I first heard about this fanedit from a buddy of mine somewhere around 2002 or so. He had gotten hold of a VHS copy from a bootlegger at some geek con he went to. He asked if I wanted to see it, I couldn’t care less about it so said no. I finally did see it in like 2008 or 2009, but it was a crappy XVID version I got off TPB so the quality was terrible.
So now, thanks to @Mojo_LA and his recent enthusiasm for The Phantom Editor, I wanted to give it another shot. I watched the DVD5, I don’t know if this was the one mastered by Nichols or by Boon23, but whatever. It’s the “official FE DVD release”.
Here is what TPE says in the opening crawl:
Anticipating the arrival of the newest Star Wars film, some fans, like myself, were extremely disappointed by the finished product.
So being someone of the “George Lucas Generation”, I have re-edited a DVD of “The Phantom Menace” into what I believe is a much stronger film by relieving the viewer of as much story redundancy, pointless Anakin actions and dialogue and Jar Jar Binks, as possible.
I created this version to bring new hope to a large group of Star Wars fans that felt unsatisfied by the seemingly misguided theatrical release of “The Phantom Menace”.
To Mr. Lucas and those that I may offend with this re-edit, I am sorry. :(
- THE PHANTOM EDITOR
Ok. Without a doubt, The Phantom Edit helped bring a new hope to Star Wars fans. This edit getting so much mainstream attention started the online fanediting movement, which has created some really awesome stuff.
But the movie still sucks big time here. The pacing isn’t fixed, there’s still no hero to root for, it’s just still a bad movie.
Everybody has their own nitpicks about certain things being cut or not being cut in prequel edits. I’m not a big Star Wars guy so I don’t have nearly as many items on my list, but here are some of the little things that should be cut if you really give a damn.
I’d keep writing but it’s making my head hurt. I mean WTF seriously, you left in Midichlorians?
None of those moments add anything to the story or character arcs. Removing them helps make the pile of shit smaller.
A/V Quality is terrible for today’s DVD standards.
A lot of the editing was great, but there were some really awkward transitions. One big one was the wipe that cuts Jar Jar jumping into the water. The audio starts to crossfade and Jar Jar trails off mid-sentence as the wipe comes up. Very unprofessional, the crossfade and wipe could have been easily done a few seconds earlier.
I had heard a lot of praise for the commentary so I listened to that as well. There are a lot of great moments there and it’s a much better commentary than I could ever do, but I couldn’t help but think “Does he really think he fixed this movie? Is he trying to apply for a job through this commentary?”
Bottom line for me is that The Phantom Menace is so deeply flawed that cutting a few things here and there doesn’t make it a “much stronger film”. Other editors have taken the time to actually re-edit these movies, so spend your time watching those.
I’d rather go sitting around Playstation or doing drugs than watch this again, that’d be a better use of my time.