The galaxy is divided. All over people raise arms in the fight for freedom, and are quickly quelled by the tyrannical FIRST ORDER.
But the spark of hope burns bright, under the leadership of the ailing GENERAL LEIA ORGANA, who dispatches brave agents in her stead to unite the disparate worlds in the name of RESISTANCE.
Meanwhile, SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN searches for the source of his former master’s dark power, anxious to end the cycle of war once and for all. . . .
Now that we know there’ll be no deleted scenes, I feel comfortable sharing the cutlist I cooked up after my three viewings (and have tinkered with since, with the help of some clips on Youtube). Obviously things might change once I get my hands on the thing, but this should be pretty much what I’ll be working towards.
Number one goal: Rey Nobody. Number two goal: better pacing. I think most everything else is a lost cause, besides some minor patches to moments here and there. Here’s the cutlist:
- New crawl.
- Cut out Palpatine telling Kylo that Rey is not who she seems.
- We won’t cut to Kylo and Vader’s helmet during Rey’s training until she’s destroyed the remote and their bond properly starts. When she trips, it’s because she hears his voice - “Rey, join me.” Hopefully this will help make the editing in this section of the film feel less ADD, with the transition to Kylo feeling properly motivated.
- The visions Rey and Kylo have will be rejiggered, focusing on Rey’s future. The first set of flashes will likely be the same. During the second set, we’ll get a full look at the throne, and then the shots of Dark Rey on the throne will be extended, ending with the full shot of Dark Rey igniting her saber from later in the film. Over these images we’ll hear Palpatine’s voice - “Your power will be too strong to control.” Cut out Kylo saying “Join me” and the Kylo-focused third set of flashes.
- The Falcon’s mission will be moved to after Rey and Leia’s “Never underestimate a droid” pep talk.
- Extend the lightspeed skipping scene using a shot from the trailer, so that we get a bit more time to register what’s happening.
- The reforging of Kylo’s mask will be interspersed with similar flashing images from Rey’s vision, though clearer flashbacks this time. First we’ll see Kylo killing Han with Luke’s voiceover - “You killed him.” Then Kylo’s saber phasing through Luke with Rey’s voiceover - “You lost.” Then finally Kylo offering his hand to Rey - “Join me” - and her shutting the door on him with her voiceover - “Creature in a mask.” Hopefully giving some motivation for Kylo hiding behind the mask again.
- Color correct the Star Destroyer hallways to be a bit less blue. JJ took it too far here.
- Reinsert “The Speeder Chase” music cue during the Pasaana chase, to add some individuality to the sequence.
- Rey vs. the Kylo’s TIE Whisper is extended with a shot from the trailer. To make more of a meal out of the show-stopping sequence.
- Cut out mention of R2 saving a copy of 3PO’s memory. Save the relief for the end.
- Recut 3PO’s farewell for better emotional impact.
- Drastically rearrange and recut Kylo and Rey’s Force bond duel conversation. The emphasis will now be on what happened to Rey’s parents rather than there being more to Rey’s “story.” Cut out Kylo’s line “They sold you to protect you,” naturally.
- Cut most of the flashback showing Rey’s parents being nice to her and trying to protect her. They just get killed.
- Cut out Kylo saying that Rey has Palpatine’s power because she’s a Palpatine. She’s a nobody.
- Potentially add some lines for Kylo during his hangar offer to Rey. Would love for him to speak to “balance” in some way, but haven’t found a suitable soundbite.
- Rearrange and add dialogue to Kylo’s phone call with Palpatine, emphasizing that they are not on the same page, and Kylo will not kill Rey.
- Extend and rescore Leia heading off to contact Ben with the Force theme, so as to feel more momentous.
- Cut Finn’s last “Rey” on the Death Star. One too many (and perhaps more will go as well).
- Extend and rescore Leia contacting Ben (with Han and Leia’s theme). Now she’ll say “Ben. Come home.”
- Rescore Leia’s death (with the same music from Han’s death).
- Add an additional establishing shot breaking up the Rey on Ahch-to scenes so it doesn’t seem like she only spends a couple minutes on the island.
- Color correct Luke’s ghost to be less blue.
- Cut out Luke talking to Rey about being a Palpatine.
- Rescore the Luke and Leia flashback. Missed opportunity to use Luke and Leia’s theme.
- Rey doesn’t say “Two were made” when she retrieves the Wayfinder from Kylo’s fighter. Pointless.
- Rearrange Luke lifting the X-wing for better emotional impact.
- Remove Finn saying “Now we’re taking the war to them.” Let’s at least pretend that he has grown since The Last Jedi.
- Rearrange the first half of the space battle so that we cut away less often. Add back unused music from John Williams’s cue “Battle of the Resistance.” Hopefully making the battle feel like a more substantial sequence than just the subplot to Rey’s main story.
- Extend the final space battle using any potential stray shots from the trailers.
- Cut out Palpatine referring to Rey as his grandchild. Cut Rey saying her parents were strong.
- When Rey hears the voices of the Jedi, it is Leia who says “Always,” not Luke. Ridiculous missed opportunity.
- Before Rey defeats Palpatine, try to have her say ‘I’m no one. And I’m all the Jedi.” Feel like that’d be nice.
- Attempt to extend Ben’s death. Or something.
- Cut Chewie receiving his medal. Stupid.
- Cut Lando’s scene with Jannah. Weird.
- Cut the Star Destroyers across the galaxy being destroyed. Redundant.
- Rescore the music that leads into the end credits. Repetitive.
I have a couple other ideas that are a bit more out there, but I suspect they won’t work and I’m waiting for the film to be released to see if this is true before I commit.