I have no doubt J.J. Abrams and company went through several ideas before the theatrical version of Star Wars: Episode IX hit theaters, because they've talked about things that almost happened. However, that doesn't mean the alternate ending story about Rey dying and Kylo/Ben living is true.
This all took root with a Popcorn Talk interview with Juan Bautista. The video was titled "Star Wars Actor Confirms ALTERNATE Rey Ending in Rise of Skywalker" even though that's not even the content of the video -- it was always presented as a rumor, not confirmation -- and the actor's connections were later questioned.
In the video interview, Juan Bautista was introduced as a Star Wars actor, and they even showed the Knights of Ren character he was meant to play in The Rise of Skywalker. During his talk about appearing in Star Wars, he said he'd seen Rise of Skywalker two times -- one time a week before it opened and again when it came out. He said there were a few differences in the versions. It wasn't longer or shorter but things were changed.
Bautista was asked if he could tell them about the other ending. Here's what he said, clearly almost saying Daisy Ridley's name:
The rumor is that ... Dai -- I don't know if I should say the name. She does croak and Kylo was the one who was supposed to take up the name for Skywalker. Which makes sense...
So what he was saying, the hosts continued, was that rumors said the alternate version showed that Rey stayed dead instead of Kylo healing her. Rey died and Ben lived and took on the name Skywalker? Bautista nodded and one of the hosts said he had heard of that rumor too.
But not so fast, because the video has since been removed -- first the comments were deleted, and then the video was set to private -- and the validity of the source was called into question:
There's nothing currently on IMDb about Juan Bautista in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but IMDb can easily be edited. And even if he didn't play one of the Knights of Ren, he just seemed to be repeating a rumor about an alternate ending. He never actually confirmed it existed, but he did let people believe with his comments that he saw another version of the movie.
Popcorn Talk later took to Twitter to apologize for the interview, saying they were duped by the guy too:
The video posting and backlash response all happened pretty quickly, but no one moves faster than Chewie. Actor Joonas Suotamo seemed to be following along and appeared to throw shade on the actor who claimed to play one of the Knights of Ren. Check out his tweet:
Ouch. Whatever happened there, I'm happy to stay skeptical about any and all alternate endings unless we hear about them from J.J. Abrams or one of the other Lucasfilm producers. (Or if Colin Trevorrow wants to tell us more about his plans for Star Wars: Episode IX.)