In light of the mixed reception Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker received, attention has turned to what might have been in Episode IX if Colin Trevorrow remained on as director and wasn’t replaced by J.J. Abrams. Detailed breakdowns of his scripts have allowed us a glimpse at what the filmmaker had planned for the story, while a bunch of leaked concept art has given us a taste of how it could’ve looked. And it’s fair to say there are some striking images that fans would’ve loved to have seen on screen. Including a thrilling battle between Kylo Ren and his grandfather Darth Vader.
This other piece reveals that an additional villain could’ve returned in Trevorrow’s film, which he would have titled Duel of the Fates. Captain Phasma, as played by Gwendoline Christie, was a major part of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but she didn’t make it into Rise due to her death in Rian Johnson’s second installment in the trilogy. According to this artwork, however, Phasma would’ve featured in Trevorrow’s plans. It captures a dark scene, as Phasma watches over the execution of Resistance traitor Bisc Kova on Coruscant.
It’s unknown whether Phasma’s comeback in Duel would’ve changed later in the process, in light of her demise in TLJ, or if Trevorrow was simply planning to have the Stormtrooper boss somehow escape her fate. What we do know is that Coruscant would’ve been a key location in this alternate Episode IX. The former hub of the Galactic Republic, which appeared heavily in the prequels, would’ve been at the center of the heroes’ plot to build a beacon to broadcast a message of hope to the galaxy. The world would’ve been depicted as derelict and rundown, in sharp contrast to its heyday as a teeming metropolis.
You can catch a glimpse of this design for Coruscant via the link below, which sends you to the Imgur page that leaked the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – or rather, Duel of the Fates – concept art. Other images showcase Rey’s trip to Mortis, Kylo Ren’s new mask and the real appearance of ancient Sith villain Tor Valum.