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9.4 28 10
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Continuing a re-watch of the Skywalker Saga, this is the first edit of TFA I've ever watched.

I mistakenly thought that this was an edit for a prolonged reveal of Kylo Ren's identity. But in fact, this is an edit for (spoilers ahead) moving the destruction of the Hosnian system to just after Han gets killed. This change ratchets up the emotion considerably. Before, my only reaction was, "Oh, a bunch of extras that I've never met are dying. Whoop-dee-do." Now, as I'm still reeling from the sucker punch of Han's death, all this new death and mayhem gets shown onscreen. It's gut-wrenching in a good, dramatic way, the way it should have felt the first time.

Only quibble: Even though HAL changes the line to say that the weapon will be "re"-charged in 30 seconds, the question now becomes where the charging comes from. The first time, Starkiller Base sucked up an entire sun. In the theatrical cut, since time has passed, viewers can assume that the Base has eaten another sun. But how did it charge again so quickly if it just spent all its energy wiping out a system? There was no time for it to consume a different star. And if it still had energy left over after all that, why did it need to re-charge? Mind you, it takes longer to write out the reason for the quibble than it does for this tiny moment to happen onscreen. It doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment.

And the addition of the Emperor's theme in v4 when Kylo Ren talks to Vader's helmet is an EXCELLENT choice, because (spoilers) of what we learn in Ep. IX.

I haven't seen any other TFA edits to compare this one to, but this is absolutely a top-notch effort!

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