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Star Wars Episode IX (was) to be directed by Colin Trevorrow - DUEL OF THE FATES RIP — Page 10

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I thought those sequences were both pretty good actually. Star Wars is derivative by nature.

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We still got plenty of Endgame comparisons with TROS! I think what makes the Rey scene feel like the Harry Potter scene is them giving her the choice to stay or go back, similar to the choice Dumbledore gives to Harry.

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Oddly enough, considering at least one of those Endgame comparisons dates back to DOTF, it seems more likely than ever it was just coincidence.

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I finally read the whole Duel of the Fates draft. I hate it even more now. A bunch of ideas that are good in isolation, but don’t really fit together at all. Too many lore-breaking contradictions, no central theme, too much expository dialogue… I can go on, but you get the point.

Despite its shortcomings, I’m glad we got Rise of Skywalker instead.

i will say this, tho: Opening scenes were very good. Also, I listened to the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack as I was reading, and some moments fit perfectly with the music right as I was reading them… it was pretty freaky!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Budu1ux09Rs

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I still haven’t properly read the draft, though I did sneakily print it out at work so I don’t have to read it on my phone or laptop (perks of being the only one in the lab on night shift with access to a laser printer), so I’m gonna try to dive into it today.

But I challenge everyone who’s read this draft to go back and read the rough/first or second drafts of Star Wars and think about how much changed between then and filming and remind yourself that that’s what this DOTF draft is, not what would have been filmed had Trevorrow not been replaced.

a trolling bantha

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I don’t think it’s fair to compare the first and second drafts of Star Wars in 1974/1975 to the first and second drafts of Star Wars in 2015/2016. Not only because there was a lot more freedom and time for Lucas to work with back then, but because the way movies were made and the pipeline productions were put through is vastly different.

This DOTF draft would (and did) change from its initial draft to the one that ultimately caused Kennedy to get Jack Thorne to write something in a last ditch hope to get something Trevorrow could direct. But George Lucas isn’t JJ Abrams, and JJ Abrams isn’t Colin Trevorrow, and to really get an idea as to how different the story probably would have wound up, it’s not a good call to look at the now-legendary transformation Lucas had literal YEARS to make with Star Wars. You should probably look more at productions like Star Trek Into Darkness or Jurassic World. Or The Force Awakens, honestly. I don’t know if we know exactly how different that first draft looked compared to what the shooting script looked like, but I get the sense they were about 70% the same, roughly.

The simple fact that time was short and a release date was locked before the script was even finished makes comparing the two developments almost impossible. There’s only so much you CAN change from your first draft when you’ve got about 18mo to make the movie. Lucas’ first draft changed on the way to the fourth because he had something like 2 years to develop it before he even started pre-production, and he had a ton of friends pitching ideas over the course of those two years. There’s a level of patience, collaboration, and studio freedom that basically doesn’t have a parallel here in 2020.

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I think it is a fair comparison. Yes, Lucas had years. But the process is the same whether you take years or months. I mean, does it really take George R.R. Martin 10 years to write a novel? No. He does other things. Other writers have put out about a book a year. Books that are outstanding. So Lucas took 2 years to go from treatment to the revised draft 4 used to shoot the film. And when he was doing the movies, he always allowed a full year to develop the story. Does it really take that long? No. That was his method. But when you get in to the actual process of rewriting a movie, yes, such drastic changes are not unusual. They have even extended it into post production with reshoots and even late rewrites of the story. Rogue One had some major changes late in production and some major reshoots. The final movie is not the same as the shooting script. It is a gradual process of dialing in the story that is used on a lot of hollywood movies. And novel writers also do it. Sure you find a few writers who know what they want and their final draft is very close to their first, but other writers will shuffle scenes around, make major changes, and the journey from rough draft to final draft produces huge changes to the story. For one writer a 100,000 word novel might have included 120,000 written words (deletes and revisions), for another it might have included over 1,000,000 words written. And scripts more often than not tend to follow the later path and little from the first draft actually ends up in the final movie unchanged. And time is relative. It isn’t how fast they write it, it is how many drafts and how many changes are made. A good writer can churn out a 120 page script in a week and might do a couple of drafts in a month. Other writers might take a year to go through the same process.

