While The Rise of Skywalker gave ousted director Colin Trevorrow a writing credit on the film, he’s kept mum about the details of his discarded script. For a while, it seemed like we would never learn exactly what was written in the unfilmed version, allegedly titled Duel of the Fates. However, a new leak revealed that Trevorrow’s Episode IX treatment actually resolves a major question about Rey in a way that might have pleased even the biggest The Rise of Skywalker haters.
Before Rise of Skywalker’s credits rolled, Rey bestowed herself with the name of Skywalker, shedding the title of nobody from The Last Jedi and abandoning her lineage as Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter. There was a lot of grumbling from fans about Abrams’s decision to retcon Rey’s backstory, but new details from Trevorrow’s script reveal that Rey’s identity from The Last Jedi would have remained intact in his version.
Writer and Hollywood insider Robert Meyer Burnett posted a YouTube video leaking details from Trevorrow’s script. It revealed that Rey’s storyline was much different in Duel of the Fates than in Episode IX. Rey’s last name was to be Solana, not Palpatine. In this version of the film, Palpatine wasn’t even a factor at all. In addition, it was Kylo Ren, the true villain, who told Rey about her parents — whom he also killed apparently — right before he died. His death is one of the only things that is in line with The Rise of Skywalker.
While the last name Solana doesn’t mean anything in the context of Star Wars lore, that was probably the point. After all, the fact that Solana doesn’t ring any bells would have maintained the idea that Rey didn’t come from a long line of Jedi or Sith. She was, just like Rian Johnson had intended, a nobody who simply happened to be a powerful Force user. As a bonus, the Force ghosts of Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda returned to help Rey defeat Kylo. It’s intriguing stuff.
There are plenty of other instances where Trevorrow’s script veers completely away from Abrams and Chris Terrio’s version. While the divisive Rise of Skywalker completely sidelined Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, she plays a much bigger part in Duel of the Fates. Rose and Finn go on a mission to activate a relic at the Jedi Temple meant to rally the galaxy against Kylo Ren and the First Order. Though she and Finn would’ve eventually been captured, Rose’s role was much more active in Duel of the Fates than the abysmal minute of screen time she got in Episode IX.
Finn also would have had more to do in Episode IX. A previous fan theory suggested Finn would lead an insurgence of stormtroopers against the First Order, and Trevorrow’s script would’ve delivered on that front.
It’s still unclear if the Duel of the Fates script will ever be available to read in its entirety, but the compelling details of unused script seem to have reignited the Star Wars conversation, for better or worse.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently playing in theaters.