Star Wars fans were firmly divided into two camps over the direction taken in the current trilogy.
JJ Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, is very aware that, as a filmmaker, you can’t please everyone. And sure enough, while some preferred Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi to his entry, others might have rathered Abrams remain at the helm all the way through the trilogy.
Abrams will return for Episode IX, despite some opposition, having recently replaced Colin Trevorrow at the helm, and has already reportedly begun working on a screenplay for the film.
However, what we didn’t know is the co-creator of Lost and Fringe had also written a version of Episode VIII before Johnson came in.
Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the Star Wars trilogy, shed light on the situation in an interview with French publication Geek le Mag, as translated here on tumblr.
“Here’s what I think I know,” Ridley explained, “JJ wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII and IX. Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote TLJ entirely.
“I believe there was some general consensus on the main lines of the trilogy, but apart from that, every director writes and realises the film in his own way.
“Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams met to discuss all of this, although Episode VIII is still his very own work. I believe Rian didn’t keep anything from the first draft of Episode VIII.”
Johnson is thought to have had a part to play in the inclusion of Porgs in his film, so could an Abrams version have featured another, differently adorable species in their place?
What else might have changed? Were there a few signposts consistent across the two drafts, or were the scripts different to the point of being unrecognisable.
All we know is JJ Abrams fans will never get a glimpse of the 100% Abrams version of the trilogy – hell, we don’t even know if his original write-up is even still out there.