keeping Emperor Palpatine dead and rejecting the idea of Kylo Ren redeeming himself.
- Rey's parents confirmed as "nobodies" as intended by The Last Jedi, although there would apparently be a reveal that they had been killed by Kylo Ren under Snoke's orders.
First up is the opening crawl, which establishes that the First Order now dominates the entire galaxy, save for a few planets. Let's walk through its basic plot beats. While there are some similarities between the Trevorrow-Connolly script and The Rise of Skywalker, it would have been a very different movie, and although Palpatine did appear in the form of a holocron recorded for Darth Vader, he was not resurrected, nor did he serve as the main villain. In case you're thinking the whole film is just talking heads and philosophy, though, don't worry.
To put it in perspective with the rest of the Sequel Trilogy, The Force Awakens hit the billion mark after 12 days in release, while The Last Jedi hit that milestone in 19 days.
The Force Ghosts of Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda all assist Rey in her final battle against Ren. Speaking of Kylo Ren...
Duel of the Fates also sent our favorite First Order defect and maintenance worker-turned-soldier on an undercover mission to an enemy base.
There's a lot to take in with this story, and to be fair, some of it does sound like fan fiction.
- A droid "described as being similar in appearance to Darth Maul". For example, the entire story of Episode 9 was doing the rounds three months before The Rise of Skywalker arrived in theaters, and key story details on the game Jedi: Fallen Order leaked nearly a year before release. It's not the film we got, and it's tough to know if it would have worked out on screen- movies are more than their scripts and Treverrow is still the director behind the critically maligned The Book of Henry- but, like Rey, I suppose it's up to you to decide if he deserves redemption. We've talked a lot about what went wrong and right with the movie (mostly, things went wrong) but much of the shoddy, unsatisfying nature of the final product could be pinned on the fact that J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Chris Terrio were working on a truncated schedule to write it after original writer and director Colin Trevorrow was sacked from the film.