Here are some of my own thoughts regarding edits ideas for the film.
Either cut the introductory text or tighten it up. I thought it was a little too much and unnecessary in my first viewing.
Possibly trim and regrade some of the first act, if not the whole movie. It seems to be the clunkiest part of the film for some and apparently pretty dark, so it’ll be interesting to see how people could tackle this. Definitely someone doing a full regrade of the movie could be a good template for editors.
Cut Han saying he’ll come back for Qi’ra. This is a good suggestion because it really serves Han’s character. Han’s motivations being revealed later keeps the movie more interesting. This was one of krlozdac’s ideas. I might trim a little less than he would but I generally agree with most of his ideas on his post!
Maybe when Imperial officer asks for Han’s last name, it cuts to a new Solo title card, as others have suggested. Some people seem to like this moment, others don’t. I think that cutting to the title card could be a cool moment, but that would mean you’d probably have to remove the nice hard cut from the officer saying something like, “You’ll be up flying in no time” straight to the chaotic war zone. Pretty funny moment. Atm I would lean toward keeping the moment but have the officer a little more apathetic and quick to get this process over with, so just trim the scene a little.
Trim a little L3 here and there. I had a small audience, but the only L3 moment that got a laugh was when Lando asks if she needs anything and she says, “Equal rights?” I thought this was a little on the nose personally but it seemed to have worked for others.
I liked L3 talking about how Lando has feelings for her but they just aren’t compatible, but I would cut it before Qi’ra asks “How does that work?” I think it is funnier if it is possible be left to the imagination.
Cut out obvious Rebellion stuff. “We could use a leader like you!” I know Enfys Nest is a young girl but I always got the feeling that the Rebels weren’t very vocal about their plans for a larger rebellion, and I was under the impression that the “Rebellion” was more divided into different cells with little-to-no contact by this point. I like the idea of them being Robin Hood-esque figures that eventually get enveloped into the larger cause, but keeping them motivated on helping the poor and downtrodden more directly than just funding a Rebellion would also help explain why Han seems sort of willing to help them. He would definitely sympathize and relate with that because he knows what it’s like to be the poor and downtrodden.
Cut mentions of Tatooine. I didn’t mind most of the little nods to the other films, but the movie would still work without the Tatooine job ever being mentioned. I like the idea that the movie ends with us not knowing where Han and Chewie are going next. They can go anywhere we want them to in our own imaginations. Some people seemed to like this mention though. Like to get other thoughts on it.
I also think some kind of edit might work well with the “Beckett is the traitor!” reveal. They really built it up in that moment but you can see it from a mile away. Maybe just trimming the reveal in order to cut to the chase would be the easiest solution. Beckett’s first mention of Tatooine might serve the purpose of making people be less suspicious of him when he leaves, so maybe the Tatooine line does serve a purpose. Would like some more thoughts on this.
The fanboy in me likes Maul being introduced back into the movies, but from a more objective perspective, I feel like this is VERY confusing and out of nowhere for the more casual Star Wars fan. I mean, he made his onscreen debut and “death” basically nineteen years ago to the day (man, Episode 1 was already 19 years ago?)
Even as a fan though, how he ends up as the leader of the Crimson Dawn inbetween his final scene in TCW and his first scene is Rebels is unclear. I’m just wondering if it was really necessary, or if they are trying to set something up?
If I had to throw out some suggestions of how to handle this (suggestions that have already been made), I do think it would be nice to at least trim it to remove the unnecessary lightsaber move and to make his identity a little more subtle. Another idea someone had was to place it after Beckett’s death, though I’m not sure how possible/effective this would be. Others have suggested making it an after credits scene as well.
Personally, my top idea is to just cut it.
While it would remove a sort of unnecessary cameo, Maul’s cameo really comes down to how myself, as an editor, would want to portray Qi’ra at the end of the film.
As the movie presents it, Qi’ra seems to “betray” Han at the end of the film in order to save him. Someone has to answer for Dryden’s death and the general failure to attain any coaxium for the Crimson Dawn. She knows she’s already in too deep, and by contacting Maul and leaving, she is protecting Han from a dangerous path. This is pretty noble of her, in a way. A good guy move. She seems like she doesn’t really want to stay with Dawn, and that last shot of her looking out the window seems to be her, wishing she could be down on the beach with Han instead.
Removing Maul’s cameo could provide an interesting alternative. Instead of being primarily motivated to protect Han, what if she just saw an opportunity to fill this power vacuum, and be a step closer to being her own master? Removing the cameo could even be interpreted still in the same way as the theatrical if one wishes, but it makes Qi’ra seem a little more motivated by opportunity than just fear.
Throughout the film we hear how Han doesn’t know what Qi’ra has done, what she’s capable of, or what she has become, but we don’t really ever see that. I like the idea of her wanting to take Dryden’s place rather than feeling it is her only option. It gives Qi’ra more agency as a character.
Yeah, technically she betrays Han in the film as is, and that is how Han might see it, but the audience doesn’t necessarily feel he was betrayed by her because we know why she did it, and I personally like the idea that Han just gets betrayed by everybody (except Chewie) by the end of the film. I like the idea of her choice having a more ambiguous motivation rather just being self-sacrificial. I really liked EddieDean’s analysis of their relationship, and I think the tragic aspect works even more if she was doing it more for herself than for Han. She can still look through the window down at Han and wish things could be different, and maybe even wonder if she is making a mistake.
Speaking of Qi’ra, an almost plot hole I’ve seen people mention is the contradiction of Dryden not wanting Crimson Dawn being connected to the Kessel heist, but then sending Qi’ra, his lieutenant, with them to Kessel. Yes, people might not recognize her as an associate of Crimson Dawn, but she actually is branded with the Crimson Dawn insignia. So if she died there would be a physical connection to them.
You could write this off somehow, but maybe close-ups of the brand could be cut altogether if a lot of people thought it was a big deal? Not sure.
Honestly, most of my thoughts are pretty nitpicky overall. Basically just making some trims here and there to polish the movie. For me, the changes I would like to see most revolve around what I’ve mention regarding Han and Qi’ra’s relationship. I like it as is but little changes could make it even better.
I don’t think Solo necessarily needs a fan edit, unless you, as a Star Wars fan, just wanted the strongest possible version of every Star Wars film.
I might mess with this film myself eventually, but I honestly think DigModiFicaTion could make a strong Solo edit. His editing tastes/style would fit well with this movie I think. Would like to hear any thoughts he has on it.
While I don’t know if I will use this, I think a pretty decent alternate title for this movie could be “Han Solo and the Crimson Dawn”. It has an adventurous Indiana Jones vibe I think this movie deserves. Would also love for someone to photoshop some poster art to make it look like the old Han Solo trilogy book covers for a potential fan edit as well.