March 18, 2019
Rekindled deserves more reviews (praise), because it is currently the definitive TLJ fanedit.
Poppasketti's edit actually restored some of my faith in Rian Johnson as a director. A good faneditor should have a degree of respect for the source material he’s working with, and that's what we see here. Rather than fight against the director's vision, he brings added clarity to it.
I became interested in fanedits after learning about the work that had been done by various faneditors on the prequel trilogy, such as L8wrtr, Q2, Hal9000, seciors, and now Octorox. It has taken many years, but I believe we finally have a trilogy of good, at times great, films. In many ways I believe it has been a collaborative effort, That said, I didn’t think the sequel trilogy was as capable of being redeemed by a good edit, but poppasketti has shown that The Last Jedi is actually quite a good film when you apply a lot of polish.
I watched the edit twice, once by myself and once with my wife, who is a casual Star Wars fan. We both liked the Poe/Hux call exactly as poppasketti has done it. Star Wars should not be completely devoid of humor after all. On the other hand, cutting out Leia Poppins, Canto Bight, the showdown with Phasma, and the Rose Tico kiss, etc., is exactly what this film needed.
Humor has always been an essential part of Star Wars, and I think it’s fine as long as it’s not in excess. Rather, I think the far bigger problem the The Last Jedi has is the level of cynicism that Rian Johnson brought to it. Holdo is especially problematic. The movie tries to set up a character arc for Poe where he needs to learn...what? To blindly submit to authority? However, we can't ignore the fact that it was actually Holdo’s poor leadership that caused things to unravel in the first place. Poe is an established character from the previous film that is both charismatic and likeable. Holdo, on the other hand, comes out of nowhere to cut him down to size, because he's a man, I guess. I find the story involving Poe, Holdo, Finn, and Rose deeply unsatisfying. The message is confusing and heavy-handed. There is still more work to be done here.
I believe the faneditor who fixes Holdo will have fixed this entire movie. Portraying her as being as misguided in her actions as the others might be a workable fix, i.e., show how truly lost and desperate everyone--including Holdo--is without Leia (and Luke). Failure and disappointment are indeed core themes that Johnson wanted to include in this film, so why spare Holdo from that? (Her act of self-sacrifice could serve as a sort of redemption for her as well.) That way, the situation appears even more dire before Luke shows up to buy them some much needed time. As it stands, Holdo's positive portrayal seems very agenda driven to me, i.e., the wise purple-haired feminist who saves the day. Conversely, taking away some of her luster might serve to cast Poe in a better light--a character we actually care about.
I think this is a great fanedit overall. Nevertheless, I think keeping broomboy is problematic for a number of reasons. Why didn’t Rey (who is apparently the most powerful Jedi of all time without putting in any effort) realize she was force sensitive until she was an adult, yet broomboy just somehow happens to know? Like all the Canto Bight scenes in general, Broomboy just comes across as a little too...Disney.
Truthfully, I don’t think we’ll get the definitive TLJ edit until after Rise of Skywalker releases (poppasketti believes Broomboy may factor into TRoS, which is partly why he kept him in). Until then, this edit of TLJ is canon for me, so thanks to poppasketti. I know film/fan editing is arduous work.