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The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition by Rae Carson: The "Tragedy of Vader" Edit (V1 AVAILABLE)

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“There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That’s because there isn’t any story… The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader.” - George Lucas

I feel that the reason the sequels feel so disconnected from the rest of the Saga is because Anakin doesn’t play an integral role in its story. The above quote from George would have you believe that such a trilogy would be impossible to create, but I believe I have figured out a way to make the sequels relevant to Anakin’s story with ONLY changes to TROS. And it also only requires two major changes, at that. Unfortunately, it’s only really possible to execute these ideas in written form - the novelization.

So what exactly are these ideas? Well, Ben Solo should survive past the end of the movie, and Anakin must replace Han for Ben’s return. That last idea might be controversial due to how many enjoy that scene’s parallels with TFA (myself included), but believe me when I say that it will all make sense in the context of the changes I am making to elements unrelated to the overarching storyline.

In general, most of the more minor changes I am making are also implemented by Hal 9000’s The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant edit. However, I am also making changes that reflect my own interpretation of the events portrayed in the movie. The most significant of these is that I have reconciled Kylo’s past killing with his idolization of Vader. Essentially, he believes that Vader desired to eliminate all traces of the Sith and Jedi in favor of a familial dynasty. This is true if you take a look at ROTS or ESB. As a result, Kylo believes his Skywalker bloodline is superior to others, and wants to see it rule the whole galaxy. This is the new order he seeks to create in Vader’s honor, and he wants Rey to be the mother of this dynasty due to her power.

That brings me to my next topic, which is that some might consider the changes I will make to enter into “Reylo” territory. I don’t consider myself to be part of that community, but I do believe some of those ideas are necessary to create parallels with the relationship between Anakin and Padme. For example, the japor snippet will be among the many artifacts Kylo has in his quarters. It plays a role in the conclusion of this edit. When Kylo becomes Ben, he will be setting aside his evil ambitions and placing the one he cares about above himself. That is the central message behind Anakin’s fall to the dark side: his love was too self-centered, which resulted in pain and suffering.

In a nutshell, this is what I am hoping for this edit to accomplish: the tragedy of Darth Vader carries on even after his death through his grandson. Kylo glorifies all the mistakes that Anakin made, and Anakin himself has to watch from beyond the grave as his grandson suffers from repeating them. That is a true tragedy right there. Not to mention that Leia, his own daughter, still hates him. It’s only through Leia’s intervention (at Anakin’s plea) that Ben’s eyes will be opened again, and Anakin is able to appear to him.

I’d like to thank Captain Faraday for the inspiration on this project. Be sure to check out his novelization project as well.

I greatly appreciate any suggestions and feedback so long as they align with the goals of this project, outlined above. I’m definitely considering making an alternative version of this project without the two major changes though, because there are a TON of quality of life changes in this edit as well. So don’t let those throw you off. A TLJ novel edit is also a possibility later on down the line.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Chapter 1 Changelog:

  • Used Hal’s opening crawl
  • This was originally chapter two, it is now the first chapter
  • Replaced words that were needlessly complicated. Also changed numerous small details and descriptions throughout. General streamlining.
  • Used some of Faraday’s descriptions of Vader’s castle and Mustafar
  • Palpatine’s message was sent exclusively to the First Order
  • The Eye of Webbish Bog knows everything about Kylo. He falls under the archetype of a mystical being from legends/fairy tales.
  • The aforementioned change leads into Kylo thinking about his plans. See the original post above for a general rundown on this.
  • Kylo travels to Exegol purely to destroy the Sith and steal their secrets for himself
  • Removed some of the unneeded description in Kylo’s travel to Exegol
  • The statues on Exegol are clearly identified as ancient Sith Lords, and Kylo’s disgust with all Sith except for Vader is brought up again
  • Replaced Snoke clones with Palpatine clones
  • Snoke is implied to be an apprentice of Palpatine that heard his voice in his head. It is not specified whether he was an artificial being or not.
  • Made it abundantly clear that the Palpatine on the crane is a clone as well but with his real spirit inside, eating it away over time
  • Explanations of Kylo’s understanding of essence transfer and how Palpatine is inside a clone body
  • Reduced the amount of Star Destroyers and stormtroopers in the Final Order. This is because they are now an Imperial stockpile. The Sith Eternal is a combination of former Imperials and Exegol natives.
  • Kylo instantly identifies that Palpatine is tricking him or Rey into an eventual possession and decides he needs to convince Rey to join him in stealing the fleet for their own purposes

Link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bRHQrb29WzMgQM8QRwRZ_5F5NIsua5J-/view?usp=sharing
I’ll provide a complete PDF on PM upon project completion. Until then, each document will be one chapter at a time.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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I really like this opening chapter, especially your explanation of essence transfer and how it factors into the motivations of Palpatine and Kylo.

