I had been kept writing The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi portions of the Sequel ideas post, but I was unable to post them because of the Reddit character limits. I felt that I had to post them separately. Episode VII - The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens as a standalone story is pretty solid. The script is tight. The first half is the best first half of any Star Wars film. This movie introduced new things very well and I liked the similarities with A New Hope, which were needed after the Prequels... until the Starkiller Base. Apparently, J.J. cannot make a Star Wars movie without a planet-destroying superweapon. That was what I thought.
I used to believe TFA was an incredible beginning of kickstarting a new trilogy and Rian blew the potential away. After the release of TROS, I am not sure. If anything, I feel the opposite. TFA is the best 'hype' movie for sure, but TROS did shake up my perception about this movie as J.J. ditched TLJ's expansion of change and went his own route to conclude what he has set up, and it turned out to be the best proof of how fragile foundation TFA was for the sequel trilogy. Instead, the real strength of TFA was not the mystery boxes nor another rebellion fighting another Death Star but lies on the introduction of new exciting character trio, which is not a coincidence they were TLJ's strengths as the film properly expanded upon them.
Rather than completely rewriting TFA and creating an entirely new starting point of the sequel trilogy, I feel giving greater meaning to why
the story of TFA happened as it did in Episode 8 and 9 is a better alternative solution. Why the Empire-like regime came to rose again, why Rey is so powerful, why everything seems so similar to the OT. I intend to answer to these flaws and questions in Episode 9 REDONE in a larger meta-contextual way. For now, this fix is mostly about changing the world the story is set in to make it feel like a more natural progression from the events of the OT. The story is mostly the same except for the climax, which differs from the homage to A New Hope climax.
Crawl: The Empire has fallen, but its remnants haunted the galaxy for decades. To combat the Imperials, legendary Rebel General Armitage Hux has formed the First Order. With the support of the military, Hux staged a coup and dissolved the Senate to declare himself a Supreme Leader of the New Republic with a promise to rebuild the galaxy. General LEIA ORGANA is desperate to find her brother Luke. She has sent her most daring pilot to Tatooine, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke's whereabouts.
Episode VIII - The Last Jedi
- Change Lor San Tekka to Mon Mothma since his character became a Macguffin with no story relation afterward.
- First Order of the New Republic. Change the First Order from the remnants of the Empire suddenly in charge of the galaxy to the New Republic transforming into a tyrannical government after the Galactic Civil War. This would need a massive overhaul of aesthetic designs for the First Order.
- Change Jakku to Tatooine. Just a name change since these two planets are virtually identical.
- Phasma should be more prominent in the story. Moments like Phasma participating in the village fight, trying to stop Finn and Poe's escape, etc.
- Poe's jacket that later becomes Finn's has the Resistance insignia. This becomes important in TLJ.
- Make Armitage Hux as a Napoleonic Rebel general during the Galactic Civil War, who after the war rose to power and formed the First Order supported by the population, who wanted to purge the Imperial remnants that have been haunted the galaxy. The FO fearmongered about the Imperial sympathizers to gain power. Senator Leia Organa, who led a significant chunk of the Senate as a war hero, warned against the FO. The FO then exposed Leia's secret parentage that she is the daughter of Darth Vader. Leia's life as a senator is ruined and her democratic faction in the Senate crumbled. The FO used this opportunity to dissolute the Galactic Senate. Hux in the trilogy is the Supreme Leader of the FO, an old charismatic man and has a different dynamic with Kylo.
- Instead of First Order being human-centric just like the Empire, this First Order is very inclusive of alien races, similar to the New Galactic Empire from the EU. This non-human friendly policy is one of the reasons how they got so much supports to rise to power after the war. So, among republic troopers, who replace stormtroopers, there are occasional non-humans into the mix.
- Add this scene by u/actualjoe where Rey demonstrates her idolization of the Jedi and the heroes in the Original trilogy. Her knowing history puts her character as a representation of fans. This aspect of her character obviously becomes crucial in TLJ.
- Kylo's lightsaber is blue until he kills Han when his lightsaber color changes to red.
