You might have seen a story floating around this week about a recent fan edit of Star Wars: The Last Jedi that removes almost every woman from the movie. The cut is 46 minutes long and nearly incomprehensible, proving how important women are in the Disney era of Star Wars. In fact, women are so vital to The Last Jedi that you could probably remove all the men and still have a functioning, dare I say exciting story. I mention this because that's what I've been working on the past couple days: The Last Jedi: De-Meninized Fanedit. A relief to those who didn't like the original movie, and a testament to how women get things done faster, the manless edit runs at a mere 36 minutes.
Of course, if I ever attempted to upload this beauty, Disney's lawyers would find a way to sue for custody of my future children. It's because of this fact that I'm writing this anonymously -- that, and I'm concerned about the attention this kind of thing will get from certain parts of the internet. I know I should have thicker skin by now, but I can only take so many generous compliments!
That being said, I can probably get away with showing you a quick screengrab of this very real project in Adobe Premiere:
So how do you make a Star Wars movie without men, anyway? It's actually pretty easy. Throughout the course of making this edit, I found that the plot was much simpler and easier to follow without dudes mucking up the works. For instance, the opening crawl is a lot simpler if you remove references to Supreme Leader Snoke.
Next to almost every man in the movie is an equally or even more competent woman. In Poe Dameron's case, there's a droid: BB-8. It was so easy to snip Poe out of the film and frame it so BB-8 was flying that X-Wing.
The entire sequence plays out differently without Poe doing manly things like disobeying commands from a superior officer, going rogue and getting a good chunk of the Resistance killed. BB-8 is spunky, sure, but it's not going to disregard a direct order from General Leia.
Editing around The First Order is a little trickier. As it turns out, Space Nazis aren't too focused on diversity when it comes to upper management. Captain Phasma doesn't show up until the last bit of the film, so there's not really any clear leader for the bad guys without Snoke, Kylo and Hux. But in an effort to make this a truly man-free film, we have to pick someone. So the new leader of the First Order is... this woman, I guess?
To my knowledge, this character doesn't have a name outside of something like First Order Operator #421, so let's call her Kayla. She looks like a Kayla. So let's keep in mind that throughout the film, the Resistance is being pursued by Supreme Leader Kayla and her massive fleet.
Meanwhile, Rey has just arrived on Ahch-To for her training. You'd think that finding a way to deal with Luke Skywalker in a manless edit would be tough, was actually one of the easiest cuts to make. We do have to resolve the cliffhanger of her handing the lightsaber to Luke at the end of The Force Awakens, but The Last Jedi actually did that for us.
In the De-Meninized Fanedit, Luke Skywalker throws the lightsaber over his shoulder and is never seen again. Once he walks out of frame, he exits the entire movie. Since her would-be teacher is too much of a sadsack hermit to take her on as a padawan, Rey then proceeds to train herself on the island. After all, Luke's training doesn't do a whole lot for her in the end. Growing up without strict Jedi rules and regiment was actually a boon, so it's not like Rey needs a Jedi to teach her to hone her abilities.
That said, it's not like she wouldn't need help finding some direction. That's where the space nuns come in.
The caretakers of Ahch-To are no doubt familiar with the ways of The Force, and in this edit they are constantly hanging around Rey to support her in her personal journey of self-discovery. They're still pretty judgey, but that's just a space nun thing.
As I continued these cuts, I found that the De-Meninized Fanedit had some striking similarities to the De-Feminized Fanedit. Both versions excise Finn and Rose's journey to Canto Bight -- the manless cut does so because the B-plot focuses so heavily on Finn's motivations and the betrayal of Benicio Del Toro's character. It was tough to lose Rose and her connection to the furry alien racehorses, but this is nothing if not a movie about sacrifices.
The womanless cut also removes Admiral Holdo from the pivotal lightspeed attack sequence, and the more I thought about it, the more that actually makes sense for the manless cut. If Poe was leading the Resistance, things would play out about the same because his impulsive personality would result in hundreds of people barreling head-first into danger. This is not to mention that men in general are terrible multitaskers, which makes them naturally inferior leaders. On the other hand, without Poe's meddling and eventual mutiny, Holdo and Leia would have a lot more precious time to make plans.
The manless cut acknowledges the additional preptime by putting Holdo and Leia safely on another vessel while a ship on autopilot warps right through The First Order fleet.
All that's really left is the final confrontation on the salt planet between the remnants of the Resistance and Supreme Leader Kayla's forces. We don't have to lose Luke's epic showdown, however. There's already an adept Force user nearby.
Projecting yourself across a galaxy might suck the life out of you, but doing so a few hundred yards away probably wouldn't kill you -- especially if you're a Force user who can survive and fly through the vacuum of space.
That about wraps up The Last Jedi: The De-Meninized Fanedit. Removing men from Star Wars does throw things off balance and the result is a bit rough around the edges, but it does substantially cut down on characters whining about not getting their way.