So I watched this in it’s entirety last night.
What an amazing effort not only from an editing/story structure perspective, but also technically!
I’ve lurked on the periphery of the fan edit community for years…albeit I’ve been on a lengthy hiatus, but to come back into the fold and see how works like this have evolved is just jaw dropping!
The work here really is pretty seamless. I may have to rewatch this a few more times to really absorb it but on initial viewing this may be my ‘go to’ version of TFA from now on. It just seems to be so logical that it would be structured this way.
If I had any ‘critisism’ or observations to make at all (and I’m scraping the barrel here)…it would be that there might be a few more avenues to explore with regard to restructuring/reordering some of the original scenes.
Because I was watching this with an overly critical eye (which is a polite way of saying that I was LOOKING for/expecting flaws) a scene jumped out at me as being questionably placed (with regard to it’s timing within the story)
I cross referenced it’s placement against the original cut and its placement is the same (although the scene in question has been trimmed/edited as part of the restructure) and so I thought this may be worth a look if/when you ever go back to the edit on this (which I’m aware you have said you will not - unless Ep9 requires it)
Anyhow the scene in question:
Immediately following the Rathtar escape and the Falcon jumping to Hyperspace, the ‘Death Gang’ leader puts out the APB on the Falcon with instructions to inform the First Order that BB8 is in the possession of Han Solo.
The revised Snoke and Kylo scene.
The scene plays fine, but I think by removing Hux and his dialogue in order to facilitate the overall Starkiller restructure, the scene now runs quite short and so when Snoke reveals to Kylo that Han Solo has entered the fold, to me it doesn’t feel like there has been enough time within the time frame of the actual movie for the message from Death Gang leader to have been transmitted, received at the highest levels and then have Kylo be called to Snoke to be informed.
Considering that we then immediately cut back to the Falcon having troubles in Hyperspace and the scene where the heroes 'get to know each other’ and generally bring the audience up to date on what’s gone on with our OG heroes these last 30 years, the Snoke/Kylo scene and the nature of that discussion seems like it could be shuffled over in order to be more effective?
My first thoughts are this:-
The Falcon escapes the Death Gang/Rathtars.
Death Gang Leader orders his crew to inform First Order.
Falcon in Hyperspace. Heroes have their scene/dialogue – Up until Han mentions that they have arrived at Maz’s planet and walks off toward/enters the cockpit
Snoke/Kylo Scene – Plays and ends as before
Falcon dropping out of Hyperspace and then the Takodana arrival and subsequent scene plays and ends as before.
I feel that the extra time aboard the Falcon would allow the audience to catch their breath and spend more time with characters we know/like and also allow for more ‘in movie’ time to pass so that the Kylo/Snoke scene has had more time to generate itself within the context of the movie?
(especially now that Hux and Snoke’s dialogue has been removed and the scene serves no other purpose than to inform Kylo that his father is involved in his pursuit of the Heroes)
The only other part that I though needed ‘something’ was on Takodana when the First Order Star Destroyer arrives.
This is such an amazing replacement for the original Starkiller sequence and works perfectly….as I said above, I think it’s actually better.
But if I could nitpick just a few of the details, the only thing that seemed ‘unearned?’ or just missing a piece, is when the First Order arrive at Takodana.
Not when Fin looks up to see the Star Destroyer, as that can be put down to instinct/luck/intuition/seeing it out the corner of his eye…despite the First Order arriving stealthily.
It’s the following shot of Han and the Crowd gathered outside Maz’s Castle looking up and reacting to the arrival.
What drew them all out at that moment?
I feel there needs to be some sort of sound cue/tremor/commotion that would actually cause everyone to go outside, together and see what’s up at that exact moment?
Obviously the original cut had all the drama relating to the Starkiller weapon, but without that in this edit, I feel there just needs to be something that catalyses the gathering of a crowd outside?
Anyhow, those are my only two pieces of (hopefully) constructive feedback in what is otherwise an exemplary piece of work.
Thanks so much for all of the time and effort you put into your edits, I’m REALLY enjoying them