Let’s just say that to me, TLJ is the worst Star Wars movie ever and that I don’t consider it even a Star Wars movie.
With that said, this edit is better than the theatrical cut, but that was so bad it’d be hard not to.
So I’ll go with what a liked and disliked about this edit.
- Luke lived
- Casino, Finn Rose gone
- most of Holdo Poe gone
- Leia dies in space
- without the casino scenes the movie is a complete bore as it focuses on Rey/Kylo/Luke etc too much and barely anything happens at all.
Again this is Rian’s fault and not the edit.
I plan never to watch any version of this movie ever again.
Tagline - "Gone, the cringe mostly is. But beware the Johnson script, for no edit can truly save this movie.."
So, let me set the tone of my initial opinion of TLJ before I watched this edit - during my only viewing of this movie at the cinema, I cringed...a lot. I physically face palmed multiple times, I constantly asked myself "am I watching a Star Wars movie??..". All of this happened within the first 10-15 minutes of the movie starting, after which I mostly sat in stunned disbelief and mouthed "WTF" many times throughout, unable to look away from the train wreck unfolding in front of my very eyes. I felt offended to be a Star Wars fan, I could nearly see Rian Johnson's middle finger coming through the cinema screen. I left the cinema extremely confused and dispirited and ultimately came to hate this movie with every fibre of my being. This was after mostly enjoying TFA and looking forward to seeing where many of the unanswered questions led in the next movie, to which Rian Johnson answered "no where".
Ok, the picture is set of where I stand on this movie. Now I am not going to turn around and say that this edit fixed everything and I now love TLJ, that will never happen though obviously through no fault of the editor as he can only work with what is to hand and rearrange, twist and stretch it so many ways. I can say however, that if Clark Zuckerberg's first fanedit of TLJ made it at least mostly watchable, then Don Kamillo's fanfix easily achieves this first step and does far more, though unfortunately still falling far short of making it a movie that I can overall enjoy and actually want to return to ever again, except to potentially evaluate any other daringly promising fan edits in the future.
I can see vestiges of a compelling story and characters I could come to actually care about throughout many parts of this edit, I actually start to get a feeling of "Star Wars" again at times but it is fleeting and unfortunately often blown away by the same scenes jogging memories of the actual movie we got at the cinemas and I think it will be like this for quite some time.
Overall though, I think DonKamillo has done an outstanding job to even get me that far and to actually watch the whole movie through again. He certainly removed nearly all of the main cringe and parts I would immediately remove myself with only a few remaining that did have the effect of reminding me of the sheer cringe factor of so much of the original movie. Many of Don's ideas to change the narrative with some clever scene rearrangement and reuse for different purposes I think were pulled of very well and worked for me when I could remain "in" the story.
On a technical level, the AV quality was excellent even though I forgot to switch from the default stereo to the surround audio track (I would have the surround as default IMHO) but a quick skip back through the movie with surround selected and I could tell the audio sounded excellent. I feel there is definite improvement needed on the editing side of things with quite a number of noticeable cuts and odd audio gaps in music, there were a lot of these in particular toward the end of the movie when on the salt planet. Having never edited or fanfixed a movie myself I can only assume how challenging it can be but I can't rate higher than a 7 on both visual and audio editing sorry.
I found the narrative much improved from the original, so much so that I don't think there is a lot of headroom left for major improvement from the material left over with what Don has done, hence the 8. Unfortunately as you may have guessed, enjoyment is where it absolutely bombs for me though if it is of any consolation, the original movie goes into the negatives here so a 3 is rather good if you think about that. In the end, there were a few moments where I smiled, maybe one laugh at some point but I think any actual enjoyment was from not being subjected again to the most offensive parts of this movie which I do profusely thank you for Don.
All things considered, where I ended up after viewing this edit I think is leagues ahead from what I expressed at the start of this review and so in that sense this is a hugely successful edit and I wish I could actually rate it higher which Don's efforts deserve but Johnson's 'The Last Fan Fiction' ultimately denies.