I got a chance to sit down and watch the whole edit last night, and I thought it was a treat! I can’t offer technical feedback in the way ziggyonice did, but I will offer some of the thoughts I had while watching.
From the jump I loved the Jakku regrade, it does a lot to showcase the idea of Jakku as a kind of purgatory. Just the simple brighter colors make it look much more hot and miserable, so when Rey keeps insisting she has to go back there’s even more of a feeling of “Why would you ever want to?” to it. In addition with the scenes of her scavenging and fighting and tinkering, it really hammers home that this is really all she’s been doing all day long for most of her life.
So glad you like the grade. I was worried that it might be too bright (and in some cases I’m still planning on toning down the highlights due to clipping issues) but overall I’m pleased.
I particularly enjoyed the darker undertones to Rey as well, and the whispers/voices that accompany her Force feats definitely shine. She’s obviously a person with issues and, as Snoke and Kylo said, a lot of latent ability, and especially having just watched the rest of the saga and Clone Wars, Rebels and so on, it’s clear cut that she is on a dangerous path. She has no formal training yet already taps so deeply into these emotions and into her buried feelings of being left behind in order to get ahead. I think this leads quite well into Luke’s horror in TLJ when he accuses her of going straight to the dark. I’ll be seeing TROS this evening, but I’m hoping that it will continue the themes of Rey being far closer than she knows to falling. I personally never really clicked with the complaints of Rey being a Mary Sue, but I do think were someone who does to watch this edit they might feel that there’s better reason for her to do the things she does.
Yeah, my intention to give her more reason for her power was actually secondary. The primary reason I wanted much of her power to flow from a dark place was because it gives her a much stronger internal struggle, as if she’s well-composed on the outside and outwardly quite competent but at the cost of burying her lifelong traumas beneath the surface. All this existed in the original of course, but the Dark Side angle helps to throw it into sharper relief.
I absolutely loved the Leia and Han voiceovers when Han touches Kylo’s saber, especially after coming off of the psychometry in Jedi: Fallen Order and seeing Kylo dig around in Poe and Rey’s minds, and with the SFX used. It plays out so naturally and matches up so well with the expressions on Kylo’s face that it feels like a part of the original scene. Bravo on that! I do agree that Leia seems to react pretty late.
That’s quite a relief to hear, it was one of the changes I was most worried about. The Leia reaction unfortunately must stay where it is unless I restructured that section back to the way it was which would leave a hole between the Oscillator X-wing damage and the end of the lightsaber fight.
I remember reading somewhere in this thread that you intended to place in some kind of voice that names Hosnian Prime when Starkiller Base is preparing to fire, and I definitely think that would help since we as viewers have no reason to know that isn’t Coruscant unless we’ve read some EU material. Likewise, the transition from Takodana to D’Qar is not immediately apparant, in my opinion. I don’t believe it’s ever stated that they’ve gone to a different planet, and I remember when I first watched TFA I thought that it was a different place on the same planet as Maz’s castle. Some kind of throwaway line to contextualize that, maybe just a simple “Welcome to planet D’Qar” or something, might go a long way on that matter, more so than a wipe transition and suddenly we’re somewhere completely different that also is green and pretty.
I wonder if regrading Takodana to sunset will help with that transition. In Restructured I had to cut a lot of the establishing shot of D’Qar for music purposes, so that certainly doesn’t help.
As for naming the Hosnian system, the only time it is mentioned is by Poe in the original, which was of course cut. I’ve included a faint version of that line in the final scenes of the film (has anyone picked up on that yet?) but I agree that it needs to happen before it is destroyed. There’s just no way I can see of doing it short of recording new dialogue.
In all, I feel absolutely that your hard work has paid off in spades, and that you’ve already made the definitive fan edit of The Force Awakens for hardcore fans and to show to newbies alike. I believe that your future plans such as new alien subtitles, voiceover for TR-8R, Phasma triggering the silent alarm and so on will only serve to make it even better. Once more, bravo!
Thank you very much!
Only have been able to watch half of it but I must say the change in color when Kylo first takes off his mask is amazing and helps that scene so much!
Excellent. I’m sure someone will still say it’s too dark and I’ve gone and crushed the black levels (it’s all true) but I think the benefit to a more shadowed and frightening Kylo is worth it.