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9.8 11 10
FanMix October 03, 2021 4360
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It's hard to feel like you're going to be able to improve on one of the best movies of all time, but I think this edit actually does it.

I already have the "Revisited" fanedit of A New Hope, which improves the visuals, audio, and many subtleties that people may not even notice. But one thing it doesn't manage to change is that what should be an epic reunion, a battle between master and student, feels like two clueless British dudes pointing sticks at each other.

The Obi-Wan/Vader duel has always been the weakest area of this film, if not the entire Original Trilogy. Particularly if you're viewing these films in chronological order, this follow up to Episode III simply will not stand! Thankfully there is the dynamic SC38 footage that reimagines a battle fitting for this occasion. And I fought hard to keep the whole thing in while this was being developed, but lantern51 was very cautious about how much of the battle to include, and how to incorporate it. In the end, I think it was merged very well, a conservative replacement to the fight that is certainly noticeable, but not in a bad way.

The other obvious change of course is to incorporate the Vader footage from the end of Rogue One into the beginning of this. While this does create a slight continuity issue as the attack in that film was clearly on a different ship (one that Leia's ship was docked at), I think it's overall worthwhile for the effect it has here. Namely, the original Darth Vader introduction just doesn't hold up. It may have been impressive and dynamic in 1977, but all these years later it feels like a lame follow-up to Episode III. In THIS cut, Our intro to Vader is downright terrifying, and so when he boards the Tantive IV and starts choking people out, it has an extra air of menace because you know he's actually restraining himself.

The final aspect to bring up is just how much better this edit LOOKS. While lantern51 did not use the Revisited edition as a base (so some weirdness like lightsaber jump cuts are still present), the filters and visual changes to this film really are remarkable. It looks damn impressive, and is a sparkling and dynamic way to rewatch one of the great films, a true shelf-replacer that starts this thing with a bang and feels like it never lets up.

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