What if we added a brief flashback/catchup scene after “A long time ago…” and before the logo/title?
Return of the Jedi could keep the Yub Nub ending, but The Force Awakens could have the Victory Celebration ending at the beginning (start with Vader’s funeral), showing all the different worlds and trying to tie the movies together. Also it lets George’s vision for the series with the SE be a part of the movies, but doesn’t replace the original ending.
Anakin Starkiller said:
How 'bout adding the Emperor to ANH as well
I have an idea for this as well. Keeping with the pre-crawl scenes, the original ESB emperor scene could be made to be the beginning of ANH, with the redone SE scene staying in 5. They have slightly different dialogue so its not just a repeat, and it adds the earliest version of the Emperor to the original. The original could benefit from a couple added scenes, this one, and the final Biggs scene from the SE.
Here is a full list of possible cold opens for each SW film:
I - No idea.
II - The final scene from III could be put here instead, with Obi-Wan giving Luke to the Berus, as a sort of flash forward. Maybe also a scene from Phantom Menace where Anakin says bye to his mom.
III - The last two scenes of II would work nicely, with the effective birth of the empire and the wedding scene. Also, the scene with Anakin and Yoda could work here. You could also put the battle at the end of Rogue One.
IV - The original Emperor scene from 5, with the SE one in its place in 5
V - The ceremony at the end of IV could be put here, but it’s not necessary
VI - Yoda could be moved here?
VII - Victory Celebration
VIII - Rey finding Luke could work here, or Han Solo’s death. Maybe this would be a good place for Palpatine buildup.
IX - Palpatine buildup, or maybe the extended lightspeed skipping scenes we might get, as a tie in to the Victory Celebration.
Addendum: Title changes
I usually dislike edits that change the titles of the movies, because the alternate titles are usually too serious and not corny enough to be “Star Wars.”
Here, I propose some title changes that would be an improvement, without losing the Star Warsiness.
Episode II - Jar Jar’s Big Adventure
This was the original title for II, and even though Jar Jar’s role was significantly reduced, the title is funny in an ironic way. Jar Jar’s role in this movie is instrumental to Palpatine’s plot, and giving the random comedic sidekick the agency to change the direction of this universe is a great idea.
Episode III - Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith was in my opinion the weakest of the original 6 titles. I like the homage to Return of the Jedi’s alternate title (Return was the original but Revenge was for most of the production) but “Sith” isn’t really a strong word. If it had been established in all of the Star Wars movies it would be good, but the OT just references the Dark Side. Also, Attack of the Clones is a horrifically cheezy name that I think is really funny for a movie as dark as RotS (with child murdering).
Episode VII - Shadows of the Empire
This was considered for TFA but it was already used on some EU thing. I don’t care about the EU and it is a good title, and greatly helps TFA in contextualizing it within the saga.
Episode IX needs a better title as well.
For the Sequel Trilogy, since they fail to connect themselves to the original saga, perhaps they could benefit from changing to Arabic numerals (Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9).