I had some ideas regarding Holdo, Canto Bight, and the B Plot in general, and I wanted to share them here and get some thoughts.
This first post is going to be able most of the Poe/Holdo stuff specifically.
A lot this is going to be sorta stream of consciousness, because really it is just notes I’ve written down over the course of a few days in my spare time, so apologies in advance.
So to start off, I think a lot of these ideas go with the idea I’ve mentioned before of having additional insert shots during the battle of D’Qar that shows the First Order “slicing” into the Raddus’ navicomputer. I think this would do a lot for the movie. When Poe decides to stay and destroy the dreadnought, that gives the First Order enough time to complete their connection and track them, and this way their tracking tech feels less like it came out of nowhere.
I would also suggest cutting Hux being visibly shaken after they escape, and maybe even cut him being reprimanded by Snoke. I think it would be better if the opening battle still felt like a victory for Hux. That way, it helps justify his overconfidence and hubris during the rest of the movie. Hux’s hubris, imo, is really the most logical excuse for why the FO doesn’t try to flank the Resistance or swarm them with TIE fighters. Hux is merely overconfident and wants to relish in his victory, so any change that helps support that premise makes that idea clearer.
Later when the FO fleet shows up, Leia says, “They’ve tracked us through lightspeed.”
Cut Finn’s “that’s impossible” and cut Leia’s “yes, and they’ve done it”, and just start with Finn’s next line after that about if they jumped again they’d be screwed. Now, it makes it seem like the Resistance is a little more aware of the technology, which helps set up something for later. (ALSO, you would think Finn, of all people, would know that it might be possible)
First Holdo scene -
No ideas for any big edits yet. Maybe cut the shot of Poe looking around after she dismisses everyone. But otherwise, I don’t really see a good way to cut it. Plus, if the Resistance seems to be more aware of hyperspace tracking, then Holdo would possibly know that not only is Poe responsible for the deaths of the many Resistance pilots, but also for giving the FO enough time to track the Raddus. That, plus other reasons, like Poe immediately lying about his rank to a superior officer, and his attitude in general, you can sorta understand why Holdo would be mad. I also think the audience is meant to not like and distrust Holdo at this point, so we shouldn’t feel like she is being fair to Poe initially. In my head, I also feel that Holdo is still figuring out the details of her plan at this point. But, more of my following ideas are meant to try to make Holdo more relatable in the following scenes of her. Maybe some other people have ideas for this scene though.
In the scene where the first ship runs out of fuel, I want to add a new voice over.
Maybe in between Holdo watching the other captain die saying “Godspeed Rebels!” on the hologram, and when Connix asks what to do next, you could have an offscreen Officer say “Transports have arrived undetected.” This helps set up that Holdo knew what she was doing and was testing out her theory to see if transports could go undetected by the First Order.
I just went back and watched this scene, and Connix actually says, “Admiral, six hours of fuel left.”
I’ve mentioned this before, but I also think that any specific mention of time (like a certain amount of hours remaining) should be cut. I think how much time passes should remain ambiguous. So instead, maybe her line could be just cut down to, “Admiral…” as if she were awaiting orders, which Holdo then responds to appropriately.
Something like that might not be immediately recognized by the audience, but once her plan is revealed to Poe, it would be nice for the audience to internally go, “Ohhh, that’s what she was doing” when looking back at it.
Speaking of which, I kinda want to cut Poe’s line, “That could work” when Leia explains it to him.
Poe Makes a Scene -
*Poe barges in.
*Poe: Tell us, that there’s a plan. *[cut “that there’s hope”]
*Cut “hope is like the sun” line
*Cut Poe finishing quote
*Holdo then responds to Poe’s question with a calm “Yes”
*Cut to the shot of the computer screen with the transports on it.
*Over that shot, have Holdo start saying, “When I served under Leia, she-“
*Poe cuts her off: You’re fueling up the transports?
*Cut to Holdo, but make the shot slightly shorter, so Poe walks away before she can really say anything, instead of just staring at him.
*Poe walks up to the terminal, starts his rant. As Holdo enters the bottom of Poe’s frame, have her say “Captain” taken from the first scene, as if she is trying to talk, but Poe keeps going. By the end, when he calls her a traitor, she kicks him off the bridge for going too far.
