A belated review for an epic edit. This version is amazing and it sculpts and polishes the ideas that Lucas inherently included in the theatrical cut. This movie finishes the prequel trilogy in the most satisfying way and ties in perfectly with the OT. You saved the star wars prequels for me. I can't thank you enough.
This is both the strongest and weakest of Hal9000's prequel edits in that he absolutely elevates core of the film by making Anakin & Padme's arcs work so much better, but his cuts to the first and third act are too extreme, which robs the film of a lot of its fun and spectacle.
For me the best of the Episode III edits, except for a couple of editing choices this is my ideal version. HAL9000's changes demonstrate how there always was a decent film in the mostly-serviceable theatrical cut and make one wonder at what was going through the original editors' minds, did they set out to create a plot hole intentionally?
For me at least, this is now a film I can show other people and not need to give an explanation for liking.
My first time seeing this, along with the other prequels, since the first viewing in theatres. Somehow it seems like the same movie (major plot points and characters are intact) while nevertheless feeling vastly improved in terms of tone, story and characterization. Hal9000 is a master and has utterly redeemed this trilogy, while keeping his handiwork nearly invisible. A difficult balance, but it looks effortless.
I am absolutely stunned at what an improvement this is. This edit addresses every complaint I ever had about Episode III and then some. With so many distracting and/or hammy elements gone, and with the addition of the deleted scenes to the movie, it feels like a very different film, and in a good way. These edits now bring the PT into the same league as the OT, in my opinion. I am *very* pleased, and when my children are old enough, this and Hal's other edits will absolutely be the version of the Prequels they will watch.