March 14, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, it's finally here: the edit that transforms AOTC into a GOOD Star Wars movie. Yes, you read that right. Octoroxx's edits are so seamless, the alteration of the narrative structure so perfect, that I believe this is the absolute *best* possible version of this film given the available source material. And not only that...let me say it again: This is now (finally) a *good* enjoyable Star Wars movie (by no means an easy feat).
From the opening crawl, to the inclusion of a much-appreciated deleted scene, we start off with a real sense of Padme's fundamental importance in the political drama of the burgeoning Republican-Separatist fight...and that she is the leading figure trying to prevent war. A deleted scene shows the "important vote" she was to attend after the assassination attempt, though the visual quality is regrettably low. I assume that it's theoretically possible to greatly improve the visual quality of this scene (using technology not yet widely available), nevertheless it's a minor concern next to what the scene adds to the story. Excellent choice. Right off the bat, we have much more dramatic context, and the assassination attempts and her protection by Obi-Wan and Anakin carry that much more narrative heft.
Octoroxx's editing is so seamless that you barely remember just how ridiculous, pushy, wooden, and stilted Anakin's creepy obsession with Padme was; it's GONE! Instead, we have the perfectly relatable, realistic situation of a teenage boy with a crush on a beautiful young woman. The dialogue is edited to perfection: subtlety and realism are the key here (or at least as much as can be wrung out of the material). To say that the progression of the romance is improved would be a vast understatement. Deleted scenes in which Anakin meets Padme's family are shown, and the viewer is gradually eased into the situation in which Anakin and Padme are falling in love...
As others have mentioned, the "moonlight" effect during the altered first kiss scene is not believable, but neither was the entire romance in the original film; another minor issue easily forgiven since the scene is so perfectly done: it's their first kiss, as simple as that (none of that horrifically bad dialogue or vomit-inducing wooden acting). Even better, it's implied they're in bed together when Anakin has the vision of his mother and decides to leave (I don't remember that being the case in the original, but I might be wrong); they're now officially in love and have bonded, making Padme's choices in the rest of the film much more understandable. Well done.
One quibble I originally had was the fight between Obi-Wan and Jango on Kamino was greatly cut down...but once the movie ended, I came to the conclusion that this greatly helped the pacing and believability of the film; the original fight was definitely over the top.
Anakin *doesn't* tell anybody about the slaughter of the sand people; no more whiny confession scene. PERFECT!
No more cartoonish droid factory scene: Instead, this sequence has miraculously been made obsolete, replaced with a far superior deleted scene. Padme has been the leading voice for diplomacy, she's not giving up yet. While she and Anakin obviously fail in their negotiation with Dooku, it continues to add importance and narrative weight to Padme's character (sorely lacking in the original films, in which Padme felt like nothing but a cardboard cutout with no reason to exist except for the sake of Anakin's story).
Another minor complaint: We still get Padme's laughable "Uh huh" when asked if she's okay after she falls out of gunship. I think it would have been much better to have her simply remain silent, ignoring the question, and then leave the rest of the dialogue as is.
Overall, the edit is damn near close to perfect. Indeed, this edit is so good, I found it amazing that I ever hated this film so much to begin with. I can't stress enough; this really is a GOOD, enjoyable Star Wars movie now. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!