Star Wars: Episode III - Labyrinth Of Evil

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9.8
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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 ("...save 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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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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.

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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
This is a very good edit of a fairly good movie. That's how I'd sum up my thoughts. Revenge of the Sith is easily the best Star Wars prequel, but it is not without its faults. Minor faults (but major annoyances) are the overabundance of CGI and bad dialogue. Fan edits can't really fix the first (not yet at least), but they can certainly remedy the second. Hal9000 does that with this edit, which is, of course, a big plus. Already the film is better. But the movie has major faults too, ones not as easily fixed.

So I'm willing to forgive Hal if I'm torn on whether or not he's fixed Anakin's fall to the dark side. (Before I get to much into it let me say Hal's handling of everything else in this edit is exemplary, so I won't talk about that stuff.) Anakin's fall as presented in the theatrical film is clearly flawed. Is he really seduced by the dark side, or does he just want to save Padme? Does he really believe the Jedi are evil, or does he just want to save Padme? Does he actually have any reason to turn to the dark side besides saving Padme?

Hal9000 has a smart way to answer yes to that last question. By playing down the Padme dying in childbirth angle, it definitely feels like Anakin has some ulterior motivation for turning to the dark side, with the Padme thing being more of a subtle push to bring him over the edge. But what is that ulterior motivation? We suppose it's because the Jedi are tricksters and keeping Anakin out of everything. Whether or not there's enough here to support that, I'm not sure. Hal does the best he can with what he's got (we all know it's really Lucas to blame for this). Ultimately, either way, it's clear that Anakin has turned to the dark side because he has become disillusioned with the Order, so nice work by Hal for that.

He accomplished what he set out to do in regards to the Anakin debacle, so in that case I'd say Hal has done a great job. There's a nagging part of me that says L8wrtr did this better, but I'm not sure if that's true. To be honest, I'm getting kind of tired of these movies (which is why I've spent most of this review on a digression of sorts). The more I critique the less I enjoy it seems. So even if Anakin's fall didn't totally work for me this time around, I know it did when I viewed this edit's work print the first time around, and I wouldn't be surprised if it worked for me the next time I watch this. Even if it doesn't, the other aspects of this edit are enough for me to say this has become my go-to Episode III. Thanks Hal9000, for making my preferred prequel trilogy!

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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
Damn...This edit is the kitties titties. With the exception of the "NOOOOO" everything I liked was still in the film, both video and audio cuts were seamless, and this is almost worthy of the OT in terms of quality. Loved what you did with the opera scene and the duel with Mace and Anakin's turn was far better. If you make a version 1.1 or something I think you should remove the dialogue from the scene where he is put in the suit, but still keep the nice shot of him rising with "Birth of the twins/Padme's Fate" in the background. Ideally I would make it the last shot, but that is just personal preference.

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Blu-Ray
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(Updated: May 13, 2014)
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
The HAL 9000 prequel trilogy was my first dip into Star Wars fan edits so all this was very new to me and I didn't know what to expect. I spent quite some time looking over other popular fan edits and it seemed to me that Hals have been the most well received so I decided to give them a try. I ended up watching all 3 prequels with my best friend and I must say this was the most enjoyable of the bunch! (Its also 7am as of writing this so sorry if my wording isn't perfect.)

I never really had much of a problem with Episode III but was open to anything that could improve it and was looking forward to viewing this edit the most. I was thoroughly impressed at what I watched, but I have some small nit picks of my own.

The editing was seamless and very VERY well done! I mean, top notch work from Hal. Some deleted and added scenes were a little obvious if you've viewed the film many times before, but its nothing that will break immersion.

Audio was top notch as well! No syncing issues or any distortion. A very clean and clear audio mix.

I feel like taking away some of the "fluff" that was in the original to illustrate Anakins move to the dark side was a great idea as it showed much more of an internal struggle rather than an external force pushing him. Absolutely loved him killing Dooku on his own rather than being told to among other more subtle changes.
The editing of the final battle between Vader and Obi Wan was even better than before! Gone are the pointless cuts of dialogue and lightsaber flailing and with it comes one smooth, flawlessly edited epic duel! (Though my roommate wanted me to mention he missed the force struggle part)
Also the added Qui-Gon and Dagobah scenes were FANTASTIC!

I only really have a problem with two things. One was the removal of the "Only a Sith deals in absolutes" line. I feel this way because I could really feel the emotional weight in Ewan McGreggors delivery of the line. Like in his mind, that is the moment he realized that Anakin Skywalker was dead and there was no going back. (I also use the line a lot when messing with friends, so its one of those cemented in my head Star Wars lines)

And two has to do with Padme surviving. I really like how it fits into the cannon and changes the Emperors statement to Vader into a lie that further illustrates his deceit, but the addition of the scene from The Other Boleyn Girl really stands out from the rest of the film. Its not a terrible edit by any means and I really like the idea of working in a scene from another movie, but its just so obviously not from a Star Wars movie that I can't help but be bothered by it.

Overall this was a fantastic edit and I highly HIGHLY recommend it. To me, this will be my go-to cut of Episode III! If in the future you make another cut with my suggestions in mind then I'd go out and buy a bluray burner and slap this thing on my shelf!

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