How Would You Change The Last Jedi?

Some people loved it, some people hated it, but The Last Jedi got everyone talking. No matter what camp you're in, today I'm wondering: what changes would you have made to The Last Jedi if you were in the director's chair?

I absolutely adored the most recent installment in the Star Wars saga, but there's always something you see and think "but what if they did it this way?"

For me (and likely many other people) it was the Canto Bight casino scene that was the weakest link in the movie, a bit of an off beat in a movie where time is meant to be of the essence. If it were up to me, I'd change the context of this scene.

Instead of Rose tasering Finn before he can end up in the escape pod, they both end up in the pod when it's jettisoned, which can then take them to Canto Bight. This way more depth can be put into exploring Finn's desire to run/his eventual overcoming of it, and Rose would have a more interesting arc coming to terms with the fact that one of her heroes is not who she thought he was.

The rest of the casino scene could continue from there, with Rose and Finn trying to find a way to join up with the Resistance again, and running into someone who could help their cause along the way. Have I put too much thought into this? Probably, but it's an interesting exercise.

How about you? What changes would you have made in your ideal version of The Last Jedi, big or small?


Comments

    Remove the entire Casino planet. It just didn't need to be there, actually accomplished close to nothing for the story and really just kind of messed with the pacing.
    Make Luke less bitter, I get that he's upset about everything that went down but I think he should have taken a leaf from Obi-wan and Yoda's book and been more chill about his self imposed exile. Doesn't help that old Legends EU Luke I grew up reading bounced back from at least 5 Ben-Solo like disasters.
    Find some other way for the imperial capital ship to be disabled (hey maybe actually give Rose and Finn's adventure a point and let them set up some explosives somewhere important before they get caught!) because after I saw that suicide charge all I could think was "why aren't they just using Hyperspace suicide charges piloted by one person to solo entire fleets ALL THE TIME?!".
    Stop saying Hope so much, it's getting really cheesy.

      "why aren't they just using Hyperspace suicide charges piloted by one person to solo entire fleets ALL THE TIME?!".

      Me? I immediately though "If you can kill a heavily shielded ship like that with a Hyperspace Jump, why aren't Jump Torpedoes a thing?"

      ... or work out a way to do a hyperspace kamikaze attack by remote control so none of their generals needs to die with it.

        We have droids! Use a droid!

          Given that the droids seem to be treated almost as sentient beings by the Republic/Resistance, that's not necessarily better.

          Surely they could have handled it with some non-sentient remote control system. That could have saved the captain of the medical frigate, and Holdo.

      I didnt mind the casino scene. Rose states the worst people reside there...so, I was expecting a rip off scene from the cantina on tatooine. I think the Casino planet offered a different social commentary.

    Spoilers below, obviously:

    I really enjoyed The Last Jedi and honestly, I don't think I have the right to make changes, even if just theoretical, so instead I'll write down the things about the film I didn't like.

    1 - The whole casino planet thing felt like a waste of time and really felt "tacked on" compared to the rest of the film.

    2 - I would have liked to have seen more actual training between Rey and Luke Skywalker.

    3 - A bit disappointed that we didn't learn much more about Rey's origins... so here's hoping the third and final film will clear that up.

    4 - I would have liked to learn more about Snoke, but he uh, kinda turned into a split in two corpse, before we could find out more about him.

      3 - A bit disappointed that we didn't learn much more about Rey's origins...

      The whole point was that there was nothing to learn. Her parents were both junk dealers who traded her away for money and died on Jakku, buried in an unmarked grave. She's not tied to any pre-existing character. There's no "Oh, and she's actually Vader's secret offspring!" She was just a poor girl from a poor family.

        Hey man, yeah I got that part, but I guess what I'm getting at, is why Rey's Force abilities are so powerful? That's what I want to learn.

        My brother told me of a theory that's circulating the Internet... apparently, it could be possible that Rey may be another "Force child" like Anakin Skywalker, and was made to essentially counter balance against Kylo Ren, the grandson of the chosen one.

        What do you think?

          My guess is just that because there's so few Force Users anymore (Only Leila, Snoke, Kylo, and Rey, really. Even Luke had 'cut himself off' from the Force) that the Force has more energy to give, and not spread as thin.

