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The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant (Released) — Page 6

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I’m hoping the right people can be like “well god damn, at least we can put it on the BR” rather than the wrong people being like “ don’t you dare” for political reasons.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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NeverarGreat said:

Sure, but why not have it that her parents never came back? This genuinely feels like a mistake on Rian’s part, whereas almost all of his other departures from expectation were motivated by an important thematic reason. But regardless, we’re kinda getting off topic.

I mean, the line is basically just a way of saying “no one noticed when they died and they’re buried in the middle of nowhere.” Which is a way of selling home the point that not only did they not come back, they never can, and no one cares (except Kylo). It feels important to me, maybe removing “Jakku desert” would align it better with the ship leaving, but again it’s not hard to think of a way to reconcile the two.

We are getting off topic but I think for Hal’s sake it’s important to think of what lines should or should not be said in that scene with how the reveals in this edit will play out.

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Hal 9000 said:

I’m hoping the right people can be like “well god damn, at least we can put it on the BR” rather than the wrong people being like “ don’t you dare” for political reasons.

This is my question. Do they think “oh the fans will be satiated if we put this or that scene on home video,” or do they go in the opposite direction “we can’t make the film look bad by putting out scenes that make the fans question our editing choices.”

I did a break down awhile ago, but JJ has gone so far as to include alternate (aka prereshoot) versions of scenes (including for the similarly maligned STID). But the TFA release is not exactly a comforting picture, as it’s obvious there was still a lot missing that wasn’t put out. Though I guess we should be grateful for anything.

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Hal, I think you’re referring to the EXACT post on Reddit I stumbled upon this morning. Absolutely infuriating.

Also, if you need some masked-Kylo dialogue I can do a half decent Adam Driver impression. Not good enough to stand on its own but with a shit ton of mask muffling and other effects it could work.

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Thanks, we’ll see if it’s needed.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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snooker said:

I’m really scared that, if the reworks were as extensive as we fear, we’ll get a repeat of the Rogue One home release when it comes to deleted footage.

True, but Solo had even worse behind the scenes drama, and that got its deleted scenes released. We’ll be fine for The Rise of Skywalker.

Noah Lawson

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@HAL9000

I recently had the great pleasure of watching all your SW work in a 72-hour chronological marathon, culminating in my second screening of TROS.

1-3, HAL9k v6
3a – Coaxium Heist (great work here @DigiMod)
3b – Rogue One, HAL9k half-assed
4-6 – HARMY De-specialized
7-8 – Restructured v3 and Legendary v2, HAL9k

What a treat! I am forgiving to a fault where Star Wars is concerned (where my Ewok Adventure fans at?!), as long as the storytelling feels like “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”. Your work does just that. Following the themes and characters through the entire journey was so satisfying. Even enjoying Solo, for goodness sake, and appreciating an introduction to his character that resonated all the way through TLJ. The how’s and why’s we can endlessly debate, that’s precisely what the fandom should do. But the value of cutting away distracting story elements and contemporary cultural/sexual politics, simply to follow the “long ago, far away” principle, well, that re-kindles the spark of hope that even TROS might not be beyond saving. Even if I, personally, find the Palpatine storyline terribly disappointing, I’m hopeful that even the frenetic panicky mess of TROS might be tamed somewhat. Thank You, all of you here.
That said…Hoo boy…TROS

Already so many great thoughts offered here. @Stein offered some great specific thoughts about the places tone was adversely affected. His point about Maz Katana serving purely to interject explanatory dialog was a major distraction for me. And her prescient tone made me feel that I should expect the opening notes of “kiss the girl” “circle of life” or “can you feel the love tonight”.

  • When Leia walks away to give the last of herself to save Ben, CUT Maz out entirely. Also the shot immediately following where Leia is being led out by Lt. Connix. When we next see Leia, she is standing alone. Connix is not necessary.

  • Agree the Leia/Rose/Wexley exchange should be cut entirely. This was the one spot in the film where re-purposing Leia footage felt like a Bad Lip Reading joke. Terrible and pointless.

