The Skywalker Saga is now complete with the release of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, but the film underwent some major changes throughout development that has left fans wondering what could have been. Before J.J. Abrams returned to write and direct THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, the film was slated to be directed by Colin Trevorrow (JURASSIC WORLD), who would also co-write the film alongside Derek Connolly.
Little by little, pieces of Colin Trevorrow’s script, said to be titled DUEL OF THE FATES, have leaked out and have given fans a glimpse into very different arcs for the main characters. In particular, John Boyega’s Finn had a very different storyline that would have seen him leading an uprising on Coruscant, and the actor reacted to that scrapped arc while speaking with Yahoo.
“I think Colin Trevorrow was going to tell that story,” Boyega says now, acknowledging that he’s seen — and loved — the unused concept art for Duel of the Fates. “That image of Finn with the blue flag, and you have the AT-ATs lined up with tribal marks, and the stormtroopers take off their helmets. That would have been sick! That would have been dope, man, hands down.”
Boyega hasn’t been shy about commenting on issues with the STAR WARS Sequel Trilogy, particularly how Disney handled characters played by people of colour. “What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side,” Boyega said. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.” Compared to the character’s promising beginnings in THE FORCE AWAKENS, it’s easy to see how Finn’s arc was diminished in favour of focusing on Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Boyega also feels like “hero moments” such as the one seen in the concept art above were missing from THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.
I felt it was important for me to talk about a truth that is embarrassing to talk about. We all know that what makes roles so lucrative [are] the moments you give them. If Captain America isn’t given the scenes to boost his representation, and to make him enjoyable for you guys, we won’t think he’s cool. Why shouldn’t Black characters and Black actors also fight for that same kind of representation? I think it’s a done deal with that.
Although John Boyega’s time with the STAR WARS franchise is done, he isn’t ruling out a possible return in another form. “I’m a Mandalorian fan, so Lucasfilm is doing very well with the TV shows,” Boyega said. “An animated show would be dope! We could do it from home.” Boyega will next be seen in Small Axe, an anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen that will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on November 20, 2020.