I have debated for months about even bothering to complete this trilogy since most of TROS is irredeemably bad. Unfortunately, The Last Jedi for all its merit still doesn’t feel like a satisfying end for these characters, so Starlight would either be an incomplete story or have an embarrassingly perfunctory final chapter.
In light of this, I’m considering a more unconventional edit of TLJ and TROS:
EPISODE IIIV - THE LAST JEDI
Since the Force Awakens will end with the Falcon leaving for Luke’s island, the extra scene of Rey and the Jedi Steps will be one of the first scenes in The Last Jedi, and the story of TLJ from here mostly follows the film with some added deleted scenes. A Sith Wayfinder could be added to Snoke’s throne as a visual connection between Snoke and the upcoming Sith fleet. The death of Snoke shows his eyes glow red and his spirit leave Snoke’s body.
The climactic scene of the film is Holdo’s Sacrifice. Rose and Finn go where they belong, and when Kylo awakens on the Supremacy his eyes smoulder red. The scene is followed by Yoda and Luke and then the Broom Boy scene. As the boy pulls the broom to him and begins sweeping, a voice crackles into a distant speaker. It is Poe, saying ‘We are not alone. What our mothers and fathers have fought for we will not let die. Today we make our last stand…for the galaxy!’ Many ships jump into hyperspace here, not just one.
EPISODE IX - THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
The Rise of Skywalker begins with a pan down to Crait and the arrival of Finn and Rose and BB-8. The Broom Boy scene at the end of the previous film acts as a misdirection, as there is no response to the Resistance’s call for help. Luke’s arrival and confrontation with Kylo will be edited so that Kylo seems more conflicted about his identity. To do this I would remove his final raging run against Luke; in this version Luke will hand Kylo an ultimatum and Kylo will accept this without undue screaming. The voice of Palpatine again comes to Kylo when he finds the illusory dice.
After the Falcon leaps into hyperspace, Kylo consults the mask of Vader and Palpatine’s voice again speaks, telling him that he’s been every voice inside his head. Palpatine tells Kylo to bring him the girl and he can have the Sith fleet. He sees a vision of Rey on the throne, a vision shared with Rey as she meditates on the new Resistance base. Mustafar minute, Kylo on Exegol, and the Iceberg/Lightspeed skipping are gone. The Falcon lands and they hear that somehow Palpatine has returned and there’s a Sith fleet on Exegol. Rey learns of the wayfinder and they go to the desert planet to find it and the dagger. Cut Rey Palpatine and Rey’s parentage. She merely finds the dagger without healing the snake and she Force lightnings Chewie. Kylo is now so consumed by the Sith spirit that he rebuilds his mask.
They get to the Death Star and they fight. Rey kills Kylo. This shock kills Leia as well. Rey flees in Kylo’s TIE fighter to Luke’s island, fearful of the sudden voices of the Sith in her head. Her eyes begin to shine red. Kylo, now a ghost, meets the spirit of Han and is redeemed in death. On the island, Luke says that Rey needs to face her fear and go to Exegol. She does so, leading the Resistance to the Sith Fleet.
Rey goes to the Sith throne. Around her are the Sith cultists and Palpatine’s disembodied voice fills her head. He tells her all sorts of lies, such as that she is a Palpatine, that she belongs on the throne, basic Sith stuff. The roof opens up and she sees her friends being struck down over the planet, Palpatine’s voice telling her to take the throne and save them. She assents. A sudden shock strikes her to the ground and Palpatine’s laughter fills the throne room. As she lies on the ground a ghostly form appears and coalesces into the body of the Emperor. ‘Look what you have made’ he says to her prostrate form. The cultists chant as he sits on the throne and unleashes lightning on the fleet. Rey beseeches the ghosts and they appear to her, Ben included. Between them all she rises and defeats the ghost of Palpatine. Above her the Resistance is victorious, and she flies away in the X-wing.
After the celebration, she buries the sabers on Tatooine as her friends play games on the Falcon, and then the Falcon flies into the sunrise.
What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)