Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in pursuit of bringing the saga to its definitive end, didn’t have much time left to explore all the Sequel Trilogy’s side characters or give them a satisfying closure.
General Hux, an aspiring leader of the First Order, was one of these characters that J.J. Abrams killed off early on for the convenience of the plot. And thus, in the place of the goofy villain who served no one but his own self-interests, we got Allegiant General Enric Pryde, an Empire loyalist who turned his back on Kylo Ren and came under the command of Palpatine. Still, Hux’s existence in the last movie wasn’t so pointless, and the revelation that he was the mole in the First Order certainly led to some of the funnier scenes in Abrams’ concluding entry.
As for Domhnall Gleeson, it’s safe to say that his portrayal of Hux was a fan-favorite aspect of Disney’s Sequel Trilogy, which says a lot considering the divisive nature of these movies. But the actor himself feels that there was more potential for his character. In a recent interview with IndieWire, he said as much while also acknowledging the fact that he understood why Abrams made the decision to kill him off.
“It would’ve been nice to stick around a little bit longer, for sure,” Gleeson said. “It would’ve been nice to see the spy thing play out a little bit, but J.J. knows what he’s doing, and I heard a kind of gasp in the cinema when it happened, so I guess he was right.”
General Pryde, played by Richard E. Grant, was the one who personally executed Hux after becoming suspicious of his loyalties. When addressing his successor though, Gleeson had nothing but positive words to say:
“I’ve been a fan of Richard’s work for a very, very, very long time. So if you’re bowing out to anybody, there are a lot of worse people to bow out to.”
At any rate, it’s understandable why so many characters had to be sidelined for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to not shift focus from the main plot, which was already too convoluted. Then again, we wouldn’t have minded a couple of extra scenes with General Hux, especially during the film’s third act.