- Make Finn more hesitant to kill troopers. For example, change the scene where Finn fights the 'traitor!' guy. Finn finds a Republic trooper slaughtering one of the guards. Finn ignites his lightsaber and shouts him, "Stop!" The trooper shouts, "Traitor!" He abandons his blaster and takes out the melee weapon and fights. Finn injures the trooper to the ground but hesitates to kill him. The trooper uses this chance and hits Finn. Finn drops to the ground and the trooper is about to kill him before Han helps Finn.
- I am aware this has been a Snoke fan-theory everyone talked about after the movie's release that it is hard to take it seriously anymore, but it is still a hundred times better than The Rise of Skywalker's 'Snoke is Palpatine's clone's clone'... but... fuck it, make Snoke Darth Plagueis. Remove the name Snoke, and call him Plagueis. Reveal his name in the late second act. Rather than Snoke seemingly in charge of the FO publically, Hux is contacting Plagueis in secret. Only Kylo Ren, whom Plagueis attached to Hux, and some other important FO officials know about this truth. Plagueis did die momentarily when Palpatine killed him but revived at the cost of using most of the Living Force within him (Like how Palpatine revived Vader at the cost of Padme's Living Force in Episode 3 REDONE), which explains why he looks so fragile, scarred, and deformed. He could mention Vitiate as one of his students and compare Kylo to him.
- Luke's new Jedi institution was called "The New Jedi Order", not "The Jedi Academy." The reasons for this change will be clearer as you read.
- With the holocams broadcasting to the galaxy, Hux gives a fierce speech against the Resistance that democracy has birthed the Galactic Empire and those who want to restore that system are Imperial sympathizers. They denounce Leia as the daughter of Darth Vader. This continues what the Canon novel, Bloodline, has set that her life as a senator was ruined when her parentage was revealed to the galaxy.
- Rey should not be able to understand what Chewbacca is saying.
- Maz Kanata gives a brief explanation of how he obtained Anakin's lightsaber. She mentions "a former Togruta Jedi" who found and sacrificed herself to deliver it. (EDIT: Now The Mandalorian Season 2 just cast Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka, I cannot go for this explanation until I figure out what the hell are they going to do with her character.)
- Remove R2-D2 suddenly waking up and giving out a puzzle piece, which was a Mcguffin. Instead, R2-D2 has been living with Luke ever since the destruction of the new Jedi Order.
- Remove Starkiller Base. Instead of rehashing A New Hope climax, borrow elements from the opening of The Empire Strikes Back. After Rey, Han, and Finn arrive at D'Qar, BB-8 completes the map and they find the location of Luke's hideout. At that moment, the gigantic First Order armada arrives. The FO's gigantic main command station called the Starkiller Station. (Its design looks like the Emperor's fortress from The Old Republic but larger.) generates the planetary shield that surrounds D'Qar, trapping the Resistance on the planet. This is a new technology introduced here. Our heroes must destroy the command station to open up the shield. Carry the Starkiller Base plot over to the command station. Hux delivers a threatening speech against the Resistance. In order to evacuate from D'Qar, the Resistance must destroy the command station to open up the shield. Han and Finn pilot the Falcon escorted by Poe's squadron and aboard on the command station. Until Finn and Han open up the shield, the Resistance squadrons battle the First Order ships and fighters, and ground troops defend the bases from the First Order dropships, similar to how rebels kept fighting the Empire as they wait for ground forces in Endor to disable the shield generator of Death Star II in Return of the Jedi.
- Han and Finn threaten Phasma to tell where should they plant bombs. Han and Finn find Rey. Han Solo dies in the command station. Chewie blows up the bombs. The large explosion destabilizes the station and the shield opens up. Finn and Rey escape the station through an escape pod. On D'Qar, white ashes created by carpet bombs are raining down like snow. Kylo Ren arrives at the planet and searches for them like that first Kylo teaser shot which was not used in the final film. Duels play the same as the film.
- It is important that Kylo does not know Rey's name in this movie.
- Play up Kylo's struggling with the injury more.
- At the height of the fight, Kylo Force-freezes Rey like he did before and says, "You need a teacher, I can show you the ways of the Force!" line. Rey says, "The Force...", breaks Kylo's Force-freezing, and leaves a scar on Kylo's face. Kylo's scar is on the right side of his face like TLJ. Rey runs away and Kylo continues to chase after Rey.
