Time for some clips!
The Force Bond Duel
The Death Star Fight
Rey V Palpatine (lots of credit to bbghost on this one)
This is some cool stuff! I’m surprised how convincingly this version of the Force Bond Duel sells, purely on Rey’s inner anger.
And making Kylo’s hesitance on the Death Star based on his connection with Rey, rather than Leia’s interference, makes the scene so much more personal. There’s a great sense of continuity there with the previous movie, and Rey being scared by her own actions is more believable without the distraction of Leia; Rey is confronted with the terrible realization that, in that moment at least, she has less self-control and more hatred than Kylo himself, and there’s no excuse for it.
As for Rey vs Palpatine, I find it interesting in how the theatrical version’s weakness has only become more pronounced after these fan edits. Jonh/HAL 9000’s of course was immediately well-received for being more fan-servicing, loosely addressing the unspoken issue of Palpatine’s immortality, and aiming to better satisfy as the ending of a 9-movie saga. But even going in the complete opposite direction, yours ends up more character-driven, personal, and in continuity with the trilogy’s greater arc of Rey’s self-validation (and reminds me just a bit of Duel of the Fates’s equivalent scene). With both extremes proving more effective, the original theatrical’s middle-ground option of “voices but not ghosts” just looks… weak, even though I didn’t dislike it on my initial viewing.