Spoilers Below! (Answer is too long to spoiler tag everything)
Why I made this question
In essence, what I said in hint #3 is the truth. I started reading about Kryptos, failed miserably while trying to do anything close to solving it, and decided to make a Vignere cipher of my own.
Originally, I wanted to have an onion of a cipher--My intention was to have a first cipher that was solved with the "Can't wait" phrase, then a second that was solved with the original puzzle phrase. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men.
I eventually realized that my intention was foolish--it turned out to be MUCH more complicated than I expected to create a single layer--let alone a layer that ALSO had a specific keyword to replace both words, let alone two layers doing so.
I started out by making a table that looked something like this:
S T A R W A R S
This would give me the key phrase that I wanted to use, as well as my answer. I then consolidated it down so that it looked like this:
S T A R W
Notice that the W and the A from "CANT WAIT" were consolidated into the column header.
If you look at a Vignere cipher table, you'll notice that the table has the letters going in rows from SW to NE, kind of like this:
A B C D
B C D A
C D A B
D A B C
That meant that I had to re-order my columns and rows to match that kind of pattern. Now that I'm looking back, I realize that I may have been able to do this a bit differently by doing the columns differently, but /shrug.
In any case, the grid started to take shape
S(e)R T(i c u)A
(e)R T i c u A
R T i c u A
T i c u A
(i c u A
c u A
With these letters, I had most of what I needed in the grid. I'll be completely honest--I can't remember how I came up with this order for the beginning letters. Most of the ones towards the end of the sequence were determined randomly.
As the grid took shape, I began to "unsolve" the puzzle. I looked at S(tar Wars) in the top row, found the "C" in that column, and then that row header was the letter I needed (Okay, bad example). This gave me the first letter of the "Palimpsest" for my puzzle, which was C. I repeated the process for each letter:
column header | Letter found | Key phrase letter
S | C | C
T | A | I
A | N | C
R | T | E
W | W | S
A | A | S
R | I | R
S | T | T
After that was done, it was a simple matter to write a phrase that used every letter in the order that I wanted so that I could capitalize the appropriate letters. I made sure to use the appropriate key in the title, too, because what's more fun than layers?
I also added the formatting to the letters that spelled "DISTRACTION" to make possibly seem like there was even more going on.
In all, if I had to do it again, I would probably handle it a bit differently (especially the creation of the Vignere square), but I had already spent a couple hours working on the puzzle.
I hope that you guys had some fun solving it. You can anticipate more puzzles from me in the future. :)