The game also doesn’t reveal Chewie is alive until Rey senses him on Kijimi.
I truly believe this movie was maybe 2 more drafts away from being very good. The worst thing that happened to it was trying to hit the December release date. If they had given them 6 months longer to get it right, we’d be having very different conversations about it. There’s a ton of good ideas in it, but none of them really quite land.
Frankly I’m not sure why they didn’t borrow more from the Duel of the Fates script they already had (more than they already borrowed from it, that is). There were some elements in there that didn’t jive well, like the embracing-darkness “grey jedi” stuff, and of course Leia’s material would need to be minimized, but overall it did a much better job paying off character arcs and plot threads. And not just the threads of previous movies, but its own too; for example, TROS borrowed Lando’s thousand-ship-fleet and the life-essence-transfer stuff from DotF, but didn’t even try to set them up in a natural way (which DotF did). It’s all very baffling.
Anyways, for a final cut, I wonder if there’s a more subtle audio track you could use for Kylo’s moment on the Death Star. The Force Theme in your clip feels a bit… whimsical? Something a little more thematically specific to the scene might be ideal; maybe there’s something quieter from Rey & Kylo’s scenes together in TLJ, or an appropriate moment from “Ben’s theme” (the different-key Kylo’s Theme) if one exists. The little bit that plays during his death (around one minute into the track “Farewell”) comes to mind, especially since an angrier version of Kylo’s theme plays earlier in the Death Star scene. It’d be reusing music from the same movie, but it could be acceptable since the Death Star scene is, in a way, “Kylo Ren’s death scene.”
Time for some clips!
The Force Bond Duel
The Death Star Fight
Rey V Palpatine (lots of credit to bbghost on this one)
This is some cool stuff! I’m surprised how convincingly this version of the Force Bond Duel sells, purely on Rey’s inner anger.
And making Kylo’s hesitance on the Death Star based on his connection with Rey, rather than Leia’s interference, makes the scene so much more personal. There’s a great sense of continuity there with the previous movie, and Rey being scared by her own actions is more believable without the distraction of Leia; Rey is confronted with the terrible realization that, in that moment at least, she has less self-control and more hatred than Kylo himself, and there’s no excuse for it.
As for Rey vs Palpatine, I find it interesting in how the theatrical version’s weakness has only become more pronounced after these fan edits. Jonh/HAL 9000’s of course was immediately well-received for being more fan-servicing, loosely addressing the unspoken issue of Palpatine’s immortality, and aiming to better satisfy as the ending of a 9-movie saga. But even going in the complete opposite direction, yours ends up more character-driven, personal, and in continuity with the trilogy’s greater arc of Rey’s self-validation (and reminds me just a bit of Duel of the Fates’s equivalent scene). With both extremes proving more effective, the original theatrical’s middle-ground option of “voices but not ghosts” just looks… weak, even though I didn’t dislike it on my initial viewing.
Funny that you mention that, as I found myself wishing the ST had been a bit sillier. Lego AotC and RotS are extremely silly, and had many of my favorite moments in the game. They also sell the Anakin/Padme romance way better than the movies, with the Clone Wars voice actors as a bonus.
Still, the saga as a whole is done very well, and it’s a wonderful experience getting to free-roam around the galaxy. There’s a lot of stuff in there for fans; one of my favorites is the inclusion of the caretakers’ village and dance-festival on Ach-to, which is from the deleted “lesson three” scene of TLJ. The playable character roster makes some fun choices too, like Mister Bones from the Aftermath trilogy.
Keeping things a bit more relevant to this thread, I’ve definitely been keeping an eye out as I play for any things that remind me of Hal’s edits. Anakin and Padme sleeping together (in separate bunks, lol) without arguing the night before, Anakin not telling Padme about the sand genocide, and Anakin having less hesitation on executing Dooku come to mind. Granted, a lot of that comes from how rushed it all is, but hey, at least rushing all the episodes makes TROS blend in better.
The unused material would probably expose the film’s rushed development and lack of direction.
I definitely think it’s this. There are probably deleted scenes that contradict the finished story, as opposed to most Star Wars deleted scenes that were just cut content or alternate versions of the same story.
Like, remember the Finn vs Phasma alternate take that was deleted in TLJ? Imagine that, but Rose gets killed by Phasma, or maybe Phasma joins the Resistance. The fanbase would freak out and spend the rest of time complaining about missed opportunities (you know, moreso than we already do).
Add a subtitle for Greedo when he says “Maclunkey”:
“I miss my wife, Han. I miss her a lot. I’ll be back.”
Tarkin preparing to fire the Death Star:
“I’ve come to make an announcement…”
What’s your new avatar, Hal? I can’t tell what it is.
