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8.2 2 10
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The final part of TM2YC's SW "Reborn" series is more polished and (IMHO) a greater success than his Episode II. It's a mixed bag though, with some changes that I actually didn't like, and some elements not changed that I wish HAD been.

Coming in, I wasn't actually looking for much, as I think Episode III is by far the best of the prequels, and actually my favorite SW film after the original trilogy. For me, the main issues were all centered around the resolution of Anakin's storyline. Firstly, like Episode II, he still has some cringey scenes with Padme. There's some pretty bad dialogue and the evolution of their relationship doesn't quite track. Secondly, he seems very ambivalent about which side to trust, then after the fight with Mace Windu is suddenly saying "Master" and killing children. It's much too abrupt. (And the prosthetic makeup in that scene is horrible.) Thirdly, the frequent intercutting between the 2 final Jedi battles deflates the epic feel of Anakin's in particular, which I wanted to see as one long fight. TM2YC's edit looked to address all these points, plus add in deleted scenes to flesh out Padme's role, so I was very interested in it.

I should say that all the quibbles I had from the previous Reborn fanedits are present here too, but less so. There are still a few wipes that are edited to be a 1/2 second too fast, only 2-channel audio, and (sometimes) a noticeable quality difference in both the visual fidelity and audio (high pitch) of the deleted scenes. These have improved from the previous Reborn edits though, I think owing to the growing skill of the faneditor.

I had a few larger issues with the edit from the beginning, however. Firstly, some of the score is changed and it just doesn't fit the beats of the scene as well. It's particularly noticeable when the full Rebel Alliance theme swells and Williams' score hasn't even built this up and introduced the elements yet in the trilogy. It's too cheery, as are several of the scenes in the beginning. This is ostensibly a very serious life-or-death mission to save the Chancellor, and Jedis are dying. TM2YC rightly takes out the R2D2 slapstick from this opening, but inserts goofiness from Anakin and Obi Wan. The awkward droid noises and Abbot and Costello baseball routine with super speed escape feel terribly jarring. Then the elements that explain R2's delay are also partially removed. In Anakin's duel with Dooku, his hesitation and Palpatine's prompting is removed. The net effect is the opening 20 minutes almost ping pong back and forth between levity and abrupt darkness. It didn't work as well for me as the theatrical version.

The middle section of the movie features a lot of deleted scenes reintegrated, which was done pretty well and I was very grateful for. Padme is more than just a motivator for Anakin now, and we get to see Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa helping to found the Alliance. Great stuff. On the other hand, this section does have the cheesy Anakin/Padme stuff, including one hairbrushing scene that has no purpose and just needs to be entirely cut out. Better to keep in a prophetic nightmare of Anakin's that was removed. It's important to keep feeling that he's convinced he's seeing a future he has to do anything to avoid.

There is really good placing and inclusion of deleted/extended scenes with Anakin and various Jedi/Palpatine that help to show the various forces lining up against each other. This is all great, but my issue is with the Mace Windu confrontation. I'd love a montage after Anakin confronts him, showing everything bad he's ever done intercut with his face in agony and him thinking of Padme. Short of that little piece of work, I just want more ambiguity about how much he's following Palpatine at this point. The deletion of several very explicit lines from both of them would leave the viewer believing Anakin is following him for now, but not necessarily his "apprentice" and using "the dark side". And a zoom/crop could reduce the horrible makeup shots. Similarly, it's too much to show Anakin right after this turning on his lightsaber to attack 4-year-old kids. It could be cut at him opening the temple doorway and not show them.

This brings us to the finales, and there's a lot of good here, but some choices that didn't work for me as well. We see the whole Yoda/Palpatine battle play out with no cutting, which is great, and I noticed that TM2YC did a lot of subtle work here to improve the fight. I appreciated this much more than when he tinkered with other action scenes (like Grievous/Obi-Wan) which I mostly missed the elements of and thought were lessened. I did miss the scene after this where Yoda calls Bail, as without it Bail just shows up like a psychic Jedi and it seems like bad movie writing. (This is also an example of a callback/forward to scenes in other SW films, several of which have been deleted from the Reborn edits, to my disappointment.) Where he does escape with Bail intruded into the Anakin/Obi Wan fight, and I wish it had not been placed there. Having that fight ALMOST all together was great.... but then this edit had to chop parts out. I love the whole fight, and it was made a lot less epic here, which is a real shame. Several of the lines between the two men are taken out as well, including Obi Wan's "high ground" line. Years from now when the meme is forgotten, it'll seem weird that Obi Wan warns Anakin not to try anything... why? Is he suddenly so much better that he can kill him in one swing? Without these lines, Anakin's death seems a bit abrupt, as does Obi Wan's willingness. They're unnecessary trims that lessen the effect of the whole resolution for me.

Except for the "Noooooo" I didn't mind Vader's inclusion in the's a very cool scene. But TM2YC has convinced me with this edit... it's better to leave the mystery. However, I don't think he goes far enough. There's a shot with Anakin being taken on a stretcher with a breathing mask on, a clear sign he's alive. He also moves slightly when Palpatine is bending over him. A couple more seconds of cuts would truly preserve the mystery. On the other hand, it's a total mystery why Padme dies. The removal of her "losing the will to live" line and not replacing it with a droid dub/sub giving some medical reason just leaves a hole. Her choking took 2 seconds and I wouldn't buy it even if I hadn't seen Vader choke somebody for 30 seconds and that guy still survive. The inclusion of the deleted scenes after this and keeping the babies names unsaid is great however, and a really nice way to end the trilogy.

TLDR: This edit is a technical improvement over the Episode II Reborn edit, and quite good. There are some deleted scenes I'm grateful for and some I didn't like. Some elements were taken out that I missed, while some edits were welcome improvements. All told, I think it's a net improvement over the theatrical version, but it leaves me thinking that there's gotta be an edit out there that I'd like more... or room to make one! Certainly beggars can't be choosers, and I appreciate the phenomenal skill and effort that went into this series. It didn't nail it for me, but there's a good chance it will for someone else.

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