Review Detail

9.6 43 10
FanFix February 25, 2014 27636
(Updated: November 07, 2019)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
Edit (7/11/2019): I have changed my score because Hal9000 has released an "alternate ending" cut of his edit that retains Padme's death. This essentially fixes my main gripe I had with it. Thank you, Hal. This is a phenomenal edit.


Whereas I believe HAL9000's TPM and AotC are the definitive go-to edits of the PT, somehow he really dropped the ball on RotS, and his final effort doesn't even come close to what L8wrtr accomplished with the same material.

The biggest problem is that this edit is where HAL9000's philosophy of maintaining continuity with the OT really fails him. The whole edit is overall inferior to L8wrtr's, but most of the problems occur at the end. Leia mentions in passing in RotJ that she retains memories of her mother from when she was young. Thus, HAL9000 bends over backwards to make it so Padme lives, and he literally breaks the movie in the process, going so far as to add footage from an entirely different movie (The Other Boleyn Girl). Unfortunately, even the few seconds or so that he uses is completely jarring because the respective films look and feel nothing alike. Also, in the theatrical release of RotS, and illustrated even better in L8wrtr's edit, Anakin joins the dark side to prevent Padme from dying, yet his descent is what ultimately leads to her death. This powerful irony is completely lost in HAL9000's edit. I'm sorry, but an enjoyable film experience is more important than continuity in this case. In the end this is George Lucas' movie, not ours. Making nips and tucks is one thing, but changing the overall plot of the story is not the job of an editor.

HAL9000's edit also includes Vader's "NOOOO!!!!!!" at the end and him throwing a hissy fit, whereas L8wrtr's scene is much more graceful and subdued...perfect, really. The original ending of RotS had a bloated ending and didn't know when to quit, and HAL9000 kept too many of these elements. On the other hand, after the climax in L8wrtr's edit, he ties things up nice and quick.

HAL9000's effort is noble but misguided. It is an okay edit, but there is nothing it does that L8wrtr's doesn't do better. Perhaps the problem is that with L8wrtr's edit of RotS, there really isn't much room for improvement, whereas with the other two prequel films, there was still a lot that needed fixing. I wish I could say that HAL9000's three PT edits constituted the definitive trilogy, but I can't. I recommend watching HAL9000's edits of episodes I and II, and L8wrtr's edit of episode III if you want the optimal experience watching the PT.

This edit gets a 4.0 largely for breaking the movie, which I find unforgivable, although there are a few niggling problems with cuts not being as seamless as they could be.

EDIT: I feel like I need to say more to defend why I gave this edit such a low score. Perhaps the fundamental problem is that the editor's efforts come from a place of contempt, not love. HAL9000 has said on the forums: "I think the prequels would be utterly forgettable were they not Star Wars films. They're obligatory more than anything else." I feel completely differently. I love the PT. I love the pre-empire universe created by it. I love The Clone Wars TV series. I would take Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan over Luke, Leia, and Han any day (yes, you read right). I was a teenager when the PT came out, and warts and all, I'm willing to embrace it as the Star Wars of my generation. I hope HAL9000 comes to realize that his efforts are important, not just to those who value the original trilogy, but to those who treasure the prequel trilogy as well. That's why I think breaking RotS in service of RotJ is such a travesty. RotJ is still good regardless of whether or not Luke and Leia's mom dies in childbirth. The challenge RotS faces is that everyone knows how it ends...Anakin ultimately turns to the dark side. So George Lucas re-indroduces the element of surprise by injecting a dose of irony in that Anakin inadvertently causes the very thing he's trying to prevent, i.e., Padme's death. I like Anakin because he's actually George Lucas' most nuanced character (despite giving him terrible dialogue at times). He's a good guy, but he can't endure loss, which runs contrary to his Jedi training. He loses his mother--yes, she DIES--and he vows not to let it happen again. He's so determined not to lose Padme, that she actually DIES AT HIS HANDS as a consequence of his efforts. This irony is so fundamental to the story--GL starts to set it up in AotC in fact--that I can't believe HAL9000 would do this. Sheer contempt, it seems.

