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It's still hard to believe it, but the nine-film Skywalker Saga has been over for a year and a half. J.J. Abrams was tasked with crafting a satisfying conclusion with The Rise of Skywalker, and the movie's events are still being discussed and dissected today. With blockbusters of its size, it's customary for plenty of concepts to land on the cutting room floor. Conversely, some ideas were added rather last minute. And one Star Wars artist have revealed a stunning visual that was included late in the game: Star Destroyers falling around iconic locations around the galaxy.
In the final battle of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we watch as Palpatine is finally killed by Rey and Ben Solo. And in the process, his various Star Destroyers are destroyed, featuring iconic locations from the franchise's lore. Starting with Exegol itself, we're shown Edor, Jakku, and Cloud City on Bespin. These were late additions though, as Star Wars artist James Clyne revealed,
How cool is that? It looks like Bespin was added to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in a pinch, requiring some fast work by those within the galaxy far, far away. In the end this was an effort that payed off, as fans delighted in seeing some of the beloved locations from George Lucas' colorful world.
The above image comes to us from the personal Instagram of James Clyne. His work as an artist for Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic helps to form the visual language of new projects ahead of production and/or visual effects. Clyne's caption revealed that this striking shot of a Star Destroyer falling in Cloud City was made in a on the fly. Regardless, it was certainly effective in The Rise of Skywalker's theatrical cut.
The Skywalker Saga is currently available on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Bespin was one of the first iconic locations to pop up during this brief montage, and no doubt thrilled the fandom. Cloud City famously appears in Empire Strikes Back, which arguably the most popular installment of the entire franchise. Although the time on Endor was similarly delightful, especially as we got to see Wicket's return to the big screen. As a reminder, you can check out that sequence below.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been the subject of much conversation since its release, and that's showing no signs of slowing down. There's plenty of aspects about the movie that fans took umbrage with, such as Rose Tico's lack of screen time and the controversial return of Palpatine. Luckily the quick shots of Bespin and Endor aren't on the list of grievances.
With the Skywalker Saga in the rear view, the future of Star Wars is seemingly endless. Filmmakers should be able to tell more individualized stories, disconnected from Vader, Leia, and the rest. Lucasfilm is keeping its plans close to the chest, while also expanding the property on the small screen. Hopefully we'll be treated to new concept art sooner rather than later.