Here’s my fifth and final plot outline. A couple of changes in this one. The biggest is moving Finn and Rose back to the Supremacy and Poe leading the destruction of the Dreadnought. Based on reports, it appears Poe advocates something extreme.
This is based on my full background theory.
The opening is tricky since TFA ended on a cliffhanger. Traditionally, all Star Wars movies open in space, but that can’t really be done for Ahch-To. With Finn still in a coma and Kylo en route to Snoke, it’s also unlikely to open with an attack on D’Qar. Given the tradition of opening with a Star Destroyer in the shot, the natural place to start is with Kylo going to Snoke. TLJ will likely follow tradition and pan down (or up) to a First Order Star Destroyer with Kylo’s shuttle emerging and going to Snoke’s Super Star Destroyer. There, gold-robed Snoke will chew him out for his failure on Starkiller and tell him they need to find Luke and Rey quickly. Snoke will order Kylo to join the attack on the Resistance at D’Qar and to bring the map to him. Upset with himself over his warring emotions, Kylo probably punches his helmet into a wall after moving away from Snoke.
With Finn in a coma, he’s the perfect expy for reminding the audience of what happened in a movie many of them last saw two years ago. He also needs to be back on his feet so the rest of the movie’s action can happen. So, we’ll see Finn wake up, have a brief scene with Poe and get a quick recap of what happened and whats about to happen. Finn will naturally want to know about Rey, which nicely sets up the next scene. In the mean time, the rest of the Resistance is preparing to evacuate.
Ahch-To opens as we last saw it in TFA, Rey extending the saber to Luke. Luke does go to and accepts the lightsaber in disbelief. Rey tells him she’s there on behalf of Leia and they need him. Shocking her, Luke hands back the lightsaber and tells her he can’t help and walks away. Despite Rey’s pleas and arguments, Luke shuts himself in a hut, telling her to leave.
Frustrated and needing to regroup, Rey goes back to the Falcon. On her way, she notices a large sea creature menacing what appear to be a number of bird-like creatures and their nests. Feeling compelled to act, Rey intervenes and fends off the sea creature gaining the gratitude of the birds (Porgs). It turns out Luke has also witnessed her defense of the Porgs and she’s earned his grudging respect and curiosity. Luke tells her she can spend the night with him if she wants and he’ll try to explain, but she needs to leave afterwards. In the meantime, Chewie befriends the porgs. At night Luke and Rey sit by a fire and talk. Rey switches appeals from helping the Resistance, to helping her find her place. Luke reluctantly tells her to show him what she can do in the morning.
On D’Qar, the Resistance is frantically trying to leave before the First Order arrives. With their location known, the First Order is going to waste no time attempting to wipe out the only remaining organized opposition to their domination of the galaxy. Leia will tell Finn Maz has contacted her and knows someone who could help them. She asks Finn to meet with her on behalf of the Resistance, but Finn will initially turn it down, wanting to find Rey and get away from the conflict. While waiting for a ship, Finn will meet Rose who is in awe of him. Surprised by the attention and not wanting to disappoint her, Finn plays along claiming he’s going on a mission from Leia. The First Order will arrive and institutes a blockade while the Dreadnought moves into position to punch through the shield and destroy the base. Finn and Rose procure a transport, but are unable to leave while the blockade is in place.
Poe, meanwhile, rallies the Resistance starfighter and bomber corps and plans to punch a whole in the blockade. The starfighters engage the FO’s fighters and protects the bombers as they head towards a First Order Dreadnought that has entered the system and tearing apart the Resistance fleet. Poe leads an attack on the Dreadnought which succeeds in destroying it. Resistance transports manage to get through the hole with heavy losses. Finn and Rose join the exodus, frantically evading TIEs on the way, but make it to hyperspace and head towards Canto Bight. While this is happening, Kylo arrives with the FO ground assault and infiltrates the base in search of the map.
Desperate to convince Luke to come with her and teach her, Rey shows Luke what she can do. Her display of power terrifies Luke though, recognizing it as the power Ben had (and, deep down, himself). Terrified of leading Rey down the same path, Luke tells her he can’t train her and when she persists, he shows her his life as a Jedi and the events of Ben’s fall. The last part of the vision will be of the most painful event of Luke’s life – losing his daughter, Rey. In complete shock, Rey stumbles out of the cave and collapses The vision will also leave Rey thinking Kylo was the one to abandon her.
