Star Wars fans still reeling over that incredible Throne Room sequence in Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be in for an even bigger, more epic lightstaber sequence between Rey and Kylo Ren in Star Wars 9. When Vanity Fair released the first look at the characters from co-writer/director J.J. Abrams’ trilogy-capping Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, one of the most striking images saw Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren battling it out with their lightsabers during a rainstorm. Given that these were promo images it was unclear if this was a direct scene from the movie, but we now have confirmation from Ridley that not only is this sequence in the film, it’s positively epic.
Appearing on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Ridley teased as much as she could about the big rain showdown between Rey and Kylo Ren:
“I just think they’ve done a great job with all the relationships. With the fun friendships, and with the sort of strange thing with Rey and Kylo… also we have a great fight. A great fight. And I was really happy that the Vanity Fair pictures did show a bit of it. It’s a great fight. Like I’ve become such a better fighter and they made the lightsabers lighter, so it actually looks like we’re swinging light and not like heavy [swords].”
Ridley also spoke about the arduous process of creating that Throne Room scene for The Last Jedi, then revealed that for the big Episode IX fight, they shot in November in the pouring rain:
“[The Throne Room fight] felt pretty cool, and also that was really hard because everything had to match up. There’s like a dolly shot coming through and it ends with me and I think I was fighting James at the time, who’s the stuntman with the two swords. It was so tiring. We did like 25 takes because if one thing was off we had to keep going. But I was really proud of that fight. This fight, it was November, we had water being thrown at us—I’m not gonna complain about the cold, I’m just not gonna do it (laughs)—so it was like a real thing of stamina. It felt really epic, and it felt epic even at the time. One can only imagine what it’s gonna look like.”
Ridley has now wrapped on The Rise of Skywalker and presumably knows how the film ends—which is also being positioned as the conclusion to the entire Skywalker saga that began with George Lucas’ original film. But initially, Abrams was not the one crafting this conclusion. Lucasfilm first hired Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow to co-write and direct Star Wars 9, but he left the project over creative differences. When asked by Horowitz if she ever spoke to Trevorrow about his plans, Ridley confirmed Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX was “very different”:
“He was Josh [Gad’s] guest at [the] Murder on the Orient Express [premiere] and we went for dinner afterwards, and Colin sat next to me and I was like, ‘What’s this gonna be like?’ Because all I had heard—I didn’t know what had happened, I just knew that he wasn’t doing it anymore. And he did sort of tell me and sort of not… Actually no we had gone for dinner and stuff, we went for dinner with Michelle, who is a producer. So I sort of knew. I think everything happens for a reason I guess.”
Indeed, while Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, and Jack Thorne all worked on the first version of Star Wars 9, the screenplay for the finished version is credited only to Abrams and Chris Terrio, who was brought onboard after Abrams agreed to write and direct the conclusion. So there exists a screenplay for a separate version of Star Wars 9 that, according to Ridley, was very different from Abrams’ movie. Perhaps someday we’ll get to compare the existing version to what could have been.
Listen to the full podcast interview here, and for more on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, peruse links to our recent articles below. The film opens in theaters on December 20th.
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- ‘Star Wars’: Adam Driver Confirms Some of ‘Episode 9’ Was Planned from the Beginning
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