Just watch Hal’s edits to see what I mean. They’ve added quite a few subtle hints at the true forces behind the First Order, without altering the plot too much. If you want more obvious teasing of Palpatine’s return, watch Poppasketti’s TLJ edit as well. He added Palpatine teases to the entire movie, culminating in Palpatine telling Kylo to find him. Those edits tease Palpatine’s return pretty much perfectly in my opinion, and you should really check them out.
That sounds interesting. Could you please describe how Poppasketti’s TLJ does the hinting well?
I still don’t think introducing Palpatine so early really works, JakeRyan. It raises the uncomfortable question of why Palpatine’s name is never spoken during the entire runtime of TLJ, even among the First Order. It feels too much like a fan edit, and not enough like something intended by the filmmakers.
My suggestion for connecting Palpatine to the first two movies would be just adding subtle hints, like Hal did in his edits. He did a great job adding teases of Palpatine without making it too obvious. Then, you could include Kylo meeting Palpatine at the very end of TLJ, as a “one year later” flash forward. It would be a nice sequel hook to get people excited for the next movie, and it would allow for Palpatine to be introduced earlier without feeling weird.
You are completely right that adding Palpatine to the first movies is awkward. In fact, I think just dropping Palpatine altogether would make a far better TROS.
However, we have to work with what we have…and what we have isn’t very good.
So I encourage everyone to go as radical as possible in this artform.
Let’s see how well things go with Palpatine introduced in TFA. We should never tell people to NOT experiment. That’s how we find out what does and does not work in order to find the perfect outcome. Let’s not think of these as for “the audience” so much as “an artform to experiment with.”
So let’s see how radical this can get:
Episode 7: Rise of Palpatine.
He now openly runs the first order from TFA, and this movie is showing his first strike back, and the mystery of how he survives will be an major plot point of discussion instead of a throwaway.
A) The opening crawl can establish the peaceful Organa government does not know where Palpatine is or where Starkiller base is…but it’s chaos as he just announced his return after 30 years. Perhaps the fortnite recording can play over various peaceful locals, ending with Leia realizing the danger. Use Leia’s TLJ speeches as warnings as they are suddenly about to be attacked in a time of peace.
B) Snoke’s hologram replaced by Palpatine. This one may be hard…
C) Alternatively, make Snoke a clone that Palpatine’s mind was in. A throwaway line of “this body will soon need to be replaced” or something can be cobbled together with Snoke’s conversation with Rey.
D) Establish the rebellion’s knowledge that Palpatine’s main body needs to be replaced is the information hidden on the droids. This will relate to Kylo below.
E) For dialogue that talks about Palpatine, we already have General Pryde as an acolyte. In fact, including his creepy talk to Palpatine early on could help make the mood darker by altering it to include ALL the First Order as acolytes. This establishes where they suddenly all came from–it’s not just another empire, it’s mostly a cult.
F) We also have Phasma. Since we never see her mouth, we can use lots of Gwendolyn’s dialogue, such as from Game of Thrones, to talk about the Emperor’s return. She already talks about “Black Magic” in Thrones.
G) StarKiller base succeeds in taking out Leia’s government. The strange new weapon’s power can be edited to use lightspeed so it vanishes and thus can’t be traced. Footage from ROTS, heroes despair, sad ending.
H) However, one person does track it down…Kylo Ren, using a Sith wayfinder, the original droid mcGuffin. He has come to kill him and take his power…and Palpatine just laughs.
I) But on the other side of the Galaxy, Rey tracks down Luke Skywalker, who admits he went into exile…because he cannot find a way to beat Darth Sidious.
If I wanted to get crazy, I would incorporate pieces of Mandolorian as well. Incorporate the tests they were doing on baby Yoda as an cloning experiment to make a Midichlorian-powerful enough body to handle Palpatine’s spirit. Without a strong enough body, it destroys the host, hence Snoke becoming decrepit so fast.
I just threw this idea together in 10 mins. Not saying I’m gonna do it, but the thought experiment of trying to make Palpatine a major character from the start is fun.