We know that investing in the time to read a 200+ page document for a rewrite when you don’t even know whether it will satisfy your own vision of what Episode IX should have been is a lot to ask. So we’ve updated the main post with a plot summary beneath a spoiler tag, so those who want to know what they’re getting into – and don’t care about getting spoiled – will have the option of reviewing all our major creative decisions in a much quicker, more digestible way before deciding whether our rewrite is for them.
Has anyone experimented with any ways to fix (or at least mitigate) the fact that this trilogy ended with the Jedi being no more “returned” than they were at the end of Return of the Jedi?
It’s fun to imagine something crazy-ambitious, like filming new footage of Jedi students standing before Rey or something like that, but it seems to me the most realistic way of at least hinting at a New Jedi Order would be the following:
end The Last Jedi on the Falcon in hyperspace; cut out the Broom Boy ending.
replace The Rise of Skywalker’s Tatooine ending with the Broom Boy ending, which plays out as normal until Broom Boy walks outside…
…where instead of looking up to the sky he finds Rey approaching him, with the implication being that she’s begun her search for students. This wouldn’t require any dialogue; just a couple new shots of Rey composited into the Canto Bight backgrounds, perhaps sold by original close-up footage of a Rey cosplayer’s arm stretching out to offer her hand.
I don’t know how everyone else here feels, but personally I could’ve tolerated TROS’s nonsense a LOT more if we had at least gotten a NJO when all was said and done…
Our Episode IX rewrite is now officially published! The main post above has been updated with full details on where to find it. We hope you enjoy it!
We’ve updated the main post with one more small tease for the weekend before the May 4th release – a visualization of our story’s opening text crawl:
We followed all the arguments, and if they had won us over we wouldn’t have stuck with this to completion. We would obviously prefer the ability to conclude Star Wars movie marathons with an actual movie that satisfied us. But we simply don’t like and don’t want the official TROS, and this is a project for people who feel the same way.
Fortunately, one of the great things about fanedits and fanfiction is that not everyone has to like the same things. For those who embrace the official TROS, there are plenty of more modest fanedits out there, plus the novelization rewrites/revisions that are doing some pretty cool things from what I’ve seen. The more options the merrier!
UPDATE 3, MAY 10: We believe the idea way to experience a story is of course to dive in at the beginning, unspoiled. However, we also appreciate that alternatives to official stories such as fanedits and fanfiction are a special case. Many who disliked the official Episode IX (ourselves included) did so not just for its objective flaws, but also for not fitting their subjective preferences and not delivering what they personally wanted to see. So taking the time to read almost 200 pages of something that might not turn out to be what you’re looking for either is a lot to ask.
So we have prepared the following plot summary beneath the spoiler tag, which will give readers the option of reviewing all our major story decisions so you can decide whether our vision is for you before deciding whether to make the time commitment of reading the entire script:
One year has passed since the Battle of Crait. The story of Luke Skywalker’s heroic sacrifice has inspired free worlds across the galaxy to resist the First Order, which is struggling both from the massive setback their fleet took with the loss of Snoke’s flagship, and from unrest among its high command due to the erratic leadership of its new Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren. What it had hoped would be a swift victory through intimidation is now a full civil war.
But the Resistance has suffered a loss of its own with the death of its leader, General Leia Organa, (whose health has been gradually failing ever since the First Order’s attack on the Raddus temporarily exposed her to the vacuum of space), a tragedy which has pushed now-Admiral Poe Dameron to embrace the responsibility of taking over as leader of the Resistance. Following Leia’s funeral on her mother’s homeworld of Naboo, Rey confides in Finn that her Jedi training has stalled due to increasing difficulty in connecting to the Force. She has suspicions as to the source of the block, but is not yet willing to admit them.
Aboard the First Order’s current flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Dominance, the Knights of Ren accompany their master to an audience with General Hux, who declares Kylo Ren unfit to lead and claims the throne for himself. To Ren’s shock, Hux reveals that not only has he obtained rare lizards called Ysalamiri, which protect him from Force attacks, but he has convinced the Knights to side with him—providing the muscle needed for his mutiny. Kylo escapes the flagship, but not before suffering grievous wounds. The newly-minted Supreme Leader Hux gives the Knights of Ren new and exotic lightsabers, touts their mastery of a “lost art” which will turn the tide of the war, and tasks their deadliest member, Vicrul, with hunting down Kylo.
On the gas giant Bespin, at the Resistance’s new Nimbus Base (a small colony platform entirely separate from Cloud City, and hidden from planetary scans by advanced cloaking technology), Rey continues her efforts to train in solitude, during which it is revealed that she has constructed a new lightsaber for herself, but is unable to repair the Skywalker lightsaber with her remaining resources. Lando Calrissian returns from a recruitment trip and explains that remaining worlds who have yet to join the Resistance remain on the sidelines partly out of a lack of interest in restoring the flawed New Republic, and partly out of a cynical desire to wait and see which side prevails.
Lando also relays alarming reports that the First Order’s remaining forces have somehow become able to demolish larger and more skilled military forces with ease. Rey recognizes the reports as matching the Jedi texts’ description of an ancient Force ability called Battle Meditation, through which powerful Force users can amplify the skill, morale, and coordination of entire armies to supernatural degrees while confusing and demoralizing the enemy into disarray.
