Review Detail

9.3 20 10
FanFix August 23, 2012 5576
(Updated: September 11, 2012)
Review by Brentendo64 — January 8, 2011 @ 6:50 am

If there is one thing that can be truthfully said about Dark Force Rising, it’s its fast-pacing. This, unfortunately, is also one of the things that keeps DFR from being the perfect fanedit of Episode III it comes so close to being. It’s frantic pacing breaks the flow of the plot as it jumps from action scene to action scene with little to no pacing, making the edit seem less “fast-paced” and more “rushed”. Fortunately, however, the hectic pacing is only noticeable in the first act of DFR (due understandably to the removal of the approach to Grievous’s ship and the elevator sequence, two somewhat unnecessary scenes)and thankfully does not carry on into the rest of the movie.
On the matter of sound quality: During the lightsaber battle with Count Dooku, the sounds of the lightsabers swinging and clashing sound muffled and somewhat muted. Whether this was an issue with adding the music into the battle (an obvious and necessary addition) or a problem with editing film itself, It felt off and a little distracting.
Another grievance I wish to voice is the placement of the “Birth of the Rebellion” scene. In it, Padme is defending Palpatine and the senate, but is eventually swayed into believing that the Supreme Chancellor may have ulterior motives. In the scene that Kerr places immediately BEFORE “Birth of the Rebellion” Padme has already reasoned that Palpatine’s council may be corrupt and is trying to convince Anakin of the fact. To me, it would make sense to place Padme’s “What If We’re on the Wrong Side” conversation after she has been persuaded by Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and the rest of the building Rebellion that the council might be corrupt in the “Birth of the Rebellion” sequence.
Finally, I found the way that Kerr changed the ending of the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight to be… well, interesting (it’s not listed in the cutlist, so I’ll keep it a secret for viewers). I found it to be unintentionally hilarious and those who have seen the edit will know what I’m talking about. It’s just my own personal opinion, and I could see the notion behind the change, but it just didn’t strike the right chord with me.

Whew. Now that we’ve swept through Dark Force Rising’s flaws, let’s move on to the things I loved:

Combining Obi-Wan’s “Oh, I don’t think so” force push with the Clone cavalry busting in was a great move. It makes it really seem as if the tables are suddenly turning in Obi’s favor and gives good reason for Grievous to run away. An excellent, creative move that I never thought of.
The re-edited “reveal” of the Emperor was fantastic, as was the entire Windu vs. Palpatine battle. Removing the flips and spins and focusing on just striking sabers takes me back the lightsaber battles of the original trilogy. On the matter of the reveal of the Emperor, kudos to Kerr. Removing the redundancy Palpatine’s first lightning strike made Palpatine’s sudden lightning attack on the recently de-handed Windu all the more (if you’ll pardon the pun) shocking.
As promised, Anakin’s turn to the dark side is less sudden and is more of a fade starting with his trust of Palpatine, leading to his distrust of the Jedi, and ending with Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader. Anakin’s subplot in Dark Force Rising is not the same subplot from Revenge of the Sith. It’s what we all wanted it to be: a believable fall from brother to monster.
There are many other great cuts here and there that Kerr makes, most removing repetitious dialog and bad acting.

Overall, a pretty sweet fan edit. Not perfect, but definitely one of the best fanedits of Episode III I’ve ever seen, if not the best so far.
Some might say that it’s shortened length makes it feel like it’s not a Star Wars film. I disagree. By trimming the fat and enhancing scenes, Kerr has made a remarkable piece of Fan Edit showmanship. If anything, the worst that can be said about Dark Force Rising is that it doesn’t feel like a full Star Wars film.
Awkward pacing, some (very minor) sound problems, some scenes where straight cuts should have been used instead of fades, and some mishandled scenes are the only things you’ll find wrong with Dark Force Rising. Ultimately, it shows how one can turn a 134 minute disappointment into an 88 minute experience through simple editing.

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