It appears that Lucasfilm handed Epic Games and Fortnite a bit of cutting-room dialogue from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to use in this weekend’s in-world gala event with director J.J. Abrams. What Fortnite players got was not a deleted scene, per se. But taken literally, it does create the impression that the movie is referencing events that took place inside Fortnite, which is hella weird.
[Ed. note: This post contains minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.]
Here’s what’s going on: The Rise of Skywalker’s opening crawl begins:
The dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE.
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Those who have seen the movie (it premiered last night) realize Palpatine’s threat isn’t heard in the film. Where it was heard was at the end of Fortnite’s Saturday event at Risky Reels.
While this, in no way, makes Fortnite’s world officially part of Star Wars’ canon, the juxtaposition makes it too bizarre to not point out, at least. What likely happened is that director J.J. Abrams had Ian McDiarmid record the lines for this message, then realized he had no easy way to present them without interrupting the story, or making a wasted, expository scene for them.
So that went in the ash pile, and the detail was streamlined into an opening crawl mention. But when Epic and Disney got together, someone asked J.J. if he had anything that would be helpful, and this bit of dialogue now works as a proper foreshadowing. Palpatine’s doing an elevator pitch, if you will, it’s just … in Fortnite.
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