I feel like our guiding philosophies are so different from each other that we’re going to produce two extremely different versions of the text, which is really interesting. I’m excited to read more!

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition by Rae Carson: The Faraday Edit, The Last Jedi: Stoic Edition, Revenge of the Sith: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, The Light Rises, Faraday Junior’s Star Wars

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Here’s my suggestion for an opening crawl…

The flame of hope burns! Following the heroic sacrifice of Luke Skywalker on Crait, the daring RESISTANCE has been reborn. The diabolical FIRST ORDER, facing insurrection on a thousand worlds, is teetering on the edge.

But the dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of REVENGE from the shadows beyond known space.

As Rey, the last hope of the Jedi, is continuing her training, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren rages in search of the phantom menace, determined to destroy this threat to his declining power…

Credit for a lot of this goes to /u/persistentInquiry from Reddit.

EDIT: Polished the crawl a bit.

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Jar Jar Bricks said:

Good to hear! I hope the modifications I’ve made since your first read are good enough. Hopefully they aren’t too different from how you would have patched it up.

Yep, I think it all reads well.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition by Rae Carson: The Faraday Edit, The Last Jedi: Stoic Edition, Revenge of the Sith: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, The Light Rises, Faraday Junior’s Star Wars

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Testing, I like all of the ideas in that opening crawl. The thing with an opening crawl, though, is that it needs to be straight to the point and deliver only the most relevant information to what you’re about to experience.

I believe I have included everything in that crawl throughout the first chapter itself. If I need to make some of it more clear I could definitely work on that. But personally, I enjoy having the intake of information be more gradual and spaced out.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Jar Jar Bricks said:

Testing, I like all of the ideas in that opening crawl. The thing with an opening crawl, though, is that it needs to be straight to the point and deliver only the most relevant information to what you’re about to experience.

I believe I have included everything in that crawl throughout the first chapter itself. If I need to make some of it more clear I could definitely work on that. But personally, I enjoy having the intake of information be more gradual and spaced out.

I mean, Rebel spies don’t appear in ANH, despite being mentioned in its crawl. (Yeah, Rogue One exists, but I’m talking about in the context of ANH itself)

Basically, the crawl is the “before” and the main part of the movie is the “present” or “after”.

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Hmmm I definitely see what you mean.

One thing about the message in this novelization edit is that it was sent exclusively to the First Order, thus reducing its overall importance to the plot. I believe this is implied in Hal’s edit as well.

When the galaxy at large is receiving it, it makes much more sense to include it in the crawl. And as for the First Order losing power, that is already suggested in fewer words in the first sentence of Hal’s.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Jar Jar Bricks said:

Hmmm I definitely see what you mean.

One thing about the message in this novelization edit is that it was sent exclusively to the First Order, thus reducing its overall importance to the plot. I believe this is implied in Hal’s edit as well.

When the galaxy at large is receiving it, it makes much more sense to include it in the crawl. And as for the First Order losing power, that is already suggested in fewer words in the first sentence of Hal’s.

Hmm…

Try removing the whole “somehow Palpatine returned” scene with the Resistance, instead just have the information Poe and his crew gets be that Palpatine is going to unleash the Final Order in 16 hours soon.

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It’s definitely on my to-do list to adjust that Resistance meeting scene. Just haven’t reached that part, yet. The ticking clock is an obvious removal, because Palpatine will not be launching his fleet until he is certain he has either Kylo or Rey coming to him for possession.

I would imagine the information Poe and Finn get would be Palpatine’s message to the FO as well as a report about what Kylo encountered on Exegol. I agree that would be enough information for concern.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Chapter 2 Changelog:

  • HUGE thanks to Captain Faraday on this chapter. His formatting, specifically at the beginning, was an incredibly helpful foundation.
  • More streamlining of descriptions, replacing complicated words. You know the drill.
  • Rocks around Rey are properly described (Google Treasure Planet rings)
  • Overhauled/simplified Leia’s perspective on Rey. It’s clear that she is aware of some source of darkness in Rey, but is more afraid of her refusing to take action than actually falling to the dark side. She wants Rey to learn peace and courage to combat this.
  • Leia’s training was three decades ago, not two (I did the research)
  • When Leia is thinking to herself about her Jedi voices, mentioned how she still hasn’t heard from her father or forgiven him
  • Cut a flashback to Luke and Leia training which served no purpose narratively
  • Luke’s lightsaber is now just as crackly as Kylo’s. Rey couldn’t fully fix it, even with the Jedi texts. Emphasized how this makes Rey feel undeserving of the weapon and self conscious about herself.
  • More clearly suggested that Rey uses the dark side to destroy the training remote
  • Removed Mustafar from Rey’s vision, and overtly stated that she sees herself on the throne
  • Included the beginning of the next chapter so that it transitions to Poe and Finn properly
  • Rey no longer tells Leia about her vision (seriously, why did Rae Carson do this?)
  • Rey returns the lightsaber to Leia every day because she feels unworthy of it since she broke it and couldn’t fix it completely. It’s also Leia’s last reminder of Luke.
    Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GaJ_Klgxiwhtwt_2sxzr2j-sEhZPz8pG/view?usp=sharing

