This may be my definitive version. I love that you got rid of the buzz droids and the opening scene moves at a much brisker pace, concluding in about 15 minutes. I still would’ve liked more removed from the balcony scene. I like it to cut away as soon as Anakin says “make that kind of motion in the Senate where it belongs.” Also, I really wish you’d have cut the wookie tarzan scream. Though I’m glad to see some of the squaking from that bird-lizard thing cut, I think more could’ve been trimmed. Why not just show Obi Wan peering over at the Separtists? We don’t need to see how he got there. Also at the beginning of the chase I really hate that they both jump into an abyss. Perhaps it is necessary since it shows Obi Wan dropping his lightsaber, but I really want that gone. And, while I don’t absolutely HATE it, the Palpatine voice-over about “any chance of saving Padme will be lost” while Anakin is in the Council Chambers seems unnecessary at best. I think the scene works much better without it, actually giving the audience some credit for understanding his internal conflict without it. I’d also love to see someone cut the crazy Yoda flip Palpatine does in the battle with Windu just before they break the window. The edits to the ending of that battle as Windu is killed are perfect, IMO. The whole Anakin becoming Darth Vader works much better now too. This is a minor quibble, but has always gnawed at me: after viewing the security footgae, how does Obi wan know to call Palpatine “Emperor”? He should still be referring to him as Chancellor, no? The whole Anakin/Obi Wan duel works much better now. I don’t miss the Sidious/Yoda duel at all. At first, it was a bit jarring that Sidious is suddenly on Mustafar, but it makes sense if you think about it. The dialogue edits when the medic droids are talking to the Jedis about Padme are perfect. I still would like to see more of the Vader scene cut. I think it could end right after the “yes master” line. As with the Phantom edits that were you inspiration, I feel the edits done are terrific and work very well. My issues are only that I would still like to see more and deeper cuts. 9/10
Well Spence, let me start with the good news. I am torn between this edit and the Hal9000 edit. They are two very different edits. Both edits share one very important thing in common, which is that neither make any tragic editing mistakes that worsen the situation over the original movie. Yours is much slimmer, which I like, and it does not include the added rebellion scenes or the yoda fight scenes, both of which I am neutral on. It is a tough call on the Yoda fight scenes because for so many people it is their favorite part but realistically the dude is pretty damn old. The added rebellion scenes are kinda nice, but the only one senator other than Padme that matters is Organa and his character gets established just fine at the end. Furthermore the fact that those senators go publicly before Palatine in protest makes it seem far less likely that Organa would survive the night, much less be able to successfully hide Leia and secretly oppose the Emperor in the future.
Yours has, without question, the best opening sequence I have seen. It is probably as close to perfect as you can get it without constructing some elaborate shots from scratch to find a plausible way to get them off the ship after fighting Count Dooku so you can skip entirely their capture and subsequent horrible Grevious fight and crash landing of the ship.
More good news: You cut out the “I have the high ground” line. Thank the lord. Major kudos for recognizing that absurdity. I also dug that you made the shot of Anakin jumping down onto the hover droid thingy over the lava look less retarded.
Then came the final epilogue scenes. These left a sour taste in my mouth because I thought for sure you would trim that way down to the quick montage get-us-in-and-out-quickly sequence that it should have been. In my mind anyway, it always seemed like one of the easiest editing decisions. I imagine sequence going as follows: Padme is unconscious. (Padme remains unconscious until she dies!!!) Establish with audience she has twins and droid informs they need to operate before she dies. Cut to pretty shot of Leia laying UNCONSCIOUS on the table before surgery. Cut to Vader getting operated on. Mask goes on. Vader starts breathing. Cut to meeting where they plan what to do with the kids. Cut to having protocol droid’s mind wiped. Cut to funeral. Cut to Alderan with Leia. Cut to Tatooine with Luke. Credits. In and out in 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes, and the movie ends with me still high from the climax and giddy over the tie-in to the other movies instead of bored and annoyed by George Lucas Antics. Everything else in the epilogue part of this movie is either redundant or too much new information that is best left a mystery, or just plain bad writing, directing, and acting. It is not a mystery why Padme is dying to me. Anakin killed her with the force. I saw it. Furthermore this explanation adds amazing impact to Anakin’s choices and dreams because the death he was trying to prevent that caused him to turn to the dark side was actually caused by his very choices he made in attempt to prevent it. Fear does lead to suffering, hate, and the dark side after all! Did I mention Padme should never regain conciousness? We all know what the kids’ friggin names are. I don’t need her to wake up to name them, and I don’t care how they got their names. I also would be quite content to never again see Darth Vader act like Frankenstein and scream “NOOOO,” especially when it is completely anti-climactic to the shot of the mask going on and the sound of him breathing.