          But then I don't know that much about Star Wars, so beats me.

            It's possible.

            I'm really into Star Wars, so I love exploring theories. I know a lot of people are upset that Disney's direction has essentially wiped out the previous canon (video games, comics, novels etc.) but I like the direction so far. Feels fresh.

            I think with Rey, that she must be essentially another "Force child", like a "Chosen One"... otherwise, I have no idea why she would be so powerful, to pretty much surpass a Skywalker.

            Glitch in the Matrix?!

              There's a lot of focus in this film about the force being balanced. The force isn't good, it isn't evil, it is balance. There's a line, can't remember it exactly but Snoke suggests that the more powerful Kylo gets, the more powerful Rey gets. This would suggest that Rey is the force attempting to maintain balance. Not because she's a chosen one so much as because she's available.

              How exactly is it fresh? TFA was a shot for shot remake of A New Hope, and TLJ copied key scenes, as well as followed the "the good guys have to fail" storyline from Empire...The First Order is literally Empire 2.0, and Rey is literally following Luke's storyline from the original trilogy almost to copy and paste level. The only thing I'd consider even somewhat fresh is that Disney's injected their particular brand of rubbish humour and characters designed to sell toys...

        Except that was almost certainly a fakeout by Kylo Ren.

        Spare her her life from this monstrosity!

    Tighten up the story. Less plot holes you can drive a book through. Example that bloody compass is annoying bit of lore that is not explained.

    Rebels plans need to be tighter, better planned and explained... ffs their covert mission is ruined by illegal parking, their planet evacuation is ruined by the Captain refusing to tell Poe her plans. Their ship plan was ruined by droid in a box. Lukes plan involved him not telling anyone to use him as a diversion to escape... he walked out that door telling anyone what was going to happen.

    I would add some ambient sound to the hyperspace ramming so I cant hear every moron in the cinema say "wheres the sound".

    The falcon is legendary for its speed... which is a lie. Its legendary for fitting into tight spaces (again) regardless of the pilot. Stop that. Its ridiculious at this point.

      I would add some ambient sound to the hyperspace ramming so I cant hear every moron in the cinema say "wheres the sound".

      Didn't hear a whisper on my viewing. Sorry you got stuck with idiots.

        Yeah I agree here. Dead silent except for a few "woah"s...I thought the silence made the scene, which was by far the best in the movie.

    -Remove the casino scenes as the payoff is minimal. With this introduce DJ as a prisoner that strikes a deal and would be in better position to betray them later on whilst still being able to give the whole “don’t join” seed of an idea.
    -Let Finn die in a redeeming way. He would have had his arc, people would miss him and he’d become a martyr further fuelling the fire of the rebellion.
    -Add John William’s Superman theme to Leia being in space, or you know what, have the balls to let her die there, further giving Luke a reason to hide further away from it all.
    -I’m happy with Luke’s arc of failure and dismay. But Rey’s training must have been a couple of days only and the Resistsnce fleet running away for weeks.
    -Speaking of which, I had BSG stories going through my head with the whole hyperspace tracking. Shame it didn’t do more.
    -More Poe dammit!

    I still liked the movie a lot incidentally. This is just my old man complaining.

      -I’m happy with Luke’s arc of failure and dismay. But Rey’s training must have been a couple of days only and the Resistsnce fleet running away for weeks.

      It felt like days, but pretty sure the 'chase' was only a day or two, if that.

      Last edited 28/12/17 2:52 pm

    Luke doesn't force suicide. He chooses to actually try and help fix the problems he started.

    Leia is the one who hyperspace jumps through Snoke's ship leaving Holdo lead the Resistance.

    Ep IX
    Luke finishes Rey's training she becomes a different kind of Force Knight (not Jedi), perhaps a Knight of the New Republic or something like that.

    Luke becomes one with the force.

      While heartedly agree leia should've been the one to hyper charge to death.

      Leia is the one who hyperspace jumps through Snoke's ship leaving Holdo lead the Resistance.
      But do you think that because you now know this was Carrie Fisher's last film, or because you think it would have improved the story? I think they did enough with Holdo for you to care when she sacrificed her life, and would have had some plans for Leia in the next film.

