Star Wars: Episode III - Labyrinth Of EvilHot
- NTSC DVD-5
Fan Editor’s commentary
Synced ‘Backstroke of the West’ subtitles
Subtitles in English, Spanish, and French
1) Bend the prequels to the story continuity of the original trilogy and the impressions it gives.
2) Improve the prequels in and of themselves, as films, through conventional 'FanFix' methodology. The pacing is improved, dialogue trimmed, and characters are developed better. This is the most readily apparent of these three goals that can be seen in The Phantom Edit, for example. The edits should be viable as films on their own.
3) They ought to be functional as replacements for the original versions. This means leaving the film's thoroughly "prequel" nature unaltered, respecting the broad strokes of Star Wars orthodoxy, and avoiding making changes that would betray to the audience that they're watching a fan edit. In other words, none of the other two listed goals should put undue stress on the goal of producing something that would have been suitable to have been released in 2005.
New title crawl, courtesy of Sir Ridley.
Trimmed unhelpful dialogue during the opening battle.
Trimmed the buzz droid sequence. This and other trims serve to downplay Obi-Wan's familiarity with R2 somewhat.
Removed Obi-Wan leaping from his cockpit, and his little jump during the fight with the battle droids.
Lovingly borrowed audio from L8wrtr's edit in a few spots to remove battle droid voices.
Dooku is not mentioned until he arrives to confront the Jedi.
Obi-Wan never refers to R2 by name. It's not much, but it's a small way to gloss over the tension between the continuity of the PT and OT.
*Partially reinstated confrontation with destroyer and battle droids while boarding the elevator.
A match cut removes bad dialogue before the duel.
Removed sound effects in the rear audio channels that were lifted straight from The Empire Strikes Back.
Cut away as the railing starts to land on Obi-Wan. The original made it look like his legs were crushed.
*Anakin quickly decapitates Dooku with no influence from Palpatine. However, he still questions his actions afterward. (V6 reinstates Palpatine instructing Anakin to kill Dooku, whereas V5 and prior removed this completely.)
*Trimmed dialogue and tightened up the action sequence leading up to the bridge fight, including removing R2 slapstick humor. (V6 goes further to remove R2 striking the super battle droid with electricity, thanks for Siliconmaster and Adam Burrows.)
Corrected two inaccurate lightsaber ignition sounds during the opening sequence. Obi-Wan and Anakin's sabers must match their ANH and ESB sounds.
Removed as much silliness as possible during the fight on the bridge of the Invisible Hand.
Grievous says, "Time to abandon ship" as he breaks the hull and escapes.
*Reinstated snippet in which Grievous mans the escape pod and launches, addressing an abrupt musical transition introduced in prior versions of the fan edit. Used dialogue from The Clone Wars to replace line that was moved to earlier.
Lightly trimmed dialogue during the crash landing on Coruscant.
Trimmed Anakin and Obi-Wan's dialogue recounting past adventures we never get to see.
Removed Jar Jar's one line.
In this version, we see Anakin's political motivations for turning to the dark side and tensions with Padme before he develops concerns about her impending doom. He is only shown to have one nightmare about her, and the order of scenes implies it was planted by Palpatine.
Anakin never tells Padme about his nightmare, another conflict within him.
*Replaced scene with Windu hearing that Obi-Wan has engaged Grievous with deleted scene "A Plot to Destroy the Jedi” earlier in the film. (V6 repositions this scene immediately prior to Anakin missing the briefing, up from right before Anakin’s appointment to the Council as in prior versions of this fan edit.)
Dialogue trimmed in most scenes, especially during Anakin's appointment to the Jedi Council.
*Borrowed audio work from MalàStrana to incorporate an eerie rendition of the Imperial March as Windu denies Anakin the rank of Master.
Reinstated the deleted scene in Bail Organa's apartment, gently color correcting it to appear to be a bit later in the day, in order to give Padme something worthwhile to do in the film and contribute to a sense of tension between her and Anakin.
*Reinstated a brief reference to the Jedi Code.
Moved Grievous' arrival on Utupau to after Anakin and Padme's tense political discussion.
Placed Anakin's sole nightmare after this, with the opera scene right afterward.
During the opera scene, removed reference to midichlorians. Also removed Palpatine calling Anakin out on spying on him. It is more effective to let Anakin carry that tension inwardly only, and provide no relief.
*Reinstated reference to Plagueis having learned to “create life” and an ability to cheat death.
*Chewbacca’s onscreen appearances have been altered to either remove him or disguise him by recoloring his fur and adding alternate clothing. (Thanks to Poppasketti)
Reinstated the sunset meeting between the loyalists and Palpatine, further elaborating on the tension between Anakin and Padme.
