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The <strong>Original Trilogy</strong> Radical Redux Ideas Thread

I enjoy the Special Edition Jabba scene in A New Hope and think it’s really cool that they went back and completed it (twice!), but ultimately feel it doesn’t belong in the movie simply because it depicts Jabba as deigning to personally go see every smuggler he’s got a beef with instead of sending underlings to take care of it. But it might be fun to experiment with Jabba confronting Han via hologram (which could have the secondary benefit of deemphasizing some pretty dated CGI and colors that don’t quite match the ROTJ puppet).

If you could change one thing about every movie, what would it be?

TPM: The face and voice of Sidious’s hologram are completely distorted so Dooku could be a credible red herring for the identity of Maul’s Sith Master.

AOTC: Instead of being a generic pacifist, Padme shares Anakin’s belief that a stronger, more aggressive chancellorship is necessary to prevent tragedies like the ones they experienced in TPM. They bond over this, and their relationship will eventually sour when Padme realizes Palpatine’s going too far and Anakin doesn’t.

ROTS: Include Yoda communing with Qui-Gon.

ANH: Don’t reveal that the Empire’s new weapon can destroy planets in the opening crawl. Let it be a horrible surprise teased then eventually revealed with Alderaan’s destruction.

ESB: Um, gee, I dunno…Dash Render cameo in the Battle of Hoth, maybe?

ROTJ: A more age-appropriate Hayden Force ghost not made from recycled footage.

TFA: Cut out the references to Han and Leia being separated. They suffered a tragedy with their son’s fall, but faced it together.

TLJ: Once Carrie passed away, rework the ending to delay Luke’s death until IX.

TROS: Does “scrap the entire script before filming” count as one thing?

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

Bold, intriguing idea. One milder spin on it could be that Obi-Wan sincerely thinks Anakin killed the younglings because he finds the bodies with lightsaber wounds (inflicted by Sidious himself), then finds the hologram of Sidious telling Anakin to “bring peace to the Empire” (maybe with the implication being the Jedi bugged the Chancellor’s office, further highlighting how morally-compromised the Order has become), and draws an understandable but erroneous conclusion with disastrous consequences.


Absolutely gorgeous screenshots, both in color and detail. And Ponda’s arm looks perfect. Why George thought it was more important to crudely paste rocks in front of Artoo than it was to fix this I’ll probably never understand, but the good news is that it doesn’t really matter anymore.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

Revised dialogue for opening sequence:

OVERSEER: At last, Snoke’s apprentice graces us.
KYLO: I killed Snoke. I’ll kill you.
OVERSEER: Such hate! More than enough to hear the wayfinder’s call. And it led you here. Just as he knew it would lead someone worthy.
KYLO: Who?

Kylo finds the cultists working at cloning tanks, we see new shot of Sith troopers assembling, maybe a holographic memorial or statue of Palpatine.

KYLO: Who are you? Sith?
OVERSEER: No. We are but worshippers of the Two. For a millennia we served them. Even in their deaths we remain faithful, for the dark side is eternal.
KYLO: What is this?
OVERSEER: While Lord Snoke prepared the galaxy for a return to order, we kept watch over the jewel of the Emperor’s Contingency. What was once Snoke’s inheritance is now yours to claim.
KYLO: What could you give me?

[The acolyte triggers an old hologram of Palpatine]

HOLO-PALPATINE: You have trained well, Snoke. The might of the Final Order will soon be ready. You will rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor.

[Star Destroyers rise to the sky, scene ends]

This provides a succinct explanation of who and what we’re seeing, makes clear the Overseer himself isn’t significant, establishes their ties to the Sith without the Sith themselves returning, adds a bit of lore to Sith history between Bane and Sidious, suggests a simpler explanation for who Snoke was, ties the plot into/pays off the Aftermath/Shattered Empire/Battlefront II setup about the Contingency, and further preps the audience to recognize Rey’s ability to sense the dagger’s connection to the wayfinder as a dangerous sign.

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

I’m sure making Sifo-Dyas a Sith apprentice was one of George’s ideas at one point, but both the original EU and Clone Wars season 6 (which was technically released under Disney but written with George’s direct involvement) officially established him as a well-intentioned Jedi whose drastic actions were discovered and exploited by Sidious, who eventually ordered Dooku to have him killed.

Definitely an intriguing idea for a fanedit linking the trilogies, though.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

I’m not sure how you’d do it, but to give Rey a role in the victory maybe she can be shown doing something that takes out the cloning facilities churning out Sith Troopers.

