This is really cool, Faraday. I’ll be interested to see how you rewrite the scenes for the Rey Nobody changes. Will you just totally excise those conversations, or replace them with a different revelation that shocks Rey?
I’m also curious if you’ll address things like Finn having to tell Rey something but never telling her. I suppose you could make his force-sensitivity more explicit and maybe actually have him tell her by the end of the movie. I like the idea of changing it to where he wanted to tell Poe something, and there is a hint of feelings between them. I suppose cutting it would be the easiest thing!
I also feel like you have an opportunity to better define Poe and Finn’s character arcs, as well. For example, I think it would be cool to see Poe’s call-to-action be broadcasted throughout the galaxy (sort of like the scene we got in Trevorrow’s DotF script), giving Poe a stronger leader moment. Or, after getting shot in the arm, he decides to give orders from a command ship, like the Tantive IV, rather than pilot another X-Wing. That could potentially be an easier change than creating a new call-to-action montage.
Regarding Finn, maybe he could more explicitly recruit Jannah and the other ex-Stormtroopers during their conversation on the Falcon. It would be interesting if you could describe as still wearing bits and pieces of stormtrooper armor, but I guess that might make it less of a surprise to Finn when Jannah tells him who they are.
It’d be great if Rose could get more scenes, but I suppose that would veer into fan fiction territory.
I’m also curious if you’ll add details of things that have been added in fan edits, like the Force ghosts manifesting themselves at the final battle, or the Skywalker saber being crackly after Rey repairs it.
Anyway, will look forward to your updates! This would be fun to see done to all nine novelizations.
Rey Nobody: I’m mostly just excising those conversations and references, or rejiggering them to be about her pull towards the Dark Side instead - a lot of the text works fine for that, without the Palpatine connection. (I personally suspect that’s how it was in earlier script drafts, and Palpatine was added much later, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.) Rey is a character who by the time of TROS has been disillusioned about a lot of things - her wonder at searching for Luke in TFA is replaced with the much more human version of Luke in TLJ, her faith in TLJ that Ben would turn to the light has been shattered - and I think her character has a lot of (intentionally) directionless anger which shows up throughout TROS. That anger is what I want to cause her anxiety about having the Dark Side in her, which is more interesting to me than “my grandfather is evil so maybe I am too.”
Finn: His Force-sensitivity is actually present in the movie, the theatrical cut just sort of loses it in the shuffle. Hal’s fanedit, for instance, really makes it more noticeable. I’m definitely going to lean into the Finn-is-Force-sensitive angle, because it makes sense for his character trajectory from TFA.
As for Finn/Poe, I’ve always shipped Stormpilot and I was disappointed (but not surprised) that it wasn’t in TROS. It makes a lot of sense to me for the characters, but it also strays a lot from how the original text plays out, and would require me to write a bunch of new stuff wholesale. So I’m on the fence about adding it.
Poe’s leadership: Poe gets sidelined a bit towards the end, because the focus naturally shifts onto Rey, Kylo, Palpatine, and the space battle (there’s a lot going on at once in the climax). I hadn’t thought much about strengthening the conclusion to Poe’s character arc in that way, but it’s a good idea. I wonder if it could be tied into the Kijimi stuff about his past, and make that whole backstory more relevant?
Jannah: This is a prime example of a great idea that TROS didn’t capitalise on enough. I really like the stormtrooper armour idea.
Rose: The novel already attempts this, with mixed results. Because Carson has to adhere to the movie, she repeatedly mentions Rose in the big print instead of actually showing her, but I find it almost has the opposite effect by highlighting her absence. Currently, I’ve removed these references, and given a lot of the “bit player” roles in the Resistance to Rose instead (eg, Connix, D’Acy, Beaumont).
Popular fanedit additions: I’m planning to add things like the Force Ghosts, yes. I feel like anything people have achieved with the original footage is fair game in the novelisation.