Introduced pretty much out of nowhere, the Sith Wayfinders in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were meant to lead Kylo Ren and Rey to Exegol, the mysterious planet where the cloned Emperor Palpatine had established his Final Order. One was hidden on Mustafar, while the other lay hidden in the remains of the Death Star II on Ker Bif.
In the newly released "Art of" book for the movie, prop concept designer Matthew Savage revealed that earlier versions of the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga featured a totally different MacGuffin.
He reveals that The Rise of Skywalker featured a "kill switch for all First Order tech, constructed over many generations by and Empire-hating alien race." It's strongly hinted that the alien race he's referring to was the same one Babu Frik belongs to (which might go some way in explaining why he was so willing to help the movie's Resistance heroes).
The book also confirms that Frik's race were involved with maintaining Star Destroyers for the Empire, so chances are they were treated pretty badly by the villainous group during that period.
"We went from the MacGuffin, for which we probably did twenty or thirty mockup designs, to the Codex," Savage added. "And from the Codex, it became something else. And then, eventually, we hit the wayfinder." It's hard to say whether this "kill switch" would have been any better than the Wayfinders, but it was incorporated into the movie's final battle in some ways.
What do you guys think about these alternate plans for The Rise of Skywalker?