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!
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.
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.
Attack of the Clones was my least favorite prequel for as long as I can remember. I was convinced there was no saving this movie, even after seeing several other fanedits of the prequels. This one changed my mind. The Approaching Storm reworks Attack of the Clones brilliantly to highlight the story that existed under all the crap that hurt the original. Anakin and Padme behave like normal people with a believable relationship starting. Nearly all of Anakin's whining and creepiness is gone, I think it'd be impossible to remove it all. The clones feel more impressive, and the reveals hit harder than in the original film. I can't believe how much better this movie feels than the original. This s the definitive version of Attack of the Clones.
This is mind blowing how well you fixed this movie. I hated this movie so much, but somehow you made it into a movie that I borderline love. You easily fixed the worst part of the movie which being the romance. Somehow you managed to make it not so award. It feel more real, more true. The story was also cleaned up and paced better. The complaints I have is with the addition of the deleted scenes the quality is not the best and it is very noticeable and does take out of the movie a bit. And when Mace Windu is talking to the Clones it seems as if he is about to give orders and is abruptly cut off, maybe cut right before he points or take this part out completely. So long story short the narrative and story is absolutely 10 times better in this only completes is the video quality dips in a couple scenes and on abrupt cut near the end of the movie.
So... I've always had a soft spot for AotC. It's just a movie that entertain me a lot. What I didn't know before watching Hal's edit, however, is how much more I could enjoy myself while watching it.
We start off with an infinitely better opening crawl, making the political trama much clearer and easier to understand. Hal also added a very powerful deleted scene of Padme addressing the Senate, which I now think is fundamental to this movie, the scene alone already making watching this fanedit worth it.
The relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin is also vastly improved. We still get to see that they're somewhat antagonistic towards one another because they're relationship is probably quite worn out, but we don't get too much bickering because heck, they're good friends.
Only gripe I have with this fanedit is the deletion of Dex's Diner Scene. I'm probably the only one with this complaint, but I just like seeing how Obi-Wan's friends with all kinds of people, I also like how it adds to the "Detective Obi-Wan" part of the plot, and I like it as world building too, making Coruscant feel more real. It's also somewhat of a callback to American Graffiti, so much appreciated.
The romance subplot is masterfully improved, making it as close to 100% believable that they'd fall in love as possible.
I really wouldn't change almost anything with this. Just really well done. Definitely recommend.