This brings me to an idea that’s been nagging at me. I don’t have anything like a comprehensive idea for a fanedit, but Leia’s death scene in particular serves as an anchor point. There’s already been discussion about the film lacking any kind of tension or stakes (Chewie death? Fixed . 3P0 wiped? Fixed. Zori Bliss blown up? Fixed, and Hey, Babu Frik!) JJ never dares let characters deal with consequences, or even sit with them for more than a few beats. Good thing nobody got an ouchy from Palpatine’s massive force lighting attack.
That same surface level rush diminishes Leia’s sacrifice and death. So here’s what I’ve been playing with.

—Leia uses the last of her strength to summon Ben’s memory of his father, Han. I’ve toyed with this, and I think in the hands of someone truly skilled it could work. I haven’t put too much thought into the follow-on effects of this structurally, but I really like the value it brings to Leia’s story. Interestingly, in seeing the film again, the fact that Ben’s exchange with Han is a replaying of the same in TFA, is reinforced by the fact that from the very beginning of the scene, there is no visible scarring on Ben’s face from his defeat by Rey (even though he’s got a hole in his doublet from Rey impaling him?). Ben is back at that same moment to make the opposite choice. It’s much more effective, in my mind, that Ben is pushed into that memory by Leia. So…

  • Leia’s first interruption in silhouette with “Ben” remains the same.
  • Cut his head turn, and instead jump to chest up medium zoom (the seas and wind are calm, he’s in another place). More of this shot might be used if some digital wizard might remove the damage to his doublet in the wider part of the zoom.
  • Cut back to shot of Leia laying down while holding Han’s medal (Han’s memory is a part of her plan)
  • Cut back to finish the zoom into Ben and we hear “Hey kid”. The scene plays out the same, only cutting the reference to Leia being dead. For that just cut from Ben saying “it’s too late” to Han shaking his head to say “Ben?”
  • Then, after their final exchange of “Dad?” … “I know”, instead of Ben turning to throw his saber into the sea, cut to Ben (still in the fight) close up shot of dropping his saber and we’re back into the action of Rey grabbing the saber and stabbing him and Leia’s hand dropping as the last of her energy is spent.
    This end of scene for Ben, it seems to me, is no different narratively (as in, How does he ultimately get back to Exegol?) than what already exists in the TC.

On the question of Finn not following Rey in a skimmer, I couldn’t agree more with the desire to cut it entirely. The only question that immediately jumps to mind is some way to work in the story that’s told at the conclusion of the fight scene. Rey runs to steal Kylo’s Tie, and she flies away in a single panning shot that includes Finn and then the entrance of the Falcon to pick him up. The shot could be trimmed before Finn enters frame, but it’s sole value lies in Finn watching Rey leave, so they know they don’t need to pursue her/take them with her. At the very least, I think there’s value in simply using the shot of Finn in the death star interior and hearing the sounds of the saber fight, but cutting any subsequent interference with or even observing the fight itself until he pops into frame to watch Rey fly away. Of course, one might then desire some way of him knowing it was Rey who flew away in the Tie, unless that’s chalked up to his still budding force sensitivity. Ugh…what a mess.

One thing I would suggest in the leadup to the skimmer section though, would be a cut from Poe’s “What do you mean you haven’t seen her” right to the shot of the skimmer cresting the wave. The scene of them running to the ridge with binoculars and Jannah saying “She took a skimmer” is pointless. A cut to Rey is far more interesting.

Similar to cutting the Leia/Rose/Wexley scene, I think the Poe/Rose/Beaumont scene following the Death Cannon demonstration should go. If one is attempting to cut the Death Cannons, which I strongly favor, then the only exposition one might possibly miss is the news that Leia declared Poe Acting General. But I think that’s of minimal importance or might be worked in some other way. Far more effective would be a cut from Chewie keening after the loss of Leia to the scene of Leia under the sheet while Poe talks to her about not being sure if he’s ready for command. Which Lando inexplicably enters into. Chewie to dead Leia to Poe feels better to me. Maintains the tone, inserts silence to deal with Leia death instead of interjecting big boom planet destruction. Poe’s later “you made it” to Bliss can easily apply to her having made it off Kajimi period, without the planet having to be destroyed.

