In Colin Trevorrow’s original script for the final movie in the Skywalker Saga, Kylo Ren was supposed to rise to the occasion of becoming the movie’s big baddie, but those plans changed when J.J. Abrams came on board to helm Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Now, a concept artist has shared sketches that showcase one of these deleted storylines involving the planet Coruscant.
While Coruscant was canonically the galaxy’s central hub, its existence actually traces back to Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire book, which came out after the original trilogy. George Lucas made use of Zahn’s creation for the prequels, once again designating the ecumenopolis (planet-city) as the headquarters of the Republic, or their seat of power, if you will.
The planet has since found its way to the originals as well via VFX erratum, bridging the narrative dissonance that had completely forsaken its existence prior to the prequels. Now, it seems that the Mouse House also came close to acknowledging the capital as part of Kylo Ren’s journey.
As artist Jon McCoy explained on his website, Ben Solo was originally supposed to visit Coruscant, or rather an abandoned and eerie version of it, at some point during The Rise of Skywalker.
“This was a really fun idea I got the chance to play with. We were asked to explore a possible story point, of Kylo Ren venturing to an abandoned Coruscant. And as my friends know, abandoned cityscapes are a personal favourite of mine. I aimed to convey a deeply eerie sense of foreboding for this story point.”
Below you can see these concept sketches that show off the villain arriving at the desolate city.
For better or for worse, this is one of the alternative plot threads that could have found its way to the film, at least so far as Kylo Ren’s character arc is concerned, but I’m not sure if it could save The Rise of Skywalker from turning into one of the most divisive Star Wars stories in history.