Maybe part of selling that could be if the clone tank from the beginning of the movie is shown to have Jango clones inside of it instead of Snokes or Sheevs, then that tank gets destroyed and causes a chain reaction.

EDIT: Okay, so how about this:

  1. During the opening scene we still see the clone tank, but it’s full of Jangos. Maybe a new shot can be inserted of a legion of Sith Troopers assembled at the ready, possibly constructed from Battlefront II mods (I wonder if the Cinematic Captures guys would actually be interested in making such a shot).

  2. After Rey beats the red guards and Ben arrives after beating the Knights of Ren, Ben (who has prior knowledge of the facility) yells something like “hit the tank,” Rey fires (either a recycled shot of Daisy with her blaster or a new actress filmed from behind), the tank explodes, cloning facilities explode, and THAT’S what causes the explosion that knocks Ben into the pit and seemingly kills Rey.

Another potential source for cloning facility footage would be the first 15 seconds or so of this cutscene from The Force Unleashed II: It’s not photorealistic, but add some smoke, play with the lighting, or only show it briefly while it’s being consumed by flames, and who knows?

The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant (Released)

Neither is perfect, but (to some people, myself included) the choice to leave the Jedi path to focus on raising a child is more intuitively understandable as a choice a parent might make in the real world (even if making the opposite choice would also be valid) than choosing to leave to prevent her son from dying when she leaves the Jedi path and her son dies anyway.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

Valid concerns, though I think the benefit of making this some anonymous figure would be that he isn’t a bigger character; he’s a much smaller one. New dialogue could help clarify this, as well as sell the connectivity to Palpatine’s contingency plans that has been in the official lore all along but the movies don’t spell out well. Sure, there would still be the question of why this dude is hanging from the ceiling, but if he’s just some servant I think weird details like that would be much easier to accept as harmless speculation fodder.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

Another possibility might be that the Oveseer character is taken out by a shot Rey deflects from one of the red guards. Anticlimactic, sure, but such a pathetic end for the character might actually be good if it helps reinforce that he isn’t important for his own sake. After that, maybe Rey and Ben just fly away from Exegol and go their separate ways, which the ending could follow up with either by having them reunite on Tatooine or constructing a new scene of Ben in exile.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

Thanks for the feedback. Deepfaking someone else over Palpatine’s face would also be a possibility with a ton of options – maybe Vaneé, maybe one of the purple-robed ROTJ advisors; heck, maybe even go wild and make him Plagueis. Or maybe put him in a mask. Maybe give this guy the name Tor Valum as a shout-out to DOTF.

All that would be technically challenging to make fully convincing, though. If someone can pull it off I’m all for it, but if not the fully-obscured face would at least make the concept work.

I also sympathize with the desire to have Rey contribute more directly to the Resistance’s victory, and hope someone can come up with something. Given the limits of the source footage, though, I’d also be content with leading them to Exegol in the first place being the extent of her contribution, which seems to me in line with how Luke’s contribution to the Battle of Endor (keeping Vader occupied and out of a TIE fighter) isn’t explicit in the film itself.

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

(1) Use some of the TROS Palpatine footage…but not as Palpatine. If you take Palpatine in the life-support rig and black out his face with shadows, you’re left with a creepy, mysterious hooded figure who could easily be seen as simply the leader of the Exegol cultists, someone who either Snoke or Palpatine had tasked with overseeing the Final Order fleet, and who could be dubbed over with original dialogue to facilitate a wide variety of plot changes without having to worry about fitting lip movements or matching the voice of a preexisting actor.

Suddenly, instead of a character whose revival saddles the film with massive questions and complications for previous stories, we’ve simply got another henchman whose origins can mean as much or as little as the viewer chooses to read into it without truly mattering to the story. Making use of the Palpatine footage in this way also serves a practical purpose that would almost be a necessity to making certain scenes usable, simply because he’s the only person in these scenes that Kylo or Rey interacts with.

Other TROS Palpatine footage could also be modified to use as an old hologram he left for one of his apprentices or other servants, and/or part of a dark-side vision Rey experiences. This would give us the best of both worlds—preserving some of Ian McDiarmid’s massively-enjoyable performance while leaving the character’s ROTJ fate intact.

