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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived back in December, and answered as many questions as it raised. J.J. Abrams crafted a massive blockbuster that ended both the current trilogy and the overall Skywalker Saga. As such, the fates of both Ben Solo and Rey were decided, with the latter character briefly tempted by the Dark Side courtesy of Grandpa Palpatine. And it turns out that Dark Rey could have looked even scarier.
About halfway through Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey has a terrifying vision of herself. After finding the Sith Wayfinder in the wreckage of the Second Death Star, Dark Rey appears to Daisy Ridley's protagonist. This Sith version has a red double bladed lightsaber, and encourages Rey to embrace the Dark Side. Concept art for that sequence was recently shared online, and shows an even more insidious appearance for Rey. Check it out below.
Holy Sith. While Rey was given dark robes and even some sharp teeth during The Rise of Skywalker's theatrical cut, this above image is far more chilling. Let's break down what we're being shown.
This Rise of Skywalker concept art comes to us from the personal Instagram of Adam Brockbank. He's a comic book and concept artist who has contributed to a number of Star Wars movies throughout the last few years. In addition to Episode IX, Brockbank's art also helped to form the visual language of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Rogue One. Nailing Dark Rey was no doubt important for J.J. Abrams and company, which is why alternate designs ultimately came to fruition.
Star Wars fans can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
Rey's appearance in the concept art seems to have been influenced by Anakin Skywalker's descent into villainy in Revenge of the Sith. She's got the same red eyes that Hayden Christiansen's character had while turning to the Dark Side and storming the Jedi Temple. The version that made it into the theatrical cut was a bit less outwardly menacing, although she did have a monstrous appearance for a brief shot during Rey's vision.
As a reminder, you can check out the scene in question below.
This sequence in The Rise of Skywalker was an effective one, even without the full terrifying form of Dark Rey. Given her Sith lineage, Episode IX saw Daisy Ridley's character struggling with her identity and fate. She had Palpatine blood, so did that mean she's destined for the Dark Side? But despite this dark vision and the use of Force Lightning, Rey ultimately stood with the Jedi and found a way to end her (cloned) grandfather's reign of terror forever.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available on DVD and Blu-ray now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.