Another thing I’d love to see tweaked, Hux declaring himself the spy. I much prefer Pryde intuiting this and blasting him. I haven’t put a lot of thought into how this would work. If it turns out that Hux’s line has to stay, I think, at the very least, it would be better tonally if there’s a cut after Poe screams “What?”. Cut all the “I knew it” banter which makes the scene comical. But I think one could cut after the pan up to Hux’s face, right into Poe screaming “What?” and then right back to Hux “We don’t have much time”. Pretty sure that could work.

I’m still mulling over many thoughts, especially after seeing so many other great suggestions here.

I’m excited to see what this fanedit can be.

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Schmendrick said:

On the question of Finn not following Rey in a skimmer, I couldn’t agree more with the desire to cut it entirely. The only question that immediately jumps to mind is some way to work in the story that’s told at the conclusion of the fight scene. Rey runs to steal Kylo’s Tie, and she flies away in a single panning shot that includes Finn and then the entrance of the Falcon to pick him up. The shot could be trimmed before Finn enters frame, but it’s sole value lies in Finn watching Rey leave, so they know they don’t need to pursue her/take them with her. At the very least, I think there’s value in simply using the shot of Finn in the death star interior and hearing the sounds of the saber fight, but cutting any subsequent interference with or even observing the fight itself until he pops into frame to watch Rey fly away. Of course, one might then desire some way of him knowing it was Rey who flew away in the Tie, unless that’s chalked up to his still budding force sensitivity. Ugh…what a mess.

All the other ideas you’re throwing around sound great, but I think Finn being there has a major purpose in the movie. Finn has been almost senselessly trusting and chasing Rey for 3 movies, and being thrown back by Rey is a turning point, where he realizes it isn’t his job to help her.

Even more so, Rey throwing Finn back is a sign of how desperate she is, how much she has (unwisely) taken all the responsibility on herself, and how close she is getting to the dark side, culminating in killing Ben.

Rey’s struggle is perhaps the clearest narrative thread, it’s worth enjoying!

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EddyMerkxs said:

Schmendrick said:

On the question of Finn not following Rey in a skimmer, I couldn’t agree more with the desire to cut it entirely. The only question that immediately jumps to mind is some way to work in the story that’s told at the conclusion of the fight scene. Rey runs to steal Kylo’s Tie, and she flies away in a single panning shot that includes Finn and then the entrance of the Falcon to pick him up. The shot could be trimmed before Finn enters frame, but it’s sole value lies in Finn watching Rey leave, so they know they don’t need to pursue her/take them with her. At the very least, I think there’s value in simply using the shot of Finn in the death star interior and hearing the sounds of the saber fight, but cutting any subsequent interference with or even observing the fight itself until he pops into frame to watch Rey fly away. Of course, one might then desire some way of him knowing it was Rey who flew away in the Tie, unless that’s chalked up to his still budding force sensitivity. Ugh…what a mess.

All the other ideas you’re throwing around sound great, but I think Finn being there has a major purpose in the movie. Finn has been almost senselessly trusting and chasing Rey for 3 movies, and being thrown back by Rey is a turning point, where he realizes it isn’t his job to help her.

Even more so, Rey throwing Finn back is a sign of how desperate she is, how much she has (unwisely) taken all the responsibility on herself, and how close she is getting to the dark side, culminating in killing Ben.

Rey’s struggle is perhaps the clearest narrative thread, it’s worth enjoying!

I like your thinking here a lot. It’s probably the case that I find myself so much annoyed by the idea that Finn and Jannah simply follow Rey in what we were told was a wreckless and near impossible feat, that I’ve been blinded to the broader character implications. I still don’t love that, whatever force sensitivity he might demonstrate, Finn is able to so easily follow Rey. But the points you make are excellent and arguably worth saving.

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On the question of removing/keeping the kiss between Ben and Rey, I would rather it were cut. It would be quite simple to do I think. I’ve read here how some audiences groaned and some cheered. Here’s my thinking.

