The release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that Emperor Palpatine had spent years hiding on Exegol and building his Sith army, but one version of the film saw the villain hiding out in the ruins of a Jedi temple on Coruscant, as detailed in The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Kylo Ren's discovery of the figure still resembled what audiences saw in the final film, with the leader of the First Order exploring a desolate planet and unearthing Palpatine, with it being unknown as to why the narrative instead opted to head to an all-new planet for the saga.
"Instead of finding his way to Exegol, in the early November 2017 version of The Rise of Skywalker story, Kylo Ren instead takes his shuttle to a desolate, ash-covered Coruscant, the once bustling city streets now overrun by giant wolves," author Phil Szostak shared in the book. "Inside the abandoned Jedi Temple, Kylo takes a central elevator down to the temple's deepest level."
The first glimpse we got of the city came at the end of the Special Edition of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, as that film's finale offered a look at the planet celebrating the destruction of the Galactic Empire. In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, audiences witnessed the city that covered the whole planet and visited its Jedi council.
On the one hand, revisiting a planet that chronologically debuted in the prequel films in the final entry of the Skywalker Saga may have been more fulfilling to fans, though this could also be the reason the decision was made to relocate Palpatine. With only a few decades having passed between what we saw in Return of the Jedi and the opening of The Rise of Skywalker, it could have been perplexing for fans as they wondered how the planet could have fallen into such ruin in a relatively short amount of time.
Interestingly, The Rise of Skywalker did still open with a familiar planet, though fans were largely unaware that they were looking at a planet that played a pivotal role in the saga. The film opens with Kylo Ren mowing down enemies on a forested planet, which wasn't revealed to be Mustafar in the film itself. With fans last seeing the locale in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and was covered in lava in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, its new look wasn't recognizable and was only confirmed in compendium material.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now streaming on Disney+.