        No, in the context of the story, she's lost Han, she know's she's lost her son but she's found Luke who was the symbol of hope in the previous trilogy. I felt that as her final gesture, she sacrifices herself for the Rebellion/Resistance by taking out Snokes ship. A final act of defiance.

        Holdo takes over to move the story/franchise forward and becomes a Mon Mothma style character. She believes in The Force but can't use it & uses the story of Leia sacrifice to inspire others to join the Resistance/re-establish the New Republic.

    Disney marketing and merchandising aside, get rid of Canto Bight; the amount of times the porgs appeared and annoyed me was borderline Jar Jar irritating; and the Mary Poppins shiz was hokey AF. We saw it in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

    I totally get that Poe and Finn's arcs were about failure, but it seemed at total odds with where the Resistance needed them to be.
    All the drama was with the fleet, so set their entire stories with the fleet!
    All the best crew dramas (TOS, TNG, SG1, BSG) are when they're stuck in one place and need to put all their heads together to get out of impossible situations.

    Also I refuse to believe that the First Order were so incompetent that in the entire 12 hours or so they were tailgating, NO ONE thought to just jump slightly ahead to flank the Resistance. Or that NO ONE thought to check out the planet that the Resistance was clearly heading toward to maybe cut them off.
    When you think back on it, it's got that ridiculous Austin Powers steamrolled henchman slowness to it.

    GET RID OF THE WORDS HOPE, SPARK, FLAME, ETC. It's getting annoying!

    Bloody hell. I got more but I feel like I'm hating on it too much. I did enjoy it for what it was.

      I think the movie really suffered with "Hope, Spark" stuff coming off of Rogue One which was about "Rebellions are built on hope"

        I feel like between this, Rogue one and Battlefront 2's campaign, Disney MUST have some kind of mandate going to everyone working on Star Wars stuff saying like: "Hope must be mentioned. Hope is our arc word for this new generation of Star Wars"

      the amount of times the porgs appeared and annoyed me was borderline Jar Jar irritating

      Not saying I disagree, but blame the puffins on the actual island it was filmed.

        They could've just digitally erased them, not replace them with merchandise advertisements.

          Using porgs to disguise the puffins was a great idea! I just think they should have stayed on the island and not ended up on the Falcon to annoy us later with more slapstick.

    Explain who the hell Snoke is and where he came from! This is the character that got the entire story running, a character who is hugely strong in the force and was somehow completely unknown during the original trilogy. He's an incredibly important character, and yet after his death we STILL don't know anything about him, even though the on-screen characters do. That's bad storytelling.

    Last edited 28/12/17 12:36 pm

      I keep seeing this come up and I couldn't disagree more. People are obsessed with Snoke but IMO they're Boba Fetting him. He was a cameo appearance in TFA and a stepping stone for Kylo in TLJ. Snoke has never been, and will never be important because the story is about Kylo Ren's ascension as a Sith and leader of the First Order.

        So if he's unimportant why is he there? They could have replaced him with anyone. A character needs at least SOME story behind them. Kylo could still ascend to where he is without Snoke even being there, because there's no explanation as to why he's considered such a major part of the First Order, and why they're answering to him, what his motivations are/were? Why is he so strong with the force? Where has he been during the original trilogy? Also, he is actually a pivitol part of Kylo's backstory, since Snoke's the one working him...

        I think the reason why people want to know is he's an interesting character on the surface. Not to mention his appearance makes him unusual and stand out.

        Boba Fett by comparison does have defined motivations as to why he does stuff, just people want to know more about him as he's wearing a mask and is mysterious. He's also pretty badarse.

    Ackbar is the one with the plan to evacuate everyone to the planet and he turns the ship around on the suicide run. He gets the send off he deserves, everyone ends up where they need to be and no one has to go to boring casino planets.
    I still liked the movie a lot but like nearly everyone else, that casino side plot was just a waste.

      Ackbar is the one with the plan to evacuate everyone to the planet and he turns the ship around on the suicide run. He gets the send off he deserves

      As the First Order realise what he's about to do, he hits the warp drive and murmurs to himself. "It's a trap."