The overriding thought I have on this is my feeling that Ben and Rey ultimately come through their adventures more as brother and sister than as lovers. Throughout TROS the parallels to Luke and Leia reinforce the sibling idea. There’s an interesting resonance imagining what might have been if Palpatine had been able to get his claws into either Luke or Leia if they hadn’t been hidden from him. The goal of each throughout the new trilogy has been to turn the other, just as Luke set out to turn his father. Again, the familial rather than romantic parallel. The tension is good, the realization falls flat for me, though. And for the Reylo fans that respond positively to the kiss, I suspect they might get just as much emotional mileage from a Romeo and Juliet unrequited love version of the scene in which it seems the kiss might be possible, but then Ben dies.

re: Wilhelm scream. It may be that, as a child of the age of ILM dominance, I am just imagining things but, I think I hear a disguised Wilhelm at the beginning of the battle of Exegol, right after Poe says “Welcome to Exegol” on his roll to the right, the engines growl in an odd way that sounds Wilhem-ish to me. Similarly, I would swear there is a Wilhelm disguised in TLJ when Kylo makes his first rage filled swipe at Luke. Is it just me?

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Aaaaannd another thing…

Question - When it comes to Force Ghosts interacting with the world around them, would it possibly make things better if there were some other sound effect to replace the dramatic boom when Luke catches the saber at the bonfire? The Force Vacuum effect so prevalent throughout the new trilogy? It wouldn’t stop him affecting a physical object, but it might diminish the sense of his own…um…solidness. It shouldn’t sound like metal smacking a hand right in front of a microphone.

Also, if one desired to further diminish or remove the idea that Force Ghosts can now change things in the real world, how about cutting Luke’s wordless raising of his X-Wing. I would sooner try and see if there’s a way to re-purpose the shot of the X-Wing underwater from TLJ and suggest that Rey gets the idea herself. It’s already WELL established, for good or for ill, that raising the X-Wing wouldn’t begin to tap her power reserves. As much as I love having Luke on screen as often as possible, just running with the given nature of Rey’s powers is still preferable to the torturing of Force Ghost powers in the service of a member-berries scene.

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Some additional thoughts, riffing on the recut Leia death scene.

  • Cut back to shot of Leia laying down while holding Han’s medal (Han’s memory is a part of her plan)
 In this shot, perhaps try to add a VO of Leia saying "remember"...perhaps even re-purposing her use of the 
 word from somewhere else in the saga?
  • Then, after their final exchange of “Dad?” … “I know”, instead of Ben turning to throw his saber into the sea, cut to Ben (still in the fight) close up shot of dropping his saber and we’re back into the action of Rey grabbing the saber and stabbing him and Leia’s hand dropping as the last of her energy is spent.
 I don't know if it might help with storytelling in this beat, but one might still use the "memory" Ben 
 throwing the saber figuratively to match cut with his dropping the saber actually.

Just thinking out loud.

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Alright Hal,

Before I start I love your new scroll!

I have a thought for the TROS edit! Hear me out! You might think this is either silly, dull, or a good idea.

Some of my biggest grips with the film was the reveal of Palps being Reys grandfather. I don’t necessarily have a problem with it, but it was more of the execution. It just seem so flat and on the nose.

My other issues is that this film was supposed to be a wrap of the whole saga in its entirety, but it didn’t feel like the film succeeded in that goal.

So I have a solutions to fix both of those personal problems.

When Kylo reveals Reys back story I whole heartily believe that her parents still should be no one, but there is still a twist to her story, and no it’s not that Palps is her grandfather. Here is my interpretation:

Palp reveals to Kylo that Rey is more of threat to him than Kylo realizes. This will obviously be revealed to Rey by Kylo on his Star Destroyer and with him wearing the mask this is very plausible with a voice over. Kylo reveals that she is conceived of the force just like his grandfather. She was indirectly created by Palps just like he manipulated the force to indirectly to create Anakin. So “in a certain point of view” she could be his “daughter” with his “powers”. But Palps wants her dead because history will repeat itself and just like Anakin destroyed him the first time she could repeat that pattern because she is one and the same as Anakin and a threat.

