Update 4/4/18: My editing skills are not up to par. This will not be out for quite some time, if ever. Sorry.
Like many of you, I walked out of The Last Jedi feeling very conflicted. A lot of it was great, but so much of it made me wonder what I was watching. However, I believe that, at the core, we have a very good movie hidden under a lot of pointless sideplots and fat, and with a few trims and possible shifting of scenes, we can finally see it. I’ll be using some of the same ideas discussed in the Fan Edit ideas thread, with a few of my own.
The main goal is to remove the casino planet entirely, and show Finn and Rose’s story from Poe’s perspective until they infiltrate the ship. This will hopefully make Captain Holdo’s characterization feel more natural as well. I also plan to remove Maz and Phasma as well, as they contribute nothing to the main story, our focus is on Rey, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker.
- Cut stupid expository Hux dialogue. “I have my orders from Snoke himself”. Who is he saying this to and why? He’s there to destroy them and that’s what’s on his mind.
- Trim Poe’s toying. The worst part of this was Hux going along with it. Now Poe just says he’s on hold and Hux immediately asks if he can hear him. Hux looks more competent here.
- Cut Snoke dragging Hux along the floor. We go from “Snoke wants to talk to you” and Hux looking worried straight to the rebel ship.
- Cut shot of Luke getting milk. This didn’t bother me much but it was odd and got enough of a bad reaction to justify its removal.
- Trim Leia’s Superman moment. The explosion doesn’t show her getting sucked out. The next time we see her, she’s unconscious.
- Remove Luke’s reference to “Darth Sidious” with some audio trickery.
- Cut all of Canto Bight. We see Poe raise his finger when Finn says we need a codebreaker (possibly dub in “I think I know someone” for Poe or utilize some of Rose’s dialogue from later on), then we cut to another scene of Luke and Rey or Ren (whichever comes next). Rose’s line, “We get in, get the codebreaker, and get out” is moved to right after they steal the shuttle. This removes the need for Maz.
- The next time we see Finn and Rose, they’re on the ship with DJ. “Did you get the codebreaker?” “We got A codebreaker, not THE codebreaker!”. Merge the scene where Rose gives her medallion here. Cut Finn’s “Look at us” line.
- Trim some of Snoke’s dialogue before his betrayal. It goes on a bit long, making his betrayal more obvious, and Snoke looks like an idiot.
- Add deleted scene of Finn trying to flatten Rose’s hair on the ship. Since Canto Bight is cut, more material (not much) to show their relationship develop is needed.
- Cut Phasma fight, remove Phasma entirely. This also removes BB-8’s dumb walker thing.
- Cut Hux repeating Kylo’s orders. Attempt to make Hux more of a threat.
- Cut broom kid, an extension of removing Canto Bight.
- Possibly adjust brightness or contrast of a few Yoda shots to make him look less weird.
From Hal 9000
- Reign in the SNL opening with Poe and Hux.
- Remove or trim BB8’s wack-a-mole repairs (as part of broader effort to remove ‘Droids’ stuff, just like in AOTC and ROTS)
- Remove Maz’s Battlefront Skype call.
- Keep the scene with Chewie about to eat a porg, though remove the final porg giving him the sad eyes.
- If deleted scenes make this possible, give Rey her promised third lesson from Luke.
- Remove Poe’s “big ass door.” Hopefully that shot is static, so a simple crossfade or similar trickery will make it work, saying “Let’s just hope that door holds out,” or whatever the exact line is.
- Similarly, remove Finn’s unnecessary line about the battering ram being “old Death Star tech.” (Let’s never reference the Death Star in another ‘saga’ film ever again.)
- I’ll ask anyone here who is willing, to stabilize the crate Luke sits down on while talking with Leia. The filmmakers bothered to not have him physically interact with the ground, or make walking foley sounds, so this seems like a small but positive change to make. (You just gotta do stuff like this while you’ve got everything cracked open.)
- Remove the porg smacking against the Falcon window.
- Edit Finn’s sacrifice to show Rose get blown up. Finn’s motivation now is to avenge Rose. His ship goes out on him. I like the kiss, so will play around with this to see if I can fit it in, but the “It’s not about hate, it’s about love!” line will be cut either way.
- Cut Luke barking “Go Away”. Sounds childish, just let him ignore the knocks.
- Cut jokes of Porgs with the lightsaber.
- Cut Luke saying “Nothing at all can change my mind.” and “C’mon that’s cheap” to R2. This will make the scene of him seeing Leia’s old hologram a lot more natural and emotional. Those lines blatantly stated what the scene was trying to do.
- Cut rock crashing the cart of the frog nuns.
- Cut evil BB unit scanning them from a distance
- Cut close up shots of evil BB unit and BB-8 looking at eachother after Finn and Rose are caught.
- Cut silly close up of Snoke’s dead face and his tongue hanging out.
- Move Yoda scene to after Kylo declares himself Supreme Leader. This leads into the introduction of Crait.
- Cut Hux’s “Do you think you got him?” line.
- Cut Kylo hitting Hux and the “right away sir” joke.
I’ll have to play around with the placement of scenes once I make these cuts in order to maintain pacing. I’m considering moving Finn waking up somewhere else. I think the structure of the film as it is works, it’s just far too long and meanders a bit. I hope this tightens up the film, brings the tone more in line with the previous films, and induces less cringing.
“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock