Excellent boiling down of episodes I, II, & III which widely believed to be the weakest of the currently released material (I-VI). To be honest I don't have a lot of faith that the upcoming VII, VIII, and IX will be worthy BUT I wanted my kids to see understand the story line of the first three (3) episodes with out forcing them to watch the almost eight (8) hours of content. This fanedit successfully does the job. Were some of the subtle points missed, yes, but the trade-off was more than worth it. If you haven't watched the first three (3) episodes and aren't a Star Wars purist, watch this fanedit and thank the editor. A lot of work must have gone in to this. Thanks.
I really enjoyed this edit. As a disclaimer, I'm not a massive Star Wars fan. I like the original trilogy and have probably watched the prequels once since I picked them up years ago. I've watched a few edits over the years but that's about it. I watched this hoping it could be a really good concise version and that's exactly what it was. The visual editing was really well done. I thought the wipes were very well done. Despite being pretty rusty on the nuances of the story, I got it just fine. Actually, better than I remember since Anakin makes a lot more sense. There are problems (such as Hayden Christiansen being horrible at conveying emotion and downright laughably bad dialogue) but they are pretty much with the films themselves. Most of my problems with them are minimized here. There was a weird black frame as Dooku approached around 58 minutes and at 1:08 the music swells then dies super quickly. These are the only things I noticed and they are very minor in the grand scheme of things. The editing was really well done and this is my preferred version of the prequels now.
This is by far the best 3 in 1 edit of the prequels. Narrative wise it hits the right notes. The awkwardness of the Anakin/Padme romance is mostly gone due to them getting together early so there's not that back and forth bullshit that's in the originals. Weirdly enough though the wedding is shown and Anakin has his mechanical hand. The Separatists have a decent reason for succeeding from The Republic now. You also handled Shmi dying perfectly. Also not having Anakin tell Padme he slaughtered children made the scene in which he did slaughter children work. I'm glad someone actually attempted this. Aside from that a lot of the super cringe worthy dialogue has been removed , the pacing is decent and you handled introducing Vader in his suit perfectly.
There are a few things that troubled me during me watching it though. I'm not a fan of having Sidious and Yoda duel. I would rather see the scene picked up when Sidious is throwing the senate chairs at Yoda. Also the fact that Padme dies for the exact same reason that she dies in the original PT bothers me to no end. The Obi vs Vader duel should have been shorter and I think Padme being the reason Anakin turns to the Dark Side should have been downplayed a bit when Anakin is actually turned.
All in all this edit is fantastic though the source material holds it back.
Whilst nothing can be done to save the terrible acting and over-use of CGI, this edit distills the essential elements of the prequels narrative making a far more cohesive story. This goes to show how those three movies should have been one film, it was far more enjoyable told this way, it felt like I'd just watched a full narrative arc rather than three flabby movies full of so much dead weight. The editing is unnoticeable and expertly done.
For those of you who really don't like the Star Wars prequels, this is an ideal chance to see how it might have been done more successfully as a tight and focussed story.
Fan-editor Darth Awesome combines all three Star Wars prequels into a single viewing experience. Running time is two hours forty minutes, with the heaviest trims coming from Phantom Menace. For action fans seeking Clone Wars, this is not it. Though Darth Awesome describes it as rise of Empire, fall of Anakin, the story is really a character study of Anakin Skywalker, with all the good and bad that entails.
Video - Good work, nice transitions. A couple scene shifts were marvelous. Professional all the way.
Audio - Fine 2.0 stereo. No subs. At any given time, dialogue was understandable, during combat, street activity, whispered conversations. And yes, this is a big deal. I have heard, yet not understood, my share of dynamic sound designs. Mr Awesome has done well here.
Narrative - OK, not scratching here, but pointing things out. Kamino barely appears, to me a startling omission. Seemed like all but eight minutes of Phantom Menace was jettisoned. What survived was a highlight - hooray! The battle on Geonosis was minimized. Duly noticed and missed. General Grievous, on the other hand, was no loss. I could go on and on, parts I missed, others I was happy to see gone. The narrative holds together, but this is a story about Anakin, and I don’t particularly care for this Jedi. Exchanges with Padme remain awful, specifically because of utter lack of chemistry between the leads.
Enjoyment - Grumbles aside, I did enjoy Mr Awesome’s edit. I rewatch E02 and E03 fairly frequently, E01 never. There is clever invention in this effort. It held my interest and I returned several times, to study specific sequences. Having conceptual ideas is one thing, bringing them off is another. Definitely recommended, especially to readers who have a fondness for the Christensen films. For those who hated those installments, I doubt it will better your opinion.