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TFA: A Gentle Restructure

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This revamped version 2 comes with loads of improvements and amazing visual and auditory effects work from the good people of OriginalTrilogy.com, just in time for The Last Jedi.

Synopsis: It’s the same Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens you fell in love with, only restructured slightly so that Starkiller Base does not fire until close to the end of the film. During the battle over Starkiller Base, the stakes are no longer protecting the Resistance base, but preventing the destruction of the Republic Capitol. Even though they destroy the First Order’s superweapon, they fail to do so in time to save the day.
Intention: Simply to move the destruction of the Hosnian system to the climax of the film, and and implement all the little things necessary to facilitate it seamlessly.

How does this restructuring help the film?

  • The second act centers around the events of Maz’s castle and remains focused on the characters and their struggle to keep the First Order from finding the map to Luke. The First Order catching up to Han and Rey is sufficient motivation for Finn to decide not to leave, without the Hosnian system being destroyed.
    Starkiller Base firing upon the Hosnian system in the third act links it very closely to Kylo Ren’s resolution toward the dark side as he kills Han. Pairing these events magnifies each.
  • Han taking a risk motivated by love for his son which brings about costly failure is a dark mirror of Vader doing the same in Return of the Jedi and ending up helping to save the galaxy.
  • It alleviates the plot’s very close parallel with the original Star Wars.
    Starkiller Base is depicted as functioning in an intuitive way: it drains the nearby star (or “the Sun,” as Finn describes it), which covers it in darkness, and then fires on the Republic Capitol. Gone are the awkward questions about why the planet was still in daylight when it fired the first time during the second act, and whether the base is mobile.
  • It avoids depicting the Hosnian system clearly visible to the naked eye, very large in the sky, from lightyears away. The official Lucasfilm canon answer is that Starkiller Base created a “space-time disruption,” an obvious bandaid answer to apologize for a wanton move on the filmmakers’ part. One wonders whether such intersystem spectacles are common in this world, because no one who witnessed the destruction had the slightest trouble identifying what was happening.
  • It avoids raising the question of why the Resistance did not begin evacuating their base during the third act when they know they are the target. In the original Star Wars, the Death Star was looming overhead; here, there’s no obvious reason why they could not have fled.

This project was born of the emergent idea from all over the Internet after we all saw the film. Numerous people at OriginalTrilogy.com suggested this idea immediately after release. See also William Gillis’ blog post which explains his rationale for desiring this change: https://humaniterations.net/2016/03/26/how-to-fix-the-force-awakens/

Running time is about 137 minutes.

Will be available as a 1080p BluRay50-compatible mkv, a 720p iTunes-compatible mp4, and a DVD5.

Special features: Chapter stops Subtitles (English and French)

Cuts and Additions:
Added the Falcon jumping to hyperspace after leaving Jakku, then being ripped from hyperspace soon after, along with removing a now-out-of-place line from Finn about “get[ting] out of this system.”

Removed General Hux from the first scene with Snoke, where he suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic. (FX by Jackpumpkinhead to remove Hux walking offscreen during first shot)

After Rey flees Maz’s castle after her Force vision, replaced the Hosnian system being destroyed in the sky with a Star Destroyer. Finn and Han now gaze up to see that the First Order has caught up with them, as they feared. Finn’s line to Han about the First Order has been changed, including a brief visual modification to his mouth. (FX by Sir Ridley)

New deleted scene included of Leia discussing the Republic. The scene was originally intended for earlier in the film, and Leia’s prominent braid has been removed to match her scenes immediately prior and after. Audio has been redesigned to accompany a finished film, and the sequence retimed to accommodate it. (FX by Sir Ridley and NeverarGreat)

When Finn is introduced to Leia, removed mention of the Hosnian system’s destruction.

R2 now has a blinking light to indicate that he has begun searching for the map. (FX by NeverarGreat)

After Rey resists Kylo Ren’s mind probe, added the portion of the Snoke scene from earlier where General Hux suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic. Kylo Ren’s face has been overlaid where his mask was for one shot. (FX by Jackpumpkinhead)

Moved General Hux’s impassioned speech to after Kylo Ren overreacts to Rey’s escape from her cell.
After the speech, the nearby Sun beings to be drained, as Hux and the troops gaze upon the stream being sucked into the planet. (Recolored to yellow-orange, and reversed so as to appear to be going down into the ground)

During the briefing scene at the Resistance base, removed Leia identifying their base as the Starkiller’s next target, Threepio lamenting the prior loss of the Republic fleet, and well as mention that the First Order is charging the weapon “again.”

Cleaned up the smoke and debris around the Starkiller weapon exhaust when the X-Wings approach. (FX by NeverarGreat)

During a brief cutaway to the Resistance base as Han and Chewie infiltrate the oscillator, removed Threepio’s line, “It would take a miracle to save us now.”

