The first part I want to address are the characters (plot will be a later post). Everyone should have a strong concluding arc. Ideally, it will be something that was already begun in ANH and ESB, but worst-case scenario, we can just start something new.
The Luke in this draft will be much more conflicted than that of ROTJ, instead of suddenly losing any of the challenges from ESB. He leans towards the dark side, and his belief in his father is more desperate than sudden divine-like optimism. He also appears visibly distraught over his cyborg hand, to give ESB more weight. But his biggest change is seeing the Jedi and his father from an all-new perspective. It is less will Luke redeem Vader, and more will Luke stay a Jedi?
Leia needs to have a character arc beyond love in this story. Here most of her story is about filling in the footsteps of her father. We see many allies to the Rebellion are afraid of involvement, and it is up to Leia to convince them to fight not through war but diplomacy. Ironically it is very similar to Poe’s arcs in TROS, only it actually pulls through.
I would make Chewie the main third character for this movie: a far cry from his glorified extra status in the Sequels, but even in the OT he was very simple and now would be the time to give him depth. We’ll go to Kashyyk and find Chewie was isolated long ago for his “modern” ways of thinking (most Wookies are isolationist, and avoid blasters and the like). Chewie faces his deepest fears by confronting his past and teaching them to be accepting of differences by using his skills to save his tribe from the Empire.
Lando feels guilty for betraying Han, despite everyone forgiving him. He eventually gets a pep talk from Leia, but it is only when Han shows indifference for the betrayal and is more pleased he is now with the rebellion that Lando is able to move forward. With Han’s absence in the 1st and 2nd Acts, Lando fills his shoes as the cocky gunslinger.
Han will only appear towards the end of the movie. His absence is used to create a feeling of emptiness within the trio, and when he returns it will be a triumphant moment. As such he doesn’t have much an arc.
I want to show both his fall and rise in this film. I will do this with the help of a Jedi Holocron Luke acquires early into the first act, which whenever he looks into is strangely sent to view Anakin’s past (more or less the same as the PT). In truth, Palpatine nitpicked through key memories to give Luke a negative perception of the Jedi. Vader’s redemption doesn’t change much. To build tension, Vader appears unwaveringly loyal to the Emperor, and it is only at the last second that he snaps.
Recently promoted, Piett is now in command of the in-progress Death Stars. He’s different from ESB: he appears annoyed by the increasing loss of his men to Palpatine and Vader’s tantrums and is almost regretful of the present situation. The Sith even call him out on it: “I sense doubt in you, Piett”. When Leia arrives with a fleet of new recruits, Piett is inspired by their heroics and refuses the order to destroy Kashyyk - unfortunately, Palpatine’s Assassin Droids instantly execute him and his men, and go through with the plan.
Expect my plot post in a couple of days.