- Replace the original crawl with one which more eloquently establishes the universe and action.
Ideally, the crawl should explain the new Republic is wary of militarism because the clone army destroyed the old Republic, which would clarify the political situation.
- Insert new scene at night where Rey imagines the island.
Although I like the tie-in to The Last Jedi, I question whether this is necessary.
- Remove Finn’s wanton destruction of his fellow Stormtroopers as he escapes the hangar.
- Alter Finn’s cavalier attitude about shooting the TIE fighters, resorting to firing only as a last resort.
Nice. This is more consistent with his character.
- Remove Han asking for Rey’s name, since he should already know it from their time on the Falcon. Cut his lines indicating that they are at the castle to get a ‘clean’ ship. Instead, they need Maz’s connection to Leia to get them to the Resistance.
Instead, I would cut the scene when Rey one-ups Han at fixing the Millennium Falcon. That was painful to watch.
Han and the Death Gangs were tracking the Millenium Falcon, so it is only logical the First Order was tracking it as well. Hence the need for a ‘clean’ ship. Funny, I thought Han already had a connection to Leia.
- Also, insert previously deleted footage of Rey alone in the Rathtar infested hallways to the Force vision to emphasize the dramatic effect of Finn’s sudden absence.
But Finn is not absent: He is present in the castle. All other shots are of significant events in the lightsaber’s history or in Rey’s life.
- Insert shots of Star Destroyer to Maz’s Castle instead of Hosnian destruction, along with SirRidley’s new music.
- Insert matte painting of the front of the pirate ship Meson Martinet in the shot where Rey says ‘I’m leaving’, indicating that she intends to leave with Finn. Alternately, create a new shot of the front of the ship from Rey’s point of view.
- Insert shots of R2 beginning to search his backup files for the map on BB8’s suggestion.
I doubt it would take R2 that long to find the map.
- Remove Leia’s lines which refer to Snoke by name. Cut the scene so that she ends with ‘that’s when I lost you both’, and the officer arrives saying ‘General…’ without mention of the reconnaissance. This helps make it seem like events in the movie are spaced farther apart.
- Add a dream sequence before Rey wakes up in the interrogation room, consisting of her exploring Luke’s island and maybe even seeing his face, proffering him the lightsaber.
This not only spoils the ending of The Force Awakens and the beginning of The Last Jedi but also turns Rey into an even more overpowered character with the gift of prophecy.
- Extend Rey’s interrogation with Kylo directly accessing parts of her mind. He sees Finn playing at the game table on the Falcon (taken from that cut moment of confusion), and the closeup of Han from the map scene. As she gains power, she first bombards Kylo with images of Han, then accesses his mind and learns of his worship of Vader and his insecurity.
In the original trilogy, characters’ thoughts are never visually depicted onscreen. When Luke sees a vision of his friends in pain, no reused footage of Cloud City or the torture of Han Solo appears onscreen. That is for the best. It lets the audience use their imaginations and focus on the moment. The jump from Rey’s thoughts to Kylo’s thoughts is sudden. The Falcon’s game table is an unnecessary callback.
- Kylo’s conversation with Snoke is bereft of Hux’s intrusion. Snoke does not learn the location of the Resistance Base in this film.
Then it would seem odd that The First Order suddenly knows the location of the Resistance Base at the beginning of The Last Jedi.
- Split Rey’s escape attempt into two parts, with her failing to trick the guard at first.
I love this idea. Rey’s character would be so much more compelling if she were to experience failure and learn from her mistakes.
- *Crop Chewie out of the shot with Leia after the battle.
If possible, I would prefer an edit where Leia hugs Chewbacca instead of Rey.
- Remove the final journey to Luke’s island. This material is instead repurposed as the dream sequence preceding the interrogation. The final shot of the film is the Falcon jumping to Hyperspace.
This feels unsatisfying. The whole plot revolves around finding Luke Skywalker, and the story must answer whether this quest ends in success or failure or else it is incomplete. Imagine if in order to create a cliffhanger George Lucas ended A New Hope right before the Death Star blew up.
The cliffhanger is a misunderstood concept. Even The Empire Strikes Back - a story with a cliffhanger ending - answers whether the story ends with success or failure: It ends with Luke traumatized, Han in carbonite,
C-3PO in pieces, and the heroes barely surviving to fight another day. Even a story with a cliffhanger ending must answer whether the plot ends in success or failure.