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Truthfully the best comparison would be to stack this draft up against the first draft of TROS. Who knows if/when that’d ever be possible, though.

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But the process is the same whether you take years or months.

This isn’t true at all. The process isn’t the same from movie to movie often, much less across multiple decades in an industry that has changed a lot.

The process now is not the same as it was in the '70s. If Star Wars was made then the way ALL blockbusters are made now, we wouldn’t have gotten to draft 4, because when Ladd greenlit it, he’d have greenlit it with a release date locked and everything would have been set to that clock. Star Wars didn’t have a clock put on it until much, much later in the development process. The clock still almost drove Lucas insane, but he got a lot of time to develop that script that is damn near impossible to get now.

It’s a different machine creators are working in. Or rather, the engine and the gears move differently than they did when Lucas was around. Lucas is partially the reason that machine now operates the way it does, thanks to his efforts in the early 00s. Comparing the script development of Star Wars in 74 to Trevorrow’s efforts in 2017 is a comparison that isn’t worth much because not only are the creatives in question pretty wildly different, but the process is also pretty wildly different now, too.

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Certainly the original film is a unique case for a lot of reasons (the biggest simply being that there was a completely blank canvas). But I’d say stacking DOTF up against the drafts for really any of the other SW films isn’t unreasonable. They’re all individual cases with unique factors, but they all paint similar pictures, more or less: things changed a lot.

In fact, Lucas’s work on the PT is very similar to the process JJ went through on his SW films: write a script, rewrite on set, rewrite again after principal photography has wrapped. I sincerely doubt the final product of TFA was about 70% the same as the first draft. I get the impression it was more like 50%, maybe even less. That movie went through considerable changes. We know TROS had some heft reshoots as well, though at this point it’s hard to say how significant they were in terms of story, and also how much the script changed from its inception. Of the trilogy, TLJ seems to be the outlier where really not that much was changed at all.

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But I’d say stacking DOTF up against the drafts for really any of the other SW films isn’t unreasonable.

But we’re not stacking this movie against any of the other ones. My whole point was that the direct comparison to Star Wars (1974) isn’t a good one.

Yes, movies change across drafts. Not arguing that. But the degree to which they change (and specifically, the degree to which STAR WARS changed from 73-77) isn’t as easy to reliably measure from movie to movie, and especially not considering the different circumstances in context surrounding the productions of those specific movies.

It’s not ever going to be 1:1 - but you’ll get closer using better examples.

I sincerely doubt the final product of TFA was about 70% the same as the first draft.

I think it was pretty close. I also think there weren’t that many drafts, either. I think it might have been something like 2 1/2, haha.

That’s about 1 1/2 more than Attack of the Clones got

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I haven’t gone through the entire DOTF script yet, but I have to say I really loved the opening scene of the film. I liked the description of the hangar closing in around the star field, BB-8 “deep undercover”, Rose actually doing something, seeing migrant workers and life under First Order rule, Kuat drive yards, seeing people react to Rey, them stealing a Star Destroyer. It would’ve made for a far more swashbuckling opening than the one we got.

I actually think this scene could be adapted to canon as a comic. This easily could be a mission the gang goes on in between TLJ and TROS, and them destroying their shipyards would explain why the First Order would be desperate to acquire the Sith Fleet.

Another thing I liked about it was that I feel it ties in nicely with the Canto Bight stuff from TLJ. It highlights how war is a business for some people, and that greed can perpetuate conflict for profit. So having the Resistance try to destroy Kuat shipyards is a way for them to target that problem. Hit them where it really hurts. That was another thing I felt was lacking from TROS. Fan edit wise, I think creating a shot of the Kuat drive yards being destroyed as part of the ending montage would be a loose, but nice way to tie into that plot point, as well as be sort of an homage to this script.

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Broom Kid said:

I sincerely doubt the final product of TFA was about 70% the same as the first draft.

I think it was pretty close. I also think there weren’t that many drafts, either. I think it might have been something like 2 1/2, haha.

