A small workprint version of this edit is available via Private Message. It has some unfinished effects and lacks a final color grade, but almost all intended changes are present in some form.
This is an ambitious fanedit of The Force Awakens based on Hal 9000’s TFA Restructured.
So what are the goals of this edit? As I see it, they are threefold:
First, to heighten the drama of the story. This is done through many ways, for example cutting down and re-editing the much maligned Rathtar attack, interconnecting character actions on Starkiller Base, and moving the destruction of the Republic to the end of the film.
Second, to illuminate and strengthen the characters. Each of the major characters is refined through cuts and additions to make them into the best version they can be in this story and set up their arcs going forward in the trilogy. Rey is darker, Finn is less jokey, Kylo more conflicted, and even Poe gains some new depth. Even minor characters are given more presence in the film such as the pirates of Maz’s castle or Resistance officers.
Third and finally, to more fully realize the world of the film. This is done through restructuring the first act so that Jakku has a day/night sequence, moving scenes to preserve the illusion of travel time between locations, and many changes to clarify the actions of the characters and add totally new views of the world.
As for a cutlist for the film, here are most of the changes (Restructured edits in italics, new changes in bold):
- Replace the original crawl with one which more clearly establishes the state of the galaxy.
- Apply new color grading to the entire film in general, and a bright, washed-out ‘purgatory’ look for Jakku in particular.
- Remove Unkar Plutt’s line in favor of an atmospheric introduction to Jakku without English dialogue.
- Insert an etching of an island behind the pilot doll in Rey’s house to illustrate the content of her dreams.
- Augment Kylo’s interrogation of Poe to include dialogue from Leia and the Resistance as he digs into Poe’s memories.
- Use Kylo’s prayer directly after he encounters memories of Leia. This explains why he wasn’t as active in the following scenes, as he is weakened by this conflict. He now prays to the Supreme Leader, while still vowing to finish what Vader started.
- Remove Finn’s wanton destruction of his fellow Stormtroopers as he escapes the hangar.
- Remove Kylo’s knowledge of Finn’s number.
- Grade Finn waking up on Jakku to appear as if he has awakened at dawn.
- Move scene of Rey refusing to sell BB-8 to after Finn arrives at Niima outpost.
- Insert a light activating on the Falcon as it powers up, a light which Han deactivates later. This light indicates a tracking device which explains how Han found the Falcon so quickly.
- Insert shot of the Falcon going to lightspeed directly after it escapes from Jakku, then another shot of it falling out of Hyperspace after the explosion in the Falcon hold.*
- Cut Finn’s line ‘We need to get out of this system!’, since they have presumably already left.
- Cut the exchange where BB-8 traitorously divulges the location of the Resistance Base while still including BB-8’s thumbs up.
- Remove the ‘Cute boyfriend?’ repetition.
- Cut Han’s line ‘Come on out of there’, instead simply motioning the stowaways out of the compartment with his gun.
- Re-subtitle Kanjiklub’s dialogue to better fit the alien words and tie the groups more closely to the First Order.
- Remove Finn being captured by a Rathtar.
- Further shorten and darken the Rathtar action to heighten the horror of the scene.
- Edit out Finn’s accidental activation of the Falcon’s game table and lengthen BB-8’s query to Rey before he reveals the map.
- Move the first Snoke scene to just after the map scene, and cut dialogue from Han implying their arrival at Takodana is imminent. Snoke does not blow up at Hux, and has no explicit mention of Han Solo to keep the reveal for later.
- Cut Han’s lines indicating that they are at the castle to get a ‘clean’ ship. Instead, they only need Maz’s connection to Leia to get them to the Resistance.
- Cut Maz’s redundant line ‘I like that Wookiee’.
- Shorten Maz’s trek across the table and cut the lines ‘Solo, what is she doing?’ ‘I dunno, but it’s not good.’
- Transition from the First Order informant to Maz with the shot of the band playing the secondary castle music.
- Include alien dialogue from the deleted scenes with new subtitles making it clear that Maz’s Castle is the safest place for Finn right now.
