Review Detail

8.1 2 10
(Updated: July 28, 2013)
Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
TM2YC's Revenge of the Sith: Reborn is a fine addition to the existing array of Star Wars fan edits, and serves as a satisfying conclusion to his Prequel Trilogy.

TM2YC states that his intention for his PT edits was "to make good versions of these films that still felt like the same films in essence." Furthermore — for TM2YC — "a true SW film should give you around 2 solid hrs of entertainment." In this edit, I believe he essentially achieves both these goals.

While the majority of this edit remains true to the original version of the movie, TM2YC does make choices that differentiates his edit from the original in significant ways.

First, he has included most (if not all) of the deleted material from the DVD releases. He also includes a scene from the BD disc, which, while unfinished with regards to technical quality, nonetheless adds narrative depth to the story. Finally, TM2YC attempts to retain the "surprise" that Darth Vader is Luke's father by removing all mention of Darth Vader, as well as the naming of the twins, from the edit.

AUDIO/VIDEO QUALITY - 7
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REVIEWER'S NOTE - I have spoken to the editor concerning this issue prior to posting this review; his feeling is that the story he wanted to tell was more important than A/V quality (especially given his desire to use a great many DVD scenes which are SD source). I respect that opinion, and agree that ultimately the story and technical editing are what makes a fan edit enjoyable; however, since this category exists, I must address this issue honestly.
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This edit is presented in 1080p HD, with many upscaled-from-SD deleted scenes included.

For the most part, video quality was very good throughout most of the edit. However, I must point out that there are moments (especially during times of great movement or large amounts of action) where there is noticeable degradation of picture quality, as well as visible compression artifacts that are distinctly not what one might experience when watching the original source. Thankfully this mostly is limited to the first 15 minutes or so of the edit, since this is when we have a lot of action and explosions on-screen during the space battle. Yet brief moments of this issue does exist throughout the edit.

Additionally, the visual quality of the deleted scenes varies. Some moments are excellent and to my eye can pass off as HD; others however have a muddied SD feel to them. The most noticeable "deleted scenes" quality problem occurs during the aforementioned inclusion of an unfinished scene from the BD release, which does serve to enhance the narrative (see below for more on this) but nonetheless slightly degrades the overall visual quality of this edit.

With regards to audio quality, it was fine (though surround sound would have been a nice addition, but not a necessity, and I deduct no points for this choice).

VISUAL EDITING - 9

Overall, the visual component of the editing was well done. There were few minor issues I detected, but nothing extremely distracting. While only 10 minutes was cut out of this edit, I found it to be visually well done, and the additional 5 minutes added were for the most part seamlessly integrated.

AUDIO EDITING - 8

In terms of audio editing, I feel there were some noticeable issues, but overall not terrible by any means.

For example, there were some of hard audio cuts, and at least few of them are probably noticeable by non-fan editors. I also noticed one line that was obviously cut off before conclusion.

Generally speaking, most of the audio editing with regards to the musical transitions were well done. TM2YC also chose to add some OT music from ROTJ. Some of these moments worked extremely well, such as the Jedi's arrival on Grievous' ship when they pop out of their ships and attack the droids. Other times, I could take it or leave it. But these moments were not intrusive, and thus to me were an artistic choice that was generally well executed from a technical perspective.

However, some of the audio transitions regarding the underlying score when visual edits occurred (or musical replacements were inserted) were not smoothed out enough to my ear. But these were the exception to the rule.

All in all though, editing Star Wars audio is a very, very tough thing to do, and so I am willing to cut the editor some slack in this area. :-)

NARRATIVE - 8

Essentially this is a very close edit to the original theatrical release; indeed, TM2YC uses the original theatrical crawl to begin the story. Also remember this was one of the editor's up-front intentions (to feel like the "same film" in essence). At the same time, there are some specific differences which I will discuss here in terms of how well they fit in to the narrative.

First, many additional deleted scenes were included. During the opening battle, TM2YC chose to use the scenes where Obi-Wan and Anakin have some joking moments, which did serve to add some levity to their relationship. Unfortunately these scenes have some strange qualities to them.