There are lots of ways the above ideas could go; here’s one example I came up with, as a proof-of-concept:

As Kylo explores the temple, he hears the voice of a Sith Acolyte, the leader of the Exegol operation who for now we’ll simply call the Overseer:

  • OVERSEER: At last, Snoke’s apprentice graces us.
  • KYLO: I killed Snoke. I’ll kill you.
  • OVERSEER: Such hate! More than enough to hear the wayfinder’s call. And it led you here. Just as he knew it would lead someone worthy.
  • KYLO: Who?
    Kylo finds the black-robed acolytes working at unrecognizable machinery (remove the clear shot of the clone tanks, unless it can somehow be edited to convey that they’re cloning troopers instead of either Snoke or Palpatine). Kylo eventually stands before the Overseer, who gives Kylo a greeting and an explanation:
  • OVERSEER: While Lord Snoke prepared the galaxy for a return to order, we kept watch over the true might of the Emperor’s Contingency. What was once Snoke’s inheritance is now yours to claim.
  • KYLO: What could you give me?
  • (Cue the Star Destroyers rising to the sky. The acolyte triggers an old hologram of Emperor Palpatine)
  • PALPATINE MESSAGE: You have trained well, Snoke. The might of the Final Order will soon be ready. You will rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor.

(2) The cave, remember your failure at the cave! A lot of the other changes to remove Palpatine would be fairly straightforward, (like reframing the heroes’ mission from finding him to finding the fleet, changing the hangar reveal from “you’re a Palpatine” to “you killed your parents,” etc.). But the big hurdle that still remains would be how to handle the final battle.

The conventional answer seems to be moving Rey and Kylo’s Death Star duel to take place concurrently with the Exegol space battle. With all due respect to those who have gone this route, I don’t think this entirely works because it leaves the trilogy’s central hero without a role in saving the galaxy from the final threat, and it leaves Kylo with far too little to do—if Rey doesn’t heal him, the last Skywalker dying evil would be a major downer, and if Rey does heal him we’re left with a Ben Solo who apparently renounces the dark side but doesn’t actually do anything to start atoning for his actions.

So my suggestion would be to retain the official film’s general structure, but significantly alter what Rey and Ben find on Exegol—essentially, Rey still flies there to lay down nav markers for the Resistance fleet (preserving her importance to the battle), but once she reaches the arena and confronts the Overseer she experiences intense dark-side visions, comprised of moved, altered, and recycled footage from various sources. Now the scene is more of a spiritual trial like the Dagobah cave, in which Rey has to face all of her fears that have been building throughout the movie about her inner darkness.

I have an outline of how this could go, as well. The centerpiece of this vision would be the Dark Rey sequence, which would have to be removed from its earlier position—and fortunately, could be removed fairly cleanly (once Rey climbs up the ledge leading to the Death Star throne room and turns her head to the right, cut straight to the reveal shot of Kylo already there, to her right, holding the wayfinder).

With that out of the way, here’s my proposal:

  1. Rey lands on Exegol and comes face-to-face with The Overseer, whose red guards surround her:
  • OVERSEER: What have we here? Another contender for the throne?
  • REY: I haven’t come to lead the Sith…I’ve come to end them.
  • OVERSEER: Really. As a Jedi?
  • REY: Yes.
  • OVERSEER: [laughs] Many have said such things. Some even believed them. But you know better, child. Do you think the Sith Eternal cannot see through you? Here of all places? Fear and anger define your earliest memories. They define you.
  • REY: All you want is for me to hate, but I won’t. Not even you.
  • OVERSEER: So you say. But Exegol has a way of…unveiling truths. We shall see soon enough.
  1. With that, Rey’s surroundings are swallowed in shadow, then she’s bombarded with visions. She sees and hears the Sith of the past, which lead to her again being shown herself destroying her parents’ ship, contrasted with the way she almost killed Chewie, and her stabbing of Kylo in anger. As she sees all this, Luke’s “you went straight to the dark” and Kylo’s “you wanted to prove to my mother you’re a Jedi but you’ve proven something else” thunder in her ears.
  • There’s a lot of opportunity here, showing darksiders from the previous movies as well as sufficiently-convincing video game CGI or fan films (with an ethereal vision filter to mask discrepancies and imperfections). Even more opportunity to use villain audio from KOTOR, Clone Wars, Force Unleashed, Battlefront, etc.
  1. All of this culminates with the Dark Rey duel (with the Death Star background obscured by shadow). Dark Rey knocking Rey over transitions to Rey lying injured on the floor. As part of her vision she sees Palpatine unleashing a massive storm of Force Lightning, though we don’t see it actually connect with the Resistance fleet. Perhaps a montage can be constructed of the lightning somehow destroying planets or electrocuting her friends, just to make clear the destruction she’s seeing is symbolic and not actually happening to the fleet.
  • Note: incorporating Palpatine’s lightning storm in some way would likely be a technical necessity, simply because it wreaks so much havoc with the lighting conditions of the Rey footage.
  1. Eventually Rey calms herself, pleading with the Jedi spirits to “be with me.” She hears the voices, rises to her feet, and as the spirits appear behind her (thanks to John’s amazing edit), their light dissipates the darkness and we return to her actual surroundings. As she rises, she responds to Palpatine’s “You are nothing!” With “I… I am a Jedi.” The vision of Palpatine fades away, as do the Jedi spirits. Rey has rejected the darkness, passed the ultimate trial, and is now a true Jedi Knight.

