Clone Wars: Episode I - Rise of the Separatists
Anakin Skywalker, along with his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, are sent to investigate a new mystery weapon being developed by their enemies so powerful it can cripple their most massive ships.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi is sent to assist the Mandelorians whose governess is being threatened by the mysterious Death Watch.
Lots of fun to be had in this one. Don't expect brilliance, expect to have a good time.
Is the source material perfect? Heck no, particularly with these episodes being from the first two seasons, as opposed to the later and stronger episodes, but Q2 has gone to great lengths to remove a lot of the camp, particularly from the Battle Droids, who get to be downright childish in the original Malevolence episodes (which is mostly because the show was meant to grow up along with its viewers).
So while as a whole Clone Wars isn't perfect, I still love it and I thought this edit was fun.
Bring on part 2!
(Watched 720p mp4)
First off, I hate the TV show this edit is based on for so, so many reasons that I won't ramble on about (Basically I hate everything). But out of desperation for another bit of Star Wars magic and in the hope that it might give a glimpse of what the PT could have been, I gave it a whirl.
Audio/Video Quality: 7/10
While the general look of the encode is really first class (I really couldn't imagine it looking any better) there is in at least four points, a very noticable visual glitch (The picture breaks up into huge chunky/blocky and noisey pixels). But these are of course just for a second, so don't spoil the enjoyment too much.
Visual Editing: 10/10
Seemless, it all looked perfect to me (Maybe the ending was a tiny, tiny bit abrupt?). Loved the crawl too.
Audio Editing: 7/10
This was less seemless. For the most part very good but on a few occasions there was a abrupt change in music with hardly a note of transition. Some additional music would have been nice to smooth over these moments. I also didn't care for the Threepio/not-Threepio voice. He looks like Threepio, he acts like Threepio and in one scene he still sounds like Threepio = He is still Threepio.
This worked surprisingly well for a TV-to-Movie edit and certainly flowed better, was more coherant and was more engaging than any of the three live action PT films. There were only two things that stood out as really odd: 1. Obi-Wan leaping to Hyperspace in the seat of his one-man fighter, having a conference call standing up, then leaping out of Hyperspace. This continuity error needed fixing but maybe it just wasn't possible. 2. Padme being almost totally absent from the narrative for most of the edit (Not a huge loss to be honest). There were a few other moments but these were very minor and if I didn't know this had originally been a TV show, I might not have even noticed them.
The story worked much more like a proper Star Wars film than the PT did. Although this edit is VERY heavy on the action and light on character moments. The character moments actually work well, which keeps the action feeling full of character too, as we care about what our heroes are doing. The OT was fairly action heavy too but those lighter moments really counted, as they do here.
Considering how completely I hate the source material, I was really surprised by how much fun this was. I loved the whole epic sweep of it all, feeling like the kind of "War raging across every corner of the universe" movie that I'd thought the Clone Wars to be, in my pre-1999 imagination. I especially enjoyed Kenobi's 'complicated' friendship with the Duchess. If only the live-action Padme had been like this character. It still suffers from the "I know you paid to see Kenobi and Anakin's friendship but tough sh*t they are only on screen together for 5 minutes" thing than plagued the PT films. Hopefully further installments of these edits will show more of that (Hint).
I'd reccomend this edit to those looking for a tantilising glimpse into the potential the PT had. It isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot more enjoyable than it's live action counterparts. Hurray, this is the 4th best Star Wars movie!
I'm trying to be as fair with this as possible. For what is is, I enjoyed it, but "Rise of the Separatists" suffers from some heavy flaws.
In reading that this was pretty much the first two seasons of The Clone Wars packed into a movie format, I understood from the start that this would be flawed project. Of course, one of the main issues is the lack of the standard three-act structure. There are too many plots fitting into the time frame and the whole "movie" feels disjointed. Most of the heart of the series has been gutted out, and what we are almost left with is an hour and a half of continuous action. Character development is practically thrown out the window. Those quiet moments that let you connect to the characters are gone. This is, however, to be expected from such a project. To edit two seasons of a show down into a movie format will obviously cause flow problems.
Continuing with this line of thought, the timing of everything was way off. I found it odd how Obi-Wan seemed to be everywhere. Anakin begins an attack on a ship, we switch to Obi-Wan and hours of time pass, then we go back to Anakin, and it's only minutes later. Then once Anakin disables the ship, Obi-Wan is right there with a fleet of Republic ships. Asoka is introduced, but then we don't get to see much of the bonding process between Anakin and her. She's just there. I was disappointed at the exclusion of the hunter droids as they searched the wreckage for Plo Koon; the part with them cracking open the ships and killing the troopers was too memorable to not be here. The events in this movie take place over several months, yet it's all made to look like it could fit in a few days. The beginning of the movie starts with action, and the movie ends seconds after the action abruptly comes to a halt.
Placing this all aside, I have to say that the first thing that caused me to give this edit bad marks was the 20th Century Fox logo and theme at the start. I know that this is a fan edit, but as someone who produces original work (and not edits of someone else's work), I find it bad taste to steal the credit from Warner Brothers and give it to Fox. That's something of a no-no.
Something else that stood out to me and really annoyed me especially toward the end was how the droids spoke in their own language and huge subtitles appeared on the screen to translate. To my horror, C-3PO came to suffer the same fate. Our beloved golden droid was mostly silenced and when he did speak, it was mechanical garble. YET, the medical droid speaks perfect English! Why was the medical droid allowed to keep his voice while C-3PO's classic personality was stripped from him? (In one bout of inconsistency, we hear 3PO cry out with the voice of Anthony Daniels in a short moment.)
Technically speaking, I liked the integrated material such as the opening scroll, and the editing between scenes was very good. I was looking for errors, so of course I noticed little things here and there (such as concerning musical transitions), but it was all done commendably. There were a few places where the picture suffered serious blocking for a moment, and I don't know how that was caused, but it does seem a little sloppy that such a thing was allowed to pass.
Overall, I somewhat enjoyed this. The unnecessary changes made to the the droids, most especially C-3PO, dampened it a great deal toward the end. Still, I would recommend "Rise of the Separatists" to those who have already seen The Clone Wars and are curious about a project such as this. This isn't for someone unfamiliar with the full storylines presented over the course of two seasons. That said, heed the legal warning at the very beginning that ownership of this video is only for those who own the original series, at least the first two seasons. This isn't meant to be pirated material, and it shouldn't be, since it misrepresents the original work far too much.
Despite all my criticism, curiosity drives me to want to see Q2's next Clone Wars release. For the material he had to tackle, putting aside some of his bad choices, I still think he did a good job. Maybe he'll use this as a learning experience to help make his next release even better.
-M. Strain Jr.
Great to finally see a clone wars fan edit. Overall it was excellent and really enjoyable. There were some audio sync issues, especially during the Christophsis scenes. Otherwise the video and audio editing were fantastic.
The linking of the movie and the Malevolence arc was excellent, and flowed really well as a story, particularly in relation to Ahsoka. The Mandalore arc didn't fit quite as well, however, it did explain Obi-Wan's absence in the Malevolence arc.
Can't wait to see episode 2.