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9.7 49 10
FanFix February 25, 2014 31154
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Well, it's been a long search for the perfect edit for ROTS. I'm now with Hal9000's indefinitely. There is so much that is so right here that I forgive the moments I'd take out, myself.....ROTS is a tough one to edit and please everyone, and some of the other attempts I've seen at editing this film try way too hard, others not hardly at all. This one finds a comfortable ground with familiar edits while at the same time delivering one of THE whopping masterstrokes of fanediting that I've ever seen.

Incidentally, I like pairing this film with L8wrtr's TPM and AOTC edits. That's my current "go-to" trilogy unless some mindbending new edit comes out.

The good:
***Of course, the economy of the edit takes out the corn and the silliness, and what's not to like there? There are a LOT of small cuts, but they all work and if you're not familiar with ROTS you'll not know they're gone. My personal favorite? The eternal dismissal of Obi-Wan's "...for DEMOCRACY!!!!!!" I remember laughing out loud in the theater when he said that.
***The 2nd-boldest move of the movie is the face-off between Windu and Palpatine. That's another scene with some got-to-go GL silliness ("HE'S the traitor, arrrrgghhh!") I get EXACTLY what Hal was going for here, and it does indeed work. It does sound odd, but I like the guts Hal had to try and realize the vision. That scene had far too much filler, dialogue, and needless suspense for my taste in its original form. Now we get right down to it.
***The focus on politics being Anakin's primary motivation for the turn works very, very well. I thought the Padme thing was always way too obvious and predictable, but with politics at the forefront his change becomes far more realistic and believable. Certainly politics has put people on weird sides of one another, especially during wartime. Padme's element is delightfully downplayed, to the point that when Palpatine says that line (" your WIFE from certain death") it has a huge impact, because we're so focused on the politics it makes Anakin's one dream seem trite, but then suddenly very important. Especially when Palpatine reads Anakin's trouble a little too accurately. Later on, when Anakin leaves Padme in the dust after the chokehold and rambles on to Obi-Wan about this and that, it fits right in with the Padme motivation being minimal against the power he craves. When Vader asks the Emperor post-surgery about Padme, it fits even better with the minimized arc - in other words, he feels guilty as hell.
***Padme as one of the instigators of the rebellion? Giddy-up! Why Lucas chose to delete this subplot is mystifying, but makes sense here in light with the above political motivations.

The hmmmmm.....(all minor nitpicks)
***OK, there are some lines that could still be easily excised. One of the most self-rightesouly laughable moments in the entire PT is Padme's "thunderous applause" bit. Spare us, please!
***Also, not the fault of our intrepid editor, but shouldn't 3PO's line be "I feel so.....USELESS?" Not "helpless"? Anyways, Hal, since you boldly dubbed the droid at the end, how about that line? I bet Anthony Daniels would do it for scale ;) That said, I love the battle droid voice removal. Now we have to tackle the entirety of the Clone Wars...
***I think it's OK to have more Wookies, and Yoda's interaction w/ Chewbacca definitely helps set the table for ANH and Obi-Wan "randomly" finding Chewbacca at the bar.
***Showing Obi-Wan sneaking onto Padme's ship in the closer shot works as in the original cut....there's no need for a surprise reveal.
***I wouldn't mind a little more dialogue to imply Obi-Wan's fate on Tatooine. While this would be tricky to edit around Padme's now non-demise, I liked that interaction.

and....the balls-out bold:
***That footage of Padme alive and cradling her infant daughter is amazing and I was bowled over at the audacity of the decision. It works even without the motivation being the plot hole fix from ROTJ. I like how so much is implied and the myth driven by images, not dialogue, in the film's final moments. Hal using his own voice for the mid-wife droid - again, bold and a hopeful sign of things to come with our wonderful editors and their tasteful decision-making. That finale, again, with Padme, is beautiful stuff. And...isn't it telling how Natalie Portman suddenly becomes a great actress when out fo the hands of GL?

Lots to admire overall in the cut. Lots of attempts have been made at ROTS, but I'm very pleased to have this one as my go-to. Again, quibbles are nitpicks, as the overall arc of the film is extremely powerful (especially when viewed after the Clone Wars).

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Owner's reply December 18, 2017

Wow. I want to thank you for the very thoughtful review. It's really something that you gave me a few things to chew on, after I thought I thought of everything. This edit's thrust was mashing up two ideas: Q2's (and The Cutter's) use of Boleyn footage to depict Padme surviving the film, and moving Anakin's (now sole) nightmare to after the introduction of his political motivations. Everything else followed, seemingly inevitably to my mind.
Again, thank you; you made my day by interacting with this work with such insight.
Interestingly, I've often heard people advocate for the inverse of your suggestion of L8wrtr's Episodes I and II and my Episode III. As far as I am aware, the two trilogies can be hot-swapped to the viewer's preference, with a slight wrinkle in the form of Padme's necklace.

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February 10, 2018
Thanks for the reply on my review. I've appreciated your edit now more than a few times; it flows and works naturally, and I'm happy to keep a copy close at hand whenever I'm plowing through the series again. Actually, I think this review was one of my shorter ones; I really let it fly with L8wrtr's I & II -
May 25, 2022
Hi Hal - belated reply to your comment - happy to have been able to review. 5 years later it's still my go-to edit. I am really fascinated by how your edit will dovetail through the Obi-Wan series coming up. I've raised my daughter on Star Wars fanedits for the most part (she's 7 now), and her introduction to this part of the SW myth is your edit (proud to have this one as a go-to source!)
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