Disclaimer: This article will be talking about the Jason Ward and JediPaxis The Rise of Skywalker leaks. Potential spoilers.
Written by The Mandalorian Wolf
Let me start off by saying that I’m not trying to sell anyone on anything. No shipping or origin theories here. Just talking about the legitimacy of the leaks. Now, I’m not going to go over the leaks in great detail in this article. If you’re reading this, you more than likely have either read the leaks yourself, have heard whispers of the leaks from Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, 4chan, and that dude at your job who you’re 95% sure is a Star Trek fan wanting to just see you destroyed low-key, or you’re just morbidly curious. The point of this article isn’t to go through all the leaks that Ward and JP have posted and question them, rather its to offer a second opinion on them. We’ve got a few TV Spots for TROS out right now and last time I checked many were panicking that the leaks must be true…Right? RIGHT?!
Well, I’m not too sure about that. I’ve never fully believed the leaks myself. I’ve worked in the film industry for the greater part of this soon to be over decade and never in my life have I’ve seen a plot leak of this level to a film of this status. But this isn’t about what I think, this is about what the Star Wars community thinks and for a while, many people were prepared to accept Ward and JP’s leaks as gospel…until recently certain things weren’t adding up, even to the people who fully embraced the leaks.
Let’s just go over one the most controversial leaks: Kylo’s fate
Without forcing anyone to suffer through the leaks, Kylo basically falls down a hole and is never to be seen again. Given all Adam, JJ, Johnson, Kasdan, and Terrio have said on Kylo’s character through the years, I highly doubt the son of Han and Leia, grandson to Darth Vader, and Nephew to Luke Skywalker is just going to get yeeted into a pit never to be heard from again. Could it happen? Yeah, anything can happen in Star Wars, but it directly contradicts what almost everyone has been saying about TROS feeling satisfying.
There’s not much I need to go into this on because I think it goes without saying that Kylo’s rather comedically anti-climatic death was one of the biggest red flags. Many have already gone on to raise eyebrows at it, so its one of the leaks that I feel I don’t need to cover deeply. If Kylo does die in TROS, it’ll be more important to the story than just falling down a hole and giving the signature Goofy yell.
Next up, let’s talk about big deal Finn:
Finn’s involvement in TROS has been heavily emphasized in marketing this time around. From his voice over at the start of the official trailer that has him explaining that the force and said: “It’s an instinct, a feeling. The force brought us together.” He also has a stronger presence throughout many of the TV Spots and trailers than he did in TLJ’s marketing. We’ve also heard from both J.J. Abrams and John Boyega that TROS would go deeper into Finn’s origins.
Abrams had this to say:
“It is part of the story of this one,” Abrams said. “And it was alluded to in Episode VII, but there’s a bit more light shed on that in this one. I would say that each of the characters get more light shed on their histories, I’m not saying we get full, exhaustive downloads on all of their childhoods and every major step that got them to where they are. But there are a lot of questions about Finn’s past, about Poe’s past, obviously Rey and Kylo, and then some of the new characters we meet. We went into this movie very much in the mindset that this has to be conclusive, It has to. You have to get some answers. You have to learn some things.”
John as well has also spoken on Finn getting more to his character, even that he had to stop reading the script to personally thank J.J. for doing something he had been waiting for.
Everything said on Finn from J.J. and John just blatantly contradicts the leaks given the fact that Finn in the leaks is…just kind of there. Nothing personal, no growth. Just present. Nothing on his dynamics with Rey, Poe, Rose, Kylo, and most surprisingly, there’s no info on why he’s around new character Jannah in much of the footage we have seen in the marketing and pictures. According to the leaks, Finn’s character has no role in this movie whatsoever, which is strange given the fact that next to Rey, he has the most screen time in the trilogy so far: All and all, for all the talk of a satisfying ending, we now have two of three most important characters of the trilogy having unsatisfying conclusions to their stories according to the leaks…now let’s move on to Rey…
Listen, regardless of what your theory on Rey’s origins are: Nobody, Skywalker, Solo…Binks (dear God). I think we all can agree that Rey being a Palpatine is not just an insult to what TFA and TLJ did, but the franchise in general. TROS ends with Space Satan’s relative pouching the Skywalker name while all of them are dead. There’s nothing satisfying about that. That makes GOT’s ending look like Breaking Bad’s.
We have Daisy point blank stating that Rey’s abilities are her own, not a man’s. That basically makes no sense if the leaks are 100% confirming she’s the way she is because of Papa Palpatine.
So, we have three of the characters that this trilogy has largely been the focus of, all having character arcs that either feel totally removed from the franchise, non-existent or literally disappearing into a pit.
But the leaks have to be true since they line up with the Trailers and TV Spots….right?
Do you guys remember the call sheets of TFA? It got some stuff right, but then it also got lots of stuff horribly wrong. I think what had happened is that there was a marketing leak in the TV Spots and Ward and/or Paxis worked together to make a plot description of the movie. That’s why characters like the Finn are largely absent from the leaks even though J.J. and John are saying another thing about the character. His arc is mostly unknown. That’s why Kylo’s fate seems to betray whatever Adam has been working to because it’s not in the marketing. Likewise with Rey’s origins. I believe the leaks are speculation based on a marketing leak and while some things will be correct out of sheer common sense and plot predictions, largely the story of TROS is still unknown at this point.
To further prove my point, I just want to touch on one last thing:
More than likely you’ve seen this if you’ve been following the leaks closely. I’m not going to tell anyone what to think or feel about Ward, even though I can personally say I don’t believe much of what Ward says. All I’m saying is that he’s never always been right about things and something like this would require knowledge way behind just some call sheets. This would require Ward and Paxis having a source that was to the level of J.J., Terrio, Maryann Brandon, or anyone else on the top brass of this movie. Not only do the leaks have what was re-shoot…they have the why. That’s too big to be just another cog in the machine but also too traceable for someone to risk their livelihood on.
That’s my take though. I think we’ve got a marketing leak on our hands and that’s how we’ve gotten to the timeline we are in now. Let me know your thoughts though. May the force be with you…Always.