1) earth is not found
2) earth is found in present day
3) earth is found in our ancient past
4) everyone dies.
I found 3 to be the most likely and satisfying proposition and that's what the show creators went with.
In any case, I found a LOT of problems with this edit. I even went through the trouble of comparing the two side by side (DVD and this edit).
First the positive:
most edits are seamless and I watched the 2GB mkv video version of this, not in surround sound.
Also didn't notice anything jumping out audio-wise. I liked the beginning with the translations. Well done.
Also, I think there were a few deleted scenes added to the fanedit which I appreciated (or I don't remember those scenes anymore).
Now the not-exhaustive list of the negatives, in no specific order:
1) Athena is killed? WTF? And Helo dies too? So Hera is raised by Baltar and Six (or whatever that 'real' cylon is named)? Why? Did not work for me at all.
2) "Disposition of fleet: unknown". Very unsatisfying for a viewer, I would think. That just raises more questions. This is under the category of "fan fix." After watching this, I felt like the original edit gets so much more right and the editor isn't fixing anything but mudding it up more.
3) the raptor "accidentally" shooting off nukes vs now in the fanedit it is by human intention. This seems like choosing to turn a metaphysical event into straightforward human action-taking. The meteoroid hitting the "zombie raptor" comes across as divine providence, given what is going on in the story and not "deus ex machine", in the sense that it is completely random and a cop-out. So that change didn't work for me either. And that raptor gets left behind the fan edit. More open endings instead of less.
4) The colonists land on earth and the title reads "10,000 years before the Fall of Caprica." I read through the changes the editor made. Am I missing something here? How can the colonists land on earth BEFORE the Fall of Caprica?? Caprica falls and THEN the colonists leave their 12 colonies in search of Earth. What you could maybe write is "present day earth: 10,000 years AFTER the Fall of Caprica."
5) It seems the editor tried to fix issues with the story that weren't there: in the fan edit, it seems ONLY the Galactica makes it to Earth, the rest of the fleet is bye-bye, never saw the Galactica again once it jumped into battle. Apparently the editor does not understand that after Galactica jumped to earth, she couldn't jump anymore but Adama sent a jump-capable raptor to the fleet and that raptor then guided the fleet to earth. I read the editor's change list and he apparently did not understand this point and thought there was a plot-hole where in fact there is not.
I'm sorry to be so negative. I know how much work goes into something like this. I just think this edit made things worse than better. I am definitely sticking to my original episodes.
Starbuck doesn't disappear. But the alternative is not more satisfying to me. Crying at Sam's bathtub.
This review may confuse viewers because it contains spoilers filtered through a lens of the originally released ending. If you watch this ending assuming that certain events mean the same as in the original, then you will find yourself unsatisfied. Most pertinent to this reviewer's questions, the original gives us two different Earths, which miraculously both have the same constellations and indigenous homo sapiens. This edit does not.
As to the reviewer's criticisms, though, I welcome them as much as the praise from the others. The reviewer dislikes how I replaced divine providence with human intention, a happy ending for beloved characters with a painful and foreshadowed one, and a thoroughly likeable set of parents for Hera with a morally ambiguous pair. He also dislikes how in some places, instead of answering certain questions, I simply raise more.
I can safely say that all of these are exactly what I set out to do, and that they characterize what I like in my Battlestar Galactica and in my storytelling in general. I can also assure the reviewer that I am not in misunderstanding of the jump capabilities of Galactica and its raptors, and that my dates chosen were extremely deliberate--watch without assumptions from the original, and this may become clearer. The images and text for the menus in the DVD version may also be considered minor Easter eggs.
Thanks for the kind words on the audio and video editing--it's good to know that even for people who have different tastes in stories, the technical aspects still worked.
I was quite excited to follow the progress of his edit and now after a bit of a delay I can finally take the chance to post my thoughts on the experience.
I watched the DVD version from my HTPC, and technically the edit is very well put together; the video looked great for SD quality and the audio featured a nice 5.1 track that is always welcome. A deserved 10 for AV quality.
Now in terms of editing I only have to point out that I found a couple of the transitions including a fade here and a cut there to be somewhat jarring, but considering the intention behind them and the fact that there is not much choice in how to implement them I'd say they can be overlooked. Because of this its 9s all around for the editing scores.
It's been a while since I last watched this flawed piece of entertainment - since it originally aired back in 2009 I think. And I was amazed at how easy it was to jump back in and feel all the excitement at the truly awesome first part of this extended episode.
I'd have to watch the original version again, but I believe that Menbailee has left the first half completely untouched, and that's a good call in my book. The Galactica and her crew's final mission intertwined with those character development flashbacks provide a pure gold final cap on a great series and remain a "by the edge of your seat" type of quality television.
Now, the controversy comes along right after that is when things got murky in the original version and is of course where this edit really mixes things up.
First off, I really liked how final moment for Starbuck is handled this time around. It went from something extremely vague to a proper final scene that brings close for the character while still leaving a reasonable amount of lingering questions about who she is and what really happened to her to personal interpretation. Nicely done :)
Also, added that, trimming the final hour to focus on the protagonists was a very smart choice. By focusing on Adama's final farewell for Roslin; added to Baltar and Caprica Six's realization and Lee the chief's somewhat clean slates at the end of the journey provide a satisfying conclusion.
As much as I feel that many of the editing choices were very spot on, I can't say that I agree with all of them. Particularly the rest of fleet's fate as teased in the special features caught me by surprise and I'm still torn on whether it should have been handled somewhat similarly to the original ending or not... however it did feel like a plot thread left just dangling.
Because of this last issue I give 8 for Narrative; and a solid 9 for overall Enjoyment.
To sum things up, this edit is a very smartly condensed and improved version for the 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica. One that many fans of the series would likely enjoy more than the original.
Congrats and thank you to Menbailee for taking the time and effort.
This is a very professional and elegantly realized edit that will now act as my preferred ending whenever I re-watch the series. And if you have never seen the original closing episodes, consider watching this instead. It's much more satisfying, and you can always go back and watch what was aired as a frustrating, inferior "director's cut."
The DVD was nice with some fun extras. The sound and picture were consistently good, except for the scenes which were either re-sized or re-inserted from an unmastered source. These bits are few and far between, though, and they serve the edit, so they are forgivable.
I LIKE this. This is the ending we deserved. And I agree with one of the previous viewers, the extras were great, especially "What Happened to the Fleet".
This is the official replacement for the original finale. If you're a BSG fan, this needs to be on your shelf.
I thought that rather than watching the original finale I'd just watch this one and see if it all hung together properly. I didn't mind the original finale, except for Starbuck vanishing and everyone disappearing off to do their own thing, which was kinda depressing. It ending with Baltar and Six....meh.
So this edit is pretty damn good. I only noted at one point where I felt something was a little off and this was the final Lee/Kara scene when Lee turns around.
The opera sequence, I can't recall how that played out in the original, but it certainly works here.
This version feels far more optimistic...and make sure you pay full attention. When Starbuck jumped BSG, I happened to be texting someone and completely missed the line of VERY important dialogue there.
Because there are a lot of flashbacks in this, the ending with Kara made me wonder if she'd gone back or I was seeing a flashback. It prob didn't help that I'd drank some wine and wasn't fully picking up on all the narrative elements.
The extras were pretty good as well. I loved the 'what happened to the fleet?' that made me laugh!
So I'd have no hesitation in recommending this.