Episode IXSequel Trilogy

I read Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly’s final Star Wars: Episode IX script!

Here are my notes on the final script by Trevorrow and Connolly.

I had the unique opportunity to read the final draft of Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly’s Star Wars: Episode IX script at a location I cannot talk about “recently.” I made extensive notes on the draft which I do not have in my possession so please do not ask me as I cannot help you. Up front, I put a lot of the relevant moments in the script between J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio’s The Rise of Skywalker. After that, I pretty much lay out the story as it was scripted but in note form. I was careful to include everything that was pertinent but also understand I had time constraints but I feel like my summary did it justice.

Germain Lussier at io9 laid out Robert Meyer Burnett’s thoughts of the first draft of Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly Star Wars: Episode IX rather nicely. There’s a lot of work in between these two drafts and I have only read the final draft Trevorrow and Connolly wrote before Jack Thorne took over the writing of the film. Make sure to check out Burnett’s video, which is pretty rad to see as it is the first draft whereas this is the final draft.

Duel of the Fates differences from The Rise of Skywalker

  • The crawl differs in that it’s vague about what Ren wants and the specific “Knights of Ren searching for Rey” isn’t used in JJ and Terrio’s screenplay.
  • There is a huge migrant settlement and Poe talks about the First Order working by choice and Finn tells him that they are faced to be First Order — that mirrors the idea that the First Order took all of the kids in the J.J. and Terrio screenplay.
  • Rey has designed her own lightsaber, but this version has already been completed; a double-sided blue saber that works like a boomerang.
  • Poe gets mad at Rey for saving them because she’s too valuable to risk vs the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay, where Rey laments that he missed Rey during their mission to get the info from Boolio (lightspeed skipping)
  • Rey confides in Finn about what’s going on with her in regards to her connection with the Dark Side.
  • The Falcon is pushed by Poe  — Lightspeed skipping in the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay, and making the jump without the shields in this version.
  • C-3PO is showing his age, which is not the case in the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay
  • Rey is there when Leia dies and she leaves her with a message in silence. Rey has lost her last living parental figure. The imagery with Leia’s hand is kind of similar.
  • Kylo can feel that his mother passed — but this is an obvious beat.  Leia has to die and Kylo would obviously feel it in the Force.
  • The group thinks Rey and Finn are dead. — in the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay, they think Chewie is dead.
  • Kylo finds the Sith Holocron, which contains all the secrets of the Sith, but it reflects Kylo because he still has light in him. He must destroy Rey so he can become truly dark. This differs from the J.J. and Terrio screenplay where he needs to convince Rey to join him.
  • Rather than seeking her like in the Rise of Skywalker screenplay, Kylo wants others to bring Rey to him.
  • Kylo wears a new mask that’s more savage than his previous mask, but it’s not put-together from broken pieces, it’s just a raw design.
  • Poe and Finn talk about their complicated admiration for Rey, which ties into their funny relationship as brothers (with no romance if you’re wondering).
  • Poe knows of a person in his past that can help them; a woman — this is similar to the Keri Russell character Zorii Bliss.
  • Rey and Kylo have a Force talk, but it’s over a fire. It’s more about Leia’s death and Kylo saying goodbye and being full of darkness. Rey is trying to turn him still. She doesn’t do this in the J.J .and Terrio screenplay; he’s trying to turn HER.