I agree with Burbin’s take here. TLJ is maybe the only crawl outside of the OT that generally doesn’t leave the audience more confused than before they read it. If it is going to be changed to add a bit more polish/continuity, it should be done minimally, and Burbin’s revision gets the job done.
Replace all Wilhelm screams in the saga with Howie screams, and insert Howie screams into the movies that don’t already have Wilhelm screams.
Dub over Leia saying “Rey, you’re a Palpatine” before Rey leaves for Ach-To.
In TROS Ascendant v3, reinstate Luke saying “You’re a Palpatine. Leia knew too,” followed by a flashback to the edited TFA scene, implying that Rey had just forgot Leia said that and is now being reminded.
Hal 9000 said:
Also… y’all really gonna make me have to spell out the hidden special surprise in this release, huh?
OH SNAP, I didn’t even think to check at first, but this comment made me take another look: there’s a new commentary track! With MoviesRemastered, RogueLeader, and SherlockPotter!
Christmas really came early this year! I love your commentaries on all your edits, Hal, and I’m looking forward to listening to this new group one.
Congratulations on the edit, Hal (and everyone)! I think I might have watched v1 too many times to fully appreciate the scale of the current cut; might need to rewatch the theatrical TROS for a proper comparison. That said, that’s probably the only reason I’d watch the theatrical now, as this project really is something special. I still hope, in vain I’m sure, that Lucasfilm will someday release deleted scenes, but thanks to the people in this thread, the end of the saga is in a much better place now than it was two years ago.
David S Pumpkins.
J.J. Abrams being interviewed while making TFA:
“Is Snoke like a Sith? What is he?”
“His own thing!”
“And the Knights of Ren are…?”
“Part of it!”
On scale: reminder that the original end of the Saga was a small scale skirmish in a forest, while “Death Star 2, yes we’re actually calling it that” happens in the space above, and then this song plays.
The only thing really climactic about it was the hero and villain’s Jedi confrontation. I think all we can do for TROS is try to fine tune that same aspect of the story, and we’ve probably got it as good as we’re gonna get so far.
Friendly reminder, because I know the comments/requests are coming:
All “Rey Nobody” work is being done here: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/REY-NOBODY-A-Collaborative-Thread/id/76772
The Ascendant thread is not for talk of a “Rey Nobody” edit, at least not for a while. The dedicated “Rey Nobody” thread is a better way for the community to work on ideas that will be more universally applicable than just Ascendant, and Hal has said he will look to that thread if/when the time comes for an official Ascendant variant.
Hal 9000 said:
I’m announcing a new goal (goal, mind you) to release V2 in time for the film’s 12/20 anniversary.
The original Star Wars fans waited 16 years just to end up getting The Phantom Menace.
I don’t mind if we’ve got to wait a few more months for a further-improved fan edit of TROS.
Okay, okay… I’m spitballing here, it might sound crazy… but what if we’re approaching this backwards? What if the most straightforward way to sell Palpatine’s plan is to actually take him at his word at the end, and instead remove all traces of him wanting Rey dead?
Opening on Exogol: Palpatine offers the fleet “if you do as I ask.” Kylo, after a moment considering it, silently lowers his saber in agreement. Palpatine smiles menacingly to end the scene: a deal has been struck, but we the audience don’t know what. We can still guess, however, that it could be Rey-related, because Hal’s edit transitions right into Rey meditating.
Board room meeting now has a new context to it. When an officer asks Kylo what the Emperor wants, Kylo silences him immediately. We the audience don’t know what Kylo and the Emperor’s deal was, so we don’t know that Kylo’s outburst is unreasonable; on the contrary, we’re now more intrigued that Kylo is keeping this so secretive.
When Palpatine chastises Kylo after Pasaana, remove references to killing Rey. Full remaining dialog:
“Perhaps you have betrayed me. Do not make me turn my fleet against you.”
“I know where she’s going. She will never be a Jedi.”
“Make sure of it.”
We now know for certain, though we already suspected, that Kylo’s agreement involves Rey somehow. The threat, however, is still vague.
From here out, Kylo mentions twice aboard his ship on Kijimi that Palpatine tried to kill Rey as a kid, reveals that she’s a Palpatine, and suggests that they should team up instead. We think we get it now: not only is this the big reveal that Rey is a Palpatine, but it’s the big reveal of Kylo’s mission to kill her and finish the job.
After Endor, Palpatine says that Leia has ruined his plans. We assume this is because Kylo couldn’t kill her. But we’re still assuming wrong.
Finally, on Exegol, in a genuine third act twist, we learn the truth from Palpatine himself, unedited: he never wanted her dead, he wanted her here with him. The audience can now infer that bringing Rey to Exogol was Kylo’s true mission all along, and Kylo had lied to Rey about Palpatine trying to kill her as part of his attempt to manipulate her to his own ends, planning to betray Palpatine from the beginning. Even the times it seemed Kylo was genuinely trying to kill Rey, he was spiting the Emperor rather than serving him. And since Kylo must have actually known Palpatine’s true goal all along, as Ben he is now rushing back to Exogol because he knows Rey is playing into Palpatine’s hands.
