Anakin Starkiller said:
When I was a kid, the Order 66 sequence really worked for me. I don’t know why, probably because I was familiar with all the Jedi characters from the animated Clone Wars and a couple books I’d read (and from my own adventures with their action figures) and also probably because John Williams owns it (as usual). Problem is, you have to take the films on their own, and in that case, the music and the emotion of the whole montage is way out of whack with our investment in these non-characters. Plus, I feel like cutting around to random planets that we’ve never seen before is rather un-Star Wars. Basically, the sequence had to go.
So, without further rambling, here’s my rough radical edit of the Order 66 “montage” (not so much anymore) with a couple music changes thrown in:
Added bonus: the Jedi don’t all die in one day
Honestly, while it obviously works better if you’ve seen these Jedi in additional content, I think it works fine even without it simply because we recognize them from the previous films. Besides, it’s not meant to be such a personal thing; it’s about the death of the Jedi as a whole, and showing a bunch of them die conveys that idea much better. Plus, it’s just an all around amazing scene.
I could probably write an essay with a word count in the thousands as to why I think this is the right change to make for me. Suffice to say, while Star Wars has always been a story with an epic scope, its always been rather grounded and focused in on the main characters and their stories. The Order 66 montage breaks that convention and tries to reach for some (in my opinion unearned) emotion that, in my version of ROTS, I don’t want to have that be a factor at this point in the story.