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SPECULATION Alternate Canto Bight

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by bferr1972, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. bferr1972

    bferr1972 Force Sensitive

    Jul 12, 2019
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    First, let me be upfront-- I am an ardent fan of TLJ, and I enjoy discussing and debating it with others. That said, I am well aware of the criticisms made about it, some of which I agree with and some I do not. One of those points of contention is Canto Bight. I think I understand and appreciate its purpose in the film, but I know many intensely dislike the sequence.

    With that in mind, I've been thinking about how Canto Bight might have been utilized in a more satisfying way for general audiences, and here's what I came up with. This is really a rough pass, so go easy on me...

    The first act would play out the same-- opening battle, Dreadnought strike, Luke resisting the call to action, Poe demoted, the realization they are being tracked through hyperspace and only have fuel for one jump.

    In act two, instead of just Rose and Finn going on a secret mission to Canto Bight to find a codebreaker, this time it's Poe, Finn and Rose who are sent by Holdo on an official mission to find a transport captain. The plan is that they will dump out of their Resistance vessels and change ships before the First Order can catch up to them. The trio arrives at Canto Bight, which is exactly as-is from the movie, and there they make contact with DJ, the shady ship captain who agrees to take them to their next unknown destination. The trio signals to the fleet, who then jump away from their stalemate with the First Order. Hux immediately orders his officers to start their hyperspace tracking calculations.

    Once the Resistance fleet arrives at Canto Bight, fuel nearly spent, all personnel board transports and abandon ship-- except for Holdo, who determines she will stay on board the Ninka and guard their escape. The Resistance makes their way down to Canto Bight and immediately disperses and blends into the city. Some, like Finn, are tempted by Canto Bight to slip away from the Resistance and leave the war behind. Rose still spotlights the greed and cruelty that the city truly represents, full of war profiteers, etc., just like in the finished movie. A beacon on their wrist communicators activate, signalling that its time to make their way to DJ's waiting transport. Decision time for those tempted to stay behind.

    Just then, as if on cue, the First Order drops out of hyperspace. They find the apparently derelict Resistance fleet and pick off the smaller ships one by one, but the Ninka is still protected by its shields.

    The Resistance fighters regroup and board DJ's ship. Some new faces, running scared from the First Order, too. For those still debating their options, Poe makes an impassioned plea to live and fight another day. Finn steps up and seconds him, explaining his past as a Stormtrooper and how the best chance at survival was not running alone but running together.

    Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma and the First Order invades Canto Bight, the war profiteers finally reaping what they have sown. A battle ensure wherein Finn and Phasma confront each other. Finn declares himself Rebel scum as he defeats Phasma and boards the waiting transport. Meanwhile, the Ninka's engines light up-- not so derelict a ship after all! The Holdo maneuver plays out just as it did in the actual movie, the First Order's numbers now effectively halved. It will take some time for their ground forces to regroup with the remainder of the First Order fleet. With the First Order in disarray and unable to track any departing ships, DJ's transport makes its jump to lightspeed and to apparent safety. He asks Leia for their destination, but she doesn't have one yet.

    Meanwhile, the Ahch-to stuff with Rey and Luke can play out largely unchanged. However, when Luke reconnects with the Force and reaches out to Leia, instead of whispering "Luke," she whispers "Crait," as though Luke were suggesting it to her as the place where all roads will eventually lead.

    Leia relays their new destination, Crait, to DJ. Their plan now is to find sanctuary in an old abandoned Rebel Alliance base while sending out a distress call for reinforcements. You can guess what DJ does with the information he's been given.

    The Millennium Falcon arrives at Crait by way of binary tracking beacon. Thinking she can win Ben over and avoid escalating conflict, Rey ejects in an escape pod and turns herself over to the First Order, just as she does in the final film.

    And that sets up final confrontations in Act III, on Crait and in Snoke's throne room. Ben still kills Snoke, and he and Rey still battle Praetorian Guards together. Rey thinks Ben is on her side, but he still has ambitions to be Supreme Leader. He orders Hux and the waiting First Order ground forces to open fire on the Resistance base. But instead of the Holdo maneuver disrupting the Kylo/Rey storyline, it's the timely arrival of Resistance reinforcements answering Leia's distress call! Heavy losses are suffered on both sides. During the melee, Rey is still able to make her escape to Crait, but with Ben in hot pursuit. Her escape craft is picked up by the Falcon, which really pisses Ben off!

    The rest of the movie plays out largely the same, with Luke buying time for the Resistance to make their escape, Rey still lifting the rocks away, and the Falcon speeding away with the survivors. Though, now, the Falcon escapes Crait with a few more Resistance ships trailing it.

    I've long considered Canto Bight as a kind of Land of the Lotus-Eaters diversion, a temptation for Finn to keep running from the First Order. In this version, rather than cutting the sequence entirely, Canto Bight plays a more significant role in the story, akin to something like Cloud City. The idea is that Canto Bight here acts as a crossroads for the Resistance, a sieve where many go in and not as many come out.

    Again, this is a rough pass, so go easy on me...
    #1 bferr1972, Dec 12, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  2. Messi

    Messi Force Attuned

    Jul 14, 2015
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    But I liked the Canto Bight plot and scenes since my first time in the cinema.
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  3. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    Honestly, I think this segment should have been in the beginning of the film. Have a background scenario where the First Order has used its hyperspace tracking on other fleets or ships, maybe the personal private vessels of New Republic politicians and establishment figures who are now effectively running scared and represent easy pickings. Both from a strategic and narrative sense this would work.

    Also, this would grant greater insight into how the New Republic and how they are reacting to the crisis.

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