NOTE: The following contains spoilers for STAR WARS. If you are concerned about being spoiled about one of the most popular movies ever made that's been out for 38 years, please get a hobby.
STAR WARS 104 "A NEW HOPE" FINE CUT 1 NOTES
Hello! Thanks to you and your team for addressing the last round of notes. As you well know, we here at the network are big fans for Episodes 1-3. They really have the characterization, in-scene sound ups and humor we feel are best for the show. With that being said, we have to say that 104 is by far our least favorite episode thus far. Tonally it is so different from the first three we cannot give time coded notes right now. There are too many general notes that need to be addressed first. We really need to recapture the flow and tone of the previous episodes; otherwise, our research shows that our viewers will be too confused and wonder what show they are watching. (A bite pass would work wonders.) Our general notes are below. Please look them over and let us know what you think!
The episode title right now is "A New Hope." Are we married to that? Keep in mind that more and more of our viewers are reading the episode descriptions either through their DVR or online. We NEED a very catchy title to grab the viewers' interest, and right now "A New Hope" is just too vague. (What does that mean exactly?) How about something like "Luke Rescues Princess Leia"? Or a play on words like "Death Star Becomes Her" or "Kenobi Or Not To Be"? (These are just suggestions; please come up with alternatives)
OPENING/DARTH VADER CAPTURES PRINCESS LEIA
The use of the opening title card really helps to establish the stakes and backstory that we desperately need. That being said, do we have to go from the title card immediately to the attack on the blockade runner? Let's put in a opening montage first to set the scene; I would love to know which star quadrant they are in.
I can really feel the tension when Darth Vader is looking around for the rebel plans, but I do feel this could be fleshed out a bit more. Let's put in a bite from him along the lines of "I really need to get these rebel plans for my boss, Grand Moff Tarkin. It's very important to me and the Emperor that nothing interfere with the construction of the Death Star, which is now the most powerful weapon in the galaxy." (In his own words, of course. And avoid using frankenbites.)
The first time we see Princess Leia, she's putting something into the R2D2 robot. This is a great opportunity to do an intro package with her; who she is, how long has she been serving in the Imperial Senate, and what exactly IS she putting into the droid? I really like how feisty she is with Darth Vader. Any bites from the stormtrooper about her sassiness? (Just curious)
C3P0 & R2D2 ARRIVE ON TATOOINE
Please add subtitles to all of the scenes with the droids and the Jawas. Right now, I have no idea what the Jawas are saying. In order to make sure every scene has TENSION AND STAKES, it is imperative to know what each person (or alien) is saying at all times. Also, S&P wants to make sure that there aren't any Jawanese swear words being said. If so, we'll need to bleep them.
Luke has a great introduction but he's so whiney! Are there any other takes we can use? Or maybe a funny bite from Uncle Owen about how childish Luke can be? Please review your interviews. (Maybe a pick up?)
The introduction of Obi-Wan Kenobi works pretty well, but it could easily be upgraded with a flashback of his best moments from the three previous episodes. Our audience could really use the reminder of who he is! Also, when Obi-Wan explains the Force to Luke, let's add a bite where he explains what the Force is and how it works. (I really want to get #midichlorians trending, don't you?")
I know some time has elapsed from Episode 103 to 104, but are there any unused scenes with Jar Jar Binks that we can add? He is a favorite over here at the network and his type of comedy would be a really great addition. Let us know.
Please make sure that all creatures in the Cantina have signed a release.
When the bartender tells C3PO that he doesn't serve their kind, that's a great opportunity to get a bite from him about how that feels. Has he experienced such open droidaphobia before? (Side note: would he be available to do a PSA promo for us for Pride Month?)
We know that this has been a bone of contention for the past previous cuts, but we are going to have to insist that in the confrontation between Han Solo and Greedo that Han MUST NOT shoot first. Otherwise, the audience will completely turn against him! While we understand your arguments for the alternative, we are putting our foot down about this. Sorry. Also, if you can add a regretful bite from Han about shooting Greedo, we would really appreciate it.
Side Note: Is it Chewie or Chuy? Please advise. The latter would really help us with our diversity goals for the year.
GETTING PRINCESS LEIA OFF OF THE DEATH STAR
The plan to get Princess Leia out of cell block AA23 really could use a bite to further explain it. Maybe a fun graphic as well to help get the point across? Give it a shot. Remember, guys, as storytellers, we need to tell the audience what exactly is going on at all times. Otherwise, we are not doing our jobs.
Please add an earlier pick up scene where Darth Vader explains the height requirements for soldiers on the Death Star. Otherwise Leia's line "Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper?" doesn't have context.
We've been using a lot of orchestral music cues for a while. Let's try switching it up here. Maybe hip hop? Or a Taylor Swift sound-alike? Check your music libraries and let us know if there's a problem.
ASSAULT OF THE DEATH STAR
When Han Solo leaves the rebels on Yavin, let's put in a bite from Princess Leia where she says while he's gotten on her nerves, she's really going to miss him and hopes he comes back. This will help set up Han returning at the last second to shoot Darth Vader's ship. Without this bite, Han's return isn't set up at all and comes out of nowhere. Attention to detail is key. We can't be sloppy.
The actual attack on the Death Star while it's approaching the rebel base is really well done. Kudos to your editing and producing team on this one. However, when Luke is flying through the trench to the exhaust port and hears Obi-Wan tell him to use the Force, we really need to add a bite where Luke saying how important is it for them to destroy the Death Star. By hammering this home, the viewers will really be invested in what's going on!
The ceremony at the end is wonderful but it's just aching for a bite from someone to say how happy they are that they have defeated the Empire. If we don't hear them say it, how do we know it's true? We have to wrap this story up with a nice bow; right now, it's a bit messy. Also, can we use a lyric track for the end? There isn't any dialogue right now so a great cue with some uplifting lyrics would really help sell it.
Thanks for addressing this is a prompt manner. Please let us know if you have any questions.