Is there anything else though in the meantime to discuss, test shots, etc?
I did have two other changes I’ve been tossing around in my head:
- Slightly reconstructing Rey’s death. The original cut is a little awkward, I think - There’s a lot of “character is in danger, character is immediately saved” going on, which doesn’t leave much in the way of tension. I thought it might work a little better if we move Rey’s death to immediately after she defeats Palpy. Plus, this flows better conceptually, as it’s more apparent that the effort of facing Palpy killed her; unlike in the theatrical, where she pulls a Leia and just decides, “Whelp, guess now’s the most dramatically relevant time to die!”
It also means that the audience has to wait longer for her to be saved, which would help to raise the suspense of her revival. Plus, it gives a nice bittersweet undercurrent to Poe’s celebrations; and it also slows down the pacing a little bit more, effectively giving us a chance to “exhale” after Palpy is defeated, before we get to even more ship explosions. I’m thinking a fade to black on Rey’s body, a brief pause as the music cue rounds out, then come back in with Jannah and Finn blowing up the ship. Lando rescues them, then cut back to Rey, still lying on the ground. The shots of Finn reacting to her death could be moved to while Ben is holding her, so it’s like the two of them are mourning Rey together.
- Removing Lando’s line about “Leia sent me a transmission.” If we cut that line, it would increase the tension in that moment, as the audience wouldn’t know until he removes his mask if this weirdo with the crossbow can be trusted. There are also some really awkward implications to the line when you think about it, such as:
- If Leia knew Lando was here, why didn’t she mention him to Rey & Co.?
- If Lando is in communication with Leia, why hasn’t he been helping out in the war so far? What’s so important about this desert wasteland? Get off your butt, leave your retirement behind, and get involved! There’ll be plenty of pig people to pork when you get back!
(On that note, I wonder if it would be possible to tweak the scene to draw out the fact that Rey has to push him to come back, or that Lando is only just now learning that the First Order actually represents a significant threat beyond a few random stormtroopers. Some more pauses, a slightly tweaked music cue, a sigh of defeat…; it would mirror the larger idea that the galaxy is starting to be inspired again by Jedi like Luke and Rey.
But the scene is so rushed anyway, I doubt there’s enough there to make that work.)
If we need something to fill the gap from removing Lando’s line, we could add in Poe’s line “You with the Resistance?” from TFA.