We recently learned about a leaked script for Star Wars: Duel of the Fates, which was the rumored original title of Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker back when it was the project of Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow.
The script for Trevorrow's version of the film arguably sounded better than the movie we ultimately got, with no return for Palpatine, and Kylo Ren refocused as the main villain.
Now, Trevorrow has confirmed the working title of the movie on Twitter, as well as the existence of leaked artwork from his version. Twenty pieces of concept art for Duel of the Fates are currently hosted on Imgur (opens in new tab) with annotations, and they look fantastic.
You can see everything from the final battle on Coruscant, where Finn leads an uprising, to an image of Rey with her double-sided lightsaber, which the leaked script explained was the result of merging her weapon with Luke Skywalker's.
Here's Trevorrow's confirmation of the movie's title, and that the artwork is legit – note that R2-D2 is badly damaged in one of the images, but he's not dead:
Yes, this is from Duel of the Fates. But I’d never kill R2...he just took a bad hit. Happens to all of us. https://t.co/ekGMRUdV2gJanuary 24, 2020
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The art is amazing, particularly the image of a Star Destroyer looming over the Coruscant skyline. Still, Star Wars concept art always looks amazing – just look at any of the art books for the prequel trilogy, and you'll realize that great art doesn't equal a great movie. There's a reason why Lucasfilm employs some of the best artists on the planet.
Still, it's hard not to dream about the movie that The Rise of Skywalker could have been. Among the images, two really stand out: one of Luke Skywalker's Force ghost grabbing the blade of Kylo Ren's lightsaber, and another that shows Hux committing 'seppuku', killing himself as it becomes apparent that the First Order will lose the final battle with the Resistance.
The leak has offered a fascinating look at the creative process behind a big Hollywood blockbuster – and hopefully we'll hear the full story of what happened in Trevorrow's version of Episode 9 one day.
Still, while the finished film is divisive, it definitely has its fans. Check out what our reviewer thought of Episode 9 in our The Rise of Skywalker review. The movie will be coming to Disney Plus later this year.