Episode I

The Phantom Menace
  The Virtual Edition
Episode II
Attack of the Clones
  The Virtual Edition
Episode III
Revenge of the Sith
  The Fans' Virtual Edition
  The Spies' Virtual Edition
  The Virtual Edition
Episode VII
Plague of Doom
  The Virtual Edition
Episode VIII
The Darkness Within
  The Virtual Edition
Episode IX
Duel of the Fates
  The Virtual Edition
Episode X
The Riddle of the Pirates
  To be published  
The Virtual Edition

Map of the Star Wars
  The Virtual Map
by Nathaniel Reed,  9/2005 | 12/2016 |

Floorplan of the
Millennium Falcon
  The Virtual Floorplan
of the Millennium Falcon
by Nathaniel Reed,   07/2018

The Prophecy
And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
And he shall bring Balance to the Force.
"Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
Welcome to
Nathaniel Reed's
:: A trilogy of fan-fic set after Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and inspired by George Lucas' historical draft concepts ::
Colin Trevorrow's drafts for Episode IX leaked
31st January 2020
Following the controversial release of Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, a film greatly affected by the previous instalments of the Official Sequel Trilogy, as well as Carrie Fisher's untimely death in December 2016, by mid January fansites and even media outlets were commenting on what appeared to be several drafts of Episode IX when it was helmed by Colin Trevorrow. Co-written by him and Derek Connolly and Jack Thorne prior to writer-director JJ Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio taking over, this was a period that spanned Carrie's final months and beyond, and resulted in several adjusted drafts.

Writer-producer-director, Robert Meyer Burnett, came into possession of the first draft of Episode IX [Trevorrow with Derek Conolly], and, using his youtube platform, he outlines the story here. Fansite SWNN also gives a detailed summary here.

Fansite MSW reviews the final draft [with Derek Conolly] here.

MSW then makes notes on the later draft [CT with Jack Thorne] here.

The Opening Crawl explains that the First Order has deactivated Galaxy-wide communications. Then the story opens with a Resistance heist, led by Rey, on a First Order factory planet (the Kuat shipyards from the old EU), resulting in the audacious theft of a Star Destroyer, its hangars fully stocked with war arsenal. The First Order is sort of based on Coruscant, but is more akin to subjugating the city-planet from the heights of a starship docked on the cityscape, rather than 'ruling' the world per se. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren is away, searching for a greater power, and finds himself at Vader's Castle on Mustafar ; the ghost of Luke haunts him, while at the same time, Luke provides insightful wisdom to Rey as she trains in the Ways of the Jedi. Kylo discovers a Sith holocron that presents an old message for Vader that is to lead the Sith Lord to ancient Dark Master ; but the holocron recognises that Kylo is not Vader, so blasts him with a burst of red lightning, that disfigures him.

Rey, meanwhile, through studying the Jedi texts from Ahch-To, learns of an ancient beacon and communications system buried beneath the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant. They resolve to infiltrate the First Order's capital world, and re-activate the communications to rally a counter-attack against the enemy. However, Rey intends to seek out Kylo Ren and help him return to the Light, while Leia will once more attempt to rally her old allies.

Kylo Ren locates the 'Master of the Sith', who agrees to teach him the ultimate skill that in effect 'sucks dry' the life energy from someone ; later, Ren applies this power against his new master, killing him. Finn, Rose, and the droids, sneak into Coruscant, and are ultimately able to re-start the beacon, broadcasting a request from Leia for liberty and aid. Rey, Poe, and Chewie meet a seer who is able to conjure maps from Rey's mind, and armed with such a map, Rey is able to journey to Ren ; the Knights of Ren appear in the story here, and pursue this team of heroes, but Rey is able to best them all. Rey, playing on Poe's romantic attraction towards her, tricks him to return with the others to the Resistance, while she continues on alone.

Finn and Rose meet with the oppressed underworld of Coruscant, and sympathise with them, inciting them to revolt. Leia finds Lando Calrissian, but he is jaded and cynical, believing the defeat of the Imperial Empire was now meaningless ; he confesses he is unable to help her. Both Rey and Ren independently arrive at Mortis, the Force-empowered world revealed to fans in the animated Clone Wars series. Poe and Chewie catch up with Finn and Rose, and participate in the armed uprising against the First Order's capital. On Mortis, both Rey and Ren see visions of their past, and when they eventually meet, Rey reveals that shr's intuited that Ren had killed her parents when he was hunting for her at the behest of Snoke. Rey and Ren duel, and Rey is badly injured, but she returns to the fight. Ren calls on his new powers, and begins to draw the Life Force from Rey, slowly killing her. Leia senses this, and Force-calls to her son, interrupting him, and making him realise the error of his ways ; he 'reverses' the flow of life energy, returning Rey to life, but sacrificing his own in doing so.