    When Rose crashes into Finn, saving him; instead of saving "I love you" then kissing him. She just says "We have enough dead heroes" and passes out.

      Man that scene was weird. when it happened it sounded like half the people in the theater I was in all went "...huh?" all at once. Just so weird seeing a romance scene right next to the "well the laser broke through, we're all fucked now"

    At the very least remove the majority of the "humour". The comedy didn't work, it was jarring.

    The conversation between Po and the dreadnought Captain felt out of place, as did the scene with Luke throwing his lightsaber away. It cheapened these stories and the movie as a whole. Luke could have rejected his lightsaber from Rey in a more weighty serious way very easily.

    This whole movie feels like its been designed to troll half the viewers.

    Show me Kylo Ren's belly button area, I heard the guy has an eight pack, that he's shredded. Prove it.

    Get rid of yoda scene, and the laff scenes. Like when Rey cuts the top off that rock and it destroys the little nuns cart

    Make Chewbacca kill more porgs and not catch feeling when they whimper in front of him. He has clearly already ripped the heads off two of them, de-feathered them and then spit roast them so why would he suddenly care?

    General Hux seemed like a bit more of a doofus this time around, less of that would be great.

    Some mention of the Knights of Ren would be cool..

      The Knights of Ren are Snokes guards. Almost identical weapons to what we believe to be the Knights of Ren from the flashback experienced by Rey in TFA.

        That's the current theory but no-one mentions them and considering how much Kylo Ren hates traitors (See his reaction to Finn), you think he would express this when he is fighting them.

        Could be them, but unless it's spelled out in the movie they are just praetorian gurads, sworn to Snoke.

    If you’re going to have Luke set out that there are three rules for being a Jedi, maybe explain all three, not two and leave the third on the editing room floor.

    Last edited 28/12/17 1:47 pm

      The 3rd rule is not to tell anyone what the 3rd rule is...

    I think Admiral Ackbar should have been the saviour instead of random "lets introduce another Admiral" lady because it would have been a way better send off for my boy, "It's a trap!" instead he was a blown out of the cockpit with barely any mention. He's been there since the start! #RIP #It'satrap

      Literally ridiculous. That death + Leia's super woman bullshit almost made me walk out.

    If not already obvious, spoilers below...

    1. Fix the story so that both sides stop making idiotic and mind numbingly baffling tactical decisions. Destroying the Rebel cruiser in the first 10 minutes would have ended the movie, but no, lets destroy the empty planet you KNEW THEY WERE EVACUATING FROM! Also dont just sit there following the rebel fleet for weeks on end when you have the ability to hyperspace away and then back in front of them, or close enough behind to be able to blast the shit out of them. Or get reinforcements to fly in...And if it's the case that the ENTIRE fleet is slowly chasing the Rebels, WHY are you sending your entire fleet after 5 ships? And what navy only has that many ships in their entire fleet if that's the case? Movie over again. Also, dont let a moody kid run your military, especially when the second in command has a lightsabre. Why not let him take on Luke by himself, and ALSO march on the Rebel base at the end? Nooooo of course he has to have the epic showdown while everyone watches and lets the enemy get away.
    2. On the Rebel side, tell at least SOMEONE the plan before you go causing a mutiny. Dont rely on a half dead Leia to rescue you from your shit leadership. You've been in power for 2 minutes and people have to base their opinion on you off one throwaway mention of a battle you presumably did well in. Yet we're supposed to believe you should command total respect then? Alternatively, dont let your subordinates run around doing whatever the fuck they want. You either lead by consensus, or you lead by dominance, there is no middle ground, and you cannot pretend to do either.
    3. Dont give people super powers with no explanation of how they got them (Leia)
    4. Dont kill off characters the fans love and then say "Everyone died what a shame". Ackbar has been a staple of the series, and killing him like they did is atrocious.
    5. Dont throw in pointless Disney humour into serious parts of the film. Or better yet, do humour properly and not resort to Disney shit that is only there to sell plushes!
    6. The film is called The Last Jedi, and there are NO actual lightsabre battles?
    7. The entire Casino bit can be cut without affecting anything. Why is it there?
    8. Killing Finn off in the giant beam would have made the film for me. He's annoying as shit, and he would have at least had his redemption moment for all the shit he's screwed up so far.
    9. GIVE SNOKE AND PHASMA AN ACTUAL REASON TO EXIST
    10. Kill off Leia in an awesome and fitting way as she's not actually alive irl, and give someone else a chance to shine (Poe?) as the leader of the resistance. It could have been built up as a handover movie, where Poe learns how to be a proper leader and does something to save the resistance towards the end.