Immediately after Kylo Ren kills Han, the Starkiller fires and destroys the Hosnian system, as Leia senses it through the Force. (Some FX by Sir Ridley and NeverarGreat)

As Finn and Rey start to head outside the oscillator, cut to Snoke and Hux planning to destroy the Resistance. (FX by Sir Ridley)

Extended the shot of R2 waking up, to allow him to finish searching his backup data. (FX by NeverarGreat)

The final shot of the film has been stabalized. (FX by NeverarGreat)

Special Thanks:
Everyone at OriginalTrilogy.com who contributed, including:
NeverarGreat (Visual and audio effects)
Sir Ridley (Visual and audio effects)
Jackpumpkinhead (Visual effects)
Sherman (Cover artwork)
MalàStrana (English and French subtitles)
Octorox
Smithers
Chris Solo
Ben_danger
That_OT_Ruler
RogueLeader
Kexikus
Bingowings
Darthrush
ImperialFighter
Yuri_Kenobi
Littlev87
Tomo
NeverarGreat
Cheebo
DominicCobb
TK251
SkywalkerFan01
Rpvee
Scott109
DigMod
DuracellEnergizer
Sougouk
EddieDean
Willrow-Hood
ForceGhostRecon
Jack of All Trades
Vladius
Spiphisser
Marduk666
Chyron8472
HyperDown
Oojason
DougieP
Edezio Enk’or Valorum
Hardcore Legend
JawsTDS
Yotsuya
StarWarsFan Sweden
Valheru_84
KumoNin
SUP3RDeathStar
Jarbear
Bromeo
RogueLeader
AbramPT
Darth_ender
Possessed
YodaFan67
ChainsawAsh
Guilty
Ray_afraid
Anjohan
Tobar
Fishmanlee

Others:
William Gillis (Blogger who voiced the core idea for this project which appeared shortly after the film’s release)
Noodle_Finger (fan editor behind a prior TFA edit)

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I love the movie as is, but I’m potentially interested in this. It does sound like an improvement.

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This was the only aspect that really bothered me. There were other little things but as soon as I saw TFA, as much as I enjoyed it, I started thinking that I hoped someone would make a fan edit that does exactly what you are describing. I agree the movie would have been so much better. They succeed in destroying SKB but not before The First Order destroy Hosnian Prime. I’m looking forward to following this project.

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Yeah, my biggest complaint about the movie was the whole Starkiller Base thing. That’s what made me make the connection to A New Hope 2.0. But moving the destruction to after Han’s death is actually a really smart idea that would improve the movie by a ton. I’m thinking of putting it in my edit.

~The original trilogy is my life… kind of~

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Not that this really needs to be said, because we all know it: This was not my idea! I just want to see an edit that pretty much does this and leaves the rest of the film as is. (And to work together to perfect the approach so it’ll be available to others.)

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here is my newly updated version of the tie approach based on input from users here. let me know what you all think

https://youtu.be/y9ORxVHXeVg

“You can’t polish a turd. But you can shape it to look like candy.”

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From the other thread, here’s what I have so far for the scene. The line is, “It’s the First Order, they’ve done it.” I scoured the film and couldn’t find anything to replace the second part of the line, but it doesn’t sound that odd. He just sounds a little weird, like, “Now they’ve really done it!”
https://vimeo.com/165767941

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Good, because that’s exactly what I was picturing!

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That test looks great Jack! I think that is definitely usable. I think they could be smaller/closer to the Star Destroyer, but I think it is good the way it is too. Any closer would be too close, but I like it now too!

Also Hal, about the “they’ve done it” line. I think it works that way, it’ll definitely do. I think we could still look for alternatives though just in case someone finds something better.

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Maybe there’s a line or two from the upcoming Lego Star Wars Force Awakens game. I know Boyega recorded dialog specifically for the game.

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Really looks great now! I would have placed them even further away but it’ good as it is too. I think there should be more TIEs though, the fleet in your shots seems quite small compared to what we see later in the Rey scene. And I would maybe try and make them a little brighter. I don’t know if that makes any sense but I feel like it could look better.

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Nice work! Now we just need Finn to say something different. The only thing I don’t like is their reactions a little over dramatic, in my opinion. But hey, the magic of editing can fix that.

~The original trilogy is my life… kind of~

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They do face death or imprisonment and the possible destruction of an outpost hundreds of years old. I think the reaction is fine.
Imagine the reaction the people of the Spanish mainland would have is someone dropped a small nuke on Gibraltar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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And Finn and Han know that Luke is in danger if they come for the map.
I think this works well for that hypothetical audience who hasn’t seen the film and doesn’t suspect anything.

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This could be fantastic! And as long as you’ve got something to do with it, Hal, I know it’s gonna be top quality! Good luck! 😃

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Kexikus said:

Really looks great now! I would have placed them even further away but it’ good as it is too. I think there should be more TIEs though, the fleet in your shots seems quite small compared to what we see later in the Rey scene. And I would maybe try and make them a little brighter. I don’t know if that makes any sense but I feel like it could look better.

it seems as though everyone wants to see them further away, which i may try, idk. as far as there not being enough in the fleet, i think you are wrong. if you re-examine the shot where rey sees the fleet, we really dont see that many ties. besides, why would you send a huge fleet of ties to take our one little castle of seemingly unknowing and off guard bar patrons, and the same applies to the trooper transports. at least thats the way i see it. i will try making them “brighter”. i did try to give them a bit of a sky color tint so as to seem like they are in the distance somewhat.

“You can’t polish a turd. But you can shape it to look like candy.”

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okay, so i have played around with this slightly and this is what the clips look like currently. if you all think that this looks good enough to be the final version then i will upload a video version. but for now pix are all you get 😉

Finn’s View:
alt text

Han’s View:
alt text

“You can’t polish a turd. But you can shape it to look like candy.”

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