Dark Rey concept art

When a Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer debuted at Star Wars Celebration last August (what a comparatively simpler time!), fans lost their minds at one particularly explosive piece of imagery: Daisy Ridley‘s Rey, hooded in dark robes, wielding a red double-bladed lightsaber which flipped up to create a dual blade.

Now, as the film approaches its upcoming release on Disney+, one of the artists who worked on the film has shared some more Dark Rey concept art – including an image of Rey with a Kylo Ren-style mask. Check it out below.

Our friend Lindsey Romain made us aware of this new Dark Rey concept art through her work at Nerdist. It comes from Adam Brockbank, a concept artist who has worked on several projects set in a galaxy far, far away, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. So far, he’s posted three images on his Instagram account that we want to focus on.

While the likeness of Daisy Ridley is impressive, this first image doesn’t feature any particularly breathtaking concepts: it’s just Rey in a dark robe as she presumably uses the Force to make rocks float behind her – sort of a dark inverse of one of her final moment in The Last Jedi.

This next piece, though, is scarier to me because Rey is out in the open about her dark influences instead of hiding in the shadows. I’m really digging this red look, and I wish director/co-writer J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio were able to organically incorporate this version of Rey into the final cut of the movie.

But personally, I find this image to be the most interesting of the bunch. Keeping in mind that concept artists have the freedom to create images that aren’t meant to appear in the movies they work on, the idea of Rey donning (or ripping off) a Kylo Ren mask is fascinating to think about. In what context could this have appeared? Would it have been in a dream/nightmare sequence for Rey or Kylo? Maybe, since The Rise of Skywalker was obsessed with callbacks to moments throughout the entire Skywalker saga, it could have served as a callback to the way Luke sees himself wearing Darth Vader’s mask in The Empire Strikes Back. Maybe Rey sees this vision of herself as she’s tempted toward the Dark Side, perhaps even implying that she could have become so powerful that she could have taken over Kylo’s very identity and taken up the position of the new Supreme Leader.

As it appeared in the final version, the Dark Rey moment wasn’t satisfying for me, and I wish the film had more time to spend on the ideas behind this imagery. But it had plenty of other things on its mind, like bringing a nine-film saga in for a landing. Whether that landing was smooth or a crash-and-burn scenario is up to you, but Dark Rey will always be one of those cool “what if” concepts for Star Wars fans to theorize about.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: