What we received in The Rise of Skywalker a redemption arc for Kylo Ren and a romantic connection between him and Rey was a fairly logical path to take, despite its divisive nature. A long, long time ago in an alleged script far away, however, their dynamic was very different.
YouTube user and former screenplay reader Rob Burnett posted a video in which he claims to have acquired a defunct draft of The Rise of Skywalker’s script. The script, called Duel of the Fates, was reportedly written back when Colin Trevorrow was attached to the film as director in 2016. Of course, there’s no possible way to know how genuine the alleged script is, unless the director himself or Disney officially releases a statement.
The thing his, the director himself kinda did. Trevorrow confirmed on Twitter that leaked concept art is indeed from “Duel Of The Fates” – even using that alleged movie title. But the script leak happened before the concept art did, and so did that title. So did Trevorrow just sort of “low key” confirm the script leak? Kinda? Sorta?
Well, let’s just say that you can believe what you’d like about the following Reylo info.
The biggest single difference in characterization choices for this alleged early draft is the fact that Kylo Ren isn’t redeemed. At one point while assessing the crushed Darth Vader mask, Kylo acknowledges that what changed Vader at the end of his life was love and that was a weakness and failing on his part. He destroys the mask and vows that he will succeed where his grandfather failed in achieving power and becoming the strongest Force-user in the galaxy.
That doesn’t mean that people don’t make a similar effort to save Kylo Ren. Rey spends most of the film believing Kylo Ren can be saved. The alleged script seems to make a big deal of separating Ben Solo from Kylo Ren, to the point that it might be a literal separate personality. Additionally, Luke Skywalker has a significant part to play in this theoretical story as a Force ghost haunting Kylo Ren. Luke makes a lot of efforts to sway Kylo himself, sometimes even reaching out to Rey through the Force to make them connect and convince Kylo to walk away from the dark side. Unfortunately, none of it works. Keep watching the video to see that the Kylo & Rey had a different dynamic in alleged draft of Rise of Skywalker!
Duel of the Fates | 0:16
No redemption arc | 1:02
A more complex Rey | 1:58
No romance | 2:51
Closer to The Last Jedi | 3:15
Rey’s ultimate identity | 4:23