  2. The red guards attack Rey, and she defeats them all while Ben (who arrived while the above was going on, just as in the official movie) fights and defeats the Knights of Ren. Ben joins Rey in the arena. They raise their lightsabers in unison to confront the Overseer, who doesn’t stand a chance against two Jedi.

Admittedly, I don’t yet have a strong idea for how the end of this sequence could be fleshed out in a fully satisfying way. I suppose it would be technically possible to give the Overseer the ability to use Sith Lightning and have Rey kill him the way she kills Palpatine, but I personally wouldn’t be a fan of that since I wouldn’t want to make him more significant than he is. The closest I’ve come up with so far would be having an explosion from the battle above rock the arena—maybe a ship crash or a stray shot—which destroys the Overseer, hurls Ben into the pit, and seemingly kills Rey. From there Ben could crawl out of the pit, and pick up where vanilla TROS or any number of other fanedits do (I’ve got definite opinions on what should be changed there, too, but that’s a topic that’s both beyond the scope of this thread, and which has gotten plenty of debate elsewhere on OT).

No-Palpatine Rise of Skywalker Radical Brainstorming Thread

This is a thread for proposing and discussing ideas to fully remove Palpatine as a living, resurrected character and an active antagonist from Episode IX. I know there have been one or two edits to attempt this, but simply removing Palpatine’s scenes requires losing a lot of material integral to both the plot and the structure of the film. So it’s understandable that most conversation has gravitated toward more feasible lines of editing.

However, after sharing a few ideas in the general TROS Redux thread, I was inspired to do some more brainstorming, and I think I’ve hit upon some novel solutions to those issues. I’ll detail and explain them in the next post, but hopefully this thread will also serve as a clearinghouse for anything and everything related to leaving the Emperor’s ROTJ death intact, so please feel free to propose or debate other ideas as well.

This is an ambitious topic for sure, but also one that deserves much more exploration than it’s gotten to date. Multiple projects exist for making the most of TROS on its own terms, and there have been discussions and efforts to make the Sequel Trilogy cohere and Palpatine’s return work by teasing or revealing him in the previous movies. But there’s something to be said for devoting more energy to making the trilogy cohere from the opposite direction, in a way that doesn’t compromise the good in Episodes VII and VIII by retrofitting a major plot element at odds with their original intent.

Star Wars: <strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> Redux Ideas thread

I know a number of people have done Palpatine-less TROS edits, but it seems to me he’s integrated in the story SO much that you sort of just have to accept the glaring gaps that cutting him out entirely creates. However, has anyone played with the idea of making Palpatine a holographic message accompanying the Final Order fleet he stashed away before his (permanent, one-and-only) death?

The film could start with Kylo getting the wayfinder from Mustafar, going to Exegol…and instead of a cloning facility, he finds cultists who are just maintaining the fleet, who present him with a posthumous message from the late Emperor explaining what it is. Perhaps “it will be yours if you do as I ask” could be further recontextualized as originally intended for Vader, a fallen Luke, or Snoke.

Changing the heroes’ mission from finding Palpatine to finding the fleet would be fairly straightforward, though there would be other hurdles later on that I don’t (yet) have ideas for, the biggest one being what Rey’s doing on Exegol (if she even goes there at all), or whether the Kef Bir duel can be made into a sufficiently climactic final confrontation between her and Kylo with a satisfying resolution.

Another benefit would be that, if we only ever see Palpatine as a decades-old recording, there would be a lot more wiggle room to give him new dialogue via AI or a soundalike, and use distortion effects to mitigate the discrepancies.

EDIT: Okay, I think I have a rough-albeit-workable idea of how the third act & related stuff could go (naturally, a no-Palpatine cut would also mean Rey isn’t a Palpatine):

  1. Rey stabs Kylo during the Kef Bir duel. She then heals him, but is horrified that she stabbed him in the first place so she flees in Kylo’s TIE. The first major difference here is that before fleeing she drops the Skywalker lightsaber and leaves it behind.

