Reworking “The Force Awakens”

Episode VII: The Force Awakens was a soft reboot for a trilogy that just didn’t deliver. So … using the existing framework and characters, how would I redo this?

Main Characters:

  • Kylo Ren – Bail Solo. (It makes no sense to name him after Ben because Kenobi wasn’t a big deal to Han or Leia, just Luke.)
      • The average viewer won’t get the Bail Organa reference so it’s understandable why they opted for Ben … but it just doesn’t make sense for Han and Leia.
  • Poe Dameron – New Republic’s best pilot
  • Rey – not sure if she’s a Kenobi or a Palpatine in this. Since she was a Palpatine in the original, let’s stick with that but try to make it more interesting.
    • One way to make it more interesting is if her mother was basically a reskin of Mara Jade (except Mara Palpatine) but her dad is Luke. She’s dead now.
  • FN-2187 – Finn. He’s Force-Sensitive in this and it should be hinted at early on.

Plot

  • Poe Dameron is looking for Luke. Change the old guy to someone actually from the previous movies so … Wedge Antilles. Poe treats the man with the respect he’s due.
    • During this conversation, Wedge warns Poe that the First Order is looking for this information too, but Poe scoffs: the First Order are a bunch of terrorists. He’s not worried about them, not with the New Republic on the job.
    • Wedge warns him not to underestimate the First Order. There are rumors about this Kylo Ren guy…
    • Poe responds with a comment about ‘General Solo’ being on the case – we intentionally do not actually identify this ‘General Solo’ as Han since it’s actually Leia using her married name. In fact, after Poe drops the name, the alert is sounded that the 1st Order is incoming so he can’t reference “she” or “her.”
  • The First Order arrives
    • Stormtroopers emerge shooting; defenders kill some of them. Establish FN-2187s blood-streaked helmet moment.
    • Poe tries to escape in his X-Wing … but is shot down (it actually gets airborne); right before he crashes, he tells BB-8 to get the info to the General and ejects the droid.
    • Injured and unconscious, Poe is pulled from his X-Wing by stormtroopers and taken before Kylo Ren who recognizes him as the New Republic’s best pilot. “Take him aboard and prep him for interrogation.” (No witty banter between the two here since Poe is unconscious.)
    • Kylo then interacts with Wedge Antilles who is defiant but ignorant of Kylo’s actual birth-identity. Kylo has a final comment about it being sad that the one man who survived two Death Star runs will die on this planet, alone and forgotten. He kills Wedge.
    • FN-2187 (who is staring at this from across the village) is suddenly observed by Kylo as per the movie – this should be a hint at Finn’s Force sensitivity.
  • BB-8 Meets Rey
    • Establish Rey as a scavenger as before
      • She should also be a bit angrier and short-tempered than the canon character given the nature of her survival; don’t make her a shrill harridan, but definitely establish that her life is more of a struggle.
      • In fact, have someone (an alien probably) jump her for her foodstuff and she has to fight him/her/it off … and decides to take his/her’s/it’s food when she wins – the fight should not be a super simple easy one either; she should be bleeding when she limps away.
    • She obtains BB-8 from Teedo as per  the movie – rather than just taking the droid from him, he’s offering it to her for a Thing she has. Emulate ANH with a ‘it’s an astromech droid. What use do I have for one of those?’ but she ends up giving him the Thing (something small she carries on her person) and Teedo rides off, pleased.
    • Rey, however, looks at BB-8 and informs the droid that she’s going to sell him tomorrow.
  • Aboard the Finalizer
    • He wakes up in detention and Kylo Ren enters to stare at him. This is where we have the ‘who speaks first?’ moment before Kylo uses the Force to interrogate him.
    • As this is happening, we exit the ‘room’ and enter the hallway where the (now dirty) stormtroopers from the earlier fight dirtside are marching down the corridor with CPT Phasma at the front. FN-2187 is at the back of this formation and he is the only one who reacts to the sounds of Poe’s sudden screams. From his body language alone, he is very, very uncomfortable.
    • CPT Phasma orders FN-2187 to submit his blaster to the armoury for review, then hints that this is not the first time he’s not done his job. (Maybe one of the other stormtroopers – the one who exclaims ‘Traitor!’ later? – be the one who tells him to stop fighting the system and do what he’s told.
      • Maybe eventually reveal that Phasma is a former Knight of Ren down the road? That could be interesting…
    • Kylo speaks with Hux regarding the missing information; it is with the pilot’s escaped BB-unit planetside. 
  • Planetside – Jakku
    • Rey takes the droid and some salvage into ‘town,’ but Unkar Plutt’s greediness gets the best of him. He offers to buy the droid for something like ‘ten portions’ which infuriates Rey – the droid is worth ten times that! A hundred times! It’s a state-of-the-art BB unit! She should be able to buy her own ship for what the droid is worth. Plutt should make some sort of comment about her eyeing “his” ship to which she should respond that he stole that ship. (This is setting up the Millenium Falcon.)
