A lot has already been said, but I have a few things to add. 1st, On a separate but related philosophical note, I think it is interesting how fanedits evolve with some popular movies such as this. Editors build on the work previous editors do, which is understandable and mostly fine, however there probably should be some recognition in these situations of those influences that have come before us. Like or hate George Lucas, he deserves credit for his work. Likewise so do other editors that contributed in some indirect or direct way to an individual’s final cut. Fanediting is an odd business, but it is ultimately no different than any other artistic or scientific endeavor, except that of course there won’t be any lawsuits. When I watch Spence’s version of ROTS (or was it HAL9000′s??) he paved the way for how the end anakin obiwan fight scene should play out. Then there was Stankpac’s edit of ROTS that incorporated Spence’s work (who credited him for it), and then proceeded to lay out a bold vision for how the rest of the movie should play out. His work on the opening is particularly noteworthy. But really when you compare Stankpac’s edit with this scene-for-scene, it is clear that Stankpac inspired much of the work presented here. Not saying what Kerr has done here is bad, but I am just saying what noone else has said and give credit where credit is due.
Now, regarding the specifics of new changes Kerr has made, the good news is that I think his additions and changes to scene arrangement did ultimately succeed in his stated primary goal of trying to make Anakin seem like a little less of a tool and more of a victim, so props for that! I am not going to dissect each scene here, but suffice it to say that there were some changes Kerr has made from Stankpac’s version that I liked and some I didn’t like. The one I will mention that most stands out in my mind (probably because it was one of the last) that annoyed me was how Anakin turns off his lightsaber and turns his back on Obiwan. I also preferred Stankpac’s arrangement of the end epilogue sequences, although once again both are very, very similar.
You definitely deserve some credit from an audio editing standpoint. Your tinkering with sound effects and voice over work, did not go unnoticed, and I mostly enjoyed that aspect. On the other hand, your edit is only in 2.0 stereo, which was disappointing for me.
Video resolution/compression quality I thought was quite good for a SL DVD, though it looked as if you were missing a bit of contrast in the whites and blacks? It certainly didn’t look bad, but I can’t help but wonder if a bit of clipping occurred in these ranges at some point in your editing workflow.
Kerr at it again!
And as usual this edit doesn’t disappoint.
With Star Wars edits I’m a bit oversaturated right now so I didn’t see myself watching another take on Episode 3 but Kerr’s cuts had me intrigued and after watching the workprint I knew this edit was gonna be a great ride.
And ride is the correct word since I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie that fast. But despite all the things that have been cut this edit felt richer than the original. This is partially due to the re-inserted scenes of the rebellion’s birth but mostly due to the change of dialog. Kerr manages with some re-arrangements and omissions to give the jedi more purpose and tactic.
It still doesn’t explain why they send away their best warrior when they know the sith lord is in coruscant, but by reinserting the mace/obi/yoda meeting right before anakin is “accepted” to the jedi council it seemed like they were really thinking how to effectively play palpatine.
Also when Obi Wan approaches anakin after that scene and assigns him to spy it really seems like the doings of yoda and mace to discover palpatine’s motivations.
Anakin profits by having less annoying lines and acting more mature (no freak out infront of the council, he just nods and later on rants when he is with obi wan). Babies on the lake of naboo scene is gone for good.
A special highlight to me is the re-arrangement of the fight between obi wan and grievous, when I saw it the first time i had to rewind a few times because the way the fight flows now is 100times better than the original, this scene alone warrants to download this edit.
At the end it was a little too quick for my taste and there were some transitions i was not that much of a fan but at least kerr got rid of lucas’s excessive transition effects thourought revenge of the sith.
All in all, while not perfect, this is the best Revenge of the Sith edits I have yet seen
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.