The trailers’ tease that Dark Rey was coming in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker blew fans’ minds, with the sight of Daisy Ridley’s heroine done up like a Sith a tantalizing prospect. Unfortunately, however, as with most aspects about the movie, it didn’t really live up to the hype, as Dark Rey only appeared in a brief vision sequence aboard the destroyed Death Star. Still, the evil mirror version of the character was fun while she lasted.
And if you want more of Dark Rey, you might want to check out this intriguing alternate concept art which reveals a different way she could’ve been realized. Concept artist Adam Brockbank shared the artwork (seen below) on his Instagram account, explaining in his caption that this piece was part of some “early experiments” for how best to depict Darth Rey.
Brockbank’s alternate design is pretty close to how things ultimately turned out, but there seems to be a different overall intention behind it. This look appears to be emphasizing Dark Rey becoming more like her evil grandfather Palpatine, with her sunken, yellow eyes and stooped physique. In contrast, the movie’s Dark Rey – AKA Empress Rey – represents more of the temptation of the Dark Side, with her deadly confidence and uber-cool dual lightsaber. That said, her monstrous nature is made clear with her reptilian forked tongue.
A previous piece of unused concept art revealed another alternate look for Dark Rey, with that one featuring her wielding the classic Skywalker lightsaber instead of her Darth Maul-like model, likely intended as a nod to Vader. A cool BTS image has also given us a better look at Ridley dressed as Empress Rey taking her “rightful” place upon Palpatine’s throne in his Sith temple on Exegol.
Though she didn’t end up having much screentime in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it looks like fans’ fascination with Dark Rey will continue regardless.