- This lightsaber fight resolves not by Rey defeating Kylo Ren, but Rey escaping from Kylo to the Falcon. This not only nullifies the jarringness that Rey defeated Kylo but also injects tension to the fight while having Kylo failed.
- Leia hugs Chewie instead of Rey. I mean, come on.
- The Resistance flees to the rendezvous point in the Aquilae system, where the Resistance skyhook is at. The Falcon departs and heads to Ahch-To.
The crucial difference between J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson lies in the fundamental disagreement on what Star Wars is. From what I have seen and heard, J.J. is more interested in the techniques and quirks of Star Wars. (Ex: The famous mystery box speech) He was only interested in the Original trilogy but did not care about the Prequels and the saga as a whole. Rian was interested in themes, mysticism, and intentions behind all these films. He seems to understand what George wanted to say with the Prequels and took the mantle. (The failures of the JEDI, the will of the Force, and the view on war) He also attempted to do what J.J. missed in his pursuit of the tropes.
I will not say J.J. did not understand Star Wars. I am sure he studied A New Hope throughout his entire life. However, J.J. mostly thought of the iconic aspects of Star Wars. McGuffins, mystery, the Falcon, family soap drama, lightsabers, large exciting space battles, stormtroopers, the masked villain, and the big wizard villain behind him. For him, these were what Star Wars is, and he wanted to recreate that same experience for the new generation. Because of this obsession of bringing back the surface elements, he failed to capture the essence of Star Wars. Rian brought Star Wars to the basic and conceptual level again: Some ordinary-looking kid getting moved by a legend, walking out home, looking up the sky, and wanting to venture out to explore those stars at the furthest edges of the galaxy and be a hero like Luke Skywalker just like the children who first watched Star Wars in 1977. It is a beautiful meta-narrative at work. Opinions may differ, but I found Johnson's vision to be far inspiring than J.J.'s. It was what Star Wars needed after years of the fandom culture and ever more confusing lore added on top of the lore.
I hope once everything is calmed down, which will take a decade, fans to give another look at The Last Jedi. Even if there are numerous poor story decisions, there is enough to love to make it a worthy addition to the Star Wars pantheon. The Prequels and TLJ will be remembered and talked about a decade from now, while The Rise of Skywalker will be forgotten within two or three years.
This is not to say The Last Jedi is a great film. If it was, I would not have done a REDONE on it. TLJ works when it focuses on the main plot that is about Luke, Kylo, and Rey. Although they are controversial, it feels like a real story and represents the core theme and narrative. Meanwhile, the B and C stories revolving Finn, Rose, and Poe are dreadfully boring. They even say aloud several times "We've got to stall for time!" Nothing interesting nor necessary happens while Rey is off training with Luke.
Nearly everything in this story had a solid basis. There is a wealth of unique ideas hidden in lousy executions. Here are examples: Luke gives in to the dark side for a moment, the Jedi need to end, winning is not always about destroying enemies, how war affects innocents, and the explanation for Rey's Force power. The answers the movie gives are on paper fascinating indeed, but the story fails to sell them in satisfying ways or use them to the fullest potential. It is as if the script was not ready to be filmed. The script needed at least two more revisions before going into filming, and then likely two more during filming. It is a badly paced and structured script with the constant tonal problem that hurt the emotions it tries to evoke. Rian needed a co-writer, someone like Lawrence Kasdan or Michael Green to flesh out his vision instead of writing it alone.
This REDONE is going to be a script-doctor approach, which preserves Rian's vision while changing some plotlines, characters, the tone, and the pacing. If you hoped Rey to be revealed as Luke's daughter, this fix might not be for you.
EDIT: I just changed Rey's backstory in TLJ REDONE from somebody
back to nobody
Crawl: The RESISTANCE has evacuated. Supreme Leader Hux now deploys the merciless legions to chase after the brave heroes. Only General Leia Organa's band of fighters stand against the rising tyranny. They live in hope that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope for the galaxy. But the Resistance has been exposed. As the FIRST ORDER of the New Republic speeds toward the Resistance skyhook, the fate of the galaxy rests on their escape....
