Star Wars Episode IX: The Final Order

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9.0 (19)
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11%
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Overall rating
 
9.0
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9.6(19)
Visual Editing
 
9.6(19)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(19)
Narrative
 
8.5(19)
Enjoyment
 
8.9(19)
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(Updated: June 10, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
"THIS IS THE EDIT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR"

Spence my man...you really took the skin off the ball on this one.

Ths won't be a long review since I actually don't want to spoil it for people.

The FX work on this is first class...I mean Adywan levels of quality. Frankly, like others I had to go and do shot for shot comparisions since I did not believe what I saw . I ended up printing out the changes list and ticking them off on a second viewing, with the original in my second blu ray player cued up to switch between the two on my second GEEK pass, as opposed to my first clean watch through.

This is just leagues better than the theatrical version....which would rate a 7, so a big uptick on that score of Enjoyment to a 9. The only reason it is not a 10 is that there are just characters and performance whcih cannot be totally fixed or removed. Simialarly for Narrative, the original would be a 5 or 6, and again, this holds off being a 10 coz there is still a feeling of throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, HOWEVER, this is now a lot cleaner narrative wise, and the excisions made are masterfully executed.

This is a stellar peice of work and even though I concur with many of @nic 's points sits in an Amray case on the shelf next to the official version (which is sine inwards, so that I do not accidentaly watch it EVER AGAIN)!

THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE!
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
JJ Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker is a retro-con sequel to The Last Jedi.

Spence's THE FINAL ORDER is a DIRECT CONTINUATION of The Last Jedi.

And a glorious continuation it is!

I have a love/hate relationship with The Last Jedi. I hate the first half, but love the final half. So I was very nervous what my reaction would be to Spence's latest epic. I shouldn't have been. Spence delivers a rousing, break neck pace narrative that never loses sight of it's emotional core or driving themes.

This is a story of self-empowerment. Instead of being pawns of Destiny, Rey and Ben break their shackles and choose their own paths. It is a bold and tricky new narrative to achieve and in lesser hands probably would not work, but Spense pulls the proverbial rabbit out of the magic hat and delivers a powerful alternate vision.

There is only one pivotal moment involving Kylo Ren that did not 100% work for me, but it does add clarity to later actions and sells the emotion of the moment.

It has to be noted and applauded that the first hour of this edit is almost completely different from the original. Scenes are moved around and restructured, changing their context and emotional beat, that result in a much stronger second half. Spence has also masterfully altered/trimmed/replaced dialogue in many sequences to fit his new narrative and there was only a couple occasions where this was noticeable to me. And of course, new musical choices, that both significantly change the meaning of a scene and reinforces the new themes Spence has created.

Spence has easily achieved and surpassed his set out editing goals -- staying true to The Last Jedi concept that Rey is a "nobody", and crafting a very different and emotionally rewarding hero's journey.

BRAVO!!!

Highly Recommended! :)
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I much prefered watching this version of TRoS than when I saw it originally in the Cinema. Gone are most of the cringy lines, The narrative is much clearer and peoples motivations are able to be understood. This is certainly the best fan edit of this film I have seen so far. I still found myself wishing a couple of moments weren't in the film, but it's what he had to work with. But the improvements are really worthwhile. Additional footage of places in the galaxy make it feel like it's connected to the Star Wars universe we know, Many moments of added or changed dialog and re-ordered scenes made me care more about the characters. And I was pleasently surprised by how well the removal of the Jedi voices worked to make Rey's character feel more fulfilled and the scene more poignent. It shows how much extra rubbish they tried to shoehorn into this movie. Not perfect, but a very watchable Star Wars movie, well done.

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Yes
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A
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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I've now watched a handful of edits of this film. And, sadly, I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to concede that, like the prequels, this just can't be fixed to my satisfaction. This is in no way a criticism of Spence's work. I'm not an editor, but I didn't notice any real issues. He makes some definite improvements and I prefer the direction he take--trying to keep it in line with TLJ--to other edits that seem to more embrace the idea that bloodline is what the Force is all about, Unfortunately, the edit doesn't go far enough for me. To be fair, at this point I'm watching this movie with an eye towards how much could be changed without creating massive narrative issues and I'm not sure much more COULD have been done. Hence my coming to terms with the fact this movie can't be fixed. As it stands I think this edit has some unique ideas that could be merged with other editors' ideas to create something tolerable, if not satisfying. Spence's edit is certainly that for me as it at least de-emphasized some of the more egregious issues, if not eliminated them. It's a well polished turd, but for me still a turd.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 3 0
Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Disclaimer: I've seen the theatrical cut once and Hal's edit once, so I am not crazy familiar with the material. Frankly, the editing felt botched in the theatrical, so if I mistake that for something done by Spence... please accept my apologies.

