Star Wars: Episode III - Labyrinth Of Evil

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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(49)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(49)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(49)
Narrative
 
9.3(49)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(49)
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Now I believe the Jedi when they say there is always hope. I'm new to fan edits, and I watched seciors edits of SW Episodes I and II recently. I was stunned to find that these were salvageable movies, and in fact quite enjoyable when cut with an adult focus in mind. Since seciors has not edited episode III, I chose to watch HAL's (though I still have a distrust of talking computers). So what did I think of SW Ep III by HAL?

Audio/Video Quality: Great picture, even on my humble PC monitor. I noticed so much detail, it was outstanding. I used some pretty nice headphones and the audio was sweet.

Visual Editing/Audio Editing: It's been a very long time since I saw Star Wars Ep III, and I think that was helpful with this review. I cannot think of a single scene change that left me going "huh?" Same with audio. Basically, I felt like I was watching the movie for the first time. I later looked at the cut list details and realized just how top notch the editing really was.

Narrative: HAL has molded a serious, heart wrenching, depressing epic sci-fi movie - my favorite kind! My young daughter watched a bit with me and thought it was too sad to keep watching, so that says much! I want Star Wars movies that most kids don't want to see, and this is it. Clearly this was the best of the prequels even in the original format, which provided some pretty good material to work with, and this helps any edit. Really some cool light saber duel action, and decent CGI.

Enjoyment: I closed myself off in the office in the dark and really dug this movie. My wife wanted to watch hunger games 2 and I blew her off to finish this. I can honestly call this my second favorite Star Wars movie (episodes IV and V are tied for first). So why not a 10? Well the movie does have a few shortcomings that no edit can fix - in particular some acting that occasionally is not so stellar. And I'm just stingy with 10s, keep them for something that really blows me away.

I'm sure there are other good edits of Ep III, but I have trouble believing they would live up to this one. A MUST SEE!

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I couldn't bring myself to watch the two preceding edits in Hal's prequel trilogy, as I dislike the source material to such an extreme degree that it renders evaluation pointless. However, I've always found Episode III to be at least marginally enjoyable, so I gave this one a spin to see how it could be improved upon. I think I made the right decision.

First of all, this is a thoroughly professional looking and sounding edit. All of the cuts were invisible and well-timed. The film has better pacing, never too fast or slow, with a nicely struck balance between the different plot threads. As far as narrative changes, Hal's intentions were right-headed, and I believe they were well-executed. I want to especially applaud the expanded role given to Padme. I always thought it was shameful the way she was treated in the theatrical trilogy, increasingly sidelined and impotent until she has no bearing on the plot outside of unknowingly motivating Anakin to act. Here, she has a more fleshed out role in the political conflict with Palpatine, and it serves both to strengthen her as a character and to complicate her relationship with an already torn Anakin, adding depth to their scenes together. I also really loved the way the Mace Windu/Palpatine duel plays out, with the lights and all the pacing changes, so a special kudos for that. I do think the scene with Anakin and Padme staring out of their respective windows across the city is a bit awkward without any voiceover, but it's a minor complaint.

I watched the 1080p MKV file, which, while looking brilliant for most of the running time, did betray a marked drop in video quality when the deleted scenes popped up. It in no way called into question the inclusion of these scenes, but it was noticeable enough to distract a bit.

I highly recommend this edit, as it is easily the best version of Episode III that I've seen. It's still a thoroughly ridiculous movie, but if you're okay with that, you won't go wrong here.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply March 18, 2014

Thanks for the review; I'm glad you enjoyed it. Just to reiterate: the whole "lights off/lights on" with Palpatine and his monster face idea came from fan editor (Aleksander) Kerr in his edit of Episode III, called 'Dark Force Rising.'

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(Updated: January 15, 2015)
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I convinced my friends to watch a Star Wars marathon with me and then spent a lot of time determining the edits we'd watch. I decided on Machete Order, with Harmy's DeSpecialized Editions for the Original Trilogy and Hal 9000's edits of Episodes II and III.