  2. Kylo has a heart-to-heart with Han’s memory. He renounces the dark side, but after he throws away his crossguard lightsaber we see a new shot of his gloved hand picking up his grandfather’s lightsaber. (It doesn’t seem as controversial to most people here as the other controversial TROS elements, but personally I hate the Force teleporting objects.)

  3. Rey flees to Ahch-To, terrified by her inner darkness (which could be further strengthened beforehand if this edit goes with the “Rey killed her parents” concept). Luke gives her encouragement, minus the Palpatine stuff. Edits would need to be made to remove the Skywalker saber’s visibility; one easy thing could be to start the scene (after the island establishing shot) with her and Luke already in conversation. Luke gives her Leia’s saber not for any vague symbolic reason, but to replace the one she doesn’t have anymore.

  4. Rey flies to Exegol, laying down nav markers for the Resistance fleet just like in the official movie. She lands, and instead of confronting Palpatine she is faced with all-new Force visions (combination of recycled & modified footage & audio, new voice work for generic Sith whispers. Lot of possibilities here). Now this scene is more of a Dagobah cave-type situation, in which she’s here to confront the dark side within herself. Palpatine could easily be part of these visions (to reuse footage without him actually being back).

  5. The space battle began while all this is going on. Things look bad and the darkness is overwhelming, but Rey’s faith is restored when she connects with the Jedi spirits and/or senses that a redeemed Ben has arrived to help. She overcomes the visions, rejects the darkness, has passed the ultimate trial, and is now a true Jedi. The red guards attack her while the Knights of Ren attack Ben, and they both kick butt separately.

  6. Ben and Rey reunite, and perhaps see the Palpatine hologram one last time. Before they can discuss what happens next, an explosion rocks the arena (maybe a ship crash or a stray shot). It hurls Ben into the pit and seemingly kills Rey. Then Ben crawls out, and the rest can play out either as normal or with whatever other unrelated changes people have made (Ben lives/Ben dies, they kiss/no kiss).

The Last Jedi: Stoic Edition (WIP)

It’s been a while since I last watched TLJ, so I don’t remember the exact scene well enough to know how well this would work, but just to spitball…would it be possible to cut out Maz’s hologram and show just enough of Finn, Rose, & Poe discussing the plan without her to convey the basics, then play Maz telling them how to identify the codebreaker as comm audio while their shuttle to Canto Bight is in hyperspace? Again, just a very rough idea, but might be worth experimenting with.

The Prequel Radical Redux Ideas Thread

One general suggestion that’s been brought up before, but probably not for a while: insert actors in real, physical clonetrooper armor. It it could be done convincingly, just a handful throughout AOTC and ROTS (at least in some backgrounds, but ideally replacing some in foreground shots) would go a long way toward making the films feel more tactile and making the CGI troopers more palatable.

Star Wars Headcanons
  • Despite not participating in the ground or space battles, Luke had the most pivotal role of anyone in the Battle of Endor, and not just as a personal fight to save his father’s soul. By keeping Vader occupied in the throne room, he prevented the Empire’s best pilot from hopping in a TIE and effortlessly gunning down Lando and Wedge before they had the chance to take out Death Star II. This also kept Palpatine’s attention on Luke, preventing the Emperor from using Battle Meditation to bolster the Empire’s space forces.

  • The Empire filing a false report to the Senate that the Tantive IV’s passengers were all killed means that Bail and Breha Organa probably spent their last moments believing their daughter was already dead.

  • Darth Vader’s mechanical arms technically didn’t make it impossible for him to use Force Lightning, just far more hazardous than it was worth. The power that becomes the lightning when it leaves the body is generated within, and once it escaped Vader’s stumps into his artificial limbs it would have at a minimum shorted out his prosthetics, and at most exploded them.

  • How did the Empire build Death Star II so much faster than the first one? Part of it was simply due to the original’s construction working out the kinks through trial and error, giving the second a much clearer roadmap. However, maybe there was another factor: maybe DSII’s superlaser wasn’t actually a planet-killer. We don’t see it destroy anything larger than a capital ship, which is impressive but obviously needs vastly less power. Besides, DSII’s primary purpose was as a trap, so all the Empire really needed was to give the Rebels the story of another Death Star. Once the Rebellion was finished off and Luke was either turned or killed, the Empire could have then taken as much time as they needed to build a true second Death Star.

