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Star Wars - Ashes of the Empire (a WIP)

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Star Wars - Ashes of the Empire

I’m looking for feedback/input on an idea I’m working. The aim is to produce a standalone sequel movie to the Original Trilogy built using scenes from TFA and TLJ. I want to show the torch being passed from the OT characters to the ST characters and end with a new status quo emerging.

Ideas I’d like to experiment with:

  • Using title crawl to establish Rey
  • Opeing with Han Solo’s death
  • No Star killer base references
  • Truncating TLJ plot to remove Canto Bight completely
  • Reinstating all the additional Luke deleted scenes from TLJ
  • Leia dying in space

I envision the edit being around 2:30 since large sections of TFA are removed as I’m less concerned about the origins of Rey. I wish to keep as much of the Kylo footage. Continuity errors and character placement will be the biggest issue.

The hypothetical narrative is:

Opening on a resistance assault on a First order base (Repurposed Star Killer Assault)
Han solo dying
Rey goes in search of Luke
First order retaliate and destroy Leia’s base
Space chase begins
Luke and Rey
Leia dies
Kylo loses his temper
Snoke order Kylo to return to him
Rey confronts Kylo
Snoke dies
Holdo’s sacrifice
Battle of Crait
Luke passes away

I want to find a way to include Kylo’s interrogation scenes but they hinge on discussions about the map to luke plus dealing with the location/escapes of the characters presents a headache. I’m also not clear how to give Poe and Finn satisfying arcs so ideas are most welcome.

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Now that is the sort of quality feedback I’m looking for! Thanks for the welcome Ray!

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Interesting. I’d personally like to see it end on starkiller base, Rey effectively killing Kylo. So maybe Han is the last to die.

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Perturbator said:

Interesting. I’d personally like to see it end on starkiller base, Rey effectively killing Kylo. So maybe Han is the last to die.

Thank Perturbator, the issue there is the early sections of Luke and Rey’s interaction deals with Hans loss plus I want to include the Luke has a moment deleted scene.

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Hello and welcome Malthus - what a great idea you have here. I’m not a fan of the ST and TLJ is imo the best of the bunch, so retaining it as the core of the story, with what you have in mind, seems to be the perfect way to approach the trilogy.

What do you have in mind for the opening crawl? How would you describe Rey, to introduce her in a satisfying way?

Poe had a cool arc in TLJ (and no arc at all in TFA, he barely had a personality beyond “hotshot pilot”), so if you could retain some of the lessons Leia teaches him… maybe not have her die? Luke’s moment with her would be retained, and if this is just an epilogue to the OT, with Han’s death I think that’d feel earned.

As for Finn… he has an arc in TFA and his arc in TLJ depends on it. Hm… not sure how you could go around that one.

Looking forward to updates, I hope I can contribute to this in any way possible. As a wise man once said, “we’ll watch your career with great interest!”

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Omni said:

Hello and welcome Malthus - what a great idea you have here.

Thanks for the welcome Omni. I whole heartedly agree that TLJ is the best of the bunch if only because it did something fresh. The space chase was a nice idea and I loved grumpy Luke, it felt like a natural progression. Luke literally becoming his version of Yoda

As for the crawl I was thinking about establishing Rey as Leia’s pupil would be the best route to circumnavigate the origin story and there’s is the training footage from TROS if I needed to evidence this.

With Poe I was wondering, could he get captured instead of destroying the dreadnought and then be freed by Finn? Effectively lift aspects of TFA and repurposing them. I feel Poe is more heroic in TFA and in TLJ he’s far more arrogant. I think recording things could show him grow into a hero.

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Welcome to the forums!

I just wanna say I feel skipping Jakku is losing the best part of the trilogy.

Do you really think the Battle of Crait is a satisfying conclusion without a sequel?

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Hi Anakin. While I enjoy Jakku the issue I have with it is that it feels too familiar. It’s obviously homage to Luke’s origin story which is fine in and of itself but I don’t want that in this edit. I really like the Last Jedi as it did something different and its core ideas are solid. As for the Battle of Crait it isn’t the conclusion per say. The conclusion is the fact a new status quo has emerged. Kylo Ren is the supreme leader while Rey is quite literally a new hope. I want the edit to reflect the cyclical nature of the force it doesn’t need a conclusion as it is demonstrating the galaxy will constantly be in flux and it ends where we effectively started with A New Hope. The sequel trilogy failed for me because it tried to tie everything up neatly. The edit isn’t a love letter to the past, it is supposed to be a passing of the torch.

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So after giving this some more thought I have a few ideas that could be fun to play with.

Kylo’s interrogation of Poe will me resequenced after Kylo realises that Rey is with Luke.

The structure now looks like this:

Open with the final act from TFA, opening with Star Killer base but removing references to its purpose. Han dies, the base is destroyed, Rey leaves to find Luke.

