Star Wars: Episode I - Cloak Of Deception

Star Wars: Episode I - Cloak Of Deception

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Star Wars: Episode I - Cloak Of Deception
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
A menace lurks in the shadows of the galaxy....
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1999
Original Running Time:
136
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
111
Time Cut:
23
Time Added:
2
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The first of the revamped '9000 series', Cloak of Deception delivers a re-crafted perspective on Star Wars Episode I in keeping with the drive of the original trilogy of films. Unnecessary 'galaxy shrinking' cameos from classic characters have been cut down or removed. Anakin is depicted as a more mature and capable figure an audience can identify with. Jar Jar is recast as an everyman caught up in events outside his control who does his part in the fight for freedom, rather than a traitorous clown.
Intention:
By stripping away extraneous tangents and bolstering attention to character development, this edit seeks to improve the original film. The original trilogy is regarded as the template toward which the prequels strive. The prequels are made to submit to the continuity and drive of the originals to the degree possible.
Additional Notes:
I could not have done this without the prior fan editors who have tackled this film, including Seciors, L8wrtr, Q2, T528491, The Phantom Editor, JasonN, ADigitalMan, MagnoliaFan, TM2YC, Slumberland, NightStalkerPoet, Yads, Father Merrin, ModernKnife, and Sithlord. This edit is an update to The Phantom Menace (9000 Saga).
Other Sources:
Shadows of the Empire OST
Special Thanks:
Seciors
Hundsdorfex
L8wrtr
TV's Frink
Dominiccobb
Kerr
Emanswfan
OnlyOneKenobi
Q2
Sir Ridley
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • Blu-Ray (BD-25)
  • MP4/M4V/MOV
Special Features
Alternate audio (without added music during the podrace sequence)
Fan editor’s commentary track
Subtitles in English, Spanish, and French
Editing Details:
The following three goals are held in balance.
1) Bend the prequels to the story continuity of the original trilogy and the impressions it gives.
2) Improve the prequels in and of themselves, as films, through conventional 'FanFix' methodology. The pacing is improved, dialogue trimmed, and characters are developed better. This is the most readily apparent of these three goals that can be seen in The Phantom Edit, for example. The edits should be viable as films on their own.
3) They ought to be functional as replacements for the original versions. This means leaving the film's thoroughly "prequel" nature unaltered, respecting the broad strokes of Star Wars orthodoxy, and avoiding making changes that would betray to the audience that they're watching a fan edit. In other words, none of the other two listed goals should put undue stress on the goal of producing something that would have been suitable to have been released in 1999.
Cuts and Additions:
Cuts and Additions (An asterisk, *, signifies a change for V6):

Light film grain added throughout, to counter the overapplication of DVNR on the BluRay source.

New title crawl, courtesy of Sir Ridley

Trimmed Neimoidian dialogue such as, "Are you brain dead?"

Cut instruction for the battle droids to "destroy what's left of" the Jedi.

Removed all instances of battle droids speaking or gesturing to communicate with one another. They seem to all be on the same 'network.'

Trimmed Neimoidian cowardice during the fighting.

Trimmed Viceroy's conversation with the Queen via viewscreen to downplay tedious political minutia and portray him as autonomous.

Trimmed unnecessary dialogue during throne room scene.

Trimmed Jar Jar's dialogue during his introduction.

Removed the entire underwater trip to Otah Gungah, along with the tedious Sidious scene caught in the middle.

Removed scene descending the steps inside the palace discussing political exposition that we get again later.

Cut Qui-Gon's line that dismisses the battle droids as unimportant.

Tightened Qui-Gon's knock-knock joke with the battle droid, though kept some of the whimsy.

Removed Jar Jar's antics in the droid bay. Jar Jar throughout is portrayed as more of an everyman than a clown.

Dialogue trimmed throughout escape from the blockade.

Removed the Queen personally thanking R2-D2 by name.

Removed line, "No more commands from her highness today."

Removed Jar Jar's stepping in poop antic.

New subtitles with similar dialogue throughout, formatted to match the theatrical version.

Drastically reduced Jar Jar's antics in Watto's shop. Added noises of him causing a ruckus in the background in order to remove it happen onscreen.

Trimmed Anakin and Padme's conversation.

Removed Watto's line that implies he was immune to the Jedi mind trick merely because of his species.

Removed several instances of the line, "Yipee" throughout the film by various children.

