As a big fan of your edits I like where this is going. Here are my thoughts on your suggestions, followed by my own edit wish-list from my 2nd viewing of the film:
Hal 9000 said:
- Potentially remove the visual of Snokes in a liquid chamber, maybe replacing them with something else, maybe even other Palpatine bodies. Since the movie isn’t going to give a solid account of what happened in any event, the mere line “I made Snoke” could be interpreted figuratively.
Personally I enjoyed the mystery of seeing Snoke.
- If deleted scene is available and suitable, add evil Palpatine broadcast as he lifts the fleet. Hopefully it makes it clear that it’s a broadcast, so later scenes still feel right as they allude to characters already having some idea of what’s up.
That could be cool.
- Maybe remove light speed skipping by ending as they jump the first time, removing TIEs jumping.
I could go either way. Lightspeed skipping opened up the argument between Rey and Poe and I wouldn’t want to sacrifice the relationship building we get in this movie. One thing I think this film did well was convince us that Rey, Finn, Poe are a team.
- When Kylo and then Rey get flashes of scenes from TFA when they touch the Vader mask, Kylo should get flashes of Luke from Crait rather than Ach-To.
That sounds cool.
- Remove line about how R2 backs up 3PO’s memory. It felt like this movie reacted to TLJ’s style by trying very hard to hardly ever let the audience be surprised.
I’m ambivalent about this.
I don’t like “whoever this Chewie person is, this is madness.” Maybe replace with offer to help negotiate or something as if 3PO were fresh out of the box and ready to do protocol stuff.
Possibly remove the destruction of the planet, and the idea that the fleet each has a ‘gun that shoots Death Stars.’
I think that could work. Just having a full fleet of star destroyers with the implication of planet destruction may be enough.
- Remove the line about the Holdo maneuver. If it is something legitimate then someone who lives in that universe shouldn’t have the same misconception as we might.
- I think one could successfully remove ‘Rey Palpatine,’ but it would be unusual for me to deviate from the lore to that degree. I don’t like it, but I think I’d be better off accepting it and maybe tweaking TFA and TLJ to fit in better. I expect I’ll play around with executing this idea, at least.
I’d leave it. There is some real depth to the implicit exploration of bloodlines and how Rey rejected that and chose to use her inherited abilities for good. It also makes the “Rey Skywalker” line more understandable.
Here are some ideas I had for edits. My intention would be simply to streamline the flow of the film without destroying meaning, since this film’s most glaring fault is how much it tries to pack in. Unfortunately I don’t have clear scene descriptions and some of these may be out of order:
After Ren says “I will find you” cut him saying “…and turn you to the dark side.” It’s implied that he will try to do that once he finds her, but why say it aloud? He should be trying to seduce her to the dark side and masking his intentions.
On Ajan Kloss, cut the Leia / Rose / Wexeley exchange where Rose chastises Wexeley for giving bad news in a certain way. Pointless, and it made me dislike Rose even more.
On Kef Bir, cut the Poe / Finn argument. This seems extraneous and noisy.
On Kef Bir, cut Rey fitting the dagger’s shape onto the Death Star II. This is both non-sensical and unnecessary. Rey doesn’t need to know exactly where to go to find the Wayfinder; in fact, if Rey just taking off in the skiff not knowing where she will end up creates more tension about her liklihood of succeeding. When she arrives on the Death Star II there is enough shown in her movements to suggest she is using the Force, or is called to the Wayfinder. You could add in a low, bass-y sound at certain points to suggest it is calling to her.
If you cut the Rey dagger-fitting scene, I suppose you have to deal with the fact that Rey leaves the party on the Star Destroyer to find the dagger. You wouldn’t want to cut that scene entirely, because I think it’s very cool that Rey infiltrates Ren’s sanctum. But justifying that excursion would take some creative thought since Rey says they need the dagger. I’d need to watch the film again to consider how to do this.
On Kef Bir, cut Finn and Jannah entirely from the Rey / Ren duel. There is no need for them to be there interrupting the fight. I don’t think their presence adds any tension or proves that Finn cares about Rey; it only distracts from the duel itself. The only time Rey / Ren seem to actually interact with Finn / Jannah is when Rey Force-pushes Finn back, which could be easily cut.
During the Kef Bir duel, cut Maz Kanata on Ajan Kloss explaining what Leia is about to do to reach Ben. This is self-explanatory.
I have a note that Maz Kanata does this kind of unnecessary exposition later in the film, too, but I didn’t write down the line.
Cut the Holdo Maneuver line. Distracting.
Eliminate Rey Force-pushing Palpatine’s lightning. One of the issues some fans have with the Rey / Palpatine fight is that Palpatine challenges Rey to kill him so he can enter her body. She declines to at first, but then kills him anyway with the Force-push of lighting. Eliminating the Force-push better mirrors the Mace / Palpatine fight from RotS, and allows the audience to think that Palpatine causes his own death; Rey is just defending herself.
Cut Bespin and Endor from the final celebration. This felt like pandering and was a little distracting.
While I believe all of the above cuts would help the flow of the film without taking away from meaning, I had some other ideas that I’m on the fence about. FWIW…
Cut Rey saying she will earn Leia’s brother’s lightsaber. I just don’t see how this contributes to the story, and is somewhat confusing when you see Luke using his actual lightsaber in the training flashback with Leia. I suppose it does reiterate that Rey has “Luke’s lightsaber”, adding meaning when Rey buries it alongside Leia’s.
Eliminate the Ren / Hux “mask” exchange. This was kindof funny (and I do like funny) but felt extraneous.
Find a way to emphasize that the Sith fleet is only operational if all of the First Order staffs the Star Destroyers. This would explain why after the Sith Fleet is destroyed the First Order is no longer a threat, and wouldn’t cause people to wonder how one, assumedly obscure world (Exogal) can not only produce a fleet of Star Destroyers but staff them, too. This also would allow the cut of Endor / Bespin without losing any meaning. I don’t know how to do this, unfortunately.
Eliminate the Reylo kiss, but otherwise preserve that scene. Even though Ben has redeemed himself, he hasn’t, in my mind, earned a kiss from Rey. And as another poster said, there were loud guffaws throughout the theater I was in when they kissed. Ben’s sacrifice for Rey is enough of a gesture, and letting him die without the kiss keeps the audience more open to the final “Rey Skywalker” scene, as Rey will still be longing for the familial connection.
What do you think?