Review Detail

6.8 6 10
FanMix August 22, 2012 6147
(Updated: September 10, 2012)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
The new score, when present, changes the tone of the movie. The music turns familiar scenes sublime, now oozing with depth and gravitas. A few scenes become art-house sci-fi, in a good way, solely because of the musical changes. Same dialogue, same visuals, but a different emotion runs through them, sometimes powerfully. This alone is reason enough to see this cut.

I really liked the discussion @ Ben's desert abode. The PT flashbacks were spare; that scene was cooked just right (aside from some sound issues, which others have mentioned).

Kenobi's death scene and aftermath were beautifully scored and conveyed greater emotion than in the original film.

When used briefly in flashback sequences, parts of the prequels come across brilliantly. No longer do these scenes get a chance to smear nonsensical poo all over this fable; they're present long enough to emote or provide exposition, and then they're gone.

And Anakin's and Padme's clunky romance is mercifully condensed, making it more believable. Still hokey, but, hey, Asteroid Man's not to blame.

But then there are prequel scenes that go on too long.

I understand that the intention of the edit is to present two parallel stories, those of Anakin and Luke. It's almost too balanced in presenting both of their stories, and therein lies a significant fault. Luke's story of departure and adventure is simply compelling; Anakin's whining, sexual creepiness, and fascist politics are not. Although Asteroid Man doesn't state his intention was to provide an episode-IV-centric story admixed with tiny bits of episodes I through III, one can't help but think that that approach might have provided a leaner, more potent cut.

The parts of the PT that should have been kept were those necessary for storytelling. Action sequences from the PT, for the most part, aren't necessary to ground the events that happen two decades later. From the perspective of the original trilogy, is it necessary to know the particulars of Padme's assassination attempt, or the silly chase that ensues?

Even though I'm biased toward the OT, I felt there were some episode IV scenes that could have further trimmed. The boarding of the rebel ship near the start of the movie, as well as the on-ship battle that followed, could have been cut drastically. The trash compactor scene shows the heroes' teamwork and was an iconic part of a stand-alone movie, but in a hybrid movie that scene is unnecessary, as it does little to advance a broader narrative.

Sometimes the blending of the two stories works really well. Luke's discovery of his dead aunt and uncle, and Anakin's discovery of his ravaged mother (the last-minute nature of his interest which I thought was ridiculous in the studio version) are interweaved neatly. However, in the second half of the edit, this interweaving creates multiple climaxes, and I began to wonder when it would end.

Summing it all up: I was hoping for a blazing two-thumbs-up experience, as suggested by the trailer, and at its best, this edit is hauntingly evocative. More of this stuff, and I'd be totally pumped to see Asteroid Man's renascent versions of episodes V and VI. For much of its lengthy run time, though, Star Wars: Renascent made me feel as though I was watching a mere mashing together of episodes IV and II.
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