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8.6 16 10
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This was the first fan edit I ever watched, and remains one of my very favorites. While I don't hate "The Phantom Menace" as much as the average "Star Wars" fan (I have very fond memories of the experience of seeing it in the theater with a very hyped crowd on my birthday, which overshadowed the movie itself), I must say that the "TPM" DVD is hiding in the back of my closet. This cut is the one displayed on my shelf, and the one I've shown to the young children in my life who'd never seen "Star Wars" before.

The technical editing is just a hair shy of the best you can ask for. The removal of theatrical scenes and reintegration of deleted scenes has been masterfully done, so that the editing is all but invisible. Only two removed lines of dialogue call attention to themselves (it is somewhat jarring when Mace Windu infers that Anakin is the prophesied chosen one simply from Qui-Gon saying he has encountered a vergence, without the explanation of Anakin's midichlorian count, but as this means the movie contains no references to midichlorians, I'll take it and gladly; otherwise, Obi-Wan's resolve to train Anakin without mentioning that he gave Qui-Gon his word seems a little odd when Anakin and Obi-Wan don't interact in this film).

The narrative is also well put together, and in some ways, truly delightful. The dubbing and subtitling over Jar Jar to turn him into an entirely different character works beautifully, and to my infinite surprise, makes him into one of the best characters in the film. The same technique with the Trade Federation and the military droids works just as well, and makes them much darker and more threatening. (My skin crawled at the same time I laughed in uncomfortable disbelief when the Viceroy instructed a droid to shoot the governor of Naboo's children.)

A truly great fan edit, with more heart and more genuine humor and drama than the original film.

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