I’d have to see it to know if it would work for sure, but this scene is meant to show Holdo trying to be a little more reasonable with Poe. Now, when Poe asks if there even is a plan, she calmly says yes. And while her next line would be the start of the whole “Hope is like the sun” line, now it can be up to interpretation. She might’ve been just saying that in this version too, but one also could interpret it as Holdo about to tell Poe that Leia told her about Crait. But, Poe being paranoid, jumped to conclusions and doesn’t give her a chance to explain. I just think this would help bridge that gap between not liking Holdo and finally liking Holdo by the end, if at this point she seems a little more reasonable.
Poe’s Mutiny -
Either keep it the same, except cut Holdo saying “I hope you know what you’re doing” and Poe’s “Yeah”. Again, not giving Holdo much of a chance to say anything. Poe just tells them to guard them and then walks toward the bridge, or just cut away from the scene before Holdo says that line. Next time we cut back to Poe, he’s walking to the bridge.
Or, don’t have Poe hold Holdo (heh) at gunpoint at all. Just cut that scene. Next time we cut to Poe, he is walking to the bridge. Cut Poe’s line “Yeah, we spoke”, probably just by cutting to the control panel shot sooner. One benefit of cutting it is that by not having Poe hold her at gunpoint, it might seem less weird for her to later say “I like him”, later after he did something so drastic.
Have him start turning off the lights in the hangar, but cut the shot of the pilots holding Holdo at gunpoint, the subsequent shoot out, Poe seeing it on the screen and telling Connix to shut the door. So now, it goes like, Hanger light #1 ‘off’, #2 ‘off’, then cut back to Connix shutting the bridge door.
Between then and when they start burning through the door, you could either add knocking on the door, or maybe some kind alarm sound to show that the Resistance has caught on to Poe hijacking the ship.
Maybe use this Tantive IV alarm sound. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lq_voGkLFD8
Later on, at some point once Holdo sits in the captain’s chair to turn the Raddus around, generate a new shot using the insert of the captain’s chair screen from Poe’s hijacking scene. This time, the shot will show the Raddus pointing toward the Supremecy, but the line of the Raddus’ hyperspace trajectory is lining up with a blue blinking dot that is inside the Supremecy. So during the build up toward the ramming, we’ll see this shot, a repeated shot of the active tracker, and then show it again when she goes to lightspeed, we’ll cut back to it very briefly right as she jumps, and the tracker will flash in a bright white light.
I had made this suggestion awhile back on the TLJ ideas thread, but EddieDean recently suggested the same thing. He worded it very nicely.
Regarding the Holdo hyperspace ram and the new hyperspace tracking, maybe these could be tied together. I like the earlier suggestion that hyperspace tracking requires something hyperspatial on the tracking ship (rather than the tracked one), but maybe that could become the weakness that the Raddus uses to attack it directly. Perhaps as Holdo prepares the attack, we could cut to a Raddus screen with some imagery making it clear that it’s locked on to the FO ship’s hyperspace tracker. Perhaps even with a further shot of the tracker itself, just to hammer it home. That would neatly explain why this technique hasn’t been used elsewhere, when it seems like such a powerful but accessible weapon.
It really fits in well with the idea that the bad guy’s technology also carries the seed of the downfall. I was also thinking that you could put a version of that Supremecy graphic with a blue dot inside it (representing the active tracker/hyperspace anomaly), or maybe with a graphic of the active tracker alongside it, in an earlier scene to help imply that Holdo was studying the Supremecy. Maybe in the scene where Poe has his tantrum, you could put this Supremecy graphic on the screen next to the one that shows the transports.
And when Holdo rams into the Supremecy, you could have it where it looks like the ship began splitting halfway through the ship rather than all the way through it. This would be another little thing that helps imply that the Raddus hit the tracker, that is in the middle of the ship, rather than the ship just going right through it.
And possibly, but not necessary, you could superimpose a blue hyperspace tunnel-like effect inside the active tracker array window, to help visually infer that it is connected to hyperspace, sorta like they’ve created a hyperspace bubble inside the ship. Or you could possibly give the room a blue tone.
If you have any thoughts about these ideas please share them.