“First off, I would like to state this alternate ending of RISE OF SKYWALKER is more of a writing exercise than a commentary on the film. I myself still do not know where I stand in terms of my overall verdict of the newest trilogy, and I think it may take some time before I find find a firm opinion.
That said, this is strictly for fun, and you’re free to talk about this in any way you see fit, as long as it is NOT argumentative. Discuss, enjoy, but keep it civil.
Oh, and MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. I mean, while this is an alternate take, it does play on major established threads from the finale of the film, so do be mindful of both this and the possible comments below.
– Bo Chappell
INT. DEATH STAR WRECKAGE – CONT’D
The Emperor bombards Rey with electricity from his decayed fingers, the blade of Leia’s lightsaber absorbing as much of the sinister energy as it can withstand.
Kylo was right about you. You are nothing. A vessel nearly unworthy of my presence if not for the blood coursing through your veins. My blood.
(struggling to hold back The Emperor’s attack)
No! I can hear their voices; the Force speaks to me!
A CACOPHONY of Jedi Master VOICES from the past SPEAK to Rey.
Oh? And what do the dead say to you youngling?
As Rey courageously holds the powerful Sith energy back, a HAND EMERGES from the pit in the rear of the room.
Rey PRESSES FORWARD.
That this is the Sith’s end!
The Emperor, angered, UNLEASHES nearly all of his power upon Rey, forcing her to take a knee and rest upon the remains of her tenacity and faith.
I AM THE SITH!
KYLO REN rises from his near demise and leaps through the air, using the Force to pull his grandfather’s nearby lightsaber to his hand and land triumphantly beside Rey.
His lightsaber IGNITES, crossing with Rey’s blade and fortifying their shield. Rey STANDS and, together, they push against the unruly stream of electricity.
Kylo begins to HEAR the VOICES too. Empowering words of encouragement from the fallen heroes before. Eerily familiar voices that speak directly to Rey and Kylo, giving them strength to overpower The Emperor’s deadly force.
REY & KYLO REN
(in unison, countless voices joining them)
AND WE ARE THE JEDI!
The Emperor’s energy is fed back to him, OBLITERATING his body and the body of his followers into nothingness. A BLINDING LIGHT of goodness.
The returning silence in the chamber fades to the nearby SOUNDS of the rebellion above Exegol, defeating the remaining Star Destroyers, now unprotected by The Emperor’s dark magic.
Kylo, winded, turns to Rey, only then able to look at her without feeling guilt. But to his horror, she is collapsed on the floor.
Kylo DROPS his lightsaber and races to find Rey has been MORTALLY WOUNDED from The Emperor’s final attack. An almost viral burn traveling up her left side, her neck, and to her chest.
Kylo PLACES HIS HAND over the center of her heavily burned chest, ready to return the favor she gave on Kef Bir and surrender his life force to save her.
But she SHAKES HER HEAD with tears in her eyes.
They speak to us. Even now.
(holding back tears)
I hear them.
Then you know what they are saying.
But why you? I…so much darkness…it should be me.
I must move forward in the light, just as you must.
His hand hovers over her badly burned side, down her arm, and to her expectant hand.
Their hands clasp together.
Welcome home, Ben.
Rey’s eyes glass over, her breathing slows to a standstill, and her grip on Ben’s hand releases, all before her body goes limp in his arms.
Kylo…Ben, holds her body to his chest and CRIES silently for the one who brought Ben home.
EXT. REBEL BASE – SIMULTANEOUSLY
Leia’s body dissipates from underneath her death shroud. Maz Kanata’s lowers her head in respect before returning her gaze to the skies above.
EXT. EXEGOL – CONT’D
The final Star Destroyers fall from the darkened skies, the resistance victorious against the final threat from a ghost. The surviving pilots joyous..
INT. MILLENIUM FALCON – CONT’D
All but one who senses heartache. Loss.
EXT. REBEL BASE – LATER
As the resistance returns to base in celebration, a troubled Finn searches for Rey amongst the heroes.
Poe, I can’t find Rey.
We still haven’t received communication from her, Finn, it doesn’t mean…
An Oubliette-class transport ship lands nearby. The Night Buzzard. The former ship of the Knights of Ren.
