Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - Refined Edition

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Brief Synopsis:
Serving as a continuation to The Last Jedi - Consistency Edition, this edit modifies The Rise of Skywalker to be a more fulfilling end to the trilogy by smoothing out the plot, removing convoluted elements, and modifying aspects of the film to elevate the story.
The Rise of Skywalker is good. But it can be better. That's what this edit is all about.

Unlike how I felt about The Last Jedi, this movie did a decent job moving the story forward considering the mess Rian Johnson created. However, that didn't mean this movie was free from its own faults, which I wanted to take care of.
Other Sources:
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
The Rise of Skywalker Director's Documentary.
The Last Jedi Complete Soundtrack.
The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Soundtrack.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic.
Special Thanks:
INIGHTMARES, Poppasketti, Burbin, Johnh, Sade1212, CaptainFaraday, Sherlockpotter, Skenera, Kewlfish, Luka Frik, NeverarGreat, and Jar Jar Bricks for their fan editing resources.

DanRuta for the xVASynth program that was used to create lines for the Knights of Ren.

Tremault for suggesting me to use Davinci Resolve for editing.
Release Information:
Cuts and Additions:
Added copyright disclaimer and logo. (Modified logo by INIGHTMARES)

Color correction to remove the green tint.

New title crawl that recaps Palpatine's fleet, Rey struggling with her abilities while training under Leia, and the Millennium Falcon racing towards the Resistance outpost.

The Millennium Falcon jumps out of hyperspace after the camera pans down. (FX by Poppasketti)

Removed Klaud from the Falcon. (FX by Poppasketti)

Removed lightspeed skipping. (FX by Poppasketti)

Recreated Rey's vision using repurposed footage of Kijimi's destruction and her sitting on the Sith throne.

Recolored Exogel from blue to grey (LUT by Skenera)

Kylo reforges his helmet after Rey's training and heads out with the Knights of Ren. A documentary shot is added for a more dramatic reveal.

Removed the Knights of Ren being referred to as ghouls.

Replaced Poe's "Somehow Palpatine returned" line with Leia saying that Palpatine has returned from the dead. (AI line by Jar Jar Bricks)

Replaced Poe saying that Palpatine has been planning his revenge with a line explaining he's clinging to life in a cloned body. (AI line by Jar Jar Bricks)

Removed, cropped, or replaced shots that blatantly feature Rose.

Leia tells Rey that Palpatine is too dangerous after she explains how to find Exogel. (AI line by Jar Jar Bricks)

Rey and Kylo look at each other before Poe tells her that they should get going.

Kylo doesn't tell Rey that he'll turn her to the dark side once he finds her.

Lando isn't introduced by Threepio.

Threepio is the only that says "They fly now!"

Finn doesn't try to tell Rey about his secret, as that plot thread was never finished.

Poe isn't startled by Ochi's remains.

Sith whispers are heard from the dagger throughout the events of the film and act as a guide for Rey to find the Wayfinder while inside the Death Star ruins later on.

Two of the Knights of Ren are given bits of dialogue on Pasaana, Kijimi, and Exogel. The voices are those of Yuri Lowenthal and Seth Green that were AI generated using the xVASynth program.

Trimmed Kylo's fighter crashing so it isn't shown excessively spinning and blowing up.

The tug of war between Rey and Kylo doesn't happen so that Chewie's fake death is removed. He's still captured by the First Order but no one thinks he's dead.

Trimmed Rey's conversation with Finn so she doesn't mention seeing both herself and Kylo on the Sith throne.

Replaced Hux informing General Pryde about Chewie with Palpatine contacting Kylo about Rey being alive.

Moments where Poe snags at Threepio have been removed.

Threepio's memories stay wiped. References to R2 backing up his memories are taken out.

Poe doesn't say anything about the hyperspace routes being blocked and Zorii doesn't show the First Order medallion.

Removed Poe asking Finn where to go after they land inside the hanger and removed the mind trick scene. Making Finn the lead on where to go to find Chewie.

Removed Finn yelling at Poe when he is shot.

Rey sees her parents being attacked by Ochi when she retrieves the dagger.

Kylo tells Rey that he sees the darkness in her and she was right that her parents were no one. (AI lines by Jar Jar Bricks)

Moved Finn and Poe being taken to Pryde right after Kylo explains the fate of Rey's parents to her.

Poe doesn't say "I knew it!" when Hux reveals that he is the spy.

Rey and her parents are not related to Palpatine.

Inside the hanger, Kylo tells Rey that she has the power of darkness and encourages her to kill Palpatine and take the Sith throne. (Inspired by TROS - Ascendant)

Swapped the moons of Endor. (FX by Poppasketti)

Removed Rey lining up the dagger with the Death Star ruins.

