OK babes, let’s get analytical!
Strap in and stay hydrated, because this is going to be a big one!
Firstly, huge thanks to everyone who participated in the survey! We got way more responses than I expected, so thanks for giving us such a fertile dataset from which to pull analysis. Responses started to plateau in the high 50s about 48 hours in, then it hit the auspicious number of 66 responses, so I knew I had to stop there.
A couple of notes - please read these before commenting
- Most importantly, this is not a mandate. Just because we collectively produced this, does not mean that any faneditor is obliged to follow the majority rule. While this was a democratic exercise, fanediting (like filmmaking) is not a democracy. Let’s all check our expectations here - none of us are ‘owed’ a ‘community cut’.
- What this is, is a fun exercise, and an optional resource. It might generate some interesting discussion, interesting ideas, or help guide an editor who chooses to be interested in community consensus.
- It’s also not a perfect survey. 66 responses is amazing, but it’s still relatively light. I’m sure I missed a couple of questions which would have been good, and I’m sure I missed a couple of options which should have been selectable, and I didn’t ask every question objectively (I do not apologise! ❤️) But for this reason, we mustn’t treat this as gospel.
- I will, however, for convenience, use language below that implies this is a mandate, just to save myself from having to write “but do whatever you want” after each bit of analysis.
- I’m going to reorder some of the questions, just to pull together sensible themes.
- I’ll try to be objective in the analysis, though I might include some subjective opinions in some places. Take these as the beginnings of discussion. I’ll put subjective stuff, and new lines of consideration, in bold.
- You may disagree with some of my analysis. You’re welcome to call me out! I do apologise!
- When you reply to this post, PLEASE DON’T QUOTE THIS POST, FOR GOD’S SAKE! If you have to, just refer to questions or section titles or something. You can use two asterisks (**) before and after text to make it bold.
The core galactic conflict: Palpatine, the First Order, and the huge hidden fleet
- An overwhelming majority for Palpatine’s return
- A very strong majority for him being a clone, using the idea of the Palpatine tanks and/or “more than a clone, less than a man” by way of explanation.
- We also had strong support (68%) for green smoke around the life support system, with the majority of those votes being because it tied in to Nightsister-style resurrection.
- This one looks like there’s less consensus but we can split out some elements here to find the majority choices.
- 65% picked a ‘hint at in a previous movie’ answer.
- 56% picked a ‘keep the reveal early’ answer versus only 24% for ‘move it later’.
- Which lines up with the largest segment - Hint at it in the previous movies, and reveal it early in this one.
- Majority for Palpatine being every voice in Kylo’s head
- BUT by mistake I didn’t include an option specifically not to add a vision or mention this though (sorry, I should have), so we shouldn’t necessarily take this as “don’t include visions which support this”.
- Overwhelming support for keeping the fleet…
- …and strong support to incorporate the takeover of the First Order remnant…
- … but also strong support to have the Imperial style fleet not created on Exegol, which means we need to explain that it’s an Imperial remnant/contingency fleet (which honestly would probably work fine in the crawl)…
- … but the Imperial fleet are overwhelmingly not equipped with Death Star lasers.
- (As a note, that probably means having the battering ram in TLJ not being ‘miniaturised Death Star tech’)
- The above results, plus the slight preference to have them manned by First Order/Sith style troopers therefore works.
- We need to account for the fact that they’re old models manned by modern troopers though - maybe by saving showing them manned - or even active? - until the First Order are incorporated.
- Though it’d be nice to see a bit more of a hodgepodge, maybe? Cultists also on the bridges, the odd clone voice under armour? The odd old-style Stormtrooper or Imperial uniform?
Galactic conflict summary:
- Palpatine’s return is hinted at in the previous movies
- Palpatine survived through clone backups (and implied Nightsister magic)
- Palpatine’s been behind everything and this is all his plan - he had a backup Imperial fleet (without Death Star lasers), backup clones of himself for his spirit to reinhabit, was in control of Snoke (and implicitly behind the First Order’s rise which he always planned to add to his own forces), and he’s been manipulating Kylo Ren as his agent.
