I’ve been lurking for a while, but I made an account because I wanted to let you guys know that you’re doing phenomenal work with this edit, and because I had some ideas to share.
How would everyone feel if Palpatine’s physical reveal was delayed until Rey confronts him? Just end the opening scene after Ren picks up the Wayfinder. Then, after Rey crushes BB8 with the tree, cut back to Kylo flying through space, his landing on Exegol, etc. and end the scene when he turns towards Palps and we hear the line “I have died before.”
To make up for the loss of the rest of the scene, include voice over snippets of the rest of their conversation in the scenes where Kylo gets his mask back and the Knights of Ren are walking through the halls. This would mean cutting out the Stormtroopers commenting on the Knights, but I don’t think anything of value is lost there.