I have not watched the majority of AotC edits and jumped straight to Octorox', with it being the most recent and admittedly built upon cuts of previous edits that improved the movie overall.
I think the two biggest issues in this movie were originally pace and immersion. Sanded Down definitely fixes both by streamlining narrative and cutting out the most distracting CGI visuals and sequences (ie digi-doubles, diner, naboo cuisine and wildlife, droid factory and most of the arena).
The edit is competent at cuts but there are at least two really jarring transitions (that I spotted) that plucked me right out of the experience. For me the extreme one was when Obi-Wan is about to record his message from Geonosis after his eavesdropping on the separatists, and then there's a split-second out of place transition to Anakin speeding back in Tatooine only to immediately return to Obi-Wan (00:59:30).
The second most abrupt cut is from Naboo to Kamino, from the moonlit kiss to the kaminoan emerging from the sea, where the music harshly changes from one scene to the other (00:37:54). The moonlit scene artificial grading itself did not bother me as much as other people seem to have taken issue with.
Considering the edit borrowed extensively from previous works, however, I think some of the dialogue could have been further trimmed. Mainly the awkward exchanges between Anakin and Padmé, like "you're always going to be that little boy" to an unwarranted "I love you" for an infatuation affair that's only been going on for less than a week, apparently. But overall I think their romance was well handled with the addition (and omission) of some little details here and there.
Personally I'd also like to have seen some lore tightening as in seciors' cutlist, such as removing red-herrings as Syfo-Dyas and Darth Tyrannus mentions. But that, of course, is not mandatory fanfixin'.
All in all, Sanded Down might actually be the more balanced AotC edit out there, but not without it's downsides. It's easy to overlook the rough cuts and missed opportunities with dialogue, though, in exchange for a bloat-free, better Star Wars episode.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyAugust 15, 2021
Thanks so much for your review. The cut from Obi-Wan to Anakin that you mention is not present in my copy. You may have received a version with an error. Feel free to PM me for another link.