- So that’s Palpatine’s plan and the threat - the First Order have weakened the Galaxy, and Palpatine’s simply got a huge fleet behind him in a weaker Galaxy when he returns. (Plus, he’s implicitly monstrous and thus threatening because he apparently won’t stay dead.)
The core emotional conflict: Rey’s Identity
- Strong majority for Rey Nobody.
- The ‘Why is Rey so powerful?’ results (covered later) also only had 20% of people say her power was to do with her being a Palpatine, so it seems like collectively we’re very happy with the idea that we don’t need her to be a Palpatine in order to be powerful.
- Huge majority for changing what the movie presented. Ochi did not kill her parents.
- 51% want to leave her story exactly as TLJ did
- 40% like the ‘Rey’s anger’ angle, which I think is amazing support for an idea birthed right here on these forums.
- I’d call those two options close enough that leaving Rey’s parents as deadbeats who left her should be the default attempt. But that if an editor finds they need the additional wrinkle in order to make it work, that ‘Rey’s anger’ would be well supported.
- Overwhelming preference to simplify Palpatine’s plan in terms of what he wants from Rey.
- Three other sets of responses back this up nicely: (1) We strongly want her not to be a Palpatine. (2) We strongly want her emotional arc to be about finding her belonging as a Skywalker legacy carrier and with her new adopted family (I cover that later). (3) Palpatine’s plan was simply to be back on the scene with a strong fleet at a time the Galaxy is weak.
- So, do we even need Rey to factor into his plans at all? Seems like it can be as simple as him wanting to kill her since she’s a strong Force user, then when she faces him, opportunistically going for the consume/kill.
- This would also tie nicely in with him choosing to reveal himself after Luke’s death, believing him to be the last Jedi, and therefore the only real force wielding threat.
- Overwhelming majority to channel other Jedi
- Overwhelming majority to actually see the ghosts supporting her
- Very strong majority that it’s Luke, Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-wan.
- As a note here, I think this also works well with Palpatine not having a plan for Rey. This whole scenario was the one thing he didn’t foresee.
- Lots of different opinions here.
- There is a strong majority (62%+) for showing force ghosts on Tattooine.
- There’s also an over 50% majority for Kylo appearing on Tattooine in some fashion - either as a force ghost (if dead) or in person (if alive).
- I didn’t have a question for it but we should also account for the relatively new idea of having her new family come with her.
- No great consensus on the identity she chooses for herself, swinging slightly towards ‘Rey Skywalker’, though a majority think the question should be asked and answered.
- Her epilogue is definitely Tattooine, but she leaves it on the Falcon flying past twin suns to new adventures.
Rey’s identity summary:
- Rey is a nobody, whose deadbeat parents sold her for drinking money
- Preferably they died in poverty as in TLJ, but if we need an extra wrinkle her killing them as they tried to escape is the next most preferred.
- Palpatine had no plan for her other than ‘kill her’.
- She defeats Palpatine with the visible support of the ghosts of Luke, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda, which gives us nice closure for the series’ primary jedi, plus allows for Luke and Anakin to be chosen ones/bring balance.
- She returns to Tattooine to bury Luke’s and Leia’s sabers, and when asked ‘Rey Who?’, she looks and sees Luke and Leia (as currently), but also Kylo Ren (either in ghost form or alive).
- No great consensus on the question of how she answers ‘Rey Who?’, but taking some of the above answers all together makes ‘Rey Skywalker’ the more viable option, I reckon.
- I didn’t ask about having her new family come with her, but it feels like there’s good support for them coming with her.
- She doesn’t stay here - the last scene is her flying off in the Falcon past the twin suns.
The other emotional conflict: Kylo’s journey, Rey/Kylo, and the Dyad
- This suprised me - overwhelming support for the Dyad concept.
- Overwhelming opposition to Rey being powerful because she’s a Palpatine.
- Rey’s powerful, in part, because she’s part of the Dyad.
- I think that, in this case (and the above question), we should lean into the Dyad even more. That should definitely include shared visions/implied power or knowledge transfer/passive skill gain in other movies, too. Maybe we have other characters (if not these two), or even the jedi texts mention or hint at it? I’d certainly like both Kylo Ren and Rey to have a vision of the black/white buddha fountain thing from TLJ, too.