    And Finally

    11. Change the plot around so that Kylo Ren sees the light and turns now to fight for the resistance, and make Rey turn to the dark side when she goes into the hole/finds out her parents literally dont matter. Not only would this have been an epic plot twist, but it also isnt a stretch considering both character's storylines. Kylo's clearly conflicted between both sides. Rey is still super woman, and has absolutely 0 guidance on how to use the force. And we all remember Yoda saying that it's dangerous to start down the path at an older age, as you're too corruptable. This twist then flows into the the next movie, where the Resistance and Kylo try to turn her back. It also gives us a nice "failure with slight hope" ending to TLJ, since the Resistance has lost a key member to the enemy, but gained a not so trusted ally in Kylo who they have to work with to survive. But of course this would never fly because a) Disney needs to keep playing this thing safe and b) we cant let are strong female role model character be corruptible...Noooo she needs to be pure and good! A story about losing your way and then redeeming yourself is so bad by comparison...

    This is not exhaustive, just what I can think of...

    Last edited 28/12/17 2:26 pm

      Agree on all counts, but I love your no.11

      From the trailer I was kinda hopeful that Rey would have gone to the dark side or at the very least embraced both sides, a balance to the force. But preferably just go to the dark side, I'd love to see that story! But also seeing Kylo Ren go light side.. while he's in the midst of the First Order .. what would he do? Flee or bring the beast down from the inside? :) It would be awesome..

      I must admit that I wasn't bursting to go watch Last Jedi (Force Awakens was a soft reboot for me but functional), but friends wanted to see it. I was entertained but realised the movie was a travesty.. aside from all the story issues and throw away scenes, I was confused how it could be released, at the very least, with the completely out of place humour?.. did Disney check on the production for issues? What happened with the test audiences? Something seriously wrong has happened.

      Change the plot around so that Kylo Ren sees the light and turns now to fight for the resistance, and make Rey turn to the dark side when she goes into the hole/finds out her parents literally dont matter. Not only would this have been an epic plot twist, but it also isnt a stretch considering both character's storylines.

      I don't see why finding out her parents aren't anyone special would make her turn against the closest thing she has to a family.

        Everyone is different, and how we all individually react to big (and even small!) things in life can either be a non issue or radically change how we view other aspects of ourselves and life. I've seen it with a person whom was very religious and spiritual to atheism (and a certain coldness) this was based on their perception of their family member and their view of them.

        Rey desperation to know who where her parents are/were, why would they leave her? It must of been for a good reason right? She probably conjured up so many fanciful stories in her head, to help her cope with being left behind, that they had not choice and there wonderful and leaving her there was for her benefit (hardening up?) and safety and so on.. and then to be told her parents sold her for drinking money sounds like it could be devastating to her mind.

          Forgot to add, and being so devastating to her mind this core part of herself changes her perception of all the situations she experience and everyone shes met now is viewed with darker eyes..

          But that didn't happen in Last Jedi so ... bah. I'm hoping the planned DUNE movie is enjoyable.

        They've already built it up as something extremely important to her. It's akin to parents losing a child and then being told, "Hey, you're kid doesn't matter, get over it..." Yeah some people dont care about this, but if someone's been stewing over it all their life, they'd react pretty negatively to it.

        They could also write in some other reason why she turns. Like the resistance appears to betray her, and then has to convince her of the opposite in the 9th movie. The point is, there's enough of a backstory to justify Rey going dark side.

      wow man, loved your comments you should direct the rest of this franchise, no sarc, seriously, great ideas and i hate finn. refreshing and plausable. shame it wil never happen and this franchise is dead to me since 7. Dint even bother with 8 and most the comments here have reinforced my boycott.