- Insert previously deleted footage of Rey alone in the Rathtar infested hallways to the Force vision to emphasize the dramatic effect of Finn abandoning the mission.
- Remove Rey saying ‘Luke’ to Maz, allowing some more room for interpretation as to whether Maz is referring to Luke or Finn.
- Insert shots of Star Destroyer to Maz’s Castle instead of Hosnian destruction, along with SirRidley’s new music.
- Add sound effect of Destroyer exiting Hyperspace to help explain why everyone suddenly notices its presence.
- Insert a new shot of the pirate ship Meson Martinet from Rey’s point of view, indicating that she intends to leave with Finn.
- Regrade Maz’s Castle after Rey runs away to look as if it is occurring in late afternoon
- Rey’s frightened look upon killing Stormtroopers is accompanied by a sinister whispering taken from The Last Jedi.
- Hold Poe’s reveal at Maz’s castle for directly after Finn says ‘That’s one hell of a pilot!’, to which Poe whoops in delight.
- Restructure the end of the Maz Castle battle so that Finn begins to run to Rey before it is obvious that he is too late.
- Integrate Leia’s deleted scene with Kor Sella directly after Finn disembarks from the Falcon.
- Remove Poe’s mention of Hosnian System destruction, while leaving in the fact that Finn worked on the First Order base.
- Place the interrogation of Rey directly after Leia’s ‘tell me all you know’.
- The second Snoke scene has Hux sent to prepare the weapon to destroy the Republic with no mention of a reconnaissance ship and no knowledge of the location of the Resistance, and ends with Snoke taunting Ben by calling him ‘Solo’. The next scene is Leia looking at the partial map to Luke.
- Place the bit with Chewie and the doctor right after the map scene.
- Shorten the scene of R2 slightly to keep BB-8’s head banging maneuver for the end of the film.
- Remove Leia’s lines which refer to Snoke by name, keeping the focus solely on the loss and potential redemption of Ben.
- Move Hux’s speech to directly preceding the Resistance Briefing scene, complete with weapon charging footage.
- Remove the comparison of the Starkiller to the Death Star.
- Leia’s ‘…again. Our system is the next target’ is replaced with her saying ‘The Senate is the next target’, to which Poe adds ‘The Hosnian System’.
- After the briefing and the Han/Leia farewell, establish Kylo watching the Starkiller being charged with an unused shot from Hux’s speech.
- Add another attempt to Rey’s Mind Trick, with her failing to trick the guard the first and second times as Kylo begins his return to her cell.
- The Falcon landing is significantly shortened to feel more like a crash and less like Han intentionally hitting every tree in a forest.
- Re-edit the Starkiller infiltration considerably. After Rey mind-tricks the guard, Kylo senses something which turns out to be Han, Han and Finn discuss how the Force works, there is an update on Starkiller charging which has been changed from 15 minutes to 50, Rey runs through the halls, Chewie blasts the trooper, Rey enters the hangar and apparently trips the sensors, Phasma presumably marches to the hangar because of this alarm with new dialogue, Chewie tackles Phasma and Phasma talks more trash to Finn, then Rey avoids the guards by hiding on the wall.
- Edit a new version of the lowering of the shields set to the villainous First Order theme where Phasma sounds the alarm, setting off a chain of events which ends with Hux launching waves of TIE’s to intercept the coming attack.
- Intercut deleted scene of Kylo on the Falcon with the prior scenes, altered to include new music and sound effects indicating his happy memories on the ship.
- Remove Poe’s lines reiterating how the sun draining works, in order to more quickly show the TIE interception.
- Remove Finn’s Line ‘Why are you doing that? I’m trying to come up with a plan.’
- Move 3PO’s line ‘It would take a miracle to save us now!’ until later, and include unused lines from Poe indicating that they are switching focus to dealing with the TIE fighters before attempting another run on the Oscillator.