  • At Poe’s home planet, there’s a lot about his childhood, which is not in the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay, just his past as a spice runner. Both seem to not interface well with previous comics and Yavin IV being Poe’s home world.
  • Rey says that she’s no one to Poe. Similar beat in The Rise of Skywalker screenplay when she tells the “little girl” on Pasaana that she has no last name.
  • Finn, Rose, and the droids going to the Capital to find the resistance army is maybe similar to the trip to Pasaana to find Lando; but barely.
  • Finn fights with a trooper whose helmet comes off and Finn questions him to remember his past before he was taken by the First Order.
  • Ren finds Finn and wants to know where Rey is. Now, he’s actively searching for her, which is akin to the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay.
  • Similar to the speeder chase on Pasaana, Poe and Rey escape in a Londo cart.
  • Poe’s arm is injured.
  • Rey shoots purple lightning from her fingertips, killing one of the Knights of Ren. In J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay,  Rey destroys the troop transport.
  • Luke says she already knows as she seethes with anger. He explains who the Knights of Ren are, former students of his and that Kylo wanted to be Rey’s teacher.
  • Luke says that if she gives in to her anger, no one will survive.
  • Chewbacca knows they need help, so he leads Poe to a cabaret club to meet with Lando.
  • Finn can feel that Rey is alive. Yet this change happens in the final J.J.  and Terrio edit of the film rather than the screenplay.
  • Lando turns down the offer to join the Resistance.
  • Rey has subliminal flashbacks of her life, which are I believe are in the JJ and Terrio’s screenplay.
  • As far as general plot points go, Rey makes it to the spire in someone else’s ship (The Knight’s of Ren) and in the JJ and Terrio’s screenplay, she makes to the Sith Sanctuary in Luke’s X-Wing
  • Near the third act, Kylo has a talk with his dead father about his transformation and who he is going to be.
  • Rey uses a double bladed lightsaber, but unlike The Rise of Skywalker screenplay, it’s not a vision, she’s fighting Ren with it.
  • Rey and Ren fight in the third act, the stakes are a little different. In this one, Rey wants to kill him because she’s angry about his childhood. In the J.J. and Terrio screenplay, she’s mad because Ren lied to her.
  • Instead of Poe being in charge, he gives the command to Connix.
  • Hux is always evil — he is NOT a spy in this draft like he is in the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay.
  • Out in space, Poe admires another pilot’s flying that he doesn’t know who it is (or it’s unclear that it’s Chewie from his POV?). But it’s not someone to save them like the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay w/ Zorii Bliss.
  • Kylo believes that if he kills Rey, there will be no Jedi left. He will control the Force — in the J.J. and Terrio screenplay, Ren knows that he needs Rey to be part of their reign.
  • Kylo says he could have been her teacher but Ren slashes Rey and she falls twenty feet to her supposed death.
  • Rey comes back to fight Ren and he calls her no one, but in the The Rise of Skywalker screenplay, Ren knows she’s a Palpatine and wants to join her.
  • Connix is going to retreat as they are taking heavy fire, but they are saved by Lando and a thousand ships. He came back! This is very similar to the J.J. and Terrio’s screenplay.
  • When Rey has the chance to kill Kylo, she doesn’t, unlike The Rise of Skywalker screenplay, when she can’t control herself and she kills him.
  • Rey takes half of her double saber and gives it to Kylo — they share Luke’s saber in the J.J. and Terrio screenplay in the end. But it’s Kylo and Rey with two blue sabers and Sollony with Kylo’s red saber. Light and dark. Not too dissimilar from the Emperor with his lightning moment.
  • When Ren dies in front of Rey, they share a look that could be perceived as love.
  • Luke tells Rey that she is a Jedi, but not the last. He will never leave her. Life returns to her. This is different from The Rise of Skywalker screenplay, but noteworthy.

