To start with, my brief thoughts on the original TFA. I loved it! Say what you will about all the "member berries" and the copy paste script from Episode IV, all correct obviously, but I loved it. I'm talking about an enjoyment factor 9. So, for me to see a fanedit of this, it had to bring something special to the table, besides just trimming scenes. From what I saw, there where two takes on the narrative side of things. Moving the destruction of the planets to coincide with Han Solo's death (spoiler alert) and this, delaying Kylo's parentage and face reveal. Both had me really intrigued, but I went first with the planet thingy, mostly because I was carried away by the fans that preferred this over Kylo's take. So, I saw HAL's edit first, but I realized I did not like that version of storyline, even though it was flawlessly edited. I've also written a review for HAL's version, so you can check my reasoning there.
Now moving on to this version. Well, DigiModiFicaTion worked his magic once again! This is the 4th piece of work I'm watching from this editor, and I haven't only seen his Star Wars projects, so I knew I was in for, at least, excellent quality stuff. Indeed, on the audio visual editing side of things everything was almost perfect! I say almost, because the scene where Kylo interrogates Rey, is kind of weird, because all the scenes with his mask off are edited out. So I was feeling throughout the scene that something was tampered with. Not a huge deal and I'm guessing nothing else could be done, but it should be mentioned.
On the narrative side of things, oh boy, did this work for me!! Making the reveal of Kylo happening at the end, made so much sense! And it was also the way that it was done by the editor! You get the first piece of info when Kylo says at Vader's mask, "Grandfather", so you know he is either the son of Leia or Luke's. But since he is a wannabe sith, something that also leans towards that with other pieces of info later in the movie, you think it is definitely Luke's son. You get the definitive answer at the very end, with Han. Also removing the lashing out parts of Kylo made him truly more menacing and less "teenage-y". Generally, if someone had watched this as a first viewing of the TFA, it would have elevated the film. for that person, a lot!
Other trimmed scenes, throughout the movie, were also very welcome, with the exception of the following:
- At the beginning, cutting the line from Poe telling Finn "You need a pilot", was, I believe, a mistake. Not because the joke was good, that's an editor's preference, but exactly because it was meant to be a joke, the actor who plays Finn oversells the line "because it's the right thing to do". Now that the response from Poe is cut, it just seems as bad acting and not because Finn meant what he said. I was really suprised with this cut.
- Another cut that was unnecessary, was Poe recognising his jacket on Finn. I mean, it really is his jacket and he gives it to Finn, why was it so wrong, so it had to be cut?
- At the part where Kylo hears the bad news about the escape, the editor cutted the lashing out, with the lightsaber, part. That was great, but I felt the force chocking, could be left in. I mean, all the sith have done it numerous times, for less reasons than hearing bad news. So it wouldn't be out of place, with the general idea of the edit, if it was left in.
- My only "negative" comment with the overall Kylo's parentage idea here, is that in a very short time, Kylo senses and mentions Han Solo twice. I think it would have worked better, with the overall leading the audience towards Luke being the father, if Kylo mentions Han only when he enters the Millennium Falcon.
- Moving towards the end, I don't think removing the info about R2 shutting down since Luke's disappearance, works better. Because since we have no knowledge about R2 and we just see him at the end with the map, there no reason he wouldn't inform Leia and the others that he has the missing piece. Now he just looks like a jerk. Not that I agree with R2 shutting down, but since he has this crucial, small part in the movie, we can live with having a brief mention about his shutting down shenanigan.
- Lastly, I really don't understand why there should be no Luke scene at the end. I mean, it is a great cliffhanger, even now. Would you remove the cliffhanger from Empire Strikes Back, just because you know how that went in the sequel?
Be that as it may, the Kylo parentage and face reaveal thing, still outweighs the negatives I mentioned and I can safely say that this will be my go-to version of the film. I just wish there where subtitles, but I understand how tedious and long work that would be.
So, I definitely recommend this to anyone, even if you liked the original a lot. It will be your go-to version and you will wonder why on earth this wasn't done in the original!
Thank you DigiModiFicaTion, thanks to anyone who read my review and may the force be with you!
Liked all the changes. Definitely more enjoyable than the original release. Favorite part is Kylo Ren character benefits from later reveal.
