Opinions on The Rise of Skywalker leaks (From a Filmmaker)


Disclaimer: This will cover the recent “leaks” regarding The Rise of Skywalker

Everything I say here is my personal opinion and mine alone, and not meant to reflect the opinions of anyone else but myself. Alright, let’s do this.

I don’t believe the leaks.

I don’t believe anything about these leaks at all. Not a shred of it, not from a certain point of view, nothing. Regardless of what Jason Ward said, regardless of what any Reddit post says, I don’t trust these leaks at all for multiple reasons.

The first reason is that I’ve been working in the film industry since around 2012/2013, and even before that I was a giant film nerd. I loved everything about movies, shows, and have been following them well before I even knew what the bloody hell a call sheet was. I’ve learned a lot from being in this career, and these leaks don’t sit right with me because they go against much of what I’ve learned from working in the industry.

The Rise of Skywalker is arguably, and I said arguably for any MCU fans reading this, one of the most anticipated films of the decade. It’s the ending to a Saga that graced the public’s eyes in the ’70s. This is the multi-billion dollar investment that Disney chose to bring back into the mainstream after the saga had given its final a curtain call. This is the last time we will likely see Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a live-action Star Wars movie. They brought back Emperor Palpatine, yet somehow someone managed to leak the ENTIRE plot of TROS before the film is even done with post-production?

The Rise of Skywalker (….not even the title of the film leaked….), at least according to JJ Abrams from his interview at the recent D23, is still being edited. This is a film that has been reported by multiple different sources to be one of the most secretive projects that Disney has ever produced and Abrams has ever worked on. Mark Hamill himself was having re-writes given to him after someone would fly it out to him and these re-writes couldn’t even stay and had to be taken away. No one’s ever really gone? Well, those re-writes are! That is a level of secrecy that’s insane.

Tell me, before we heard the jolly old laugh from Papa Palpatine at Star Wars Celebration, did anyone in the community even have the slightest idea the senate was coming back? Not really (one “coded” /film tweet notwithstanding), and if they say otherwise they’re lying through their teeth. It wasn’t leaked at all, no matter what set pic was leaked, what little hint of a costume we got, we never heard anything about Palpatine being back or Ian even spotted on set. It was a tight-lipped secret.

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He broke the Jedi and then he broke the internet

Now again, after the recent D23 footage, did anyone think we’d be given Dark Rey? Was there a leak? A whisper? Even a hint of that Rey would go all Sith on us?

Well, people did speculate Rey would wear black in her last movie.

Nothing leaked about this; it was entirely out of the blue.

Oh, and let’s just drive the point even further with the most recent news we learned from D23 regarding one of the new characters to the trilogy.

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At D23 we finally got some information on Kerri Russel’s character Zorii Bliss from Oscar Issac and Keri herself. I’ll just quote what she said directly:

“She has a little bit of a checkered past and maybe some questionable morals but, really, she’s an old friend of Poe’s,” explained Russell in an interview with Variety. “I think the entrance of Zorii is there to sort of describe more of who he was, you know, in a very intimate way, a very familiar way, and their friends are sort of like ‘What do you mean you know him?'”

Before this interview, we knew nothing about Zorii. Where she fits into the story of TROS, who’s side she was on, or honestly anything besides a costume. None of the leaks we had gotten mentioned this. There were many rumors and leaks saying she was this, that, and the third, but none of them turned out to be very reliable.

So what does all this have to do with the recent leaks? Well, here’s the funny thing about the leaks that I’ve noticed, ignoring the fact that they don’t fit narratively or thematically with the trilogy or saga as a whole, ignoring the blatant contradictions and mechanical formulaic way the leaks read, there’s a giant, glaring issue with the leaks that I’m sure many people have noticed at this point. That issue is that everything that wasn’t shown in the footage or talked about officially, is absent from the leaks.

Oh, look there’s Finn and new character Jannah. I can’t believe they only have cameos in TROS!

This might be something that triggers a lot of people reading this, hell the mere concept of it likely pisses them off to no end, but John Boyega is the male lead of the trilogy. Finn has got the 2nd most screen time out of all the characters, coming in 2nd to only Rey herself. John has been vocal on many occasions at SWC and D23, though he hasn’t actually said what’s happening to Finn in TROS, about how this final movie will give closure to many questions and concerns fans, as well as the actor himself, has had regarding Finn. Yet, there isn’t barley anything about Finn in the leaks. New character Jannah, played by Naomi Ackie, who reportedly said she had filmed scenes with Daisy, John, and Oscar, is also basically absent from the leaks and no explanation is given to who she is.

Let’s see who also has little to no mention in the leaks, or who was just left out completely.  REWIND TIME!

I’m sorry for reminding people Youtube Rewind exists, forgive me.

JJ just paid Grant to stand next to Dom because he’s a big fan of his work.

I wonder who Pryde is? I wonder what role he will have to play. Oh, but we haven’t heard anything about his character or seen him in any footage? Well, I guess we know why he’s not in the leaks.

Hux is mentioned just to randomly be a mole, which has been speculated about for a while now and then just vanishes. No mention to his final fate or what happens to him, or how it works into TROS. I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. Wasn’t like General Hux has been one of the recurring antagonists in the entire trilogy.

Oh look, there’s Poe, a minor supporting character and some random old guy.

Why is Lando in TROS? What’s he been up to? Why did the teaser trailer show him flying the falcon? Who knows. The leaks sure don’t. The leaks also don’t cover really anything about Poe other than him standing next to Rey and Finn, and having a vague, nondetailed history with Zorii. I guess Oscar just came on set to look like Nathan Drake and nothing else.

