Sorry I haven’t responded yet, but I’ve had to take my mind off the hook for a while regarding Star Wars in general and this edit in particular. After TROS, everything’s felt a bit surreal. It’s the sort of movie that I feel like pushes the ST into such a campy, turn-your-brain-off direction that any work these fanedits could do is practically meaningless. I suppose that there is still value in them as standalone projects, but those are the feelings I’ve been grappling with. In addition, the total sum of work I’ve put into Starlight has, for me, not been equal to the result. Many things about it are a mixed bag, as your excellent feedback has pointed out. Not that I am opposed to criticism, quite the opposite! But I know that a lot of work must still be done to make this the edit that you have all been hoping for, and I’m not sure that I’m up to the task.
I’d really like to have a larger discussion about The Rise of Skywalker and what your thoughts are, but it might not be appropriate for this thread (at least not until it has been tagged with including TROS spoilers). But how The Starlight Project fits into the sequel trilogy as a whole is something that I think is worth discussing.
You are not alone in your opinions about TROS. The truth is, the overarching handling of the ST was all over the place, in part, I think, because of divisiveness of The Last Jedi and the attempt to pull everything together in a single movie at the end. The result was a manic conclusion that is difficult to work out in conjunction with the other two films in the series.
The Force Awakens is such a good movie — my favorite of the ST — and I do believe that it should get the love it deserves. The work you’ve done on The Starlight Project has been nothing short of spectacular and makes the movie all the better.
So now what? Well, as someone that has truly adopted fanedits as being my go-to versions of various movies, I really think that the ST as a whole might have a saving chance depending on what people are able to do with fanediting these films. I don’t want to just “give up” because the theatrical version of TROS wasn’t what I wanted; rather, I actively thought to myself while watching it — “Oh, we could fix this in a fanedit,” etc.
What I think would help would be, after TROS is released on Blu-ray, taking some of the elements of that movie (esp. Rey’s lineage) and include it in bits and pieces into The Starlight Project. This could be in the form of flashbacks, or other little hits that are sprinkled in. I would like to see the same done in The Last Jedi.
Ultimately, I would like to spread out some of the craziness that is packed into TROS into the other two films of the ST to help give a more cohesive trilogy that anyone can enjoy and appreciate the story as a whole. The first place to start, I think, is with The Force Awakens, as it shares so much with The Rise of Skywalker.
It’s my hope that you’ll come back to this project, because I love the work you’ve done on it. But I can certainly understand if you need a break. But after TROS is released, I won’t lie: I’ll be itching to come up with new ideas to flesh out the trilogy as a whole, and I think a lot of that can be done with the work you’ve put into The Starlight Project. This has is my favorite fanedit of any I’ve watched, and I hope that we can continue to do more with it to improve the entire ST. I am confident that we can.
When you’re ready, let’s talk about how we can integrate some of the elements of TROS into The Starlight Project, because I think we can actually make it pretty cool and improve the sequel trilogy as a whole as result. I know you’ve mentioned some interest in fanediting The Last Jedi (which I would love to see someday), and being able to develop a ST that truly serves as a “definitive” version is one worth watching.
My dream is that, someday, I’ll no longer refer to the “ST” as “sequel trilogy,” but rather as the “Starlight Trilogy,” one cohesive overarching story that brings all of it together the way it should have been.