Meanwhile, Finn and Rose Tico travel to the planet Batuu in response to a call from underworld contact Hondo Ohnaka, who claims to have obtained something of great interest to the Resistance. Hondo reveals that his men have taken custody of the injured, weakened Kylo Ren, who fled to the smuggler’s haven guided by memories of accompanying his father there as a child. Kept compliant by more Ysalamiri, Kylo claims to know the location of survivors from Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy, which he offers to give the Resistance in exchange for an audience with Rey. Finn and Rose reluctantly agree.
Knight of Ren Kuruk leads a First Order invasion of Naboo, which quickly falls to a terrifying display of Battle Meditation in space combat. After the effortless victory, it is revealed that other Knights are leading similar assaults throughout the galaxy, including the planets Corellia and Kashyyyk.
Rey, Poe, and Chewbacca meet Finn, Rose, and the captive Kylo at a rendezvous point on the ocean planet Kef Bir, during which Kylo reveals the Jedi survivors are being held in carbonite in an old Imperial stronghold on the acidic planet Vjun. Kylo also confirms Rey’s worst fears: her early displays of Jedi proficiency stemmed from Snoke bridging her mind with Kylo’s, which had a side effect of opening her to Kylo’s training and experience – a resource she lost when she broke their connection after the Battle of Crait. Driven in part by a desire to find experienced Jedi who could be everything she’s come to doubt in herself, Rey takes Finn, Rose, Chewbacca, and BB-8 to Vjun, while Poe takes custody of Kylo and brings him back to Nimbus Base.
While in transit aboard the Millennium Falcon, the heroes discuss their plan: Rey and Finn will infiltrate Bast Prison disguised as stormtroopers with orders to transfer the Jedi prisoners before Kylo makes a play for them on his own. Finn assists Rey with some sparring exercises, which highlight both Rey’s frustrations and the two heroes’ growing feelings for each other.
Back at the Resistance base, Poe interrogates Kylo about the Knights of Ren, during which Poe feels but ultimately resists a temptation to execute Kylo himself. Their confrontation devolves into a shouting match over Ren’s grievances against the New Republic and motives for joining the First Order. Poe acknowledges the Republic’s failings but makes clear that the Resistance is about higher ideals than loyalty to a failed government, ideals that Kylo’s rationalizations cannot bury. Kylo concedes nothing, but there appear to be slight cracks in his façade.
On Vjun, Rey and Finn locate and retrieve the fourteen frozen Jedi without incident. But just as they reach a hangar and begin loading them onto a cargo speeder, they are confronted by Vicrul and a squad of elite purge troopers. An intense chase ensues, with the heroes’ speeder fighting off indigenous beasts called Grath hounds along the way, while Rose and Chewbacca pilot the Falcon alongside Resistance starfighters against the First Order’s air and ground forces.
Eventually the heroes’ speeder crashes. Rey puts up a valiant defense but is easily overpowered by Vicrul, who murders two of the frozen Jedi in an attempt to make Rey give up the location of Kylo and the Resistance. Rey breaks free by momentarily giving in to the dark side, but is brought to her senses by an injured Finn. The Falcon reaches them and the heroes manage to escape with the twelve remaining Jedi, though the ordeal has brought Rey to her lowest point.
Back at Nimbus Base, Finn is treated for his injuries while Rey reluctantly decides she has no choice but to work with Kylo, especially with the rescued Jedi’s health and odds of survival very much in doubt. Poe refuses to allow Kylo to be released, and with no clear sign of the First Order’s location or next move anyway, the issue appears to be tabled.
Meanwhile, Hux decides that the Resistance needs to be drawn out of hiding so it can be destroyed before it has a chance to revive the Jedi and cancel out the First Order’s Battle Meditation advantage. So he moves the fleet to the peaceful, Force-strong planet Aquilae, with a terrible plan: using decades-old superweapons called climate disruption arrays to torture the populace so their pain will echo in the Force, calling out to Rey and Kylo.
The planet’s devastation has its desired effect. Poe is still unwilling to release Kylo, until the dark warrior reveals that Hux’s plan has (apparently) had the side effect of killing all the Ysalamiri reinforcing his cell, meaning he could have escaped or killed the heroes but chose not to. Kylo makes an additional show of good faith by using the Force to heal Finn’s wounds. Poe reluctantly admits they have no other choice, and the Resistance forms a plan: commando and sabotage teams will infiltrate the Dominance and clear Rey and Kylo a path to confront the Knights of Ren, distracting them from using Battle Meditation so the Resistance fleet can move in and attack.
In transit aboard the Falcon, Luke Skywalker appears to Rey to offer words of encouragement. He tells her that while the quick refinement of her skills may have come from Kylo, her innate strength and Force potential were always hers alone. Luke also assures Rey that she is not simply repeating Kylo’s mistakes by telling her the story of how Snoke, a Jedi Master of the Old Republic who (unbeknownst to Luke at the time) had turned to the dark side after surviving Order 66, got his hooks in Ben Solo at an early age. Luke discovered the truth and drove Snoke out of his training temple, but the seeds of mistrust he had already planted grew for years, were later exacerbated by Ben’s discovery that his parents had lied to him about his relation to Darth Vader, and ultimately exploded that fateful night Luke looked into his nephew’s mind. Luke helps Rey regain a measure of trust in herself and reach an understanding that Kylo is at a crossroads, and that the outcome of this mission could cement his path in either direction.