Kylo goes on the hunt for the rebels and captures ace pilot Poe (TFA intro)

Rey trains with Luke (TLJ)

The first order strike back at the rebels and destroy Leia’s base. The rebels flee. Poe is cut from these scenes. (TFA intro)

Rey and Kylo connect via the force/Snoke (TLJ)

Kylo tortures Poe (TFA)

Rey has her moment and decides to seek out Kylo (TLJ)

The first order locate the rebel fleet en route to Crait. No canto Bight no Poe being repremanded as he is with the first order. (TLJ)

Repurpose Finn rescuing Poe (TFA)

Snoke showdown and Holdo’s sacrifice (TLJ)

Battle of Crait (TFA)

Maybe conclude with Death Star Duel.(TROS)

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Okay so I think I’ve settled on my structure for this edit.

The plot in a nutshell:

• Start with TLJ to introduce Luke and Rey
• Cut to TFA First order destroying the Republic bases with Star Killer
• Return to TLJ Luke has a moment (as a reaction to the death of the Republic.)
• Rey and Luke up to the first Kylo/Rey moment
• Cut to TFA Kylo captures Poe searching for Luke. Introducing Finn
• Back to TLJ Rey and Luke
• Poe interrogated (TFA)
• Training Rey (TLJ)
• Poe escapes with Finn
• More Rey training
• First order destroy Rebel Base (TLJ Intro)
• Luke explains the past
• Leia injured in escape
• Rey leaves to confront Kylo
• Snoke showdown/Holdo Smash
• Battle of Crait

End

This allows me to alter the time flow of the movie and extend the time Rey spends with Luke. It avoids Canto Bight, simplifies the space chase and keeps a structure similar to TLJ. There are several aspects I enjoy from the sequel trilogy which I would lose in this edit specifically Han’s on screen death and the first Kylo/Rey fight but I believe this is acceptable since it’ll give edit a shorter less bloated narrative and a new crawl will be created explaining things. This is how I’d imagine that crawl starting…

Star Wars: Epilogue

Ashes of the Empire

Han Solo is dead, killed by his own son the rogue Jedi Kylo Ren. Now Leia Organa’s student Rey has set off to locate Kylo’s former master Luke Skywalker with the hope that he will be able to rein in his rabid pupil. Meanwhile the First Order…

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Do Rey and Poe know of each other in this edit? It seems strange if Rey has found Luke but she doesn’t send a message to Poe who is searching when he’s captured.

This is an interesting edit btw, I will look forward to it 😃

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Yes, they know each other but the key difference is that Poe is not searching for Luke. The crawl establishes that the resistance leaders know Luke’s whereabouts but it’s classified information. Kylo is hunting down resistance leaders in an effort to find this information. Poe only has the map at the start as he’s trying to keep it out of Kylo’s hands.

The first draft of this edit is roughly 80% done. I just need to tidy up the Finn/Rose/Rey content in the battle of Crait.

There is one minor continuity frustration which is Kylo’s scar but I don’t believe it is a significant issue. Potentially I could attempt to deep fake the two scenes but I feel that’s over kill. I could explain it away in the crawl saying Kylo has been left with an ‘unhealing scar’ or some such. Perhaps the physical manifestation of his ‘split spirit’.

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Current crawl:

STAR WARS

Epilogue

Ashes of the Empire

Han Solo is dead, killed by his son the
rogue Jedi Kylo Ren. To make matters
worse General Hux of the First Order is
nearing completion of a new weapon, a
Dreadnaught class star destroyer with
which they wish to eradicate any trace
of resistance.

With dark forces swirling General Leia
Organa has sent her pupil Rey along
with Chewbacca to seek out her brother
Luke Skywalker in the hope that he will
return to the fight and put an end to the
First Order but Rey is not the only one
who is seeking Luke.

By order of Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo
Ren has set his sights on the legendary
Jedi Master. However, Luke is not found
so easily. His whereabouts is classified
known only to a handful of resistance
leaders. The First Order are searching
and no one is safe…

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Draft one is nearing completion

Aim: To produce a stand alone epilogue to the original Star Wars trilogy

Objectives:
Create a fanmixed narrative combining aspects of episode 7 and episode 8 (see sample below)
Remove Star Killer Base plotline
Remove TLJ Hux/Poe comedy (see sample below)
Remove Canto Bight plotline
Disclaimer: This is not an effort to “fix” episode 7 or episode 8, I enjoy both of those films in their own right. This is an attempt to craft a single enjoyable adventure that could serve as an alternative to the sequel trilogy.

Cutlist:

I will write up a formal cutlist once I begin my second draft of this.

