Star Wars – Duel of the Fates: from leaked movie script to webcomic

Star Wars – Duel of the Fates: from leaked movie script to webcomic

Luca Fontana
Zurich, on 09.03.2021
Translation: Veronica Bielawski
Colin Trevorrow was originally supposed to direct «Star Wars: Episode 9». But in 2017, he was fired over creative differences. A fan is now turning the leaked script into a webcomic.

What would «Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker» have looked like if director and screenwriter Colin Trevorrow hadn’t been fired by Lucasfilm in 2017? Decidedly different. Above all, it would’ve had a different name:

«Duel of the Fates».

How do we know this? Well, the Trevorrow movie script leaked last year – along with pre-production artwork.

*Duel of the Fates:** Das «Star Wars: Episode 9», das wir gewollt hätten
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Duel of the Fates: Das «Star Wars: Episode 9», das wir gewollt hätten

Artist and Star Wars fan Andrew Winegarner has a love for comic books. So, his latest project seems only natural: Andrew is creating a webcomic of the Trevorrow script that was cast aside. This gives us fans the most complete visualisation to date of one of the greatest, untold Star Wars stories ever.

You can check out the webcomic here.

This passion project is a fan adaptation made just for the fun of it – it’s not an official part of the Star Wars franchise.

Kylo Ren fights Darth Vader, and Luke trains Rey

Here’s a quick rundown of the situation (in case you’re unaware of it): originally, Trevorrow was supposed to direct the final part of the Skywalker saga. But then creative differences with Lucasfilm happened, just a few months before shooting was to begin. Trevorrow was fired.

In came J.J. Abrams to direct the movie instead. After all, he had already directed «Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens» for Disney and Lucasfilm. This way, the guy behind part one of the Star Wars sequel trilogy would also be the one to finish it – with another story of his own. Sounds reasonable enough. So, what went wrong?

I’ll put it this way: not everyone shared my enthusiasm for the resulting «Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker», which had been rewritten in the span of just a few months.

Last year, the original Trevorrow script was leaked. And it contains some notable differences. For example, Kylo Ren battles Darth Vader’s Force ghost. Kylo is also trained by the Sith Master of Darth Plagueis – Darth Plagueis, in turn, being the former Sith Master of Darth Sidious.

Kylo fights Vader.
Kylo fights Vader.
Andrew Winegarner

Rey, on the other hand, is trained by Luke’s force ghost. She falls in love with Poe Dameron and wields a double lightsaber à la Darth Maul. Anakin’s (and later Luke’s) lightsaber remains broken. Finally, Finn emerges as the leader of the Resistance on Coruscant, the planet from which the First Order rules over the Galaxy. Meanwhile, Kylo and Rey engage in an epic final battle on the planet Mortis that «Clone Wars» fans know all too well.

Oh, and Luke’s Force ghost keeps haunting Kylo Ren. After all, in «Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi», Luke had promised his former student that they would meet again.

The Duel of the Fates.
The Duel of the Fates.
Andrew Winegarner

Trevorrow’s script is far from perfect. But his story does feel more coherent. It doesn’t walk back on Ryan Johnson’s «The Last Jedi» by simply undoing character development that took place there. And it even incorporates elements from the prequels, such as Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber and Coruscant as an important setting. It’s really no wonder that many fans consider Trevorrow’s Episode IX to be better than J.J. Abrams’s version.

What about Andrew Winegarner’s webcomic?

The artwork is charming, but don’t expect a comic book on Marvel or DC’s level. Winegarner is doing it all in his free time and almost completely by himself. He’s not making any money off it; on the contrary. It’s probably just a matter of time until Disney or Lucasfilm’s lawyers come along citing copyright infringement, forcing Winegarner to take his webcomic off the net.

All that to say: enjoy «Duel of the Fates» while you still can.

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Luca Fontana
Luca Fontana
Editor, Zurich
I'm an outdoorsy guy and enjoy sports that push me to the limit – now that’s what I call comfort zone! But I'm also about curling up in an armchair with books about ugly intrigue and sinister kingkillers. Being an avid cinema-goer, I’ve been known to rave about film scores for hours on end. I’ve always wanted to say: «I am Groot.»

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