Kylo is visited by his “Uncle Lando,” who gives him an ornate blaster pistol he had kept as a gift for the boy years ago, and offers him unconditional love in spite of all he’s done. After Lando leaves, Anakin Skywalker appears before Kylo, imploring his grandson to learn from his example and not repeat his failures as Darth Vader. Kylo vents his cynicism and resentment, but Anakin tells him the mere fact that they’ve finally connected is a sign that Kylo’s conflicted mind is opening up. Anakin leaves the troubled young man with some final words of wisdom: to find the string he needs to make the right choice in the people around him. After the experience, Rey comes to Kylo’s quarters and offers him her own show of faith: his grandfather’s lightsaber, and the chance to repair it with parts from his shattered crossguard saber.
Rey and Kylo hijack a First Order supply ship they’ll use to board the Dominance, and Lando and Chewbacca rejoin the Resistance fleet in the Falcon. The Jedi duo boards at the same time six Resistance strike teams board in stolen First Order troop landers. The heroes fight their way through the ship. Five teams attack various strategic targets while the team led by Finn and Rose works their way toward the ship’s security center. Rey and Kylo are eventually confronted by Knights of Ren Vicrul and Ap’lek, who separate the duo to face them one-on-one, in hopes of breaking the Force bond from which Rey and Kylo both draw strength. They struggle against the aggression and apparent superiority of their respective Knights, but eventually prevail—Rey by centering herself in the light, Kylo by drawing further on the dark.
The Resistance commandos make good progress, but are eventually overwhelmed by purge trooper squads. All alone, Finn and Rose find themselves cornered by a squad of stormtroopers, and all seems lost until Finn, acting on instinct, tries appealing to the consciences of the troopers buried beneath intensive mental conditioning, drawing on his own experiences as a former stormtrooper—as well as his dawning Force-sensitivity. The Force manages to break through three of the troopers’ conditioning, and they turn on the other five to save Finn and Rose, then offer their aid. Finn is shaken by this new revelation about himself.
Rey and Kylo reunite, Finn and Rose take over the security center, and the former tell the latter to signal the fleet as they make their final approach to Hux’s throne room. But as Resistance fighters begin their attack, the Jedi find themselves trapped inside energy shields backed by Force-dampening Ysalamiri, helpless to watch as the four remaining Knights of Ren are free to use Battle Meditation to bolster the First Order’s forces. The Resistance fleet is forced to fall back, unable to do anything but defend themselves out of range while praying for a miracle.
As Hux gloats, Rey has an epiphany, and through their bond coordinates with Kylo to reach out and calm the Ysalamiri’s fear, getting them to voluntarily stop blocking the Force. The Jedi break free and engage the Knights of Ren in a furious two-on-four lightsaber brawl. Finn senses this reversal of fortune and informs Poe, who signals a second wave of Resistance ships to join the battle. These reinforcements include a rich variety of allies from all corners of the galaxy, friends old and new, veterans of conflicts past and present, all coming together in an epic space battle.
The heroes in the security center discover that purge troopers are closing in on their location. The three awakened stormtroopers provide Finn and Rose with an escape route, offering to stay behind to buy them time and possibly sabotage the Dominance’s main reactor. The heroes don’t want to abandon their new friends, but the troopers insist they want Finn to survive to help free more of their brothers and sisters throughout the galaxy.
The Resistance destroys the disruption arrays and the Jedi destroy the Knights of Ren, but with Hux seemingly at their mercy Kylo feels the temptation to take his revenge rising again—temptation that explodes into rage when it’s revealed that Hux was simply projecting himself into the chamber via a hologram, and is actually on the verge of escape. Falling deeper into the dark side, Kylo resolves to kill him while Rey gives chase.
A purge unit reaches the security center, discovers the awakened troopers’ change of allegiance, and kills them, but not before they trigger an overload in the main reactor. Finn senses their deaths, and fears for Rey, but Rose convinces him to press on and make their way off the ship.
Kylo corners Hux in an escape pod bay, but before he can murder the helpless villain Rey intervenes, engaging him in a reluctant lightsaber duel while trying to appeal to his conscience. Kylo’s conflict eventually resurfaces, strengthened by a loving last-minute appeal from one more Jedi spirit: his mother Leia. Kylo’s good side seems to come closer to surfacing than ever before, but his warring emotions ultimately overwhelm him, and he lashes out in a Force Repulse that knocks Rey unconscious.
Safely back at the fleet, Finn resumes desperately trying to contact Rey, who regains consciousness and finds that Kylo is gone—and has both spared Hux’s life and left the Skywalker lightsaber behind. Hopeful that Kylo Ren is Ben Solo once more, Rey drags the Supreme Leader into an escape pod and ejects from the Dominance just before it explodes, sparking a chain reaction that destroys the First Order fleet in a brilliant pyrotechnic display.
