Let me preface this off by first celebrating all the amazing work done by incredible fan editors in this forum. I’ve never seen such a location where people are able to make amazing, wild, and never expected changes come off as seamless and have impacted and enhanced my viewing of a saga we all cherish and love for the better.
A little bit about myself, I love the sequel trilogy. However, there are definitely things that can be improved to make it more enjoyable. In particular, I really like episode 9, though admittedly it unloads a larger check it can cash. I’ve been watching OT forums since 2021, and there are a ton of amazing edits of all star wars movies. What struck to me was the large plethora of episode 9 edits. One aspect of episode 9 that has stuck to me is the battle of exegol. If one is to go through the minutia, numbers, and details of it, it should theoretically be one of the largest battles of the entire skywalker saga. While there are notes and broad strokes within the battle itself that had hints of it, there was definitely the feeling that the battle could’ve been more than what we got .
For example, when lando arrives, books and expanded material say that the Galaxy fleet/citizen’s fleet is 10000+ ships with new designs of Mon Calamari cruisers (MC95A, B, C etc.), mandalorian fang fighters, N-1 naboo star fighters, firespray ships etc etc. However the large pan shot of lando’s arrival doesn’t give us enough time to appreciate the diversity of all those ships, with the only main takeaway “Look at this! so many ships!” Luckily in Hal’s Ascendant and other TROS edits, we see the re-insertion of a deleted/cleaned up ILM demo reel which adds an extra pan shot to better appreciate lando’s arrival.
While that is an amazing addition to the battle (and probably the most professional/seamless addition), I feel the battle of exegol in episode 9 can be more. So where do I come in? My goal is make additional shots that can hopefully be incorporated within the movie.
This is NOT an edit of the whole movie. I’m just working on random scenes here and there. I made a post of my “personal cut” on the forum over a year ago, which I discontinued working on it. Admins if you see this as a double post, I apologize and can delete this post and modify my older thread.
Additions I plan on making
Adding shots FO TIE fighter pilots scattered throughout the battle
- One of the reasons why the space battles in the original trilogy felt so cool to me, is that you have transition shots of a rebel pilot getting shot down then following a shot of a TIE fighter pilot and vice versa. It just adds the feeling of intensity to the battle, and a slither of emotional feeling to the battle, in my opinion. I will address this by adding/re-using flipped or modified shots of FO TIE fighter pilots from the previous movies and adding them in shots that seem appropriate.
Adding a shot of the CR90 Rebel blockade runner in action
- We see the rebel blockade runner take off, arrive on Exegol and that’s about it. Oh wait, it then shows up when palpatine does the dark empire like lightning storm and then the fate of the ship along with Nien Nub is unknown. I have rotoscoped parts of a cool shot from a video from skyforge on youtube from a video called Conveyor station. I used a couple seconds of a shot from his video of a CR90 corvette shooting down a TIE fighter and rotoscoped it onto an exegol background. I’ll upload the draft and update this post.
Enhancing the Galaxy/Citizen’s fleet arrival
- I’ve shown this in the TROS redux thread, here’s a more updated version. In The Phantom Menace, Anakin said “The biggest problem in this universe is no one helps each other.” and The Rise Of Skywalker beautifully showed how that changed. The entire galaxy resisting evil because they were inspired by the legends of Anakin’s children; Luke’s inspiration and sacrifice during the Battle of Crait.
I took inspiration from Hal’s Ascendant fan edit of TROS by incorporating the comm chatter upon the Galaxy fleet’s arrival. I enhanced this by adding shots of different aliens, pilots and appearances taken from different scenes and deleted scenes from star wars. I also rotoscoped parts of Lezly’s blender battle of endor on youtube and put in Exegol as the background. This is a cool way to have the millenium falcon fly in and blow something up before leading the additional ships to take out the xyston star destroyer cannons. We only see the falcon do a fly by, and rescue Finn and Jannah towards the end of the battle. Some masking needs work, and some scenes need additional clean up. This is just a proof of concept.
Final Order Star Destroyer fires its supercannon at the Galaxy/Citizen’s Fleet
- One thing that I always pondered is that when Lando arrives, there isn’t so much resistance shown against the incoming galaxy fleet. Clearly the final order has tens of thousands of sith TIE fighters and thousands of star destroyers, if it was a pure slugfest between two forces, the final order fleet should be able to put up some sort of resistance. I’ve always wondered if the supercannon just fired upon an incoming large cruiser ship, similar to what we see in ROTJ with the death star firing its super laser to pick off the rebel alliance fleet cruiser by cruiser. To do this, I rotoscoped the star destroyer firing on kijimi and had it firing on a Mon Cal cruiser and having it blow up. This can give some tension to the battle, that Final Order can fight back, but also can further enhance/justify Poe’s line of saying “hit those underbelly cannons”
The big one. Capital ship battle - an MC85 Cruiser versus a FO Resurgent Star Destroyer
- While the Xyston star destroyers have their cannons exposed as a highly exploitable weakness, the first order still has a sizeable presence aside from the final order. The only way to get rid of the FO resurgent star destroyers is to destroy them ship by ship. In the same manner heavily inspired /influenced from the Venator vs Invisible Hand scene from ROTS. I have rotoscoped many different shots of MC85 cruiser from TLJ and various shots of FO Resurgent star destroyer from TFA, TLJ, SWBFII and borrowed various shots from rogue one, a youtube video called battle of the dreadnaughts to bring you a draft of my proposed capital ship combat on exegol. MC85 and FO star destryer approaching each other, firing cannons at each other, side to side flybys with cannon exchange with the MC85 emerging victorious. This is also a very rough Work in Progress. The sound effects is half assed to just give a workprint draft of this scene. I have plans to add an admiral ackbar like figure (ie: Admiral ackbar rotoscoped shots into the TLJ) or Crix Madine deleted scenes (Will need extra work to age Madine and clean up the quality of the deleted scenes)
If you made it this far, I thank you for reading up to here. As you can clearly see, I’m a huge noob at making these vfx shots. There are many super super skilled editors I’ve seen that I can only dream to be a fraction of their ability and to be able to apply that skill to the shots I have envisioned. That being said, I want to give a call for help. I know there are some masks that aren’t as tight (I can fix through meticulous reviewing), and I have absolutely no sense of lighting/lens flare and glare to make the shots look more realistic and seamless. On top of that, many things I didn’t think of nor am able to realize. Though I wont be surprised if I’m just told the cold hard truth; the scenes i’m envisioning are too challenging, complicated and there’s no point in further pursuing this. I know I’m not making changes that affect the nuance, narrative or character development within the movie so the other side of me thinks there’s not as much motivation nor priority to further develop these scenes. All in all, I did all these scenes myself (except the sources from the movies, and sources I got from youtube/the internet) and am proud of the progress I’ve made so far for whatever it’s worth. I hope this post at least brought some entertainment to you guys, May the Force be with you all.