Don’t let the title fool you. I do not profess to be a professional writer, nor do I have the imagination or skill to write a script. I also happen to love the sequel trilogy, and I think it is very well done. However, I think any time you are anticipating something for a long time, you create your own narrative of what you’d like to see. This isn’t a script or any kind of “movement” to remake the sequel trilogy. It is simply a collection of ideas of what I would have liked to see “if I wrote the sequel trilogy”…
Let’s rewind the clock back to 2015. I’m sure many of us would love to be able to do that right now for various reasons. In 2015, Star Wars was returning to live action after a 10 year gap. I couldn’t have been any more excited about the return of Star Wars to the big screen. I distinctly remember what I wanted out of Episode VII: I wanted it to introduce a new generation of characters that I cared about, while also utilizing the legacy characters that I already knew and loved. I also wanted it feel more like the original trilogy with more practical effects.
The Force Awakens was exactly the film I was looking for, and I remember loving it the first time I saw it. Usually, Star Wars films grow on me over time, but I loved TFA from the getgo. In fact, there isn’t much I would change about it. The first act of the film beautifully introduced the characters of Rey, Finn, and Poe (this trilogy’s “Big 3”). The second act incorporated fan favorites such as Han, Chewie, and Leia. And the final act included a classic Star Wars battle against Starkiller Base, as well as an epic lightsaber duel. The final moments of the film ended with a brilliant (literal) cliffhanger featuring the return of Luke Skywalker.
If The Force Awakens did anything, it sparked almost two years of speculation and theories about where the story was going next. Who is Rey related to? What was Snoke’s backstory? How would Luke react to being offered the Skywalker lightsaber? It was a really fun time to be a Star Wars fan. I anticipated Episode VIII being a film that would show Rey being trained by Luke and Kylo Ren completing his training with Snoke.
The first time I saw The Last Jedi, there were some things that definitely threw me for a loop. I’m one of those fans that actually enjoyed the characterization of Luke Skywalker in this film, as well as the theme of failure. A middle act of a trilogy should elevate the story, challenge the characters, and surprise the fans. However, if I wrote The Last Jedi, I would have thrown Luke into more of the action to put his Jedi abilities on display, similar to the way Kevin Flynn’s character was utilized in Tron: Legacy.
I was impressed by the Force “projection” scene, and it really took me by surprise, but I really wanted to see Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren discover Rey’s location on Ahch-To and confront her and Luke there. I wish we could have seen Luke and Rey take on the Knights of Ren in a scene that ultimately ended with Kylo Ren capturing Rey and taking her to Snoke’s ship.
I wanted to see Luke raise his X-Wing out of the water in The Last Jedi (or take the Falcon) and help Rey in her confrontation with Snoke and Kylo Ren. Admittedly, we might not have gotten that awesome team up scene with Rey and Kylo taking on Snoke’s guards in the throne room. If I wrote The Last Jedi, I would have kept Snoke alive as the main antagonist of the trilogy. I also would have loved it if Snoke was somehow Darth Plagueis, and that was his connection to The Emperor, which still would have tied all of the trilogies together.
Because of the twists, turns, and unexpected decisions made by Rian Johnson, J.J. Abrams was in a difficult position. I’m sure he wanted to stay true to what Rian did, but he also wanted to “finish what he started” with The Force Awakens. For the record, I love The Last Jedi, but I can see where it led to problems with the narrative and finishing the trilogy.
If I wrote The Rise of Skywalker, I probably would not have included The Emperor. To me, it felt a bit forced (pun intended). With Snoke eliminated and Kylo Ren’s obvious redemption on the horizon, there needed to be a “big bad” for the finale. This is why I would have kept Snoke alive, and I would have explored more of his backstory and connection to The Emperor. Given the situation, it made sense to bring The Emperor back as he is the ultimate evil and mastermind of the prequels and original trilogy. However, his survival and return was not executed/explained well enough in my opinion.
If I wrote the sequel trilogy, I probably would have kept Luke alive until Episode IX. I would have loved to see Luke die in some sacrificial way to save his nephew and Rey, and then appear in the final moments of the film as a Force Ghost. I would have redeemed Ben Solo, but had him team up with Rey to take down Snoke. I still think Ben dying in the end is very fitting, though.
For me, the final moments of Episode IX would have seen Rey training a new generation of Jedi in a flash forward. I imagine Luke, Leia, Ben, Obi-Wan, and Yoda all looking on with pride as Force Ghosts. I love that Rey took on the Skywalker name in the end, but I wasn’t a fan of her being a Palpatine. I would have preferred her to be a “nobody”, or created from Luke’s DNA or something, so she technically had the “mighty Skywalker blood”, which also would have explained her strength with the Force.
Ultimately, I am mostly satisfied with the sequel trilogy, and I could watch these films over and over again. Through the course of the past five years, I’ve come up with my own theories and ideas, so I wanted to share them with all of you in a fun “what if” scenario.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who did this, so I’d love to hear yours too in the comments. What did you want to see in the sequel trilogy that never made it on the screen?
Above all, though, let’s always thank the makers for what we did get and embrace what’s great about the sequel trilogy.