Star Wars: Episode II - The Approaching Storm

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Just like with the Phantom Menace/Cloak of Deception, the recut of the film makes a massive difference. I'd been aware of all the deleted scenes, but seeing them play out (seamlessly, I might add) gives so much more context and depth to the film that you have to wonder why they were cut at all. They vastly improve the Anakin/Padme courtship, the role and concerns of the Jedi feel much more balanced overall, and it just gives the film a significant amount of depth. Another fantastic edit.

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Top 1000 Reviewer 3 reviews
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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.

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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.

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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.

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(Updated: October 27, 2020)
Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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.

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