This edit of the Last Jedi addresses Finn (John Boyega) and Rose's (Kelly Marie Tran) adventure on Canto Bight. In the original film, they become distracted and almost forget about the First Order's impending obliteration of the Resistance fleet.
Finn is dazzled by the glamorous casino environment and Rose lectures him about gambling culture. Their relationship is tense. When they disappointingly fail to complete their mission, their time on Canto Bight seems wasteful. Also, Rose's kiss with Finn on Crait is unsupported by their time together.
Instead, Hal 9000 makes the Finn and Rose storyline feel more urgent and less inessential. The editor removes most of the casino scenes and their encounter with child slaves in a stable. By cutting Rose's criticism of capitalism, she becomes less salty and more sweet. The pair work as a team. Rose's romantic feelings towards Finn now feel more credibile.
The force sensitive boy from the cut stable scene appears at the climax. His ring with a resistance symbol will confuse viewers. It may be better to re-insert the stable scene and include a condensed version of Rose and Finn's galloping escape on the fathier creatures. Otherwise, the ring close-up shot should be cut.
Hal 9000 has tempered the director's humour and retained the original film's narrative. The visual and sound editing are excellent.
This review is based on the first version of Hal 9000's edit. I have read the change list for the second version and would recommend watching either of them.
I already made a review but I had to do a new one for V2. I know this is an unpopular opinion but I enjoyed the Last Jedi, and this edit just makes me like it even more. This should have been the cut of the film Rian Johnson went with, and after watching the edit you can't really go back to the original.
PROS: I loved the incorporation of the deleted scenes especially with Luke.
The commentary track is really fun to listen to and shows that Hal has a really deep understanding of Last Jedi and Star Wars as a whole.
Loved the placement of the Yoda scene.
Loved Snoke's death in this edit.
Improved pacing and great reduction of Canto Bight Sequence.
Cheesiness is greatly cut from the film.
NO MORE CARETAKERS!
CONS: Luke throwing the lightsaber bit has been done much better in other edits. (It's still a joke)
Comedy could have been reduced a bit more.
It's not as fun to watch as other radical edits in that it maybe changes too little.
Great Edit that serves more as just a better cut of the movie rather than a Fun Fanedit.
Been a long time since I watched the original and this is the first fan-edit I've seen.
The pacing is leagues better. Distracting tone-shifting humor and repetitive exposition has been trimmed and makes for much smoother scenes.
The excised sections of Canto Bight does absolute wonders, amazing how much more tolerable that section of the movies is. Do not miss it at all, almost forgot that it should have happened. You're more invested in the immediate action and forget that there was this whole slog about back-story and saving animals. Didn't feel too brief for me.
I'm not sure why the slave boy is still at the end. Where'd he get the ring? Is he oppressed? Is the New Order the reason he's oppressed? Where is he located, is it somewhere that the New Order is causing problems? There's no context for that scene. It also just bothers me that he's so clean. Those slave children just look like L.A. child actors to me.
Editing is very tasteful and a lot of the fixes are effective in their simplicity. I think the poppasketti music cue for the lightsaber toss is inspired and the removal of Roses' line after her crash introduces enough ambiguity that you don't know WHY she's being contradictory to her values rather than knowing the reason and it not making sense.
I did not like Finn and Roses' meeting scene in the original and this is better but it does feel a little odd. I looked at the change list and saw that the "breathe" line was re-instated but I'm not sure why. I saw this cold, didn't read the change-list or any forum discussions before and that popped out at me as un-warranted for him to say. She doesn't get excited enough for that to make sense, the shot really holds on him like it's a big joke but there was not much of a set-up.
I could do without Leia flying. It doesn't make me angry like it does with some, but it just strikes me as a bit silly. It doesn't look very convincing and it's not staged or directed in a way that feels powerful to me. Like, I have some problems with the hyperspace jump kamikaze scene on a story level but I can't deny the visual power. It's arresting, but I can't say the same for Leia flying.
Ultimately, the movie doesn't get better for me on a fundamental level. There's things that make sense to me even less than they did the first time. I more and more don't really understand what this movie is about or what Rian Johnson is actually trying to say. I get to the end of the movie and have so many questions about what this really adds to the discussion of myth in popular culture. It's subervise in ways that seem to really only work for people that already agree with its perspective, Johnson doesn't really use much rhetoric. There's not a lot of writing or filmmaking that's being used to help along people that aren't on board. I'm all for subversion, but you got to be a little more deft with your tools when you're working in pulp.
I'm not sure I'm really interested in a more radical edit, though. I have things I'd prefer to be changed but they wouldn't make my overall opinion of the base movie different. I think HAL9000 makes this just about as polished as it can be. A wonderful piece of editing and much easier of a watch.
Watched the 720 mp4 and it looked great, a very good encode for its size.
The Last Jedi's Thematic expansion on the entire saga up to this point is incredible, and those who complain that it's "not in line with George's vision" are fooling themselves. The problem is, this theme of the past dying so the new can take hold isn't exactly noticed when there's these distractions that pull us away from it.
Thankfully, they're removed seamlessly here. I won't go into much detail, because I'd just basically be describing the same movie. I will say I never noticed the incredible arc of Poe's character before, or the incredible subtle aspects of Ren's arc, because the non-thematic nature of certain scenes Johnson didn't know how to cut distract us from them. (which I should say is more the fault of SCHEDULING DEADLINES for these kind of blockbuster films creating enough stress of management he might not have had time to perfect it to a Tee, so I don't blame him and I never will. This is very much still his film, if not moreso now thanks to HAL9000)
The only real issue I have with this edit, and it's only a nitpick but a symbolic one nonetheless, is that the last scene feels less meaningful now. I still get its purpose and strength, but by cutting the earlier scene that sets it up it just seems to have less pre-established weight. The basis for the Rebellion inspiring this kid is a bit lost without a scene to establish the hope they LITERALLY gave to him by giving him the ring. It still has thematic power and perfectly closes the thematic arc of the film, just with slightly less emotional weight than before.
But this is a nitpick... JUST LIKE EVERY COMPLAINT AGAINST THIS FILM:
Which is why you wisely chose not to take out the film so much as things Johnson didn't have time to take out of the film with artistic foresight himself. He had almost 4 hours of content to edit in a little less than 6 weeks, and when you can do better THEN you can criticize him. This cut is now closer to his vision.