The heroes reunite and celebrate their victory, and Rey reunites with Finn, culminating in a long-overdue kiss. On the surface of Aquilae, Lando and Chewbacca spearhead search-and-rescue efforts for survivors of the First Order’s attack. In the following weeks, the Resistance and its allies—including contingents of former stormtroopers awakened by Finn—help planets including Naboo, Corellia, and Kashyyyk cast off First Order occupations.
Several months later, Lando, Finn, and Chewbacca prepare to depart Batuu aboard the Falcon. They allude to a grand new opportunity awaiting Finn and discuss Lando’s work helping establish a new Senate, as well as his hopes that a new Galactic Alliance will be more successful at earning the trust of worlds burned by the New Republic. Finn also offers the two his sympathies for the apparent loss of Ben, but Lando expresses faith that they’ll see him again.
In a remote settlement on the jungle moon of Yavin IV, a humble recluse is revealed to be Ben Solo, apparently content to live out his days in isolated anonymity. He is visited by his Uncle Luke, who relays his parents’ love and pride in him, and his confidence that Ben is on the path to redemption. Luke disappears, and Ben reflects on an image of Han and Leia with newfound hope.
The Falcon drops Finn off on the planet Jedha, where he makes his way to the newly-constructed Skywalker Temple. Rey greets him with a kiss and guides him to the main hall, where the Jedi survivors and additional students now number two dozen. Rey takes her place as one of four Jedi teachers, Finn begins his Jedi path by joining the class, and the spirits of Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jinn look on in approval as the New Jedi Order—having learned from the mistakes of the past and survived efforts to snuff it out in its infancy—formally convenes with a lightsaber salute, dedicating themselves to the restoration of peace and justice in the galaxy.
UPDATE 2, MAY 4: Happy Star Wars Day! Our Episode IX rewrite can now be read online or downloaded as a PDF via the following link:
As you’ll be able to tell right away, we chose to format it as a script, but included a lot of additional detail that wouldn’t necessarily be in a real film script, in order to make up for the lack of a real movie and the associated design/production work that would flesh out the visuals. As such, it’s a fair bit longer than a real film script would be, but still well below the page count of a novelization.
We’re happy to take any questions you might have as well as feedback, both positive and negative. All we ask is that, at least for the first thread page or so, readers be mindful of others who haven’t gotten as far by putting specific details or plot developments behind spoiler tags:
Thanks for your time and attention, and may the Force be with you!
UPDATE 1, MAY 1: Here’s one more small tease for the weekend before the May 4th release – a visualization of our story’s opening text crawl:
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 26: I’ve been a longtime admirer of the talent and creativity on this forum, and have followed several TROS fanedit projects with interest. The improvements people have been able to make to the mess of a movie we got are simply astonishing.
Even so, I personally find the source material so unsatisfying in both what’s there and what’s missing that I cannot imagine any fanedit altering enough to become an acceptable version of how the Saga “really” ends.
So, in January 2020, a like-minded friend and I began writing our own script for a completely different Episode IX. Today, we are thrilled to finally announce STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER—THE TEAM DALE REWRITE, arriving on Star Wars Day 2021, May the Fourth. I realize we’re far from the first to take on such a project, but we’re proud of and pleased with what we’ve made, and are excited to share our particular vision with the world.
We have also assembled a simple teaser trailer to give a general sense of what we have in store. Being composed entirely of existing footage, it naturally isn’t a 1:1 depiction of actual scenes…but it’s closer than one might think:
We hope you’ll find that our story features stronger roles for all the major characters, offers satisfying answers to the biggest questions of the Sequel Trilogy, thoughtfully uses elements from all three trilogies as well as both the Legends Expanded Universe and the Disney Canon, better distinguishes the First Order from the Empire as well as the FO-Resistance conflict from the Galactic Civil War, runs with the decisions of Episodes VII and VIII instead of retconning them (with one critical exception), and ends in a way that—we hope—changes this trilogy from just “things Disney says happened after Endor” to a genuine conclusion of a single, unified story.
In short, we believe we have come up with a more logical, consequential, and fulfilling conclusion to the Saga, one that better fits the spirit of the franchise as best we understand it.
This post will be updated with the direct link on May 4, the same day TeamDaleTROS.wordpress.com (which will host the document and serve as a blog for feedback and updates) goes live. We hope you enjoy it!
DISCLAIMER: I have no video editing skills, and am not working on a specific fanedit. This thread is simply meant to share some editing ideas (which anyone is free to attempt if they so choose), as well as to provide a general discussion space to inspire further brainstorming. (I did not find a general BvS editing thread while searching, so if one already exists and I somehow missed it, I apologize.)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the second most disappointing film I’ve ever seen (the first being The Rise of Skywalker). Despite liking several of its individual elements, for years I’ve written it off as irredeemable.
But I’ve liked most of the rest of the DCEU, I hate wasting the good in bad movies, and being pleasantly surprised by the Snyder Cut of Justice League inspired me to take another look at BvS with fresh eyes, and I hit upon a way to change my single biggest objection to the film: that for its first two hours, Batman’s entire motivation is to murder another hero for no other reason than that he might go bad someday.
In retrospect this seems fairly simple to do, but none of the existing fanedits I’m aware of do it (please correct me if I’m wrong), so I wanted to share it here.
