I’m really liking this one!
That addition of ‘in the New Republic’ flows really nicely in my opinion. I don’t know if ‘noble’ is necessary, or if ‘legendary’ was better, or if it should just be ‘last of the Jedi Knights’. Not saying you should do anything, it does work, but maybe play with some other adjectives too?
The second paragraph isn’t bad. I’m wondering if you could use a different world than ‘suffering’, or just say ‘hundreds of worlds’. Suffering is just a little vague. Why are they suffering? Are they suffering under the Republic? Under the First Order, which has forced them to join their cause?
Some experimenting with paragraph 2:
In his absence, an evil warlord has unified the supporters of the fallen Empire into the FIRST ORDER, while secretly constructing the deadliest weapon the galaxy has ever seen.
In his absence, hundreds of worlds have allied with the remnants of the Empire to form the FIRST ORDER, which has constructed the deadliest weapon the galaxy has ever seen.
I‘m liking the third too! Maybe consider replacing ‘dire’ with ‘hidden’ since that angle sorta got lost in this version? I like how you used ‘the Senate’ in this iteration too. Not saying I think this would be better, but you could use ‘fearsome’ rather than ‘fearful’, and I also think you could cut ‘now’ from ‘now spreading’. Do you still feel the reinserted deleted scene works within the new context? I think it does.
Also, did the ANH crawl fly away to the horizon that fast towards the end? It feels fast but maybe it is just me. Anyway, as far as content I think this is one of my favorite so far.
Off topic but I wanted to mention something else on my mind.
One of your ideas I love about your edit is having Poe fail at blowing up Starkiller base like he does in theatrical version.
Yes, Poe also fails to blow up Starkiller base before it destroys the Republic in Restructured, but the trench run stills ends in the same result as it does in A New Hope. But with your most recent version, I could see how a hypothetical audience could be surprised with what happens.
In a way, I think it turns Poe’s trench run from pretty simplistic plot/imagery repetition into intentional parallelism that is meant to subvert audience expectation in a clever way. Anyone who has seen Star Wars knows what the trench run means. I think it is one of the weakest points in the theatrical film, because I imagine a lot of fans were like, “Really? Seems like a pretty on-the-nose rehash.” But in your version, when Ackbar says it didn’t work, I could imagine audiences raising their eyebrows and thinking, “Oh, it didn’t work?”
In retrospect it makes the Resistance being able to come up with a plan to destroy it within minutes actually work. At that point the audience is like, “Okay, I know where this is gonna go.” But, their impromptu plan didn’t work as planned. Yes, they still succeeded at destroying Starkiller, but only at the cost of the thing they were trying to save.
I know subverting expectations has become a somewhat controversial phrase, but I think this is actually what we want in this case. Not only does it surprise audiences, but it also surprises the characters within the story. Poe and the Resistance know the story of Luke and how he destroyed the Death Star in the nick of time. They’re emulating the Rebellion just as much as the First Order is emulating the Empire. They think they’ll be able to pull of the same thing, and we do too, but it is interesting when we, and they, turn out to be wrong. It also helps prepare the audience for The Last Jedi, which does a lot of the same thing. Poe’s semi-failure can also add to what compels Poe to do what he thinks is necessary at all costs, like he’s trying to compensate for that failure at the end of TFA.
I know you know all this, just wanted to reiterate my support of it! Obviously the BIGGEST critique of TFA is its similarities to ANH. This is what you’ll hear from even casual fans. While fan edits can try to eliminate the parallels, I think if an editor can come up with ideas like this that turn those parallels on their head, it can actually transform TFA’s weaknesses into its strengths.