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7.9 7 10
FanFix April 26, 2014 2468
(Updated: April 29, 2014)
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This is the sort of deep, bold edit I've wanted to watch to see how well it could work. The answer is it sort of works. The whole of Episode 1 feels like an opening action scene akin to the Battle of Hoth. The complete elimination of the Gungans and the trip to Tatooine and Coruscant works for the most part. It really makes you realize how unnecessary those scenes are. A couple of issues do arise, however. The queen, handmaiden, decoy thing is confusing. I am assuming the intent is that the queen and Padme are considered two separate characters. But for a first time viewer this may all be confusing. It also leaves for very few character moments. Qui Gon is wholly undeveloped and as such his death has little impact. I kind of treat it as a Scream or GoT type thing where an leading, well known actor is killed off early to set up the stakes. One thing I might do is cut the hologram of Palpatine from "I have word from the ambassador that the Jedi did arrive" (or whatever the exact quote is) to "I have word that the Jedi did arrive." That way when we really meet him on Coruscant we don't have any conflicting info about who the Chancellor is.

The transition from the Episode 1 material into Episode 2 is abrupt and awkward. Maybe a slightly deeper cut would help so you don't hear the opening fanfare fading out. I understand the desire to have as much introduction to Anakin as possible but I would still cut the stuff between Anakin and Padme in the apartment. Leave Obi Wan as the only one she knows and Anakin is just his new Padawan. I personally like the subtitled Zam death as a way to reveal Kamino (or Geonosis as in your edit) rather than the Obi Wan detective stuff. I assume we are to think Anakin's original plan was to bring Padme to his home planet for safekeeping? It all feels abrupt and strange as we have no prior introduction to Tatooine, but I'm not sure how that could be helped. I think I may be have left in some Naboo stuff. I have seen Ep2 edits that have handled the romance pretty well. I understand your focus on making Obi Wan more central and diminishing the Anakin/Padme stuff, but as filmed I just don't think it works as well. Lose the Obi Wan detective stuff and expand the relationship development of Anakin and Padme. Anakin's dreams about his mother can serve as foreshadowing to the Tatooine stuff.

One of the bolder cuts and one I've not seen before is the elimination of Kamino and, if I'm not mistaken all references to clones. It works! After all but eliminating Jar Jar and Gungans, I'm not sure why you left in Jar Jar being the senator to propose the emergency powers amendment. The whole bit is unnecessary. The scene can end after Palpatine's lackey says emergency powers must be granted. Pick up the senate scene as the lackey says "order order."

Again, the transition between Ep2 and Ep3 material could be smoother. I was a bit distracted during some of the Ep3 stuff, but it seems you got rid of the audience's awareness of the pregnancy (until the very end) and Anakin's premonitions of Padme's death. I'm not wild about that and would love to hear your reasoning. It seems to undermine the motivations for Anakin turning.

The duel: while you left in some parts I'm not wild about I LOVE the way you handled the end of the duel. I've never seen that done in other edits and, for me, it works! I've always hated them skating around on the droids.

I know preferences vary on this point, but I'm not a fan of the Qui Gon immortality training bit.

My biggest gripe with this edit is the reordering of the ending. I always thought one of the few things Lucas got right was ending with Luke and the binary sunset. If you must keep the birth of Vader out of that sequence, I feel moving it to post credits would be best.

Overall, this worked for me. An edit of this nature is going to have issues. Namely characters turning up in odd places suddenly, unexplained large passages of time, etc. But it really shows that these three films could have been treated as one. And spending 2:30 watching them is a lot better than spending 7 hours with them.

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Owner's reply April 29, 2014

Thank you for the review. I will try to respond to as many of your points as I can. First the line said during the Queen's talk with Palpatine is "The negotiations haven't started because the ambassadors aren't there, but how can that be true?" The ambassadors are the Jedi, and my intent is to imply that Palpatine is the Chancellor at the beginning and sends the Jedi there so he can tell the Trade Federation to kill them and invade the planet Naboo to start the war. Padme is intended to be the Queen, who is also the senator for her people. It is not really my fault that Lucas decide to add ridiculous notions of an elected child Queen, and body doubles, and all this nonsense that isn't that well explained in the full cuts of the films. I agree that the transitions from film to film could be smoother and hope to address that in a future version of the edit once I have some more experience. You say that the scenes of Anakin and Padme on Naboo would have helped, but I think they are pure crap, every last second of them. I also think that my ending is the best part of the edit. I hated how Lucas ended every one of these prequels with a happy ending. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on my edit, and I will consider all your ideas, even the ones I don't necessarily agree with.

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