May 07, 2017
I'm finding it harder to care about this film the more I watch it - especially when it gets to the death star briefing ...which is why I only watch it in the advent of new fan edits. I quite liked this one. I thought the dialogue was very nicely trimmed and many scenes were appropriately truncated to their essence - helping Rey and Fin's characters out immeasurably. Han and Leia's scenes together are much more watchable for their brevity and certain action scenes are much less Abrams.
Kylo Ren is a much better character now also, as he is unmasked much later - giving his showdown with Han much more gravitas and avoiding the fact his person is just not intimidating face to face. The voice fx for him work well. It would be nice, however, to have had more dynamic shots available where he is wearing the mask to use in place of his unmasked scenes without so much seeming repetition, but what can a fan editor do with limited footage? A nifty cgi mask and some rotoscoping might work, but that's all a bit of a fantasy at this level.
The addition of traditional saga fx and sounds were very welcome, although I don't like the "calling" of the lightsabre any way. It's all very Harry Potter and juvenile in it's writing but it is well dealt with in this edit thanks to the sound additions. Artoo's presence felt a little awkward, but it would probably feel fine had I not seen the prior version. I just wish they'd made him purposefully deactivated, rather than "sad". Just silly. I still have problems with the Rey and Leia hug and I wouldn't have minded Han's use of Chewie's bowcaster staying in either. But generally a very tight and flowing narrative.
A fine edit.