New concept art for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker shows an unused design for Dark Rey (Daisy Ridley), as well as new designs for other scenes from the film. Even though The Rise of Skywalker was released in December and is officially available on digital, new revelations and behind the scenes secrets about the film keep emerging. The recent Rise of Skywalker novelization in particular shed more light on some of the film’s plot points, from the logistics of Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) return to what was going through Rey’s head when she kissed Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
One of the more tantalizing teases from The Rise of Skywalker‘s marketing was Dark Rey. Before Rey’s connection to Palpatine was even revealed, fans wondered if the newest Jedi and hero of the reboot trilogy could fall to the dark side. Her possible turn was already hinted at in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Rey’s conflicting emotions was one of the subplots in The Rise of Skywalker. However, it turned out that Dark Rey was only a figment of Rey’s imagination, though it did somehow lead to a brief fight between the two Reys.
Ahead of this month’s release of The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, previously unseen pieces of concept art have debuted online via StarWars.com. In addition to the new design for Dark Rey, the art includes fresh looks at the people of Pasaana, Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) old ship Tantive IV, Finn (John Boyega) and Rey under the sand pits of Pasaana, and Kylo Ren atop the ruins of the Death Star. Check them all out below:
According to The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s writer Phil Szostak, Dark Rey’s cloak was described as a “flowing dark entity” that was meant to add to the “appropriately unsettling vibe” Dark Rey would have given off. While many might not have wanted to see Rey fall to the dark side, it would have been interesting to see what could have happened if Rey actually did. On one hand, it might’ve gone against what audiences were expecting, but on the other, it could have felt like a rehash of Anakin’s (Hayden Christensen) story from the prequels.
Through Rey’s journey with Finn and Poe (Oscar Isaac) in The Rise of Skywalker, fans got the opportunity to see new planets within the Star Wars universe, from the sand-heavy planet of Pasaana to the nefarious (and poorly explained) Exegol. Whatever complaints fans might have had about the final installment in the Skywalker saga, it cannot be denied that it was visually delightful. The new concept art shows how many ideas there were for the film, even though not all of them could have been used. More will surely be revealed when The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in bookstores on March 31.