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).
Wow! That was some rough criticism, but as I said, this is not at all a definitive version.
Just a couple of things. Don’t hint at some disprespect towards a character. I called Rey by her name (YOUNG REY) in the crawl, and LATER I called her “the girl”. How should I name her? I don’t get what problem there is with this. I don’t get how that is not serious.
About Maz… I meant that she was referring to Kylo, because the Resistance knows that Kylo is searching for the Imperial fleet.
Kylo’s helmet. Remember that we need to work with what we have. If we want to place the Palpatine reveal for later, Kylo not having the helmet is something that will always happen, because in that scene Kylo doesn’t have his helmet rebuilt yet. So either you keep that scene as the opening, or accept that he doesn’t have the helmet. Also, it’s difficult to place the Exegol scene later, because on Pasaana Kylo speaks to Rey about Palpatine, so the revelation of him being alive must have already happened here.
The broadcast. Yes, I agree with the restructuring. But again, about the reactions. We must work with what we have.
About the flashbacks scene. Differently from you, I like how that came out. I prefer a visual revelation than some exposition made later by Kylo. The scene on Pasaana matches the flashback, and just after the ship blows, Rey screams “Chewie!!!”, so I don’t think the flashbacks ruin the emotional response.
About Palpatine’s green. Maybe that’s too much, but I’ll keep the green color. The fact that he never used that before means nothing. In Episode VI he used Force lightning, something that we never saw before, but noone replied: “Oh, that’s not cool, we’ve never seen that before”.
About Anakin. As I said many many times, I stopped working on that when I heard about jonh making his own version.
I’ll keep the major ideas here. I’ll just re-work them because of quick execution in this version.