Review Detail

9.2 60 10
FanFix July 06, 2010 49017
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
Are you burned out on Episode I fanedits? First off, quit your complaining, because no one has seen as much of this movie as I have. But beyond that, you need to see this edit. It may just restore your faith in the potential of the prequels.

The big difference between this edit and all the others on the site is the editing of the four-way final battle. I’ll get in to it more later in the review, but L8wrtr’s editing choices and restructuring of the different components of the battle make this a brand new experience, one that worked for me on every level.

Before I get to the actual edits, I’ll mention that video and audio quality are in general excellent. Using adywan’s color-corrected version of the film as a starting point works very well, although there were a few spots (mainly the open of the film when the Jedi land on the Trade Federation ship) where colors seemed a little too washed out. The only other really noticeable issue with the color is during the probe droid deleted scene, but beyond that the video quality is very representative of the DVD quality.

I watched the edit twice, in both 2.0 and 5.1. The 2.0 sounded very crisp and clear. The 5.1 (my preferred choice by far) was also very good, although there were a few brief moments here and there where front music levels seemed a tad low.

The DVD presentation is very nice. Along with the movie itself, we get deleted scenes and a commentary track by L8wrtr. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the commentary yet, but I sampled it very briefly and it sounds like it will be entertaining. I am particularly looking forward to hearing the justification for not cutting the very few items I would have liked to see cut – and believe me, the list is very small.

With the tech out of the way, we’ll move on to the edit itself. I didn’t notice any hard cuts and transitions were well done. The edit is fast-paced and aggressive, with even some quick parts of the Obi/Qui-Gon/Maul duel trimmed (something I’ve never seen before). If you are looking for an edit with as much Jar-Jar and Ani removed as possible, this is it.

The one thing that may trip some people up is that Ani’s virgin birth is left intact. If I’ve understood correctly, L8wrtr left this in because he plans on maintaining the idea that Sidious created Anakin using the force. However, rest assured that midichlorians are completely removed from the edit, making the virgin birth idea less specific and more palatable.

The dinner scene on Tatooine, where Lucas ssssllllllooooooowwwwwllllllyyyyy gives us a ton of exposition (as well as some horrible Jar Jar hijinks), is now lean and efficient. We get the information we need quickly and then move on to the next scene. It’s a scene I always dread, and now it’s actually bearable.

The podrace is really well done – the focus is now solely on Anakin and Sebulba. No Greg Proops announcer, no wacky secondary characters, just Ani vs. Sebulba for three quick-but-enjoyable laps.

The scenes on Coruscant are probably the least touched scenes, but we still lose a lot of the slow and lame bits. I do wish that the aliens in the senate could have been cut out (ET’s family, really?) but otherwise this section of the film satisfies. I was especially pleased to see Anakin’s lines to Yoda cut down to almost nothing – no feeling cold, no vocalizing his feelings about his mother, no being petulant, etc.

And so we come to the big battle finale. The order of events is completely changed and it works great. First of all, the Gungan battle is cut away like nothing I’ve ever seen. The Gungans engage the battle droids, they lose their shield, and they’re captured. That’s it. Not a single Jar-Jar antic remains. You barely even realize he’s in the battle. Amidala and the troops have a quick firefight in the hallway with the droids but never use their ascension guns (no more poorly done practical effect), then are captured and brought to the viceroy. So the Gungans are captured and the Naboo troops are captured. All looks lost, but Anakin saves the day. He destroys the droid control ship, which frees both the Gungans and the Naboo troops. He is truly the sole hero in this version, rather than just part of the victory.

And yes, the Jedi still fight Maul, and the editing is very well done here too. Of special note is the way Maul no longer stands there like a punk waiting for Obi-Wan to flip over him and take him out. It happens in a blink of an eye like it always should have.

Finally, we wrap things up and end on the last shot of Palpatine, a much more satisfying ending than the horrible celebration of the Gungans with the unexplained science experiment. And for those of you who aren’t satisfied with the transition from Sidious to the standard Star Wars ending fanfare music, be sure to try the alternate music ending option L8wrtr has provided. I prefer the original music myself, but it’s nice to have both options.

So what’s left to say? I have seen every Episode I fanedit available on, and L8wrtr’s version comes the closest to what I envision as my perfect cut of the film. I can’t wait for his versions of the other two movies. This falls just short of a 10 rating, but I’d give it a 9.5/10 if I could. As it stands it gets a 9/10 and two thumbs up from Neil Patrick Harris.

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