Essentially, I believe it is possible to edit the first half of the film so that, while the destruction in Metropolis left Bruce Wayne deeply wary of Superman’s potential, he actually doesn’t want to kill him, but instead he simply wants to acquire Kryptonite as a contingency if Superman ever goes bad. This would be achieved as follows:
First, when he’s debating Alfred, cut out “you want to go to war,” "that son of a bitch brought the war to us two years ago,” and “we have to destroy him.”
Second, during that conversation, change “if we believe there’s even a one-percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty” to “if we believe there’s even a one-percent chance he is our enemy…we have to be ready" (“ready” line can be taken from Justice League).
Third, cut out the Batmobile chase entirely. It’s unnecessary, but more importantly, the collateral damage Batman leaves in his wake is so over-the-top that it makes him a complete hypocrite. Plus, calmly tagging the truck with a tracker then stealing the Kryptonite from its destination later is better for characterizing Batman as a strategist planning ahead.
Once these changes are in place, the Knightmare sequence/the Flash’s warning from the future – “You were right about him! You were always right about him! Fear him!” – becomes a turning point so real, so harrowing that it radicalizes Bruce. As far as Bruce is concerned, he’s just been shown that the danger isn’t theoretical anymore, that Superman will go bad in the near future, and so he has to be stopped now. (We the audience know that Barry went back too early and that Bruce is therefore misinterpreting the vision, but that only adds to the tragedy.) This can be further sold by sparingly having Barry’s voice echo in certain parts of the vision itself, which would also more clearly suggest that Barry is showing Bruce the future (instead of Bruce having Bat-clairvoyance).
There are tons of other changes I would like to see made to BvS, especially to the dreary, jaded characterization of Superman, “WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?” and Martha Kent’s awful “you don’t owe this world a thing” advice. But while I may share more ideas later, the above is the one I really wanted to toss out to the community.
I’ll second the point that Lois’s intervention (and character overall) was better in the Whedon Cut (though the Snyder Cut was better overall). Having Batman bring her in as the “big gun” has the added benefit of neatly making sense out of & resolving Future Flash’s “Lois is the key” message from BvS. I really don’t like the way that, even after Superman is revived, Snyder goes out of his way to suggest that a Superman back in his right mind could still be turned evil simply by killing Lois.
Several months ago there was also talk in another thread of changing it to “Leia sensed the birth of her son at the end of her Jedi path,” which would be even better for simplifying/clarifying her reasoning, though I don’t know if a suitable sample of Mark Hamill saying the word “birth” is out there.
This is fantastic news, thank you!
Since Temura is back on the table, I’d like to toss one small thing out there for your consideration. A secondary reason the Temura change was originally controversial was because a couple of his line readings were a bit phoned in. But he also delivered better readings of a couple of those same lines (“As you wish” and “he’s worth a lot to me”) in the Battlefront and Bounty Hunter video games.
You’ve been working so hard on these that I don’t want this to sound like pushing you into even more work, and the standard Temura audio is more than enough for me personally. The fact that you’re giving the option at all is amazing. But I thought it was worth mentioning just in case you weren’t aware of it and thought it might be worthwhile to swap in those versions of those lines.
This sounds fantastic! Could I get a link to it as well?
It’s also worth noting that Dark Empire came out long before the prequels introduced the whole Chosen One concept, so whatever narrative or thematic problems there may have been to resurrecting Palpatine, it didn’t contradict any pretense of Anakin’s cosmic purpose or balance of the Force as it pertains to the final fate of the Sith (whether the prequels should have introduced any of those complications by making Anakin a Chosen One in the first place is another rant).
The Rise of Skywalker has no such excuse.
I’m looking for:
- ADigitalMan’s Prequel Extended Editions
- Trillary Dump’s Empire 1997 Reconstruction
As Chancellor, Palpatine evaded detection for over a decade despite regular meetings with Jedi Masters not because of some vague, plot-convenient “shroud of the dark side” diminishing all Jedi’s perception, but because he cut himself off from the Force for limited stretches of time, thereby hiding his own dark side signature when in proximity to Jedi. That he would willingly leave himself vulnerable for extended periods is a testament to Palpatine’s well-deserved confidence in his skills of deceit and manipulation. (This may also explain why Palpatine’s face really became deformed in ROTS – it was a reaction to summoning so much Force power so abruptly, when normally he would reopen his Force connection more gradually.)
Why was Luke allowed to keep the last name “Skywalker” if he was supposed to be in hiding? Perhaps Anakin’s victory in the Boonta Eve podrace became something of a local legend, and so it became fairly common for human residents of Tatooine to adopt the name, meaning nobody would suspect Luke was actually a Skywalker.
The logic of the Mortis arc in ‘The Clone Wars’ falls apart if the Father’s death simply depowers the Son, effectively eliminating the threat he posed. But it can make sense if the Dagger of Mortis transfers the power of its victims to the wielder – if the Son had killed the Father with it, he would have become immeasurably stronger and been able to escape the planet. But when the Father used it on himself, he created a loop that destroyed his power entirely, thereby depowering the Son as well.