That’s about 1 1/2 more than Attack of the Clones got

I mean, just offhand - originally the film started with Luke’s hand holding the saber in space and went into a whole flashback montage, the saber was the McGuffin instead of the map, Poe died, Maz went back to the Resistance base with the gang, the Resistance had the Sledgehammer ship/weapon - and these are all things that were in the Abrams/Kasdan draft. Who knows what other things were different in Arndt’s version (at the very least we know originally Luke showed up for the climax), but there were other notable evolutions along the way (including the introduction of Starkiller base, making Finn a stormtrooper, and Kylo Ren in general), though it’s unclear if these were fully developed before the first draft or not.

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That’s not half the movie that you just described, though! Most of the general shape of the film, the plotting, was pretty similar. There were a lot of detail-level tweaks along the way but I don’t think a lot of what Abrams/Kasdan came up with during their phone calls changed too drastically once they started hammering out the script. For example, the Force-vision was different - but it was still a Force-vision that essentially covered the same ground. The saber IIRC, WAS effectively the map to Skywalker. A lot of what did get changed was streamlining and cutting, not necessarily inventing new things to replace old ideas wholesale.

They were working really fast, and didn’t have a lot of time to drastically change the shape of the plot once they laid it down. Almost all the beats are exactly the same, and it’s almost all the same people hitting those beats. It’s just a matter of shaving stuff down and compressing what’s left. The biggest addition was probably Poe still living. The biggest subtraction was probably the Sledgehammer stuff.

It’s not very much like what happened with “The Star Wars” on the way to “Star Wars” where only the vaguest shape stayed in place and almost EVERYTHING got rearranged on the way to the finish line. Arcs, relationships, plots, basic concepts…

I think Trevorrow had probably changed as much of the structure and shape of Duel of the Fates as he was going to change with that later draft we kind of know about, which is probably why he got axed, because that was as far as he could take the idea and have it remain coherent. And then it seems like the next step was him agreeing to maybe polish whatever Jack Thorne turned in when he was hired, and then him looking at Thorne’s draft and going “yeeeesh.”

I think it’s safe to say that we weren’t getting too many more changes for DOTF beyond what that later draft was. It would have had some cosmetic detailing and shifts here and there, but I think you’d have gotten (if they’d let him) something pretty recognizable to the story as we’ve read it in that first draft.

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rocknroll41 said:

Do we know whether or not the Rey/Poe romance was still in the second Trevorrow draft that MSW talked about?

Unfortunately, yes. According to MSW:

“Rey makes Poe leave with Chewie to go help the Resistance (Finn and Rose). She kisses him to make him do this.”

Other than that, I think the second draft is a big improvement over the first. Kylo is humanized, the plot is streamlined, some moments that came out of nowhere originally have more setup, Carrie Fisher’s death is dealt with in a satisfying way, and we get more of redeemed Kylo before he dies. The only problem I have with the second draft is the renaming of Coruscant to “Remnicore,” but that’s not a dealbreaker for me. I’m confident that if Trevorrow had time to refine his script before filming, his version of Episode IX would have been amazing.

My preferred saga experience:
TPM/AOTC/ROTS (Hal 9000 edits), ANH/ESB/ROTJ (Despecialized), The Mandalorian.
May the midichlorians be with you.

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rocknroll41 said:

Do we know whether or not the Rey/Poe romance was still in the second Trevorrow draft that MSW talked about?

Unless I missed something, MSW didn’t mention it at all in their summary. So who’s to say, Rey and Poe still go off on a mission together, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was something that got excised (hard to imagine no one having an issue with it).

JEDIT: Nevermind, though the context of the kiss has changed, so who knows.

StarkillerAG said:

rocknroll41 said:

Do we know whether or not the Rey/Poe romance was still in the second Trevorrow draft that MSW talked about?

Unfortunately, yes. According to MSW:

“Rey makes Poe leave with Chewie to go help the Resistance (Finn and Rose). She kisses him to make him do this.”

Other than that, I think the second draft is a big improvement over the first. Kylo is humanized, the plot is streamlined, some moments that came out of nowhere originally have more setup, Carrie Fisher’s death is dealt with in a satisfying way, and we get more of redeemed Kylo before he dies. The only problem I have with the second draft is the renaming of Coruscant to “Remnicore,” but that’s not a dealbreaker for me. I’m confident that if Trevorrow had time to refine his script before filming, his version of Episode IX would have been amazing.

On paper the changes sound good, though I’m curious how they’d look in the actual script. In particular I’m very interested in the Leia stuff.