Palps could still have her parents killed because he felt a tremor in the force when she was conceived and wanted her found and dead, but they did hide her for her protection.

This revelation to Rey and Kylo could also explain more of the Force Dyad. They are both products of immaculate force conception. They share a bond because their bloodlines are directly connected to the living force itself.

Those are my initial ideas in a nutshell, but I feel like this is way more compelling and it brings the whole Saga to its full circle, force conception to force conception. Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker. I also feel with this story her taking the Skywalker name is deserving and makes sense because “in a certain point of view” she is a Skywalker.

Hope you like it. No offense if you don’t. Excited to hear your thoughts.

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Hal 9000 said:

Here is a potential crawl, based on one drafted by DZ-330:

“Episode IX
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Luke Skywalker has ignited a resurgence of hope in the galaxy. The populace of countless worlds have risen up against the diabolical First Order.

Rey, the last hope of the Jedi, continues her training under General Leia Organa, hoping to commune with Jedi of the past.

Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, determined to destroy any threat to his rule, seeks the source of his former master’s power…”

Only change I can think of to this to feel most like a traditional Star Wars crawl would be to start with “There is a resurgence of hope in the galaxy.”

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Schmendrick said:

@HAL9000

I recently had the great pleasure of watching all your SW work in a 72-hour chronological marathon, culminating in my second screening of TROS.

Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed them!

And I’d be leery of restructuring Leia’s death since I think it was done well, but if an idea has merit once I can actually play around then sure. Moving the Han scene between Leia reaching out to distract him and the actual impaling would higher the idea of Kylo Ren being dead but Ben Solo being alive. It’s an interesting idea.

Maz really was weird in this movie. If it’s smooth to cut her at times like announcing what Leia is doing, I’ll at least try it.

Good call on Luke’s hand making a sound as if catches the saber. I’ll see about that when it’s possible to do so.

I’m not leaning in the direction of changing Rey’s parentage, and I think a simple continuation of Rey Nobody would be the only alternative for me to try. Even ROTS only made the vaguest of allusions to Anakin being a creation of Palpatine. I seem to recall the EU novel Darth Plagueis describing Anakin as being conceived by the Force in response to the shenanigans he and Palpatine were up to with trying to create life. So it’s possible to interpret Anakin not as being Palpatine’s sort-of-son. That’s what I consider the truth, personally.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Hal 9000 said:
Maz really was weird in this movie. If it’s smooth to cut her at times like announcing what Leia is doing, I’ll at least try it.

My only concern with that is that I think it will make it even less clear than it already is what the hell Leia is doing.

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“What she has to do now will take all the rest of her strength” or whatever she says hardly clarifies much. It just says “Carrie Fischer’s character is about to go die.”

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Hal 9000 said:

“What she has to do now will take all the rest of her strength” or whatever she says hardly clarifies much. It just says “Carrie Fischer’s character is about to go die.”

At least it clarifies that she’s making an active decision to do “something” vis a vis Ben, and that whatever it is requires the last of her power, similar to Luke’s final actions in The Last Jedi. Honestly, I’m not sure the visual storytelling here is strong enough to convey even that, as clunky as the line is.

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Octorox said:

Hal 9000 said:

“What she has to do now will take all the rest of her strength” or whatever she says hardly clarifies much. It just says “Carrie Fischer’s character is about to go die.”

At least it clarifies that she’s making an active decision to do “something” vis a vis Ben, and that whatever it is requires the last of her power, similar to Luke’s final actions in The Last Jedi. Honestly, I’m not sure the visual storytelling here is strong enough to convey even that, as clunky as the line is.

Yeah I thought that line was also a soft explanation of the end of tlj in response to that criticism

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Octorox said:

Hal 9000 said:

“What she has to do now will take all the rest of her strength” or whatever she says hardly clarifies much. It just says “Carrie Fischer’s character is about to go die.”

At least it clarifies that she’s making an active decision to do “something” vis a vis Ben, and that whatever it is requires the last of her power, similar to Luke’s final actions in The Last Jedi. Honestly, I’m not sure the visual storytelling here is strong enough to convey even that, as clunky as the line is.

