This edit absolutely transforms the movie and hits all the stated goals. This really demonstrates the power of editing. The story arc is clear, and the numerous annoyances of the theatrical release are almost entirely expunged.
One of the biggest fixes accomplished is Anakin's character story arc. He no longer comes across as a whiny brat, but is now a deeply flawed personality. While there is potential (why the Jedi take him under their wing), he shows anger management and impulse control issues. You can see him bending towards the dark side.
The love story between Anakin and Padme is no longer cringy, but believable. Yet, there is that bit of creepiness & foreboding from his character flaws. It makes sense with the overall story arc--and the fact that we all know how it's going to end.
The relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin is much improved. Now it's more of a sensei-student feel. A sensei with misgivings and concerns over the issues his student is displaying.
Finally Jar-Jar. Not much can be done about the goofy patois speech pattern he is saddled with, but his small cameo here is restricted to just what he is needed for and he comes across as at least a competent government representative.
The trimming also allowed the political machinations to show. That became a much more interesting piece of the story arc when not obscured by the annoyances and silliness.
This is the first fanedit of Episode II I've watched, but I will be surprised if I find a better one.
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.
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.
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!