    • Rey leaves, taking the droid with her, and Unkar Plutt orders some of his men to ‘get me that droid’ before activating a holo … and being connected to a stormtrooper.
  • Aboard the Finalizer
    • As with the movie, FN-2187 breaks Poe out of the detention block because he ‘needs a pilot.’ Poe coins “Finn” but, during their escape, Finn actively refuses to shoot at other stormtroopers, instead targeting just large material. He has no problem shooting at incoming missiles. Also? Drop the whole ‘he doesn’t know how to shoot the rear-facing cannons’ bit – he’s a stormtrooper and it’s a gun.
    • When they’re going down, Poe asks Finn to make sure he’s strapped in and then hits the ejection seats. Both men are sent off in vaguely different directions as the TIE explodes and the remains crash.
    • The bridge exchange where Kylo Ren and Hux learn that Poe has escaped & Kylo identifies the stormtrooper who assisted him; in the inevitable novelization, the Force whispers the identity to him and he abruptly knows that FN-187 is Force Sensitive. Probably through Phasma we learn that Finn was excellent during training and was marked out as officer material, but ever since going into the field, he’s been hesitant; he’s been marked for reconditioning three times in the last year alone (because he’s Sensitive and is throwing off the brainwashing.) Like most 1st Order troopers, he was abducted as a child.
    • We follow Finn as he makes his way toward the … town? Not sure what to call it. He has no idea where Poe is (and doesn’t have Poe’s jacket.)
  • Escape from Jakku
    • Finn reaches the oasis thing and is drinking from the trough when someone else trudges up to do the same. It’s Poe! The two are pleased to see the other but neither are happy when they note a First Order landing craft overhead.
    • As they’re heading deeper into the ‘town,’ Finn abruptly reacts to something behind him. We follow his LOS and it’s Rey who has just been jumped by Unkar Plutt’s guys. She beats them down with her stick, then reacts to Finn who is behind – when I say react, I mean, ‘gets a weird look on her face, then turns and stares at him.’ This is again intended to highlight their Force sensitivity. Poe will quip over Finn going ga-ga over the first pretty girl he sees, then reacts far more happily at the presence of BB-8. The pilot and his droid are reunited, though Rey looks on suspiciously while clearly trying to figure out what’s up with Finn – in the inevitable novelization, one of the two will be the POV character for this scene (probably Finn) and to his eyes, Rey almost seems to sparkle. Not in a dumb Twilight vampire way, but more of a undefinable there’s something he can’t ignore about her way; the next POV scene she’s in will reveal that she’s got the same thing going on.
      • I’m very tempted to have them actually be the “Force Dyad” thing (aka Force soulmates) introduced in TROS and this be the first indication.
    • In the middle of this reunion, stormtroopers attack!
      • The two or three mooks that Rey just laid out should have blasters & Poe doesn’t hesitate to grab one and start shooting at the troopers, but Finn intentionally does not do so, even though he’ll be consistently targeted by troopers as a “traitor.” This refusal to shoot other stormtroopers by Finn should carry on all the way through Episode IX and be something other … (can’t really call them Resistance, now can we?) members of The General’s forces will call him on.
      • Rey also should have zero compunctions grabbing a blaster and shooting some stormtroopers but she intentionally should not be as competent with it as Poe.
      • Finn intentionally targets material, causing it to explode and cover their retreat.
    • While escaping, Poe admits that he’s working for General Solo against the 1st Order; Finn thinks this is Han Solo but again, they’re interrupted by more stormtroopers before Poe can correct her.
      • In the background, we should also see Jakku natives taking up arms against the stormtroopers to reflect that, at this point, these guys are basically terrorists and not an insanely powerful military force. The natives should mostly be cut down since they don’t have the training the troopers do, but that should go a long way in showing how the three (plus the droid) manage to avoid getting mowed down themselves while fleeing.
      • I liked the bit where Rey dismisses the Falcon as garbage, but their targeted ship gets blown up so ‘garbage it is’ so we’re keeping that, just having Poe do the actual flying.
      • During the escape, Rey gives Poe suggestions about where to go – since she’s from here – and is actually responsible for destroying nearly all of the TIE fighters (presuming Poe doesn’t cause any to crash with his badass piloting); as before, Finn can’t bring himself to actually shoot the TIE pilots but when Rey’s gun is damaged, he’s got to do it to save their lives.
  • In space
    • Poe makes the jump to lightspeed … but it’s only a micro-jump as the hyperdrive fails due to residual damage. This puts them out of immediate danger, but the ship isn’t going anywhere soon so they have a ticking clock going on here.
    • The gang all introduce themselves:
      • Rey is freaking out that they left Jakku – she has to go back because that’s where her family is expecting her to be. (Interesting thought for a reveal, probably in Episode VIII – one of her parents (her mom) was a Jedi student of Luke’s (as well as … something more) and they fled when the Knights of Ren destroyed the Academy; she was hunted down and murdered by the Knights which is why she left Rey behind – she was drawing the hunters away.)
      • Finn is distraught over having killed the TIE pilot and when called on this (as well as his refusal to shoot at the troopers earlier) reveals to Poe and Rey that the 1st Order troopers don’t have a choice. They’ve been conditioned to fight so in a lot of ways, they’re innocent. This surprises them both.
      • Poe tries to use the comms to reach out to someone for assistance but they’re fried as well. Regarding the damage, Rey will reveal that Unkar Plutt caused a lot of it when he captured this freighter but never got around to fixing it because he just wanted the cargo.
    • They all start trying to do repairs…
  • Cut to the Finalizer
    • Kylo Ren receives word that not only has Poe Dameron and FN-2187 escaped from Jakku, but they did so in a freighter with the girl their planetary asset identified as having been in possession of the droid. The officer reveals they are calculating every possible destination along the freighter’s last trajectory…
    • Kylo is irritated but does not throw a temper tantrum like he does in the movie. He orders the officer to send him the Knights, then, when alone, kneels before the semi-melted helmet of Darth Vader. He asks for guidance but does not address the helmet as grandfather or anything like that; we should play with sound effects here so it almost sounds as if something is answering…
  • Back to the Falcon
    • Mostly powerless, she’s just drifting in space…
    • When a much bigger ship abruptly drops out of lightspeed and swallows them up. All three of those aboard should be panicking slightly with the presumption that they’ve just been captured by the 1st Order again. They set up defensive positions but all of them should note that their weapons are nearly empty…
    • And then, Han and Chewie burst in, guns drawn. Cue the ‘Chewie, we’re home!’ line.
      • Poe steps out of hiding and addresses Han as “General Solo” – he’s obviously surprised to see him – and Han (equally surprised to see ‘Dameron’) retorts with a ‘don’t call me that, kid. I haven’t been a general in a long time.’ This confuses Finn who thought Han was ‘General Solo’…
      • Poe follows up with a ‘did the general send you?’ to which Han snarks that Leia did not. He’s been looking for the Falcon ever since that Huttslime Plutt stole her.
      • When Poe is asked about his mission (by Han), he reveals that it involves Master Skywalker. This immediately causes both Finn and Rey to perk up – which Han notices but doesn’t comment on; in fact, the entire scene here should play like Han and Poe are the adults in the room (with Poe just barely making the grade) while Finn and Rey are just some bright-eyed kids who don’t know any better.
      • Han orders Poe to tell him more but Dameron responds with an ‘I’m sorry, sir, but you’re not the General Solo I answer to.’ This should cause Chewie to chortle.
    • The group exit the Falcon – it’s now in a tolerably decent-sized hangar bay and there is an old as dirt A-Wing parked here. Rey immediately looks at it and asks Chewie if it flies to which the Wookie gives a “sort of?” growl and gesture.
      • This little scene should be done with two different conversations going on at the same time. As Rey is asking Chewbacca about the A-Wing, Poe is telling Han about the damage to the Falcon’s hyperdrive and how they’ve mostly repaired it but it needs to be completely replaced as he doesn’t think it could jump more than fifteen or twenty parsecs tops. Han is saying he’ll take a look at it after they program the hyperjump in this beast.
  • Suddenly!
    • The big ship rocks and shudders. They’re under attack! Outside, we reveal that it’s the Finalizer and it’s shooting to disable. The engines of this bulk cruiser are blasted to scrap and troop ships (protected by TIEs) race toward it.
    • Briefly, we jump to one of the troop landers and reveal that Kylo is standing at the hatch with troopers behind him.
    • Back to the interior of the bulk freighter: everyone is getting back to their feet when stormtroopers appear in the smoke. Han and Chewie operate like a finely honed machine with both drawing their blasters and cutting down numerous stormtroopers with rapid precision.
      • Note: this is replacing the weird ‘monster on the loose’ scene from the original movie. That just felt dumb to me.
    • They turn back toward the hangar quickly.
      • In the background, Finn should glance down at the dead troopers, then retrieve a blaster rifle. Rey does the same while noting Finn’s reaction and giving him a ‘this isn’t your fault’ kind of comment.
      • Simultaneously, Han tells Poe that he’ll get the kids clear – a reference to Finn and Rey, who are having the above scene – while he (Poe) gets the info to Leia. Poe gets it immediately – “The A-Wing?” “The A-Wing. Start-up code is one-one-three-eight. Shields are a bit iffy, but otherwise, she’s fine.” “All right. Keep my droid safe, general.”
