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)
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)
Jack of All Trades
Edezio Enk’or Valorum
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)
This post has been edited.