We have some potentially huge information for Star Wars fans, regardless of which side of the line one happens to be on when it comes to The Rise of Skywalker. Originally, long before J.J. Abrams was brought on to finish the trilogy, it was Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) who had the gig. The director co-wrote the script for his version alongside his longtime collaborator Derek Connolly. Ultimately, Lucasfilm and Trevorrow parted ways on the project over creative differences. Now, their script has allegedly leaked online. If this is indeed legitimate, we would have been in for a very different version of Episode IX.
We must caution heavily here that this hasn’t been confirmed to be a legitimate script so it should be regarded as nothing more than a rumor for the time being. That said, the alleged version of the Star Wars 9 script was shared by Robert Meyer Burnett in a recent YouTube livestream. One of the big changes, according to Burnett, is that Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars 9 script, at least at one point, would have been subtitled Duel of the Fates. This is in reference to the track of the same name from John Williams’ soundtrack for The Phantom Menace.
Unfortunately, no readable script has been shared online, so we can only pull from the full live-streamed video. But what is revealed in the video is pretty surprising. First off, here is how the opening text crawl would have looked in the Colin Trevorrow version.
“The iron grip of the First Order has spread to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Only a few scattered planets remain unoccupied. Traitorous acts are punishable by death. Determined to suffocate a growing unrest, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has silenced all communication between neighboring systems. Led by General Leia Organa, the Resistance has planned a secret mission to prevent their annihilation and forge a path to freedom…”
This makes no reference to Palpatine, and for good reason. In Colin Trevorrow’s version, Palpatine would have returned in a single scene via a Sith Holocron discovered by Kylo Ren. Palpatine’s return, on the flipside, was at the heart of J.J. Abrams’ version. The Resistance also would have made a bold move to steal a Star Destroyer in the beginning of the movie, which also reveals that Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico would have had a much more sizable role. Rose’s decreased screen time in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been a big sticking point for certain fans.
There is much to discuss with this version, but some of the other major highlighted changes include a much larger role for Luke Skywalker. He would have been training Rey and appearing to haunt Kylo Ren as well. On that front, the Ben Solo redemption arc didn’t pan out in this version, which is a major shift. The original version also would have seen the return to planets such as Coruscant and Mortis, both of which are important locations within the history of the franchise. Lastly, we would have met Tor Valum, the Sith who trained Palpatine.
There is a lot to unpack here. Whether or not one thinks this version would have been better relies quite a bit on how much Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker did or didn’t work for you. For those who wish to check out the whole video, feel free to check it out over on The Burnettwork YouTube channel. The topper art featuring Rey was partially created by Jessica Perez at Art Station.