An Important Rise of Skywalker Plot Point Was Revealed in Fortnite

Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

If you’ve seen The Rise of Skywalker, then you know the opening crawl starts with “The dead speak!” It then goes on to tell us that Emperor Palpatine has been sending a message across the galaxy, which is what kicks off the whole story as Kylo Ren goes to confront the deposed leader of the Empire while the Resistance heroes try to stop Palpatine’s return. For such a major action—the return of a pivotal Star Wars character—it’s bizarre that the act was relegated to the opening crawl. It turns out that wasn’t always the case.

If you play Fortnite, a popular online video game from the studio Epic Games, then during the Star Wars event you were treated to the Emperor’s words. Polygon posted the video and it’s the Emperor speaking all right:

So director J.J. Abrams got Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid to record some dialogue, but didn’t have a place for it in his movie. To be fair to Abrams, he’s stuck by the structure of the Skywalker Saga. Every movie has to open with the crawl. And yet, would it have been so tough to have a brief montage at the outset as various people pick up this message, and we see the dread spread across their faces at the prospect of the Emperor returning?

Instead, Abrams decided to dump it off to Disney and Epic so they could use it as a bit of marketing for The Rise of Skywalker, which is just so sad. Here’s something that wasn’t deemed worthwhile for the actual story, but it just shows you how quickly something that should have narrative weight can be repurposed for a bit of marketing. At that point, maybe include important plot points in Happy Meals and greeting cards.

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Matt Goldberg (15116 Articles Published)

Matt Goldberg has been an editor with Collider since 2007. As the site's Chief Film Critic, he has authored hundreds of reviews and covered major film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and their dog Jack.

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