In the age of the internet, when something doesn't line up with a fan's desires, conspiracy theories begin to emerge that there were original plans for a story that aligned more closely with their expectations, though Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo has weighed in on the ending of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and rumors that various endings were shot for the endeavor. Hidalgo quite plainly stated that when production on The Rise of Skywalker began, there was only one ending in mind for the narrative, warning those who might read conflicting information to be wary of reports they heard.
"A billion years ago, when [Star Wars: The Force Awakens] was getting started, I pitched an [Episode IX] ending with Ben living on the island in Luke's place," Hidalgo shared on Twitter. "But that was never anyone's call other than the filmmakers'. And what's in IX was in there once production started. So be wary of 'different ending' tales."
With The Rise of Skywalker having to conclude a more than 40-year journey, it was clear that there was no way it could appease all fans. Shortly after the film landed in theaters, a theory emerged that, rather than Kylo Ren dying and Rey living, the roles were reversed. Viewers attempted to claim that footage of Rey was repurposed from the film to craft a sequence of her in the film's finale, though one of the film's editors, Maryann Brandon, refuted this claim.
Pablo Hidalgo pitched an ending with Ben living on Ahch-To & confirms that there were no different endings to TROS. from r/StarWarsLeaks
"That shot was shot in the desert where they shot the sequence on Pasaana, but it was shot for that shot," Brandon revealed to ComicBook.com. "It was specifically shot for that and then ILM created a lot of that shot, so that's a question for Roger Guyett and the artists at ILM, how they created it. I picked the shot of Rey, which I know was shot in the same desert. It wasn't already in the film, it was for that sequence."
Earlier this year, matters surrounding the film and its original trajectory became clouded when concept art from Colin Trevorrow's plans for the film made its way online, leading fans to speculate what his film could have looked like. Just last week, a performer appeared on a talk show claiming that he played one of the Knights of Ren and saw a screening of the film before its release and witnessed a different ending, only for his involvement in the film to be debunked entirely.
Hidalgo's comments confirm that, regardless of what plans might have been before production began, the ultimate fate of its characters was never modified once filming began.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.