Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, came out two years ago and is still a hot topic. People didn’t want to see more Star Wars movies in that time period after watching the confusing finale to the Skywalker Saga. When the credits rolled, there was even less enthusiasm for future stories in that time period than there was when The Last Jedi came out.
When Emperor Palpatine is brought back to life in The Rise of Skywalker, it makes a lot of the sequel-era storyline more complicated than it should be. In the end, the First Order isn’t even there in the movie’s final battle. One thing the movie didn’t forget about, though, was how the relationship between Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and Rey Palpatine changed over time.
In The Force Awakens, Rey and Kylo meet for the first time. In The Last Jedi, it was revealed that they are a dyad in the Force, two that are one. When they were together, they were able to talk and fight from different places, use the Force to heal each other, and eventually give Ben Solo the ability to revive Rey while taking his own life.
As rivals, Kylo and Rey spoke in the first part of the movie. Many of the events that happen show them playing hide and seek across the galaxy. As the heroes keep finding Ren on their quests, Rey loses control for the second time. She fights him on the remains of the second Death Star, where they both fall. It was once thought that the final saber duel would take place in a different place.
Jon McCoy, a concept artist who worked on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, shared a sketchbook with us. It had work from the movie. Rey and Kylo Ren fight in a throne room of some kind. McCoy was given the job of making the scene feel and look good for the mood and atmosphere.
Rey walks up behind Kylo with her lightsaber drawn as she walks up to him.
Kylo looks sad as he sits on his throne. Rey is lurking on the other side of his chair.
As Rey and Kylo talk, an orbit floats in the middle of the room.
Rey tries to fight a steady Kylo Ren in a square setting:
Kylo approaches Rey:
You may haven’t seen anything like this before in a Star Wars movie. When McCoy came up with some of his designs, he took some ideas from the Emperor’s throne room in Return of the Jedi and put his own twist on them. In addition to the unique places that were thought of, the concept art separates Rey and Kylo Ren for their duel in the same way that other important battles in the movie have done.
It’s clear that parts of The Rise of Skywalker were meant to be much darker than the bait-and-switch death fake-outs that were used in the movie. Some of the pieces that people have shared show Rey being very violent, like the one where she puts Kylo’s head to his lightsaber. One can’t even think of a reason why she would force choke him, but that idea seems to have stayed in the movie when she stabs him in a fit of rage on the Death Star.
It looked like there was no idea where Rey and Ren were going to fight based on other art that was released over the last two years. There was just a fight. It’s possible to see concept art of the two people who were once enemies taking a swing at each other in the ruins of the Lars homestead on Tatooine. In the beginning, it was thought that their first fight in the movie would be a flash fight, in which places from other parts of the movie would be used as backgrounds because of their Force bond.
In the end, it’s hard to see how a duel in Kylo Ren’s throne room would work. Perhaps these designs were made before McCoy learned that Palpatine would somehow return; leaving this fight as the movie’s climax and leaving this fight as the movie’s main point. Kylo doesn’t seem to be with anyone else when Rey comes up to him. He looks like he’s looking at something far away. Most people have lost their duel. But there must be more to the fight.
This is what the movie doesn’t have that other movies have. It has a unique setting in which the fate of the galaxy is set. In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo doesn’t seem to be interested in having a throne, or even being Supreme Leader; for that matter, at all. With Darth Sidious out of the picture, however; Ren would have the chance to be the main bad guy before becoming Ben Solo again.
All of the settings in First Order are very familiar. The Star Destroyers are almost the same as their Imperial predecessors, as well as the insides, which are almost the same. Meet in a room like the one from A New Hope on the Death Star. Giving Kylo a throne room in a place away from everyone else; would have given the character time to get lost in the dark until he found a way out; while also giving the story something new.