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The Last Jedi Expanded Edition by Jason Fry: The "Tragedy of Vader" Edit (WIP) — Page 5

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There is one idea I have on my mind, but haven’t fully made my decision. When Rey faces the truth of her parents… she, in the very throne room, physically harms herself, claws herself in the face, attempts suicide, facing and coming to terms with the reality that her parents, indeed, believed she was worthless. Unlovable. Nothing.

I feel like it’d add weight to the reveal of her parents, making it the emotional climax of Rey’s specific story about her parents it should’ve been, but, again, fully haven’t made my decision.

What do you think?

Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth

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Too dark for Star Wars imo. Also doesn’t make much sense. Crying is a much more realistic reaction to her accepting reality.

Although I will admit that I did attempt a vague reference to such a thing when Kylo reveals she is a Palpatine and they are a dyad. I believe the text says something about how her jumping from the Star Destroyer would most certainly be fatal. So then I wrote, “Maybe she should jump anyway.”

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Too dark for Star Wars imo.

To be fair, ROTS exists and in ESB Luke willingly jumps to his death to avoid joining Vader.

Also doesn’t make much sense. Crying is a much more realistic reaction to her accepting reality.

The thing is that Rey wants to be happy to push away her feelings of self-loathing and hatred, but when facing the reality she believes there’s no option left, that it’s pointless… until she remembers that the Resistance and everyone else can still give her that value.

Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth

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Yet again I’ve encountered something that works spectacularly in text form but not so much in the actual film.

One of my favorite changes by Hal/Poppa is removing Snoke’s annoying descriptions of what he sees in Kylo’s mind and making it purely a moment between Kylo and Rey. But here, Snoke’s descriptions are the only thing that lets the reader know what’s going on without spoiling the reveal. Like, I could describe what moves Kylo is making and all that, but it really wouldn’t translate very well I don’t think. It would be too obvious and blatant.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Yeah I think it would be a very jarring mood whiplash. As Jar Jar said, any vague suicidal thoughts would fit better for TROS where she carries way more guilt and weight in that story. It’s a sensible theme though, so I don’t think it should be gratituously included.

Regarding Jannah, I think it would be a bit of a pacing issue to introduce a seemingly random stormtrooper in the midst of the story in a way that could feel organic. Maybe a throwaway reference could work (a name drop for “TZ-1719” over comms).

Yet again I’ve encountered something that works spectacularly in text form but not so much in the actual film.

This surely has to do with the script’s tendency to overexplain everything in dialogue. Works great in written form but in film the overly wordy exposition comes across as clunky.

One of the issues with Snoke’s exposition in the scene is that doesn’t completely clarify if the Force bond between Kylo and Rey was indeed created by Snoke or if he’s lying. The fact that the bond persists after his death of course suggests the later, but your edit could make it more clear, and even tie the mind bridge to the Force dyad retcon in TROS.

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Knight of Kalee said:

Regarding Jannah, I think it would be a bit of a pacing issue to introduce a seemingly random stormtrooper in the midst of the story in a way that could feel organic. Maybe a throwaway reference could work (a name drop for “TZ-1719” over comms).

You’re the guy who suggested readding the elevator scene with the troopers and Finn, where the trooper congradulates Finn. You even proposed having that same trooper be the first one to turn on Phasma if JJB adds “Phasma’s End” into the novel. The trooper could simply be changed to female, and we get to meet Jannah in TROS as usual but ties to this hypothetical whatever.

Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth

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TestingOutTheTest said:

Knight of Kalee said:

Regarding Jannah, I think it would be a bit of a pacing issue to introduce a seemingly random stormtrooper in the midst of the story in a way that could feel organic. Maybe a throwaway reference could work (a name drop for “TZ-1719” over comms).

You’re the guy who suggested readding the elevator scene with the troopers and Finn, where the trooper congradulates Finn. You even proposed having that same trooper be the first one to turn on Phasma if JJB adds “Phasma’s End” into the novel. The trooper could simply be changed to female, and we get to meet Jannah in TROS as usual but ties to this hypothetical whatever.

