While fans speculated for months leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker about how Palpatine would return, the movie didn’t waste any time explaining how Darth Sidious survived his fall in Return of the Jedi and almost instantly reintroduced us to the former emperor of the Galactic Empire.
The entire sequence plays out so fast that you’ll probably lose many of the details crammed into it if you deign to blink even once. For one thing, who could’ve realized that the opening scene, when Kylo Ren and his Stormtroopers were fighting a bunch of locals on a crimson planet, actually takes place on Mustafar, Darth Vader’s old stronghold and the spot that once served as the battleground of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s legendary duel?
If you haven’t already worked out just how much J.J. Abrams had to cut from his original vision to hit the limited runtime, then you’ll be surprised to learn that Allegiant General Pryde and General Hux filmed scenes on Mustafar when Kylo gets his hands on the Sith Wayfinder (see the photo below). The producers ultimately decided to remove them though, as they’d take away from the pace of the opening act and Ren’s quest to find Palpatine on Exegol.
Now, though, with the behind-the-scenes looks in The Rise of Skywalker‘s home release finding their way online, we know how it could’ve turned out. This is certainly an interesting piece of trivia, too, and these scenes would’ve properly set up Pryde as one of the movie’s main antagonists, as opposed to the theatrical cut when we learned about his authority much later, ordering around even General Hux, who was in full command in The Last Jedi.
Of course, with everything we know about the film now, thanks to the novelizations and the word of the cast, we’re willing to bet that this wasn’t the only scene featuring General Pryde that was removed from the final version. A shame, really, since it would’ve made his overly-dramatic death at the end of the third act much more impactful.
Then again, if we’re being fair, it wouldn’t have been possible for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to explore every character in a profound way, even given a mark of over 3 hours, let alone the movie’s humble 2 hours and 22 minutes runtime.