Oh… my… Gosling! Hal, get on this immediately! 😄
Ha, I’m glad you like it, but if you scroll down on that post you’ll see we already decided against it, mostly for easier continuity with the previous movies (and EU material) where Snoke (Palpatine’s puppet) wants Rey dead and was training Kylo as Palps’ heir. I just brought it up again for GLogus since they mentioned not liking Palp’s plan, in case they end up doing something of their own.
I think the work that’s been done so far for v2 might be about as good as we’re going to get for Palpatine’s plan. At the end of the day it’s just not very well thought out or explained in the script, and TROS doesn’t offer a lot of editing wiggle room during the final battle exposition to turn it into something else.
I’ve watched v1 of this edit several times now. It’s a massive improvement overall. However, I still feel like things just fall apart at the end. The final act is just a big, confusing mess. Is there nothing more that can be done? I feel like the first act is good, and the second act is actually really strong and engaging, but the third act still has me scratching my head. Wouldn’t it be better if Palpatine’s plan all along was to lure Kylo and Rey to Exegol so he could use the power of their force dyad to regenerate himself?
That way, Rey and Kylo think they have their own motivations, i.e., Rey wants to destroy Palpatine, and Kylo wants to team up with Rey to rule the galaxy (and also destroy Palpatine), but all Palpatine wants is to lure them both there so he can take their power.
It’s also really weak that Palpatine tells Rey he wants her to kill him (so that he can possess her) because saying such a thing would actually de-motivate her to follow through on that plan. I just think the whole “kill me, and ascend the throne” thing is really dumb and could possibly be cut out. Palpatine just isn’t this stupid and ignorant.
As an aside, I also just don’t understand Ben bringing Rey back to life. Healing is one thing, but bringing people back from the dead is a Sith power (or ambition). The Jedi way is to accept death. That’s well established. So wouldn’t it be simpler and better if Ben dies when Palpatine sends him over the cliff and Rey defeats Palpatine without being overwhelmed and dying?
It’s a drastic idea that’s already been rejected for this project, but if you’re interested, here’s how I might change Palpatine’s plan if I were to do a different edit.
There we go, I’ve figured out the Captain Hux conundrum.
It’s getting there, but do you think it might need to be pitched up a bit? It’s still too deep imo.
There’s also, unfortunately but importantly, the meta fan aspect of it. Even though attempting to please franchise fans rather than focus on the ST’s contained story is a recurring problem in TROS, it does arguably have value in that this is the “final Skywalker Saga episode” (a point which this very fan project is trying to emphasize with stuff like Palpatine vs Ghosts). And I think that a not-insignificant amount of people would much rather see Luke and Leia’s ghost than Ben’s ghost during the final moments at the homestead.
I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that. Although if Rey were to “marry” her name would be Solo, and I don’t just mean that in a literal sense; if the movie was edited so that Rey looked and saw only Ben, it makes it even weirder that she then suddenly takes the name “Skywalker.” It’s less like a “force marriage” and more like she’s declaring herself to be his relative (insert Empire Strikes Back incest joke here).
Of course, Rey claiming the name “Solo” instead of “Skywalker” is an idea that’s been thrown around a lot since the movie came out. It represents her connection with Ben, it’s a tribute to Han and Leia as her closest mentors, and it’s simultaneously a nod to the Rey Nobody aspect in a meta-way, as the Solo movie established that “Solo” is a made-up name from when Han had no family name of his own. But this project is probably past the point of such a suggestion (especially if the title’s not changing), and anyways the voice-dub and lip-sync work probably isn’t feasible.
Would rather hear one of the album versions of Lapti Nek.
The opening crawl of RotS says there are “heroes on both sides,” despite that never being reflected in the movie. To compensate, we should edit medals of valor and sacrifice onto the chests of General Grievous, the leaders of the Separatists on Utapau and Mustafar, and various battle droids in each scene. Grievous in particular should have several Purple Hearts.
Replace all of the soundtrack with Spongebob music.
This is my favorite.
Hal 9000 said:
^ MR appeared not to take it well when I hushed him about raising a sensitive subject about a now-banned member and expressed something to the effect of walking away, either temporarily or permanently.
Sort of an unintended parting gift from that other member, in effect. It sucks, and I hope he returns, but I don’t want to stall things indefinitely and would like to see V2 get finished sooner rather than later.
What exactly did he say? 🤨
Read through the past pages if you’re interested, it wasn’t too long ago. For his sake I don’t think we need to keep dwelling on this.