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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This is really nice work! I’m glad my chapter was helpful to structure it; I feel like the text of that chapter is my weakest chapter, and I’m going to go back and revise it at some point. I really like your additions. The turnabout of the “it doesn’t scare me enough then” line is inspired.

A couple of minor observations:

  • “But nothing was all she heard” is a weird sentence construction. That’s kind of my fault since it comes from my own rewrite, but it was a follow up to the previous sentence there, and the emphasis had to fall in a certain way as a result. Since that sentence isn’t in your version, there’s probably a better way to structure the sentence for your purposes.
  • I really like your description of the crackling saber. In my opinion, though, you shouldn’t compare it directly to Kylo’s - I think the subtext is clear enough without explaining it, and it’s a nice “show don’t tell” way of indicating her rising darkness.

This was such a messy and aimless chapter in the original, and your version is very engaging and streamlined.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition by Rae Carson: The Faraday Edit, The Last Jedi: Stoic Edition, Revenge of the Sith: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, The Light Rises, Faraday Junior’s Star Wars

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To address both of your points:

  • Yes, that sentence must have slipped through my proofreading. Maybe I should start reading out loud haha. “But she heard nothing except rustling trees in the wind and chirping birds” sounds better, right?

  • I only did that because I wanted to make sure the reader realized it, but yeah you’re definitely right that it works better without explaining it. Besides, with that paragraph removed, the lightsaber description doesn’t interrupt the flow of the action as much.

Thanks for the help! I appreciate your comments, too.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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I feel you’re missing the point when it comes to Rey’s feelings of unworthiness. As I’ve stated before, she suffers from a core belief of self-worthlessness; on top of that, she just received a vision of herself having fallen to the dark side, convincing her she’s meant to turn out that way some day, so she gives Leia the lightsaber, feeling unworthy because she’s just going to turn to the dark side if she continues being a Jedi and using a lightsaber.

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A text can have multiple thematic interpretations. Nowhere is it stated in the text that Rey has feelings of unworthiness (other than, arguably, when it comes to owning Luke’s lightsaber). It’s a perfectly valid interpretation, but it isn’t hardwired into her character arc. (And, even if it was, there’s no reason it couldn’t be changed in a fanedit like this.) We’re all going to read different things into characters and their journeys, and that’s fine.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Edition by Rae Carson: The Faraday Edit, The Last Jedi: Stoic Edition, Revenge of the Sith: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, The Light Rises, Faraday Junior’s Star Wars

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I agree with the self-worthlessness part. Much of that was already present in the novelization from what I can tell. I tried to hone in on it even more.

But the idea that Rey believes she is doomed is a completely different idea. You are suggesting that Rey is nihilistic.

If she is, then the question becomes this: why does she accept the lightsaber back from Leia before she heads out? And why does she feel like she can prevent Palpatine from taking over in the first place? It’s because she doesn’t want to believe the visions yet. Sure, they’re making her doubt herself and making her feel unworthy, but she hasn’t considered it as an inevitability.

Only when she travels to Ahch-To would I describe her as nihilistic. But of course, Luke points her in the right direction in that dark moment.

I also feel that Faraday is right. These sort of things are going to be different for everybody.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Funny, I’ve never got the impression that she hasn’t fully believed the visions yet until post-Palps lineage reveal. (I haven’t read the actual novel, and I never got this impression from the film)

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Since I wrote about Kylo’s character for this novelization in the main topic thread, I figured I should write out my goals for Rey since it was brought up.

The passage that I’m basing Rey’s character on in this novelization is the following passage from chapter 2:

“There it was. Her greatest fear. That these people she’d come to care so much for would be disappointed in her, maybe even hurt by her. And then they would disown her, just like her parents. She’d been alone for so long. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing any of them.”

Basically, she gets super frustrated when she messes up on even the slightest of things. This is because she thinks the only way other people will accept her is if she satisfies them in all ways. But obviously nobody is perfect. Fixing Luke’s lightsaber she fails at, contacting the past Jedi she fails at, and she has a hard time taking out a simple training remote. Rey sees all of these failures as diminishing to her value. But as TLJ points out, failure is actually a good thing since you can learn from it.

