I just got around to watching this edit, and fun fact, this is the first time I’ve seen any version of it. First of all, wonderful work everybody! Most of the changes are seamless, and they really elevate this from a train wreck to something quite watchable. Now to the notes:
My first thought is that I still don’t like what they did with Poe. Before this movie, I thought that Poe had come from the New Republic military, which would give each main character a very different background, with Poe being the heroic Republic pilot, Finn being a dastardly Stormtrooper, and Rey being a scavenger from nowhere. Now the dynamic is far less interesting. So I thought since we’re able to change pretty much any voice now, that Zorri could have different dialogue, indicating that Poe was only posing as a Spice Runner for a while to infiltrate Zorri’s crew:
“Your friend never told you? He worked undercover as a spice runner for a long time.”
“I’m still digging myself out of the hole you put me in when you were called back to the Resistance.”
The bigger issue with Poe’s scenes is that there’s almost an arc but not quite. It would be really nice if we could establish that Poe has some reason to believe that people won’t join the war, perhaps stemming from his inability to recruit Zorri to the Resistance years ago. So the conversation between Poe and Zorri on the rooftop could be changed to indicate this, since Zorri’s mouth is always covered.
Or, we could use this opportunity to shore up the ‘For Skywalker!’ subplot that Ascendant introduces. The first indication of Luke’s inspiration is the festival, and the final result is the massive fleet and the voices, but it feels like there could be one more clue to this result:
“Wanna come with me?”
“I can’t walk out on this war. Not until it’s over. Maybe it is. We sent out a call for help at the battle of Crait. Nobody came. Everyone’s so afraid. They’ve given up.
“And then they saw Luke take on the whole First Order all by himself. Things are changing, Poe. The First Order wants us to believe that we are all alone…but there are more of us.”
The next note is about Occhi’s dagger. It still feels forced when Rey abandons her friends on the Star Destroyer to go looking for it, so I got to wondering if we could find a way to tie the dagger into the greater story. Why would Rey go after something like that? Well, that moment feels very similar to the moment in The Force Awakens when she goes to the basement of Maz’s castle. So let’s have the dagger act in a similar way to Luke’s lightsaber. When she first touches the blade in the cave there are sounds of bloodshed and violence but they are distant and confused, never becoming a vision. Reinstate the line ‘Horrible things…have happened with this.’
When she later goes to Ren’s ship and says they need the dagger and Poe asks why, cut her line and have her simply walk away, emphasizing the strangeness of her action. Then, when she’s fighting with Kylo, he can say that the dagger offered her a vision but she refused to see it. For a Rey Palpatine version, this vision would be the one of Occhi killing Rey’s parents and the suggestion that this is because she is a Palpatine.
“You are hard to find. I pushed you in the desert because I needed to see it…I needed you to see it…who you are. The dagger showed me the rest of your story. You were right…your parents were no one. They chose to be…to keep you safe. If you held the dagger now you would see them.”
Rey sees the vision of her parents and her abandonment.
They paid for your protection…in more than one way. Rey, I know what happened to them. Tell me where you are…you don’t know the whole story. It was Palpatine who had your parents taken. He was looking for you. But they wouldn’t say where you were…so he gave the order.”
Rey sees her parents get killed. (For a Rey Nobody version, the vision would be of Rey destroying her parents in an attempt to keep them on Jakku.)
“You know why the Emperor’s always wanted you dead. I’ll come tell you.”
In the hangar, Kylo can have some dialogue indicating why she keeps abandoning and imperiling her friends:
“You are drawn to the darkness, Rey. You would even abandon your friends to achieve your destiny…just like me.”
I still think that Hux as the spy needs work, simply because the Hux from the first two movies would never intentionally want the First Order to lose to the Resistance. However, if he believes that Kylo Ren is such a bad leader that the First Order is doomed, then it makes sense why he would aid the Resistance in taking him down. Unfortunately, there’s not much room to communicate this, but maybe something like this:
“For the First Order to win…I need Kylo Ren to lose.”
The effects and grading in the film was very good overall, but I couldn’t help but notice that Luke’s island is too red, compared to the raw clips.
When Poe and Finn are playing chess with Chewie, it would be nice to have some clanks and crashes as Rey exits the ship, indicating that Chewie was throwing a fit at being called a cheater.
Anyway, that’s about it. Regardless of these notes, this edit is a fantastic achievement.