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StarkillerAG said:

rocknroll41 said:

Do we know whether or not the Rey/Poe romance was still in the second Trevorrow draft that MSW talked about?

Unfortunately, yes. According to MSW:

“Rey makes Poe leave with Chewie to go help the Resistance (Finn and Rose). She kisses him to make him do this.”

Other than that, I think the second draft is a big improvement over the first. Kylo is humanized, the plot is streamlined, some moments that came out of nowhere originally have more setup, Carrie Fisher’s death is dealt with in a satisfying way, and we get more of redeemed Kylo before he dies. The only problem I have with the second draft is the renaming of Coruscant to “Remnicore,” but that’s not a dealbreaker for me. I’m confident that if Trevorrow had time to refine his script before filming, his version of Episode IX would have been amazing.

Starkiller, do you think you could post the summary, or parts of it, that he shared? I do not recall most of those details at all! Must have missed it.

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The Rey/Poe romance was definitely staying, IIRC he specifically asked Rian to write the “I’m Poe/I’m Rey” scene at the end of The Last Jedi to accomodate it.

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RogueLeader said:

StarkillerAG said:

rocknroll41 said:

Do we know whether or not the Rey/Poe romance was still in the second Trevorrow draft that MSW talked about?

Unfortunately, yes. According to MSW:

“Rey makes Poe leave with Chewie to go help the Resistance (Finn and Rose). She kisses him to make him do this.”

Other than that, I think the second draft is a big improvement over the first. Kylo is humanized, the plot is streamlined, some moments that came out of nowhere originally have more setup, Carrie Fisher’s death is dealt with in a satisfying way, and we get more of redeemed Kylo before he dies. The only problem I have with the second draft is the renaming of Coruscant to “Remnicore,” but that’s not a dealbreaker for me. I’m confident that if Trevorrow had time to refine his script before filming, his version of Episode IX would have been amazing.

Starkiller, do you think you could post the summary, or parts of it, that he shared? I do not recall most of those details at all! Must have missed it.

https://makingstarwars.net/2020/01/i-read-colin-trevorrow-and-derek-connollys-final-star-wars-episode-ix-script/

Broom Kid said:

The Rey/Poe romance was definitely staying, IIRC he specifically asked Rian to write the “I’m Poe/I’m Rey” scene at the end of The Last Jedi to accomodate it.

You remember correctly, but, in fairness, it was probably a good idea to stick in a scene of them meeting, regardless of potential romance.

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Speaking of Poe and Rey, it is definitely something I don’t prefer, but I feel like I understand why Colin included it.

I think Colin wanted one of the things Rey had to deal with be the dilemma between romantic love and the Jedi path, and her not denying love was meant to be an acknowledgement of, “Love doesn’t make us weak, but strong.” The old ways of non-attachment and fearing love was counterproductive for the Jedi. Colin interpreted the conclusion Kylo’s arc in TLJ as definitively choosing the dark side, and the potential for that relationship ended. Since Finn and Rose were set up as a thing, it really only leaves Poe to have that necessary romance for Rey. I have a friend who ships them, so when I told her that it actually happened in Colin’s script it blew her mind.

I think what bothers me the most about it though is that I feel like the stronger relationship for the trilogy is clearly between Rey and Ben, and that dilemma of love and being a Jedi should have been explored between them. Their relationship should’ve paralleled Anakin and Padme’s, but ended with a happy ending. I understand why Colin went down this path, I get the logic of it, but I definitely think it would’ve been the easier, poorer choice.

EDIT: Thanks Dom!

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RogueLeader said:

Speaking of Poe and Rey, it is definitely something I don’t prefer, but I feel like I understand why Colin included it.

I think Colin wanted one of the things Rey had to deal with be the dilemma between romantic love and the Jedi path, and her not denying love was meant to be an acknowledgement of, “Love doesn’t make us weak, but strong.” The old ways of non-attachment and fearing love was counterproductive for the Jedi. Colin interpreted the conclusion Kylo’s arc in TLJ as definitively choosing the dark side, and the potential for that relationship ended. Since Finn and Rose were set up as a thing, it really only leaves Poe to have that necessary romance for Rey. I have a friend who ships them, so when I told her that it actually happened in Colin’s script it blew her mind.

