This is a very enjoyable edit. The transitions are almost seamless, and the story is certainly fun. That said, there is one issue I have with this that I cannot leave unsaid. Unlike The Clone Wars, Rebels has much more isolated, episodic stories (at least in the earlier seasons). This makes it really easy to see when one episode ends and another begins, and the edit suffers for it. Still, it is a very nice alternative for those who want to watch Rebels, but would prefer a more cinematic experience.
If you've seen one of Smudger9's Clone Wars edits, you know what to expect from HarryBowls' Rebels edit: a fun, well-crafted TV-to-movie edit that occasionally shows its seams. This edit chronicles the growth of Ezra Bridger and the Ghost Crew through the first half of season 1 with all the fluff and saturday morning cartoon antics removed. The general arc of the film worked even if it did feel a bit "episodic" rather than a typical three-act structure. The only reason I don't rank this as highly as Smudger9's edits is because I found the audio editing a bit jarring, with a few segments where the dialogue was removed by the editor and sound effects cut out or the music changed volume. Ultimately though, these instances weren't as frequent or noticeable enough to ruin the experience for me. I do recommend this edit if you want to see what Rebels is about but you're sheepish about committing to the series.
To start off, well done to harrybowls for making a nearly seamless cut of Rebels. Audio/Video quality was perfect, visual editing was perfect, audio editing was almost perfect except for the speeder chase in the very beginning of the cut where the music kind of faded in and out without rhyme or reason, it felt really weird. The overall narrative was excellent as well, kudos again to harrybowls for pulling a cohesive thread from four distinct episodes. It was very difficult to tell where one episode ended and the next began.
I put my enjoyment as a 6 not because of any flaw with harrybowls, but the issue lies with Rebels itself. When I watched this edit, I had just seen the finale for season 2 of Rebels, and let me tell you, that is some excellent TV right there. Just about all of season 2, in fact, absolutely blows season 1 out of the water in every way. I'd forgotten how janky and plasticky those early episodes of Rebels were, and how much less interesting it was. If, however, I was to introduce someone to Rebels, this would be how I'd do it. I'm looking forward to seeing Episode II!
Audio/Video Quality: 9
The quality looks very decent but not quite as sharp as I think a 5.5GB, 720p, 98minute, 2.35:1 encode should look IMO.
Visual Editing: 7
The conversion to the classic SW scope aspect-ratio worked a lot better than I thought it would. Overall there were quite a few awkward looking crops but it was worth it for the more "movie" feel. However there are just a few really badly cropped shots where half of people's heads go AWOL (e.g. Ezra at 01.03.56 and Sabine at 01.23.35) that could and should have been dealt with better. This thing needed to be carefully re-framed shot-by-shot, for every single one, which would have been time consuming but nobody said Fanediting had to be rushed.
The actual editing of scenes was close to perfect though. I've watched this show a number of times, but I still was never sure where some of edits had been made to splice episodes together.
Audio Editing: 9
Almost all seamless. I thought the musical transition from the opening crawl to the Star Destroyers sounded a bit rushed but that was one of the only flaws I spotted. Also the ending credits music just ended, bam and sudden silence. It was the end though, so not much harm done there.
The blending of the multi-episode material was seamless for the most part. I knew Ezra was a strong through-line but I didn't think it would gel this much. Great job! Clever choice to end on the pull-out shot of Ezra like you did. However there were a few narrative goofs...
00.43.24 - Mentions Ezra and Zeb stealing a Tie. An event that doesn't happen in this edit.
01.24.58 - Mentions Clone Base from events that didn't happen in this edit.
01.30.08 - Maybe I missed it? But is this the very first and only mention of "Fulcrum", right at the end? It's just kinda dropped in there with no explanation.
I loved this. 'The Force Awakens' aside, this is the closest thing I've seen to a real honest-to-goodness Star Wars movie in feel and tone, since the Original Trilogy. Check this out everyone!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyMarch 03, 2016
I did fix some of the framing issues you mentioned and did a higher quality encode of the files in my sequence and saved it out, it looks much better than the one I released last week. It was bothering me as well, but I'm glad you mentioned it cause now I fixed it.
I really appreciate what you had to say about my edit. I can't thank you enough for taking the time and writing about this, and having such kind words to say.
I'd like to talk about the narrative goofs you mentioned. I actually left those in there on purpose.
The tie fighter being stolen will pop up in Episode 2, and Zeb looks at the team as a whole, they've been doing rebel things for awhile, so this could've happened before the cut I made (ie. The Kessel Run in 12 parsecs is mentioned and never shown on screen in A New Hope).
The Clone base one, Ezra's reaction I thought could also be seen as that he's scared he's going somewhere with some scary creatures.
And for Fulcrom, his identity isn't known yet in the series, and I left that in because he will pop up later, and it kind of reminded me of mentioning Jabba in a new hope and not seeing him till the 3rd film. I know the scene is Sabine and Zeb saying they had to stay behind last time that Hera met him, but also this could've happened before they met Ezra.
Thanks again for watching this and taking the time to talk about it.