Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens: Restructured

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Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens: Restructured
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
It's another Death Star....
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2015
Original Running Time:
136
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
137
Time Cut:
1
Time Added:
1
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
It's the same Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens you fell in love with, only restructured slightly so that Starkiller Base does not fire until close to the end of the film. During the battle over Starkiller Base, the stakes are no longer protecting the Resistance base, but preventing the destruction of the Republic Capitol. Even though they destroy the First Order's superweapon, they fail to do so in time to save the day.
Intention:
To move the destruction of the Hosnian system to the climax of the film, implementing all the little things necessary to facilitate it seamlessly, and address a few other minor things.
 
How does this restructuring help the film?
- The second act centers around the events of Maz's castle and remains focused on the characters and their struggle to keep the First Order from finding the map to Luke. The First Order catching up to Han and Rey is sufficient motivation for Finn to decide not to leave, without the Hosnian system being destroyed.
- Starkiller Base firing upon the Hosnian system in the third act links it very closely to Kylo Ren's resolution toward the dark side as he kills Han. Pairing these events magnifies each.
- Han taking a risk motivated by love for his son which brings about costly failure is a dark mirror of Vader doing the same in Return of the Jedi and ending up helping to save the galaxy.
- It alleviates the plot's very close parallel with the original Star Wars.
- Starkiller Base is depicted as functioning in an intuitive way: it drains the nearby star (or "the Sun," as Finn describes it), which covers it in darkness, and then fires on the Republic Capitol. Gone are the awkward questions about why the planet was still in daylight when it fired the first time during the second act, and whether the base is mobile.
- It avoids depicting the Hosnian system clearly visible to the naked eye, very large in the sky, from lightyears away. The official Lucasfilm canon answer is that Starkiller Base created a "space-time disruption," an obvious bandaid answer to apologize for a wanton move on the filmmakers' part. One wonders whether such intersystem spectacles are common in this world, because no one who witnessed the destruction had the slightest trouble identifying what was happening.
- It avoids raising the question of why the Resistance did not begin evacuating their base during the third act when they know they are the target. In the original Star Wars, the Death Star was looming overhead; here, there's no obvious reason why they could not have fled.
Additional Notes:
This project was born of the emergent idea from all over the Internet after we all saw the film. Numerous people atOriginalTrilogy.com suggested this idea immediately after release. See also William Gillis’ blog post which explains his rationale for desiring this change: https://humaniterations.net/2016/03/26/how-to-fix-the-force-awakens/
Other Sources:
Various sound effects from the Star Wars franchise
Special Thanks:
Everyone at OriginalTrilogy.com who contributed, including:
NeverarGreat (Visual and audio effects)
Sir Ridley (Visual and audio effects)
Jackpumpkinhead (Visual effects)
Sherman (Cover artwork)
MalàStrana (English and French subtitles)
Octorox
Smithers
Chris Solo
Ben_danger
That_OT_Ruler
RogueLeader
Kexikus
Bingowings
Darthrush
ImperialFighter
Yuri_Kenobi
Littlev87
Tomo
Cheebo
DominicCobb
TK251
SkywalkerFan01
Rpvee
Scott109
DigMod
DuracellEnergizer
Sougouk
EddieDean
Willrow-Hood
ForceGhostRecon
Jack of All Trades
Vladius
Spiphisser
Marduk666
Chyron8472
HyperDown
Oojason
DougieP
Edezio Enk’or Valorum
Hardcore Legend
JawsTDS
Yotsuya
StarWarsFan Sweden
Valheru_84
KumoNin
SUP3RDeathStar
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RogueLeader
AbramPT
Darth_ender
Possessed
YodaFan67
ChainsawAsh
Guilty
Ray_afraid
Anjohan
Tobar
Fishmanlee 
Krlozdac

Others:
William Gillis (Blogger who voiced the core idea for this project which appeared shortly after the film’s release)
Noodle_Finger (fan editor behind a prior TFA edit)
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Digital
  • Digital
Special Features
- Fan Editor's commentary track
- Chapter stops
- Subtitles (English and French) (Not present on DVD5 release)

1080p BluRay-compatible mkv:
- H.264, 1920x1080p, 23.976 fps video
- 5.1 640kbps AC3 audio

720p iTunes-compatible mp4:
- 1280.720, 23.976 fps video
- 5.1 384kbps AAC audio
- 5.1 640kbps AC3 audio

DVD5:
- 720x480, 23.976 fps video
- 5.1 448kbps AC3 audio
Cuts and Additions:
Cuts and Additions (V4 changes denoted with an asterisk*):

As Finn mans the TIE fighter with Poe, trimmed firing upon fellow stormtroopers so soon after planning to escape. Now, he causes peripheral damage to prevent them from firing at him and takes aim at the command center. (Slightly shifted the placement of the film’s trademark Wilhelm scream in order to retain it.)