The dark side is “the quick and easy” path to mastering things. That’s why Rey is so drawn to it. But it comes at the cost of immense shame for Rey. So it’s a sort of lose-lose situation for Rey, where she wants to be perfect asap so people are proud of her, but also doesn’t want to use the dark to get there.

Obviously in the end she is taught that a person’s value is determined by their heart and spirit, not what other people think. And the calm and courage that Leia was trying to teach her simply had to do with that general message - you shouldn’t apologize to anyone for who you are. You have to find comfort and pride, not fear, in who you are.

Tragedy of Vader - A Novelization of The Rise of Skywalker

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Basically, she gets super frustrated when she messes up on even the slightest of things. This is because she thinks the only way other people will accept her is if she satisfies them in all ways. But obviously nobody is perfect. Fixing Luke’s lightsaber she fails at, contacting the past Jedi she fails at, and she has a hard time taking out a simple training remote. Rey sees all of these failures as diminishing to her value. But as TLJ points out, failure is actually a good thing since you can learn from it.

Building off this pointer, this is established in the last two films, in TFA she frees BB-8 to please it and later bypasses the compressor after Han initially rejects her to the point where he wants to send her and Finn away to another planet. Not saying this is redundant, I’m just reinforcing it.

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You remember when I pitched the idea for TRoS: Ascendant that Rey’s parents should be bad people who abandoned her because she was a Palpatine to preserve the reveal and her arc from TLJ, and you said that Rey needed a motivation in order to be angry so the ritual would work?

Try re-framing it so essence transfer only works if another person kills the subject in general, no anger or dark side or anything like that required. In this version, Palpatine only escapes from the second Death Star because Vader killed his first body. Palpatine hopes to groom Rey so she would be willing to perform the ritual, and once she’s thrown away by her shitty parents he turns to Ben, hoping to groom him so he would be willing to perform the ritual (whereas Luke and Leia are… knowledgeable and thus would be unwilling to perform the ritual). Palpatine is unable to transfer his essence into another body because Rey did not kill him herself, she merely reflected the lightning onto his face.

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This is how I described essence transfer in chapter 1:

"…willing your spirit on death to transfer into the killer. It only worked if the killer was harnessing the dark side and the victim was defenseless. In such a case, the killer’s spirit would be forcibly removed, and the victim, now the offender, would enter into a new host body. "

Now, the reason I HAD to make it this way is because otherwise Palpatine would have no reason at the beginning of the novel to NOT let Kylo kill him. If essence transfer were described in the way that you have it, then Palpatine could possess Kylo at the beginning without any risk whatsoever. He would go and fight Rey, and even if she killed him, he would simply possess her instead.

In that chapter, I placed particular emphasis on Kylo figuring out why Palpatine didn’t simply possess him at first. Under the description provided above, it makes sense. If Kylo’s body, with Palpatine’s spirit possessing it, engaged in a battle against Rey and died abruptly for some reason, Palpatine would both be unable to possess Rey or return to a clone body. So Kylo figures out that the reason he hasn’t possessed him yet is because Palps wants him to do the dirty work of killing her. He also figures that it’s possible he wants them to fight so he can figure out which one of them is more powerful, and therefore a more worthy vessel for him.

EDIT: Should also mention that I discuss how he is in a clone body (a more advanced form of essence transfer with dormant clones). But that isn’t relevant to this conversation.

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It’s definitely a tough situation that I haven’t fully considered, yet. A major part of Rey’s character arc is that she feels like she needs to prove herself to people after her parents abandoned her. But if it’s suddenly revealed that they were good people with purely good intentions, it definitely undermines that.

I’ll have to give it more thought, but I’m starting to wonder if it might be possible to suggest that while what Rey’s parents did protected her, it was fueled mostly by selfish motivations. Again, I’ll have to think about that more, and it’s definitely not my final word on the topic.

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Jar Jar Bricks said:

It’s definitely a tough situation that I haven’t fully considered, yet. A major part of Rey’s character arc is that she feels like she needs to prove herself to people after her parents abandoned her. But if it’s suddenly revealed that they were good people with purely good intentions, it definitely undermines that.

I’ll have to give it more thought, but I’m starting to wonder if it might be possible to suggest that while what Rey’s parents did protected her, it was fueled mostly by selfish motivations. Again, I’ll have to think about that more, and it’s definitely not my final word on the topic.

Hmm…

Rey’s arc in TLJ is that she learns to stop caring about her parents altogether because they were bad people who threw her away like garbage, they hated her, they never loved her nor cared about her, she is completely worthless to them. If they turn out to be good people who truly loved her, it undermines her arc in TLJ because it turns out she did this all for nothing.