A radical change of all 3 films would be to remove the extraneous characters that added nothing to the overall plot. Thus leaving us with the classic 3 plus the new characters that have arcs…which is basically Kylo and Rey.
The war itself could be restructured to be an escalating battle to the climax in 9.
Using the “big moments” as the basis, the storyline can be altered but still workable with the footage.
These would be hard, but feasible with heavy dialogue editing and rotoscoping.
The big battle climaxes are:
Snoke’s fleet being rammed.
Exogal fleet falling.
The big classic character climaxes:
Han talks to Kylo.
Luke’s force projection.
Leia’s talk with Kylo.
The big new character moments are:
Rey’s self-discovery moments.
Kylo killing Snoke.
Kylo redeeming or dying.
Sadly, Poe, Finn, Rose, Holdo, Lando, Hux and Phasma…they all basically had no character arcs. Poe ALMOST does. He might be saveable, but the others would have to go. Snoke is a total mess, but fixable with the right dialogue with Palpatine.
The big force power moments:
Rey grabbing saber.
Rey’s dark cave visions.
So perhaps there’s a way to restructure all these into a longer more cohesive narrative.
Let’s experiment with Leia.
What if we remove Holdo altogether? Leia is now the main leader of the rebels. We can incorporate her slowly deteriorating body language as a reflection of Kylo’s corruption.
If we restructure the space battles, the footage of Snoke’s ship (which was a beautiful shot) can become part of the entire story’s climax.
So, what if Leia’s big force power reveal is changed slightly. The final battle above Exogal is going badly. Rebel ships are dropping. Leia’s ship takes a massive blow, it starts to drift, she appears to get sucked out…
Now to rework Luke’s footage. We have his force projection meditation and his death. Can this be incorporated into the above final battle? Perhaps he went into exile to go past the physical lightsaber-style fighting and into a new realm. So from his deserted island, he found a way to tap into a larger power that is beyond distance.
So while the battle is raging, we cut to Luke meditating. Ships are dropping. Palpatine has electrocuted everything. Things are lost. Cutting between Leia and Luke shows they are force-contacting each other for the last time as she is about to die.
Things pause in silence, she makes one final force movement, and BOOM. Her damaged ship makes the 1 in a million kamikaze that wipes out the Sith fleet and turns the tide of the final battle.
So instead of the force spacewalk, the footage of her floating off to space is changed to be her final sacrifice. Luke truly learns how to transcend the physical as the Jedi always intended, working together as the final Skywalker family act.
However, we’re not done yet…
Now how can this change Kylo’s arc?
Well, perhaps Leia can be contacting him from the force ghost nether. Han’s ghost could actually be Han: a force projection from Leia herself. Using Leia’s dialogue would make that feasible that she’s bringing Han out for Kylo’s sake.
This is just an example of rearranging existing footage to still have a cohesive narrative. I think there’s many other options, but this is how using TLJ + ROS footage together can make a better climactic end to both Skywalkers.
Next post, tackling villains, so Snoke, Sith, First Order and their general uselessness.