Star Wars: Episode II - The Approaching Storm

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Star Wars: Episode II - The Approaching Storm
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
The galaxy is on the brink of civil war...
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2002
Original Running Time:
142 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
118 minutes
Time Cut:
26 minutes
Time Added:
8 minutes
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The second of the revamped '9000 Series,' The Approaching Storm delivers a re-crafted perspective on Star Wars Episode II 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 and Padme are depicted as realistic adults developing romantic feelings for one another. The political plot is made more straightforward and graspable. Superfluous action is subdued to make the film more story driven.
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 Slumberland, L8wrtr, Q2, T528491, JasonN, The Phantom Editor, TM2YC, Seciors, MagnoliaFan, ADigitalMan, Spence, Father Merrin, Sithlord, and Diamond Wan. This edit is an update to Attack of the Clones (9000 Saga).
Special Thanks:
Seciors
L8wrtr
TV's Frink
Hundsdorfex
DominicCobb
Kerr
MrBenja061
Jackpumpkinhead
Emanswfan
OnlyOneKenobi
Smudger9
DrDre
Schorman
Erik Pancakes
Sir Ridley
NeverarGreat
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • AVI/MKV
  • MP4/M4V/MOV
Special Features
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 2002.
Cuts and Additions:
Cuts and Additions (An asterisk, *, signifies a change for V6):

The primary source material is a preservation of the HDTV version by OT.com user Schorman.

New title crawl, courtesy of Sir Ridley.

Camera pans down, rather than up, after the crawl, to maintain continuity with the other five films.

Removed Captain Typho's lines before the ship blows up.

Trimmed Corde's death.

Added deleted scene where Padme addresses the Senate. This establishes some context for the political content of this film, as well as Padme's post-Queen character.

Trimmed the scene in Palpatine's office to remove unhelpful dialogue.

*Reinstated Jar Jar greeting Obi-Wan and Anakin at the elevator

Anakin's inappropriate compliments are trimmed in favor of making it a relatable awkward moment for him. It doesn't give Padme pause.

In the interest of downplaying Obi-Wan and Anakin's antagonism, their discussion about their roles in front of Padme is trimmed to get to the point.

Anakin does not talk to Jar Jar.

Removed Jango talking to Zam, to save his reveal for later and remove redundancy.

Removed scene where Obi-Wan and Anakin merely bicker.

Tightened Padme's reaction to Anakin slicing the poison slugs.

Tightened up the speeder chase to remove overly dumb moments, dialogue, and physics.

Anakin doesn't lose his lightsaber, and Obi-Wan doesn't lecture him about it.

Cut Windu's instructions to Anakin. It's more effective characterization if Anakin decides to talk to Palpatine himself.

*Reinstated Jar Jar being given responsibilities as Padme prepares to leave.

Removed Anakin complaining about Obi-Wan to Padme. Padme consoles him, and they acknowledge that Anakin has grown up. Padme's only initial barrier to him has been dissolved.

*Reinstated the original ending to the packing scene

*Reinstated a truncated version of the Dex’s Diner scene

*Added two lines of dialogue from the removed scene where Anakin and Padme meet with the Queen to the refugee transport scene

Anakin doesn't mention attachment being forbidden. This on its own doesn't change anything drastically, but it's not necessary to define the universal 'Jedi Way' so narrowly.

Added deleted scene where Obi-Wan and Mace talk on the landing platform.

Used extended arrival scene on Naboo.

Added first deleted scene of Padme with her family, replacing conversation with the new Queen.

Removed Kaminoan prime minister listing numbers of clone units. It lessens the power of their reveal in a few scenes.

Boba Fett is not described as being a clone. He probably still is a clone, but the pacing is off when the movie pauses to talk about him when nobody asked.

No fireplace scene. Instead, we have a sunset kiss that is interrupted by a scene transition. Scene has been regraded by NeverarGreat.

Trimmed Obi-Wan and Jango's dialogue.

When Obi-Wan reports to Yoda and Windu, removed Windu's perspective-less question about the assassination attempt.

