The three juggernauts of Star Wars edits for me are; Adywan, Harmy & Hal. These three editors are the standard I try to hold my own editing. Their edits are pristine, crisp, and always at the highest quality and technical skill. Hal's final instalment of the sequel trilogy continues that tradition. I haven't cared to watch any edits of this movie as I felt more disappointed after watching it than I did TLJ. The theatrical cut of TRoS felt like a cluster of telegraphed exposition and visuals that introduced new ideas and characters at a whiplash inducing pace. Character sacrifices were remedied by inserting a metaphorical quarter into the video game approach to this movie. This cheapens the characters and removes any suspense or risk. Watching Hal's project thread grow over the span of this project at OT, I became excited for the possibility that Hal and all of the other amazing collaborating editors could pull something amazing off with this edit.
As a side note, If you haven't seen the incredible work editors are doing at OT to create new scenes or augment preexisting scenes you are missing out on seeing what is truly possibly as a faneditor.
And here we go,
Audio/Video Quality: 10
When I look at this rating section I instantly see Han Solo looking at me saying with a grin, "Hey, it's me."
This is Hal, you know it's 10/10
Visual Editing: 10
See the above comment.
Audio Editing: 9
I'm being nitpicky here. The audio is flawless throughout, but there are two instances that I noticed. One was earlier in the film when a new musical piece was used that had a different energy that lead into the pre-existing piece that was noticeable, but ultimately not an issue. BUT, the very last scene with the falcon jumping to hyperspace with Rey's theme playing didn't work for me. The music choice was fine, but there is an abrupt jump from her theme to the Star Wars credits theme. Is there a way to let Rey's theme approach its conclusion more before that transition?
Other than those two moments the audio editing is flawless.
I'm trying not to have this be based on the movie itself, as I didn't care for the theatrical cut. The narrative shifts were executed well and were rarely noticed. I like that you took the focus off of those planet killing cannons on the star destroyers, but we're reminded of that plot point when Poe yells out, "We've got to take out those cannons!" after Rey stops Palpatine's lightning strike on the ships. I also take a point away for leaving in that kiss.......:P This narrative is essentially a less eye rolling version of the theatrical My favorite narrative changes are jonh's Force Ghosts (this is hollywood quality level stuff) and moving the holochess scene to the end :)
I will admit that this time around I was more ok with Ben Solo's character continuing after the death star scenes, though I think inserting DonKamillo's Ben Solo death scene from the Anti-Cringe cut would strengthen the narrative of this edit. Han and Ben's scene in this movie is probably my favorite moment in all of Star Wars. It was fresh, unexpected, and beautifully filmed and acted. Anyway, back to the review.
I give this an 8 as I liked the changes that were made, but still feel it has room to change things up more. I believe that is Hal's intention though. To create a base that the majority like and can be used to create something more.
Quick question, is there enough vapor in the air for their to be rainbows on Tatooine?
Ok I feel a bit mixed in giving this a 7, but I do so because it isn't terribly different than the movie it is derived from, and I didn't care for the movie itself. Let me be clear, I LOVE Hal's work and consider it to be a gold standard of fanediting. If you want to know how to make an outstanding edit, watch Hal's edits. If you want to know how to collaborate with fellow editors, read Hal's project threads. If you want to know how to be a good human being, PM Hal and realize how nice of a person he is. This is a near perfectly executed edit that makes the base material more accessible. That's always been the goal of these sequel trilogy edits. Hal never disappoints in that regard. This edit gave me some new ideas and provided hope that perhaps one day I could use this fantastic edit as a base or collaborate with fellow editors to create a new vision for this film/trilogy.
I enjoyed the 'Rise of Skywalker' ride at the cinema but on re-viewings the flaws inevitably become all too clear. I don't even blame J. J. Abrams, he had the thankless task of simultaneously following on from what he setup in his first film, clearing up the mess left by 'The Last Jedi' which had essentially chucked the first film away (like a lightsaber), pleasing fans of TLJ, pleasing haters of TLJ, retconning Rey's backstory from TFA and TLJ because fans didn't like it, starting again with a vague blank slate and wrapping up a three film trilogy all in 2-ish hours. He knows how to make something that looks, feels, sounds, tastes and smells like vintage OG Star Wars but the script is a convoluted, exhausting mess, chasing it's own tail from one pointless plot point to another. Still, there are some real moments of emotion and drama in there which work. e.g. Luke finally lifting his X-Wing and scary zombie Palpatine.
HAL 9000's 'Ascendant' fanedit doesn't dramatically trim the plot but does make tons of little tweaks to make moments play better. None of which you'd ever know about, had this been presented to you as the official finished professional product. Every one of the edits to the video and audio (and story) is 100% seamless. I'd recommend this to people who want a better version of RoS (one to replace their official copy) but not to people who are seeking a comprehensively different version. The new ending is fantastic, again not radically different but so much better, with a bit more finesse and FX work. Congratulations and thanks to the many people that seem to have contributed many ideas and FX fixes to this version. Thanks HAL 9000.
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?
Superbly done in a technical sense, and it makes almost every improvement possible to what was - narrative-wise and pacing-wise - the weakest of the sequel trilogy. Won't be watching the original version anymore - this one is the business.
This is about as good as this movie can get without drastically altering the story. There's a few things that I personally may have removed and/or kept, but overall this is an incredibly functional movie. This may not sound like much, but the original was an incomprehensible, maddening mess. The fact that I could watch this and enjoy it is amazing.
The small changes are what matter here. lengthening some establishing shots, re-ordering a few things. Adding in the Kylo Ren force ghost, the new take on "Rey Skywalker" and the new final shot. These are all things that the movie should've done to begin with.
I still don't love this movie, and there are story choices in it I'll never like or understand. But it is the movie it is, and it is canon, which means we are stuck with it for better or worse. Hal has made it not only tolerable, but enjoyable. It's certainly the worst ST film, but it's far from the disgrace it was on release. Great job!