I’m a tough nut to crack regarding movies with the myth of hype behind them, but this is a cracking good movie.
Is it perfect? No…there’s a really mediocre middle act where you have to wonder “why did they go there?”, but they pick up speed swiftly after and there’s at least a pivotal plot point in it that the protagonists learn of. Everything after that is pure gold. Every action means something, and there is so many boss scenes with Vader that it finally, FINALLY, rinses out the bitter taste of “Nooooooooooo”. James Earl Jones redeemed. Vader redeemed. Make no mistake about it, it puts a whole new spin on A New Hope, that movie really ought to be re titled to “A Stroke of Luck”
That entire third act IS Star Wars. Go see it, just try to make it through the second act and you will be pleasantly rewarded.
Now, onto the fanedit ideas
I’d see about possibly removing that entire middle act, you could have Felicity Jones learn about “stardust” another way than from her dad’s dying mouth, I’d actually end her dad’s role when she finds his hologram from Forest Whitaker (and yeah, I’m lapsing on the actual character names, sorry), also I’d minimise the number of times the design flaw in the Death Star is constantly brought up.
-The right transistional effects
-Maybe call it “Episode IV.1”
-More of the classic score
-You really don’t need all the Tarkin scenes.