A Star Wars USB Drive - <em>Box, Case, Tape, Tin, Frame, Figure &amp; Cover</em> Thread...

Here’s my custom box set containing my preferred preservations, fanedits, & extras. Each film gets a Netac 256GB flash drive (I was thrilled to find these; they go great with the Star Wars aesthetic: The container is a simple wooden picture-frame box I inherited, with a custom foam insert. Simple, but I’m really happy with it:

What's your take on Emperor Palpatine being brought back for The Rise of Skywalker?

I feel like we’ve been going around in circles on most of this, Testing, so I won’t waste either of our time going point-by-point (also, frankly I’m going to resist the urge to respond in kind to some of the more obnoxious lines).

Instead, I’ll just share one piece of sincere advice: it’s fine to be passionate about a movie you like and other people don’t, but trying to badger people into liking something never works. If anything, it’s more likely to leave people less inclined to take a fresh look at the thing you’re championing.

What's your take on Emperor Palpatine being brought back for The Rise of Skywalker?

By your logic, how Rey beat Kylo Ren and why Holdo doesn’t tell Poe her plan need a logical basis.

First, Rey beating Kylo DID get a logical basis shown in the film itself pretty clearly. The movie went out of its way to (1) establish via her staff that Rey has experience with melee weapons, (2) demonstrate the power of Chewie’s bowcaster, (3) show Kylo getting shot with the bowcaster, (4) linger on Kylo’s wound before the duel, and (5) show Rey firmly on defense until she lets the Force in. This aspect of TFA, at least, is actually a master class in showing rather than telling; all the pieces are patiently doled out IN THE MOVIE ITSELF. I don’t think any of the TROS elements I’m criticizing come anywhere near that close.

Second, I do think Holdo not telling Poe the plan was poorly handled in TLJ, as well, and there should have been a real explanation for why she didn’t. Did you assume that I don’t think that?

The audience has no reason at that point to believe that Vader is Luke’s father. That’s NOT how foreshadowing works.

You seem to have misread what I wrote again. I didn’t say those elements were foreshadowing or that anyone would suspect Vader was Luke’s father. I said they fit perfectly with the ESB reveal and take on new and deeper meaning when viewed through that lens, regardless of original intent. Which they obviously do.

Also, by your logic, Snoke being a carbon copy of Palps in TFA & TLJ as well as the latter’s theme playing when he’s mind-probing Rey in TLJ is foreshadowing of Palpatine’s return.

I don’t see how my logic says anything of the kind, and frankly just the thought of trying to figure out how it would tires me out.

How, exactly?

By me watching Episodes VII and VIII after having seen IX and not feeling any newfound, Palpatine-related interest, that’s how (if anything, it got in the way of all the elements I was interested in). In fact, the most amazing things about my first post-TROS viewings of the previous movies was how I didn’t feel like they were leading up to anything Palpatine-related at all. They didn’t feel to me at all like they connected to TROS. And I am immensely grateful for that, because it helps me continue to enjoy those films on their own terms (even if I do have to settle for swapping out TROS for my own fan script in my personal headcanon).

If you enjoyed them and found meaning in the trilogy as a satisfying whole, great. I would never even think of trying to stop you. But that simply wasn’t my experience, nor was it the experience of most of the friends with whom I enjoy Star Wars.

Except the “Rey Palpatine” storyline ISN’T about family drama.

You’re reading too much into a simple phrase. It’s drama. It’s related to family. That’s all “family drama” means.

it adds to Rey’s core belief of self-worthlessness, whilst also reinforcing that the saga is about the conflict between the Skywalkers and Palpatine himself, with his heir basically flipping him off when she adopts the Skywalker name to honor Luke and Leia.

I don’t see “Rey’s core belief of self-worthlessness” being a thing, sorry. I know it’s a point you’re passionate about, I’ve read some of your arguments about it, but I just don’t see her that way. If that interpretation is true and meaningful to you, then again, more power to you. It simply doesn’t factor into my interpretation. (I also don’t care all that much for her adoption of the Skywalker name. Oh well.)

Fair, but Anakin still brought balance for almost 30 years.

Yeah, it’s fair to say the ST doesn’t completely ignore the issue, but it sure doesn’t treat it as significant. If they were gonna use Palpatine, I would very much preferred a meatier treatment of it.


That’s one of the most important points here. MOST of what we’re arguing about is subjective. Yes, you inferences mean most of the story’s events make enough sense from a canon perspective, and enjoying it on that level, as a package deal with the theorizing and the reference books and the other supplements is one thing. And yes, some unanswered questions are good in movies (mainly about themes, symbolism, tertiary plot points, etc.). But when discussing a film’s merits as a film, the core experience has to stand on its own, relying only on the other films in the same series. It must be digestible to casuals and fanboys alike, with as few obstacles as possible to both groups’ understanding and satisfaction.

