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9.6 43 10
FanFix February 25, 2014 27622
(Updated: May 14, 2014)
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So here's my review on the third prequel in HAL9000's series.

I have watched Stankpac' version a few years ago and more recently L8wrtr's. So I tend to compare these two against each other.

HAL keeps the buzz droids sequence from the beginning of the movie. L8wrtr eliminates it and I think it works better. Get to Grievous ship already. HAL keeps Dooku's exchange with Anakin about fear and anger. It's a nice parallel to Ep VI with Luke and the Emperor. Missing in L8wrtr's version but it does flow faster, IMO. Overall, in comparing these two edits side-by-side, it appears to me that L8wrtr is more ruthless in deleting one-liners than HAL is.

Here is one of the most egregious examples of that: HAL keeps the "Hold me Anakin, like you did on Naboo, when all we had was our love." This atrocious line is in HAL's version and not in L8wrtr's and to be honest, that alone is major minus points for me for this edit.

This version is improved from the theatrical release, no doubt.

The biggest thing L8wrtr did for me was something really cool with Anakin's and Obi-Wan's fight at the very end, and it worked very well and my eyes popped open when I saw his solution. No "high-ground" chatter and it made complete sense in terms of action and what these characters would do. Obi-Wan jumps from the floating device on to land and Anakin's jumps a second later after him and Obi-Wan cuts him up. Effin' brilliant.

HAL made an interesting creative choice in having Padme survive and use footage from Natalie Portman from another movie, crying and holding a baby. So that is brilliant in terms of undoing Lucas' destroying continuity in SW VI. But my question as a viewer was: Padme just allows the kids to be separated? Dramatically that seems off, I think in a movie you wouldn't skip the scene where that drama unfolds.

So based on what I saw in L8wrtr's edit of that moment, his is my go-to version for Ep III.

There are singular moments in this fanedit which I like better than the same singular moment in L8wrtr's version, for example, HAL has Obi-Wan cut off one of Grievous' hands right off the bat and it worked well. But overall, there are more noticeable edits that I think work better in L8wrtr's Dawn of the Empire than what HAL chose. I suspect he may be more attached to the original prequels than either me or L8wrtr, based on how old he was when watching the prequels when they first came out and being familiar with them before the original trilogy (I assume).

So to summarize: Ep I: L8wrtr, Ep II HAL9000, Ep III L8wrtr.

These are the versions I will show friends from now on who want to see Star Wars for the first time. Or whenever I rewatch them.

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Owner's reply May 15, 2014

Thanks for the very fair review. I was fifteen when this film originally came out, and enjoyed it, though I was definitely a more OOT-minded fan. (I bought a LaserDisc player the year before in response to the SE-only '04 DVDs.)
One note about the "hold me" dialogue: I felt that scene was important, given the political tensions I was attempting to boost in this edit, cheesy dialogue though there be. I'm looking at whole scenes telling a shifted story, and sometimes individual bits that didn't work in their original context can contribute to the re-edited version of the story. (See Jar Jar in Cloak Of Deception.)
Again, thanks for the great review; light criticism, fair comparisons, and ultimately a positive rating.

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