- The story continues right from where TFA left off. The Resistance is readying to escape, loading supplies from the skyhook to the fleet. The First Order battleships and dreadnought drop out of hyperspace. Hux is not present. The FO battleships head toward the Resistance skyhook to destroy it while the dreadnought takes out its ion cannon to ready to fire at the Resistance fleet, so they can incapacitate their escape. Poe and his squadron take on the dreadnought. Captain Canady thinks it is a distraction. Unlike the movie, the dreadnought has a thick shield, impossible for Poe's X-Wing to destroy the turrets. Canady orders to dispatch the fighters and proceed to fire the ion cannon at the Resistance fleet. The dreadnought dispatches fighters to confront them. As the rest of Poe's squadron distracts the FO fighters and the battleships, Poe, at the exact time when the dreadnought fires the ion cannon, intercepts the cannonball. The ion cannon explodes on the surface of the dreadnought and incapacitates the ship. Leia then calls Poe and his squadron to return to the fleet and hyperspeed. Poe sees the incapacitated dreadnought, disarmed, floating there. Out of instinct, Poe calls his squadron to follow him to destroy the dreadnought, thinking this is the best chance to take out more of enemies. Leia moves to the window and witnesses the fighters are following Poe toward the dreadnought. Leia warns Poe not to attack, and Poe cuts off the transmission. Leia radios Poe's squadron not to follow Poe. Half of the squadron returns, but the other half follows Poe. Play up Poe having fun blowing things up in the first space battle even more. Poe manages to destroy the dreadnought and cheers, but the rest of his squadron that has followed Poe is dead. This sets up Poe learning the themes of preservation, saving people, and how war is not a fun thing as the film intended, and he has to learn these lessons.
- Luke drops the lightsaber instead of throwing it.
- Jokes need to be toned down.
- Kylo is called to Plagueis. We then see Plagueis's training on Kylo. In Trevorrow's script, Kylo gets trained by Tor Valum, who is Palpatine's Master and encounters the ghost of Darth Vader. While Kylo's arc in Trevorrow's Episode 9 is misguided, it works perfectly in TLJ. Vader's illusion appears from Vader's helmet, Kylo f fights it, but loses, unable to defeat Vader. Kylo is discouraged and realizes he cannot be Darth Vader. Disappointed by Kylo's continuous failures, Plagueis mocks Kylo for not being up to Vader. Plagueis is revealed to have a sort of inferiority complex as he is wanting to surpass what his past disciple, Palpatine, has achieved. Just like Kylo lives under Vader's shadow, Plagueis lives under Palpatine's shadow. This reinforces "killing the past" character arc for Kylo.
- Plagueis then tells something important about Rey's identity. He has sensed familiarity about her. "Who is her?" Plagueis tells her name is Rey and Kylo should remember. As Plagueis said, something in Kylo's memory rings. Kylo leaves the room and destroys his helmet as what Plagueis told about Rey startled him.
- There should be no other living creature on Ahch-To.
- The hyperspace tracker plot device is intact. Using the unprecedented technology, the FO arrives at where the Resistance fleet has escaped. Finn tells the Resistance that the First Order is capable of tracking them through hyperspace. The FO attacks the fleet once more. Kylo joins the battle and aims at the unshielded bridge of Raddus. He hesitates to kill Leia. He recovers his senses and pulls the trigger, which was too late as the shield has been restored. Leia now realizes Ben cannot be brought back. In the battle, the Supremacy shoots the ion cannon toward the fleet. The Resistance fleet loses some of the capital ships, Poe loses his X-Wing and his squadron, and the communications antenna is damaged. As a result, they cannot call reinforcements. No Leia flying scene. However, the Resistance finds the nearby interstellar gas and dust region, which gas is so thick that it clouds visibility and radars. The Resistance fleet lightspeeds into it and hides there.
- Then we have a three-week time skip.
- For three weeks, Rey has been pestering Luke to train her. She sleeps in the cave, walks out, and kneels before Luke's house every time the suns rise. Luke opens the door and steps out. Rey is surprised and thinking Luke will accept her. Luke gives her a towel and enters the hut again. Rey returns to the cave and Chewbacca sees Rey drenched in rain. Chewie gets angry and breaks into the house. Luke has already sensed Han's death when it occurred through the Force, no need for Rey to tell him his death. He mourns for his death as the deleted scene shows. (In fact, implement most of the deleted scenes as they add so much to the story) The Ahch-To part goes pretty much similarly except Luke seems to aware of who Rey is.