Who writes crap like that anyway? Oh yeah, George Lucas. The man will go down in history as the one of the most visionary producers and one of the worst dialogue writers and directors of all time. The smartest choices the man ever made was to have other people direct Empire and Jedi and Indiana Jones. Furthermore If he was really a great writer, these movies would be totally different. If I were Lucas writing these movies, I would have gotten in my head to the scene where Count Dooku explains to Obi Wan about the sith lord in the senate and presents himself as a good guy and the separatists and rebels, and I would have realized what gold that idea is. Then I would have completely re-written episodes 2 and 3.
While I am ranting, here is something that has been nagging me. Why the freak does Palpatine turn all wrinkled and old looking when he electrocutes Mace? It just doesn’t really make much sense or seem necessary. If Lucas really felt the need to age the Emperor for us (not sure why he would) to make him look older like he does in the later movies, here is a better idea. Have him bust out some sith necromancy action on Anakin when he saves him on the volcano planet, which causes the Emperor age in order to save Anakin. This would establish even more reason for Anakin to be loyal to the Emperor, and ties in nicely to the talk the whole movie about these alleged healing powers the sith can have.
One last tidbit for anybody reading this with more time than me to take another stab at editing this movie (my big editing project if I can make time for it will be Matrix 2 & 3. I have some radical ideas for how to completely change those movies so they don’t suck.). I would love to see somebody get really creative with the Obi-wan vs. Grevious scene. Sure there is all the annoying lizard chase stuff that maybe can be trimmed down, but more importantly to the story is the fact that Obi-wan is frigging retarded and totally out of character by brazenly jumping down into the middle of the entire enemy force. I think there is a way to tweak that so that he jumps down and the clone troops pop up at the same time and Grevious makes a run for it. The other stupid thing about that scene is that it seems improbable that the other separatists would have time to escape out of the building, much less get off the planet and into hyperspace. Maybe there is a way to space out their leaving a bit more before Obi-Wan crashes the party??
I digress. Anyway, Strong work, Spence, but you lost me at the end. Also the DVD menu could stand to have some work done to it. Those criticisms being said, I do think this is the best edit on this site as of today (I am pretty sure I have seen all of the episode 3 edits now). 9/10 for effort and a job well done. Unfortunately it just isn’t quite what I envision the perfect edit looking like, so my Star Wars collection will continue to have the Phantom edits with an empty slot beside them until the Phantom Editor or some other beautiful soul can come along and make my dreams a reality.
PS: If any kind soul reads this and knows of the magical edit I seek, please post the name or link to it under the comments for this Spence Edit. Thanks!
This is great! this is exactly what I was after, and I can now watch revenge of the sith without wincing.
Only gripes are:
We don’t need the “Nooooo” bit at all. I’ve edited that out myself from this so you see Vaders mask being lowered then the next time you see him he’s standing on the bridge with Tarkin and the Emperor. Not a dig at this edit but I really can’t see Vader even using the word “OK” or “Alright”.
The dialogue with the medical droid is perfect, but we now have a shot of it and then a closer shot of it. It seems a bit clunky but I suppose it was difficult to get right.
Other than that… top notch! I’ve downloaded the Spence edit for attack of the clones in the hope that it is as good as this!