As has become routine, more news broke this week revealing the disjointed creative process for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
There are a great many gripes that fans have with the handling of the latest set of films, many of which revolve around the villain: Kylo Ren. Rian Johnson, writer and director of The Last Jedi, recently revealed that he wasn't aware of Ben Solo's ultimate fate at the time of making Episode VIII. The character did indeed meet his demise in The Rise of Skywalker, a decision that had apparently been unplanned and reached by writers JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio during the development of the final film.
To say that people have been unhappy with the treatment of Ben, and the trilogy as a whole would be putting things mildly. Kylo Ren serves as the connective tissue between the old and the new, as he's the product of the heroes from the original films and represents their greatest failures.
The "big three" legacy characters all perished in the trilogy to mixed reception, but one of the few survivors has seemingly flown under the radar. Chewbacca was just as big a part of the original films as any character, and his performer in the sequels has detailed a scene where he would have come face to face with his dark space nephew...
CHEWBACCA'S TORTURE BY KYLO REN WAS FILMED FOR EPISODE IX
Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo revealed in his book My Life as a Wookie via The Adam Driver Files that an intense torture scene was filmed between Chewbacca and Kylo Ren:
NEW excerpt: My Life as a Wookiee (translation from Finnish)-Joonas describes torture scene that was filmed as very intense & very tough for him both as Chewie's actor & also mentally because Adam had "psyched himself to be a real monster through it all, w/ the cameras on or off" pic.twitter.com/Y9jg586L0M— The Adam Driver Files (@AdamDriverFiles) March 4, 2021
The actor called Driver's performance very "convincing" and even found himself afraid at times:
Adam didn't talk at all during breaks, even though at this point the actors were otherwise friends. Joonas says Adam was so convincing in the deleted torture scene that he was at times actually scared & he believes the scene might have turned out too dark for the film. pic.twitter.com/Tw9hnJpYGh— The Adam Driver Files (@AdamDriverFiles) March 4, 2021
Suotamo speculated that the scene's deletion may be attributed to the overall darkness of the moment and Ren's subsequent turn to the light:
WHY WAS THE TORTURE SCENE CUT?
The Force only knows why this scene was ultimately deleted.
While there are several pieces of concept art depicting the moment, this is the first mention any member of the cast or crew has made of the scene actually being filmed. The Rise of Skywalker's deleted scenes were conspicuously absent from the home video release, and at this point, it's doubtful that the outside world will ever see, just as was the case with Rogue One.
Of all the scenes to omit from the final cut of the film, this torture scene is by far the oddest. It seems Kylo Ren was dealt a short deck in the film, as his opening sequence in the film was reduced significantly, removing his discussion with the Eye of Webbish Bog entirely. As previously noted, Ren's character is the connective thread that the Sequel Trilogy holds to the originals, and any interactions with his family seemed like necessary inclusions for his arc.
It was clear from the outset that Ben Solo would return by trilogy's end, with the only question being how. When the story finds Kylo first in Episode IX, he's fully committed to the dark side and doesn't seem to have much of a conflicting pull to the light. Things seem to flip on a dime when he confronts Rey on the Death Star, as his conflict has inexplicably returned and is stronger than ever, allowing for Leia's final breath and the memory of his father to push him back over the hill.
Having the intense torture scene with Chewbacca was a layup, and it's shocking that nothing more was done with the opportunity. The sequence would've allowed Ren to face who's essentially one of his uncles, and despite taunting him would come out of the room feeling worse than ever about his decisions - setting up Ben Solo's return perfectly.
The scene was most likely cut for pacing, as the movie tends to move at the speed of light. A dark sequence like this may have slowed down the rapidly advancing narrative or, as Suotamo suggests, it truly may have been too intense for the film. As with all things regarding the trilogy, what's done is done, and the choices that were made can only be discussed, not altered. A sequence between Kylo and Chewie may have done wonders for The Rise of Skywalker, but that's not the path the film's creators ultimately chose.