INCOMING: LONG POST
I’ve thought long and hard about to fanedit the Sequel Trilogy. Before TROS I was hoping to create my own radical edit that brought together the themes of all three movies and make them equal to the OT for me. But with TROS, I’ve realized the ST really has no point, because it all ends in the same spot as Episode Six. We don’t need three more episodes to the Skywalker Saga.
But I don’t want to just abandon these movies. There’s individual moments that are great! So after a long, while thinking, here’s how I’d fanedit the ST.
Instead of a full episode to the Skywalker Saga, this would be more an anthology, to be viewed after the happy ending of Episode Six.
“At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The Day of revenge. The day of the Sith!”
The edit opens with Palpatine’s message, followed by the awakening of a fleet of Star Destroyers. One jumps to Coruscant, the New Republic Capital, and destroys it with a single blast.
Cut to black.
The “long time ago” text becomes a Blade Runner title crawl (like Solo):
The unthinkable has occurred.
The New Republic is dead,
destroyed by the remnants of
the Old Empire: the FIRST ORDER.
Led by the Emperor’s secret
apprentice, Snoke, and Kylo Ren,
the child of Han and Leia Skywalker,
the First Order commands a fleet
of mobile planet killers: the
ultimate technological terror.
Few oppose them. They are the
RESISTANCE, a final stand against
evil. But they cannot win this
fight alone. They need hope.
And so as the Skywalker Saga
comes to a close, it would appear
the fate of the galaxy lies in
the hands of the last jedi:
the missing LUKE SKYWALKER…
Forgive me. I feel it again. The call to the light.
Our first real scene is Kylo Ren and Vader. This immediately connects us to the rest of the saga and Vader. We also see Kylo’s struggle. Kylo leaves the room and we instantly transition to the opening of TFA - the Stormtroopers prepare their assault over Jakku.
Poe Dameron acquires the map to Luke Skywalker. TFA then plays out in its normal manner: Poe is caught, Finn defects, and BB8 calls into the hands of a random scavenger. All references to Rey’s parents being important will be cut: she is a nobody in this version, designed as an insult to Ben’s obsession with family heritage.
The Rathar Scene would be cut, but everything else in The Force Awakens remains as is up until the third act. Starkiller is cut and replaced with Kylo Ren’s castle.
This would be the hardest part of the edit to pull off, but an overall cold tint would be applied to these exterior shots and a normal ice planet be used for establishing planet shots. The effect would be removing the ultra Death Star from the Sequels.
Finn, who has been trying to run the entire time, leads a rescue mission for Rey. Han is killed in the process, which Kylo believes will cement his turn to the dark side, but he is wrong, and Rey accepts her destiny with the force and defeats him in battle.
And all of a sudden we are in the land of The Last Jedi. Thankfully this movie takes place right after the one before, so unlike TROS, it is easier to link them up. Both Kylo and Rey meet disappointment with their “masters”. Luke, from which the entire crux of the story was built on, refuses to help, and Kylo’s descent into darkness only makes him more conflicted.
The whole Resistance subplot isn’t shown at all. Keep in mind up to this point, the main characters have been: Rey, Finn, and Kylo. No need for minor character Poe to be upgraded to character arc in the third act. And Finn was just taken out of the story with his medical injuries, the injuries will remain while the Resistance is being chased, and he is only seen again in the “rocks” moment on Crait, where Rey and Finn embrace.
One random idea I have is for instead of Leia suddenly using the force, when she had no show of it beforehand, it be Ben who saves her life. I think this would add a real level of humanity to Kylo.
So the movie is all building to Rey and Kylo meeting Snoke. In this edit, the crawl will establish him as the Secret Apprentice to Palpatine, sorta a backup plan in case Vader went awol. There’s no reason to explain much more. Snoke is a stand-in for “evil emperor”, and I think this works better in an individual epilogue than a full episodic trilogy because it doesn’t need to explain everything. It can be symbolic of society constantly facing the same demons, without any of the episodic “fun fun fun” subplots being intertwined.
Luke is redeemed by Yoda in a final teaching moment of Star Wars, and suddenly, the Epilogue has more meaning. Yes, the Empire is theoretically at its strongest, but that does not mean we need to curl up and die. The meaning of the Jedi has never been about saving the galaxy, but providing hope for the galaxy. This would really contextualize Eps 1-6 not as this huge event but one of many Star Wars, and give the Epilogue a purpose in the overall story.
Kylo doesn’t have to be redeemed. The ending would be more ambiguous. The First Order won the fight, but the Resistance won the Skywalker Saga. The final scene of TROS would be moved up to show Rey, a nobody, taking up the Skywalker mantra, not Kylo. But the last scene in the Epilogue, imo, should be the broom boy, intercut with shots of Young Anakin, Luke and Rey all watching the stars.
I know a lot of these themes are presented in The Last Jedi, but I think an Epilogue Anthology would suit the story better. For one, having it be Episode 8 implies Episode 9 is going to end the war in a different way when it doesn’t. I also didn’t like the Resistance in TLJ. But the bigger issue I have is episodic films are expected to be continuations of the story, and Ep 7 doesn’t really take up where you would expect. A more introspective spin-off/epilogue would accomplish the themes of TLJ better.