Before watching from start to end, I saw a few random scenes from the edit and read about some of the changes. While I noted multiple improvements and interesting choices right away, I wasn't 100% on board, as changes were also made to some aspects of the film that I liked. Also, not all alterations felt that necessary to me personally. But that's the case with all fan edits anyway.
Overall, I must admit that the edit definitely makes a good movie noticeably better. Next time I want to experience Episode IX, I will consider which version I feel like watching. Looking forward to V2 as well. Happy to see when Star Wars community is doing something really useful, interesting, impactful and positive for a change. The project felt to me like it came from a place of love and passion first, not annoyance and/or disappointment. I might be off here, but I hope I'm not :)
Quality is excellent. This looks and sounds great.
Visual editing is flawless, and regardless of whether it works for you or not, some of the FX work here is spectacular. Top tier fanediting.
I hate to say it, but there were a couple of audio moments that seemed a little off to me. Nothing jarring, just some moments where it sounded like two scores were clashing and probably needed smoothing a touch more. They are pretty minor, but they're there.
The original narrative... ugh. I'm not going to go into that in any real detail. But suffice to say that Rise was a sequel to what many fans wished for Episodes VII and VIII to be, but it was not a sequel to what those films actually were. Rise is an onslaught of jarring narrative choices, odd character moments and bad writing. Rushed production and erratic editing are the poison-icing on top of a badly-baked cake; one that has severe, foundational problems that are either unfixable or are going to take a hell of a lot of work/brainstorming.
But then here come Hal and friends to the rescue... Have they magicked Rise into a masterpiece? Absolutely not. But what has been achieved is a better paced, better looking, more enjoyable foundation for which many can build upon in the future. I did not enjoy TROS at all in the cinema - it didn't let me breathe, and it looked disgusting, but the trims and re-ordering of scenes here really works wonders in terms of being able to just sit and take in what is happening. Yes, it's still a little erratic at points (mainly the first act), but it's one hell of an improvement, and I dare say I actually ENJOYED watching it. The colour correction is also a masterstroke, and meant that I could actually appreciate some of the cinematography, rather than simply wishing it didn't look like someone had thrown up all over the screen.
Some other, very bold (yet easy to miss), editing choices have been made to strengthen the narrative. They will work for some and not for others. My problems with the film run deeper than any of the things these changes try to improve upon, and so I don't have any strong feelings about them either way. But I would say they meet their goal in fixing what they were designed to fix, and they are executed with Hollywood-level professionalism.
Enjoyment: I don't like this film. It's a bad film. BUT I like elements, aspects, scenes (Solo and Kylo, anyone? *chef's kiss*) - and this edit allowed me to realise that. It drew my attention to what there was to like and, overall, created something that (unlike the theatrical) I could actually fathom sitting down and watching for a 2nd time.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyMay 08, 2021
Thanks for the review! As we’re working on a version 2, would you message me about the audio issues you noticed?
This edit, though it didn't fix all of the major structural issues of the original film, it did an amazing job at fixing so many of the moments that just ruined the story for me. I am so impressed with this work and it makes the Third trilogy actually enjoyable now.
An often subtle but absolutely brilliant collaborative effort. This edit shows a lot of love for the material and great care, thought and effort is displayed throughout. This is TROS at its best and easily replaces the original for me.