The Skywalker saber becomes cracked at the end of Rey's encounter with her dark side apparition. (FX by Kewlfish/Luka Frik)

Dark Rey's eyes become Sith looking when she yells. (FX by Burbin)

Finn doesn't interrupt the duel between Rey and Kylo.

Added the trailer shot of Leia holding the medal when she makes contact with Kylo.

Rey doesn't say Leia's name in shock.

Kijimi isn't destroyed by the Final Order.

Moved R2 reuniting with Threepio before Poe speaks to Leia.

Removed the shot featuring the Porgs.

Luke's appearance is improved during the start of his conversation with Rey. (FX by NeverarGreat and jonh)

Leia's lightsaber color is changed from blue to purple. (FX by Skenera)

The Holdo Maneuver is not mentioned.

Intentionally kept Palpatine calling Rey "Empress Palpatine" when he offers her the Sith throne as his twisted way of giving her a family name and a belonging.

Replaced the standard Tie fighter that Ben used with Vader's Tie fighter. (FX by Poppasketti)

The Skywalker saber is restored when Ben receives it.

Replaced Poe telling the galactic fleet that every cannon taken down is a world saved and Wedge's cameo with an extended shot of the fleet engaging the Final Order.

Centered the close up shot of Rey's eyes when the Jedi spirits speak to her.

Yoda, Obi-Wan, Luke, and Anakin appear behind Rey and assist her in defeating Palpatine once and for all. (FX by Jonh)

Rey says "I'm a Jedi" instead of "I'm all the Jedi" (Modified line by sade1212, CaptainFaraday, sherlockpotter)

Removed the lesbian kiss.

Removed the conversation between Jana and Lando.

Added a flashback from ANH where Leia gives Han his medal to clarify the one Chewie receives is the same.

The quick color switch from Rey's saber is changed from blue and green to blue and purple. (FX by Burbin)

Ben accompanies Leia and Luke on Tatooine. (FX by jonh)

Replaced the theatrical "Rey Skywalker" take with the one featured in the documentary for a more emotional delivery. (Modified shot by Poppasketti)

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This edit is worth your time because some of the ideas it implements have potential. However, the execution is unfortunately a little off.

Probably the biggest issue is that some of the AI voicework just sounds goofy. None of it ever sounds convincing. I think Hal's Ascendent handled the "Somehow Palpatine Returned" issue with much more finesse than this edit, which just has Leia basically saying the same thing as Poe, but off-screen in a way that seems particularly janky.

Palpatine is casually introduced in the opening crawl without any fanfare. I think any fanedit should present the movie as if the viewer is seeing it for the first time (even if that's realistically seldom ever the case), so to introduce Palpatine so nonchalantly is a significant oversight, because someone who hasn't seen the film is gonna go, "Wait! What?! Why is Palpatine back!?"

I feel like Abrams really jerks his audience around in the theatrical cut by having viewers think Chewie is dead only to find out moments later that he isn't. Abrams does it again when Threepio's memory is wiped, only to have it restored by the end of the movie. I really appreciate that this fanedit removes this nonsense in favor of a more streamlined film with real stakes. However, Abram's does this a third time with the fake Ben Solo death when Palpatine throws him over a cliff (What's worse is that Ben Solo DOES die moments later), so I don't know why Revan100 didn't remove this, too.

My biggest criticism of this (and also my biggest criticism of Hal's Ascendent) is that the 3rd act is largely left intact, despite the fact that that is where the film really falls apart. The Palpatine we get in TRoS is incredibly stupid and misinformed. His motivations make no sense, and his plan—for a guy who was heretofore a master manipulator—is really poorly thought out. A much better ending would be Kylo Ren thinking he is playing Palpatine, but having it be that Palpatine knew all along Kylo and Rey were a dyad in the Force. In other words, he is only trying to lure both of them there to steal their powers. Somebody needs to give the 3rd Act of this movie some attention! Because that is where the movie goes from being bad to godawful bad.

I think this edit is a good stepping stone for another editor to take its best ideas and incorporate them into an even better edit. As it stands, this edit just doesn't have the polish to replace the theatrical cut or exceed what Hal has done.

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Owner's reply July 09, 2023

Thanks for the review. There are some things I'd like to make clear.

Palpatine being casually introduced in this edit was done because he was officially introduced at the end of my Last Jedi - Consistency Edition edit. The title crawl was simply recapping that event.

Keeping Ben Solo's fake death felt necessary in order to keep his final act in the movie: Bringing Rey back. Yes, I could make it so Rey doesn't die after defeating Palpatine, But I would rather have Ben die because he gave his life to save the person he loved, rather than die because he fell down a hole.

Regarding Palpatine's behavior. Yes, he is a master manipulator, but like Luke said in Return of the Jedi, he's also very arrogant. Now, do I think it would be better if Palpatine wanted to lure Kylo and Rey in order to steal their energy? Yes. But I don't think I'm able to do that seamlessly with how the original scene is set up.

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