    • Into the hangar they race with Poe breaking off and darting toward the A-Wing. 
      • Nostalgia moment: Chewie goes directly to the cockpit of the Falcon while Han lingers behind, then, when stormtroopers enter the hangar, he starts blasting away similarly to how he shoots the troopers immediately before escaping from Tatooine in ANH. He shouts ‘Get to the guns!’ which is clearly aimed at Rey and Finn.
      • The A-Wing rockets away with Poe at the controls and dives directly into a furball with some TIES – he takes out two, three, four in rapid succession, then accelerates sharply away and quickly begins plugging in hyperspace coordinates. He should mutter something about how he could really use BB-8 right now before finishing and springing away to lightspeed with several TIEs in hot pursuit.
      • Inside the larger ship, the Falcon lifts up and rotates slightly before blowing out of the craft as well.
      • Another nostalgia moment: Similar to Darth Vader arriving to see the Falcon escape from Echo Base, Kylo Ren strides into the hangar bay just as the freighter makes its escape.
      • Thanks to the A-Wing causing trouble when it exited – something that Han should point out; a ‘looks like Dameron drew most of them off’ comment works perfectly – there aren’t a lot of TIEs in the immediate vicinity, so they’re able to make the jump to lightspeed without significant trouble. 
        • Han should ask Chewie where they’re going and the Wookie responds to which Han’s expression should go sour. ‘You sure that’s a good idea? Maz doesn’t much like me if you recall.’
        • Chewie shrugs as if he doesn’t really care.
  • Starkiller Base
    • Kylo Ren and General Hux arrive on the planet; both are in less than positive moods and are blaming the other for the information leading to Skywalker having escaped. They are summoned to meet with Supreme Leader Snoke.
      • I’m not entirely sure what to do with Snoke. Currently leaning toward leaving him as a ‘mystery’ – his appearance should not be fully revealed; either he’s wearing a cloak or we never show what he looks like to the audience. Only Hux and Ren know what he looks like and neither of them like looking at him. I lean toward this latter take where we keep the camera elevated and looking down on them, as if it was through Snoke’s eyes.
      • Also, a word on Starkiller Base: this is not a super-weapon in the traditional method with insane superlasers. It is instead a massive asteroid (almost a moon) that has been fitted with incredibly huge hyperdrive and realspace engines. It is piloted by a droid, aimed at the target planet, and shot through hyperspace. It is expected to come out lightspeed very close to the planet with its maneuver drives set to full so it crashes and effectively destroys the world. There are two of these beasts (so the climax of the movie is to destroy the second one before it takes out another world.)
    • Snoke is pissed off at both of them for failing to retrieve this information. By now, Solo has the information and knows where to find her brother. 
      • Hux suggests attacking Coruscant with one of the Weapons since that’s where General Solo’s power base is located. Snoke approves of this and Hux exits.
      • Kylo starts to protest but Snoke interrupts him and orders him to remove that ‘foolish mask.’ This is the first time we see him without it and Snoke reveals that he can sense Kylo’s turbulent emotions. Kylo insists that it is due to the stormtrooper traitor, FN-2187, who he’s convinced is Force Sensitive, but Snoke isn’t buying it. Kylo finally admits that the droid with the information was seen with a girl aboard the Millennium Falcon.
        • Kylo already has a facial scar ala the one he has in TLJ canon.
      • Immediately, Snoke interrupts again: what girl?
  • In hyperspace
    • We cut to the Falcon and Rey working alongside Chewbacca conducting repairs. She mostly understands Shyriiwook but not fluently and should ask him to repeat some stuff every now and again.
      • Start setting up the ‘who are Rey’s parents’ mystery here with Han looking at her carefully.
    • Finn is working alone, having stripped the blaster rifle so he can clean it. Han approaches and begins with a ‘You know, I was an Imperial officer once myself. Joined when I was about your age actually.’ to which Finn responds about having only known the 1st Order. He was raised by them so they were his family. It’s really hard to shoot your family.
    • Keep the scene with BB-8 displaying a projection of the map and Han explaining some of the stuff about Luke’s attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order. Several of his apprentices were turned to the Dark Side by one of the Emperor’s old acolytes who escaped the fall of the Empire and destroyed the academy; Luke brought most of them to justice, but the New Republic still blamed him so he went into exile. Han also explains that he heard rumors Luke went searching for the very first Jedi Temple.
      • As indicated above, leaning toward Snoke having been an old acolyte of Palpatine’s.
      • Those other apprentices? The Knights of Ren, though that official reveal comes later.
  • Maz Kanada’s planet (can’t recall the name & too lazy to look it up)
    • The Falcon dives toward this planet and we should linger on Rey’s reaction to all the green, exactly like we did in the movie.
