April 26, 2014
For what it's essentially accomplishing, it's a good edit but relies too heavily on things you should already know from previously seeing the prequels in full. I don't know if someone who never saw a Star Wars film would be able to follow it very well...but then again, I don't KNOW that because I can only look at this and think "there are key things missing". I'd really like to know what someone who has either never seen a Star Wars movie or has never seen the prequels would think about this edit.
Visually, the edit works for the most part, but the pacing of the cuts can be hectic at times where it moves from clip to clip rather quickly. The audio chops in the Episode 1 portion did get bad at times with audio cutting out from stereo to mono on occasion among other things. Nothing that ruins the film but it was noticeable...not much else outside of that though. I would say it's mostly competent.
The narrative overall is mostly the same story, just with a lot of the fat (and some of the meat) chopped out. Unfortunately, I think the narrative here suffers a bit from the brisk pace. Anakin and Padme never form an actual relationship before she just suddenly admits she loves him. Anakin's mom's death just kind of comes out of nowhere. I don't feel like Dooku was ever really given a back story to let us know he's not actually "evil", just misunderstood. And the transition between films is overly noticeable - as one person said, it feels like it was 'going to commercial' in a TV movie. It's little annoyances like those throughout that mar the narrative a little.
I did REALLY like the omission of the cloning of Jango Fett. It felt a lot better without it. That is one thing that has been kept in every other edit I've seen so far. While some have made it much more tolerable, I always thought it was stupid to have Jango be the source of the clones. It was clearly just Boba Fett fan service. This edit basically just makes it an army that was secretly forming for the soon-to-be emperor. That was a nifty plus for this edit.
Overall, the film consists of 20 minutes of Ep.1, about 45 minutes of Ep.2, and the remaining hour spent with Ep.3. Personally, I feel like Ep. 2 should have been a larger focus than 3. I think too much time is spent on 3 here.
All in all, this is a good attempt at making the trilogy into a single film, but moves a little too briskly for the scope of the story told here. We all know it's apparently possible to make it a 90 minute film from what we've heard about the Topher Grace cut, but I don't know if it's necessary to cut it that short (obviously I won't know until the Grace edit is ever seen).
I honestly feel like there's still a very good way to compile a single film from the 3, but I don't know if it's possible to make it sub 4 hours. As much as I hate to say it, I feel like there is a good 30+ minutes of essential story from Episode 1 that leads into Ep 2 (the strongest of the 3 in my opinion), and I feel like if maybe half of Ep 3 was chopped into Ep 2's tail end, it could be done. I look at HAL9000's Episode 2 edit as being the most perfect edit of the middle of this story so far, so all we need is to find someone to chop 1 & 3 up and sandwich them around HAL9000's Ep2 then we'd have a solid film... it'd be around 4 hours for sure, but at least would be worthy of the Star Wars moniker.