To make another comparison, I mostly liked Solo, and I loved Maul’s cameo at the end, which I understood instantly because I followed The Clone Wars and Rebels. But I can also separate my personal enjoyment of the product from from my recognition that including Maul was a bad move from a general-audiences filmmaking standpoint, because it needlessly confused the hell out of a lot of people who didn’t know why a guy they last saw die in a movie from 1999 was suddenly back and running a crime cartel.

Same with TFA and TLJ, by your logic.

Sure. I have no problem agreeing that both films have things that aren’t adequately explained, although in TFA and TLJ those things do not detract from my enjoyment nearly as much because I find them far stronger and more enjoyable movies overall.

Except it IS impressive, because the Knights of Ren were trained and are skilled fighters - they’re more skilled than stormtroopers, who use blasters.

Most skilled normal fighters (outside of Mandalorians) are no match for a well-trained Jedi or Dark Jedi.

And again, there was no indication Palps knew they were Force-sensitive.

If Snoke knew, then Palpatine would have known.

And how do you know they’re on Exegol to specifically do Palps’ bidding?

Because they do Palps’ bidding while on Exegol. Ben tries to reach Palpatine and they try to stop him.

I never said that, it’s just Palps personally wanted to be MORE powerful.

Well then if it’s just a matter of what he wanted, then any old able-bodied Force-sensitive would suffice. Guy would’ve been smart to dispatch some henchmen to search the galaxy for a few, just in case Oochi did something stupid like get himself killed in the desert while searching for Palpatine’s granddaughter.

Is there something wrong with that? No?

Sure there is. It robs the scenario of moral or thematic depth, and needlessly creates practical complication and confusion.

This, alone, IMPLIES it works that way.

If something seems to work a certain way, and the best answer for why is circular (it works that way because we see it work that way), then it’s either a flawed concept or a flawed execution.

Palpatine was OVERCONFIDENT. It’s something Luke spells out in RotJ: “Your overconfidence is your weakness.”

Sure, but overconfident doesn’t mean incompetent, and it certainly never has in Palpatine’s case.

What's your take on Emperor Palpatine being brought back for The Rise of Skywalker?

The “HOW Palpatine came back” isn’t important to the story - the fact that Palpatine SURVIVED is.

And facts require a logical basis in the story itself. This is Fiction Writing 101.

I advise you to re-watch that scene. It’s Beru who says that, and Owen says that is what he’s afraid of.

Which….is all I said.

Obi-Wan was sad that Luke’s father - a good friend - was killed by Vader […] is about Luke leaving and how Owen can’t accept that - this implies he didn’t want Luke’s father to leave Tatooine as well and avoid being a farmer like himself (Owen) and Beru.

Of course those are the initial, superficial meanings of both scenes. That’s not the point. The point is that the scenes also have hooks and hints at something more which fit perfectly with the revelation that Vader is Anakin, regardless of whether that was the original intention.

Except Palpatine’s return DOES enrich the ST. He’s been the mastermind all this time from the start, pulling the strings behind [etc.]

I do not find anything in Episodes VII or VIII more interesting when viewed in the context of Palpatine being above Snoke and by extension everything else.

Just a point, Rey already deals with her parents believing she’s worthless in TLJ - she doesn’t care about them anymore, and now has the Resistance become her newfound family who’ll give her validation and belonging.

That’s exactly my point — the question of Rey’s family already got a satisfying resolution in VIII, and in a proper Episode IX that resolution could have informed her struggle as the story moved onto dealing with the stage that had been set for the final phase of the war. Instead of letting that resolution stand on its own, Abrams and Terrio felt the need to reopen the case, cramming an all-new (and much more repetitive) family drama into a final chapter that was already overstuffed with half-baked ideas and dangling threads.

On that topic, Rey DOESN’T deal with two (I’m assuming the other one is “They were nobody”) - she deals with ONE. When she says her parents were nobody, it meant they had no actual reason to care about her - they hated her, they threw her away like garbage, they thought she was WORTHLESS.

Huh? Of course she deals with two (contradictory) revelations: “they were random bums who sold her for drinking money,” and “they were heroic relatives of the Emperor who sacrificed themselves to protect her.”

