The sequel trilogy is complete, for better or for worse, and with it the saga of Rey Palpatine and Ben Solo has been written. But, for a time, there was a different plan on the table. When George Lucas originally conceived his take on Episodes 7,8, and 9, he had a plan for a much different, more familiar villain as a major focus of the story. Looking back at it with 20/20 vision, we’ve got to imagine that his take might have been a lot more satisfying.
While we don’t know all of the details. We do know that Lucas had planned to pluck a very popular villain from the Star Wars Extended Universe and use her as the catalyst for Ben Solo’s slide toward’s the dark side. If you’re wondering who could have that kind of sway over the heir to the Skywalker legacy, it’s none other than Darth Talon.
As you can see in the image below, from the book, The Art of The Force Awakens, concept art was drawn up as early as 2013 by Iain McCaig to flesh out a story from Lucas in which Darth Talon, in the role of a revived Darth Maul’s new apprentice would seduce Ben Solo out from under the guidance of his mother, the new Supreme Chancellor of The New Republic.
We’ll never know the full scope of where this story could have gone, but we know that Disney decided to go a different way. If we had to guess, it was the seduction angle not being family-friendly enough. The good news is, despite backlash against the sequel trilogy, The Mandalorian has shown us proof that there are still a lot of great Star Wars stories to tell.