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.
All right. This is very different from Hal's TPM and AotC edits, because instead of just trimming the fat, he also changes the plot quite heavily. And that's why I'm not much of a fan of this one.
The fundamental change to the plot is that in Hal's version, Anakin's main motivation to turn to the dark side is political, while love for his wife is secondary. If you think this would improve the movie, then you'll love this version, as V5 is an impressive technical accomplishment in fanediting. If you're like me, however, and think that this fundamental change weakens the plot, then this is probably not the version you're looking for.
Interesting to notice that the way this edit's structured is how Lucas first structured the movie, but feedback from people he previewed the picture to made him change his mind and make Anakin's love for Padmé the primary thing to turn him to the dark side.
Regarding the new ending: it fixes a gigantic plot hole - that Leia remembers her mother - by having Padmé survive! Technically seamless, it strengthens the six movie saga, but weakens the prequel trilogy as a trilogy in a way: it takes away the tragic irony of Vader doing everything he can to save his wife only for him to be the one to kill her, in the awesomely edited ending of the original film.
Besides the fundamental creative difference I have with the editor in regards to the plot, this is another very good edit by Hal taking away most of the stupidity and cheesiness and crafting a much more enjoyable experience in that regard from the original film. Palpatine's incredibly cheesy moments during his fight with Windu/when Anakin turns are highlights. Still, I think he takes away a tad too much from this one.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyApril 25, 2019
Thank you for this review and the other two for my SW prequel edits. I’m pleased you enjoyed 1 and 2, and that you enjoyed the ‘craft’ of this one, if not necessarily the resultant film itself.
Your review encapsulates my advice to people seeking edits of this film: if you want Padmé to live, hopefully my version executes that idea well. But that doesn’t mean this film in and of itself is made stronger or better for it.
If you have, now or in the future, a fan edit of Episode III which you enjoy alongside my I and II, I invite you to recommend it here in your review.
This is a pretty solid edit, probably the best I've seen so far for this entry. Not sure I like it more than the Ep 2 edit by HAL though.
This one is still mired in politics in the 1st half. There are still some dumb things kept in as well like the lizard riding scenes. The acting and dialogue are still terrible in parts (which probably can't be edited out).
I still don't like the scene where Anakin turns dark and pledges his allegiance to Sidious. I feel like Anakin's reply should be mostly silence rather than his "ok, cool dude, yeah let's be evil." I feel like much of this scene would work better if things went unsaid. Have him order him to be his apprentice and have Anakin bow his head in pseudo-shame and then have Palpatine order him to leave or whatever. I think too much is told in this scene rather than just shown.
I wish there was an edit to the Obi / Anakin faceoff too. It's so bloated and overdone. If someone could tone it down and keep it more sensible rather than the grandiose fight on top of the lava, that would help.
I REALLY liked the side-by-side intercutting between Padme's fate and the creation of Vader though. That was a brilliant editing choice. Chillingly effective.
Those couple of complaints aside, it's still a superior film to the theatrical version and fixes far more than what remains broken. It's a very good edit, technically, and the narrative is well done. It's more streamlined and better structured with this edit. I think a handful of further small edits could make this one the go-to version of the film.