I guess JJ just invited some dudes on set to dress in black and chill in the desert cause he’s a sadist.

Remember how the Knights of Ren were said to be Luke’s other students that betrayed him? How Kylo was the Master of Ren and their leader? How they were shown in the Forceback of TFA and have been hyped up since 2015? Well, guess what?! They’re not even in the movie according to the leaks. That’s right! The leaks that for some reason know Rey’s origins and Kylo’s final fate, apparently don’t have any information on the Knights of Ren. I guess either they’re not in the movie, or the very ending of a multiple decade-spanning saga is easier to leak than any information on Kylo’s emo boy band.

Old men in robes, every Skywalker’s weakness. Big mood.

Who was Snoke? What did he have to do with the First Order? What was his history like with Kylo? Well, that apparently doesn’t exist in the leaks. How is Palpatine back? How do we know he won’t come back? Doesn’t mater! He’s here and that’s all the matters. The leaks don’t seem to know, probably because that’s something that hasn’t been discussed or shown either in the footage, but let’s just trust that he just got better. Like Maul did.

Okay, I’m sorry, I need to go back to another topic I covered:


There is nothing about either of these two characters in the leaks. Am I supposed to believe that John was just lying through his teeth about The Rise of Skywalker? How he had to personally thank JJ when reading the script because JJ did something he had been waiting for.

And Maybe you think Finn, Poe, Jannah, Hux, Pryde, Lando, the KOR, or any one of the other characters matter in the story. Maybe its only Rey and Kylo that manage to break your tunnel vision/butter your toast. Are we supposed to believe that they randomly made Rey related to Palpatine? That she gets no personal journey beyond the most generic one. Kylo gets nothing either, nothing about his motivations, no explanation for why he wanted everything to end in TLJ or what he planned to finish for Vader. All the Skywalkers die, and then Luke pulls Leia’s lightsaber out of his ghost ass so Rey can make a golden lightsaber and watch the binary sunset. Wow, I can’t believe someone got the ending to TROS, but not ANY information on 85% of the cast or anything of what the actors or crew have been talking about.

Adam Driver when he finds the leaker

These leaks are fake. Call them planted leaks, say that people are making them up or gas lighting others, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is that these leaks aren’t true. Even if you believe everything that the leaks said is true, put into perspective that for someone to know all these details, they have to be very high up on the food chain of TROS. Not a production assistant, not some extra, or some person working on a ground level. This has to be someone who has access to basically the entire script or footage of TROS. The film isn’t even done being edited, so they have to have a level of knowledge that would require them to have signed agreements that wouldn’t just be career suicide, it would be something that could get them pinned with so many different lawsuits, Disney, Lucasfilm, and bad Robot would be suing them until the end of time. On that note, could someone explain how not even The Last Jedi, or End Game had spoilers to their movies revealed over 3 months in advance to their movings being out, or even done editing, but JJ (I made two different Cloverfield movies in secret) Abrams wasn’t even able to keep the plot to one of the most secretive projects he’s ever worked on under wraps?

Listen, people will believe what they want to believe and I can’t stop that, but all I’m asking is for people to think logically about this. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but this really doesn’t feel right at all. These leaks are fake and that’s the hill I’ll die on. They don’t fit the style of the trilogy, and they don’t even make sense given how TROS has been handled thus far. I just can’t willfully think anything about these leaks beyond them being fake.

On that note, it’s time for this long rant? Article? Gibberish? Whatever this was, it’s over. Thank you for your time and may the force be with you. Always.


  1. You’re the only person talking about these leaks that’s making sense so far. I mean, do people ACTUALLY think Disney would do something THIS stupid!?


  2. Thank you for writing such a sensible, grounded, and down right truthful appraisal regarding these fictitious leaks. Every point you delineated is almost precisely what I’ve debating on Reddit. It shouldn’t be a surprise that whenever I highlight any of these points I get voted down into oblivion. It’s obvious these leaks are commandeered by the vocal supporters of Reylo, it’s as if nothing else in the Universe matters.

    Whenever I bring up Finn, or Poe, or Jannah it’s immediately voted down. As you pointed out – nothing in these leaks have told us anything about Palpatine, Knights of Ren, and they treat Finn as if he doesn’t even exist. I’m sure JJ is salivating like a Pavlovian Canine right now because it’s like almost everyone is forgetting that Finn was cast as the male lead, and has many parallels to Luke.

    When John Boyega stated in his interview that he had to stop reading the script and thank JJ “Because I’ve been waiting a long time for this” is a dead give away that he would be at the least confirmed as Force Sensitive and hopefully being to train as a Jedi. Another thing to consider – Rey is crafting a New Lightsaber – In my humble Opinion Finn will end up wielding the mended Skywalker Legacy Saber once again and this time he’s not giving it back – due to him earning the right and showing that’s he’s worthy to keep it as his own.

    I can’t thank this site enough, finally there’s some intelligent Starwars fans who are not solely focused on the redundant Reylo theories. Just know that your work is greatly appreciated and I’ve directed many fellow Starwars fans to review your articles and consider the alternative perspectives that you all have eloquently crafted. May the Force be with all and continue to stay awesome .

    Best Regards,
    Rick Hunter

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reylos be on some bullshit, and the leaks are just more reylo bullshit. THANK YOU for making sense and being logical. Characters besides Kyle Ron matter, and frankly, characters like Finn, Poe, and Rey matter MORE than Kyle Ron does. Because he’s not the hero, and they are. The real movie will feature them heavily. Period.


  4. So…. I finally watched the movie after I read the leaks and read your article. Now that you’ve seen the movie, what are your thoughts about the leaks now? Do you still consider them to be fake? Do you have a follow-up article to address what you said here?


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