I get that, but I feel some things could be cut. I feel like the opening battle with Kylo is totally worthless.
I agree that it was worthless but it’s because they cut out everything that was worthwhile from the sequence.
If the leaks are to be believed, (which they should because they were generally right) the movie opened with a broadcasting tower surging out of the ground of Exegol and we actually see/hear Palpatine’s message being sent to the galaxy.
Kylo has been tracking down clues to Snoke’s power and he slaughters the villagers (in what I think is the healed forrest of Mustafar) to the dismay of Hux and Pryde who consider the whole thing a fool’s errand.
Kylo was said to get a meeting with an Oracle alien who challenged him on still having feelings for Rey and who ends up telling him that he can find the wayfinder device in Vader’s castle (this device belonged to Vader and the one in the DS wreck was Palpatine’s). Apparently that’s when he was supposed to get his first PTSD force flashback like he does later on and hear Palpatine’s voice for the first time.
Cut to Rey training scene essentially just like it was in theaters except it’s said that she was trying to contact Luke’s ghost to no avail (which if they would’ve kept in, it would’ve made his return as a ghost later on much more impactful).
After Rey hands Leia the lightsaber, it was supposed to cut back to the Knights of Ren and Kylo getting his helmet put back together on Mustafar by the ape-man. This ape-man apparently also helped him activate the wayfinder device. AND THEN…
we get the scene of Kylo getting to Exegol and meeting the Emperor.
There’s shots of Leia in the teaser reminiscing about Han by holding his medal. This would’ve made, not only Han’s appearance much more emotional but also it would make it seem less out of place that Chewie suddenly gets a medal at the end.
Lando’s first appearance had him explaining that he never left Passana after Luke and him where there because he had a daughter who was kidnapped by the First Order and he was afraid to leave in hopes that one day she would return (it mirrors Rey wanting to stay on Jakku in hopes of her parents coming back). This strikes a chord with Finn because he was also kidnapped by the FO. Knowing why he didn’t wanna leave would’ve made Lando’s entrance at the Rebel base much more impactful. Not to mention his scene with Jannah at the end was meant to suggest that she was said daughter.
There was build up, set ups, character introductions, thematic through-lines that got smothered out of the film just so they could cram it into the shortest runtime possible. This way they get more showtimes and keep it at a family-friendly length.
This movie, unlike any other Star Wars movie, is aching for an extended/director’s cut, because the one in theaters clearly ain’t it.