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Star Wars Abridged — 9 films cut to 3 (new preview for sequel 3-in-1 available)

Zarius

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You're on point with most of that, there is a bit if a hard bump between "love" and "er" but the "Rey" bit is solid as is what Kylo says. Another top notch idea, keep it up
 

hothstation

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You're on point with most of that, there is a bit if a hard bump between "love" and "er" but the "Rey" bit is solid as is what Kylo says. Another top notch idea, keep it up
Agreed 100%! Fantastic work.
 

subjectzero

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Thanks @Zarius and @hothstation! These tests are more about figuring out how to bend the story and ways of changing several plot points—I have enough of them to begin to assemble a proper edit now.

So far, what I have is Jakku is now Tatooine where Rey Solo is hunting for Luke Skywalker's secret journal to help restart the Jedi Order. Meanwhile, General Poe is also there meeting with ex-first order general Lor San Tekka who has stolen a partial map (or plans, or something) to Exogul where the First Order is building something (Starkiller base). Fortunately, Rey has Luke's journal which details his search for Exogul which she uses to retrace his steps to the first Jedi temple with Resistance co-founder Chewbacca taking up his co-pilot seat with his best friend's granddaughter.

I have a few other tests that are coming out pretty well but still a lot of plot problems I don't know how to solve but I'll get to those later. One thing I did realize is that despite cutting out Han, Luke, Leia, and Lando, Luke will have to make at least one appearance in the Jedi tree. I'm going to try and keep it to audio only if I can, but I need someone to explain that place to Rey.

I'm praying that this whole thing doesn't fall apart like my previous attempt LOL!
 

hothstation

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Whew! That sounds like a ton of work. Thank you again for everything you do.
 

subjectzero

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For those who are wondering how I'm going to approach the Ahch-To without Luke, I've put together the hardest edit of that sequence. I've decided to include a cameo for Mark Hamill in this edit after all—at least his voice anyway and probably his hand when I next edit this.

pass: fanedit.org
 

Zarius

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Inspired stuff...you truly are a whole different breed of editor, that worked so well, and added real mystique to the precise fate of that character
 

hothstation

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For those who are wondering how I'm going to approach the Ahch-To without Luke, I've put together the hardest edit of that sequence. I've decided to include a cameo for Mark Hamill in this edit after all—at least his voice anyway and probably his hand when I next edit this.

pass: fanedit.org
WOW. @Zarius is right. This is next-level!
 

subjectzero

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Wow, those are some really humbling comments! I hope I do this edit justice now.... no pressure :p

I just did a rough sketch of the dark side cave sequence. I think I have my head wrapped around Rey's storyline which I'll use to pin everything else on. Her story is turning out to be a lot more interesting because of these force dream sequences on Ahch-To as it kind of feels like she really is tempted by the dark side.
 

subjectzero

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Project update!

Just put together the very VERY rough assembly cut of the story. I haven't watched it yet and I know there's all sorts of things that need to be fixed / addressed / added but I wanted to gauge the length of the film... and I was shocked by how short it is! Currently (with credits) it's 114 minutes long. There are still bits of story that I want to add in and I know the pacing in some places is a bit too fast so I think this will hit the two hour mark. Still, this the shortest of my Star Wars Abridged trilogy. I actually will have to shoot a single shot for this movie at some point and I'm a bit terrified it'll look extremely out of place.

Story wise, it all seems to be working with regards to individual scenes. Using a previous relationship between Kylo and Rey as a framing device adds a surprising amount of tension between the two characters. Hell, reworking Ahch-To and some of the conversations between the two makes me concerned that Rey WILL turn to the dark side (although there isn't the footage to really make that possible). It makes the story a bit darker too.

Finn and Poe also get their arcs which have been mostly left alone. Finn goes from stormtrooper to rebel hero which culminates in his battle with Phasma. I'll be honest, his Canto Bight side quest has currently been left completely intact. I never disliked the sequence, only that it amounted to nothing at the end of TLJ which isn't the case here.

