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NeverarGreat

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11-Sep-2012
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21-Jun-2018
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Post
#1218728
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

A lot of thoughts incoming…

Having thought about the lightsaber some more, it could be Leia who gave Maz the lightsaber. During the Force vision, use the trailer shot of Leia accepting the saber from Maz, but reverse the shot so it appears that Leia is giving it to Maz to get it away from the Resistance.

This implies that Leia knows and trusts Maz as much as Han, but to make this more clear I could delete some lines previously in the film, such as our heroes getting the location of the Resistance Base from BB-8, meaning that Han’s contact with Leia is their only option for getting to the Resistance. Cut out Han’s lines about the First Order finding the Falcon on their scanners, and leave only the line ‘You want to get BB-8 to the Resistance, Maz Kanata is your best bet’. This makes it very clear that they are here not to get a new ship, but to get the location of the Resistance base. After all, why would they take the easily-trackable Falcon to both the Resistance base and Luke’s planet if it’s such a risk?

So how does the First Order find our heroes at Maz’s castle? With no dialogue about scanners or any First Order informant, there is still Kylo’s knowledge that they are traveling with Han, and could preemptively assume where they are headed. But there could be a more unconventional solution in addition to this one. I could place Kylo’s prayer between when Finn leaves the castle and when Rey begins to hear the screaming voices. Kylo is essentially calling out for Vader’s power, and the lightsaber is responding to this evil call, which is why such a thing has never happened with a lightsaber before. I imagine the sequence to be:

Finn leaves the castle
Kylo prays to Vader
Zoom in on the closed chest, with ominous sound effects
Creepy children’s screams make Rey turn around

It is established that items strong in the Force act as homing beacons, as we see with the Dagobah tree in Empire. But Kylo has simply taken this to a new level, and this could be how he has found items such as Vader’s burned mask.

Of course, this all would still work if the lightsaber voices were activated merely by Kylo being near.

In this version, Han’s confusion about the lightsaber could stay, leading the audience to try and work out the specifics with this new information and hopefully being more successful in the attempt.

Finn could still be the one Rey’s going after, even if I kept in her dialogue with BB-8. ‘Leaving’ could mean leaving with Finn. What would make the scene better in any respect is if there could be a way to insert the ship Finn was about to leave on in the background when Rey says ‘You have to go back’. It would be cool to have a matte painting of the front of the ship. The lighting even works in favor of this idea, though it would be tricky but not impossible with the moving camera.

Post
#1218442
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

snooker said:

He says it belongs to him because he’s a Vader fanboy and believes that his grandfather’s blade is his birthright.

I’m not even really interested in Kylo’s interest in the saber, rather I am trying to find a way to reduce the huge number of coincidences in the film. In the first 30-40 minutes, I was able to accept the coincidences, but by the halfway point the story really shouldn’t be relying on these narrative cheats.

Post
#1218413
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

It could be that Ben’s parents were going to give it to him when he completed the Jedi training, perhaps not as a weapon but as a symbolic birthright. I imagine Han spending months tracking it down, asking Leia for help to try and find it, since they know how much Ben likes ‘that old historical stuff’.

Then after the breakup, and Leia not wanting it anywhere near her…

There could have been some really emotional stuff there.

Post
#1218356
Topic
Politics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Time

Jay said:

https://twitter.com/ImmCivilRights/status/1008902662828511232

It was bad policy when Obama and the Democrats supported it and it’s bad policy now, but it’s a travesty now because the media tells you it is and there are elections in a few months.

And yet if he had allowed asylum seekers to be put on ‘supervised release’, would Republicans have ever stopped attacking him for it? I can imagine the attack-ads now.

Of course, Obama genuinely believed in compromise, even though the opposition would attack him regardless.

Post
#1218308
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Since one of the big issues with TFA is how convenient everything is, I have an idea to eliminate one of these conveniences, which is conveniently during the Maz castle scenes.

Every version of TFA so far has Han being completely baffled as to why Maz would have his son’s lightsaber in her basement, and her explanation in that moment is ‘because shut up’. But if Han had been the one to give Maz his son’s lightsaber in the first place, it would eliminate the coincidence and actually give Maz a stronger characterization.

Consider that Han seems to trust Maz implicitly in all matters, so much so that he brings two fugitives and a wanted droid into a strange den of space pirates instead of having them wait safely on the ship. Maz has had a millennium to engender that trust, and she also knows quite a bit about the Jedi and the Force to boot, perhaps the only one outside of Luke and his friends that Han knows. If Han were to have somehow come into possession of Luke’s lightsaber, either by Luke finding it and giving it to him as an apology for letting his son turn to the dark side, or Han confronting Kylo and getting it that way, Han would probably have wanted to distance himself from this Jedi relic but would still want to honor Luke’s family heirloom enough that he would give it to someone he trusted completely.

The solution is simple - cut ‘Where did you get that’ and Maz’s retort.

Since I’m moving the revelation of Kylo as Han’s son to just after Maz’s castle, Han’s silence at the lightsaber could make the audience wonder why he finds this unremarkable, and hopefully they would put the pieces together themselves by the end of the battle.

Post
#1218067
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I’d say go for it, you don’t know whether something will work until it’s tried.

That reminds me though, I was going to try and have some reference to the Force Tree from TLJ in TFA, so that it makes more sense when Rey says that she’s seen it in her dreams.

Maybe there could be a dream sequence where we see the island, then the interior of the tree with the books, before she is awakened in the interrogation room. Have some sort of chanting/music to make it seem like the Force is speaking to her from these texts, and it could go a long way to explaining why Rey is gaining power so quickly.

Post
#1218055
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Sir Ridley said:

Really cool idea! I like the way you’re able to think outside the box like that. I wonder if that change would give any problems later on, though. If you reduce the importance of Luke and increase the importance of Finn then maybe the ending where she leaves Finn behind and goes after Luke wouldn’t work as well.

Also, how do you feel about including the deleted scene with the doctor saying to Rey “your friend will be fine”? I was initially against it, it seemed like it would be unnecessary sugar coating of the situation. But it would make Rey seem more comfortable with leaving Finn without worrying too much. And it would downplay the importance of Finn’s injury to the audience, he wakes up in the beginning of TLJ anyway.

That scene always felt weird to me. In theory it would make sense, especially with the emphasis on their relationship, but in practice the doctor’s delivery is almost creepy and I don’t know if there’s a natural place for that scene.

It definitely makes sense for the movie to end without the trip to Luke’s island, given this idea. But then again, one of the reasons for the Reydream scene was to emphasize her connection to Luke, so maybe connecting her with Luke in one scene and disconnecting her in another scene makes it a wash? The island is still in play right now. I don’t have any definitive ideas on how to make it absolutely necessary/cut it completely without losing good stuff that I already like in the movie.

Post
#1217918
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Gadzooks, I’ve just had a crazy revelation about Maz’s Castle, and I don’t know why I never had it before.

When Rey has her Force vision with the lightsaber, Maz tells her that her parents are never coming back, but that someone still could. What is Maz talking about? Maybe the guy that she just admonished for wanting to run away, the person that just left Rey while still obviously caring about her, the one that will immediately return and try to rescue her?

No, the first name that pops into her head is Luke. Obviously. Then she runs away from everything because she’s scared, and after that things are done to her by other characters.