Anakin is depicted as being in his right mind up until he formally joins the dark side. The scene where he seems to have paranoia about Obi-Wan being as Padme's apartment is gone. I guess we can interpret his crazed psyche at the end of the film as being caused by using the dark side. Your guess is as good as mine, but it's better than having his personality fluctuate throughout the film.
Along with other dialogue trims, removed Obi-Wan telling the corduroy man to summon warriors.
*Reinstated Boga’s introduction, though trimmed her very slightly later on.
Removed the first half of Grievous' line, "It is a volcanic planet. You will be safe there." Volcanic equals safe?
Trimmed Grievous' lunge that Obi-Wan does not react to. It betrays the chasm between the CGI and live elements.
Grievous retreats as soon as the clone troops arrive, in keeping with what little characterization about him we have seen so far, rather than gloating a bit and then running away.
Removed the now redundant scene in the war room talking about a plot to destroy the Jedi.
Trimmed dialogue as Palpatine reveals his true nature to Anakin in order to slightly downplay Padme as Anakin's only real motive for joining the dark side.
Removed Palpatine's voiceover as Anakin waits in the Council room, talking about Padme again.
Trimmed dialogue as Windu and his gang confront Palpatine. It reads, "Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?" "Not yet."
Trimmed the lightsaber fight, including Palpatine's bizarre serpentine jump.
As Anakin enters the scene, Windu is already going to kill Palpatine, who defends himself with force lightning and sends Windu falling to his death. I made use of an idea from Kerr's fan edit that L8wrtr also used to imply that the wrinkly face was Palpatine's true appearance all along. Palpatine uses lightning only once instead of twice. He's human-looking at the start, then the lights go out, and he has a monster face when they come back on. Trust me, it's better than it sounds.
Anakin and Palpatine don't mention Padme during the knighting of Vader scene. Other dialogue is trimmed a little for effectiveness. The idea is that saving Padme's life is the spark that ignites a myriad of other factors for Anakin's turn toward evil.
*Reinstated Palpatine referencing Plagueis’ ability to cheat death.
*Added a short scene in which Jedi are being slaughtered in the Temple while Anakin oversees.
After Yoda's brief and only use of his lightsaber in the whole trilogy, removed the scene where Anakin ignites his saber on a roomful of children. By cutting this, Anakin's slip toward depravity can be seen as a little more gradual. Plus my version of the trilogy does away with the idea that Jedi are harvested as infants and raised in a cult environment. The term "youngling" doesn't appear in these edits.
Removed Yoda's interactions with the Wookiees after Order 66.
Removed R2 popping out of Anakin's fighter.
Removed Obi-Wan and Yoda's fight to enter the Temple. The line of dialogue about everyone being preoccupied about the Senate session is good enough.
Because I removed the duel between Yoda and Palpatine, I also removed discussion about said duel after Obi-Wan sees the security hologram. Also removed Yoda's line that sees Anakin and Vader as separate people; it sounds like something he would have said in Return of the Jedi, rather than immediately after Anakin turned.
Padme is never informed about Anakin killing children, for the same reason as in my edit of Episode II. It is out of character for her to take it with anything other that indignation. Trimmed other dialogue during this scene for effectiveness.
*Though no changes have been made for V6 to the contents of the scene between Padme and Obi-Wan, the audio has been reworked to avoid breaking up the musical score, allowing it to play out in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
Removed Obi-Wan sneaking into the bathroom on Padme's ship. If you missed him during the wide shot, it'll be a surprise when he shows up later.
*Reinstated Palpatine spitting a bit of propaganda at Anakin about having restored peace and justice to the galaxy.
Removed most asinine dialogue as Padme arrives and confronts Anakin, including "I saw your ship." No reference to younglings. Tension ratchets between the two as Anakin finds out Padme told Obi-Wan about their relationship. No discussion about Anakin trying to save Padme; she never knew about Anakin's fears about that. Anakin doesn't seem focused on it himself anymore.
*Reinstated line: “The Jedi turned against me. Don’t you turn against me.” While not necessarily a rational thought, it tracks with his character by this point. (Anakin would make a strong candidate for borderline personality disorder.)
The duel on Mustafar plays out in full without cutting away to other plot threads. There is no duel between Yoda and Sidious. Not that the EU has bearing on my decisions, but I rather like Timothy Zahn's description in Spectre Of The Past: "If Luke's own current level of knowledge was any indication, Yoda could surely have defeated the Emperor all by himself. Yet he'd chosen instead to leave that task to Luke and the Rebel Alliance."
Removed dialogue about the ‘high ground’ at the end of the duel.
*Reinstated Obi-Wan bemoaning the fall of the Chosen One. (Formerly removed in prior versions of this fan edit, originally due to having removed the Chosen One concept altogether, then liking how it came to be anyway.)
