This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brian Koser’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Disney execs: Rian, good to have you on board. Let’s get right to the pitch.
Rian Johnson: OK! Let’s start with Poe. He’s a bit of a hothead, right, and I want his arc to be him becoming more responsible. First he disobeys Leia and gets demoted to captain—
Disney: Perfect. We can put him in a captain’s uniform and sell Captain Poe toys.
Rian: …sure. He gets frustrated because he thinks Leia is running when she should be fighting, so he helps form a side mission behind her back, then mutinies to take control. Leia really had a plan all along but now she has to sacrifice herself by ramming—
Disney: Let me stop you right there. We can’t kill Princess Leia.
Rian: But Poe going against authority is part of my—
Disney: Right, right, no problem there. Let’s just create another older female leader character with odd hair. It’ll be fine.
Disney: Let’s compromise. You can pretend to kill Leia.
Rian: …can I also put her in a coma?
Disney: As long as she wakes up at the end.
Rian: *scribbling* OK, so in the end Poe’s plans fail and he’s court-martialed for mutiny, so we end the movie with him in Resistance prison. This is kind of a twist on Empire Strikes Back, where Han is trapped in—
Disney: No, let’s have him be in charge at the end.
Disney: Rebel Leader Poe toys will sell better than Prisoner Poe toys.
Rian: *sigh* Moving on to Finn. I want him to fail at everything: he tries and fails to run off to find Rey, he can’t find the code breaker he needs for his side mission, he can’t disable the First Order’s tracking system. But then at the end he realizes you don’t need Jedi powers or pilot skills to make a difference, and he sacrifices himself to save his friends.
Disney: Wait…you’re saying he dies? *laughter* Finn is also on the no-kill list, Rian. Don’t change anything you just said, except have him be saved at the last minute.
Disney: The cast list here mentions a “Rose”?
Rian: Yeah, I was thinking she’d be a friend of Finn’s that—
Disney: Perfect. She can save him. *leans back and blows smoke rings from cigar* And have them kiss.
Disney: And she should like animals. That’s a good hook.
Rian: Let’s…just move on to Rey. At first Luke is wary of her because she’s very powerful and drawn to the dark side, but he starts training her eventually. Rey can now telepathically communicate with Kylo Ren and it seems like maybe he’s redeemable. So she runs off like Luke in Empire Strikes Back, then is captured and taken to the throne room with Snoke and Kylo like in Return of the Jedi. But this time Kylo kills Snoke and fights with Rey! You think he’s good now, but he says he’s fed up with both sides. Rey joins him, and it’s a great cliffhanger. Is Kylo Ren good? Is Rey bad? Nobody will have any idea what they’re going to do in Episode 9!
Disney: No. Rey can’t be bad. We’ll lose the little girl demographic.
Rian: *winces* …you could sell Dark Rey toys?
Disney: *puffs smoke* Hmmmm, no.
Rian: *sighs* OK, we’ll end just before Rey makes her decision so we’ll still have a cliffhanger—
Disney: No, Rey should save the day. Have her save her friends at the end.
Disney: I don’t suppose we could have another Death Star for her to destroy? Just a small one?
Rian: *silent tears*