 The Final Trevorrow Draft of Star Wars Episode IX: Duel of the Fates Notes

  1. Crawl: The First Order is everywhere, Ren is on a quest to dig up ancient Dark Side stuff and the Knights of Ren search for Rey. The Resistance plan a secret mission to fire to light the fire of revolution.
  2. BASIC PLOT: the transmission has been jammed and the Resistance can’t communicate. Once the friends steal a cache of weapons from the First Order, they prepare to attack the Capital of the First Order once Rey goes to the Jedi Spire of Osis and sends a message out to get the galaxy to join them in the fight. Kylo is trying to kill Rey so he can finally and full be on the Dark Side.
  3. Opens on a First Order space station in Kuat Orbital — BB-8 is undercover on a mission with Rose. They are working at disabling a security checkpoint for their friends to arrive
  4. There’s an ORIBITAL RING that looms in the sky that destroyers dock into like spikes on a punk bracelet.
  5. On the Kuat moon, Finn is disguised as an alien worker who is under the reign of First Order Stormtroopers. But when he’s getting found out, a robed Poe comes to assist him as they wait for BB-8 to disable the weapons checkpoint. After a close call, they get through.
  6. Rose has been waiting for them for six weeks when Finn and Poe arrive; she tells them her plan on how to plans detonation a chain reaction that will destroy the Orbital Ring — which will include the fleet of new fleet of destroyers. Rose wants them to take out the enemy’s fuel source and be light years away before they know they’ve been hit. Their plan uses BB-8 and they have obstacles, but the bomb doesn’t go off! They’re trapped about to be killed by the Troopers when Rey shows up with a double-lightsaber and saves them — they didn’t know she was following them.
  7. Rey sees the migrant upbringing and want to help with her Force powers, but Poe, Finn, and Rose want her to go with them and follow their plan. She ignores them and goes to help the migrants, but the tie fighters blast at them — Rey has to give up what she wants to do (save the migrants) and escape with her friends for the future good of the galaxy.
  8. There’s an idea that the migrants and kids see that Rey is a Jedi and are reverent of her and the fallen order.
  9. The friends decide to escape on a star destroyer — Poe can fly anything. To get there, they have a ride a turbolift, which is made for droids. The G-force almost crushes their bodies. On the fueling dock, they take a Glide Rover to the Eclipse Destroyer. Admiral Vonn realizes they are getting on an empty Destroyer.
  10. Rey uses the Force to get the crewman on the destroyer to take them to the Nirauan system. They barely get out of the docking station as Poe is struggling to fly the dreadnought. BB-8 has to get to them on his maintenance shuttle. Rey wants to them to get to lightspeed, but it’s risky — yet they pull it off.
  11. Knife 9 is a ship belonging to the Knights of Ren — we are introduced to the Knights, with names and everything. Admiral Vonn gives them an update, but they are placed a location cipher in BB-8 so they can track Rey, then Vonn is killed by them.
  12. On Remicore, we meet an 11 year-old Dade, street-worn and alone, amidst the First Order that patrols this First Order Capital. Chancellor Hux looks down on the city. He tells Lord Gherlid, a disgusted alien, that the Resistance is almost vanquished, but the alien believes the youth are on the verge of revolt.
  13. The aliens talks about how they want the last hope of the Jedi, Rey, to be killed. A Darth Maul-like character, Sollony Ren. With Kylo, gone, Hux and the others have to listen to Sollony Ren.
  14. Kylo travels to Moraband to a Sith temple with ancient statues. Supreme Leader Snoke has him follow a message to find the hologram of Darth Plagueis. Luke shows up as a ghost to tell Kylo that this is the path to an empty hollow tomb — but he doesn’t listen. Opening the holocron, red Force lightning attacks Kylo and the damage spreads across his face.
  15. Rey has a dream that connects her to Kylo; Finn talks to her about it. She’s worried she’s not strong enough, but the children, everyone, believes in her. Poe is going to park the destroyer on a moon. Rose is dubious.
  16. Poe finds weaponry on the ship, enough TIE fighters, and walkers to take over the Capital.