Darth Vader’s injuries on Mustafar didn’t actually inhibit his Force potential at all (other than maybe stopping him from generating Sith lightning). It’s purely psychological – his immense power is still but a fraction of what Anakin Skywalker would have eventually reached, for no other reason than that Vader sees himself as less than whole. (This one may actually have been confirmed or at least hinted at in official media, but I’m not aware of a specific source offhand.)
Hi, could I get a link as well? Thanks!
Could I get a PM for a link to this, please? Thanks!
Awesome work! One thing doesn’t sit quiiiite right to me personally is Padme so readily agreeing with Anakin’s statement that she’s there to help kill him. So what if Anakin says “you brought him here to-” and Pabme cuts him off with “Because of what you’ve done”? Or just have “You’re with him! You brought him here!” as a complete statement, to which Padme responds.
Very interesting! I would also be grateful for a PM for links to Don’s TLJ and TROS 😃
Apologies if this has been brought up before…but has anyone experimented with taking the “Chewie fakeout death” issue completely in the opposite direction, and just have the First Order transport get away clean? (i.e., no Force tug-of-war or lightning at all) They know from the start Chewie’s just been captured, but they can’t do anything about it until Rey senses him over Kijimi.
I suppose that might risk the possibility of having the whole thing feel like an even shallower detour from the heroes’ main mission, but I would argue that a plot thread without the pretense of angst is still preferable to a plot thread of phony angst that’s undone in the next scene. Besides, Rey’s arc would still have more than enough weight if the film went with the revelation that Rey accidentally killed her parents.
Regarding the idea of a new saber effect for Rey – if anyone has played the first Force Unleashed, you can get “compressed” (pulsing effect running down the blade) and “unstable” (sort of a wavy, flowing appearance to the blade’s glow) crystals for every lightsaber color, the latter of which might fit well.
Oh, I’d much rather have Andy Serkis’ awesome Snoke voice and for Luke to hold on until the trilogy’s end. But I just don’t know how possible either of those things would be with the existing footage. Having Luke & Leia help Rey defeat Palpatine is a really cool idea, though.
Regarding “Darth Ren” vs “Kylo Ren” – I do like the Kylo name, it just comes across to me as a random alias without being rooted in some sort of new dark-side faction or tradition that’s actually CONVEYED on-screen (which Snoke and the Knights of Ren seemed like they were going to be until TROS came along). Making him a straight-up Sith Lord is purely an exercise in simplifying what we did get…and for me personally, the ship has sailed on trying to keep ST edits roughly canonical.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a fan-editor. I have no video or audio editing skills whatsoever, and this edit concept is NOT in any level of production. Still, I wanted to lay out my own understanding of this trilogy’s issues and a theoretical vision for correcting them, just in case any of these ideas inspire or are useful to anyone else.
BACKGROUND: I loved both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I had definite concerns and disappointments—chief among them that they skipped over way too much critical backstory and that Resistance vs. First Order was far too similar a conflict to Rebellion vs. Empire—and it soon became clear the Sequel Trilogy wouldn’t be telling the story I really wanted (Luke rebuilding the Jedi Order). But the characters, heart, and fun factor won me over, such that I was more than content to buy into what we got instead and see where it was leading us.
Then The Rise of Skywalker happened, and I came home vastly more disappointed in a Star Wars movie than ever before. I had fun and liked a lot of its individual parts, but its logical shortcuts and storytelling gaps were too much to ignore, and more importantly it seemed to be the point where the lack of a single trilogy-wide plan finally came crashing down on the whole project. It was neither a narratively- nor thematically-cohesive capstone to the Skywalker Saga, nor did it justify the need for a third trilogy in the first place. The fact that TROS ends with the galaxy and the Jedi in pretty much the same state they were in by the end of ROTJ is just…ugh.
However, while I don’t think any form of the ST will ever be my personal definitive version of what “really” happened after the Battle of Endor, I do think there’s a fairly clear path to editing it into something much more cohesive on its own terms, and much more satisfying as an Infinities project—an exercise in answering the hypothetical “what might happen IF Palpatine survived or was resurrected.” The following list is by no means comprehensive—it doesn’t include any of the smaller changes I would like to see in the individual movies, many of which have already been fixed by other edits—but I think it works as a general plan to tie this trilogy together and make it a decent (if not authoritative) companion to the previous trilogies.
Potentially re-number the trilogy as Episodes X, XI, & XII, just because it skips over damn near a full trilogy’s worth of important developments, and there’s always the possibility that Dave Filoni will do a proper New Republic animated series someday that could be repurposed into VII, VIII, & IX. (Admittedly this change is kind of petty, and I’m not sure whether I would actually go through with it, but I just wanted to toss it out there.)
Since we’re stuck with Palpatine being alive again, it’s best to just make peace with that as part of the price of admission, and work him into the entire trilogy. A lot of people have rightfully started talking about moving one of his scenes to TLJ, which is good but thinking too small—I say we establish him as the true leader of the First Order as soon as TFA.
To further distinguish the ST’s conflict from the OT’s, rewritten opening crawls would reveal that while Starkiller Base was devastating, destroying the Senate did not completely destroy the New Republic (which wasn’t stupid enough to keep all of its fleet in a single system), nor has the First Order taken over more than a handful of worlds. NR and FO forces are engaged in combat all over the galaxy (offscreen, sadly, unless additional footage sources can be found & used creatively), and the films simply follow the conflict with Leia’s unit because it’s been identified as a unique threat (since it’s searching for Luke & has picked up another potential Jedi in Rey). This also means that when the war is over at the end of the trilogy, the free government the OT heroes fought to build is still standing.