How’s this for a radical edit:

Rey has the Force vision. After the part where she’s on the desert and everything goes dark, she finds herself in the Rathtar hallways, alone, searching for Finn who’s been captured by the beasts. She runs after him, shouting his name, and runs into Kylo in the forest.
When Maz confronts her and says that ‘someone still could’ return, she says nothing, and when Maz tells her to take the saber, she says she’s never touching it again, but not that she doesn’t want any part of it. She leaves the castle, shouting Finn’s name as she runs into the forest.
Meanwhile, Finn turns from the ship as if he hears something on the wind…but it’s the First Order. He races back to the castle asking about Rey.
Rey looks up and sees the First Order ships in the sky, presumably as she’s still running in the wrong direction looking for Finn. That’s the problem with the castle, it doesn’t have any sort of paved parking lot. She runs back toward the castle. BB-8 is erased from the shot.
Finn is taken to Maz in the basement, Maz being the last person who saw Rey. She gives Finn the lightsaber.

Thing is, I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t work, and it would make so much more sense than what we have. With Rey intending to find Finn but getting captured, we instantly know how both characters feel about each other and what their motivations are, and when they are finally reunited the audience can more acutely feel the reunion.

Of course, this is a big change for Luke’s place in the story as the McGuffin, but that was never really Finn’s or Rey’s interest anyway. That was for Leia and the Resistance. So really, with this change Rey goes from wanting to find Luke to wanting to find Finn, and makes a strong argument for ending the movie with Rey leaving the Resistance base.

Post
#1217908
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I see Finn’s arc in TFA as going from someone who learns the value of life (and thus fears losing it) to someone who will give his life for his friend. In TLJ, he goes from fighting for a single person to fighting for a noble cause.

I don’t know how much Finn wants to be seen as heroic. Obviously he wants to be valued, and at the beginning of TFA he believes that the only way to do this is to lie about himself, but that’s about it.

This has given me some more to think about for sure.

Post
#1217887
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I agree that Finn’s character is inconsistently portrayed. At some times, he’s the guy who just wants to do good and get along with everyone, then he’s a self-interested coward who kills when it’s convenient. Fear of the First Order drives him to cowardly running away, but there’s also an underlying decency. I think it’s the conflict between these two drives that make him a compelling character to me, and also why it’s almost a universally agreed-upon edit to remove him mowing down Stormtroopers when escaping the Star Destroyer. Finn doesn’t strike me as being angry with the First Order to the point of murdering his fellow troopers. The line you bring up, ‘Because it’s the right thing to do - I need a pilot’ is good because both things, I believe, are true for Finn. When you humanize a single Stormtrooper, surely this should mean that the story treats them as more than endlessly disposable soldiers.

It all comes back to his first scene in the village. Finn wasn’t acting out of self-interest when he failed to kill the villagers, since he was in no danger. Instead, he put himself in danger by not following orders, an inherently selfless act which exposes his ultimate conflict. So if your thesis is that Finn begins the movie as entirely self-interested, his first scene doesn’t bear this out. A selfish person would have killed those villagers to protect their cover and run at the first opportunity. This tells me that Finn is definitely not motivated purely by self-preservation, but by refusing to kill except in self-defense. These are very different things.

I’m considering how to show this through edits, and I think I can do quite a bit to make Finn more hesitant about killing, beyond the hangar escape. For example, make him fire to destroy the TIE fighters in the desert only after the Falcon has taken some serious hits, and remove his violent murder by lightsaber at Maz’s castle. Every time he kills a fellow trooper, it should weigh on him in some way. I feel like this is the only way Finn makes sense.

Post
#1217710
Topic
STAR WARS: EP VI -RETURN OF THE JEDI &quot;REVISITED EDITION&quot;<strong>ADYWAN</strong> - <strong>NOW IN PRODUCTION</strong>
Time

There’s an interesting breakdown of the uses of the transport ships in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzHK10-sRzA&t=303s

Basically, he comes to the conclusion that they were just thrown into battles to draw fire from the more important ships.

I’ve heard an interesting bit of lorecraft where the ships were used to bolster the shields of the capital ships with their own shields, which makes a bit more sense. Basically they could act as external shield generators.