- We’ve a strong majority for accepting Force healing, with 40% of those who wanted force healing saying it’s a Dyad-only thing or to not include the snake heal (so I’m putting this question here).
- I was suprised by this, because while there is a precedent for Force healing in the videogames (and now Baby Yoda), there’s very little elsewhere to support it, and you would surely expect that other Jedi, of which there were loads, would heal each other all the time. I find this far easier to justify if the Dyad concept means a shared life force, or something. We could achieve this by just cutting out the snake heal, and adding other imagery (flashes, the black/white buddha thing, etc) to the healing scenes.
- These last two combine into a slight preference for changing Leia’s death so that it’s about her helping Kylo reject the dark via the Han memory, rather than her distracting him so Rey can stab him.
- I think this works nicely, because her arc in these movies has largely been the loss of her son to darkness, so it makes it sweet that her final act is to help turn him back, at the cost of her life.
- Strong support to keep the Knights of Ren…
- …and overwhelming support for the teleport-a-lightsaber scene.
- Split board on this one. Very very slim majority for them not kissing.
- Overwhelming support to have Kylo heal Rey.
- Another split board on Kylo’s survival. Very slim majority (from the other answers) that Kylo survives.
Rey and Kylo Summary
- Rey and Kylo are drawn to each other because they’re a Dyad in the force, and this is in part why Rey’s naturally powerful
- Force healing exists, so Rey can heal Kylo after stabbing him (though I didn’t ask if she should).
- Leia gives her life to enable the memory of Han, so her last act is helping her son reject the dark.
- They fight the Knights of Ren, including the Teleport-a-lightsaber scene
- At the end, Kylo heals Rey
- No consensus on the kiss
- No consensus on Kylo’s survival
- …but he should appear on Tattooine - either alive or as a force ghost.
- These results made me consider that having Kylo survive but go into exile on Tattooine when Rey leaves works very well. This way he’s redeemed, but without being absolved and forgiven of all his crimes. He’s left on the painful planet of his grandfather and uncle, and unlike Rey being left in such a horrid place, it kind of makes sense that he might choose exile there as a form of penance. Bonus: We end up with a Ben in exile on Tattooine, just like ‘Ben’ Kenobi before him.
Planet and Colour Changes
- No consensus on Exegol, with the majority being ‘get rid of the blue tint’.
- Majority for leaving Pasaana as it is, followed by support for making it Jedha.
- Majority for making Ajan Kloss into Naboo, which is cute, as it’s where Leia dies, followed by just leaving it.
- Holy shit, can we have her die on Naboo with Padme’s wooden pendant that Anakin made in her hands, instead of the medal?! Oh no wait, that was buried with Padme. Then again, in Hal’s edits, Padme survived…
- Split board on whether the Death Star wreckage has clearly fallen on the forest moon of Endor, even though that’s what it was in orbit of when it exploded, you weirdos.
- Overwhelming support for some Coruscant scenes!
- Maybe this works up front, in alignment with the recent idea to shift the First Order discussing the hidden fleet up earlier than the Palpatine reveal. This way we open with the First Order on Coruscant, which would implicitly show the balance of power has swung strongly in their favour.
- Majority vote for blue, though a lot of comments mentioned crackly/broken blue like Kylos, which I wish I put in here as an option.
- Crackly blue could work well for a few reasons: (1) Payoff of the broken lightsaber in TLJ. (2) Implies she’s a little broken/unsure now, leaning into the darkness she’s been flirting with. (3) It echoes Kylo’s nicely. (4) GREAT visual when the Force teleport happens but we now have Kylo with a crackling blue saber - implying he’s broken (as he was before with the red), but now leaning towards the light! (5) It’s even Anakin’s saber, so it’s like he’s wielding Vader’s original blade like he always wanted, but in a broken form! (6) Better pays off the decision for Rey to rebuild her own saber as gold when she finally accepts her identity and her arc completes.
- Strong support for keeping Rey’s new lightsaber gold at the end.
- Split board on blue vs gold lightning. Slight tending towards keeping it blue.
- Overwhelming support to have Leia’s saber purple.