Yeah, that could work now that you say it. If JJB is willing to do this of course, because the conversation between “Jannah” and Finn would need a few trims and readjustments. What I was saying is that I don’t think it’s going to work is suddenly diving deep into the trooper’s backstory, motivation etc, as if the book was saying ‘Hey, this trooper’s gonna be relevant in the future!’. At most a small cue that hints at her survival (even if it was plausible some stormtroopers survived the Supremacy’s destruction, the deleted scene has Phasma finish all the troopers off before her own death).

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Knight of Kalee said:

One of the issues with Snoke’s exposition in the scene is that doesn’t completely clarify if the Force bond between Kylo and Rey was indeed created by Snoke or if he’s lying. The fact that the bond persists after his death of course suggests the later, but your edit could make it more clear, and even tie the mind bridge to the Force dyad retcon in TROS.

I’ve ultimately decided to have Snoke admit to being aware of their “strange connection”, but he never even alludes to creating it. Then he goes on to explain that he took advantage of it by “stok[ing] Ren’s conflicted soul” (the berating scene from earlier) knowing that he would turn to Rey and have her come to him.

Yes, it leaves the question of how this thing formed in the first place, but earlier in the novel I explain that something formed, or simply made itself known, during the interrogation scene in TFA. I think the mystery of what exactly their connection is is best reserved for TROS. I’m thinking about going into more details of the dyad in my v2.0 of TROS.

I was considering having him know they were communicating, but not knowing exactly how, but in the end that was too contrived. Besides, since I’ve made Snoke and Palpatine separate entities in this series, it’s no longer an issue for Palpatine to be unaware of their connection.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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(even if it was plausible some stormtroopers survived the Supremacy’s destruction, the deleted scene has Phasma finish all the troopers off before her own death).

Phasma would kill most of the troopers and then Finn engages her before she gets to complete it.

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Hmmm that’s actually kinda interesting. That Snoke only takes credit for the visions Rey and Kylo saw. The problem is that the visions only showed themselves when they touched, and I seriously doubt Snoke was relying on them touching anytime soon since Rey was on the other side of the galaxy.

Still something to consider though.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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The problem is that the visions only showed themselves when they touched, and I seriously doubt Snoke was relying on them touching anytime soon since Rey was on the other side of the galaxy.

“That’s not how the Force works!” — Han Solo, The Force Awakens

Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth

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Here is what I’ve got for the Phasma scene thus far. I’m actually pretty satisfied with my first attempt:

As her stormtroopers hurried to set up a repeating blaster that could take out the scout walker, Phasma strode across the hangar with her rifle raised. Rose sent a hasty volley of shots her way, but the one shot that landed on target merely ricocheted off of Phasma’s shining armor to no discernible effect.

As Phasma rushed their position, Finn noticed that one of the executioner’s axes lay on the deck where its wielder had abandoned it. Finn scooped it up, slashing down at Phasma’s head as she aimed her rifle. She saw the blow coming and raised her blaster to intercept it.

The ax cut her rifle in two. Finn grinned as his former commander tossed the useless halves of her weapon away. But before he could press his advantage, Phasma yanked a short baton off her utility belt, which he knew was specially crafted with a unique microscopic structure. A quick whiplike motion extended it into a double-ended spear as long as she was tall.

“You were never anything more than a bug in the system,” she told him, voice dripping with contempt.

“Then I’m going to crash the whole thing,” Finn yelled back, taking a wild swing with the ax. She blocked it and nearly ran him through, forcing him to give ground. Behind her, the scout walker was taking apart the hanger piece by piece, the stormtroopers forced to flee from its murderous fire.

Growling, Phasma whipped her spear at Finn, alternating vicious jabs with slashes aimed at his head, chest, and legs. He parried with the haft of the ax, sparks leaping with each impact, and looked for an opening in her defenses.

But there wasn’t one - she was both faster and stronger than he was. It was all he could do to keep the ax between the two of them, as she rained blows on him from every direction, driving him steadily backward and forcing him to dodge to avoid tripping over the bodies of stormtroopers killed by the initial blast.