      • Han tells Rey that Chewie likes her and offers her a job, but as before, she declines. She needs to get back to Jakku so she can wait for her family. Han should ask if she’s been waiting long – she shouldn’t reply to that, but by her expression, it’s clear that yeah, she’s been waiting for a really long time.
      • Han, Chewie, Finn and Rey enter the castle as before.
      • As in the original movie, the appearance of Han, Chewie, Finn and Rey draws attention and the 1st Order and General Solo’s people are alerted about their presence.
    • While Han and Chewie speak with Maz, Finn heads out to make a deal of his own to take him away to the Outer Rim where he can disappear. Rey implores him not to leave (as in the movie), but he insists on leaving, asking Rey if she could willingly kill her family. The other troopers of the 1st Order are his family! He grew up with them and he doesn’t want to kill them, even though he thinks they’re wrong. He suggests she come with him but she demurs and turns away.
      • Maz should still do the “who’s the girl?” to continue the mystery, but instead of a hard cut, probably should have Han respond with something like ‘Not sure but if I had to guess…’ then cut away…
    • Cue the weird Force vision that she experienced in the movie. (I thought it was really well done.) It starts with the screaming of a young girl.
      • If she’s a Palpatine, why would Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber affect her like this?
      • As in the movie, Maz Kanata tells Rey that the lightsaber is calling to her and Rey flees, but in this version, Finn appears at the top of the stairs immediately after she’s fled, revealing that he ‘heard a little girl screaming.’ Maz gives him a surprised look and says something like, “Did you now?” before glancing in the direction of the lightsaber.
  • Starkiller Base
    • Hux gives his maddened speech. He’s a True Believer and a zealot. We are not going to turn him into comedy relief in the next movie. In fact, he should start becoming worse as the movies go. He reveals that loyal soldiers of the 1st Order are even now striking a blow against the enemy that is the New Republic. Consciously emulate the kind of speech Islamist jihadis give without decorating it in religious symbology.
    • We cut briefly to the deployed Weapon. It’s in hyperspace and indeed, there are some living pilots inside the control area. There’s a chime and they revert to realspace.
    • This is Coruscant and they are obviously too close to the planet. Alarms begin sounding and ships crash into the Weapon and explode. Its engines flare brighter than ever as it dives toward the planetary surface at insane speeds…
    • Briefly cut to the people on the planet looking up in horror before the Weapon impacts.
      • Ideally, I’d want someone from the original movies here. Could we get the original Mon Mothma actress (Caroline Blakiston) back for a brief cameo before we obliterate her and most of Coruscant?
    • The impact should be a Krypton-level event, though it may be more effective if it just cracks the planet into pieces (which, when you think about it, is potentially more horrifying than a Krypton-like explosion that obliterates everyone almost instantaneously.)
  • Maz Kanada’s planet
    • Multiple people react to this tragedy simultaneously. Since they’ve established that Maz is Force Sensitive, she senses this but more importantly, both Finn and Rey react more viscerally.
    • Might just cut to Rey, unconscious on the forest floor with BB-8 trying to wake her up.
    • As in the movie, the 1st Order arrives; unlike the aired movie, several Knights of Ren are also present so Finn has someone other than stormtroopers to fight. He faces off against the “Traitor!” stormtrooper but Chewie blasts that guy out of the way with the bowcaster which frees Finn up to engage with KoR #1; Finn is using Anakin’s lightsaber and should barely eke out a victory.
    • Meanwhile, Rey is fleeing from Kylo Ren who is stalking her like a horror movie villain. He uses the Force on her and should comment that she is surprisingly powerful for someone who hasn’t had any training. He captures her and escapes with her.
    • As in the movie, Han should see Kylo and react. He should shout out his son’s name – Bail! – but we can’t hear what he says due to the loudness of the engines. 
      • Again, Bail just doesn’t have the oomph that Ben does … but it just doesn’t make sense for Han and Leia to name their kid after Kenobi…
    • Also as in the movie, Finn sees Rey being taken away and is desperate to rescue her because he’s afraid that the 1st Order will bend her mind and make her a weapon like they made him one.
    • X-Wings led by Poe Dameron arrive to shoot down most of the TIEs. Finally, we get to see Poe truly shine and show just how much of a badass pilot he is.
    • Leia’s shuttle arrives. She and Han reunite – unlike in the movie, they didn’t split up after their son’s Fall. Instead, Han has been actively looking for him. It would be really interesting, I think, if Han is the one who refused to give up on their son, probably because he doesn’t really understand the Force, so he’s been searching for him. And now he’s found him…
    • Leia reveals that they have another problem that might be more dangerous: Coruscant has been destroyed and the 1st Order is claiming credit…
  • Starkiller Base
    • Rey snaps awake, finds herself face-to-face with the masked Kylo Ren. Unlike in the movie where she basically seemed to be in control the entire time, she is visibly terrified.