Removed dialogue about the Jedi not being able to use the force due to the dark side clouding everything.

Lightly trimmed the fight in the rain.

Tightened up the chase through the rings of Geonosis. Removed childish Boba moments, and sped up the pacing.

Removed Threepio recognizing Anakin as "the maker."

Trimmed Cliegg Lars' dialogue that goes over the top to characterize him as a good guy.

*Removed dialogue between Anakin and Padme as he plans to search for his mother

Removed scene where Yoda senses Anakin's pain.

Removed Separatists' walking conversation with Dooku, including the reveal that Padme's assassination attempts stem from Nute Gunray's pettiness.

*Undid the change from Dooku talking about “ten thousand” systems to “a thousand”

Obi-Wan identifies Count Dooku as the mastermind of the assassination attempt, rather than Nute Gunray.

*Replaced 3PO’s line about never having flown before, in order to complement a change made in ‘Cloak of Deception’ which gently implies a backstory for his character

Trimmed dialogue as Palpatine and company discuss what to do.

Jar Jar doesn't fumble his words as he proposes giving Palpatine emergency powers. He also doesn't seem caught by surprise when his colleagues applaud him. He appears more competent.

*Reinstated Yoda hinting that he is going to visit Kamino

Threepio and Artoo stay on the ship and do not make their way into the battle.

*Reinstated a truncated version of the droid factory sequence, though retained the deleted scene where Padme speaks with Dooku (FX of Anakin deactivating his now non-broken lightsaber courtesy of Sir Ridley)

Trimmed love confession scene to remove Anakin's surprised reaction, because they had not decided not to get together.

Trimmed Nute Gunray's dialogue during the Gladiator sequence.

Removed Threepio and Artoo from the battle, as well as trimming it up slightly.

Removed Geonosian war room sequences in order to remove the unnecessary Death Star cameo.

Lessened Obi-Wan and Anakin's antagonism after Padme falls out of the transport.

Removed the Jedi giving the clones military advice; this helps establish the clones as competent soldiers and the Jedi as being dependent upon them.

Trimmed the duel with Dooku.

*Removed an odd two-second shot of Anakin in pain prior to seeing Padme laying in the sand

Yoda does not take out a lightsaber. I borrowed one brief shot from L8wrtr's edit.

When AOTC first came out, I read somewhere that reversing the audio of Dooku's pilot droid sounds like, "Use the Force, idiot."

Sidious does not address Dooku as 'Tyrannus,' and that title has been removed from the film.

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

User reviews

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Overall rating
 
9.4
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9.5(29)
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9.7(29)
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9.8(29)
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9.3(29)
Enjoyment
 
9.3(29)
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
I‘ve always had a soft spot for AOTC and Hal9000‘s edit The Approaching Storm further improves it. This is a version I can watch without cringing and enjoy to the fullest.
This is in fact so well done, you wouldn't have been able to tell this was not the official version if you hadn't experienced "I don't like sand" and "I killed them all" yourself before.
Astonishing work and my definitive version for this film.

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Also a short review and simply put: your best work for the prequels. Didn´t know epsiode II could be so well narrated.
Thank you!

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Overall rating
 
8.5
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7.0
Like it's predecessor, this is technically flawless. My main two thoughts are that the love affair between Anakin and Amidala feels so much more natural now. It used to be cartoonish and now it's smooth. The other thing is a kind of missed Yoda jumping around like some crazy... something. All the small fixes work well. My only problem is the original has so much cheesy dialogue and weak story that I was kind of bored. I had been hoping for a more dramatic editing, I guess, and it's pretty much the same old same old -better, but still not worth additional watches for my part.

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(Updated: May 27, 2020)
Overall rating
 
9.1
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
At last, I can finally enjoy the prequels! Years after giving up hope of finding prequel edits that I could really enjoy, Hal9000's Episode II edit has done it!