Removed Kylo Ren identifying Finn’s stormtrooper ID from memory.

*Made it appear that Finn woke from the TIE crash shortly after daybreak, with the dark effect gradually declining as the scene progresses. (Idea from NeverArGreat)

Added the Falcon jumping to hyperspace after leaving Jakku, then being ripped from hyperspace soon after, along with removing a now-out-of-place line from Finn about “get[ting] out of this system.” (FX by NeverarGreat)

*Removed Han’s somewhat kindly, “Come on outta there” to Finn and Rey while leaving the directional nod (thanks to NeverArGreat).

Removed Rey saving Finn from the rathtars, cutting from Finn’s line, “They look like that,” to Han and Chewie arriving at the door to the Falcon.

Removed General Hux from the first scene with Snoke, where he suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic. (FX by Jackpumpkinhead to remove Hux walking offscreen during first shot)

Removed Finn’s comedic line about almost being killed several times by Chewie while tending to him on the Falcon (Mimicked DigModiFicaTion’s approach).

*Removed Han describing the need for Maz to help them get a ‘clean ship.’ It doesn’t add anything, and their motives are already clear enough. (Idea from NeverArGreat)

*Subtle rendition of the first part of the Emperor’s Theme has been added to the Imperial March as we see Vader’s shattered helmet (thanks to Sir Ridley).

*Added two lines from the Emperor during Rey’s Force vision to very gently hint toward the revelations within Episode IX.

*Repurposed excised footage from the rathtar sequence to depict Rey separated from Finn in her Force vision. (Thanks to NeverArGreat)

After Rey flees Maz’s castle after her Force vision, replaced the Hosnian system being destroyed in the sky with a Star Destroyer. Finn and Han now gaze up to see that the First Order has caught up with them, as they feared. Finn’s line to Han about the First Order has been changed, including a brief visual modification to his mouth. (FX by Sir Ridley and NeverarGreat)

*Reinstated Han shooting a stormtrooper while facing the other way, which had been removed in V3, due to its reference in Episode IX.

Throughout the battle at Maz’s castle, applied a slight sunset color correction to harmonize the sunset lighting present before and afterward.

*Audio from the trailer was used to add a sound effect to a TIE being shot down (turned out to be barely noticeable, but I did it anyway).

New deleted scene included of Leia discussing the Republic. The scene was originally intended for earlier in the film, and Leia’s prominent braid has been removed to match her scenes immediately prior and after. Audio has been redesigned to accompany a finished film, and the sequence retimed to accommodate it. (FX by Sir Ridley and NeverarGreat)

When Finn is introduced to Leia, removed mention of the Hosnian system’s destruction, though retained mention that Finn had worked on the base (thanks to FX work by NeverarGreat).

R2 now has a blinking light to indicate that he has begun searching for the map. (FX by NeverarGreat)

After Rey resists Kylo Ren’s mind probe, added the portion of the Snoke scene from earlier where General Hux suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic. Kylo Ren’s face has been overlaid where his mask was for one shot, and a few shots from behind have had the back of his head replace his hood. (FX by Jackpumpkinhead and krlozdac)

*Fixed two continuity errors introduced by the restructuring: Snoke is now seen rising from his seat in a new context rather than suddenly appearing upright, and his mouth no longer moves in a shot in which he is silent. (Thanks to NeverArGreat for the former.)

Moved General Hux’s impassioned speech to after Kylo Ren overreacts to Rey’s escape from her cell.

After the speech, the nearby Sun beings to be drained, as Hux and the troops gaze upon the stream being sucked into the planet. (Recolored to yellow-orange, and reversed so as to appear to be going down into the ground)

During the briefing scene at the Resistance base, removed Leia identifying their base as the Starkiller’s next target, Threepio lamenting the prior loss of the Republic fleet, and well as mention that the First Order is charging the weapon “again.”

Cleaned up the smoke and debris around the Starkiller weapon exhaust when the X-Wings approach. (FX by NeverarGreat)

During a brief cutaway to the Resistance base as Han and Chewie infiltrate the oscillator, removed Threepio’s line, “It would take a miracle to save us now.”

Removed Finn’s comedic moment of misunderstanding Han’s head nod while searching for Rey (Mimicked DigModiFicaTion’s approach).