    • Kylo wants to know who she is. His master has a plan for everything but he did not foresee her so Kylo wants to know if he can use that…
      • This should be a fairly obvious indication that Kylo isn’t really that loyal to Snoke.
    • He uses the Force on her, but should verbalize his surprise when she adapts and begins to use it unconsciously. In fact, have him actually state outright that she is gifted – even among the Jedi and Sith of old, there were few who could learn simply by being touched with the Force.
    • Kylo is summoned to speak with Supreme Leader Snoke and, as he is leaving, he pauses and mind-tricks one of the stormtroopers with something like, “No one is allowed to speak with the prisoner but me. Not even General Hux.” The trooper repeats this back to him verbatim.
      • Rey should observe this but we should do it in such a way that it doesn’t make Kylo an idiot for doing this in front of her immediately after identifying her ability (Force Osmosis?)
  • Alliance Base
    • Finn arrives along with some other Rebels aboard one of the heavily damaged 1st Order troop transports that Poe likely shot down. The existence of this ship is important for later.
    • He reunites with Poe and immediately tells the pilot about Rey’s capture; now that Poe has actually been around her, he’s slightly more emotionally invested. More importantly, though, the pilot reveals to Finn that the 1st Order has deployed some sort of superweapon that has destroyed Coruscant. Finn identifies it and Poe says to come with him.
    • Cut to the briefing as Finn and Poe brief General Solo on the weapon’s capabilities. They’ve got holos but they should be half-assed and incomplete since this isn’t something they know a lot about. The reveal that they have two of these Weapons causes everyone to grumble.
    • Abruptly, a comm-tech interrupts: there is a galaxy-wide transmission to the HoloNet from General Hux of the 1st Order. It is played and, again, we lean heavily on the jihadist type of message without the religious undertones as the 1st Order threatens everyone if they do not yield to their demands.
      • What demands? Probably ‘put us back in charge’ or ‘the Empire lives again.’
      • Notably, Hux does not reveal that they only had two of these things. Because he’s not stupid.
    • Admiral Ackbar is present and reveals that, with the destruction of Coruscant, the New Republic fleet is in complete disarray; if they know where this second Weapon is, the forces they have here on this planet will have to do to stop it before it can be deployed. Leia and her other officers agree, and she turns to Poe; can he do it? Poe responds with a ‘We’ll destroy it or die trying, General.’
  • Cut back to Starkiller Base
    • Kylo is heading toward the holo-chamber with Snoke and discovers Hux already present and speaking. He (Hux) is seeking permission to hit a second New Republic target – Corellia, perhaps – on the belief that two attacks will convince the galaxy they have even more of these. Snoke demurs but orders Hux to break the Weapon online, just in case. Hux departs, smirking in confidence at Kylo.
    • Kylo reveals that he is still working on discovering the girl’s secrets and reveals not only does she have a strong will, but she also seems to be capable of absorbing Force knowledge directly. This surprises Snoke who tells Kylo to bring her to him…
      • Again, follow all above-established rules regarding not showing Snoke in his entirety.
    • We cut to Rey, still secured in the interrogation thing. She’s staring at the stormtrooper who Kylo mind-tricked and asks him a question that causes him to repeat (verbatim) his instructions. We push in on her expression as she sort of puzzles this out, then she mind-tricks him into freeing her.
  • Alliance Base
    • Everyone is gearing up for the strike. Finn is standing apart, looking disgusted and sad. Han sidles up to him and mentions that with all the shooting that’s about to take place, now would probably be the perfect time to maybe rescue Rey. Finn asks how.
    • And Han nods in the direction of the pretty messed up troop transport…
      • There should also be a line with Finn asking if Han has gotten this cleared with the general and Han dissembling (so it’s clear that he hasn’t.)
  • Starkiller Base
    • A pretty messed up troop transport drops out of lightspeed and starts limping toward the planet. We can see the massive Weapon in orbit over it.
    • As the transport approaches, the Finalizer looms over it and demands clearance information. The response that comes back is garbled and basically indecipherable, but the scanning crew confirms that not only is this one of the transports that was at [Maz Kanada’s planet] but scans indicate heavy damage to … well, to the whole thing. It’s a wonder that thing’s flying at all.
    • The officer-in-charge orders it logged and lets it pass; as far as he’s concerned, this isn’t his problem. He suggests relaying to the planet to have a squad of stormtroopers standing by when it lands.
    • As expected, Han, Chewie and Finn are in the transport with the latter wearing stormtrooper armor again. Han reveals the next part of his plan: the Imps will have troopers waiting to meet them if they land where they’re supposed to, so instead, they’re going to crash elsewhere on the planet and go in on foot. Chewie gripes about this and so does Finn but Han ignores them and warns them that they’re going in…
    • Cut to Kylo Ren who is entering where he was keeping Rey. 
      • Not only is she gone, but the stormtrooper who was told to guard her is still standing there … though he doesn’t have his weapon. When questioned, the trooper should repeat exactly what Rey told him earlier.
      • Pissed off, Kylo should kill the stormtrooper (maybe with a brutal Force push into the wall.) Although … damn. I really liked the two smart stormtroopers reacting to his little temper tantrum so maybe instead, we have him ignite the saber and strike at the trooper, then cut to those other troopers who react to him having his tantrum (that we can’t see.)
      • Abruptly, he freezes in place and reacts to something offscreen, then murmurs ‘Han Solo.’ He exits the room.
  • In hyperspace/in realspace
    • The X-Wing squadron, led by Poe Dameron, is racing toward their target. They revert to realspace and he immediately issues orders – get in fast and get in close. They’ve got one chance at this…
    • They dive toward the Weapon.
    • Cut to Hux who is planetside. Alarms are shrieking as X-Wings have been detected on attack runs. He orders the Weapon to launch and all crews to their fighters.
    • Interesting thought here: if the X-Wings (and defending TIEs as well, I suppose) are flying ‘nap-of-the-earth’ on the Weapon and it has its shields up, can the space battle continue after the Weapon makes the jump to lightspeed? Let’s say … yes, so the space battle is taking place at lightspeed and all of them know that they’re hosed if shields go down.
      • Having the battle take place along the surface of the Weapon while it’s screaming through hyperspace would lend itself well to some visually awesome effects.
      • Could also have some of the ships not make it to the Weapon before it raises shields, so they opt for ‘take out Starkiller Base’ which results in an aerial dogfight over the heads of Han & Co.
  • Starkiller Base
    • Han, Chewie and Finn are sneaking into the base. As Finn is in the stormtrooper gear, he’s often generally given no more than a second glance, so he’s basically running cover for Han & Chewie.
      • In the original movie, they’re here to bring the shields down so the X-Wings can attack before Starkiller Base can be used against another solar system, so there’s a ticking clock at play.
      • In this, that’s been removed so we need to find another way to add urgency…
    • Cut to Kylo Ren who enters a command center where Hux is coordinating defenses. He (Kylo) learns that they’re under attack, likely by “Solo’s alliance” and the Weapon has just made the jump to lightspeed (destination likely Corellia.) There are also snubfighters in the atmosphere and he (Hux) has scrambled defenses.
      • Ren reveals that not only has the prisoner (Rey) escaped but a small strike team is likely planetside. He’ll deal with them personally.
      • As he exits, he orders CPT Phasma to come with him.
    • Rey sneaks through the base.
      • Intentionally emulate Kenobi sneaking through the Death Star, but when she’s almost cornered – a couple of stormtroopers standing guard – she hesitates, then does the distracting Force gesture (which works). 
      • This visibly causes her to weird out a little bit before catching herself and escaping.
  • Hyperspace battle
    • More X-Wings get destroyed, but Poe is the man. He’s causing a crapton of damage.
    • Cut to the dudes in control who are freaking out over the damage being inflicted. They refuse to drop out of lightspeed early because zealots.
  • Starkiller Base
    • Han, Chewie & Finn continue sneaking in. They’re accessing data with Finn trying to locate Rey; just as he learns that she’s escaped & the alarm has been sounded for her, Han sees her climbing as in the original movie.
    • They reunite with Rey who is trying to escape. Outside, there’s lots of explosions as the X-Wings conduct strafing runs. Han reveals that he & Chewie brought charges and thinks they should blow this location (some sort of geothermal plant?) up.
  • More Back & Forth
    • Jump back and forth between the space battle as the Weapon drops out of lightspeed and thunders toward Corellia while Poe desperately tries to destroy it, and the stuff on Starkiller Base
    • Han has his face-to-face with Kylo.
      • Use this as a data-dump to explain his naming: “Bail!” “My name is Kylo Ren.” “Your name is Bail Solo. We named you for your mother’s father.” “Adopted father.” “Doesn’t matter. He raised her.”
      • While this is going on, Phasma shows up and generally knocks around Chewie, Finn and Rey – her armor deflects most blasterfire and she’s almost as strong as Chewie. In fact, she should Worf Chewie straight away (probably by striking from concealment so he’s caught by surprise.) Actually turn her into a legitimate threat instead of a one-off joke. That said, when Chewie recovers (maybe she zotted him with some sort of electric cattle prod type of weapon?) and he blasts her with his bowcaster, her armor doesn’t protect against that and she’s sent tumbling.
      • Kylo kills Han. 
