Last August Disney held its bi-annual convention, D23, where they showcase their biggest upcoming releases. In the Star Wars panel, not only did they premiered the first trailer for The Mandalorian, but they also debuted an awesome featurette in which they included imagery from the previous eight episodes in the Skywalker saga and ended with new The Rise of Skywalker footage. The clip ended with the reveal of Daisy Ridley wearing a dark, Sith-looking cloak and wielding a double-bladed red lightsaber. Dark Rey was introduced to the world.
Speculation of what that image might mean took over any Star Wars related conversation for the following weeks – is she a clone? Is she Rey’s dark twin? Is she a vision? As usual with these types of conversations, the final reveal in the movie is rather underwhelming when compared to the wild speculations that arose. As it turned out, Dark Rey popped up twice in the movie: once early on, when Kylo Ren is having a force vision as he touches Vader’s helmet (Rey sees herself on the Sith throne), and then Rey faces a dark version of herself while in the Death Star wreckage, much like Luke fought Vader in the Dagobah cave.
Adam Brockbank, concept artist for The Rise of Skywalker and many other Disney films, posted two early “Dark Rey” concepts to his Instagram account. The most eye-catching one being Rey taking off Kylo Ren’s helmet. It is definitely a scary image, and my guess is that they were planning to have her appear as Kylo Ren to Rey as she takes the wayfinder inside the Death Star wreckage, only to take off the helmet and reveal Dark Rey.
This would have been a very cool reveal, but I can imagine they scrapped this because it was too similar to what Luke went through on Dagobah, seeing himself in Vader’s mask. The other picture looks more similar to the vision of Dark Rey we saw in the film.
You can find other concept art pictures from Adam Brockbank on his website, which are actually pretty interesting.
Pretty cool seeing Rey in the Kylo Ren gear and it’s always fun to see the artists reveal concepts that were created during the development of Star Wars projects over the years.