Removed Jar Jar's handful of, "Muy muy" lines.

Removed cartoony sound effect of the frog thing flying through the air as Jar Jar spits it out.

Trimmed Jar Jar and Anakin during the introduction scene for Sebulba.

Trimmed Anakin's line as he invites them to his home.

Trimmed entrance to the Skywalker home, including some of the lines about Threepio. Anakin doesn't state that he is "building" him. A small change, but it allows for the idea that Anakin is merely repairing a previously abandoned Threepio.

*New line of dialogue for 3PO gently implies a backstory, culled from ‘The Clone Wars.’

Dinner scene has been trimmed, including mention of slave transmitters, Jar Jar antics with the fruit, and bad child acting.

*Jar Jar using his tongue to eat apples has been reinstated.

*Anakin defending himself about Watto’s old pod reinstated, including reference to Sebulba flashing him with his vents.

*Reinstated a trimmed version of Anakin working on the pod after Qui-Gon and Schmi’s conversation.

Removed balcony scene where Qui-Gon checks Anakin's blood. Anakin's racing/"piloting" skills are what prompt Qui-Gon to recruit him, rather than a blood test.

*V6 removes the deleted scene previously added for pacing reasons, ‘Dawn Before the Race.’

Removed Jar Jar's grin after Qui-Gon tosses the chance cube.

Cut conversation about Anakin never having won a race.

*A new line of dialogue from 3PO removes the implication that he has never traveled in space, for consistency with a prior V6 change.

Trimmed introduction to the racers to focus on Sebulba and Anakin.

Cut pack animal farting in Jar Jar's face (and in most of the audio channels, I'd point out).

Altered Sebulba and Anakin's conversation to be less juvenile.

Trimmed podracers' engines startup sequece.

*Removed previously added musical score to the podrace from the 'Shadows of the Empire' soundtrack and from 'A New Hope.'

Two-headed announcer trimmed throughout, along with various other things during the podrace. The sequence overall is similar to the theatrical, pre-DVD version.

*Reinstated a deleted scene snippet where Sebulba attempts to flash Anakin with his vents.

Trimmed bad child acting during scene where Anakin discovers he has been freed.

Trimmed farewell to Schmi.

Added deleted probe droid scene to explain why Qui-Gon and Anakin are running to the ship. This scene was color corrected to remove pink tint and better match the surrounding footage.

Removed Anakin's line, "Qui-Gon, sir, wait, I'm tired!"

Cut Qui-Gon's line, "Tell them to take off!" Anakin doesn't tell them anyway.

Removed scene on Naboo where the Viceroy sits on his walking throne because it references the excised underwater trip to Otah Gungah.

Lessened Jar Jar's presence in the scene between Anakin and Padme en route to Coruscant.

Removed Padme calling for Anakin on the landing platform.

Removed Anakin's unassured statement about hopefully starting his training.

Removed a reference during the Senate scene to the taxation of trade routes, to comply with the revised opening of the film.

Removed dialogue about Anakin being too old to be trained. Throughout these edits, the implication that all Jedi begin their training as children is removed.

*Reinstated dialogue about the Jedi Code forbidding more than one apprentice.

Removed line, "This may be the clue we need to unravel the mystery of the Sith." This is never expounded upon.

Removed all references to midichlorians.

Removed scene where Obi-Wan apologizes to Qui-Gon and Jar Jar emerges from the swamp.

*Added line, “When in trouble, Gungans go to sacred place,” as Jar Jar leads the company there. (idea from MaláStrana)

Trimmed scene between the Naboo and Boss Nass, including Jar Jar's hesitancy and cowering.

Trimmed the battle planning scene, making Padmé less verbose.

Reduced Jar Jar's antics throughout the battle, though he does appear during each Gungun battle sequence because he is the audience's only anchor.

Anakin gets into a cockpit and leaps into action in order to help the Queen, and intentionally flies up into the space battle.

*Reinstated a few snippets of Anakin within the Naboo starfighter.

Battle sequences restructured slightly to allow for Anakin to save the day rather than Padme. Originally, Anakin's actions were redundant after Padme captured the Viceroy.

Qui-Gon's last words are trimmed to remove heavy-handed request for Obi-Wan to train Anakin, allowing Obi-Wan to "take it upon [him]self to train [Anakin] as a Jedi."

