So this take on R1 is a little love/hate scenario for me, personally.
Do i recommend this edit? For sure!
To explain myself a bit more in depth:
I was very fond of the theatrical cut of R1 even with its slow pace and some unnecessary "plot" points, so i thought: "how interesting is that, a cut only to take place in the last hour?" I´d had to adapt to this cut and see it as it is intended - a fast firework before a anh. Once i did, quite awesome.
Only let down was the audio as mentioned from other reviewers.
This is a pretty radical idea. Basically cutting out almost all the character work and focusing on the movie's strength, while adding some OT Star Wars flair to it. I respect the idea tremendously and eldusto succeeds at his goal. The editing is very well done. The new audio is mixed very well (I had to watch with a less than ideal sound setup but it sounded pretty great to me. The tricky part for me is the narrative and enjoyment. It's a lot of fun to rewatch Rogue One this way. Especially in a marathon, it's fantastic. But I am missing out on the actual characters a lot. I really missed out on some Jyn stuff, K2SO, Baze and Chirrut in particular. However, losing out on Bodhi, Cassian's weird conflicting character beats, everything with Saw and Jyn's passivity to the story were pluses. Overall I landed on 8 because this is very enjoyable and a great way for a quick rewatch. Interesting idea very well-executed.
This edit is without a doubt a triumph, and I would highly recommend it. The film sheds all the problematic parts of Rogue One, and makes the best part work as a one act story.
The audio and video quality are top notch, and the editing is of a professional level. There is not one bad cut in here. What impressed me the most was the audio editing. The re-purposed soundtrack from the original trilogy was extremely well integrated, and lifted the whole sequence to a much higher level. Having read the description, I feared an overuse of the most iconic Star Wars themes, but I should not have worried. The track selection is incredible, as is its implementation in the sound mix. This has clearly taken a lot of work, and it is without a doubt this edit's strongest feature. By a mile. It is also some of the best sound editing I've ever heard in a fan edit.
The narrative is what is to be expected. Rogue One was never strong on characters and themes. Instead of trying to fix this, this edit simply skips the character building by presenting the first two acts in the opening scroll. Surprisingly, this does work better. The third act was always the strong part of the film, but by presenting it on its own, the fatigue that I originally felt after sitting through the first two acts is avoided, and I could enjoy the battle scene much more. That being said, the problem with the original film does persist in this edit. Most of the enjoyment comes from the fact that this is Star Wars, and that it's about the Death Star plans, and because you know where the story is going. The battle itself remains devoid of any real caring for the characters, unlike in the original trilogy. But this can hardly be blamed on the editor. Truly, this is as good as Rogue One will ever get. Several small narrative issues arise because of the scenes that were cut from the beginning. Jyn's hand opens the vault, without any explanation as to why a rebel would be able to do this. Chirrut, now devoid of his connection to the force, is just a blind man, but he has perfect aim and can suddenly walk out in open fire without being hit. But these are small issues, and they did not temper my enjoyment while watching.
Overall, I was left highly impressed and very entertained. Eldusto84 has created the best version of Rogue One that I have seen so far. It is a brave choice to throw out more than half of the film, instead of fixing it, but it certainly pays off. It never was a good film, but now it stops trying to be a film, instead becoming an excellent intermezzo for any Star Wars marathon. But the best part, the part that gave me goosebumps, is the soundtrack alteration. It elevated the entire piece, and will make me watch it again in the future!