The first part of Act II will consist of the reunion of Rey with her father, Luke. It will be during this stage that Luke shows her what he’s learned about the Force and shows her the Force tree and the books. (2) Luke reveals the Jedi precursors accidentally created a tear in the dark half of the Force which has been steadily growing and corrupting it. The Sith sought to exploit this tear and widen in a quest for total power while the Jedi became more and more insular and focused on avoiding succumbing to the corruption. The Chosen One and his descendants have the power to heal the tear, but could also complete the corruption. Palpatine and now Snoke seek to use Anakin’s descendants for the latter and become living gods. It’s likely we’ll hear a bit about Rey’s mother as well. Happy, but also feeling scared and lost, Luke reaches out to his Jedi Masters for guidance. For, Rey it will seem like she’s getting everything she ever wanted and the goal of bringing Luke into the fight will appear within reach.
(2) Rose and Finn arrive on Canto-Bight and set about finding where Maz is. First they try the Casino. Rose learns she’s at a local cafe, but Finn gets distracted by the excitement and manages to win big. Unfortunately, this incenses one of the players he has beaten who sends his henchmen after Finn. Rose and Finn make their way to the racing stables and steal a horse. A chase ensues, but Rose manages to throw off the pursuit and they ride to the cafe where Maz is. Maz tells them a master slicer known as DJ might be willing to help the Resistance, but he’s currently held in the Canto-Bight jail. Rose and Finn manage to locate and break him out and he agrees to go with them. They reach DJ’s ship after shaking off Canto-Bight’s law enforcement.
After leaving D’Qar, Kylo attacks the fleeing Resistance fleet and devastates it, destroying Poe’s X-Wing in the process. Tragically, Rose’s sister, Paige, is killed during the attack. As he prepares to fire on the bridge of the Raddus, Kylo senses his mother aboard. He struggles with himself to pull the trigger, but is unable to bring himself to and he leaves the rest of the Resistance fleet behind and heads for Ahch-To. Poe, Leia and Admiral Holdo discuss what to do next and their discussion gets increasingly heated. Poe favors tactics Leia and Holdo consider extreme or reckless.
Kylo arrives, but is shot down and crash-lands. Luke tells Rey not to fight Kylo, but Rey is overcome by intense anger from what she thinks her cousin did to her and confident from their prior fight attacks him anyway. Kylo has his henchmen attack Luke, who easily dispatches them without a lightsaber. In the mean time Kylo and Rey spar and she accuses him of taking her from her from Luke. Kylo tells her he didn’t abandon her, he tried to save her and Luke was the one who abandoned her. This further throws Rey off-balance and Kylo manages to force her over a cliff and then runs. Luke is forced to rescue Rey and let him get away.
Rose contacts the resistance and learns they’re heading to Crait. Somehow the FO has learned of the Resistance’s destination and Finn and Rose realize the Supremacy is headed there and has a weapon capable of penetrating any planetary shield. For the Resistance to have a chance, it must be disabled. DJ says he can disable the ship’s main weapon, but needs them to get him inside the ship. The three make it aboard the ship and make their way to fire control where DJ disables the weapon. On their way out, DJ is noticed and betrays the other two to save his own life. As Finn is about to be executed, DJ has a change of heart and sacrifices himself to save Finn. In the chaos, much of the hanger is wrecked.
It looks like they’ll get away, but Phasma and a contingent of stormtroopers enter and engage them. Although they’re able to dispatch the stormtroopers with quick thinking, Phasma engages Finn in one on one melee combat. Phasma will probably gain the upper hand at some point, but forget about Rose, who distracts her long enough for Finn to recover. Finn takes off her arm and likely kills her. They escape with Rose piloting.
The dispute between Poe and Holdo has come to a head and Poe takes action. Believing he needs to act now, Poe gathers like-minded Resistance members and stages a mutiny, seizing the bridge. Leia intervenes, berates Poe and reduces him in rank. The Resistance heads to Crait to regroup.