Snoke’s character and dialogue would be largely rewritten by dubbing his audio in an alien language, accompanied by new subtitles. Reframe him from the outset as an intermediary for Sidious, a straightforward dark-side disciple who did not train Ren, & whose origins and abilities are not important (it’s easy enough to imagine he played a role similar to the purple-robed advisers we see in ROTJ). His new dialogue would also be a tool for enforcing some of the other changes to the story.
The Knights of Ren are never developed in the films themselves, and there’s no point in trying to make the dark-siders into some new or different faction from the Sith in a story where Sidious is still calling the shots. So let’s streamline things by cutting the word “Kylo” from dialogue—which, along with new crawls and new Snoke subtitles, will establish that Ben Solo’s dark-side identity is simply Darth Ren, Sidious’ latest apprentice. When the Knights of Ren appear in IX, they can easily be interpreted as simple mercenaries.
EPISODE VII: A SHATTERED BALANCE (I’m not fully happy with this title, but it’s more plot-related and less abstract than “The Force Awakens.” Feel free to suggest alternatives!)
CRAWL (rough draft):
Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, an Imperial remnant calling itself the FIRST ORDER has emerged from the Unknown Regions, having spent decades planning a brutal campaign to retake the galaxy.
Grimly recalling the horrors of the Empire, the New Republic has granted Leia Organa command of a special military unit, code-named THE RESISTANCE, to combat the threat. But hope shines dimly without the galaxy’s only Jedi Master.
Desperate to find her brother, Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to the deserts of Jakku, where an old friend has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts…
- The destruction of Hosnian Prime would be followed by Sidious’ broadcast to the galaxy, establishing his return early in the trilogy and intensifying the intimidation factor—imagine the terror of the capital getting blown up, accompanied by the reveal that someone who’s supposed to be dead was behind it. Also incorporate (modified) TROS dialogue speculating as to how he’s alive, look for more footage to serve as reaction shots from citizens across the galaxy.
REVISED SNOKE SCENE 1 (before Sidious reveal, but lays the groundwork that there’s somebody above Snoke):
- SNOKE: The droid will soon be delivered to the rebels, enabling them to recover Skywalker. This our Master cannot tolerate.
- HUX: I take full responsibility for the-
- SNOKE: Enough! He wants solutions, not excuses.
- HUX: The weapon. It is ready. I believe the time has come to use it.
- SNOKE: We agree. Oversee preparations.
- HUX: Yes.
- SNOKE: And as for you, Lord Ren…We have learned that the droid we seek is aboard the Millennium Falcon, in the hands of your father, Han Solo.
- REN: He means nothing to me.
- SNOKE: You know what the way of the Sith demands next.
- REN: Yes. By the grace of his training, I will not be seduced.
- SNOKE: We shall see.
REVISED SNOKE SCENE 2 (after Sidious reveal):
- SNOKE: The scavenger resisted you?!
- REN: She is strong with the Force! Untrained, but stronger than she knows.
- SNOKE: And the droid?
- HUX: Ren believed it was no longer valuable to us, that the girl was all we needed. As a result, the droid has most likely been returned to the hands of the enemy. They may have the map already.
- SNOKE: Then Organa’s forces must be finished now, before they get to Skywalker.
- HUX: We have their location. We tracked their reconnaissance ship to the Ileenium system.
- SNOKE: Good. Then we will crush them once and for all. Prepare the weapon.
- REN: I can get the map from the girl.
- SNOKE: If what you say about this girl is true, bring her before Lord Sidious.
REVISED SNOKE SCENE 3:
- HUX: The fuel cells have ruptured. The collapse of the planet has begun.
- SNOKE: Leave the base at once and come to me with Darth Ren. This weapon has already served the Master’s purpose.
EPISODE VIII: THE LEGEND OF SKYWALKER (the Skywalker myth/bloodline was a much bigger narrative element of TLJ than of TROS, and I don’t like the idea of titles using any of the key words—“Jedi, Return, Sith, Hope, etc.”—more than once. I like this one.)
CRAWL (rough draft):
The specter of DARTH SIDIOUS has plunged the galaxy into terror. But despite the devastation unleashed by Starkiller Base, New Republic forces have regrouped and engaged the First Order across the galaxy.
General Leia Organa’s brave soldiers press on, struggling to survive until young Rey returns with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, and together they turn the tide against the resurgent Sith.
Recognizing Skywalker as the greatest threat to his revenge, Sidious has tasked the troubled DARTH REN with finding his uncle and preventing the Jedi Order’s revival…
- Replace Ren’s introductory scene in Snoke’s throne room with TROS scene of Kylo meeting with Sidious. Edit dialogue to cut antagonism, cut references to Rey’s origin, & suggest that murdering Han was Ben’s Sith sacrifice, through which he proved himself ready to take over command from Snoke.
