Review Detail

9.2 60 10
FanFix July 06, 2010 50644
(Updated: May 13, 2013)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
To say that this was a massive improvement over the original would be an understatement! L8wrtr has managed to turn an unwatchable film into an enjoyable one. This is now a good movie.
To start from the beginning - I love the title 'Shadow of the Sith'. It's so much more intriguing and cooler than 'The Phantom Menace' (what was George Lucas thinking!) The new opening scroll is great too. L8's editing technique throughout is excellent and hardly noticeable.

He has of course cut out all the worst aspects of the movie but also majorly improved the story and how you feel about and relate to the characters. I'm frankly amazed at what he's managed to do with the story. When I watched the Phantom edit, although it was an improvement over the original, afterward I felt disappointed as though the movie just couldn't be saved. What a difference with this edit though. He's managed to show that there was a great story hiding under there all the time. This is certainly not a movie solely for under 8 year olds anymore.

As for Jar jar, he was fine, hardly bothered me at all, the Gungans seem like a more noble race, the politics is actually interesting now as is watching Palpatine's manipulating things. Everything's so much clearer now.
Anakin's character is vastly improved. He's still a little annoying occasionally but it doesn't bother me because his character is so much better overall. It's a great move IMO to have him destroy the mothership on purpose, I think it really works. After all he's already shown that he's strong with the force through the pod race, he can clearly fly a pod and exceptionally well. Qui-gon says he has Jedi reflexes and can see things before they happen. So yeah I can take the leap of faith to say he could blow up the mothership. Plus he is meant to be the chosen one. Which brings me to, that I'm not sure that it was necessary to keep in the chosen one idea. In fact I'd be interested to understand L8's thinking on the matter. Perhaps I missed it on the commentary? Anyhow it doesn't spoil the story at all, and thankfully there are no midiclorians!

The commentary tracks on all of L8's prequel trilogy are great, very much worth your time. (For some reason the volume was very low on Episode I's commentary though?) They are up there with the best of even commercially available DVDs. In fact I listened to it first before I watched the movie. And I think it really helped me to "unlearn what I had learned". It made me realise that the story, pacing and creating characters we can empathise with has to come first, even if that means cutting out scenes that some people may like and would prefer left in. That goes for all three of his prequel edits and I have to say that it really works. And believe me, the way he's crafted these films really pays off by the time you've finished watching Episode III - Dawn of the empire. It all leads there..

The blu-ray quality is incredible! Beautiful in fact. It's an excellent transfer. Looks amazing on my projector. It does unfortunately make the 2 deleted scenes (despite the fact that they've been up scaled) stand out like a sore thumb. This is a lot less noticeable on the dvd DL version though. It's a difficult one because it does take you out of the moment, which is not a good thing but on the other hand the scenes really do add a lot. Overall I think it's worth them being there. Shame Lucas hasn't released the scenes in HD, maybe one day...

Despite it being cut by 40 mins it still feels like a complete movie, it doesn't feel rushed to me and yes it feels like Star Wars. As others have commented, the re-edited last 3rd of the movie is a master stroke. Works so well. And there are so many other masterful cuts that bring the movie to life. I'm not saying its perfect, no edit of Phantom could be, but the small things that bothered me just didn't matter over all because the Edit itself is just so good.
If you watch this once and don't like it, honestly give it another go. I've watched SOTS four times now and it continues to improve. The Phantom Menace has almost completely been erased from my mind and replaced with this :-D
Coming to the end, I love the Duel of fates track playing in the credits instead of the normal Star Wars theme. It really sets an ominous tone for the next movies. Of course if you'd prefer the movie end with the original theme you can select it in extras.

So finally...
Original movie rating 4//10
SOTS movie rating 8/10
Editing 10/10

SOTS is an amazing edit and IMO the best Episode I edit out there!

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