Immediately after Kylo Ren kills Han, the Starkiller fires and destroys the Hosnian system, as Leia senses it through the Force. (Some FX by Sir Ridley and NeverarGreat)

As Finn and Rey start to head outside the oscillator, cut to Snoke and Hux planning to destroy the Resistance. (FX by Sir Ridley)

First Order technician redubbed to state the weapon will be fully “re”-charged in 30 seconds. (Voice from AbramPT)

Chewie has been cropped out of a shot of him walking past Leia. (Crop and image enhancement by Sir Ridley)

Extended the shot of R2 waking up, to allow him to finish searching his backup data. (FX by NeverarGreat)

Color corrected Ach-to to bring it a little closer to the corresponding scene’s lighting and weather conditions in The Last Jedi.

*Added a few subtle porg sounds to the background, replacing two native bird sounds.

The final shot of the film has been stabilized. (FX by NeverarGreat)
Blu-Ray Cover art by Sherman (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image


DVD Cover art by Sherman (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

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Excellent work throughout. Transforms what was initially a "cover-band" version of A New Hope into a dark mirror of that film's hopefulness. Everything that went right for our heroes the first time goes terminably awful, or at least the things that felt like mere plot points in Episode IV (Obi-Wan's death, the destruction of Alderaan) resonate much more strongly here, thanks to the editor's re-alignment of events. The First Order is framed as dangerous insurrectionists who have managed to strike a blow against democracy, and the galaxy is upended once again, setting the stage for much more tense stakes of the next instalment. No amount of editing can smooth over the lucky coincidence-powered story beats that fuel this movie, but theme and character are at least allowed center stage to distract the viewer from these failings. I look forward to seeing what miracles Hal9000 can work with Episode IX next...

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The Force Awakens Restructured addresses several weak points and pacing issues that exist in the theatrical cut. The changes I noticed most in this cut:

Kylo Ren no longer has a Darth Vader fetish, nor an altar to Darth Vader. I like this change, it makes the reveal that much more poignant when Rey reads Kylo’s mind and senses he fears that he will never live up to what Darth Vader was.

Better editing of the audio and video snippets Rey experiences when grabbing Anakin’s lightsaber for the first time.

Starkiller base is introduced WAY later in the film. The Resistance doesn't find out about the Starkiller weapon until well after they’ve launched a plan to save Rey in this edit. Starkiller base doesn’t launch its first attack until right after Han dies. Kind of a downer, the initial mission fails because Han’s team didn’t detonate the explosives in time. Personally, I felt with all that had been cut from Starkiller base’s backstory, even more could have been cut, to make it a race against the clock for The Resistance to destroy the base before it got to fire a single time. But that’s really my only point of contention with this edit.

What was cut wasn’t needed, and what was kept was good. The changes make sense, and this is a fan edit well worth watching.

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Continuing a re-watch of the Skywalker Saga, this is the first edit of TFA I've ever watched.

I mistakenly thought that this was an edit for a prolonged reveal of Kylo Ren's identity. But in fact, this is an edit for (spoilers ahead) moving the destruction of the Hosnian system to just after Han gets killed. This change ratchets up the emotion considerably. Before, my only reaction was, "Oh, a bunch of extras that I've never met are dying. Whoop-dee-do." Now, as I'm still reeling from the sucker punch of Han's death, all this new death and mayhem gets shown onscreen. It's gut-wrenching in a good, dramatic way, the way it should have felt the first time.

Only quibble: Even though HAL changes the line to say that the weapon will be "re"-charged in 30 seconds, the question now becomes where the charging comes from. The first time, Starkiller Base sucked up an entire sun. In the theatrical cut, since time has passed, viewers can assume that the Base has eaten another sun. But how did it charge again so quickly if it just spent all its energy wiping out a system? There was no time for it to consume a different star. And if it still had energy left over after all that, why did it need to re-charge? Mind you, it takes longer to write out the reason for the quibble than it does for this tiny moment to happen onscreen. It doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment.

And the addition of the Emperor's theme in v4 when Kylo Ren talks to Vader's helmet is an EXCELLENT choice, because (spoilers) of what we learn in Ep. IX.

I haven't seen any other TFA edits to compare this one to, but this is absolutely a top-notch effort!

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Not much to add to the many reviews:

- The main edit effort works, firing once instead of twice. It doesn't feel like anything is missing from the film.

- Edited transitions are seamless.

- My kids didn't realize they were watching a fanedit, despite having seen the theatrical multiple times.

- This edit successfully replaces the theatrical for me.

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I enjoyed the heck out of this and it is now my definitive version of the film. The ordering of starkiller base firing feels seemless and also common sense. I liked other edits where they downplay Rey's abilities and hold back Kylor Ren's reveal but your restructure is my canon now. Great job and keep doing what you do.

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