For many “Star Wars” fans, John Boyega included, the axed “Duel of the Fates” movie will forever be the best “Star Wars” film never made. “Duel of the Fates” was the original script written for Episode IX, which was to be directed by “Jurassic World” filmmaker Colin Trevorrow. When he exited the project over creative differences, Lucasfilm brought in “The Force Awakens” helmer J.J. Abrams to finish the trilogy with an overhauled script that would become “The Rise of Skywalker.”
The “Duel of the Fates” script leaked online in January 2020, revealing a far different film than what Abrams crafted with the polarizing “The Rise of Skywalker” (there was no Palpatine, for starters). Whereas Abrams was widely panned for sidelining characters like John Boyega’s Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose, Trevorrow’s script gave these characters their own adventure as the two set out to lead a Stormtrooper rebellion against the First Order. This storyline brought Finn’s arc full circle, as he started out in “The Force Awakens” as a defected Stormtrooper.
More from Variety
Boyega recently said on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast (via The Playlist) that he refuses to read the leaked “Duel of the Fates” script because he was such a champion of Trevorrow’s vision for the character. While the actor never saw the script himself during the film’s development, he did meet with the director to discuss Finn’s journey in the film.
“I can’t read that one because I’d be heartbroken,” Boyega said. “I was… I had a sit down with Colin, and I gotta tell you that was one of the best ‘Star Wars’ meetings I’ve ever had because it felt like two nerds who were like, ‘Yesssss! That’s what we want to see!’”
“I saw the [concept] art,” Boyega continued, “Stormtrooper rebellion, I’m like… that stuff was cool, and hopefully Lucasfilm will give him an opportunity down the line to work on something else cause I’m sure they would love to collaborate with him again in any capacity.”
Boyega recently made headlines for saying he has no intention of playing Finn in a future “Star Wars” project. “At this point I’m cool off it. I’m good off it,” Boyega said on a SiriusXM radio interview. “I think Finn is at a good confirmation point where you can just enjoy him in other things, the games, the animation. But I feel like ‘[Episode] VII’ to ‘[Episode] IX’ was good for me.”
Just because Boyega doesn’t want to play Finn again doesn’t mean the character can’t continue in the “Star Wars” universe. The actor speculated on the new podcast, “Who knows if somewhere down the line they have a younger actor or whatever, and they try and expand on Finn? Who knows if we get that: we get to see what made him so special.”
Next up for Boyega is the indie drama “Breaking,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is now playing in select theaters.
Best of Variety