QUALITY

I opted for the highest quality version available. Visual quality looks good, but softer than I feel it should be for the file size. It's not on par with Hal9000's cut.

Audio sounds decent, but a bit brittle at points.


VISUAL EDITING

Just a couple of things:

10:17 - is this quick visual cut in the original? it threw me
10:28 - this shot is too quick and the sudden change in colour tone (time of day?) felt a little off.
30:03 - cut seems a bit quick


AUDIO EDITING

Unfortunately, there's a rather jarring problem with the presentation of the surround track. It has nothing coming out of the centre channel 90% of the time and then occasionally something will suddenly sound from that speaker, which betrays fanedited elements. The first instance this becomes noticeable is at 6:45 when there is an added bit of dialogue from Palpatine. It is much quieter as well, in spite of coming out of my centre speaker, which i always have up 2db louder than the rest of the system.

I didn't really want to watch the whole film with a bunch of cuts sticking out that Spence didn't intend, so I chose to mix down the surround to stereo for most of my viewing, else I think my list of audio stuff would have been longer. (For the record, I did also drop the file into my NLE to look at the waveforms and check that this wasn't some random issue on my end. )

So, mixed down to stereo, the film generally flows nicely. There's nothing abrupt as such, but there are a few moments where I can hear something off:

9:10 - sounds like two scores are clashing
11:01 - noticeable audio transition
11:39 - noticeable audio transition
12:27 - the way the sounds shifts here feels unnatural
15:12 - something sounds off with the music here
30:04 - remnant of score that's not from previous scene is audible
1:16:30-37 - noticeable transitions between scores

So it's mostly in the early portion of the film, which probably isn't much of a surprise, as that (perceivably) had the most extreme amount of work done. I did also notice a couple of moments where the sound was a bit thinner, probably due to having to clean up the dialogue and rebuild the sound somewhat. But this came across fairly well, all things considered, and wasn't jarring. An example would be during Palpatine's communication with Pryde; in this particular instance, I'd maybe suggest adding some more room ambiance. As it stands, we only hear music and dialogue.

From my stereo experience I would give this an 8, but since the edit only includes a surround sound option and this does not come across well on a surround setup, I've put it at 7.


NARRATIVE

Personally, I feel like this film is such a colossal fail in the realm of storytelling that you're just really limited in terms of what you can fix. That's not to say there isn't anything that can be done, it's just that the entire central premise of the film is so flawed that no matter how many changes are made, I don't think I'm able to invest in this film properly. Hal and co's fixing of the pacing and the colour grading made such a difference for me, but the base script just has so little of value that I could go either way on various other story changes.

That being said, Spence does make some admirable edits here. Most of what I appreciated came in some tweaks to visions or extended moments. I think what was done with Rey's climactic moment was particularly effective.

I don't really see how the choice to cut stuff relating to Snoke helps tie this in better with the other films. But anywho, I generally have no strong personal feelings on the choices made. Spence doesn't create any new narrative issues as far as I can tell, with just a few exceptions:

The transition into Leia's death at 10:28: I actually saw this clip in isolation when it was shared as a preview and thought it worked really nicely, but the way it sits here felt really rushed and out of the blue to me. (to be clear, I'm talking about the context the scene sits in, not the scene itself). Aside from that though, Leia's absence really doesn't have any negative impact on the plot.

The Emporer's presence is already a pretty poorly foreshadowed plot element, as it stands, and the exposition in the crawl was what little we got. Since Spence has cut that people are already aware of the Emperor from the crawl, we now only have one brief scene where the rebellion concludes he is back and it feels pretty poorly developed as a result. Then again, if Spence has plans to give a chunk of foreshadowing for this in a TLJ edit, maybe this criticism is void.

I also think there is the odd bit here or there that feels rushed, but I didn't note anything specific down because I honestly wasn't sure if this was an original error (the theatrical is SO choppy). One moment I did recall being a bit off, which I can see from the cut list was tampered with, is the reaction to the spy.


ENJOYMENT

Hal9000's edit is used as a base for this, and he did a wonderful job in terms of regrading and just allowing everything to be significantly better paced. That alone makes the film an enjoyable watch for me in spite of still generally not being a fan.

Spence's cut is also enjoyable and he does a fairly solid job of executing his own preferences. I do think he stewards some really nice moments here, but for me, since I don't have any super-strong preferences on the narrative, it then comes down to technical execution. Hal's cut is of higher visual and audio quality and there's hardly anything in it that betrays to me that it was fanedited, so that still remains the preferred watch for me, even though I do think Spence adds some nice touches.

That's not to put down Spence's work here and I'm sure it will be a hit for most people. I also know Spence plans on a version 2, so who knows what's in the future :)

User Review

Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply May 07, 2022

Thanks for the review! I figured out the audio issue and have made a new AC3 track available that fixes it.

T
Top 50 Reviewer 79 reviews
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