Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is regarded by many to be one of the worst movies in the franchise. Even compared to the worst of the prequels, Star Wars: Episode 9 is seen as a film that spends more time moving backwards and retconning than continuing the franchise’s story.
However, it wasn’t always going to be like that. In fact, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was working to create a different final instalment: Duel of the Fates. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy Disney agree with the treatment.
What was the cancelled Star Wars: Episode 9?
While Trevorrow’s original script for Episode 9 isn’t perfect, many agree that it’s a marked improvement over The Rise of Skywalker. For example, Palpatine doesn’t return out of nowhere, Rey has a new lightsaber as Luke’s broke in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren is tormented by Luke’s force ghost, Darth Plagueis appears as a monster twisted by The Force, and Finn has something to do.
A number of elements did make their way into the final film, such as force healing (learned from Plagueis instead of randomly) and Rey’s dark side tease. In the original, she simply questioned Luke’s teachings, leading her to become a Grey Jedi. (You can read the full script here.)
Since being booted off the project, Trevorrow has remained silent on the subject. However, with the director doing interviews for Jurassic Park: Dominion, everyone knew some questions were bound to be asked.
Colin Trevorrow looks back on cancelled Star Wars: Episode 9 — Duel of the Fates
In an interview with Uproxx, Trevorrow touched on the cancelled Star Wars movie. While the Jurassic World director was happy to have worked on the title, it was cancelled due to creative differences.
Trevorrow explained that Duel of the Fates was drafted to a a degree that he was happy with. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy didn’t approve of numerous aspects of the cancelled film.
“It was complicated,” the director said. “But, honestly, I mean, since we’re talking now in 2022, I can say honestly I’m very grateful to Kathy for recognizing that she and I were never going to make a movie that we were both proud of together. And she’s been doing this for so long and she cares about me and I care about her and her family. And Frank and I are partners still. I’m a part of this group of incredible filmmakers, so it was a complicated moment, but now, having been able to do this and really feeling like this is what… I’m glad I did this. I’m deeply, deeply satisfied for having done this.”
The director continued to explain that he appreciated Kennedy’s foresight on her project. He said: “She had the wisdom to see something that, honestly, I’m not sure I could’ve seen because I was so dialed in to the story I wanted to tell.”
Should Duel of the Fates have been made instead of Rise of Skywalker?
In our opinion? Yes. While the Colin Trevorrow movie was a messy follow-up to The Last Jedi, it was still a proper sequel. Trevorrow’s script followed up Episode 8 with interesting takes and epic action that didn’t spend half of its runtime addressing a movie that released years before. It even remembered that Luke’s lightsaber broke in The Last Jedi which The Rise of Skywalker either forgot or didn’t care about.
The Rise of Skywalker is rather vapid fan service, and that’s coming from someone who loves Star Wars. But Duel of the Fates’ fan service was so much better! Darth Plagueis being a huge monster mutated by the dark side?! That’s awesome!