    Make it non-canon.

      I laughed pretty hard with this - but agree. I thought The Force Awakens was a great start to the new trilogy, which The Last Jedi completely fobbed up..

    Have the rest of the First Order fleet fire at the bombers and/or the rebel fleet, not just sit there and watch as their prized ship gets annihilated.

    Just cut down on the number of jokes and one-liners. It's like they feel obliged to mimic the light comedy approach of the Marvel movies. Star Wars was never particularly funny. I mean it had the odd moment here and there, but not the fairly constant stream of them like we saw in this one. It just felt like it was kind of undermining itself.

    I'd have heavily shrunk down the Casino planet section. Make it shorter. Same with Luke's planet. Basically trim the fat. Say more by showing less. I'd have removed the Laura Dern's character, and change it for Leia. Kill off her character so they don't have to sort out where she fits in the next film. If you wanted, keep Laura Dern's character, move her story arc to the next film and just add a small glimpse of that in this one. They should have changed Yoda for Obi Wan.

    Basically, the film as a whole worked. But the pace was slow and it outstayed it's welcome. They should have finished the movie as they set up their base, preparing us for a big battle to begin the next film, a la Empire Strikes Back. I'd have liked to have seen something said, maybe a toast to the characters we've known who were all lost.

    How could The Last Jedi be better? Star Wars needs to grow up and stop being so ludicrously dumb.

    Part One: EVERYTHING.

    Seriously, the writers forgot how to write a meaningful story. The Last Jedi is a series of action sequences with dialogue in between. That doesn't constitute something of narrative value.

    A story relies on a few key things: a core conflict or story question, that should be resolved by the end of the story. It also typically requires one or more characters to undergo some sort of change, something that is considered especially important in "A Hero's Journey" style stories. Star Wars most soundly fits into this category, thus this should be essential in the movie.

    What's the core conflict of the movie? It doesn't have one.

    You might think it's the rebels running away from the empire - sorry, I mean, it's the resistance running away from the first order. Except that is never resolved. They're still running and hiding at the end of the movie, just as they were at the start. There has been no change, thus that can't be the core conflict.

    Rey and Kylo? Well... no, it's not that either. They start the movie hating each other, and end the movie hating each other. They both think they can get the upper hand on the other in terms of turning them to each other's way of thinking, but both of them fail and the stakes remain exactly the same.

    Oh, but there's Finn and Rose! In a side plot that goes nowhere and achieves nothing. They literally fail at everything they attempt to do. I guess you could sort of argue that Finn maybe decides that he's thrown his lot in with the resistance by declaring "Rebel Scum" and deciding to commit suicide, but he'd already defected from the first order. So someone who is a side character potentially has a small amount of growth. Rose starts by fangirling over Finn, but then gets to know him a bit and starts to treat him like a normal person... but then she ends with a almost-dying fangirl crush, destroying any arc she might have had.

    All of the actors do a respectable job with what they were given, but literally NOTHING is achieved in the entire movie except to get the universe state in a position where Disney can go places with the franchise.

    I'd pretty much throw out the entire movie. The first order took out a few planets in Force Awakens, but that movie seemed to make it clear that THEY WERE NOT IN POWER. Yet after a stunning defeat in Force Awakens they're suddenly the all powerful new empire in control of the galaxy. That needs to go, because it just means Force Awakens (and the entire original trilogy) were utterly pointless. Here's a rewrite considering the following:
    1. All key characters must remain in the movie.
    2. We're not killing off any key characters.
    3. Exception to rule 2: Leia dies.
    4. Any "character development" (for what little there is in The Last Jedi as it stands) is made concrete and definitive.

    Part Two: A possible non-dumb alternative.

    The first order isn't pursuing the rebels, they're making systematic guerilla attacks against key government (aka alliance) facilities. They have a lot of military power, and they're using it to strike against the current ruling entities struggling after the destruction of key planets of power in the last movie. Heck, you could even keep the battle scene at the start, but it's the first order who runs away after dealing fairly minor damage to an allied planet. Poe orders their fleet to chase them and gets baited into a trap where most of his allied ships are destroyed in an ambush. This sets up his character as being foolishly headstrong and stubborn, rather than the way it plays out as it is, where he's doing it in a move to protect people.