Lesser Plot Stuff
- Strongest support for keeping Mustafar, with a majority for making that more obvious (e.g. the establishing shots from Rogue One, or real world lava fields)
- Get rid of the skipping though.
- Lando stays.
- I should have asked about his pretty clumsy reentrance during the final battle though, that’s still up in the air.
- Very strong support for having the existence of stormtrooper jetpacks not be a suprise.
- Majority here for Finn’s force sensitivity (though that’ll be hard to make work), followed by nothing at all.
- People really don’t want it to be a love thing, or left as an open mystery box.
- Tone it down, Finn.
- Strong support for changing how the dagger works, though uncertainty as to how.
- Dealer’s choice as to whether it works in a different way versus not being included at all.
- Personally I’d just go for a vision or something, like the wayfinder room’s door opening, when Rey holds it near the wreckage.
- Interesting! Most people would rather have C-3PO stay erased.
- This could add some opportunities for changing how the dagger works, if we give C-3PO a more radical reaction to reading it.
- Strong support to keep Chewie apparently killed but later revealed to be alive
- I didn’t ask about delaying the Chewie reveal, which seems to have good support elsewhere on the forums though.
- Strong support for Poe’s bad boy past.
- Overwhelming support for Babu Frik.
- Overwhelming support for Hux as spy, though split board on whether or not to delay the kill.
- Overwhelming support (when you ignore my joke option) to have Charlie shut up about lightspeed ramming.
- This is fine, because in poppasketti’s edit of TLJ we have the computer targeting visual which makes it clear it’s fairly lucky.
- You all, everybody.
- Strong support for horses on a Star Destroyer.
- Majority for finding some alternative for the First Order fleet taking off slowly.
- How about, they just are taking off slowly? I mean, they’ve been in drydock for 30 years and the First Order troops are only just starting to man them.
- No consensus on whether or not Palpatine can lightning a fleet
- We don’t need to know what’s going on between Lando and that girl.
- Strongest consensus of any question that Chewie can’t just get a medal out of nowhere.
- Only one guy longs for the heady days of late 90s internet forum debate
- Only one person took offence to me being a prick about it, so that’s nice.
- Exact split on leaving it out, versus making it clear Leia had Han’s
- Though note my idea to have Leia die on Naboo with Padme’s wooden necklace that Anakin made, which is the best idea anyone’s ever had.
Bonus: On Finn’s Story
- Oh, Finn.
- Lots of ‘other’ comments discussing mainly his relationship with Jannah and being a part of Stormtrooper rebellion. If only we had any options here.
- Props to the answer “a good question, for another time.”
Bonus: On Snoke
- Strong preference to not mention that Palpatine “made Snoke”.
- This is good, because earlier in the analysis you’ll see strong support for using the tanks for Palpatine bodies, so that’s nice and clean.
- At least 50% wanted better hinting in the prior movies though.
- Looks like we’re probably not answering the question of Snoke in this movie.
- The Palpatine’s return question also had one suggestion that Snoke was a secret apprentice possibly involved in Palpatine’s resurrection.
- One suggestion was failed Palpatine clones, perhaps with one Snoke in the Palpatine tank?
- We also had a ‘Have some Snokes attending to Palpatine’s life support’.
- We also have the suggestion from another thread that we imply his ties to Palpatine via a vision of Snoke (perhaps when Kylo touches the mask) against the Mustafar background, which I personally love.
Should have asked: On what Rey should say before she channels all the Jedi
- I really should have asked this question. There’s massive support for the channeling of ghosts that we actually see, but that shouldn’t be read as support for “…and I am all the Jedi.” This certainly warrants more discussion.
Should have asked: Does Palpatine consume the Dyad?
- Pros: New, extra evil power for Palpatine
- Cons: Possibly unnecessary. I think the above supports ‘he’ll kill rival force users but Rey’s not part of his plan at all’, in which case a fight should do.
I also forgot to ask about
- A celebration scene at the end
- Feel free to suggest more in the comments and I’ll add them here
Thank you all so much for your input. The questions took about two hours to write, and this analysis took about five hours to complete, and it was great fun the whole time. You’re a super community! ❤️
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