Star Wars: Episode II - The Approaching Storm

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Star Wars: Episode II - The Approaching Storm
Faneditor Name:
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:
  • DVD
  • Digital
  • Digital
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

42 reviews
 
83%
 
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(42)
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9.8(42)
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9.8(42)
Narrative
 
9.4(42)
Enjoyment
 
9.3(42)
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(Updated: June 05, 2022)
Overall rating
 
8.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
Weakest movie in the saga (with IX now I think), still not a good movie, the original writing and directing is too bland to be completely saved.
But still, you've made some great changes, as well as additions I had never seen (the deleted scenes especially, and they are a great fit in this).

A small music oddity when transitionning from Anakin and Padme first kiss, to Obi-wan in Kamino, the two themes do not perfectly blend together in my opinion. Except this small complaint, on a technical level it's top tier as usual.

Thanks for making the prequels rewatch less painful (and even enjoyable most of the time). And another thanks for the french subtitles.

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10.0
A belated review for an epic edit. After watching this version, I realized the potential of fan edits and it made me an immediate fan. I was blown away. This took the movie from a 5/10 to a solid 8. You saved the star wars prequels for me.

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Yes
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T
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Overall rating
 
9.7
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9.0
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10.0
Hal9000 has managed to take the weakest of the prequels and chipped away enough of the dead weight to make something that really works so much better.

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B
Top 500 Reviewer 17 reviews
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(Updated: May 01, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
I"m almost entirely onboard with this edit, with just a couple notable exceptions.
Firstly, all edits should take a cue from TM2YC's and use the Portuguese language track for Jar Jar, then resub him.

The trims to the beginning scenes are all solid choices and really help the characterizations, although I've always found Padme's line to Anakin "It makes me UNCOMFORTABLE!!" to be far too aggressive and biting. Part of the reason the romance struggles to be believable in this is because Portman isn't projecting much chemistry with Christensen. She's constantly pushing him away in an aggressive manner, and her soft eyes at him aren't half as believable as when Fisher made eyes at Ford. It's not only Anakin's reactions that need trimming in this, it's Padme's, too.

Also in the beginning, a couple small trims that I would prefer to leave in to help set up the development of the story:
-some of the rare non-cringey banter between Obi-Wan and Anakin when OW says if he practiced his swordplay as much as his wordplay he "would rival Master Yoda". I assume this was taken out because Yoda doesn't use a lightsaber in this edit (which I would also keep in) but this early hint helps to set up that Yoda is a badass.
-Anakin's "nice guy" questioning of the bounty hunter is weird. I'd swap this for his angry line right after that was deleted: "Tell us!" Helps to show how overly-attached to Padme he is and how this is too personal for him and bringing up negative feelings. Dum dum de dum...

The trims to the Dexter's Diner scene are good and work really well. That said, it always seemed silly to me that Obi-Wan is going to this random cook to get obscure info. Like, where does he know this cook from even?? Instead, there are two deleted scenes that I really wish were included here. Replace Dexter with Obi-Wan getting the dart tested at the Jedi Archives. Again, use the Portuguese language track for the droids, then resub it so that they give the information Dexter did (another fanedit did this, I forgot whose.) After that, there's a longer scene in the Archives with the librarian, who has a nice little part explaining Dooku's backstory a bit. This is really important to making his character not seem like such a generic villain role, which he still does here. I also rather like the Yoda and the Younglings scene with the exposition that Obi-Wan can't find a planet, because without it he suddenly just shows up in Kamino.

The alternate deleted scene where Obi-Wan expresses concern for Anakin to Mace Windu is good. But I think it's important to keep in the bit where he says Anakin's skills have made him arrogant. It's not too harsh a criticism, and it's information the audience needs to feel like the Jedi are not idiots who don't know what's going on with Anakin.

The scene with the new Queen of Naboo and her council is unfortunately deleted here. The ending of the scene has more cringey antagonism between Anakin and Padme, and that should be trimmed. But this is an important tie to some of the supporting cast from the previous film, and it helps the audience start to grasp how there can be a new "Queen". And I know some people want to imagine it's possible to take the politics out of the prequels, but this is a brief yet important setup for the "Seeds of the Rebellion" subplot of the next film. It explains who all these "Separatists" are and helps lay out where Padme falls in this. All vital stuff for both plot and character.

From this point on, the whole center of the film is GOLD. The restructuring of the romance is best-possible-scenario, leaving us with a gradual progression that feels like two young people in a heightened, romantic situation and just giving in to it. Obi Wan's quest to the cloners and Geonosis flows well, and all the deletions and omissions along the way cut out the parts that are too-much-Tell, not-enough-Show. I do miss the confession scene with Anakin after the Tusken Raider camp. It has parts that definitely need to be trimmed, but I think it's helpful to see him struggling emotionally because he's not acting like a Jedi and he knows it, but he's not emotionally equipped to deal with this. It also helps continue to sell the bonding between him and Padme. The few scenes that have that and also ones that have good Christensen acting and where he's sympathetic really need to be kept in as much as possible.

-I like that the conveyor scene is left in here, and just trimmed to remove the slapstick antics of R2 and 3PO. Blessedly, they're left out of the rest of this film, ending on a line that seems almost planned "If they'd wanted our help, they would've asked for it." Way to know your role, 3PO! Another solid deleted scene added in here for both Padme doing politics and Dooku being more than a stock villain, love it.

-The final love confession before the arena still doesn't quite work for me. It's a nice effort but I think the lines can be moved and trimmed to be even more natural. (Wrote about it in my Fanedit Ideas page.)

-I'm good with all the cuts and trims up until the end of the film, the lightsaber fight. The flailing, screaming Jedi extras need some trimming. There's a really great edit after that actually: it always bothered me that Anakin does a superhuman leap across the room to block Dooku from striking Obi Wan. That's now fixed to be believable. On the other hand, you've just gotta go with the Yoda fight. Each prequel needs an epic lightsaber battle at the end, a tradition started by the first one (or arguably, by The Empire Strikes Back). Without Yoda breaking out the saber, the ending here just feels pretty limp, sorry to say. I know some other fanedits have tried just making trims to the Yoda battle, and I think that's the way to go.

It should go without saying that the technical skill in putting this edit together is unimpeachable, and it's just a matter of whether the cuts serve to better the story or not. The audio is great (no small feat with all the scoring on a Star Wars film) and the cuts are as clean as a lightsaber through a battle droid. Overall, it's a great edit, one that reinvigorated my enjoyment for this film. I'd tweak a few things, but I can't say that I'm dissatisfied if this is as good as it ever gets.

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Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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10.0
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9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Really great edit! Only problems I have are the obvious audio cut after the first kiss between Anakin and Padme, and the deleted scenes introduce quality dips. My go-to version of this film!

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C
Top 1000 Reviewer 2 reviews
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