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9.7 49 10
FanFix February 25, 2014 31660
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I couldn't bring myself to watch the two preceding edits in Hal's prequel trilogy, as I dislike the source material to such an extreme degree that it renders evaluation pointless. However, I've always found Episode III to be at least marginally enjoyable, so I gave this one a spin to see how it could be improved upon. I think I made the right decision.

First of all, this is a thoroughly professional looking and sounding edit. All of the cuts were invisible and well-timed. The film has better pacing, never too fast or slow, with a nicely struck balance between the different plot threads. As far as narrative changes, Hal's intentions were right-headed, and I believe they were well-executed. I want to especially applaud the expanded role given to Padme. I always thought it was shameful the way she was treated in the theatrical trilogy, increasingly sidelined and impotent until she has no bearing on the plot outside of unknowingly motivating Anakin to act. Here, she has a more fleshed out role in the political conflict with Palpatine, and it serves both to strengthen her as a character and to complicate her relationship with an already torn Anakin, adding depth to their scenes together. I also really loved the way the Mace Windu/Palpatine duel plays out, with the lights and all the pacing changes, so a special kudos for that. I do think the scene with Anakin and Padme staring out of their respective windows across the city is a bit awkward without any voiceover, but it's a minor complaint.

I watched the 1080p MKV file, which, while looking brilliant for most of the running time, did betray a marked drop in video quality when the deleted scenes popped up. It in no way called into question the inclusion of these scenes, but it was noticeable enough to distract a bit.

I highly recommend this edit, as it is easily the best version of Episode III that I've seen. It's still a thoroughly ridiculous movie, but if you're okay with that, you won't go wrong here.

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Owner's reply March 18, 2014

Thanks for the review; I'm glad you enjoyed it. Just to reiterate: the whole "lights off/lights on" with Palpatine and his monster face idea came from fan editor (Aleksander) Kerr in his edit of Episode III, called 'Dark Force Rising.'

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