I get why Colin felt a romance was necessary for Rey, considering her conclusion (I’m glad there was at least a reason for it), though I don’t think Poe was the best choice at all. I mentioned it before, but while Colin obviously had other plans for Kylo that complicated this, the Reylo thing actually seems to make the most sense here (like you explained) - especially when you just look at it on paper, bringing together the light and the dark. I would argue Finn makes more sense as well, considering Trevorrow treated the Finn/Rose relationship with only minimally more investment than JJ.

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I also think Finn/Rey made more sense than Rey/Kylo (I don’t see a lot of romance on Rey’s part towards Kylo. I see some going the other direction, but she never really seems too into the idea on her part in either TFA or TLJ) but again, I think the best possible romantic pairing in the sequel trilogy was Finn/Poe. The only thing really going for Rey/Finn however is the stray hints at it in TFA that didn’t really get picked up on in TLJ - although the hug when Finn and Rey reunite definitely has more going for it on an emotional level than Rose kissing Finn. But then again - Poe introducing himself to Rey basically signals that Finn/Rey is out of the question going forward if they stick with Trevorrow, and it’s only possible in TROS if JJ remembers what he was kind of trying to do in TFA with those two… and he apparently didn’t.

The biggest problem with any Rey pairing is that there’s not really enough work put into any of the movies to suggest she even needs the romantic aspect to be addressed, much less addressed the way it was in TROS. And even in that movie - it only happens very, very late in the movie (she spends most of TROS exceedingly angry with Kylo, tries to kill him twice before ACTUALLY KILLING HIM but healing him before he can die), and that romance is taken off the board by his death almost immediately afterwards anyway.

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I know I sound like a broken record but I really do feel like the First Order coup was such an obvious direction to take Kylo’s story. Leave Kylo near-death, and force him to work with the Resistance gang, then set up Hux and the Knights of Ren as the primary antagonists. Hell, they could even be trying to resurrect Palpatine if they reaaaally felt like they needed a big bad evil guy. Imagine Adam/Kylo/Ben sharing scenes with Poe/Oscar, Finn/John, and even Chewie, the droids, and those interactions could alleviate any concerns regarding how Ben will make amends for his crimes. You could’ve had a scene with Poe struggling to pilot the Falcon early in the film similar to what we got, then later show Ben pilot it like we’ve never seen before. Imagine Han’s skill level, but if he was Force-sensitive.

I feel like having a whole movie’s worth of Adam’s Ben Solo was a missed opportunity. Also, letting Ben and Rey have face-to-face scenes together would’ve allowed for the writer’s to build toward that kiss in a more natural way. I can vividly imagine a scene similar to Lando’s Closet in Solo, where Rey walks in as Ben is putting on some of Han’s old clothes.

You could still have a duel or two between Rey and Ben too. Maybe at the midpoint, Rey could’ve found some Sith holocron and it makes Rey want to fight Ben for whatever reason, and Rey begins to turn to the dark side because she thinks it is the only way to stop the war and save her friends. As Ben moves towards the light, Rey moves towards the dark. After the fight, Rey flees to go find Palpatine/the Knights of Ren to participate in the ritual, and like TROS, just before Rey makes the sacrifice, she senses Ben has come back for her.

That whole climax could’ve taken place beneath the Jedi temple rather than Exegol, and then you could have the other battles happen on the surface and in space like in DOTF. Though it seems pretty apparent that they didn’t want to have the climax be on Coruscant for whatever reason, since it apparently changed in the second draft.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. There’s definitely things I like and don’t like about both. Just wish they had built off of what they had rather than start from almost scratch.

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You know what I really like about that post? The idea that Kylo renounces the dark side early. WAY early. In fact, I think all my tentative feelings with his redemption get drastically minimized if it’s not presented as a big movie (and saga) ending reward, but if it’s an end-of-first-act thing in response to something really horrible and awful that Hux & the Knights of Ren do. At which point the big fight between Kylo and Rey is almost 100% one-sided where he’s just trying not to die while explaining that he wants to atone. And then… we start the 2nd act.

The character dynamics of THAT movie are drastically different (and kind of exciting) more-so than the sort of “we know he’s going to turn good by the end here” vibe that TROS and DOTF both had. The idea that the rest of the trio HAVE to interact with him now would be really, really interesting to see play out.