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Rise of Skywalker Co-Writer Talks Unusually Numerous Rewrites. I Wonder Which Draft Finn’s Storyline Was In?


Oscar Isaac and John Boyega in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally out on Blu-ray, which means the people involved are talking even more about the controversial final installment of the Skywalker saga. One of the writers on the film, Chris Terrio (who was also on the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice team), spoke about having to rewrite the script multiple times, which … you could really kind of tell from the mess we got on the screen.

“I’ve never rewritten a film as much as this one,” Terrio shared with Business Insider. “It’s like a tide. There’s a new script every morning. But we just keep going at it and going at it, loosely thinking that it’s not good enough. It’s never good enough.”

“Luckily, the production team is so good that they can shift and adjust,” he continued. “We’re course-correcting as we go – we’re trying things, and some things don’t work and some things aren’t ambitious enough. Some things are overly ambitious. Some things are too dense. Some things are too simple. Some things are too nostalgic. Some things are too out-of-left-field. We’re finding our balance.”

A recently released art book also shares some of the changed ideas, such as Rey’s final outfit, early scenes between Poe and Finn, and apparently, a whole bunch of Finn scenes. According to Polygon, “Finn’s story changed several times as well. At one point the former stormtrooper was supposed to find a way to defeat the First Order. Holding the vital piece of information would have been a long-lost sibling stranded on a garbage planet.”

Well, that would have been nice to see, but you know, we had to make room for Kylo Ren to stare sadly at things and Rey to be shocked about things.

One thing is for sure: The final product has not been out of the collective consciousness since it came out, for better or worse. Regardless of whether you love ROS, hate it, or just feel “meh, it’s Star Wars,” this series has managed to be at the center of some of the internet’s biggest collective discourse around fandom. So many aspects of this sequel trilogy were held to, in some ways, an unfair standard, because it was asked to stand for something when Star Wars has always had the simplicity to passively stand for “good” without interrogating what exactly that meant.

Star Wars was not the series that would benefit from being at the center of feminist discourse, “Mary Sue” discourse, representation, etc., because the series never excelled at that. Within every era, there have been issues with the lack of female characters, the way POC culture is appropriated despite the lack of POC at the center, and the way the series fluctuates in quality constantly. In retrospect, should we be surprised that this is where we are?

I will rewatch Rise of Skywalker on Disney+, just to see how the film feels detached from all the hype and pressure put on it to be excellent. Maybe it’ll be less bad.

Probably not.

(via, image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.