  17. They call back to the base, but Leia tells them they’re under attack and they lose contact. All of the bases are seemingly being attacked and they can’t get in contact with anyone. Rey tells them they have to go back to the base; they have no choice.
  18. Kylo is on the verge of death when a group of wommels save him and take him to their cave; he’s moved by their selflessness.
  19. Poe, Finn, Rey, and Rose’s stolen TIE-shuttle arrives from lightspeed to a battle on Korilev; where they find the last of the Resistance and C-3PO. The friends put Leia on the Falcon and they blow up the base as they leave, but not before a TIE crashes into a tower and destruction hits. Chewie barely gets Leia onboard
  20. Leia dies after she gives Rey a message — she fades away with the Force.
  21. In the cave, Kylo can feel that his mother passed. The wommels are so kind that they calm his rage.
  22. Meanwhile on the Falcon, they are hit by blasts as they try to get out of there — it’s the Knife 9 ship with the Knights of Ren. Poe pushes the Falcon hard and when they go to warp speed, they leave a trail of fire behind them.
  23. The Falcon crash lands in a frozen ocean — the group deals with rising waters as they sink in the ship and try to survive.
  24. Rey goes back to save the Jedi texts in the drowning Falcon — she uses her blue saber to break through a wall with Finn as they survive.
  25. At Remincore, Kylo is in much worse shape, relying on droids to keep him alive, purple scars and burns. Sollony sees that Kylo found it, their “macguffin’ — the Sith Holocron. Sollony, female, tells Kylo that since he and Rey are both pupils of Luke, he needs to sever this connection to clear his fate to the Dark Side.
  26. Kylo gets a new, more savage mask; closer to Vader.
  27. Meanwhile, on the frozen planet of Wavett, the friends try to survive and Chewie finds a broken-off piece of the radar dish from the Falcon. They can get a transmission for help.
  28. Poe and Finn talk about their complicated admiration for Rey, which ties into their funny relationship as brothers (not romantically).
  29. Angry, Rey beats up a piece of crashed spaceship when Force ghost Luke talks to her. Luke feels that he’s losing her, she believes that she’s no one — so the Last Jedi is dead. Rey believes that Kylo is drawn to the light while Luke believes he can’t be redeemed.
  30. Rey reveals that Leia asked her to end Kylo’s pain. Luke gives her a lightsaber before he disappears. He says she won’t be a Jedi until she faces Kylo.
  31. BB-8 has found a map in the Destroyer proving the First Order knows where all of the resistance bases are. They’re taking them out one by one. The Resistance needs to warn them, but the transmissions are jammed.
  32. REY HAS A NEW GOAL AT THE MIDPOINT: from the Jedi texts, she learned of an old ancient form of communication, before the Old Republic, the Spire of Isis; a sacred chamber to prevent any Sith from using it. Only a Jedi may enter. Rey needs help, but she could maybe find the location of this Spire. Poe knows a Astromancer who helps Jedi, she works with the Space Digger.
  33. Poe wants to fight and head to the Capital to cut off the head of the beast with their arsenal.
  34. They will split up — Rey, Poe, and Chewie will find the Spire, and Finn, and Rose will go to Remicore.
  35. Rey and Kylo have a Force Connection talk; his face has healed — he feels his light (his calling for his mother when she died) and he feels Rey’s darkness.
  36. Poe and friends buy a new ship, the Phantom Hawk from a bearded old man named Fobis,  who gives it to them for free because he recognizes Rey. Rey and Finn hug goodbye.
  37. Kylo meets with Hux and is angry that Rey is still alive, he almost kills Hux as he wants Hux to tell the Knights the moment Rey is found. His life depends on it.
  38. Rey uses her Force powers to help them get out of a docking array. Poe tells Rey to dial down her Jedi look and she does. They get to Bonadan where Poe used to live with his grandfather.
  39. The Phantom Hawk arrives in the Capital and Finn wears a disguise. R2 has a code that help them get through to find the underground resistance army. They come across Dade, the kid from earlier. When they get there it’s empty and troopers attack them. They rush back to the ship as they fight.
