Now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been in theaters for more than a week, fans have been able to dissect every detail about it, resulting in theories emerging that the film's final shot may have been recycled from an earlier sequence in the film. Maryann Brandon, who edited the film alongside Stefan Grube, has confirmed with ComicBook.com that the last image in the film was not repurposed footage from earlier in the film, though she did reveal that the scene was captured while filming an earlier sequence and that the specific shot was always intended to be created with that footage and with the help of the visual effects team at ILM.
WARNING: Spoilers below for The Rise of Skywalker
The film's final shot sees Rey (Daisy Ridley) at Owen and Beru Lars' former moisture farm on Tatooine, with the Jedi looking at the horizon to see two suns setting, mirroring a sequence in which Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) looks at the same suns setting in Star Wars: A New Hope. Brandon confirmed that the footage of Ridley was captured while filming scenes taking place on Pasaana earlier in the film, which were shot in the deserts of Jordan.
"That shot was shot in the desert where they shot the sequence on Pasaana, but it was shot for that shot," Brandon revealed. "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."
The moisture farm scenes were originally filmed in Tunisia for A New Hope, though it wasn't the slight differences in the rocky terrain that tipped fans off to the final shot not being created in Tunisia. As is the nature of the internet, some fans began concocting theories that, at some point late in post-production, a decision was made to craft a different ending for the film. Some of these theories even claimed that the film was originally intended to include Ben Solo surviving until its finale, requiring the visual effects team to repurpose footage to craft an ending in which Rey was no longer with Ben.
With the film's final shot being created where the events unfolded on Pasaana, it would explain the various similarities audiences witnessed with Rey, yet Brandon confirmed this was an intentional decision and was never meant to compensate for creative changes made to the film's finale.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
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