When The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm, Ltd. from George Lucas in 2012, then-CEO Bob Iger and the rest of the Disney executive board could not have known what was in store for the Star Wars franchise — they were, after all, banking on their sequel trilogy to further the franchise, not a 50-year-old baby named Grogu.
The movie was followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Some found the story to be stale and too reliant on nostalgia. Others thought the main characters — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) — were much too similar to the original trilogy’s core trio of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Two other major complaints were that Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) served no real purpose — something that Dave Filoni is trying to remedy in his animated series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch — and that Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) didn’t get the storyline he actually deserved.
Now, Lucasfilm concept artist Jon McCoy has shared 12 new images [below] that tease a deleted Kylo Ren story arc that would have played out in Rise of Skywalker.
You can see the images in more detail on McCoy’s official website, where he shared, “These were development sketches for the story point of Kylo Ren carving through miscellaneous, unknown enemies searching for the [Sith] Wayfinder, that would guide him to Exegol.”
As an article about the deleted sequence noted:
Jon McCoy did absolutely phenomenal work designing what could have been an incredibly engaging sequence. The Rise of Skywalker moves at a stroke-inducing pace, but an extended conflict to reach Vader’s castle and get to the Wayfinder would have shown how skilled Kylo Ren is as a warrior at the height of his power, something lacking in the films.
As for the character’s future in the franchise, Adam Driver has not said he wouldn’t return to the Star Wars galaxy. And, although Ben Solo “had to die” according to Daisy Ridley, rumors have long abounded of a prequel project set prior to The Force Awakens.
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) has also indicated he would love to play a young version of Han and Leia’s son, circa his time at his uncle Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple when his fall from grace truly began.
For now, though there has been no confirmation of any additional sequel trilogy-era projects, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has hinted at the fact that Star Wars fans haven’t seen the last of the characters who were introduced in Disney’s first trilogy attempt.
Would you have liked to see Kylo Ren’s deleted storyline make it into the Skywalker Saga conclusion?