Current narrative structure:

Crawl - https://vimeo.com/498008930
The First Order capture Poe Dameron
Introduction to FN-2187
Rey and Chewbacca meet Luke
Kylo is conflicted - https://vimeo.com/498009337
Luke tells Rey she needs a teacher
Kylo Tortures Poe
Luke wrestles with his responsibility
Kylo and Rey connect for the first time
FN-2187 frees Poe and escapes the First Order
Luke gives Rey and Lesson
Kylo learns that FN-2187 has helped Poe evade capture
Poe and Finn arrive at the Resistance base
Snoke meets with General Hux and Kylo - https://vimeo.com/498009744
The Dreadnaught is unleashed
The Resistance flee
Rey continues to train with Luke
Snoke berates Kylo
Kylo attacks the fleet
Leia is injured Holdo assumes command
Rey has an experience with the dark side of the force
The fleet lose a vessel
Rey leaves to meet Kylo
Luke is visited by Yoda
Poe and Holdo clash
Rey meets Snoke
Poe attempts a mutiny
Kylo betrays Snoke
Leia incapacitates Poe
Kylo offers Rey a chance to rule together
Holdo makes a sacrifice
The battle of Crait
Broomboy

The end

Current status:

The edit’s first draft is proceeding well with only the battle of Crait left to edit as I need to reconcile the fact Poe and Rey have not met. A workprint is available and I would welcome input on this project.

Known continuity issues:

Kylo’s scar. I believe this could be explained away in the crawl. Snoke describes the effort to kill Han Solo as having ‘split’ Kylo’s spirit. What if the scar was an unhealing physical wound that represents how torn Kylo is. I think a line in the crawl saying something like ‘Left with an unhealing wound Kylo now seeks out Luke at the behest of his new master, supreme leader Snoke’

Key jobs to do:
Create an authentic custom crawl
Make trailer
Possible reinstate deleted scenes (Extra lesson and Luke has a moment)

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Your ideas sound good, I’m interested. : )
Anyway, I did a rewrite of the crawl to condense and reorganize it a bit.

STAR WARS

Epilogue

ASHES OF THE EMPIRE

A terrorist organization known as the FIRST ORDER has unleashed a massive battleship equipped with the power to destroy entire star systems. Now serving the First Order, the fallen Jedi Kylo Ren has betrayed and murdered his father, Han Solo.

Desperate to stop these growing threats, General Leia Organa has sent her pupil Rey to seek out her missing brother Luke Skywalker. Feeling responsible for his nephew’s fall to the Dark Side and the destruction of his new JEDI ORDER, Luke has went into exile.

The mysterious leader of the First Order, Snoke, has ordered Kylo Ren to hunt down Skywalker. However, Luke’s whereabouts are classified and known only to a handful of resistance leaders. In this age of turmoil, the First Order reigns and no one is safe….

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Thanks for your input. While the crawl is not final it definitely will be starting with the words “Han Solo is dead”

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Based on Expanded Universes input I’ve written an alternative crawl

STAR WARS

Epilogue

Ashes of the Empire

Han Solo is dead, murdered by his son the fallen Jedi Kylo Ren. Allied to the remnants of the Empire Ren now serves as inquisitor to the First Order. Led by Supreme Leader Snoke these fanatics have developed a new weapon, the Dreadnaught class star destroyer with which they wish to overthrow the New Republic.

Desperate to stop these growing threats, General Leia Organa has sent her pupil Rey along with Chewbacca to seek out her brother Luke Skywalker. Their mission; to convince the hero of legend to return to the fight. However, Rey is not the only one seeking Luke.

Snoke has sent his inquisitor to hunt down the last Jedi but Luke is not so easily found. His whereabouts are classified and known only to a handful of resistance leaders. In this age of turmoil, the shadow of the First Order is spreading and no one is safe…

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After receiving feedback on the initial draft I’ve come up with an action plan for draft #2: Each point is designed to flesh out character arcs or tighten up plot points.

#1 Kylo - Include flashbacks for Kylo - Revisit Han Solo’s death twice during the movie. Once near the start and an longer one later. The fist flashback will cut back to him removing his mask before cutting to Vader’s mask
#2 Rey - Repurpose her experience within the mirror using the flashes she sees in Ep7 (https://vimeo.com/500054706)
#3 Rose - Reinstate aspects of her introduction talking about her sisters death and her admiration for Finn, THE Finn
#4 Poe/Holdo Dynamic - Reinstate some aspects of their conflict.
#5 Luke - Replace Milk montage with deleted scene of him having a moment
#6 First order - rework audio to say - The dreadnought not A dreadnought.

Known continuity issues:

Mention of the forest - This refers Tina scene from Episode 7 which doesn’t appear so I am hopefully going to redub this sequence. Over on the FE discord there’s an individual who sounds uncannily like Adam Driver.

With any luck I’ll have draft #2 finished next week.