I went back through your proposed changes, NeverarGreat. The vast, vast majority seem wonderful - this will definitely become my archival version. I have a couple of questions about a few of your items:
- Edit out Finn’s accidental activation of the Falcon’s game table. - I was going to advocate in favour of keeping this (nothing wrong with a cheeky easter egg so long as they’re not overdone), but then realised you are including it as part of Rey’s link with Kylo, which makes a lot of sense. So is the main reason you’re taking it out here just so you don’t repeat a shot? Or for the benefit of not putting a joke in that earlier scene for its tone? Or for using its lightness to contrast with the threat of Kylo overshadowing it in the interrogation? I don’t have an opinion either way, I’m just interested to know the thought process.
The idea of reusing the shot was quite speculative, and since I’m finding other places to use the other shots which would have gone in such an interrogation sequence it probably won’t end up being used there. As for whether the table scene is cut, the most recent mockup is about the best I can do so at some point I’ll need to make a decision as to whether it will stay. My original reasoning for removing this moment was that it was one reference too far in a movie filled with references, and one that for me legitimately distracts from the scene.
- Re-score the in-universe music in Maz’s castle to something more in keeping with the Byzantine decoration. - This is the only one I have a strong objection to! I really love this song. Which is subjective, and perhaps you don’t, but I don’t feel like the song not matching the decor (in a fictional universe only borrowing from our own) is strong enough to justify the change, especially weighed against the quality of the song.
I like a lot of Lin-Manuel’s music, from what I’ve heard anyway, but this song feels off to me, in the specific way that parts of JJ’s Star Wars aesthetic feels off. It’s difficult to describe exactly, but basically it’s a look and sound which is blunt, rounded off, obvious, in-your-face, etc. In contrast, the aesthetic of the OT was quite alien, with a lot of striking sounds and objects which nevertheless resisted obvious interpretation. This is one area in which The Last Jedi fares much better. But anyway, the song feels like a good fit for JJ’s aesthetic, but that’s why I have issues with it. I hope that made some sense.
- Kylo’s conversation with Snoke is bereft of Hux’s intrusion. Snoke does not learn the location of the Resistance Base in this film. - Sounds perfectly reasonable since this is using Hal’s edit as a foundation. Do you expect to need to do anything to TLJ (which AFAIK you don’t have plans to touch yet) in order to accommodate this? TESB didn’t need to explain ‘oh btw they’ve been found’, but again I’m just interested to know what if anything your plans are here.
My plan right now is actually to have Hux appear in the second Snoke scene, but only so that Snoke can order the Republic destroyed. I intend to keep the Resistance base a secret from the First Order, and I’m not worried about how the FO eventually learns of its location. If I never get to editing TLJ, it can just be something that they figured out offscreen (unless I have some brilliant idea and end up changing the end of TFA even more).
- Remove the final journey to Luke’s island. This material is instead repurposed as the dream sequence preceding the interrogation. The final shot of the film is the Falcon jumping to Hyperspace. - Perfectly good suggestion (coupled with buying the start of TLJ more time for the acquisition of bombers, etc), but again, just interested to know what knock-on effect you think this might have. Do you foresee needing to amend the opening of TLJ to get Rey in front of Luke?
As with the previous plan, I don’t think TLJ needs to be altered to show Rey landing on Luke’s planet or anything like that. It can just be assumed that she got there eventually, if I do end up nixing the ending of TFA. This is the part of the edit which is still very much in limbo right now.
After trying a lot of different approaches to a dream sequence on Jakku, I came to the conclusion that using actual footage of the island was a mistake. At this point in the story Rey should have little to no indication that she is Force sensitive. This has had ramifications for my plans later in the edit. The dream sequence of the island before the interrogation now feels odd because it comes largely out of nowhere, and since it happens right before the interrogation it would probably be fresh in Rey’s mind and Kylo would single it out more than he does already. After the interrogation there isn’t much room for any dream sequence, and only one time where Rey is knocked out. So who knows if the ending will change.
- Edit: You also mentioned withholding the Poe reveal on Takodana. Will you still be showing as much as possible of those lovely water-skimming shots, but just be cutting the cuts to Poe’s face?
In the original cut, the water skimming is a single shot which has been cut to reveal Poe, so I’ll just be rejoining the original shot and leaving his reveal for after ‘That’s one hell of a pilot!’.