I watched so many fanedits of Episodes I & II that left me wishing I could get my time refunded (nothing against the faneditors, just the material). I recently realized I had been taking the wrong approach by looking for an edit that removed all of the elements that I disliked, as edits that took that approach never seemed to have enough material left to craft what felt like a full film. Hal9000's edit is more reserved cut-wise and seems to try to include as much as possible to give the film enough content and weight to flow smoothly and feel like a complete film. Somehow Hal9000 was able to include much more of the film than I would have though possible while still (mostly) avoiding the frequent criticisms of the film like bad writing, acting, attempts at humor, etc. and the quality of the edit is top-notch.

There were at most a couple of instances where I felt like a transition wasn't quite flawless, either visually or audibly, but it may just have been a result of knowing the original too well or watching too many fanedits. Regardless, they were the most minor of issues, and I can't even recall which scenes were involved because I was just so surprised by how much I was enjoying myself watching this film!

Hal9000 has elevated this film to a place I never though possible: a worthy companion to the original trilogy!

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(Updated: February 03, 2020)
Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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After watching Hal's edit of Episode 1, I was bracing myself for a repeat of my opinion on his last edit; a nice tightening-up that couldn't save a flawed movie. But I was pleasantly surprise. He actually tricked me into enjoying this film, which is a downright miracle given the circumstances. This is a tour-de-force in the art of less-is-more. The best way I can describe it is like this: James Rolfe (aka the Angry Video Game Nerd), in an ironic twist of fate, actually went really easy on the prequels in a video he did on them, and in this video he describes Attack of the Clones as an "average summer blockbuster". I don't agree with him on the original movie. But with this edit, that's a much more accurate description. Hell, that may even be underselling it a bit.

The love plot is the most notable fix. I was downright flabbergasted at how much he improved it. It's still somewhat saccharin since there isn't a proper emotional setup to it, they just find each other kinda pretty then started dating, but dammit it almost had me smiling in a few places, and even if it made me feel just the tiniest smidge of a hint of emotion, it accomplished hell of a lot more than what the original movie did. It's paced well, full of smart trims and omissions, and Anakin's creepy obsessiveness and occasional maniacal rants are cut off cleaner than a skywalker's hand.

Anakin straight up came off as a terrible person in the original movie, what with his endless whining and the above-mentioned rants. He was awkward in a creepy way, and straight up supports fascism and is okay with massacring a village of sand people. Perfect marriage material. This is, of course, all trimmed. He and Obi-wan seemed like enemies in the original, but with all the antagonism gone they actually seem like good friends. I had genuinely forgot that there were a good few lines of decent banter between the two, despite how little time they spend together. But despite that Hal manages to retain the fact that Anakin still has some problems with Obi-wan's teaching, but it's gentle enough that you know that it isn't going to get in the way of their friendship. In fact it seems normal for a growing student like Anakin.
The addition of the two deleted scenes featuring padme are beyond essential. It actually blew my mind that the scene where she addresses the senate at the start wasn't there originally, it seems so essential for her character. The scene with her family does wonders for the pacing of the love story. These two added scenes are minor but they go a long way towards making padme seem like a main character.

Of course there are the usual trims to the over-bearing political drama. This edit is a step up from cloak of deception in this regard. There was a slight hint of it going a little too fast and having not enough information in that edit. Here, the thought that there was more than what's included in the movie is crazy. The flow and pacing of the movie is gorgeous, really feels like the original trilogy and not the slog that was the original. Kenobi's part of the story flows well too. Dex's diner actually comes off as pretty fun in this edit with the huge trim, and the whole investigation gets right to the point without being too overdrawn. One hitch is that I didn't fully understand how Kenobi found out how to get to Kamino between finding out the archives are incomplete and talking with mace before setting off. I kind of just assumed mace knew and told him directly, but it wasn't very clear. Didn't bother me too much though, because it at least had to the courtesy to be paced well.

The whole edit isn't too deep or amazing, but it turns a once agonizing slog into an entertaining flick that's really easy to watch. I once considered this my least favorite star wars film (Phantom menace eventually took that mantle), but now it's been turned into an inoffensive and even enjoyable addition to the star wars series. Good on you Hal.

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