REVISED THRONE ROOM CONFRONTATION (with Snoke’s display of Force abilities significantly toned down):
- SNOKE: Well done, Lord Ren. The Master will be pleased. Young Rey, welcome.
- SNOKE: Come closer, child. So much strength. Tell us where Skywalker is, and perhaps we can find a use for your talents in our new regime.
- REY: You underestimate Skywalker…and Ben Solo…and me. It will be your downfall.
- SNOKE: Oh, so you think you can turn Lord Ren, like his grandfather? Is that why you came? Young fool. It was Lord Sidious who bridged your minds, and I who stoked Ren’s conflicted soul. Our master knew Ren was not strong enough to hide it from you, and you would not be wise enough to resist the bait.
- SNOKE: Such spunk. Look here, now. Look at Organa’s transports. The same is happening to Republic vermin across the galaxy. Soon there will be nothing left for Skywalker to save anyway.
- SNOKE: Oh, still that fiery spit of hope. You have the spirit of a true Jedi! And because of that…you must die. Lord Ren, deliver to this child the destiny of all Jedi.
- REN: I know what I have to do.
- REY: Ben.
- [Ren kills Snoke]
EPISODE IX: POWER OF THE FORCE (open to suggestions again, but for now I like the grand, cosmic feel of this one. In any event, the title has to change if for no other reason than that virtually everyone put more thought into what “Rise of Skywalker” might mean than the writers themselves did.)
CRAWL (rough draft):
Darkness rises. Darth Ren, now commanding the First Order’s full military might, hunts his enemies across the galaxy, closer than ever to realizing his grandfather’s monstrous legacy.
Yet light remains. Galvanized by Luke Skywalker’s heroic last stand, New Republic forces continue to resist the First Order’s advances, while Rey devotes herself to learning the ways of the Jedi.
Her training may be too late, however. While conventional warfare rages on, Darth Sidious prepares for an apocalyptic strike against countless worlds, an act of FINAL REVENGE decades in the making…
Cut Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter; tweak dialogue so Palpatine is simply interested in Rey’s Force potential.
Eliminate any suggestion that the Final Order/Sith Eternal fleet is a separate entity from the First Order.
Rey Destroying Sidious: add visual representation of the Jedi spirits, change color & effect of reflected lightning to imply that Sidious is actually destroyed by some sort of light side energy generated by all the Jedi spirits joining Rey. It’s still vague and kind of silly, but I would argue it’s less silly than simply reflecting his own lightning back at him.
Ending: change final scene to make Lars homestead a meeting place for a new class of Jedi students, by filming new footage of a handful of students igniting lightsabers around Rey. Add spirits of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui-Gon, & Ben beside Luke & Leia (or put the Masters behind Rey), to suggest that she’ll be aided & guided by a “Force Jedi Council” of her own (even with a time skip Daisy Ridley is pretty obviously too young to be the sole headmaster of a New Jedi Order, and Luke needs to be involved in the NJO in some capacity anyway).
Why is this meeting taking place at the Lars homestead? Because that’s the footage we’ve got to work with. 😉 Seriously, though, maybe they traveled to Luke’s old home as a Jedi history field trip, maybe this is where a new training temple will be rebuilt, or maybe the backgrounds could be changed so they aren’t on Tatooine after all (the desert ground definitely limits the options, but perhaps having the New Jedi Order start on Jedha would be cool).
NOTE: Rey adopting the Skywalker name is actually one of the things I liked (even if the execution here was a little ham-fisted). But it’ll probably have to go for this edit, simply because it wouldn’t fit naturally with this reimagined ending.
One of the biggest disappointments of this trilogy for me is that not only does it end with the galaxy in pretty much the same situation it was in after ROTJ, but it punted Luke’s role of rebuilding the Jedi to Rey’s generation – and EVEN THEN, did nothing with it. No fanedit can fully correct that, but I do have an idea for possibly mitigating it somewhat: transform the final scene into a gathering of Rey’s first class of Jedi students:
Film new footage of a handful of people igniting lightsabers in the desert (matching & integrating it with the Rey footage would be challenging, but it’s conceivable).
Add spirits of more Jedi Masters either beside Luke & Leia or behind Rey, to suggest that she’ll be aided & guided by a “Force Jedi Council” of her own (even with a time skip, Daisy Ridley is pretty obviously too young to start teaching on her own, & it would be nice to keep Luke involved in the New Jedi Order).
Cut the “Rey Skywalker” exchange (which I’m personally fine with, but it simply wouldn’t fit with this version).
DougieP, cutting Snoke’s Force-sensitivity entirely is brilliant. It would eliminate the need for a payoff in IX, and might even make the “Palpatine’s still REALLY behind it all” reveal more satisfying. Implementing it would be somewhat challenging, but there are some options:
If Palpatine’s survival is integrated into the trilogy as a whole, it could be implied that Kylo accepts Snoke’s authority on Palpatine’s orders (similar to Tarkin being pretty much the only Imperial who doesn’t need to fear Vader).
A powerless Snoke communicating with Kylo via hologram could be a security measure, so Kylo never knows where he’s located. This would take some significant restructuring of Last Jedi’s throne room confrontation, but it could potentially be made to work by playing up the angle that the first time they’re ever in the same room together, Kylo seizes his opportunity and takes the shot.