Great edit. Many subtle changes made that can easily go unnoticed, but a lot of effort was clearly put in (Envy the editor, I do not). I don't agree with all the cuts (more on that below), but overall this is a much stronger version of TFA and one that I would probably choose to watch over the theatrical.
Visual editing was excellent, (new FX like lightsabers and holograms go way over my head), though I have some minor niggles:
- "Who talks first" removal felt awkward. Would work best with one less shot of Poes face IMO. In the last shot it looks like Poe is about to say something.
- I get that it was changed for consistency, but that sunset Tie fighter shot looked soooo good. Now it looks a bit washed out.
- Snoke hologram was a much needed change. I remember seeing the film in the cinema and genuinely thinking he was a giant alien. It honestly didn't clock that he was a hologram until made apparent at the end of the film. To be a nitpicker though, the blue was a little harsh on the eyes in some shots and didn't blend entirely seamlessly IMO. A deeper blue and less hologram jitter would work well.
- Masked Ren during Rey's interrogation was well done, but not to my taste. It's a good moment for him to be revealed IMO. She calls him out as a masked weirdo and he responds like a taunted teenager (which is exactly what he is). It shows a vulnerable side to him and gives weight to Rey's resisting of his powers. I also missed the look on his face when Rey says "you'll never be as strong...". This was well edited though. Some shots you could tell were taken from Kylo sitting on the other side of the room, but generally it was very convincing.
Kudos on this. Bad audio editing is my pet peeve and I'm usually on it like a shark. I didn't pick up anything arry though and there was much eyebrow-raising when I read the cutlist!
- I never had a problem with the Tie fighter blowing up after sinking in the sand. Now that it doesn't, it kinda feels like Finn gives up on Poe a bit too easily. Whereas the explosion wiped out any hope of him being alive.
- I get this was cut for pacing, but I missed "that's not how the force works". It cracks me up every time ;)
- R2 not being asleep was a nice move, but is a bit shaky narrative wise - now it seems weird that we neither see nor hear of him during the film and then he turns up at the end magically weilding the needed map ('ello Deus Ex Machina).
Take a look at the cutlist though and you'll see these are minor complaints. A lot of great work was put into this and the film is stronger overall as a result. Great work, Dig!
Now... (cough)... Good luck editing The Last Jedi! ;)
A wonderful fanedit.
A week before watching Episode VIII, I wanted to watch Episode VII to refresh things. However, I usually prefer looking for a good fanedit instead of watching the original because "No film is without sin", and fanedits often take care of at least some of the sins.
Anyway, the fanedit is highly recommended. The narrative adjustments flow well, and many things make a lot more sense now (e.g., the first time we see Kylo Ren without his helmet).
I really really like this edit. I think it is narratively superior to the theatrical cut. The suspense of who Kylo Ren is held until the proper moment instead of revealing it before any of the other main characters have even met Kylo. This creates for more suspense in the climactic moments of the film because the viewer is still guessing.
The only issue I have are kinda nitpicky, DigModiFication removed some of the humor bits I did rather like(han shooting the bowcaster) and the redone audio for masked Kylo Ren, while sounding great in general, sounds out of place when it directly follows one of Kylo's lines that was filmed masked.
Other than that, I think this is a really strong edit with some great and well executed ideas.
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.