Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has gone down in history as a huge anticlimax. It’s rated the worst film in the franchise and was a disappointment to those invested in Disney’s Sequel Trilogy characters. Fortunately for Lucasfilm, The Mandalorian has maintained Star Wars‘ reputation for quality, but the last movie remains a notable misstep and ever since its release, folks have been wondering exactly how it all went so wrong and whether an alternative cut exists that could improve matters.
This hope is based in Abrams reportedly presenting Lucasfilm executives with a three-hour cut and being told to pare it down to the theatrical length of 122 minutes. But what was left on the cutting room floor? Well, some of it’s been confirmed via official stills from deleted scenes, including Kylo Ren reassembling his shattered helmet and a moment in which he ponders Vader’s burnt mask. We also know the story could have ended differently, with rumors building that there exists a version of the movie where Ben Solo isn’t killed.
Sadly for all the Reylos still out there, though, Daisy Ridley has scotched this theory. She was asked about The Rise of Skywalker‘s endings in a recent interview, revealing that there were just two variations of the finale: in one they kiss and in the other they don’t. Ben Solo’s death was apparently “the only thing that never changed from the beginning.”
Adam Driver’s conflicted, passionate and emotional Kylo Ren was among the best things about the Sequel Trilogy and I wish The Rise of Skywalker had given him a little more to do. It’s a shame that the ending of The Last Jedi established him as new Supreme Commander of the First Order, only to have him immediately sidelined as the main villain by the nonsensical and poorly executed return of the Emperor.
Despite all that, I doubt Adam Driver has made his final appearance as Kylo Ren. Though for now, it seems both Disney and Lucasfilm aren’t going to explore what happened after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker anytime soon.