Good point. I think the only way to be sure would be to play with the cut and see if it’s missed. Personally, I think the sense of what’s happening is pretty clear with the visuals given in the TC. As soon as the fight between Kylo (her son) and Rey (her student), both of whom she has a connection to, is truly engaged, we get the shot of Leia dropping her headset and walking away from the command center. To my way of thinking this is the echo of what we’ve seen from Yoda and Obi Wan several times throughout the saga, a pained sense of connection to a disturbance in the force. After Leia is walked off by Connix, the next time we see her is in silhouette and calling to Ben. The fact that, as Maz says, “to reach her son now, it will take all the strength she has left” seems obvious to me in that, after she’s done just that, her hand drops and she’s clearly gone. Nobody had to explain that the effort of Luke’s projection in TLJ was precisely the thing that ended his life.

Again, your point is well taken. I am admittedly biased in that, while I resent hand-holding exposition most of the time, I am particularly irked by the fact Maz has been made into a character with all the force sensitivity and intuitive power of Yoda, not because she’s particularly important in the workings of the force, but because the movie needs her to be to speak the internal monologues of other characters. It makes her a cloying annoyance when I watch the film. I thought she and her ancient wisdom and intuitions were handled gracefully in TFA, but not so in this most recent film.

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EddyMerkxs said:

Octorox said:

Hal 9000 said:

“What she has to do now will take all the rest of her strength” or whatever she says hardly clarifies much. It just says “Carrie Fischer’s character is about to go die.”

At least it clarifies that she’s making an active decision to do “something” vis a vis Ben, and that whatever it is requires the last of her power, similar to Luke’s final actions in The Last Jedi. Honestly, I’m not sure the visual storytelling here is strong enough to convey even that, as clunky as the line is.

Yeah I thought that line was also a soft explanation of the end of tlj in response to that criticism

Good point. And that’s precisely why I’d lump it in with the Holdo maneuver joke and it’s like. Those things were clearly injected as digs or responses to criticisms which have their place in OUR time. If it’s not “long ago, and far away” it takes me out of the experience and I’d sooner see it cut.

The line, to my ear, is at least as clunky as the Medic Droid’s “she’s lost the will to live” at the end of Episode 3, which HAL9k wisely replaced.

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Yeah. It’s not ideal, and I’d have to play with that line to see how it might play without it.

Schemedrick PM’d me an interesting idea about how to restructure Leia reaching out to Ben, in text format. It’s essentially this:

Rey and Kylo are fighting on the DSII.
Leia is shown in silhouette, calling out to Ben.
Ben appears distracted (using shot from right before Han appears).
Leia lays down, holding Han’d medal.
Kylo hears Han address him; “Hey, kid.”
Their conversation plays out, removing direct mention of Leia being gone, right up until Han says “I know.”
Back into reality, Kylo drops his saber. Rey impales him, heals him, and leaves.

It’s a very interesting approach, highlighting the imagery of death and rebirth. In this ordering, Kylo makes his resolution first and is then baptized by Rey in a way. And it’s directly tied in with Leia, making that feel clearer.
I’m not sure it makes good story sense, though, for Ben to be reborn and Rey to immediately flee into self-exile. But it’s something to think about.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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This probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’d like to anyway, especially as I anticipate a sporadic process of production come April. I’ll truly have to work on stolen time whenever I can get it, and will not be nearly as able to just sit down with ideas, instead having to jot them down and get to them later.

The things that have made for good end results that I’ve been involved in have come from the community, you guys and FE.org primarily. Ideas, visual and audio effects work, refinement feedback, cover artwork, etc.

I hope we can come together to make the best possible fan edit of TROS possible within the sensibilities displayed in the other Hal9000 edits. Though it’ll ostensibly be listed under my screen name, and I’m happy to serve as MC in the interest of executing and completing this, YOU are all Hal9000.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Hal 9000 said:

YOU are all Hal9000.

Star Wars: “I am all the films…”
Hal: “And I am all the faneditors!”

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Ha.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.