  40. Rey gets caught up in a drinking contest with aliens.
  41. Finn fights with a trooper whose helmet comes off and Finn questions him to remember his past before he was taken by the First Order. Finn tells him to get a name and find something worth fighting for.
  42. Poe and Rey get to a den and meet Nomi, a tiny alien who listens to Rey’s wish to find a planet.  Nomi says the Jedi will know the destination and there the two will meet, the dark and light. In the vision that Rey is having, she will sacrifice herself to Kylo to save the galaxy.
  43. In the war room, Hux tells Solllony that Finn was seen at the Capital. Kylo approaches and wants to know where Rey is, but Finn won’t tell him. Finn jumps in the darkness to escapes.
  44. Rey can sense that Finn and the others need help; Poe and Rey escape on a Londo Cart through the city area. Then, they sail away on a boat, meet by the Knife 9 ship.
  45. A kid has a Rey doll and Rey does a Force push.
  46. Rey finds the Knights of Ren with the Force and Poe is hit in the arm. REY SHOOTS PURPLE LIGHTNING FROM HER FINGERTIPS, KILLING ONE OF THE KNIGHTS OF REN. Poe and Chewie are taken aback by this.
  47. Rey makes Poe leave with Chewie to go help the Resistance (Finn and Rose). She kisses him to make him do this.
  48. Rey needs to stay to face Kylo and end this. She now goes full Jedi with the robe. She talks to force Luke about her past. Who she really is — Luke says she already knows as she seethes with anger. He explains who the Knights of Ren are, former students of his and that Kylo wanted to be Rey’s teacher. Rey is mad because Kylo lied to her.
  49. Kylo knows he has to go to the spire to meet with Rey and finish her; he can’t let her reach the spire.
  50. Finn is stuck in a sludge, fighting a monster in the sewer when Dade comes to help him. The underground Resistance army is pretty ragged.
  51. Chewie knows they need help, so he leads Poe to a cabaret club to meet with Lando. He gets them to a private lounge after telling Poe he flew with his mother. When Lando turns down the offer to help, Poe tell him that his mother was right about him.
  52. Rose is being tortured by Hux in order to get the signature codes for the dreadnought. She won’t tell them and Hux is ordered to kill her.
  53. Rey flies in the Knife 9 and has subliminal flashbacks when she crashes the ship out of deep space, landing on Osis — she’s made it to the Spire.
  54. Kylo also has a rough landing in the same place.
  55. Finn talks with Dade who reveals there’s a hundred million rustics hiding out, but could fight and that’s what the First Order is afraid of. Finn inspires the room to rise up and resist. His arc is complete from when he was a trooper, then traitor.
  56. Finn was able to help Poe get in contact with Connix and others from the dreadnaught. Poe tells them that they will fly with a hundred pilots and Finn will have a ground game. Rey will get reinforcements once she gets the signal out from the Jedi spire.
  57. In the Osis woods, Rey makes her way to the spire when she gets a flashback of her parents leaving her and telling her they will come back. This makes her angry — she slices a tree in half.
  58. Kylo walks to the spire as well and sees a house and goes inside to find Han Solo, who talks to him about how he has everything he needs with his family; telling him he can always go back and his mother loves him. Flashback of Han killed by Kylo.
  59. At Reminicore, Finn leads a ragtag resistance attack with the underground army, led by Dade. C-3PO and R2-D2 help as well. The trooper Finn talked to earlier has joined them and has a name now, Rafe.
  60. By the spire, Kylo and Rey have a face off. Rey knows he’s in pain and alone. He knows she’s mad about her life on Jakku and blames Kylo for killing her family, but he says it was Snoke. Rey pulls out her double saber. Kylo says that Rey was protected.
  61. Poe gives the next in line command to Dade and Poe goes to fight; in which Poe is instantly outnumbered. They need more pilots!
  62. Hux wants to send out undisciplined mercs to keep the peace.
  63. Sollony sess the holocron and gets the Dark Power and it doesn’t hurt her like it did with Kylo.
  64. Finn inspired the Rustics and they charge the First Order.