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Owner's reply September 20, 2015

Thank you for the very fair critique. You're appraisal of the edit's philosophical orientation is correct, and your opinion hanging on it is not without merit.
I would argue, however, that there is a different sense of irony to be found at the end of LOE from ROTS. The original irony still exists, but is relegated merely to Anakin's perspective. While we believes that Padmé is dead and that he caused it by trying to avoid it, the audience has been primed to appreciate the newly contrived dramatic irony that Palpatine is profiting from the strings he's been pulling and lies he's told Anakin. (The edit trades situation irony for dramatic irony, in ROTJ's favor.)
I've talked elsewhere about my reasons for keeping the "Nooo" scene, but suffice it to say that certain things about the edit were dictated by other choices I'd made. Things like that sort of ''have'' to stay, given the way everything else has been set up.
Again, I offer a sincere thank you for the insightful review, and for investing your brainpower into interacting with what I've done with this project. One of the benefits of having so many prequel edits is the freedom to mix and match, as you suggest. As far as I can tell, L8wrtr's and my edits can be hot swapped without discontinuity.

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September 16, 2015
I thought your set of reviews was really fair and thoughtful. I largely agree with your pros and cons.

I'm a big fan of Hal's versions. I think the first hour of this one works similarly to the other two. Just cuts out the nonsense and R2 antics from the opening, mostly. I don't think the movie breaks in adding Padme at the end. But it does mess up both Obiwan speaking of Luke. I agree that the RoTJ line was a bit of a throwaway. She didn't *know* her mom. She knew a couple images and feelings, which is not ridiculously unbelievable for a force sensitive baby, though it's a stretch.

However, L8wrtr's version has 3PO's memory intact. I think this is a much more massive problem continuity wise than Padme living. George probably pushed how much he included the droids in these films, but oh well. Having 3PO be fully aware of Anakin, Obiwan, and the Jedi in the OT is just unacceptable. This is something that even Lucas knew. I assume L8wrtr only wanted to lose the Tantive, but it's not worth it.

You might want to give Hal some constructive criticism on the forums (here or OT), as he is working on V4. I know he still plans to include Padme, as he has changed Leia's eye color. But other aspects may be fair game.
September 20, 2015
P.S. I'm not sure I agree that I hold the prequels in "contempt." I was 9, 12, and 15 years old when these films came out and I was as steeped in them as with the original trilogy. However, I don't think I would have been if they were not "Star Wars" films. I'd present the enormous quantity of time, thought, and effort I put into this project as evidence that I don't hate the prequels. I genuinely enjoy the PT-era EU novels as well, and even took them into consideration as I went about editing. If I hated the prequels, I'd have had a much easier time ignoring them. Instead, I wanted to make them the best I possibly could and craft something I can halfway enjoy when I revisit them. Part of my goal involved lessening the apparent discontinuity between the trilogies, be it obvious things like Leia remembering her mother or the seeming implausibility of OT characters making random appearances. You may not believe me, but I approached the project from two desires that were often held in tension (and tended to give each other dirty looks): the coherence and continuity of the whole saga, and a respect for the basic outline of the prequels' story as it was.
Lest I wax eloquent, I'd just rebuttal by suggesting that you may be mistaking a different philosophical goal with "contempt."
October 16, 2015
Harsh score dude. Not justified at all. I too disagree with Hal's removal of Padme's death and I think L8wrtr's edit is better overall, but I still gave Hal's edit a high score because it's still an excellent edit. Maybe you honestly think keeping Padme alive ruins the narrative and your enjoyment of the movie (which is just silly), but you gave no reason as to why you scored him low on AV quality or audio/visual editing. If for nothing else this edit is without a doubt technically proficient.

In summary, boo you glogus.
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