The Sith Wayfinder might have been a significant item in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, however, the compass leading to Emperor Palpatine and his army on Exegol originally wasn’t that important in the Star Wars movie.
Lucasfilm just recently released The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this week, and not only does the book showcase cool concept art for Episode IX, it also features some pretty interesting reveals about Disney’s third and final Star Wars sequel trilogy (Via CBR).
In the book, fans get to learn about the film’s various items, and as it turns out, the Sith Wayfinder that Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) were fighting over wasn’t the original McGuffin of The Rise of Skywalker. No. As it turns out, the McGuffin was a kill switch.
Explaining the McGuffin’s in the movie, The Rise of Skywalker prop concept designer Matthew Save reveals that early versions of the movie actually featured a sort of “kill switch for the First Order tech, constructed over many generations by an Empire-hating alien race.”
A kill switch for First Order tech would have certainly been useful for the Resistance, but it seems like J.J. Abrams wanted to focus on the search for Exegol so he had the Sith Wayfinder included instead.
Despite its significance as the third and final entry in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker easily became one of the most divisive films in the franchise because of its focus on fanservice. It’s such a shame that the film didn’t do well. The movie was supposed to culminate the entire Skywalker saga.