- For three weeks, the Resistance fleet has been hiding in the gas region, waiting for any signal from reinforcements, but resources are running out. Crews are suffering from lack of air and coaxium (hyperdrive fuel) is left with one usage. Nearby systems are fully in the FO's grip, refusing to open to the Resistance as they are afraid of the FO's retaliation.
- PTSD catches on Finn and he suffers from the guilt that he abandoned and killed his friends on the First Order. His arc is to overcome this guilt and fully embrace a rebel identity.
- Luke and Rey debate the events of the Prequels on the prophecy of the Chosen One bringing balance to the Force that the Jedi foolishly clung on the prophecy of the Chosen One so much, they allowed Darth Sidious to take power. Rey responds that Darth Vader fulfilled the prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. And it was Luke, the Jedi, who saved Darth Vader. Luke questions her: did he save Vader because he was the Jedi or did he save Vader because he was his son? Perhaps the rest of the galaxy misinterpreted the legend. Besides, did Vader truly bring balance? The Sith rules the galaxy now and the Jedi are no more. Luke talks about how the return to the past mentality is naive and led to this current state. Just as how the New Republic's imitation of the Old Republic after the war led to the same problems the Old Republic suffered and allowed the First Order to take over, his naive idealism toward the Jedi allowed Kylo to turn to the dark. Here is an important difference: After the massacre of the New Jedi Order, he did not give up and went onto a journey of finding a way to defeat Plagueis and turn Ben to the light, explaining why he left the star maps. His research led him to this island where the Jedi was born.
- He brings Rey into a deeper part of the island, to the place where the ancient Force-users formed the very first religion of Jedi called Je'daii. There, Rey sees the ancient murals of the earliest Jedi, at the center of them, is Plagueis, known as Kane at the time. (one of the character names from Lucas's earlier draft of Star Wars) As many years passed, Plagueis has become unsure of the Jedi's way he paved. He departed from the Je'daii Order and went onto explore the dark side of the Force thus he created the Sith'ari. Plagueis was the founder of both the Jedi and the Sith, and both sides have been keeping this truth hidden for countless generations. This backstory was inspired by Phanius aka Darth Ruin from the EU. This revelation shooked Luke to the core. Luke realizes he cannot repeat the cycle and it is time for the Jedi to end.
- The mirror scene is the same. Rey asks about her parents, and it goes nowhere. Luke spots Rey in the cave and tells her that her parents were among his Jedi students who had been slain and we see the flashback of his side of the massacre at the New Jedi Order. Luke then mind-wiped her (like Revan from KOTOR) and dropped her off on Tatooine, the intimate place Luke is familiar with, for her own safety as the First Order would be searching for him. Although Rey is saddened, Rey is finally satisfied as she has finally learned the truth about her parentage.
- Rey and Kylo Force-skype together. They talk about the massacre that took place in the Order. However, Kylo tells a different story. In his flashback, having already tempted by Plagueis, he goes to meet Rey's parents, who are Ben's mentors. Ben finds them and witnesses Luke ruthlessly murdering Rey's parents with no remorse. Luke is the one who killed Rey's parents. Ben is shocked by Luke's murders and attacks Luke, and then collapses the entire building as shown in the movie.