Trimmed Obi-Wan's conversation with Yoda to imply that Obi-Wan wants to train Anakin himself, rather than to fulfill a promise to Qui-Gon.

Added credits for myself, workprint viewers, contributors, and acknowledgments of all other TPM "FanFix" fan edits to date.
Cover art by OnlyOneKenobi (DOWNLOAD HERE) image

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Overall rating 
 
8.8
 
9.4  (30)
 
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(Updated: January 10, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
7.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
8.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
6.0

This is a stellar edit. Not enough to save the movie, but it's the best it can be without radically changing huge swaths of material.
The phantom menace is my least favorite star wars movie, and there's one big reason: it bores me to tears. Whatever about the unrealistic love plot of episode 2 or Anakin's unnatural character arc in episode 3, you could at least follow their stories and the characters had identifiable traits and relationships with each other. The characters here are 1-dimensional, some even round down to having 0 dimensions. The story is filled to the brim with unnecessary political drama that is too complex and dull to follow, yet too loosely tied with the jedi's actions to make it easy to follow either plotline. The jedi's part of the plot is devoid of energy and filled with unnecessary sidequests (Otah Gunga and Podracing), so it's hard to care about the "good" part of the movie either. No matter how you edit it, you can't make these characters endearing and you can't make the story engaging, all you can do is get it over with faster.

And that's exactly what Hal9000 has done, with benefits. Along with masterfully refining the structure and pacing, he has carefully extracted all character and story beats that one could find irritating. While there exists edits which make more dramatic overhauls to the movie, this is more like the definitive version of the movie that could still be identified as the same movie. It fits in with all the extended star wars content perfectly, and keeps the spirit of the original movie. Like I said, this doesn't make it into a movie that I'd revisit often, but it's pretty much an objective improvement over the original edit, and probably the best edit that doesn't mess with the original canon.

The star of the show here is the pacing. Perhaps contrary to what I said above, this doesn't cut every single unnecessary frame of the movie. Rather, it makes smart removals, carefully choosing what to trim, cut and retain. It doesn't seek to blaze through the movie as fast as possible, or else it would still be an unsatisfying experience. Instead, this edit keeps a brisk but steady pace, similar to the original trilogy. Otah Gunga is entirely cut (seamlessly, I might add), and political dialogue is cut up to the utmost essentials. As a result, the story is 1000x times more easy to follow, and nothing outstays it's welcome nor end too soon. Nowhere are the cuts noticeable. Instead of being the quickest way to experience the movie, it's the most satisfying way to experience the movie.

Cuts made to story and character moments are similarly well executed. The above mentioned cut of Otah Gunga means that the first act of the movie exclusively consists of the rescue of queen amidala and the running of the blockade. You know... events that actually set up the plot, and are at least mildly exciting? Unlike the huge distraction that waterworld was? Needless to say it's a great change. The update to Anakin's contribution to the ending makes it a massively more satisfying conclusion than what we got in theatrical. Child Anakin and Jar-Jar's cringworthy acting has been trimmed, but just like the overall pacing, it isn't completely gutted to the point of damaging the plot. That means that some cheese remains, and many viewers will dismay, but it really does help scenes flow in a natural way.

On the topic of the technical aspects, the only time I noticed a drop in quality was during the scene where Qui-Gon's gang encounters Darth Maul's droid and runs back to the ship and takes off after a brief duel. Many reviews mention certain deleted scenes looking quite bad in comparison. I personally did not notice, though the version I watched was newer and had a previously included deleted scene removed, so there could have been further updates to iron out those flaws. Besides, the scene i mentioned above was included in the theatrical cut (at least I'm pretty sure it is). Either way, I can't give the visuals a perfect score because of this, but it isn't anything to worry about.

To summarize, I can't give this a full enjoyment score because it remains that; a flawed, boring movie with flat characters and story. Don't go in thinking that this will fix the movie. But do go in thinking that this is a vast, vast improvement. Hal9000 has made a straight-up replacement to the original film. But if you seek a more radical approach with massive changes in service of making the movie actually enjoyable, you will have to search elsewhere (I suggest "The Phantom Menace: The Ancient Lore" as a starting point).

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

All of the prequel edits by HAL9000 are brilliantly done and my favorite of those that I've seen. This honestly beats out every other cut of these movies by far.

