Some brand new, unused concept art from The Rise of Skywalker has surfaced online. The image comes from Lucasfilm VP and Executive Creative Director Doug Chiang and it shows us a double-decker Star Destroyer quite unlike anything we've seen in the franchise before. This would have provided the First Order with something new and menacing, had it not ended up on the cutting room floor.
Doug Chiang, not infrequently, will share concept art from various Star Wars projects that either didn't make the cut or offer us a new look at something familiar. In this case, we get a glimpse at a hulking Star Destroyer that is somewhat reminiscent of a Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, also used by the First Order, only with an additional layer fanning out from the bottom. Chiang had this to say in his caption.
"A new First Order Star Destroyer concept for EP9! I thought a double-decker might be fun"
Another helpful bit in the image is that we can see a couple of additional Star Destroyers on either side to help provide a frame of reference. As we can see, this double-decker ship dwarfs them. They are truly massive. One big question is, where would this ship have been used in Episode IX? Would it have been part of the battle on Exegol? Would it have just been in a couple of background shots to look cool? Would it have been part of the Final Order's plans with the rest of Palpatine's conjured fleet? It's possible those discussions never took place as this was just some concept art thrown out as an option.
As it is, what we did get in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a massive fleet of Star Destroyers that each carried planet-killing weapons, presenting a new threat to the galaxy. Each and every one of them. We've seen the Death Star, Starkiller Base and even miniaturized Death Star tech in The Last Jedi. But the idea of being able to load such weapons onto a ship was something new. It's not a double-decker Star Destroyer, but it's something new nonetheless. It's up to the viewer to decide which one they would have preferred.
Director J.J. Abrams' finale to the sequel trilogy concluded the Skywalker saga as we know. Though divisive, it was financially successful and capped off a big year for Disney at the box office. Now, we look to the future, which is a bit uncertain at Lucasfilm right now on the big screen. We know Taika Waititi has a new Star Wars movie in the works, and we know that Disney has a date held in December 2022 for the next entry in the franchise. As for what that will be? A question for another time, perhaps. Be sure to check out the concept art from Doug Chiang's Instagram.