        • When Chewie blasts him, instead of hitting low, he should hit higher so one of his arms is basically disabled for the coming saber fight. Kylo retaliates by Force pushing the Wookie out of the building.
        • Do we cut to Leia reacting to Han dying? I think so.
        • The explosive charges cause the geothermal plant to go up and causes the insane earthquake stuffs from the original movie.
        • As before, Finn starts out with the saber and Kylo considers him a traitor. With one of his arms disabled, Kylo is less awesome in terms of using the saber but he should still be able to defeat Finn, complete with the spine strike.
    • Poe continues to cause massive damage, including causing what appears to be a chain reaction that’s going to result in the Weapon exploding. He escapes as the Weapon goes up.
    • Continuing the saber fight:
      • Kylo stands over the fallen Finn. At this point, he should look terrible, mostly thanks to Chewbacca’s blaster shot but maybe he was also badly burned by the explosions.
      • Abruptly, he spins and deflects (one-handed) some blaster shots fired by Rey. He uses TK against her to rip the blaster free (which he then slices into fragments with his saber.) He tells her that she’s coming with him and Rey looks around desperately for a weapon …
      • And she sees the lightsaber that Finn was using. She glances at the fragments of the blaster that Kylo TKed from her, then reaches out with one hand … 
      • And the lightsaber jumps to her hand.
      • Kylo remarks along the lines of ‘Remarkable.’ He advances on her and they exchange a couple of saber blows – it should be clear that he’s kicking her ass despite his injuries as she’s retreating the entire time. All around them, the ground is trembling and shaking…
      • And then, Chewbacca reappears, carrying an unconscious Finn over one shoulder while firing the bowcaster one-handed. The impact of the bowcaster blasts knock Kylo back even though he deflects them with his saber. Kylo staggers back as Rey lunges up to attack again with Anakin’s saber. His expression visibly furious, Kylo bats her aside then grimaces as he gestures with his disabled arm – Rey is sent flying back into a tree. She collapses, unconscious.
      • But a roaring Chewie is still firing his bowcaster and Kylo misses one block. He’s sent flying backward and collapses in a heap. Chewie takes a single step forward – obviously, he’s planning on ensuring Kylo is dead – but Rey moans in pain which causes the Wookie to look in her direction. He makes the decision and picks her up (and the saber) before starting to run toward a row of parked shuttles.
        • May need to just have him start running, then pull back to reveal the parked shuttles.
    • Back to Poe – the Weapon is destroyed in a spectacular explosion. Poe slumps back against his seat, exhausted and relieved.
    • Back on Starkiller Base, CPT Phasma limps forward – her armor is pretty FUBARed, but she’s alive. She stands over the unmoving Kylo Ren – who is very badly injured thanks to the combo stuff – and overhead, a shuttle races away. She looks back at Kylo who groans as he opens his eyes … and they’re Emperor yellow. He looks furious
  • We pull back and can see 1st Order ships fleeing Starkiller Base like rats from a sinking ship even as the surviving X-Wings (flanking a specific shuttle) pull away.
    • A bunch of New Republic warships – and Poe’s surviving X-Wings – drop out of lightspeed and head toward the planet.
    • We push toward one of the larger MonCal ships to reveal that Leia is staring out the viewport. She is weeping (as she should).
    • The shuttle docks 
  • Play out the end pretty much like it does in the original movie but with some minor changes:
    • Finn is rushed away for medical attention. Seeing him being carted away, Poe follows.
    • Chewbacca approaches Leia and collapses to his knees. They embrace but are clearly grieving over the loss of Han.
    • An injured (but mobile) Rey hesitates, then when Leia and Chewie break their embrace and the general gestures to her, she approaches and offers the lightsaber. This belongs to Leia, she says sadly. Leia starts to take it but changes her mind when Chewie says something in his language. ‘He’s right,’ Leia says. ‘I think it’s yours now.’ She closes Rey’s hand over the saber.
    • We flash ahead an unspecified amount of time:
      • Rey’s clothes and hair should be actually different.
      • Leia finds her with Poe standing over Finn who is in some sort of high tech medical thing that’s beeping. Leia says that Finn will be okay, but it’ll take some time to repair the damage.
      • The droids display the holo, showing the info that kicked this off, and Leia tells Rey that Chewie has agreed to go looking for Luke … and will she (Rey) go as well? The Force is clearly pushing her (Rey) to this. Poe should comment that, with the 1st Order fragments still out there, the New Republic could use the Jedi…
      • Rey agrees…
    • In the Falcon, Rey and Chewie and R2 (not BB-8 – that droid belongs to Poe!) go to the island planet.
      • Rey ascends the narrow stairs to discover the hooded Luke Skywalker staring off into the distance.
      • He turns and we end with Rey offering him Anakin’s lightsaber…

Crap. Now I have to do Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker…