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The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project

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Starlight: A reference to Rey and also to the Starkiller weapon.

This is a theoretical fanedit of The Force Awakens, which will use as a base Hal 9000’s TFA Restructured.

This edit seeks to embellish aspects of the characters and locations that were only roughly sketched or abandoned in the original film, as well as correcting as many of the plot holes and conveniences as possible. But in the meantime, this is a repository of all the ideas, mockups, and finished shots relating to this edit.

As for a cutlist for the film, here are some proposed changes (Restructured edits in italics, new changes in bold):

  • A new crawl, indicating Leia’s exile from the Republic and the First Order’s superweapon.
  • Rey’s Daydream, which foreshadows her Force Vision later and establishes her motivation.
  • Remove the name ‘Snoke’ from Hux and Ren’s discussion on board the Finalizer. He’s not named in this edit, and is referred to only as ‘Supreme Leader’.
  • Insert shot of the Falcon going to lightspeed directly after it escapes from Jakku, then another shot of it falling out of Hyperspace after the explosion in the Falcon hold.
  • Remove unnecessary Rathtar action, and trim Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the First Order looking for a droid, since it makes Han look silly when he later allows BB-8 to follow them into Maz’s Castle.
  • Remove Hux from first Snoke scene, and merge him with the Snoke scene directly after the interrogation.
  • Insert shots of Star Destroyer to Maz’s Castle instead of Hosnian destruction, along with SirRidley’s new music.
  • Regrade Maz’s Castle after Rey runs away to look as if it is occurring in late afternoon
  • Hold Poe’s reveal at Maz’s castle for directly after Finn says ‘That’s one hell of a pilot!’, to which Poe whoops in delight.
  • Move the first Snoke scene to just after Han’s revelation about his son, cutting out ‘The droid we seek is on board the Millennium Falcon, in the hands of…’.
  • Leia’s deleted scene with Kor Sella is integrated directly after Finn disembarks from the Falcon.
  • Remove Poe’s mention of Hosnian System destruction, while leaving in the fact that Finn worked on the First Order base.
  • After Finn meets Leia, insert first half of the interrogation scene.
  • Move Chewie and doctor Harter Kalonia to right before the R2 scene.
  • Insert shots of R2 beginning to search his backup files for the map on BB8’s suggestion.
  • Remove Leia’s lines which refer to Snoke by name.
  • Move the first half of Rey’s escape attempt to just after Han and Leia’s discussion, with low light and ‘I’ll tighten those restraints’ added to indicate that she is completely unable to Mind Trick the guard.
  • Move Kylo’s prayer to Vader to right after Rey’s abortive escape attempt (suggested by DominicCobb), and remove line about Snoke sensing his weakness. This implies that Rey (or Rey’s feelings about Han) is the cause of his doubts.
  • Move the final half of the interrogation to after Kylo’s prayer, with strong bright light, to portray both of them as more aggressive and purposeful.
  • Keep the final half of Rey’s escape attempt, but with ‘I’ll tighten those restraints’ absent so that there is initially some ambiguity as to his intention.
  • Move Hux’s speech to directly preceding the Resistance Briefing scene, complete with weapon charging footage.
  • Leia’s ‘…again. Our system is the next target’ is replaced with Snap asking if Leia has had word from the Republic, to which she answers ‘No’. 3PO’s line changes to ‘Oh my! This is a catastrophe!’.
  • Place the shot of the Falcon in Hyperspace after Finn is informed that the approach will be made at lightspeed. This allows some tension to build whereas before it was over too quickly.
  • Reincorporate Kylo’s investigation of the Falcon (Only if the timecode could be seamlessly removed)
  • Remove 3PO’s line ‘It would take a miracle to save us now!’.
  • Remove Han’s references to Snoke. Now he merely says ‘That’s what he wants you to believe’, and ‘He is using you for your power’.
  • Starkiller firing occurs directly after Han’s death.
  • Right after the sabotage, Snoke orders Hux to prepare the weapon to fire at the Resistance. (suggested by DominicCobb)
  • Remove fighter pilot reaction shots from the Starkiller destruction and re-foley the scene.
  • Crop Chewie out of the shot with Leia after the battle.
  • Extend shot of R2 finishing his search of the backup data and finding the map.
  • Stabilize the final shot of the film.

All links will be kept updated in the first post below.

Full Quality MEGA links:

Rey’s Daydream/Force Vision Version 5
Version 5 Audio

Star Destroyer over Maz’s Castle

Poe’s Exposition at the Resistance Base

R2’s Map Search Beginning
Audio

R2’s Map Search End
Audio

Snap Asking for Word on the Republic
Audio

Starkiller Approach Wreckage Removal

Starless Starkiller Firing (Version 3)

Leia and the Starkiller (version 14)
Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4

Re-foleyed Starkiller Destruction
Sound Effects
Music
All 9 Mono Tracks

Final Shot Stablilized

Vimeo Links:

Rey’s Daydream (version 5)
Password: reydream

Star Destroyer Late Afternoon
Password: colars

Maz’s Castle and Snoke Mockup
Password: rough

Leia Deleted Scene Mockup
Password: resist

The Interrogations
Password: learning

You Will Give the Map to Me
Password: ren

Leia and the Starkiller
Password: leia

Final Shot Stabilized
Password: stable

If anyone wants to use these clips in their own edits feel free, just credit my work 😃

This post has been edited.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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As I’m not one of the people seeking big changes to TFA, I don’t have many thoughts on a lot of the videos. But man, that stabilized final shot is so much better.

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TV’s Frink said:

Theoretical?

It’s my first fanedit, and I still don’t know how I’m going to accomplish some things (such as audio and authoring), so yes, at this point it is still theory.

towne32 said:

As I’m not one of the people seeking big changes to TFA, I don’t have many thoughts on a lot of the videos. But man, that stabilized final shot is so much better.

Thanks 😃 It’s one of those things where you wonder what they were thinking when putting the movie together.

This post has been edited.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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Thoughts on the Kylo Ren in the Falcon scene? I feel like it’s a real good one. Don’t know what to do with that timecode though.

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If it didn’t have a timecode I’d probably use it. But I understand why it was cut - it really only exists to have Kylo become aware of/ruminate about Han’s presence, and it takes precious screentime to do it. DigMod just cropped the video, but it’s pretty obvious in some shots.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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TV’s Frink said:

Didn’t someone here remove the timecode fairly seamlessly from that scene?

Yup.

With this character’s death, the thread of the prophecy is severed.

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Cool beans. Been trying to teach myself a lot more in AE recently and that looks like just the kind of thing I should try next.

As for the scene itself, I’d have to see it in context to know for sure, pacing wise, if it works, but I like the idea of it. I think it’s important to keep up Kylo’s temptation to the light in conjunction with the reunion with his father. I feel like this is a good place for a reminder and for things to ramp up. Honestly, if I were to implement the scene, I’d change the music when he’s in the cockpit to his more tragic theme (reference) and have him say “father” rather than “Han Solo” again.

For similar reasons (that I’ve touched on elsewhere before) I think the Vader scene should be moved, as it’s placement in the theatrical is kind of a non sequitur.

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DominicCobb said:

For similar reasons (that I’ve touched on elsewhere before) I think the Vader scene should be moved, as it’s placement in the theatrical is kind of a non sequitur.

That’s an interesting idea. I was just imagining how it would play back to back with Rey’s Dream (they both feature a helmet from a deceased warrior), but of course it wouldn’t work there. Were you thinking it should be closer to the final confrontation in order to bring his conflict to the fore?

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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As much as I don’t want to do a shot-by-shot color correction of TFA, there are certain scenes that do warrant color work. For example, many of the closeups of C-3PO look terrible to me, while the wide shots look much better. I thought it was just how the different suit reflected light, and though it is partly that, it’s also that he’s been graded to be too flat and green in comparison with how he looks in the wide shots and the rest of the saga.
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/207316
Brass 3PO

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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NeverarGreat said:

DominicCobb said:

For similar reasons (that I’ve touched on elsewhere before) I think the Vader scene should be moved, as it’s placement in the theatrical is kind of a non sequitur.

That’s an interesting idea. I was just imagining how it would play back to back with Rey’s Dream (they both feature a helmet from a deceased warrior), but of course it wouldn’t work there. Were you thinking it should be closer to the final confrontation in order to bring his conflict to the fore?

Well in my mind hopefully the Falcon scene would do that. You can’t move the Vader scene too far back or it just slows things down too much.

The main issue is just that it’s placement as is doesn’t connect to what comes before or after (in this case Maz’s bar), so it’s a bit hard emotionally to feel the connection in Kylo’s psychology with the rest of his story (hope I’m explaining this right, logically it’s easy to make sense of the connection but in terms of the actual effect it’s lacking the way it’s sequenced).

I basically see three different possibilities -

  1. Right after Snoke’s “we shall see”, so we follow up Snoke’s skepticism with Kylo’s own, which enforces it
  2. Immediately before “the end of the Republic” - this probably doesn’t work Starkiller restructruring, but I love the shots of Kylo looking at the super laser and I think it’d add a layer if we know he’s just asked Vader to show him the power of the darkness and he has this in his mind while he’s watching (note: this is essentially what the film is trying to do but by putting all the Maz stuff in between the effect is gone almost completely)
  3. After Leia’s “you’re his father” - this is the latest I think the scene could go (and it’d probably require a bit of restructuring to get just right), but the idea here would be that we’re connecting more closely Kylo’s call to the light with Han and Leia trying to get him back

I haven’t seen how any of them look in practice so I can’t say which works the best, but they all seem like they could be good alternatives to the way it’s placed in the actual film.

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I feel like, based on what you said, that the Kylo scene should go as late as possible in order to keep it fresh in the audience’s mind. I like the idea of putting it right before the interrogation scene, so that Rey can call him out on his Vader worship right after his visit to the ‘shrine’. Then, after she throws him for a loop, she escapes and further infuriates him.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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Yeah I feel like that’s the one I’m sort of leaning towards but it’s hard to know how well it’d work without actually seeing it.

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Nice initiative! 😃 I like most of your ideas, and as you know I’d like to use some of them for my edit which is also based on Restructured. I’ll make my own thread eventually.

I have a few questions and thoughts.

"Insert shot of the Falcon going to lightspeed …"
Is there usable footage for this?

"… trim Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the First Order looking for a droid …"
I feel like this is easier said than done. Bala-Tik mentions the FO looking for a droid and two fugitives, which leads to them wanting to search the ship, and then finally saying “kill them, and take the droid”. All of this is connected, so I think you’d have to remove all of this dialogue and cut from “Nowhere left to hide” to the Rathtars attacking, and move Rey opening the Rathtar cage to a slightly earlier point. Not sure this would flow well, and the increasing tension between the gangs and Han would be lost.

"Regrade Maz’s Castle after Rey runs away to look as if it is occurring in late afternoon"
It’s possible, and it makes the sunset shot make slightly more sense. But you’d have to regrade about 10 minutes of footage (until they leave Takodana). Might be worth it though, if it looks good.

“Reincorporate Kylo’s investigation of the Falcon” - Using xxtelecine 7xx’s clip I’ve done some further cropping and editing to make the timecode removal more seamless. Looks good, I could upload a clip later.

And I made a version of the island dream shot, I’ll upload that as well.

This post has been edited.

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DominicCobb said:

Yeah I feel like that’s the one I’m sort of leaning towards but it’s hard to know how well it’d work without actually seeing it.

I went ahead and made a rough version where his counsel with Vader is in between Han & Leia’s talk and Rey’s interrogation. Didn’t put the entirety of those two scenes in the video, just enough to get the gist. I also went ahead and put the two Maz scenes back together where the Kylo scene originally was just to see if the transition would work without it in between them. Like I said, it’s rough, but maybe it’ll help you guys decide if this direction is worth pursuing.

https://vimeo.com/213984598

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Sir Ridley said:

Nice initiative! 😃 I like most of your ideas, and as you know I’d like to use some of them for my edit which is also based on Restructured. I’ll make my own thread eventually.

I have a few questions and thoughts.

"Insert shot of the Falcon going to lightspeed …"
Is there usable footage for this?

It may be possible by using the end of the shot at the end of the film where the Falcon jumps out of the Resistance system, and then there are two possible shots of it falling out of lightspeed, both requiring the removal of a planet.

"… trim Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the First Order looking for a droid …"
I feel like this is easier said than done. Bala-Tik mentions the FO looking for a droid and two fugitives, which leads to them wanting to search the ship, and then finally saying “kill them, and take the droid”. All of this is connected, so I think you’d have to remove all of this dialogue and cut from “Nowhere left to hide” to the Rathtars attacking, and move Rey opening the Rathtar cage to a slightly earlier point. Not sure this would flow well, and the increasing tension between the gangs and Han would be lost.

This is the one scene where I’m fine with a lot of cuts, since the Rathtars are one of the weakest parts of the film IMO. After ‘Nowhere left to hide’, Rey could open the cages, then cut ‘and take the droid!’. Then keep the initial Rathtar attack, but cut Finn’s improbable capture and rescue. Maybe cut Han’s blasting the door open with the Bowcaster, since it doesn’t make any sense and it closes later in the scene.

"Regrade Maz’s Castle after Rey runs away to look as if it is occurring in late afternoon"
It’s possible, and it makes the sunset shot make slightly more sense. But you’d have to regrade about 10 minutes of footage (until they leave Takodana). Might be worth it though, if it looks good.

I think a few scene-specific regrades would do wonders for the OT look of the film, especially the Falcon scenes and the droids.

“Reincorporate Kylo’s investigation of the Falcon” - Using xxtelecine 7xx’s clip I’ve done some further cropping and editing to make the timecode removal more seamless. Looks good, I could upload a clip later.

And I made a version of the island dream shot, I’ll upload that as well.

I look forward to seeing them!

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
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RogueLeader said:

DominicCobb said:

Yeah I feel like that’s the one I’m sort of leaning towards but it’s hard to know how well it’d work without actually seeing it.

I went ahead and made a rough version where his counsel with Vader is in between Han & Leia’s talk and Rey’s interrogation. Didn’t put the entirety of those two scenes in the video, just enough to get the gist. I also went ahead and put the two Maz scenes back together where the Kylo scene originally was just to see if the transition would work without it in between them. Like I said, it’s rough, but maybe it’ll help you guys decide if this direction is worth pursuing.

https://vimeo.com/213984598

I don’t think we need the establishing shot of the Finalizer for this cut, since we can assume that Kylo’s prayer happens on Starkiller Base. The TIE mountain shot could preface both scenes, linking them more closely together.

I think a change of music would help the Maz castle scene.

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NeverarGreat said:

It may be possible by using the end of the shot at the end of the film where the Falcon jumps out of the Resistance system, and then there are two possible shots of it falling out of lightspeed, both requiring the removal of a planet.

Okay, that should be possible. I don’t really see the need for the addition though. Would it really make sense to put the ship into lightspeed at that time? They just escaped, and Rey leaves the cockpit to meet up with Finn (I don’t think leaving the controls and just lightspeeding blindly is a good idea) and they haven’t even decided where to go yet. And then they would leave lightspeed without being at the controls, is that even possible? Or does the ship leave lightspeed because of the gas leak?

NeverarGreat said:

This is the one scene where I’m fine with a lot of cuts, since the Rathtars are one of the weakest parts of the film IMO. After ‘Nowhere left to hide’, Rey could open the cages, then cut ‘and take the droid!’. Then keep the initial Rathtar attack, but cut Finn’s improbable capture and rescue. Maybe cut Han’s blasting the door open with the Bowcaster, since it doesn’t make any sense and it closes later in the scene.

I agree it needs some heavy cutting. I’ve already cut a lot after the initial attack in my version, and maybe the additional cuts you suggest could work after all. I’ll try it later.

NeverarGreat said:

I think a few scene-specific regrades would do wonders for the OT look of the film, especially the Falcon scenes and the droids.

Yeah, I like the look of the C3PO image. I tried out a warm evening colorgrade for the Takodana sequence, it looks nice, should work. What about the Falcon though?

NeverarGreat said:

I look forward to seeing them!

I’ll get to it. 😃

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Sir Ridley said:

NeverarGreat said:

It may be possible by using the end of the shot at the end of the film where the Falcon jumps out of the Resistance system, and then there are two possible shots of it falling out of lightspeed, both requiring the removal of a planet.

Okay, that should be possible. I don’t really see the need for the addition though. Would it really make sense to put the ship into lightspeed at that time? They just escaped, and Rey leaves the cockpit to meet up with Finn (I don’t think leaving the controls and just lightspeeding blindly is a good idea) and they haven’t even decided where to go yet. And then they would leave lightspeed without being at the controls, is that even possible? Or does the ship leave lightspeed because of the gas leak?

She does mention at the start of the repair scene that it’s the motivator, which I would assume is the hyperdrive motivator. She then says that if the ‘propulsion tank’ overflows it will flood them with gas. So the ship drops out of Hyperspace because of the sudden leak. Han also leaves the console while at lightspeed, so once you have a course and jump I expect there’s not much risk, at least with a good ship. It’s also established that Rey is no slouch when it comes to the hyperdrive of this particular ship.

It’s a bit of a stretch to think that they would jump without a clear destination, but it’s also a stretch to think that they celebrated before getting out of the system, and then just hung out near Jakku repairing the ship before being found by Han Solo, who was found by two gangs, and none of this appeared on the Finalizer’s radar.

I found a potential source for the Falcon going to lightspeed. Recall that I cut the Falcon’s jump with my Starkiller destruction re-foley, so I could merge that with the end of the escape from Jakku shot:
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/207415
It would require some blurring and engine glow to the first shot, but it might work.

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DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation
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