Empire Begins, The

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8.6
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9.1(14)
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9.2(14)
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9.1(14)
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8.2(14)
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8.5(14)
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
This is the first Star Wars fanedit, besides 'Revisited', that I have seen and it did not disappoint! You certainly achieved what you set out to do; Anakin is a MUCH more likable character, the love story is not frustrating or too long, and the trimming down on dialog has definitely helped the pace and tone of the film.
The plot flows a lot more smoothly and the transition between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is flawlessly edited, and shows amazing talent. Apart from the deleted scenes (which can't be helped), the video and audio quality is perfect. The intro was amazing and the opening crawl was done very well.

A definite must-watch!

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Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This is the best 3-in-1 edit I've seen. The transition from the Episode 2 to Episode 3 material is a revelation. As is the elimination of Greivous. There are areas I still feel have been done better elsewhere. The confrontation between Windu and Sidious has worked better in other edits where the screen has darkened to hide the transformation from Palpatine to Sidious.

I was really disappointed to see Yoda with a lightsaber in this edit. Maybe it's warranted on Kashyyk, but I don't like that the Yoda/Sidious duel was left in this edit.

Also in the Anakin/Obi-Wan duel, I've seen edits that show Anakin and Obi Wan leaping from the tower to the "shore" for the final confrontation. That works better, IMO, as I hate them dueling on those stupid lava-surfing bots.

This works as a single movie, though it lacks a strong sense of three distinct acts.
There are still many issues that keep it from being a great film, not the least of which is the poorly realized villians. At least there is one less in that Greivous is gone, but Dooku is now a throwaway as well. One might say this keeps the focus on Sidious as the villian, but he is unknown through a majority of the film. This isn't necessarily bad, but it doesn't feel Star Wars-y to not have a clear baddie throughout.

Overall I'd rather watch this than any version of the trilogy I've seen so far. Sadly that's in large part because it's relatively brief. That isn't a criticism of the editor, but rather a feeling that the prequels are mostly a lost cause. It could be better by making some of the changes mentioned above., but it is still recommended for anyone that wants a prequel, but really hates the original prequels.

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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is probably the best "3-in-1" prequel edit of Star Wars I've seen attempted. The idea to use the climatic lightsaber duel of the Phantom Menace as a pre-credits scene was a particular stand-out. The editor also achieved a means of conveying all of the important bullet points of Episode II without any of the fandango that encircled it, character motivations are more concise, the romance has no real muddles, and the relevant plot lines unfold without hinderance. The transistion from Clones to Sith is handled sublimeley via a nice music montage of the Clone armada's initial outing through to the battle that opens the third film. There are other nips and tucks I won't spoil but everything comes together more smoothly. Empire Begins is a great watch and I feel more at ease with the prequels now than I've been previously. Take away that old Jazz rift and you're left with a satisfactory song.

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Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Well this is it - the best of the best of Star Wars Prequel edits. I've watched a bunch in my quest to finally enjoy the prequel and this is as close as it gets. Editor Darth Awesome does an excellent job boiling down the plot of three movies to focus on Anakin, cut the cheese from the originals and give us a glimpse at the Clone Wars era Star Wars universe. The result is an enjoyable Greatest Hits of the Prequel trilogy and a surprisingly engaging Anakin character study.

Darth Awesome does a great job in cramming a ton of story into under three hours. The coolest battles are still seen here and the fat is trimmed. Most surprising is how much the Anakin and Padme relationship improves onscreen thanks to this edit. Sure, it plays out like an episode of Star Wars' Dawson's Creek, but I mean that in the good melodrama, soap-opera-y way. It makes Anakin a relatable, tragic character. It was the first time I thought that Hayden Christensen actually did a decent job. That's all to Darth Awesome's editing credit. Darth Awesome also does a killer job transition from Ep. 2 to 3. The way he handles the start of the Clone Wars is masterful as he moves into Ep. 3.

There are a couple technical nitpicks, though minor. First, you can't walk into this edit blind to the story or characters. There are some narrative jumps that are made that you have to overlook. Characters come and go - even our introduction of Ep. 2 Anakin is jarring if you don't know who he is already. However, if you're hunting down a fan edit of these movies, you're probably already a fan; it's a minor complaint. More pressing are a couple of hard transitions that would be nice to see softened up - particularly working in an establishing shot for Obi-wan arriving on Kamino and a little more clarification on the cloning process.

Overall, this is the most fun I've had watching the prequels. It doesn't fix them - that's impossible. Editing can only do so much. Darth Awesome pushes the craft to the limit here. For those days you are nostalgic and think that you should give the Prequels another shot - this is the edit to watch.

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(Updated: June 27, 2015)
Overall rating
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
This is a technically (except for a sudden fade to black at minute 58:02 or so) well edited 3-in-1-edit of the Star Wars Prequels. But I felt like the narrative didn't convey well the story of a republic descending into an empire. And it felt like characters required a foreknowledge as they imho weren't introduced well to the viewer and to each other. But that is all subjective, maybe it just hit me the wrong way. I recommend people interested to watch for yourself and to make up your own mind.

P.S.: My wdhd-tv-mediaplayer had problems playing the edit back smoothly, maybe because of the LPCM used for sound. I converted it into a mkv with AC3 sound and then it played it smoothly. On my computer both versions played smoothly.

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