- Rey confronts Luke and threatens him. Luke tells the real truth. When Luke re-established the Jedi Order, he followed the traditional code of the old Jedi Order as he idolized people like Obi-Wan and Yoda. "There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force." Basically, Rey was adopted. Two of Luke's Jedi named Kira and Sam (Names taken from the earlier version of The Force Awakens) found a baby girl abandoned on scrapyards and, upon realizing the incredible Force within her, decided to raise her. These two Jedi were in a relationship and wanted to have a child, prohibited under the Jedi code, similar to how Anakin and Padme had a forbidden love. Instead, they adopted the baby as 'Rey' and took care of her deeply, training her Force skills, which explains her character seemingly mastered the Force. Luke found it out and expelled these two Jedi for having a romantic relationship and took Rey from them. With revenge, Rey's parents attempted to assassinate Luke, and he had no choice but to defend himself by killing the couple. Ben saw this moment and attacked him. When Luke woke up, Ben left, his Temple was burning, and his students fell dead. Just as the old Jedi have unintentionally created Darth Vader, Luke has created Kylo Ren and Rey through the rigid, conservative, and failed ways of Jedi training. In the movie, 'the truth' has nothing to do with Rey as a character, only related to Kylo Ren, but this change ties Rey far closer together. The change that Luke killed her foster parents hurts Rey and the audience the most. Luke was the one who has taken everything from her and is the reason why she has been alone. She had dreamt of her family's return, but this revelation breaks her worldview completely. Luke's mistake of idolizing the old Jedi's way caused Rey's foster parents, the only ones who cared for her, to fall to the dark side. This is very similar to the initial The Empire Strikes Back twist where Obi-Wan was the one who killed Luke's parents until Lucas changed it to I am your father twist. It reinforces the failure of Luke Skywalker that his failure was not a momentary instinctual mistake but an ideological failure. Then Rey asks Luke if he exiled himself out of personal guilt rather than his finding of Plagueis. Luke himself is not sure. He tells her he can understand if she decides to kill him. This is the lowest point of both characters. Rey can kill Luke out of vengeance right here. However, Rey makes a hard choice not to kill Luke and deactivates her lightsaber.
- Rey gets captured and taken to Plagueis. Kylo thinks he can turn Rey to the dark side with the revelation that Luke killed her family. Now, Rey has a good reason to turn against Luke and join Kylo Ren.
- When Rey arrives at the throne room, Plagueis tells Kylo Ren and Rey that he bridged their minds in the first place. Luke took her because Rey was impossibly powerful in the Force to be left alone. Plagueis took this opportunity and persuaded Rey's parents after Luke expelled them to join the dark side with Ben Solo. He also explains why Rey is so powerful in the Force. It seems the Jedi and the Sith's prophecy of the Chosen One was wrong. It is the Force's will that has become more active than ever and choosing people for new beginnings out of the blue to achieve balance in the Force. It both refutes yet continues the concept of the Chosen One in the Prequel. Basically, the Jedi's belief of the Chosen One that only one special person can bring balance was wrong. Anyone can bring balance to the Force without shackled by dogmas of either side. This does not devalue Anakin's achievement unlike The Rise did. Anakin did kill the Emperor, but killing him was not the balance. Plagueis believes balance in the Force prophecy is for the dark side to rule the galaxy and thinks Rey will be the one to bring that Sith utopia as Anakin Skywalker did. Rey refutes that Anakin killed the Emperor, but Plagueis says that is why the Force has chosen Rey since Anakin failed to bring what Plagueis believes to be the balance. This solves many mystery boxes of The Force Awakens, such as Rey's Force ability, Anakin's lightsaber calling for Rey, Rey's multiple visions, and Rey's character similarity with Anakin and Luke.
- After Plagueis recounts his explanation to Rey, she finally reveals her decision. She will not turn. She will not follow in her parents' footsteps. This surprises both Kylo and Plagueis. Furious Plagueis floats Rey and tortures her, threatening her that Kylo will kill her if she resists the dark side. Rey is in extreme pain but still refuses. Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Plagueis.
- Kylo cuts Plagueis in half and we get a team-up fight as in the movie. However, Rey due to still processing the depressing truth about her struggles to fight. She does not get her limb chopped off, but Rey should get hurt, bloodied, and beaten down. Almost as if she is trying to survive from the guards. This physical suffering also represents her current psyche. Kylo helps her and does most of the fights, fooling the audience even more that he has turned good. After finishing the fight, it is revealed Kylo has not turned to the light and asks Rey to join him. He tells her to kill the past and they can reborn again. Destroy both the Sith and the Jedi. Only then they can bring balance to the Force, at least that is what he thinks. Kylo feels Rey is still clinging onto her real parentage to validate her. Here, Kylo tells her about her real parents. They were nobody, as the film intended. They battle each other for control of Anakin's lightsaber, bisecting the weapon.
