Over on the General Discussion threads, Stardust1138 has been talking about GL’s ideas regarding his version of the ST and the Whills, and it got me thinking about them. GL is kind of vague about what the Whills are exactly, and it seems his idea regarding them changed over the decades.
I was thinking of ways how this idea could be mentioned or hinted at within the context of a fan edit. An obvious addition would be that one could find a place where someone could mention “the Whills”. Though creating such a mention would require the invention of such dialogue (obviously you could use the word ‘will’ as a basis for some kind of frankenbite) that actually sounds natural and would make sense in the context of a conversation.
Even if you couldn’t explain them, perhaps one could add in more moments of Rey hearing the mysterious whispers that she hears when she is near the island tree. At the very least, when the whispers are heard, you could add in subtitles that refer to them as whispering of the Whills.
Originally I had this idea where you could add in more moments of these whispers that Rey hears throughout the trilogy, and then in the climax of TROS, when she calls on the past Jedi to be with her, we would hear those whispers slowly become the coherent voices of the Jedi that we hear in the climax. So this would reveal that the whispers that have been guiding her on her journey were past Jedi/Force ghosts all along.
These two separate ideas made me consider the thought of combining the concepts. What if the Whills were simply a more official name for Force ghosts? George has at one point or another described the Whills as immortal, observant beings, but also that they were comparable to the concept of the actual “will of the Force”. Sure, this idea doesn’t necessarily fit into the “microbiotic world” George described in his interview with James Cameron, but if the Whills are the Force’s will made manifest, and the midichlorians commune with the Force, then it would explain Jedi voices’ advice to Rey about the Jedi living in her.
This idea would basically make the Whills equivalent to the idea of Buddhahood, where one reaches enlightenment and then guides others along that path. Force ghosts and Buddha already share the similarity of being people who reached spiritual enlightenment, achieve some semblance of immortality, and retains their individuality after their physical death. The word ‘Whill’ also is reminiscent to ‘will-o-the-wisps’, which are basically “ghost lights”. The Force ghosts are “ghost lights” too if you think about it. Plus, if Force ghosts are essentially servants to the will of the Force, it is fitting that their official name would be a homonym to ‘will’. I also think it simplifies things if the Whills end up being a concept we already kind of know about.
While not relevant to an edit, I would imagine The Journal of the Whills within this concept would simply be a physical journal written by someone who can commune with the Whills, and they share their stories and wisdom from the past. Perhaps Rey could even be the one who writes the Journal, or at least adds the Skywalker Saga to it.
So as far as actual changes go, the simplest thing would be the changes to subtitles. So, the subtitles for the whispers in TLJ is just “indistinct murmuring”. I would suggest changing it to “whispering of the Whills”. You could argue that additional information shouldn’t be included in subtitles, but the Jedi voices include the names of each Jedi speaking, which I would argue is additional information, since most people likely wouldn’t have been able to identify many of those voices anyway.
Perhaps when Rey is talking to Leia about her training in TROS, she could say…
Rey: I’m starting to think it’s impossible, hearing the voices of…
[cuts to Leia]
Rey: the Whills
Leia: Nothing’s impossible.
Or maybe the term never has to be mentioned, and the new subtitle for the whispers can just be an homage to George’s original treatment. Maybe you could add in the voice of a new Exposition Jedi into the voices sequence who could literally say, “We are the Whills. The Will of the Force”. Haha, or at least something more elegant.
And as I mentioned earlier, I would make the Force whispers more of a character by adding them into more places throughout the trilogy, like when Rey is “called” to the lightsaber, when she mind tricks the stormtrooper, etc.
To maybe play around with the microbiotic world, or at least ethereal plane of existence George apparently wanted to play around with, I also think it would be fun to play around with the TROS climax a little more. When Rey looks up to the Sky and hears the voices, we sit on a shot of a star field for awhile before cutting to Rey’s face looking up at it. I don’t know if this would actually work or even look good, but I thought it would be a cool, small change to make an interesting transition between these two shots. We zoom out from Rey, the battle, and the planet and just see the darkness of space and the stars dotting it. We begin hearing the voices, and then we zoom out from the star field and see the star field is within the pupil of her eye, and it continues to zoom out until we get back to the normal close-up short of Rey. Kind of trippy, but it ties into the idea of each person being one with the Force and the universe, the Jedi living within her, and each person being a vessel for the Whills and he Will of the Force, as George described in his Cameron interview. Even if the zoom in/out wouldn’t look good, I think it would also be cool if you saw the star field within Rey’s pupils. It’s a little more subtle than the original idea. Also, I like the idea of the star field being a black void at first, and then the stars began appearing as we start hearing more and more voices.
I’d be interested in hearing some thoughts on this, as well as hearing other ideas of blending some of George’s original concepts into the Sequel Trilogy. Another thing I have been interested in is adjusting the political/war plot to fit a little more with what George said about his ideas.