As Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker continues to limp toward the one billion dollar mark the beleaguered show has suffered yet another humiliating blow from the leak of Colin Trevorrow’s original Episode 9 script. Poetically named Duel of the Fates, Trevorrow took his movie in a radically new direction than what Disney had previously put to screen. In that his movie, unlike the prior two, not only was a Star Wars movie, but featured actual character development. Especially Rey who was transformed from the Mary Sue who could do it all, into a more compartmentalized role in their group dynamic.
Just to preface, not that anyone is heralding the script as the dethroned savior of Star Wars, nor did it manage to redeem all the characters in the eyes of fans. Rather the general sentiment surrounding the script is one that sees it as an appropriate send off to the Disney Star Wars Saga.
In his script nearly everything if not outright everything was different from what J.J. Abrams put to screen. Trevorrow’s approach was rather than attempt to retcon The Last Jedi was to simply accept that it exists and focus on telling a competent story. Nothing sums up the difference more perfectly that the title craw that didn’t inform you to buy the book that the movie you are about to watch retcons along with the previous novel that bridged the gap between the first two movies.
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…
Central to the stories narrative was the themes of dualism and restoring a sense of balance to the Force that was once again regained its mythical nature as Lucas had intended it. The Resistance now largely broken would be pitted against a First Order who’s grip on the galaxy was nearly absolute and whatever unrest was fomenting would soon be crushed by a fleet of brand new Star Destroyers.
Despite the script being objectively better than Rise of Skywalker it was not without it’s issues. Chiefly how could a plot revolve around the First Order silencing an entire galaxy? How would systems handle trade let alone maintain the galactic markets? Even if they utilized the same system as most space sims where planets posted what they were paying merchants and smugglers would still continue to spread news throughout the galaxy.
Yet it is a refreshing look at how different The First Order is from Emperor Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. In its own way providing a hint at how The First Order rose to power through subjugation rather than election.
In partially answering this question it gives the Resistance finally a purpose along with graver consequences were they to fail in breaking through the silence and rallying all the systems resisting the First Order’s military totalitarianism.
Through this journey every character would have been entirely flushed out with their own role to play in the group’s dynamic and story. Rey was still featured center stage, but no longer was she doing everything. Others were allowed to shine while Rey struggled to discover a new path that was part Jedi and part Sith rather than repeating the mistakes of the previous cycles.
Her parents would continue to be nobodies and anything that was inconvenient about The Last Jedi would just be ignored rather than changed to attempt to bring back old fans that actually purchased the merchandise and religiously watched the movies.
Doomcock and numerous other Youtube outlets are going through the script bit by bit, so over time we will learn in detail how much of a better send off Episode IX could have been. While I agree with others that nothing could salvage the series, I have also found myself remembering mediocre experiences better if they left off on a good note. Something Disney’s Star Wars failed to do.