Post
#1217574
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time
  1. I’ve also been thinking about the Reydream. It would be ideal to show it as an actual dream somewhere, but I don’t think it would work so late in the movie. Maybe just toning down what is there even more, so that she sees only a really vague outline of the island, would work and be less jarring for a first-time audience. They might interpret it as more of a mirage than anything on the first viewing.

  2. My idea for the interrogation is actually one of the things I’m most excited to work on, when I finally get the chance. In particular, I’d like to use the as-of-now unused images of the Starkiller beam traveling past the destroyer, since that with the voiceover of Kylo saying ‘I’ll finish what you started’ would strongly connect him in favor of the Starkiller and provide an interesting point of departure from Vader ANH. I’ve discussed the full sequence previously in the thread, but suffice it to say that I intend to make this scene much more intense.

  3. I don’t actually have strong feelings on Phasma one way or another. It’s a shame that she’s such a non-character, but on the plus side she seems to be Finn’s primary human point of grievance with the First Order, so taking her out of the last act might negatively impact Finn’s story.

And on that note, please do share your thoughts on Finn! He’s my favorite character from TFA, and recently I imagined the movie with him as the main character. There’s a good argument that Finn and Rey are both equally important main characters in this movie.

Post
#1217558
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Thanks for the detailed input, I’ll be referring to it when I inevitably work on the crawl some more (have a more finicky 70-100 words ever been written?)

I wish I could keep making video mockups like I did when working on Restructued, but various Premiere/computer cost issues have prevented me from doing any actual editing for a while. That’s one reason why I’m so focused on the crawl right now.

Also, Vimeo has clamped down on their storage allotment, so I’d have to make a new account there as well.

Ah well, it’s just life. I’ve recently gotten a new job, so there may be some money for hobbies soon. 😉

Post
#1217532
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I had another idea about restructuring the battle part of Maz’s castle. Here’s how the scene originally played out:

-Rey stays behind to hold off the troops
-Han and Finn emerge and are taken prisoner
-Resistance arrives
-Rey fights with and is immobilized by Kylo
-Cutaway to trooper requesting air support
-Kylo senses the map, orders the division out

With this, it feels like Finn has forgotten about Rey since we don’t see him looking for her as she’s being roughed up by Kylo. Also, the Resistance arrives long before Rey is even immobilized by Kylo, meaning that the parallel narratives are not in emotional sync.

Here’s the old idea for what I was trying to do by giving Kylo some more agency:
https://vimeo.com/214272131
Password: rough

-Rey stays behind to hold off the troops
-Rey fights with and is immobilized by Kylo
-Han and Finn emerge and are taken prisoner
-Kylo senses the map, orders the division out on a whim
-Resistance arrives

In this, although the narratives are more in sync it feels like too much time passes between Kylo ordering the division out and them actually retreating. Also, his extra agency isn’t really worth the illogic of his action.

Here’s the proposed new version:

-Rey stays behind to hold off the troops
-Han and Finn emerge and are taken prisoner
-Rey fights with and is immobilized by Kylo
-Resistance Arrives
-Kylo senses the map, orders the division out (no cutaway to the ‘request air support’ trooper required)

In this version the narratives are emotionally synced and there’s a clear progression from one narrative jump to another without too much time passing between them.

Post
#1217430
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Another day, another crawl…

The Republic is in peril.
From the Empire a new
order has risen, forging a
weapon of ultimate power.

Tormented by visions of
the mighty FIRST ORDER
and its impossible weapon,
warriors trained by Luke
Skywalker have defected
from the Republic and
driven their master, the
last of the Jedi Knights,
into exile.

With only the terms
of a tattered armistice
preventing total war,
the Senate supports a
covert RESISTANCE
to find their guardian of
peace and justice amid
the countless stars…

I think it’s really important for the story to frame the First Order as something that far predates Luke’s Jedi Academy, since the original crawl makes it seem like the First Order just appeared on the scene no more than a few years before the movie starts. I’ve also given some indication of the Galactic Concordance, which the official crawl should really have mentioned to show that the Empire was never really defeated in full.