Fans who have been poring over concept art and images from scenes that didn’t make it into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be heartened to hear that one crucial Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) scene was, in fact, filmed. Images teasing an incredibly cool-looking creature called The Eye of Webbish Bog have been making the rounds over the last few months, but the character does not appear in the final cut of Rise of Skywalker. The character supposedly pointed Kylo Ren in the direction of Darth Vader’s wayfinder when he was confronted on Mustafar. You’ll recall in the opening moments of Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren mows down Sith cultists and finds Vader’s wayfinder himself.
There was, indeed, an extra step in which Kylo conversed with this spider-like creature, and Rise of Skywalker creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan confirmed that the scene was shot when I spoke to him for a phone interview for Collider. While we’ll be running our full interview on the site closer to the March 17th Digital HD release date of Rise of Skywalker, we figured what Scanlan had to say about the Eye of Webbish Bog scene was too interesting to wait.
Scanlan described the conception and execution of creating this particular creature, and revealed that they shot the scene on location in a real lake:
“That was a character that was designed very early on in the day. Jake Lunt [Davies], who’s one of my concept designers, we were all playing around with this idea and talking about it and he did this drawing and J.J. saw it and went, ‘That is amazing’. It was one of those moments where it was like, ‘This has to be in the movie.’ So we actually did build it and we took it to a place called Black Park in the UK, which is close to Pinewood Studios, where we shot it in a lake on location, and that sequence exists. Unfortunately it didn’t make it to the movie story, plot-wise, etc. It was a fully practical character shot in a location, and it is amazing.”
Here’s how the character is described in the official novelization of Rise of Skywalker:
A giant emerged, a hairless creature sheening with wetness, bits of lake detritus clinging to its pasty skin. Its eyes were squeezed shut, but it could still see after a fashion, because draped over its massive bald head and across one shoulder was a second creature with long spidery tentacles. The two were locked in symbiosis. Kylo sensed the giant’s pain, as though it were a slave to the spidery being that clung to it. Yet neither could it survive alone.
While we don’t have any indication that this scene will be released on any upcoming home video releases of The Rise of Skywalker (the Digital and Blu-ray releases don’t have any deleted scenes), Scanlan holds out hope that the character could be revived for the Disney+ series The Mandalorian:
“I hope that we can maybe bring that back in some way shape or form on the TV series [The Mandalorian] or that we can revisit that character in some way, because it was a haunting image and a very unusual image. But one which I think was incredibly Star Wars. So yeah, somewhere there’s footage of that.”
As for why the scene was cut, Scanlan says it has to do with runtime—an issue he’s constantly considering when designing any creature. Apparently Abrams found a quicker way for the same information to be relayed to the audience:
“I think it maybe was too lengthy an explanation for something that [Abrams] was able to explain in the movie much quicker, eventually. J.J.’s movies move very quickly don’t they, and it was all part of Kylo Ren’s journey and I think he just felt that there was too much time being spent on something which he explained much quicker. So that’s all it was, really. Runtime is always my biggest fear on any movie. So much of what we do, so much of what we shoot—and I’m sure this is the same for every department—you invest so much time and love in it and you hope it’ll make the final cut, but it doesn’t always do that because the movie would be four hours long. Which would be great! (laughs).”
I do sincerely hope we get to see this scene in full some day, because from the brief glimpses we’ve seen and from Scanlan’s description, he sounds incredibly cool.
Look for my full interview with Scanlan on Collider soon. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on Digital HD on March 17th and on DVD and Blu-ray on March 31st.