  65. Kylo believes that if he kills Rey, there will be no Jedi left. He will control the Force. As they fight, Rey cuts his face and it’s metallic underneath.
  66. The capital gets hit hard with resistance fire; the fact that they have a stolen dreadnought is key to their success.
  67. Chewie in his X-wing with BB-8 crash land, but he did a good job.
  68. Rose escapes and reveals to Finn that the Capital is a ship. BB-8 needs to stop the ship from going into hyperspace.
  69. Ren slashes Rey and after he should he could have been her teacher, he knocks her down and leaves her for dead.
  70. Ren destroys the Jedi temple when ghost Luke shows up to reason with him.
  71. Rey starts to feel something as Luke does a VO about how everyone is connected by the Force. So, Rose and Poe feel something and Finn can sense Rey — a surge of hope.
  72. Rey comes back to fight Ren and he calls her “No One” — she disagrees, no one is no one. They keep fighting.
  73. In the ground fight, C-3PO doesn’t want to leave R2-D2 in battle.
  74. Connix is going to retreat as they are taking heavy fire, but they are saved by Lando and a thousand ships. He came back!
  75. Rey has a chance to kill Kylo, but she doesn’t. She tries to get Ben to come back. She forgives him. He has to make a choice — a different kind of balance.
  76. Sollony shows up and grabs Kylo. She’s too powerful for Rey to fight off. Rey is beaten down, but when the stone debris is about to crush her, Kylo comes in to save her. Rey takes half of her double saber and gives it to Kylo.
  77. Connix tells Poe to do something reckless.
  78. Poe gives Finn a resistance flag when they are reunited and Finn waves it — big character beat.
  79. The oiler crashes on the front steps of the barricade.
  80. Sollony is about to kill Rey, but Ren takes the hit and dies. Then Rey kills Sollony in an rage of necessary darkness. Sollony falls dead.
  81. As he’s dying Ren says that Rey’s name is Solana. Rey Solana. Ren dies.
  82. Almost dead, Rey knows she has to climb the Jedi Spire, clawing her way up. She enters the Force-based transmissions tower. A lot of stuff moving around Rey with Kyber crystals.
  83. She sends her message out to the galaxy with Rey as a projection, saying her full name. Rey Solana. Telling everyone that hope is not lost.
  84. Bossk is at a den when he sees the projection and wants to join.
  85. Hux learned that they don’t have the ships to attack the Capital because they are tied up elsewhere since Rey sent out the message. They are outnumbered 3 to 1.
  86. Rose is able to escape the Capital before she crashes into the sun.
  87. Finn can tell Rey is alive.
  88. Luke tells Rey that she is a Jedi, but not the last. He will never leave her. Life returns to her.
  89. Rey glows and wonders aloud if she’s dead, but Yoda tells her there is no death with Jedi. But Rey is not finished.
  90. At a ceremony, Chewie gets a special medal. The friends wonder if Rey is really gone.
  91. Lando has a moment with C-3PO about R2-D2 coming back to life and Lando is touched to see a flood of memories that they had.
  92. Finn reads a story to the young kids and they ask if they really think Rey is gone. Finn believes she’s alive because of The Force!
  93. Poe and Chewie are flying and they find a beacon on a planet.
  94. Rey is on the Wavett planet, pulling the Falcon out of the icy water.
  95. Last shot is Rey returning to the Jedi school to teach young kids.

Final Thoughts

I think it was really neat and really cool to be able to read a Star Wars movie that never was. I love The Rise of Skywalker which is messy but the more I watch it, the less the clutter and mess is difficult to follow. I have read most of the Star Wars scripts ever written at this point from Lucas’ earliest drafts to this (but not the Arndt stuff). I would not call this hot garbage but I also really did not connect with it. I felt like it was at the level the ancillary Star Wars stories and not an actual film that concluded the saga. But I think it is also fair to say that this film was never made and judging it too hard is unfair as a lot of development would have still happened during filming and editing.

I personally feel there’s a lot of ideas that are neat but we ultimately got a better film in the end than this version of the film.


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