Yes, his body’s literally decaying and has to use a life support machine, and the Sith clearly haven’t returned by TRoS (“The Sith are reborn, the Jedi are dead!” “Nothing will stop the return of the Sith!”). The prophecy is that Anakin would destroy the Sith - and he did.

He isn’t dead. He’s a Sith. Through him the Sith are active and powerful enough to have been — in your words — “pulling the strings behind Snoke, Kylo Ren, the First Order, Luke’s exile, the destruction of his Jedi Order and the bridging of Rey and Kylo Ren’s minds.” The state of his physical body doesn’t change any of that.

I already explained why this is wrong.

And that explanation doesn’t convince me. Sorry, but it doesn’t.

I’m pointing out your hypocrisy, you dislike Palpatine’s undoing of the Chosen One yet literally reinforced the undoing of the OT heroes’ accomplishments.

First, I didn’t say I disliked undoing the prophecy, and in fact I laid out ideas for how undoing the prophecy could have been done well. What I said was I didn’t like TROS’s failure to deal with the significance of undoing the prophecy.

Second, you’re quoting from one of two alternate ST ideas I tossed out in that thread — and one I specifically said was a less ambitious option than the one that would have been my own ideal.

But Palpatine still essentially committed suicide, he was the one who started shooting lightning in the first place - if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have been killed. If the same thing happened between him and Vader in RotJ, he WOULDN’T have survived.

There’s that word “essentially” again. Even if that was the writers’ intention, the fact that Rey effectively gets off on a technicality despite the fact that she consciously acted toward the very outcome she was told would assure his victory—killing Palpatine—makes it all the sillier. It’s like some bizarre space-fantasy inversion of suicide-by-cop.

First off, it’s an INFERENCE. It doesn’t have to be spelled out to you.

“Inference” is not a magic word that papers over shoddy plot construction. Good stories are not fill-in-the-blank activity books.

Secondly, all the Knights of Ren are dead, there was no indication he knew any of them were Force-sensitive, and he certainly didn’t know where they were specifically at even before their deaths.

They weren’t dead in the years between Kylo becoming their master and the Battle of Exegol. They show up on Exegol to do his bidding. If they and Kylo served Snoke, Palpatine could have manipulated Snoke to send one his way. And “master of the Knights of Ren” wouldn’t be a very impressive title for Kylo if they were just normal, no-Force thugs.

Thirdly, there was no indication any of his cultists were Force-sensitive.

See, “odds are at least a few people among thousands upon thousands of dark Force worshippers can use the Force” actually IS a logical, acceptable inference based on existing information and common sense.

Lastly, he targeted Rey and then Ben because she was his granddaughter (and he’s foreseen what she’d become) and Ben was the Chosen One’s grandson.

The idea that only a Force user that powerful could contain a spirit as powerful as his would be an adequate explanation—except TROS didn’t use it. (I know, I know, “inference.”)

EDIT: One more point about Rey killing Palpatine. The plot device of something bad happening if a Jedi kills a Sith the wrong way (which Star Wars has used many times over the years) has never been about the mechanics or technicalities of the cause of death, but about the Jedi’s intentions and emotions behind the act, and the moral message they convey.

TROS takes this simple trope and reduces it to a matter of the rules of a brand-new supernatural power — rules which the movie never sees fit to share with the audience. Kill Sheev out of hatred for him? He gets your body. Kill Sheev out of love for your friends? He still gets your body. Kill Sheev by deflecting his lightning? (With no obvious distinction from the amount of lightning he pumped into Luke OR the amount of lightning Mace Windu reflected back at him.) He apparently DOESN’T get your body. Why? No idea!

If a Sith Lord’s own lightning cancels out the ultimate power of the Sith — something every Sith has apparently done since Darth Bane — then one might reasonably expect SOMEBODY in a thousand years to realize that maybe they should stop using lightning. It also makes Palpatine look kind of dumb that he keeps pouring on the juice as it comes back to hit him — although, to be fair, one can hardly blame the poor guy for not expecting Force lightning to suddenly behave differently than it behaved every other time it was used in the saga.

The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant (Released)

Further, removing the dialogue doesn’t solve the problem of gathering such a large force so quickly. You would need added scenes to do that.

To clarify, I’m not proposing a better justification for assembling the fleet so quickly. I’m proposing eliminating the very idea that the fleet was assembled so quickly to begin with, but rather that it was already assembled by the time TROS begins. Poe’s lines are a hurdle to this change because, as one of the Resistance’s top leaders (and THE co-General by the time of the final battle), he would presumably have some idea of the fleet’s actual size.