The ending of the film was great fun to work on. You'll hear my own voice replacing that of the medical droid. His prognosis is not that she's dying, but rather that she will survive without ever fully recovering.
*Thanks to Snooker and Sir Ridley, removed R2 and 3PO from the birth of the twins. This eases continuity tensions with the original trilogy, avoiding awkward questions like, “Shouldn’t R2 have recognized Yoda on Dagobah?”
Replaced Vader’s scream with the Russian dub, arguably making it a little less cheesy.
Courtesy of Hundsdorfex, replaced shot of Taintive IV descending toward Naboo with the ship streaking through space.
Trimmed dialogue aboard the Taintive IV to accommodate the idea that Padmé survives to travel to Alderaan with Leia.
Replaced Padme's funeral with the deleted scene of Yoda arriving on Dagobah.
Padme is seen cradling an infant Leia on Alderaan, using footage from The Other Boleyn Girl, with her eye color corrected by Hundsdorfex. (Idea by 'The Cutter,' also used in Q2's edit.)
Added credits for myself, workprint viewers, contributors, and acknowledgements of all other ROTS "FanFix" fan edits to date.
The concluding movie in Hal's revamped prequel trilogy really packs a punch. I don't think it's as polished as his episode 2 edit, but this was a damn banger of a conclusion to a trilogy of edits which somehow conjured up some goodwill in me towards these movies.
In my reviews of the previous edits I said that these were more conservative edits in the sense that they kept the same continuity as the original movies and that they shouldn't really contradict any of the currently existing expanded universe/legends material. Basically, they're not radical edits. While that is still true, I've since devised a more accurate description, one that will need a bit of a tangent to explain.
A new hope's rough cut was disastrous. Lots of completely useless, slow scenes with agonizing dialogue, some terrible effects, and awful pacing. It's not hard to compare it to the prequels, really. But, in a pleasant twist of fate, the editors of that film took Lucas' beast and crafted a masterpiece, and now all these awful scenes are merely a curiosity to gawk at. Cringworthy dialogue was trimmed, scenes were rearranged to allow a satisfying flow of information, and the plot was tightened and even enhanced (fun fact: the plot point where the death star was preparing to imminently attack the rebel base during the battle of yavin was completely invented by the editors, and is only implied through edited-in visuals and off-screen voices). It's amazing what a job they did.
This is what Hal's edits feel like. They don't feel like radical alterations that are the products of years of hindsight, fan backlash and other fanedits. They, of course, are exactly that, but they don't FEEL like it. They feel like the original editors had all the footage in front of them and, free of Lucas' control, they took an objective, unobstructed view at what the movies were and improved them as far as humanly possible in an even and smooth way. They aren't looking to satisfy fans or an expanded universe or a higher up, it's just an earnest effort to make treasure from trash.
Anyway, on to the actual review. As i said in the intro, i prefer the episode 2 edit, because that just felt like a fun romp through the galaxy without any glaring distractions. This edit is more technically impressive, but it does have a few holes. It might be a byproduct of the original movie being too ambitious; instead of just a fun adventure story, it was trying to be a dark character study and political drama, without being written or acted well enough to pull it off. The structure is too heavily embedded in these genres to make it truly feel like another great star wars story, but hal polishes it to the best of his ability, not as a star wars story, but the best possible episode 3 that it can be.
Anakin's motivations are simultaneously my biggest problem and the greatest achievement of this edit. The political side of his motivations are so spot on it hurts. The jedi counsel is both just but also does some questionable things; their treatment of Anakin is sometimes justified but also sometimes unreasonable. Palpatine is kind of obviously evil but nevertheless it is believable that his promises would tempt Anakin. Anakin's political fall to the dark side is very believable, gradual and well paced. My problem with it is the other side of his motivations; his love for his wife. While it's true that the political elements of this edit are actually pretty engaging, in a stark contrast Padme's impending death is not emphasized enough.
The biggest problem with the original movie is that Anakin goes from a good jedi to child-murderer pretty much overnight and that's even less believable with all the emphasis that the movie puts on Padme's imminent death, but this edit goes too far in the other direction. Palpatine constantly tempts Anakin with the power to save his wife, but with a single brief nightmare scene early in the movie I had long forgotten that Padme dying was ever a consideration, and I was so invested in the drama with the Jedi counsel that to spend so much time talking about Padme felt kind of irrelevant. I feel that some of the Padme dying stuff could have been reinstated to make the narrative better, because in order to remove that plotline too much good stuff would have to be removed, if it was even possible.
As for a lesser problem, C3P0 and R2D2's role was trimmed too much. I hate their inclusion in this trilogy, but I kept thinking how odd it was that they were in this movie, because it wasn't adequately explained. 3po and r2 removal was executed very well in the previous edits, but it was in this edit that I just couldn't parse why they were here and what their role in the movie was. Even if it was just for arbitrary reasons or nostalgia reasons, some of these scenes should have been retained for narrative clarity. This might just be a personal thing though, so your mileage may vary.