Rey is visited by the Force Ghosts of Luke, Yoda, and Obi-Wan in a sort of limbo world halfway between the living and the dead ; they acknowledge that she had found a way to combine both the Light and the Dark, and they offer her a choice : to remain in peaceful serenity, or return to a world of pain and love. She chooses the latter. On Coruscant the insurrection is victorious, and, as the last of the First Order attempt to flee in their docked starship, earlier sabotage by Rose sends their ship crashing into a local planet. As part of the end celebration, Artoo replays the Saga story in hologram. The film closes with Rey preparing a Jedi Academy for students, which includes Finn.

As one can see, overall there's a LOT going on ; it's a little messy, but there are indeed a lot of good intriguing ideas, and very clever - and very necessary - links back to most of the previous episodes ; some of the callback quotes, however, are perhaps a little 'blatant' and cringingly unnecessary.

The Jack Thorne amendments, following Carrie's death, re-write Rey's backstory with her mother a dutiful servant to Leia, which meant that Rey and Ren had grown up together in early childhood ; Rey's parents remained 'nobodies' though there's a note that they served in the Late Rebellion and fought at the Battle of Jakku. Also, the final Rey-Ren duel actually took place in the old Solo family home, amongst emotional family memories. Additionally, an oddity was that the First Order was erasing people's memories and re-programming them.

What is the most interesting aspect from my point of view as co-author to the Virtual Edition Sequel Trilogy are the uncanny similarities to our own work. I'm not saying that the writers discovered the online VE material and lifted it.... but it's certainly fascinating that we have :

  • The title is 'Duel of the Fates' [VE Episode IX]
  • A Star Destroyer is stolen [VE Episode VII]
  • There's a popular insurrection on Coruscant [VE Episode VII]
  • The Galaxy-wide communications - in my VE, it's the hyperlane routes - are restricted [VE Episode IX]
  • The enemy's headquarters atop the Coruscant skyline is revealed to be an escape ship [VE Episode VII]
  • The Force Ghosts are instrumental, and a Netherworld of sorts is visited [VE Episode IX]
    Towards the end of the month reports appeared that the third live-action TV show, following Obi-Wan Kenobi, might be suffering creative problems, with reports of a shorter episode number, as well as a delayed production start date, and even possible new writers involved. Some reports suggest there are concerns that a story of a guardian figure safe-guarding a young ward will be too similar to the new Mandalorian show that has recently finished its first season run. Although actor Ewan MCGregor was quick to broadcast that it's "not that dramatic", it is still worrying that once again there are not only "creative differences" under the LFL oversight, but that such differences, which may well be completely normal for a media developer, are being aired in public.
    At the end of January, test footage mysteriously surfaced (apparently not for the first time, though !) for the cancelled live-action TV show Star Wars Underworld, set in the seedy lower levels of Coruscant. Half of the five minute reel is the Coruscant drama, while the rest is the in-studio 'behind the scenes'. While I'm not entirely sure if they were testing the handheld look of the camera work, or the design concepts, although the drama played a little flat with the direction and editing, it's certainly an intriguing insight into what could have been !
    In the illustrated virtual edition of Episode VII : Plague of Doom two prison officers leisurely work at their stations in the control centre, oblivious to the impending surprise attack....
    You can see the VE artwork in the 'Kessel' art gallery as well as in the online illustrated story, and you can discuss this in the forum here !
    For my virtual edition Episode X 'The Riddle of the Pirates', I have added a scene that illustrates the political state of the galaxy, where Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, Leia and others negotiate trade and re-settlement with the Imperials headed by Governor Tagge ; and a scene depicting the cruel and sadistic nature of the Pirate Chieftain, Yuide.

    Furthermore, I have added a 'portal' page and opening summary for TROTP online, and have uploaded the latest version of the story as a 'Word' document file : obviously, this is a work in progress, and will be updated as and when I can.
    Nathaniel Reed, 31st January 2020
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    spoilers within some threads
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