- New sequence on the bridge where Kylo offers the lightsaber to Han in one final test. Once Han touches the saber, Kylo can access his memories and hears both Leia’s faith in him and Han’s pessimism, and it is this which hardens Kylo’s resolve.
- Remove Chewie running for cover before detonating the explosives, implying that he is willing to sacrifice himself to prevent the weapon from firing. He roars as he detonates the explosives and Rey shouts ‘CHEWIE!’
- Move Leia’s reaction to Han’s death to right after the explosive detonation.
- Remove the cutaway to Hux being informed of the Starkiller’s imminent firing.
- Place the Ackbar scene right after Poe exits the burning Oscillator, expositing that the Oscillator is still functional and the weapon will fire in two minutes.
- Remove indications that the planet is collapsing around Rey and Kylo, including all shots showing the cliffhanger. The lines about Rey needing a teacher remain, however, augmented with the final instance of the sinister whispers and echoes of her many traumas. She uses this to tap into the Dark Side and overcome Kylo.
- As she defeats her nemesis and coincidentally two minutes into this scene, the Starkiller fires, destroying the Oscillator and breaking the ground apart between our combatants. Rey flees, the Hosnian system is destroyed, and Rey collapses beside an unconscious Finn.
- Remove Snoke’s line ‘It is time to complete his training’, replacing it with the lines ‘There has been an awakening; the Dark Side…and the light.’
- Remove fighter pilot reaction shots from the Starkiller destruction and re-foley the scene.
- Crop Chewie out of the shot with Leia after the battle.
- After the shot of Chewie mourning for Han, there is an extended sequence of BB-8 returning to a comatose R2 in an effort to awaken him. Rey sees this attempt and the scene cuts to night at the base with R2 hooked up to a computer terminal which is helping search his backup data. As this happens, Rey has a dream/vision of waking up on Luke’s island and finding Luke himself. She holds out the lightsaber. R2 awakens and the map to Luke is revealed.
- Remove the overly formal ‘my friend’ from Rey saying ‘Thank you, my friend’.
- Remove the final journey to Luke’s island, which has already been seen as Rey’s dream. The final shot of the film is the Falcon jumping to Hyperspace, rescored with a cue from The Last Jedi.
- Replace the End Credits version of Rey’s Theme and Scherzo for X-Wings with John William’s Han Solo and the Princess 2018 Composition.
All links will be kept updated in the first post below.
Full Quality MEGA links:
False Starfield Open (Abandoned)
Links to Mockups:
False Starfield Opening (Abandoned Concept)
Opening Shot Sans Troopers
Poe Shoots First
Village Attack Through Intimidation
Intimidation Scene During Rey’s Evening
Finn Awakens at Dawn
A Probe Droid Observes the Crash Site
Restructured 1st Reel
Rey’s Daydream (version 5)
Rey and Teedo’s Subtitled Argument
The Falcon Jumps to then Exits Hyperspace
BB-8 Refuses to Divulge the Location of the Base
No Game Board Distraction Final
Snoke Hints at Ben’s Father
Finn and the Pirates
Star Destroyer Late Afternoon
Rey Considers Leaving
Maz’s Castle and Snoke Mockup
Finn Rushes Sooner to Rey’s Aid
Leia’s Demand to the Senate Mockup (Outdated)
Leia’s Demand to the Senate Integrated
Leia Demand to the Senate Integrated 8
X-Wing Telescopic ladder concept: https://diff.pics/NfLUgLM4WurK/1
Interrogation Lighting to delay Kylo’s reveal
Concurrent Weapon Charging and Interrogation
Rey’s Escape (Single Interrogation Variant)
You Will Give the Map to Me
Resistance Briefing Scene
Phasma Sounds the Alarm
Leia and the Starkiller
We’ve Swept Aside the Republic
Rey Draws on the Darkness of the Saber
BB-8 Asks Rey for Help
Rey Dreams of the Island
Rey’s Extended Journey Rough Concept
Helicopter Shot Stabilized
If anyone wants to use these clips in their own edits feel free, just credit my work 😃
You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V2 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)