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Concept art for alleged Star Wars: Duel of the Fates film reportedly leaked

Star Wars fans are feeling a serious disturbance in the Force.

In the wake of the alleged leak of Colin Trevorrow's script for the ninth Star Wars film, which he would have subtitled Duel of the Fates, a series of images purported to be concept art from the scrapped film have made their way online. They serve to illustrate various plot points from the leaked script, which included a much darker character arc for Kylo Ren, an expansion of Rey's Jedi training, and a final battle which would have taken place not on Exegol, but on the planet Coruscant (with no mysteriously resurrected Emperor Palpatine involved).

The images were posted to Twitter by the account DR Movie News, and was initially reported on by our friends at JoBlo. They are high-resolution, professional quality illustrations, and they tease a version of the Skywalker Saga's conclusion which would have been very different — both narratively and visually — from Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, which was crafted primarily by writer-director J.J. Abrams and his co-writer Chris Terrio after Trevorrow exited the project in  2017.

That film has proven to be supremely divisive among fans, and has earned the dubious distinction of being the worst-reviewed live-action Star Wars movie of all time; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes now puts it at 52% on its famed Tomatometer, one point below the near-universally reviled Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Of course, there's no guarantee that Trevorrow's version would have fared any better — but, all things considered, it's not likely to have done much worse.

What does the leaked Duel of the Fates concept art show?

The images were posted in four sets, with the first three containing four images, and the last containing three. The first set's first image shows us the Force ghost of Luke Skywalker deflecting Kylo Ren's famed hilted lightsaber with his hand, and the second shows C-3PO comforting a severely damaged R2-D2 (this image turned out to be an important one; we'll get to that in a bit). The third is of Rey training under the Force ghost of Luke, and the fourth is an interesting image indeed — it depicts Kylo engaged in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader. This lends credence to the leaked script, in which Kylo is urged by a holographic recording of Palpatine to seek training in the ways of the Dark Side under his old master; it likely depicts a "vision quest" of the sort that Yoda subjected Luke to midway through The Empire Strikes Back.

The next set's first image is of Rey fighting Kylo with a double-bladed lightsaber; the second is of Rey immediately after she's just used the same weapon to dispatch a bunch of Stormtroopers. The third gives us General Hux committing suicide by lightsaber (after Coruscant's fall to the Resistance, apparently), and the fourth depicts Leia feeding info to BB-8 in a great callback to A New Hope.

The first image of the third set is of C-3PO and R2-D2 amid the ruins of Coruscant; the second depicts an unfamiliar planet. The third shows the First Order arriving on Coruscant pre-battle, and the fourth shows the battle beginning, with Finn apparently searching for Rey in a panic.

The final three images are all of the climactic battle on Coruscant, with First Order forces seemingly dominating the Resistance.

Is the leaked Duel of the Fates concept art genuine?

It's unclear where exactly this artwork came from, and as one Twitter user pointed out, just because much of it lines up nicely with the details of that supposed script leak doesn't necessarily mean that either leak is genuine. However, in response to a heartfelt plea from one fan as to whether some of the images — in particular, the one depicting "R2 dying" — were genuine, the situation was weighed in on by someone who can be presumed to have a certain level of inside knowledge.

That is to say, Colin freaking Trevorrow himself popped in on the discussion with a rare tweet addressing the concept art. "Yes, this is from Duel of the Fates," the director wrote. "But I'd never kill R2... he just took a bad hit. Happens to all of us."

Well... unless we're mistaken, Trevorrow not only confirmed the authenticity of the concept art, but of the leaked script as well. The director offered no follow-up tweet, and amazingly, no users on the thread asked him for any clarification on that point — but it certainly appears that in an alternate universe quite close to our own, Star Wars fans far and wide are debating whether Trevorrow's Star Wars: Duel of the Fates was a roper ending to the Skywalker Saga, and whether Abrams should have been given the chance to close out the trilogy.

That's right; in every alternate universe that exists, Star Wars fans are just as difficult to please as they are in ours. Of this, we are sure.