Here’s a bone headed idea. Obviously the crawl would have to be different and not reveal Palpatines survival, but… and hear me out.
We open up on the Falcon in flight to get information from Boolio, that whole scene plays out. Then we move to Rey training and that whole scene plays out and the change comes when Kylo is reaching out to her in the force.
Kylo reaches out and we get all of the flashes with some added TLJ Luke in there, then it smooths out and we see an editing version of Kylo’s excursion to Exegol. This way the reveal is for later in the film, but we still get to see it right before Poe informs the Resistence.
It makes sense also for Kylo to flash images of the Emporer to Rey since he is trying his best to manipulate her to the best of his ability, doing this would set her on edge at an earlier point.
I just like the idea of opening up on the Falcon too
Not a bone headed idea at all! This same idea is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past several days. Structurally, I think the film is poorly served by the reveal of Palpatine right at the top of the film. I agree with you that that reveal, along with his fleet of ships, should come later. My ideal would be that it comes after they find the dagger on desert party planet (forgive me, I’m totally blanking on the proper name at the moment), making the initial chase for the wayfinders and the true stakes not really hitting until after, making it all the more important to actually translate the dagger and find the wayfinder. I’m still thinking about how this would work exactly, it would likely involve new dialog for masked Kylo…but then, I’m becoming more and more convinced that the mask on/off decisions in this film are designed to do exactly what I’m suggesting, plug in the necessary dialog depending on where that scene ends up in the cut.
On the subject of Lightspeed Skipping, it’s my opinion that the spy rendevous and chase opening can be cut entirely. There is nothing that happens or is said in that scene that isn’t covered again later. The spy is mentioned multiple times after, making it unnecessary to actually see him. And the lightspeed skipping is referenced later only to instigate the conflict between Rey and Poe, and if one desired to keep it for a fanedit, the simple reference to it serves just as well without having to see it in action. One possible wrinkle is in not getting the visual cue ahead of time when the spy head is tossed on the table by Kylo. But for my money, and since that alien spy character is not even a character I have any investment in, the intention in that scene can play just as well selling the simple idea that “we kill spies here”. We didn’t have to see any Bothans to get that “many Bothans died”.