Some thoughts after viewing the Alpha (posting here instead of PM so others who watch it can comment):
- I don’t like Rey being called “the girl” in the opening crawl. Leia is not called “the woman,” Poe, Finn, and Kylo are not called “the boy,” and three movies into her own series Rey should be taken more seriously than that (though I’m sure you didn’t intentionally mean anything by it).
- I like the reframing of the opening to be around the Sith Fleet prior to Palpatine’s reveal. I wasn’t sure it would work, but that’s not bad. One thing that needs changing during the Resistance discussion, which shouldn’t be too difficult I think, is Maz’s line. As Rey grabs the books to look up Exogol, Maz says “if we want to stop him, we must find Exogol.” That needs to be changed to “if we want to stop them,” since they’re now talking about a fleet, and not Palpatine or even Kylo.
- Kylo having the helmet in the meeting doesn’t really work here. For one, having this be Kylo’s first appearance in the movie is odd in general, as the scene’s not really built like a character introduction. Second, he already has the helmet which he dramatically destroyed early in the last movie, and while Hux questions it, this being our first sight of it makes the helmet’s return feel like a weird gag. And third, the very next scene, in your version, has him fighting on a battlefield with no helmet, which makes no sense because the movie just brought attention to the fact that he has one again.
- The galactic broadcast needs some restructuring, I think. From Palpatine’s smirk, we should cut (not wipe, since this is not really a new scene narratively-speaking) to an establishing shot of the planet Ajan Kloss as the message begins, which then cuts to the characters we know receiving the broadcast. Rose: “Listen… it’s on every frequency.” Then, now clear that this is an in-universe broadcast, we cut (not wipe) to other parts of the galaxy, during which we need to see civilians appearing to listen to the message, and not just zoomed out shots of planets and cities. Then end back on Kloss with our characters again. Also, it’s odd that the characters don’t really react to hearing Palpatine’s voice specifically, but you’ve already repurposed their discussion of Palpatine to be about the fleet, so I’m not quite sure what to do here.
- The scene where Rey “kills” Chewie is too heavy-handed. We don’t need to see literally baby Rey do the deed and hear “You killed your parents,” which leaves nothing for the audience to think about and distracts from the fact that Chewbacca (who we care about way more than Rey’s parents) may have just been killed. Simply having some small quick cuts to child Rey and the old ship, maybe with some small dark side element (not lightning, we’re about to see that anyway), should be enough to get the audience thinking of the implications, but don’t take focus away from the dramatic scene that’s actually happening in the present.
- Threepio speaking in a foreign language when Babu is hacking doesn’t really make sense. The whole reason they brought him to Kijimi is because they don’t know the language and need him to translate for them. In this version, the characters never actually hear the information they need, but head off to the correct location anyway.
- I know the recoloring is a work in progress, but Palpatine’s life force drain is too green, especially if everything else is going to be gray. I get that you want it to be like the magicks from extended universe material, but the fact that Palpatine doesn’t use green in any other scene (in this or any previous movie) just makes it more confusing.
- Both of Anakin’s ghost appearances seem out of place. I know people really wanted his ghost in this movie and don’t like Palpatine returning after the Chosen One prophecy is completed, but without having spoken with Rey earlier in the movie/series (directly, not just through the voices at the end), his appearance here is not justified by the story. His voiceline of “restore the balance, as I did” is all that’s needed to address the prophecy. If you were going to put multiple Jedi ghosts during the Father-Son Kamehameha, not just Anakin by himself, that would work with what’s happening in the scene, but his ghost shouldn’t appear at all on Tatooine because Rey does not know this person (which is also why I dislike Hayden in RotJ, since he looks nothing at all like the man Luke met).