Not really a major idea but just a slight scene restructure that I have been thinking about, but curious as to how much of an impact it would have.
This idea relates to the scenes during Luke and Kylo Ren’s confrontation, to possibly improve tension/pacing.
Kylo’s ship lands-
Poe brings up his binoculars (POV), cuts to-
Kylo and Luke’s first lines together, they ignite their lightsabers, cuts back to-
Poe and Finn where they decide to go find another way out, cuts to-
Rey flying around scanning for life forms-
Poe finding their way out is blocked-
Rey finding the blocked exit, “lifting rocks…”-
Back to Luke and Kylo’s fight.
I’m basically wondering if this could be restructured slightly. I’m thinking that maybe one could combine Poe first looking through the binoculars with him deciding to find another way out, and then moving Luke/Kylo’s first dialogue interaction to later, possibly after the quick scene of Rey and R2 scanning for life forms. We then would cut to Luke/Kylo’s first interaction, sabers ignite, then hard cut to Leia and the beacon on her wrist, and them finding the blocked exit.
Putting those two Poe scenes together might require some kind of buffer shot, maybe of someone looking at Poe while he looks through the binoculars.
The reason I have been thinking about this is because there is a lot of time in-between Luke and Kylo igniting their sabers and cutting back to the duel. It might not noticeably take away from the tension as it currently is, but maybe the tension would be increased by reordering these scenes this way.
This also leads me to think about the moment Rey sees the blocked exit. Even though “Lifting rocks…” is a funny line because of how Luke said earlier the Force is more than just about lifting rocks, and now, she has to do exactly that to save the Resistance. But, I wonder if it cuts out some tension in that moment because it tells the audience exactly what Rey is going to do. Would it not be more tense if we have just heard how Luke is sacrificing himself to buy the Resistance time, only to find out their only means of escape is blocked, and then to surprise the audience by showing Rey has lifted the rocks using the Force? I’m not saying it is bad as it is now, but just something in my head is telling me that this could help increase the tension in that moment.
Bonus thought: I would also suggest cutting the line of Rey telling Chewie to draw off the fighters from the battle. By cutting it, it might allow the audience to assume this tactic was Chewie’s idea, giving him a little more agency in this film where he doesn’t really do much at all. I also like to think Chewie has a lot more experience to draw from to come to this decision rather than Rey.
I know these aren’t major changes but these might be slight trims/reordering ideas that might help polish the final act of the movie.