In a second Forceback, Rey experiences Kylo’s memories in ascending chronological order. During it, she sees things from Kylo’s perspective, including the effects of her disappearance. She also sees one of her own memories – Luke leaving her on a desert planet. Crucially, she (and we) can’t tell which desert planet, but she assumes it’s Jakku. At the end of the vision, she sees her father in a very different light and it devastates her (3). Luke returns and she accuses him of abandoning her and the rest of his family. Unleashing years of grief and frustration, Luke loses control for a moment as he emotionally denies it and unleashes a massive display of the Force, wrecking the hut they’re in. Rey and Kylo are unharmed. Enraged, Rey loses her temper and her verbal accusations escalate to her physically attacking Luke. Feeling like he deserves everything she is saying and does, doesn’t defend himself. Rey catches herself before she goes too far, but decides her family wasn’t worth the fourteen years she spent waiting. She decides her real place is with her friends. Abandoning her family, as she believes they once abandoned her, she boards the Falcon and leaves her father and cousin behind. Overcome by emotion himself, Luke doesn’t try to stop her. Determined to bring Rey to his side, Kylo takes his dead companions’ shuttle and leaves Luke alone and stranded once again.
Rey learns the Resistance is on Crait and heads there before the FO fleet arrives. She tells Leia bitterly that Luke isn’t coming. Leia, sensing her niece’s distress, immediately leaves for Ahch-To herself. The only ship that could make it out of the blockade is the Falcon and she enlists Chewie to fly her. FO fighters pursue them, but Chewie manages to lose them in the caves and heads to orbit and Ahch-To.
Finn and Rose also escape the Supremacy and head to Crait. With the Supremacy’s main weapon inoperable, the FO is forced to deploy ground forces. Severely outnumbered and outgunned, the Resistance sends its forces to meet the FO, using the bombers to create a screen from the dust. Rose pilots her sisters bomber while Finn takes the gunner’s seat. The battle begins and Rey assists in bringing down several walkers before sensing Kylo is in the Resistance base and going to find him.
On Ahch-To, Leia lands and finds a thoroughly dispirited Luke. During a brief conversation, Leia reminds him that she lost her son to the dark side, but he hasn’t lost Rey yet and still has a chance with her.
The Resistance is putting up a brave, but futile fight. The FO’s firepower is overwhelming and they’re steadily pushed back or destroyed. Kylo engages her, but merely defends himself while offering to show Rey who she is. Despairing and lost, Rey takes his hand, but asks that the lives of her friends be spared. Kylo agrees and orders the attack stopped. Kylo offers his hand, which Rey takes and brings Rey to a shuttle as Finn and Poe watch, stunned. As their shuttle lifts off, Hux, at Snoke’s urging orders the ground attack to resume, dismaying Kylo and panicking Rey. She calms however as she senses a powerful and familiar presence nearby.
As the FO presses its attack, a figure appears on the horizon. Figuring one person isn’t a threat, the FO troops ignore him until one of their walkers is impossibly picked up and thrown into another. The FO turns all of it’s weapons on the lone figure and begin firing. The figure, Luke, uses the Force to block and divert everything thrown at him as he methodically wrecks the FO forces without ever igniting his lightsaber. In the aftermath, the mood is somber. Luke turned the tide of the battle, but the Resistance’s losses are massive and the loss of Rey is a bitter blow. Content with his prize, Snoke withdraws and welcomes Rey with a demonstration of his power as Kylo brings her before him. Kylo intervenes to stop Snoke’s torture of Rey, earning Snoke’s rebuke. However, Snoke does release her and tells Kylo he may train her.
The movie ends with Luke with Leia both looking out of a ships window in a callback to ESB, determined looks on their faces.
1: I think Luke’s initial inability to sense who she or dismissal of it is will be used to signal just how clouded his mind has become. He’s become unable to hear or believe what the Force is telling him.
2: If this seems to be throwing Luke under a bus, remember the characters are only acting based on their perceptions and what they know. Whether Luke is actually guilty of anything doesn’t matter; what matters is that Rey and Kylo think he is. IX will be where Rey (and we) get the full story. I think there is good circumstantial evidence Rey was taken from Tatooine.
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