That said, this is my least favorite edit by HAL9000, but I don't think that's really his fault. This movie had major issues that needed to be fixed, mostly with Jar Jar and Anakin. Jar Jar is reworked to be an every-man character thrown into situations he never dreamed of and doesn't understand. This does wonders to cut down on his obnoxious character, but he is still overly silly in places. The deleted scenes added in help tie parts of the movie together better, but they are still visually jarring from the finished cut, not HAL9000's fault and I think they are necessary, but it is still unfortunate that these are the best versions of these scenes. In later edits, the added scenes feel a bit more cohesive to me. The Gungan aid at the end feels less natural than in the original, but I think this is worth it to remove some of the worst scenes in the original cut. Overall, I still recommend this edit and will be watching and showing it to others for a long time, but I feel it's the weakest of the bunch.

User Review

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Yes
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MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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(Updated: November 29, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

This edit greatly improved this movie, it went from being a pile of garbage that I hated to a movie that I can enjoy. Sure it is not perfect, Jar Jar is still in here but most of his scenes were he is being annoying are cut. There is only one Jar Jar scene that I think could've have been cut but wasn't which is when he zaps his tongue in the pod. The video quality was great as well, how ever in one or two scenes it did seem to notice a small dip in quality. The narrative was improved as well by cutting out unnecessary dialogue and some scenes in general. However at the end of the film it might confuse new viewers where Padmé gets help from the Gungans, this is my only complaint with the narrative and it is minor. The editing was very well done it did not seem as if I was watching a fan edit. However this edit can only do so much in fixing this movie, for example the acting is still not so great and the cgi was not that well. This along with Jar Jar is why I gave it a 9 not a 10.

This edit actually allows me to enjoy this movie, something that I could only do to make fun of in the past. This is how I will be watching the Phantom Menace from now on.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
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Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: March 28, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

First of all I'd like to say that TPM was always my least favorite Star Wars movie, so it was the one I was looking for a fanedit the most. Lukcily it's probably the most fanedited movie of all time so that wasn't too hard. What WAS hard, however, was finding the right cut. And Hal's "Cloak Of Deception" fills those shoes nicely.

Most prequel fanedits end up taking away too much for my taste, which hurts them both narratively and technically. Hal's V5 doesn't suffer with said problems: nothing is taken out of the movie without a purpose, and 99% of the cuts were incredibly seamless, not giving away that you're watching a fanedit. Therefore, technically it's an almost perfect fanedit.

Most of what was cut here is what originally was the first act of TPM. That way, the trip to Naboo serves only to kickstart the journey of our heroes in a somewhat similar way to the first sequence in the original Star Wars, or the first sequence in a James Bond movie. It also gets us to Anakin much faster, but the edit doesn't go out of its way to make him the protagonist. The film's still much tighter and more focused though, so there's definitely a lot of improvement to his character and to how he relates to others. Qui-Gon's still the main protagonist I'd say, but the movie's not as convoluted and complicated like it was originally, which in other words mean the plot was vastly improved.

However, two moments that still take me out of the movie come to mind, but they're extremely minor: the exclusion of Gunga City, and the added deleted scene "Dawn Before the Race". The deleted scene's issue is quality, as it's clearly SD quality alongside a very high quality 1080p video for the rest of the edit, but it's not that big of a deal. It's probably not as much of an issue with the more compressed versions too. I would, however, prefer something like L8wrtr's version of the scene that this deleted scene is substituting. But it's fine. The exclusion of Gunga City doesn't hurt the narrative in any way, mind you, the only very minor complaint I have of it is that it's the only time where something was cut and I was able to notice. Maybe it's becasue I knew what was going to happen beforehand, but there's still room from improvement there.

Overall though, Cloak Of Deception clocks in at 1h49min, which is appropriate to me. Many fanedits end at something below 1h40, and I feel like pace in those cuts is just too fast. Hal's never gets boring at any moment, cuts out everything cheesy and stupid, while still maintaining the TPM spirit, but only the good stuff. I'd change almost nothing from this, and it's definitely replaced the original when I rewatch the PT. Strongly recommend.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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(Updated: June 06, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

Holy shit. This is surprisingly good. (Not amazing, but really good. It's now a decent and watchable movie.) I've always hated all those silly childish jokes. There were just too many of them. You accomplished to make Jar Jar and young Anakin much more likeable and deeper characters. Especially Jar Jar now seems like a funny person and not a clumsy idiot. Thumbs up for the podrace and the final battle. It was very enjoying to watch.

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Yes
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MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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