The path to getting STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER on the big-screen wasn’t easy, with co-writer Chris Terrio saying that he’d “never rewritten a film as much as this one,” adding that there was a “new script every morning,” so it stands to reason that there were plenty of ideas that would up getting cut. Concept artist Phil Saunders revealed one of those scrapped ideas in a piece of concept art that finds Rey (Daisy Ridley) seeking out the creator of the Millennium Falcon, and the actress that Disney wanted for the role was apparently none other than Dame Judi Dench.
“Another random shot from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” wrote Saunders on ArtStation. “In an earlier version of the script, Rey would have sought out the original designer of the Millennium Falcon to find a piece of hardware that could stop the First Order armada. Dame Judi Dench was on the wishlist for the role, and would have been great. Rey finds her on yet another desert planet of course, and her home would have been carved into the top of a spectacular mesa. I was just tasked with adapting a piece of reference provided by the art department into an interesting interior.” While the origin of the Millennium Falcon providing some key to the fate of the galaxy makes me roll my eyes somewhat, the thought of Dame Judi Dench joining the Star Wars franchise is rather exciting; here’s hoping she gets her chance somewhere down the road.
In addition to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Phil Saunders has also served as a concept art and illustrator on Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and much more.