Star Wars Begins

 
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Overall rating 
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Readers of a certain vintage will remember the "Pop-Up Videos" of the late 1990s. They were regular music videos with various facts about the songs and artists that popped up on screen as the video played. It was horribly cheesy and decidedly 1990s. Now imagine that, but without the cheesiness, and it's Star Wars, with added deleted and alternate takes, behind the scenes shots and an absolutely incredible custom commentary track from everyone involved in making the film. How the editor managed to assemble all these sources and blend them in so seamlessly is beyond me. Highly recommended for anyone looking for insight into how Star Wars was made. Looking forward to the other 2 installments.

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(Updated: July 23, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Final documentary from Jamie Benning’s Star Wars trilogy is arguably the best.
Jam packed with extras, boasting an unbeatable menu design.
If you can only get one - this is the one.

Video - 720p X 480p. My version is NTSC. Quality wobbles a bit, though nothing unexpected. As far as layering of visual “extras” this seems to have had more than the other pair.

Audio - 2 Channel AC3. Movie dialogue clear, voiceovers clear - even from Harrison Ford, with whom I have problems occasionally.

Narrative - As with the other pair, memories, anecdotes, popups and background details are interwoven with the narrative proper. Perhaps because the film had been such an unexpected smash, and enthusiasm was so high, the voiceovers are optimistic and fresh. The “good cheer” factor is off the dial in this one.

Enjoyment - This is the doc I have watched over and over. Seems like I am always picking up on fresh details, or spying something in the frame corner. As far as extras, not much, which is mildly surprising. There was a plethora of material listed on the “cuts n additions.” Perhaps Benning desired a strict DVD-5 and goodies would have bumped this into a DVD-9.

The menu deserves singular praise. This is one of the finest menus I have even seen, and extraordinarily conceived. The entire show is encapsulized in Ralph McQuarrie’s conceptual art and John Williams’ music. Often viewers click past the menu as swiftly as possible. Not so here. This shines a graceful innocence and can be rewatched multiple times. Well done - really - well done.

This is essential.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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Overall rating 
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Wow! Jambe's star wars documentaries are simply amazing! Imagine every single interesting bonus feature or commentary track brought together and edited in with the movie itself and you have this. It's not only a documentary, it's the ultimate commentary track for star wars and it contains footage that I have never seen before including alternate takes and alternate camera angles for nearly every scene. Another great thing about this is that Jambe used the theatrical version of this movie rather than the special edition.

This is a real treat for any Star Wars fan! 10/10

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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Overall rating 
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality 
 
8.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
8.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

I finally sat down to watch this, and my Jambe Star Wars Documentary Experience (TM) is finally complete. If you've seen Building Empire and/or Returning to Jedi, there's nothing new here. By which I mean it's the same fantastic, exhaustive mix of audio commentary, text commentary, deleted scenes, alternate takes, storyboards, comics, behind-the-scenes clips, and pretty-much-anything-else-you-can-think-of that we've come to expect from Jambe. Brilliant work!

Ten thumbs up out of ten.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
8.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

This has got to be the most exhaustive documentary on Star Wars I've ever seen. I don't know where or how Jambe got most of his behind-the-scenes footage, but this is a definite watch for any Star Wars fan, film student, or anyone just interested in the film making process.

Most interesting for me was seeing some of the candid behind-the-scenes footage with the actors goofing off, as well as learning more about how the story was revised throughout production. There are also little hidden gems pointing out things you've probably missed when watching Star Wars such as "94" actually on the hanger bays wall.

Give this documentary a watch. You won't regret it.

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