The first scene shows us the jarring execution of a Jedi by Grievous. The juxtaposition of this event with the immediate playful (and I have to say, a bit corny) "silent signal" communication between Anakin and Obi-Wan (beard stroking, hair pulling, eyebrow swiping, etc) seemed a bit, well, unsettling. The second scene is where Anakin and Obi-Wan are trying to get in touch with R2 and trying to interpret the beeps made by R2 as whether they mean to go up or down. I found this kind of a strange moment as well, as Anakin seemed to be emulating R2's beeps (I guess it's a Jedi power?). While I appreciate the attempt at adding some (much needed) humor to Episode III, and lightening the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin, I can see why these specific deleted scenes were deleted. :-)

TM2YC wisely removes the whole R2 and the droids oil-spurting-burning sub-plot. Thank you! He also removes Jar-Jar's single line, another positive change. There were also small edits here and there that seemed to work fine, and either enhanced or had no negative effect on the narrative.

One of the goals TM2YC stated was to strengthen Padme's character by restoring her deleted scenes acting as a senator. From a narrative point of view, this is a success. We do get the feeling that Padme is very much still involved with politics, something that is lacking in the original release. Even though the deleted scenes are not in HD, they do enhance the narrative and thus are a valuable edition in this respect.

Another goal TMY2C states is to provide additional depth to Palpatine's manipulation of Anakin's descent to the Dark Side. One of the ways the editor accomplishes this is by including the aforementioned BD deleted scene where Palpatine has summoned Anakin to tell him he is appointing him to the Jedi Council. The deleted material consists of extending the start of this scene, and I agree with TM2YC in that it provides some very nice dialog and background information that solidifies the feeling that Palpatine has been working hard to give Anakin what the Jedi are not -- a friend who supports and appreciates him and his abilities. It is too bad this scene has been provided to us (by Lucas) in an unfinished format, since I think it definitely is worthy of inclusion with regards to the narrative.

Other nice narrative choices made by the editor include the separation of Yoda's battle with Palpatine to make it an independent sequence. Obi-Wan's final battle with Anakin is already a very long one, and to juxtapose these two battles (in the original) was a very poor choice in my opinion, which TM2YC addresses with this change.

Finally, I'd like to address TM2YC's biggest narrative change -- the removal of Anakin becoming "Darth Vader." I am happy to report that this change seems to fit in perfectly well with the narrative. Now the story merely presents Anakin as a Jedi who was turned to the Dark Side of the force, and became Palpatine's apprentice. Thus the reveal of the Darth Vader in Episode IV retains its full impact as an unknown but evil character.

I am not convinced that the "reveal" is truly safe, but that is really beyond the scope of the review for this specific edit.

In terms of what TM2YC within THIS edit (removing Darth Vader, and also removing the naming of the babies), he has done no narrative damage, and does accomplish the goal that after watching his PT, one will not know that Darth Vader is Luke's father.

ENJOYMENT - 8

Enjoyment is obviously a purely subjective issue. I am happy to report that I enjoyed this edit, and see it as an improvement on the original, which I would probably rate around a 7.

First, for the aforementioned visual quality, I have deducted 1/2 point. I also deducted 1/2 point for the aforementioned editing issues.

Personally, I find roughly the first half to two thirds of the movie a bit boring due to all the politics. I think TM2YCs added deleted scenes help flesh out the politics, but at the same time points out how the politics are a bit confusing, as we now have not just the separatists as the enemy of the Republic, but also the Loyalists (now there are two of them!). For this, I have deducted 1/2 point (without TM2YC's changes it would be a full point, so I do acknowledge that TM2YC improved an element of the narrative that I don't enjoy).

Finally, things I don't enjoy about the original are still mostly intact, which include the Chosen One prophesy, talking droids, the incessant coughing of Greivous and the annoying yelps by Obi-Wan's lizard creature. I deducted 1/2 point for all of these.

All in all, this is a lightly edited version of ROTS that nonetheless improves the narrative by astute cuts and mostly positive additions, while at the same time offering us a well executed and bold change to the story of Anakin Skywalker as represented by the PT.

Very nicely done, TM2YC!

OVERALL RATING - 8

Overall, I think TM2YC did a very good job with this edit. I appreciate his attempt at hiding the ultimate "reveal" for chronological order viewing, and also I appreciate his use of deleted scenes to flesh out the narrative he chose to tell. Plus, along the way, he has displayed some fine editing and storytelling skills.

Nice work, TM2YC!

RECOMMENDATIION

I can recommend this edit to those who enjoyed the original movie, and would appreciate or are interested in a version that removes (from the perspective of the audience) the plot point of Anakin becoming "Darth Vader."

My one caveat is that one must not expect pristine image quality, and instead choose to watch this edit primarily for the story, which I do think is well executed, and provides an overall different perspective to how this movie fits into the bigger PT+OT story arc.

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