Why hasn’t that ship been shot down? Who gave clearance?
Maz Kanata walks up next to Poe and Finn, joined by Chewbacca.
Finn’s feelings grow faint, Poe and Chewie ready their weapons.
You won’t need those here.
The CARGO DOOR of the ship OPENS. Steam SPRAYS outward, and from the fog emerges Ben, carrying the body of Rey wrapped up in his cloak. Ben’s sadness cannot be masked.
Finn knows, and his heart breaks, crying and collapsing to the ground in devastation.
Chewie RUSHES to Ben, feeling Ben’s familiar presence instead of Kylo’s. Ben looks into the eyes of his childhood friend, now filled with tears, and PLACES Rey into Chewie’s arms.
The celebration evaporates to the fallen. The price for victory revealed.
Poe, lost, helps Finn up to join Chewbacca’s side as they look to Rey’s peaceful face being unveiled. Chewie WHIMPERS softly and NUZZLES her head.
Poe DRAWS his BLASTER and AIMS it directly at Ben. Ben closes his eyes.
What do you mean, no?!
This is what she died for. She…
Saved you? From what?
From the darkness. She saved us all.
Poe LOWERS his WEAPON, the truth apparent in Finn’s words and Ben’s eyes.
Chewie WHIMPERS LOUDER, and all who surround Rey share their grief for the fallen Jedi who lead them all to peace in the galaxy.
EXT. REBEL BASE – DUSK
As the galaxy rejoices to word of the New Order’s defeat, so too does the word of the Jedi named Rey and her passing, her story destined to become legend.
Finn STEPS FORWARD from a crowd of those who knew Ray, torch in hand. Rey’s body, wrapped up and adorned with trinkets, rests atop a pyre, SET ABLAZE by the torch.
Finn returns to the group made up of Poe, Chewie, Maz, C-3P0, R2-D2, Rose, Zorri, Babu, Lando, Jannah, BB-8, and in the distance, Ben, who watches with great sadness but also great affection.
Ben gives a knowing NOD to Chewie, who NODS back before watching Ben WALK AWAY.
Poe and Finn CHASE him down as he is about to leave in the Night Buzzard.
Ben stops on the cargo door.
Leia…Rey…they would have… I want you to stay with us.
Help us rebuild.
I will return, in time.
Space wizard stuff, right?
Something like that. Yes.
What about the Falcon?
I trust you to take good care of her. I also trust Chewie will have your arms ripped off otherwise. Oh, and don’t let Lando play either of you in Sabacc. I heard stories.
(to himself as he walks away)
I’m pretty good at Sabacc.
Finn shares one last exchange with Ben as the cargo door closes.
Ben pauses, looking to Finn.
May the Force be with you.
The door seals with a HISS, the engines POWER ON, and Ben FLIES AWAY, his thoughts on his mother, his father, his uncle, and Rey.
EXT. TATOOINE – DUSK – SOME TIME LATER
Ben Solo walks the dunes of the desert planet, arriving at the former home of Beru and Owen Lars.
Ben stops near the home and lies down a cloth. On top, he places Leia’s Lightsaber. Beside it, Luke’s. Wrapping then up neatly together, Ben uses the Force to bury the pair of Jedi weapons deep into the sand beside his Uncle’s childhood home.
Before Ben can leave, a PASSERBY, old in her years, SPEAKS to him.
No one has been in that house for ages now. Did you know them before?
I would have liked to.
The passerby notices Ben’s newly constructed Lightsaber hanging from his belt beneath his robes.
Are you a Jedi Master?
Ben pauses, thoughtful of his answer.
No. I’m a Skywalker
The old woman continues on as Ben steps up to the hill overlooking the vast dunes just as the two suns set in the horizon. Ben’s silhouette rests in the lower sun, and a ghost from the past materializes beside him, encapsulating the other.
I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced.
Ben is taken aback, knowing that the spirit standing beside him is his true grandfather, ANAKIN SKYWALKER.
Before Ben can speak, Anakin asks him a question.
Would you like to finish what you have started?
Anakin MOTIONS behind him, and in the distance, the spirit of Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda appear.
Ben feels the pride and love swell inside him and gives a NOD with tears of joy held back. Solo WALKS with his grandfather and JOINS the others, ready to begin again.