    Luke's training of Rey can stay, but his whole reason for becoming a hermit was because he didn't want to train anyone else in the Force. He didn't go to the planet just to die, else he wouldn't have left a map so people could find him. He hasn't cut himself off from the force, but after learning the truth about what happened in the Clone Wars and his failure in training Kylo Ren, he believes it's a power that shouldn't be spread. Jedi lead to Sith, and everyone else gets hurt. The whole "you went straight to the dark side" and the dark side pit are thrown away.

    Leia will die in fighting, promoting Laura Dern's character to leader of the armies. Poe continues his disobedience, and ends up imprisoned, giving Captain Phasma an achievement to cement her as a partially competent sub-villain. This gives Finn a choice hunting for Rey or rescuing Poe, and he ends up choosing Poe due to his interactions with Rose making him feel like he does have some allegiance to the cause rather than just Rey. He also hears that it's Phasma, giving him revenge as a motivation as well. This culminates in Poe losing an arm to Phasma during the rescue, giving him a direct consequence of his unwillingness to learn.

    Leia's death gives the impetus for Luke to actually train Rey, since he's now seen her force powers and knows that he's not strong enough to stop her if she should turn bad, so he decides to train her because it's now clear that Kylo is stronger than him as well.

    Instead of constantly needing approval, Kylo kills Snoke of his own accord - not for some forced bad love interest in Rey. Rey doesn't go bad - there's absolutely no incentive for her to do so given her character or personality. She does, however, come to the realisation that the force or the jedi can't give meaning to her life. She has to decide what she wants to do with it - she came from nothing, but sometimes greatness can come from nothing. This unfortunately still runs into the problem that her parentage was sold as a giant mystery box by JJ Abrams in Ep7, but in an ideal world that junk would have been thrown out as well.

    In the final conflict, the first order stages a large scale assault against a large alliance military base. Communications get taken out, so Poe takes command and starts an evacuation to save lives rather than going on an all-out assault. He also discovers Finn has persuaded Rose to go with him to sabotage the ship that Phasma is on - and he talks them down from the suicide mission. Luke and Rey arrive to help just as the transport ship containing the important government and military officials is boarded by Kylo and stormtroopers. The two of them make quick work of the stormtroopers, but then have to fight Kylo. Luke gets killed by Kylo while Rey has to run away.

    This way we get progression for the setting, the overall plot and the characters.
    The first order has dealt essentially critical blows to the government, leaving a splintered galaxy to choose sides between the first order and the alliance.
    Rey realises that actions are what makes people special, not their heritage. She also struggles with losing every mentor she gains as she searches to find her place in the galaxy.
    Poe's arc becomes a solid realisation of how to be a leader.
    Finn struggles with personal feelings versus his dedication to the alliance - desire for revenge against Phasma and his friendship/feelings towards Poe/Rey conflict against his duty.
    Rose stops fangirling and discovers that even "heroes" act like idiots at times, and she finds that she herself has the capability to be a hero.
    Kylo learns to stop be a whining brat and embrace his power and position. He has the power to rule and he wants to do it, for himself, not for anyone else.
    Leia and Luke get send offs befitting their characters.

    This is only a quick run-through of an idea - there are most certainly things that could/should be tweaked, but at least in this version there is some real development of the core conflict and the characters within it.

      five out of five

    Astral Luke should have his green sabre.

    Edit out:

    Luke throwing Anakin's Lightsaber over his shoulder
    that horrific milking scene; unnecessary
    make Leia's "Force" scene a bit shorter
    Put in more of Carrie Fisher's General Leia concerns about her son; not that she basically gave up on him
    Redo entire Canto Bight scenes; re-shoot how they meet "DJ"
    Take out horrible female alien opera singer
    Fathier galloping scenes too long
    Show new "DJ" ship more
    Longer Finn vs Phasma fight
    Lengthen scene with kids re-telling legendary master jedi Luke Skywalker story (talk/play)
    shorten last scene with little kid w/broom

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