Like you mentioned before most of the humor you cut improves the pace and feel.
Can't wait to see more of your star wars changes.
HUGE Star Wars fan here. After seeing TFA in theaters I was not overly impressed, but didn't hate it either. A very safe and simple story, but I thought it was a decent launching pad for the rest of the trilogy. After 8 & 9 I grew to despise 7 as much as those two since I didn't feel any payoff as the trilogy went on.
I have watched a few other fan edits of 7 looking for something I can stomach, and this is it. Pairing this film edit with the DonKamillo Anti-Cringe movies to follow actually makes this movie a good watch.
A/V Quality: Perfect to my eyes, didn't notice anything there which gives that area a 10.
Visual Editing: I didn't see anything jarring here either. This is an easy 10, especially due to the Kylo helmet fixes which added a LOT to this movie.
Audio Editing: This would be an area I'd knock down, but only by a little by giving it 9. I think the added Kylo helmet scenes were slightly noticeably different than the original voice effect. I praise the effort and the idea and still am very glad it was included, but in a future version I'd try to refine the effects on Kylo's voice in those few scenes. Aside from that, maybe a few uncomfortable audio spikes but I honestly couldn't say whether or not the original film was like that as well.
Narrative: Vastly improved over the original narrative. Trimming the Rathtar scene works incredibly well, and overall cutting a few of the more cringe-y lines helps the tone overall. The main improvement is definitely the way Kylo was handled though. No longer a petulant child, he is now a menacing figure up until the very end when you see him crack. Kylo was actually pretty terrifying and this edit has a darker tone which helps its narrative a lot. I'd give the narrative a 9 as I have seen edits of moving around the Hosnian Prime destruction to later in the film which I think really works, but the soundtrack additions in this edit do help that scene over the original as well.
Enjoyment: Whereas I would've originally gave TFA a 7/10 in the theater version (before seeing 8 & 9), I would give HttF an 8/10, which earns a 9/10 performance for this edit.
Near perfect and my go-to version of this movie now. Vastly improved over the original, especially in terms of the Kylo story and removing some of the insufferable lines. Could use a little touchup on audio in a few places and perhaps even go farther with the narrative overhaul. Easily the best TFA edit I have ever seen.
Like other reviewers I watched this in the cinema and came away feeling somewhat betrayed. While nothing can ever make these films canonical, this cut has at least made this particular entry more watchable.
Not much could be done about the unremarkable characters, those cringy angled shots of boring Rey towering over a cowardly Fin. The safe narrative which echoes a New Hope is still there but less blatant . But this is a review of the edit, not the source material and until AI improves to the point we can more easily replace entire characters and render new scenes, this is close to as good as it will come for now.
I will reserve a perfect 10/10 score, not because this does not deserve it, but to leave room to see what Don Kamillo may pull off with a definitive Anti-Cringe cut. There is still some cringe I would like to see liberated. Perhaps AI could one day be trained to replace Rey with Nausicaä? This movie has now gone from mediocre Woke Wars to a semi-decent Star Wars FanFiction. The cut is worthy of praise.
It did everything it set out to do to a superb degree of polish and exceeded the original in every way. It is currently my definitive way of experiencing this first entry into the sequel trilogy. Expressing sincere thanks to DigModiFicaTion, may the force be with you!
The Force Awakens was by far my favorite of the Sequel Trilogy, but even my terrible taste in movies (I still think Captain Marvel's a decent movie) can point out the film's faults. This edit really goes the extra mile in alleviating those faults when possible, and softening the blow in cases where the problem is unavoidable. Kylo Ren is far more intimidating, the buildup to his past and face reveal are much better handled, and the added audio cues add some weight to the scenes in question. There was one scene in particular, however, that I don't quite get. In one scene, BB-8 has a moment with R2-D2 that I don't quite understand. Was BB-8 trying to communicate with R2, who was too busy piecing together a map to Luke's whereabouts? I'm not sure. Yes, Rey is still something of a Mary Sue, but I feel this edit manages to make her OP-ness just a little less jarring. Either that, or my suspension of disbelief for sci-fi fantasies is just a little too broad for me to have a valid opinion. Regardless, I recommend that people not only watch this edit, but accept it as their headcanon, because all Disney cares about is Woke Twitter.