DISCLAIMER: We do not claim to be better writers than anybody who worked on this film. We are simply stating, as fans, our ideas of what may have improved the film, retrospectively.
With the Sequel Trilogy officially done and the final season of The Clone Wars underway, it feels appropriate to finally look at this trilogy as a whole. Where does it succeed? Where does it fail? Conversely, how could they been improved?
Critics responded to the first two sequels (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi) with major praise, but were quite mixed with the third. Fans, on the other hand, well… not even God knows where their general consensus lies on the matter.
I’d bet most people will probably agree the sequel trilogy is a mixed bag for them, full of some of the saga’s absolute best and worst moments.
No matter where you stand on this issue, this article will focus on something almost everyone can agree on: a missed opportunity so big that even the most die-hard fans of this trilogy couldn’t defend.
(Though I’m sure someone will try.)
The One Missed Opportunity
George Lucas has said it himself, “Star Wars is the tragedy of Darth Vader.”
After how important Anakin was in the original saga, it’s jarring how left out he is in the sequels, especially considering how important he is to Kylo Ren.
Kylo’s character, besides being Anakin’s grandson, is a Vader fanatic! This was a story thread that was seemingly abandoned after The Force Awakens.
Not only does it make all the sense in the world for Kylo’s character to interact with Anakin in some way, but Anakin was the chosen one to bring balance to the Force. He’s such a major character who would reasonably have some kind of affect on these stories, yet there’s nothing!
With a lot of the fandom feeling this trilogy was too disjointed and ignored the prequels too much, we think we can fix all of that by just adding a couple of scenes.
A Better Ren-demption (Get It?)
The scenes that we’ll be adding will include the long-rumored Dark Side Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.
As it stands right now, the only scene we have that develops Kylo’s relationship with Vader is the helmet scene in The Force Awakens (pictured above). While this did a fine job, having an actual person, er… ghost to interact with would have been much more powerful for Kylo and the audience. That would better exemplify Kylo’s inner conflict.
In The Force Awakens, we’ll add just one or two scenes to replace the helmet scene that would work in almost the same way. Kylo is venting about feeling the call to the light when Anakin tells him–and Kylo blindly follows–how to come back to the Dark Side.
Maybe we could add in Anakin telling Kylo to kill Han, which would begin the inner conflict with his light-side self. This would also add so much more tension to Rey’s rescue, as we dreadfully await a confrontation between Han and Kylo.
In The Last Jedi, Kylo will continue to go to this “Dark Side Anakin” for guidance, but this time, becomes progressively more hesitant to follow it as the film goes on, clearly representing Kylo’s slow redemption.
The Rise of Skywalker is where this whole idea gets really interesting. Kylo’s inner conflict is at an all time high, so not only do we have Anakin pulling Kylo to the Dark Side, but we could also use Luke’s ghost pulling him to the light (side), showing this tug of war that is raging within, as well as fulfilling Luke’s promise at the end of the previous film.
It also fixes the issue of Palpatine coming out of literally nowhere. In our version of the film, we’d reveal that the evil Force ghost of Anakin was an illusion created by the Emperor, making it really feel like his presence was there since the beginning, and driving Kylo’s hatred towards him after being betrayed and tricked by the Emperor.
But our redemption is not yet complete…
A Reunion for the Ages
To cap off his redemption, I couldn’t help but change one major scene.
After Kylo learns about the Emperor’s illusions, Han visits a broken Kylo much like he does in the theatrical cut, this time having a hard time convincing Kylo that he isn’t just another illusion.
Then, Luke’s force ghost appears to him, and while he gives in a little bit more, he’s still resistant. All of that changes when the real force ghost of Anakin appears to him and tells Kylo about who Vader really was all along, a good man. Once again, Kylo aspires to be like him.
To top it all off, the ghost of Leia appears beside them all to comfort her son.
Finally, at long last, the entire Skywalker family (and Han, the in-law) are joined together in the same shot to save the galaxy once and for all.
Clearer Conflict, More Coherent Saga
While maybe none of this was even possible for the studio to deliver, it’s fun to speculate on what could’ve been.
The changes we made here don’t really have an impact on the main story at all, but they go a long way to make Kylo Ren’s redemption arc more memorable and impactful. At the same time, they address a lot of the criticisms people have with this trilogy while making the prequels more relevant than ever.