- Kylo sees dying Plagueis on the floor. He has no longer Living Force in both body and spirit to revive himself again as he used it the first time with Palpatine. Before Plagueis dies, he smiles and says, "Kylo... This was your final step... Be the Sith your grandfather should've been." Revealing that this was the training he mentioned in TFA. Kylo says, "No, I will surpass him. I will surpass the Sith. I will surpass even you." He beheads Plagueis with the lightsaber. Hux arrives and Kylo announces, "The Sith Lord is dead."
EDIT: Thinking about Plagueis's dialogue before death, I am not sure if this would fit his character. Plagueis was obsessed with living forever, and accepting his death feels wrong. Here is another idea. Kylo says, "You have no Living Force anymore. This is the end of your fate and my final step." Plagueis begs Kylo to spare him. Kylo refuses. Plagueis says, "Desire to be a Sith your grandfather should've been?" Kylo says, "No, I will surpass him. I will surpass the Sith. I will surpass even you."
- So let's talk about the B plot on the Resistance fleet. Pair Finn with Poe. The Resistance fleet receives a signal from General Madine from Return of the Jedi, who now leads the other faction of the Resistance. He tells Leia's fleet to regroup on Corellia, Madine's homeworld. Leia senses it is too dangerous and suspicious. Poe thinks this is the best chance for the Resistance. So Leia, rather than sending the entire fleet to regroup, decides to confirm first if this signal is genuine by sending Poe and Finn there. However, Leia sees Poe's arrogance and assigns Finn in charge of the mission. Poe is under command of Finn. Poe gets frustrated but accepts it. Leia warns Finn and Poe to 'be mindful'. Finn says he understands it.
- Finn and Poe reach Corellia. In their search of General Madine, Poe tries to micromanage Finn, unable to accept Finn as a leader. Their friendship starts to crack. Finn has to learn to be a leader while Poe has to learn to compromise and stop being full of himself. Finn suffers through PTSD and emotional torments. They witness the weapon factory, manufacturing weapons for the First Order, and how the war profiteers benefit from the war. Many workers are comprised of children, oppressed and exploited. Finn tells Poe the anti-war speech Rose gave in the movie and the need for saving people.
- They meet General Madine. Madine has been building the sizable Resistance military ready to rescue Leia's fleet with the support from the anti-First Order group like the Senators, politicians, etc. Full of resources. Poe is impressed and, as a hotheaded fighter he is, he contacts the Resistance fleet to come to Corellia. However, Finn surveys Madine's Resistance soldiers and finds a familiar face among them. "FN-9603?" It is one of Finn's friends during his Republic trooper years, who trained together. Finn realizes the terrible implication and immediately shouts for Poe, warning him the whole thing is a trap. One of the tall female Resistance soldiers grabs Finn quickly, saying, "Welcome home, eight-seven." It is Phasma without her helmet. Poe heard Finn's shout and escapes barely. The revelation of enemy troopers disguising as the Rebels was originally in Lucas's Revenge of the Jedi draft, which has been carried over here. Madine orders his men to jam any signal that leaves this planet. Now, Poe cannot contact Leia to warn her.
- Poe has escaped but cornered. Madine asks Poe to surrender as he has no way out and tells him the Resistance all around the galaxy has already been decimated. Poe asks Madine why he turned. Madine responds he has not. He was always loyal to the Republic. After decades of the Imperial rule and anarchy that followed after, the First Order has brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to the galaxy. Poe responds, "Just like the Empire?" This hints that despite the First Order was created to eradicate the legacy of the Empire, the First Order is not too different from them. Madine frowns and orders the troopers to attack. Poe hides in the weapon factory, where he meets a child worker. Just a boy. Poe gives a Resistance ring and borrows a vehicle.
- Meanwhile, Finn gets captured. Phasma gives Finn a chance to return to the First Order and tells Finn will be greeted as a hero. He will no longer suffer from guilt if he embraces who he is. Since Finn has become a legend among the Resistance, Phasma thinks Finn rejoining the First Order would strike devastating damage to the Resistance's moral. Phasma also wants to trust the loyalty of her men. Finn's old comrade asks Finn to return as well. Finn looks down and contemplates. He sees a Resistance insignia on his jacket. This is who he is. Finn makes up his mind and rejects. "I was raised to fight. For the first time I have something to fight for." In anger, Phasma calls Finn a traitor and proceeds the execution but Finn points out she told him where to plant bombs in the command station. "When I put a gun to your head, you told me about every nook and cranny of the Starkiller Base. And where to plant bombs." Her soldiers start turning on her and Phasma immediately shoots down her soldiers. Finn uses this chance and defeats her, becoming the 'Rebel scum'. Poe, driving a vehicle, returns and makes havoc to rescue Finn, finally accepting that Finn is his leader.
- The Resistance fleet drops out of hyperspace and meets the FO armada waiting for them on Corellia. "It's a trap!"... if you want a little dose of shameless fan-service, which to be honest, is an opportunity too perfect not to waste it. Coaxium has run out, unable for the fleet to hyperspeed again. The Supremacy fires an ion cannon toward Ackbar's capital ship and destroys it.
- In absence of Ackbar, Poe and Finn return to the Resistance fleet amidst the attack. Poe takes Ackbar's position and, instead of fighting, orders everyone to evacuate to Crait through lifeboats, which is a moon of Corellia. He finally realizes war is not just about destroying the enemies. In an attempt to protect Leia's lifeboats from the incoming FO fleet, Poe hands down Finn a baton to lead the troopers to Crait while Poe remains in the capital ship to confront the incoming Supremacy, determined to sacrifice himself to save people by buying time. Partially to make up his faults. We get an emotional goodbye between Poe, Finn, and BB-8.
- For the hyperspace ramming, I really love Gandamack's fix, which I highly recommend you to read it first. As Poe's ship is getting torn to pieces, a pilot droid tells Poe, "Admiral, I have detected a hyperspace anomaly that appears to be emanating from the Supremacy." Poe has a eureka moment and turns the ship around. Hux is amused and tells his men to destroy the ship. Poe prepares for a jump and locks onto the tracker's signal. Hux's face turns white and orders his men to, "Disengage the tracker! Shut it off!" Before the officers have time to shut the tracker off, Hux jumps, and the crash scene plays out as it does in the film. I felt this movie needed one of the main characters to be killed off, and considering Poe had no character arc in Episode 9, this is a great way to send off his character.
- Replace AT-AT Walkers with the advanced types of LAAT gunships and the Juggernauts from the Prequels as the FO in REDONE is the Republic.
- On Crait, Leia contacts the other Resistances, but Madine was right. The other Resistances are decimated and Leia's is the only one left. No one is coming.
- The Battle of Crait takes place during the night to reinforce that this is the Resistance at worst. The First Order starfighters and the vehicles have spotlights to brighten the battle.
- On Crait, Hux is so confident of his victory that he sends holocams in the air to broadcast the battle to the whole galaxy. He makes a fierce speech that this is the annihilation of the Resistance.
- Finn leads the troops to escape safely, completing his character arc as a leader.
- Rey should not have fun shooting down enemy ships. She should be still saddened at this point.
- Leia wakes up and finds out Poe is dead, someone she used to adore like her another son. Luke arrives and has a final conversation with her.
- When Luke arrives, morning dawns on Crait as the sun is rising, signifying hope is coming and the Resistance will rise.
- The holocams broadcast Luke's heroic sacrifice that saved the Resistance. Child workers gather and watch it in the factory. Hux frowns and cuts the broadcast, but it was too late.
- I am not sure if Luke should have died in TLJ. Here is the discussion post and write down your thoughts. I am leaning toward Luke should have lived and made an appearance in Episode 9.
- On Falcon, the characters are depressed and mourning for the dead. Finn is devastated. This scene should not be a happy moment. I do like Leia telling Rey that the Resistance will rise again, but it makes no sense how this would be a happy upbeat ending when only two dozens of the Resistance survived. Rey hears Luke's voice, asking her forgiveness. Rey comes to terms and forgives him. This scene ends in a more somber bittersweet note.
- In the weapon factory on Corellia, the child workers recount the story of Luke Skywalker's heroic act on Crait. The boy moves a broom with the Force and looks up as the Falcon lightspeeds across the night sky. With the Resistance ring on his finger, he gazes into stars in hope and holds the broom like a lightsaber.