Empire Begins, The

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8.6
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9.1
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9.0
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8.0
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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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9.5
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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10.0
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.

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9.8
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9.0
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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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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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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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