Poe's story needs the most work still as I want his arc to be about bringing the galaxy together. Right now, the ending of my film is mostly reliant on TFA's ending without the galaxy showing up. I think I have enough random scenes to kludge together a narrative of everyone coming together but I know it won't be easy. This is the storyline that might end up on the cutting room floor if I can't work my way around it. Narratively speaking, it's not vital but I think it's thematically relevant.

This edit makes me thing I was right: the sequels' over-reliance on the OT characters was a huge crutch that hindered more than it helped. By focussing on the new characters, it really ties the story together while leaving the legacy of the OT undiminished. The original idea was for no appearances from any of the OT characters but Luke will be making a full body appearance. We'll just assume Rey knows what her grand uncle looks like and that the saber she uses in her final battle with Kylo is Leia's saber.

Because of the changes and the limits of my abilities (I'm relying on Davinci's color tab for compositing, I only have rudimentary audio experience, and I have to make due with creating the new scroll in photoshop) there will be an element of non-polish to this. Hopefully, nothing too terrible.

Finally:

I do wonder if the runtimes will throw anyone off if trying to watch this in order. Both the prequel and sequel abridged films are going to be 2 and 2.5 hours long while the OT is a massive 4.5 hours. I'm thinking I might make two versions of the OT: a two parter that will be part of the "Abridged" series and a standalone for anyone who just wants to watch the OT.

Next up, I need to actually watch the rough cut and take notes of where things work and don't work. Hopefully I won't be dismayed that the whole thing doesn't work as a single film which is what happened with my previous take!
 
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subjectzero

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Just finished watching it and... it works! Plot wise, It holds better than I thought it would and maybe even better than the source material! It is a cohesive story and I think a great representation of what the sequel trilogy could have been had they not felt constrained by delivering as much nostalgia as they could muster.

The issues now have to do with all of the details and a lot of execution. Some scenes abruptly stop, some of the audio is a mess, and I realized (hilariously) that I'm missing the final battle between Rey and Kylo at the end... and the ending itself might have to be rebuilt from scratch now that I have a better grasp on what I'm doing with it and whether I can add a bit more of Poe's journey.

Basically, I've really Frankensteined this story together and, right now, those stitches and bolts are really showing. But it's alive and walking around! I just need to get it a plastic surgery appointment. Huh. This analogy took a turn.
 

Zarius

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Congrats on working out a doable story :)
 

subjectzero

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Work continues apace as I have become obsessed with getting this edit right. Currently working on the opening scroll but it's just a bit too long I think and I need a bit of help condensing it. Any help is appreciated!

The FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and taken control of the OUTER RIM. Building a new army on the KYBER rich world of EXOGAL, they intend to strike at the heart of the NEW REBUBLIC.

As they gather their fleet to fend off an attack, GENERALS POE DAMERON and CHEWBACCA have set up a RESISTANCE in the Outer Rim near a Jedi temple. Learning of a defector who has stolen plans, Poe travels to TATOOINE to meet with the spy.

Meanwhile, surviving the destruction of the Jedi caused by her former lover KYLO REN, the last Jedi REY SOLO desperately searches for the secret journal of LUKE SKYWALKER hidden on his homeworld....
 

hothstation

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Just finished watching it and... it works! Plot wise, It holds better than I thought it would and maybe even better than the source material! It is a cohesive story and I think a great representation of what the sequel trilogy could have been had they not felt constrained by delivering as much nostalgia as they could muster.

The issues now have to do with all of the details and a lot of execution. Some scenes abruptly stop, some of the audio is a mess, and I realized (hilariously) that I'm missing the final battle between Rey and Kylo at the end... and the ending itself might have to be rebuilt from scratch now that I have a better grasp on what I'm doing with it and whether I can add a bit more of Poe's journey.

Basically, I've really Frankensteined this story together and, right now, those stitches and bolts are really showing. But it's alive and walking around! I just need to get it a plastic surgery appointment. Huh. This analogy took a turn.
Fantastic!
 

mrbenja0618

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Well, this is what I get for being absent.

All the new developments look really great. I like the reimagined plot.

