This is another masterful edit and like HAL9000's TPM, the definitive edit of AotC. What I like best about it is that it ruthlessly cuts out Anakin's whininess, which is absolutely necessary because what the PT failed to do, but needed to do, was make Anakin look like a badass (rather than a baby), but who struggled to deal with loss (again, not a baby). Since the PT is ultimately about Anakin being lured to the dark side, and this edit does the best job of not making Anakin look like a sniveling little weenie, that makes The Approaching Storm the superior effort.
I used to like Q2's edit of Ep. II the best, but in the end, I think he's a little too liberal with his cuts. I also don't agree with the over all philosophy behind his edits. However, I am torn on who handled Anakin and Padme's romance better. Q2 saved their first kiss until near the end, whereas HAL9000 had them kiss somewhere in the middle. I think Q2's approach is believable, even preferable, given that Anakin, as a Jedi, is forbidden from having a romantic relationship with her, so they would only give in when they believed they are about to die. The placement of HAL9000's kiss is also awkward, and it's immediately obvious that filters have been used to make it look like nighttime.
Some other nitpicks is that I know that casual fans of Star Wars generally like it when Yoda uses his lightsaber, and I don't know why hardcore fans have a problem with it. Yes, I've heard the reasons, but Yoda is a Jedi, which means he owns and knows how to wield a lightsaber. It only makes sense that he would use it from time to time, so what's the problem here? I also think Obi Wan's fight with Jango Fett with some of the kicks, etc., looks silly and could have used a trim. Other than that, this is a great edit.
I really enjoyed this one, however a few scenes might have been cut to short, they kinda got rid of the yoda fight which might have been somewhat cheese, but it was still fun to watch. this guy did amazing edits tho and much credit is due!
Overall, this was a very masterful edit of one of my least favorite movies of all time, making it very watchable, and in fact, rather enjoyable. I felt like this was the first time I actually bought the whole relationship with Padme and it didn't feel forced at all. Amazing! The only story bit that seemed weird was Padme and Anakin coming to rescue Obi-wan. I liked the idea of cutting the "adventure scene" here, but without it, it all felt really... rushed... how did Dooku know they were there, how did they know where to go to see Dooku, why were they prisoners AFTER that? etc. Great idea, and probably the best that could be done with what was available, but I think I would have rather kept the other scene.
The editing seems really well done, as nothing seemed out of place or weird, and the sound was good. I did have one quibble with the otherwise masterful editing apparent on this movie: during the fight with Dooku there is like a frame or two of Anakin injured that flashes up on the screen right before it transitions to Padme (1:33:48) which I'm guessing is where that section of film originally lived before it got moved to a little while later. It may have been intentional, but it didn't seem it to me. It also seemed to be the exact same footage, which makes me think it was an error.
Altogether though, this was a fantastic edit that easily replaces the original in my opinion, and so far a great prequel trilogy from Hal9000!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyMay 20, 2015
The shot of Anakin in pain was like that originally; I hadn't changed it. Glad you enjoyed it!
I convinced my friends to watch a Star Wars marathon with me and then spent a lot of time determining the edits we'd watch. I decided on Machete Order, with Harmy's DeSpecialized Editions for the Original Trilogy and Hal 9000's edits of Episodes II and III.
Within the first 5 minutes of Episode II, they were clapping and enjoying themselves far more than they thought they would. With a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes, this may not seem like a lot gets cut or changed until you watch it. Many one-liners, awkward phrasings, and too-long conversations get cut in half and put back together seamlessly or just plain left out.
Some highlights: Jar Jar and some other bit characters have massively reduced roles. Obi Wan's investigation that leads him to the clones is less clunky because there are fewer steps along the way. Anakin and Padme's relationship is basically a highlights reel, but it plays out so much better than the original; the wedding at the end of the movie is touching. Anakin and Padme's confrontation of Dooku is straightforward and there is no bizarre machine shop scene where R2D2 flies all over the place.
The edit: Seamless. Music and audio played over everything just fine - no choppy bits anywhere. Visuals were great as well, with some clever filters to fix up colors in many areas. Some good side-wipes were used to eliminate certain characters from scenes, these sorts of edits were only noticeable if you're familiar with the original cut.
One issue: The scene at the end of the movie with Dooku and Palpatine was left in. Our group tends to like the theory that Dooku became a separatist because he discovered the truth about Palpatine and doesn't know who he can trust on the council, so that scene burst our bubble.