Kylo Ren has consolidated his power. He claimed the Sith Holocron previously possessed by Snoke. The knights of Ren have set up shop on Exegol.
Poe and Finn are recruiting for the Resistance, but their numbers increase slowly.
General Leia has continued the Jedi training that Rey sought from Luke. Rey’s lightsaber is irreparable, so she searches the galaxy for the materials to build a new one.
Changed Plot Points
Drop the Kylo bit at the beginning and jump to him arriving on Exegol with the Knights and seeing a vision that he must destroy Rey if she will not join him. Instead of a fleet of Star Destroyers conjured by Palpatine, there’s some other Sith power there.
Finn and Poe are picking up people who want to join the Resistance but are scared to or need to be vetted when they get the message from a First Order spy.
The lightsaber Rey uses should be Leia’s. We see the end of her search for one, and later realize that it is Leia’s: it’s the one she hid away when she relinquished her training.
Rose stays with the Resistance to train the new recruits. I think that’s a better reason and more empowering for her character than what she actually does in this movie.
Lando lives on Pasaana, having a good time since he and Luke did their mission there. He wasn’t sent a message from Leia, but discovers the team on his own.
There should be a line about the ancient Sith dagger having a new inscription.
Rather than being a Palpatine, I think it’s enough that Rey was left by her parents in an attempt to protect her from a force-sensitive recruiter. Then her conflict is over whether it was the Jedi or Sith who sent the recruiter (who killed her parents).
Instead of Palpatine calling the Imperial Legion General and sending the Star Destroyer to destroy Kijimi, the Knights of Ren exercise whatever power they found on Exegol and bombard the planet.
What’s the power of the Knights? Maybe together they can make force lightning. But Ren finds them weak because they have to team up. He wants Rey because he senses (then on Pasaana sees) that Rey can do it alone. Without Palpatine, the First Order fleet must be amassing on Exegol instead of a new fleet conjured out of nothing.
Does This Work?
I don’t know, but I like it because I came up with it. It’s what I would change to avoid the parts of this movie that I find problematic or unbelievable.
Oh, and I can’t stand the use of Skywalker in the title, so maybe call it “The Power of the Dark Side” instead.