I can understand you being a little weirded out that your last edit clocks in at less time. It would be for me too, but my thinking on this overall, is that if you manage to create a completely new narrative, bringing us an original experience that outshines what we received; the runtime will not be an issue in the least bit.


It also seems you are setting the timeframe much farther in the future with Rey being the granddaughter of Han. Is that what you were trying to accomplish, or is that you think Harrison Ford is simply that old? Haha. I like the idea that it's more like 40 years later instead of closer to 20 after the last saga; it would explain without explaining why you have no old legacy characters. (With exception of Luke's voice.)

Your work has been tremendous, and I can't wait to see what you have.
 

subjectzero

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Mostly, I just thought I had more story in there than I had which is what surprised me that it was so short! As I refine it, however, I've found I need to put more story back in so I'm pretty confident this will be in the 2 hour range when it's done.

The initial idea came from what I call the Han Solo problem. I couldn't figure out where to put him in a 3-in-1 narrative without having both Starkiller Base and the Sith fleet (and I only wanted one planet killing MacGuffin). So I thought about getting rid of him which made me wonder if I could get rid of all the legacy characters which THEN led me to question the whole idea of legacy vs. nostalgia vs. deconstruction in the sequel trilogy. Abrams relied on nostalgia which was completely at odds with Johnson's deconstruction that really created an uneven legacy for those characters and overshadowed the new characters. Abrams even reset both Leia and Han to their ANH personas.

So the only way I figured I could remove most of the OT characters was to push it another generation forward and assumed they got their happily ever after. Rey Solo initially came because I wanted to make her Ben's younger sister but I quickly realized was more footage to imply a previous relationship. I liked the idea of an obsessed ex-boyfriend as Rey's foil and it makes their fight more interesting than family against family again.

I kept Rey Solo to easily explain why she has the Falcon (family heirloom) and continuing the tradition of a main character in the Skywalker family line.

Wait till you see the new coda... a simple addition of two shots to a scene really ties it together and brings everything to a satisfying close! I'm staying mum on that though.
 

mrbenja0618

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Mostly, I just thought I had more story in there than I had which is what surprised me that it was so short! As I refine it, however, I've found I need to put more story back in so I'm pretty confident this will be in the 2 hour range when it's done.

The initial idea came from what I call the Han Solo problem. I couldn't figure out where to put him in a 3-in-1 narrative without having both Starkiller Base and the Sith fleet (and I only wanted one planet killing MacGuffin). So I thought about getting rid of him which made me wonder if I could get rid of all the legacy characters which THEN led me to question the whole idea of legacy vs. nostalgia vs. deconstruction in the sequel trilogy. Abrams relied on nostalgia which was completely at odds with Johnson's deconstruction that really created an uneven legacy for those characters and overshadowed the new characters. Abrams even reset both Leia and Han to their ANH personas.

So the only way I figured I could remove most of the OT characters was to push it another generation forward and assumed they got their happily ever after. Rey Solo initially came because I wanted to make her Ben's younger sister but I quickly realized was more footage to imply a previous relationship. I liked the idea of an obsessed ex-boyfriend as Rey's foil and it makes their fight more interesting than family against family again.

I kept Rey Solo to easily explain why she has the Falcon (family heirloom) and continuing the tradition of a main character in the Skywalker family line.

Wait till you see the new coda... a simple addition of two shots to a scene really ties it together and brings everything to a satisfying close! I'm staying mum on that though.
Can't wait to see it!
 

hothstation

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Wait till you see the new coda... a simple addition of two shots to a scene really ties it together and brings everything to a satisfying close! I'm staying mum on that though.
Nice! We appreciate your passion!
 

subjectzero

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I've stitched together about half of the movie so far. Davinci is giving me issues with audio transitions which are mildly irritating but I'm not too concerned about that at the moment.

Reached one of my favourite edits in this project! A post second Jedi Purge ex-lover's quarrel! This one was a lot of work to source the right clips but I think it really came together in the end.

pass: abridged
 
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Zarius

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Oh wow, that was so good. I feel like I'm watching these for the first time all over again.
 
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