As with Hal's other edits, this is paced beautifully, never getting boring, never going too fast; it's a dream. Like with his episode 2 edit, trimming so many bad scenes and bits of dialogue elevate the rest of the movie. The opera house scene, the scene of anakin finding out padme was pregnant, the scene of anakin just silently thinking in the jedi chambers; there are so many wonderful scenes paced so beautifully that this movie just about achieves that same phenomenon that the original trilogy achieves where all the weird bits of shoddy acting practically fall into the background unnoticed because the whole experience is so smooth and seamless.
If there was a singe thing that I could switch back to the original version of is Padme's death. I'm in the camp that thinks that padme should have died rather than lived. While editing wise, it's integrated seamlessly, I really believe that the dramatic irony of Anakin killing the one he set out to save is far more beneficial to the movie than a single plot hole with a small bit of dialogue from the OT. In fact, this new ending brings up an even bigger and more distracting plothole; why did luke get seperated from padme when she was perfectly fine to raise leia on Alderaan? I get that they were seperated for safety during order 66 but if she was going to keep one then why not just stay with them both on a remote planet or send both away? The whole point of separating with family is so that even if they find one of you the others would live, and keeping leia kind of destroys the purpose of that. Again, ymmv on how annoyed you are by this but it's at least just as big plot hole as her dying.
Even if this review was filled with complaints, they really are just nitpiks of a fantastic edit. I only prefer episode 2 more because that was a simple star wars adventure without any huge narrative holes or weird genre/style changes in it in the first place. With a more complex narrative comes more complex problems, but Hal manages not only to make a good movie from a bad one, but makes it good through it's own style and merits, rather than bending it into something it isn't. Good on you Hal, I can now watch the prequels without the existential dread of this series never being good again.
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.
This movie in particular does a great job of creating a more believable and troubled Anakin as he finally succumbs to the dark side. Palpatine feels much more like a master manipulator, the jedi feel more naive and less idiotic, Padme gets to be a character, Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship feels more natural, and the politics are at the forefront whre I think they belong in this trilogy. While I know not everyone will enjoy it, the final scene of this movie (no spoilers) is great in my opinion and a very creative idea. A fantastic end to this new definitive version of the prequels.
This is amazing, I enjoyed this movie before but now I love it. I think that Anakin Skywalker descent to the dark side being motivated from more of a political view is great. Also love how Padme did not die at the to fix a plot hole created by this movie. However I wish some dialogue was kept from Palpatine I feel you cut more than was necessary, also I wished you kept the high ground line. Other than those two minor complaints I think this was an amazing edit. Job well done.
All right. This is very different from Hal's TPM and AotC edits, because instead of just trimming the fat, he also changes the plot quite heavily. And that's why I'm not much of a fan of this one.
The fundamental change to the plot is that in Hal's version, Anakin's main motivation to turn to the dark side is political, while love for his wife is secondary. If you think this would improve the movie, then you'll love this version, as V5 is an impressive technical accomplishment in fanediting. If you're like me, however, and think that this fundamental change weakens the plot, then this is probably not the version you're looking for.
Interesting to notice that the way this edit's structured is how Lucas first structured the movie, but feedback from people he previewed the picture to made him change his mind and make Anakin's love for Padmé the primary thing to turn him to the dark side.
Regarding the new ending: it fixes a gigantic plot hole - that Leia remembers her mother - by having Padmé survive! Technically seamless, it strengthens the six movie saga, but weakens the prequel trilogy as a trilogy in a way: it takes away the tragic irony of Vader doing everything he can to save his wife only for him to be the one to kill her, in the awesomely edited ending of the original film.
Besides the fundamental creative difference I have with the editor in regards to the plot, this is another very good edit by Hal taking away most of the stupidity and cheesiness and crafting a much more enjoyable experience in that regard from the original film. Palpatine's incredibly cheesy moments during his fight with Windu/when Anakin turns are highlights. Still, I think he takes away a tad too much from this one.
Alright. This is great! Lots of things I didn't like in the original are fixed. It's still a little cringy in some parts (especially Anakin's turn to the dark side). But I can't blame you, it's a problem of the source material. You obviously did your best to make it better. I really like how Anakin's turn is motivated more by politics and the Jedi order than Padmé. And the final scene with Padmé holding baby Leia? Are you kidding me? That's genious! You managed to fix one of the biggest plot holes in Star Wars. But because of that, Luke's separation doesn't make so much sense anymore. I believe it's to protect Leia as Anakin thinks he had only one child. But it would be great to point it out somehow (maybe cut the conversation between Yoda, Bail and Obi-Wan). But still, this is the best version of the episode III.