Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens: Restructured

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9.4
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9.9(28)
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Overall rating
 
9.3
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10.0
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9.0
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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Top 10 Reviewer 136 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.3
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
It was great. The original film kinda feels too narrow. It was good and enjoyable but I felt it kinda had more to it than what was shown.
This restructured edit exposed the other hidden parts of the film that allowed the entire thing to kinda relax and stretch outward, like a giant settling into its chair.

I never noticed the edits. Perhaps because it has been some time since I've seen the original, but somehow the entire edit is solid and well-paced. Some aspects still ring rather hollow for me: the entire thing with Maz Kanata simply drags on. Especially in light of what was to come later in the trilogy. Focusing more on Rey's character arc was a good thing, but it did slow the film down. It felt like the slow, stretched out middle part of a miniseries. Overall at Takodana, the film simply slows down a little too much, and it feels like something from The Phantom Menace, especially since right before it the escape sequence was so damn thrilling. Then again, it's not the editor's fault that the film itself is pretty much rather long. It feels as if the entirety of A New Hope and half of Empire Strikes Back was crammed into a single movie, but then again, cutting out more than HAL9000 already did would greatly disrupt the film's identity.

Other than that, it was great. Great video quality, great audio. I'd watch it again.

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Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
In going through edits of the sequel series, I’ll give credit to the go-to selections here, although I’m looking at it from a lens a few years removed from that insufferable final film and amidst the various successes and failures of SW on the small screen.

Force Awakens will be best viewed via Hal’s edit, although TFA isn’t an intrinsically a bad film to begin with. There is a lingering bad taste the final film (a cinema experience, for me, unparalleled in its repulsiveness) gave to the overall trilogy when we realize there isn’t going to be any real backstory, nor satisfying arc, for Finn.

Finn’s character instead was used as a sort of plot device from the get-go and to realize that his story wasn’t any deeper than it seemed from this first episode is indeed disappointing.

But alas, I’m not reviewing the edit, which, by restructuring some of the elements here does put a better spin on Finn and his place in the story. I’ll forever have a soft spot for this film in general, seeing my old childhood heroes come back, and this edit serves these characters well, aside from the fact that Chewie still needs to be blocked out of the scene when Leia and Daisy (er….Rey, sorry) embrace, and the inexplicable indifference the film has to Han’s final scene I will never forgive. That’s just me. But I’m not alone here...

Again, I digress. No fault of our editor, whose work on the prequels I have enjoyed immensely. I feel obliged to keep a copy of the first two sequels on hand. This is one of them.

If you’re hesitant to give a full-blown, four-alarm fire recommendation for a fanedit because the film itself has distasteful elements, I guess this the classic reviewer conundrum. Can you discern good Korean food from average if you have problems with digesting that spice?

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Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
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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(Updated: June 13, 2022)
Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
As always great work. Really enjoyed this one. The theatrical cut is a fun movie, but this trimmed version is even better. Probably the most enjoyable SW, from a pure fun, easy to watch standpoint.

Your restructuration decisions are on point, Clearly elevates the overall story and climax.

A fun episode, made more fluid and even better to watch. Nothing outstanding writing and story wise, can't change this, but after the prequels pretty much was the onyl thing fans wanted.

Thanks for this, and all your others reworks. (French subtitles appreciated as always)

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