The past week has been instrumental in allowing fans a glimpse at what could have been in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Colin Trevorrow had an entirely different version of Episode IX mapped out before he split with Lucasfilm over “creative differences” and J.J. Abrams was brought in to replace him and this week, new details on what he would’ve done have come to light. What’s more, reams of concept art have surfaced, too, giving us a visual flavor for Trevorrow‘s movie, which he would’ve titled Duel of the Fates.
One of the most fascinating revelations is that Palpatine wouldn’t have been the big bad of Trevorrow’s film. Instead, Kylo was to have encountered a new Sith overlord who was even older and perhaps more powerful than the Emperor. Tor Valum would’ve been revealed as Palpatine’s mentor, who taught him everything he knew about the Dark Side. A character like this conjures up images of an imposing figure, so you might be surprised by the design depicted in these pieces of concept art.
The three images seen below capture what would’ve been the first time Kylo Ren meets Tor Valum. In the script, the villain’s described as “non-human” and “Lovecraftian.” You can see how the concept artists have drawn from that, then, but this still feels like an unexpected way to go. Valum appears to be a squat spider creature perching on some kind of dead animal’s carcass. That’s an unsettling visual, sure, but it’s hard to say whether audiences would have been able to take this guy seriously or not. Still, this is only concept art, so the design may have been tweaked prior to release.
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Tor Valum was to have been introduced via a Sith holocron that Kylo was on the hunt for – similar to the Sith wayfinder in TROS. Finally locating it on Vader’s home of Mustafar, Kylo discovers it holds a message recorded by Palpatine – he still made a cameo – before his death. Directed at Vader, the Emperor intended to tell his apprentice to finish his training with Valum if Luke Skywalker should succeed in killing him.
What do you think of this concept art, though? Would you have liked to have seen this version of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Let us know in the comments section down below.