By the end of Episode III, everyone was stunned. It's so much better than the original release.

Some highlights: Padme has things to do! Her character doesn't just sit around waiting for Anakin to show up while she slowly gets pregnant. And the seeds for the rebellion in the Original Trilogy are sown, which greatly improves continuity. The lead-up to Anakin's turn to the dark side felt much more realistic with less of the prophecy being referenced. His battle with Obi Wan on Mustafar had less flips and jumps and called to mind Luke's lightsaber fighting style. Honestly, the last half of this movie far outshines the first half, as Hal 9000 does everything in his power to get the trilogy on track with a compelling end to the series and lead-in to the next, including sourcing dubs and scenes from other movies.

I have the same thing to say about this technical side as I did with Hal 9000's edit of Episode II: Seamless. Music and audio played over everything just fine - no choppy bits anywhere. Visuals were great as well, with some clever filters to fix up colors in many areas. Some good side-wipes were used to eliminate certain actions from scenes, these sorts of edits were only noticeable if you're familiar with the original cut.

Some notes: One of my friends cried during Padme's passionate appeal to Anakin - their relationship and his frustration are much more believable. Geminigod reviewed that "I have the high ground" was left in - that phrase is actually not in this edit, perhaps this is a newer version that I'm watching.

Some odd things: When Yoda's earlier fight scene was so skillfully done to remove lightsaber shenanigans, why include the later scene where he uses the lightsaber to defend himself after Order 66? The Darth Vader suit reveal should have been cut shorter; as is, that particular scene feels overwrought and out of place for Star Wars.

Absolutely recommend watching this, especially when seeking continuity with the Original Trilogy. These edited prequels are fantastic for marathons, and the emotional payoff when Luke is forced to confront Darth Vader and the Emperor in Return of the Jedi is amazing now that we've seen a great version of Anakin's turn to the dark side.

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AVCHD
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2 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Alright. This is great! Lots of things I didn't like in the original are fixed. It's still a little cringy in some parts (especially Anakin's turn to the dark side). But I can't blame you, it's a problem of the source material. You obviously did your best to make it better. I really like how Anakin's turn is motivated more by politics and the Jedi order than Padmé. And the final scene with Padmé holding baby Leia? Are you kidding me? That's genious! You managed to fix one of the biggest plot holes in Star Wars. But because of that, Luke's separation doesn't make so much sense anymore. I believe it's to protect Leia as Anakin thinks he had only one child. But it would be great to point it out somehow (maybe cut the conversation between Yoda, Bail and Obi-Wan). But still, this is the best version of the episode III.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
ROTS is perhaps the only Star Wars prequel that doesn't demand a fan edit, but alas, here we are.
Audio/Video quality gets a 10/10 this time from me. Again, the deleted scenes are noticeable, but if I didn't know any better they MIGHT get past me.
Visual and audio editing are 10s as well. At this point, if it has Hal's name attached to it, expect nearly flawless execution.
The Narrative loses a couple of points for a few reasons. This is obviously subjective but in my opinion, Anakin's fear of Padmé dying isn't emphasized enough and adds unnecessary confusion, Palpatine's deformation is too sudden and doesn't make as much sense to me, and Padmé living creates conflict with current canon. Hal has been a dear and provided a version with an alternate ending in which Padmé dies, but I'm basing this review off of the version most consistent with his original vision. Also, the narrative jumps around A LOT in the second half, but I can't remember if that is Hal's doing or not, so I won't factor it into the score.
Finally, Enjoyment. The insertion of deleted scenes give Padmé something to do and sets up the Rebellion - exciting stuff! The film is much more focused than the original and kept me engaged. If I had the skill, I imagine a few additional tweaks of Labyrinth of Evil would result in my perfect edit. Therefore, 9/10.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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