I would probably wait to see what happens in 9 first.
With that said I’ve been personally working on a fairly major cut of TLJ, either to stand alone as a shorter movie or as an extra part of a really long TFA. (I love TFA as it is, or with the Hal 9000 restructure.) I don’t have the expertise to get the audio and music transitions and everything to go smoothly, and it’s choppy in places, but it reflects what I want.
Basically I have two main issues with TLJ. They’re not very original and many people have had the same issues.
- The characters of Rose and Holdo and their subplots.
- Disrespect and revision of existing original trilogy characters: Luke, Han, Leia, Yoda, and the Jedi.
I cut almost every scene with Rose and every scene with Holdo, which means Finn is also conspicuously absent, but it can’t be helped. No Poe subplot either, no Canto Bight, no DJ. Rose is now just a member of the Resistance who participates in the final battle, her “meet cute” with Finn is when they both crash during the battle (no kiss or dialogue) and Rey looks on approvingly at Finn giving her the blanket on the Falcon.
Leia isn’t ever wounded; Kylo Ren’s choice not to kill her actually matters. Her maternal love for him and her connection with the Force are manifest in that way, instead of a goofy space flight.
The First Order figures out how to shoot at the obvious transport ships on their own. The hyperspace ram is pulled off by Luke, repurposing the scene of him straining to contact the unconscious Leia (and Yoda’s lightning bolt. Yoda is not in the movie.) We only see the chair from the back and can figure out later that it was his projection in the chair. This gives Luke’s role more punch and justifies the map subplot a lot more in TFA. I prefer Luke not dying at the end (since it means Kylo Ren “killed” him anyway,) but he can.
Luke and Rey’s interactions are carefully arranged so that Luke is still grumpy, but he wants to teach her. He mourns Han in the Falcon as soon as he finds out. Luke doesn’t hate the Jedi or criticize them. The audience can infer (since Han already told us in TFA, and there are scenes where Luke says this in TLJ) that he felt guilty and like he failed as a teacher. He doesn’t want to take on new students because he doesn’t feel like he can be trusted with them, and he’s worried about them turning to the dark side - he almost gives up training Rey when she starts looking into the dark side cave. Luke’s interpretation of his confrontation with Ben is the correct one and an alternate is never presented. Rey’s anger at Luke is just about him not thinking Ben can be saved, and trying to leave, not that she thinks he’s a murderer.
PM me if you want to see the rough cut.