She was maneuvering him toward a shaft in the hangar floor, he realized - probably a lift for bringing heavy equipment up from a lower level. Flames were licking out of the opening.

Finn tried to dodge sideways, but Phasma intercepted him. He blocked her attack at the last possible second before she split his skull open. Their weapons remained locked in place.

“You were always disobedient,” Phasma said, pressing him back. “Disrespectful. Your emotions make you weak.”

“No,” Finn replied. “They make me strong.”

With a savage yell she kicked him backward, into the heat and wind boiling up from the Supremacy’s depths.

But a moment later he emerged from the flames, riding atop the turbolift platform he’d landed on and aiming a vicious uppercut with his ax at his attacker. The blow knocked Phasma down and split her mask open. Through the shattered chrome Finn spotted a light blue eye in a pale face.

Finn climbed up from the turbolift and approached Phasma to finish her off as she lay on the floor. But then a group of stormtroopers emerged from the wreckage all around them, weapons pointed right at him. Phasma grabbed her spear off the ground and got to her feet.

Where were Rose and BB-8 when you needed them?

“Put the weapon down, FN-2187,” came a familiar voice - that of nine twenty-six from the lift.

Finn lowered his weapon, but refused to drop it. He knew he needed to stall for time for as long as possible. He faced Phasma.

“You called for order,” he said. “You beat us down. But when your shiny neck was threatened, your devotion to the First Order was abandoned.”

Phasma’s visible eye blinked rapidly. The stormtroopers around them shifted uneasily. Finn hadn’t expected this to actually work beyond stalling.

“The evidence blew up at the base, but you and I know the truth,” Finn continued. “When I put a gun to your head, you shut down Starkiller’s shields! What would your masters do if they found out?”

Fear spread across what Finn could see of Phasma’s face.

“Who would believe a story like that?” she asked, her voice shaking.

Apparently, her own troopers could. They began to exchange glances with each other. Some even lowered their blasters. Phasma’s eye darted from one soldier to the next, detecting the sudden shift in their demeanor.

“I believe him,” said nine twenty-six. “He was always a-”

Finn’s former comrade never got to finish what he was saying. As he spoke, Phasma had launched herself at a blaster on the floor, opening fire on her own men with impossible speed and precision. Seizing his opportunity, Finn charged at her, aiming the swing of his ax directly at the blaster in her hand.

The energy filaments sliced through both the blaster and her hand, cauterizing the open flesh it left behind. Phasma screamed in pain, and Finn went in for a second attack - only this time she blocked it with the spear in her remaining hand. His weapon shivered and then broke. He discarded it to the side, now defenseless.

He managed to stop the spear as she brought it down on him, but then she slammed him backward, landing in the pile of dead stormtroopers around him. He saw now that she had not left a single stormtrooper standing.

“You were always scum,” she spat.

“Rebel scum,” Finn replied coolly.

As Phasma raised her spear with one hand, Finn spotted a heavy assault blaster left behind by a stormtrooper she had just killed. As he pointed it at her chest, Phasma’s surprise momentarily froze her in place - but Finn wasn’t stopping for anything. He fired it, sending her body soaring through the air before landing hard. Instantly the unstable floor collapsed around his former commander. Phasma fell, vanishing into fire.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Ben’s saber should ALREADY be red the moment he catches Luke (but only in the flashback of what really happened). It makes it less of, “He’s gonna kill me even though I did nothing wrong!”, and more of, “He was gonna stop being from being evil or whatever!” (I feel like that was obvious from the actual film, but… yeah).

Rey Skywalker: An Arc of Self-Worth

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That wouldn’t really work logistically. Ben fails to properly make his crystal bleed which is what causes it to crack and need the crossguard design. I feel like Luke would notice if Ben’s lightsaber suddenly had a crossguard on it. Not to mention how Ben using his lightsaber would probably be a part of his training every day. So, yet again, how did Luke not notice the red blade until now?

Nah.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker