“Here we go again.”
I’ll be doing an edit of THE LAST JEDI eventually, and this’ll be a place to outline and process ideas as they take shape and coalesce into an informed approach to guide the blade to the movie. Hopefully, anyway.
This goes without saying, but I’m planning to use the best ideas that fit my goals with this edit, and welcome anyone using any and all ideas generated by this discussion. Let’s all benefit from each other as we hone the film down to our individual visions. I’ve already gathered these initial ideas together without regard to their origins, so forgive me if your ideas appear here as well.
My biggest goal is to recover the tone from the SNL and ‘Droids’ humor, in order for the effective things about the movie to do what they do.
Here are proposed changes at this early stage:
- New opening crawl to provide subtle political exposition, inspired by Reddit user noodle-flinger:
The galaxy is in chaos. With both the First Order and the Resistance decimated, each is desperate to snuff out the other and fill the power vacuum left by the extinction of the Republic.
General Leia Organa lives in hope that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight against the rising tyranny.
But the Resistance base has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the Rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape…
• Reign in the SNL opening with Poe and Hux. (Try: Cut to cockpit as Hux begins monologuing, cutting back to him in time to see monologue part 2, cutting back to fully loaded bar in cockpit.)
• Only because I’d already be editing the film at this point and not because this is in any way called for, try to have the first scene with Luke appear overcast as TFA was. Whatever filter used to achieve this could be gradually faded out over the course of the sequence.
• Cut Luke’s joke about Jakku.
• Trim Finn and Rose at their first meeting; no Rose talking to herself, no “MTFBWY” or Finn telling her to breathe. Experiment with Rose knowingly threatening Finn by telling him she stunned escapees earlier that day, like she already knows what he’s up to.
• Remove or trim Finn and Rose saying the same things at the same time, if possible
• Somehow remove Maz’s Battlefront Skype call, if at all possible. That thing was straight out of a video game cutscene.
• Experiment with removing the caretakers. I’d say keep them if the third lesson deleted scene can be used, or else remove them. (Seems like the third lesson would be their payoff, so keep them in that event or else remove them as they serve no purpose without that scene. Let Luke be lonely.)
• If evil BB8 is removed later, remove the mouse droid’s signature sound during the first Force-time scene.
• Possibly replace ignition sound of Anakin’s lightsaber. (I cant tell without the opportunity to listen to it repeatedly whether this is even needed, and a close re-listen to TFA showed me that they appear to have blended the original ignition sound with a new sound, which I can accept. If that’s the case in TLJ, that’ll work. If not, I plan to replace the ignition sound with that from TFA. I do, however, recall the quick red-guard headshot sound effect as being a non-ignition sound effect, which I will leave alone because I understand why its like that.)
• Keep the scene with Chewie about to eat a porg, though remove the final porg giving him the sad eyes.
• Remove Luke’s “nothing can make me change my mind.” I think there are two identical shots of R2 to join together, even allowing for as much of a pause as needed.
• Possibly remove Rey asking Kylo Ren for a cowl to cover himself. (Cowl? Wouldn’t that be for his face?)
• If deleted scenes make this possible, give Rey her promised third lesson from Luke.
• Undecided on removing the entire horse chase. If so, simply have Finn and Rose follow DJ out of the cell and we will revisit them later already in hyperspace. If the horse chase stays, perhaps cut away from DJ after he asks BB8, “Did you do this?” in order to remove more ‘Droids’ stuff. If the horse chase is cut, either remove the final scene with broom boy, or else just remove the closeup with the ring.
• Possibly trim Yoda’s dialogue between “…for you to look past a pile of old books” and “yes, yes, wisdom they held…” This removes Luke’s odd defensiveness and Yoda’s wisecrack.
• Cut Finn’s line to DJ: “Are you kidding? Look at us.”
• Experiment with cutting BB8 hiding under a box, cutting conversation at the door that Finn and Rose are breaking into, beginning the scene with Finn calling Poe and says they’re almost in. (If so, cut down on BB8 and evil BB8 staring each other down after being caught. Might even be possible to remove evil BB8 from that shot.)
• Trim Snoke’s dialogue pre-death which makes an obvious outcome painfully so.
• Possibly remove the specific detail that Rey’s parents are buried “in the Jakku desert.” It sort of muddies the water, as the TFA forceback scene implies they left the planet.
• Trim Finn’s nonsense as he fights Phasma, particularly his “Hey!”
• Remove BB8 commandeering an AT-ST, and ensuing jog toward an escape shuttle.
• Remove Poe’s “big ass door.” Hopefully that shot is static, so a simple crossfade or similar trickery will make it work, saying “Let’s just hope that door holds out,” or whatever the exact line is.
• Similarly, remove Finn’s unnecessary line about the battering ram being “old Death Star tech.” (Let’s never reference the Death Star in another ‘saga’ film ever again.)
• I’ll ask anyone here who is willing, to stabilize the crate Luke sits down on while talking with Leia. The filmmakers bothered to not have him physically interact with the ground, or make walking foley sounds, so this seems like a small but positive change to make. (You just gotta do stuff like this while you’ve got everything cracked open.)
• If removing horse chase, cut away from Rose after “I saved you.”
• Remove the porg smacking against the Falcon window, unless doing so can’t be done without harming the music.
• Possibly cut Hux repeating Kylo’s orders.
• Possibly remove the dice from the end. But probably not.
• Remove black dot in the sun at the end.
• Likely retain the broom boy scene regardless of how much of Canto Bight was removed, as it is tied to Luke’s legacy.