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9.3 11 10
Extended Edition November 24, 2019 8779
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I admit that I came into this edit with a bias. I believe that the definitive way to experience the original 1977 classic is through Harmy's Despecialized Editions (unless some studio exec finally decides to release the original cuts). Or, if you want that dirty film look, Puggo Grande's 16mm preservations. I'm not a fan of the special editions at all, and I think the original was perfect as is. I'll even go so far as to commit blasphemy and say that Adywan's Revisited saga was still no match for the theatrical version. So I went into this edit with some low expectations. Now that I've seen it, I have to admit that while my heart still belongs to the theatrical, this is the closest an extended version of Episode IV has gotten to changing my mind. In fact, I'll even go so far as to say I might give this one a rewatch!

For those who are too bored to read the description, this is basically the theatrical cut, but with the entire Biggs subplot added back in. And no, I'm not talking about that extra scene in the special edition where Luke reunites with his buddy (although that scene is in here). There are several extra scenes that have been added to the beginning of the film, all involving Luke's friendship with Biggs. The first 15-20 minutes of this edit will give you most of what's new here, but with that said, these extra additions are really good! We learn more about Luke's application to the academy, why his friends are gone, and what role the Empire plays in all of this. All of which expands on Luke's character and gives us a greater understanding of his situation. And yes, the extra insights into Luke's friendship with Biggs give the ending more impact as well.

If I have to be a perfectionistic jerk and point out anything nitpicky about the new additions, I will say that a lot of the new footage is dated. That is to say, it's very much in the 1970s. The theatrical cut of A New Hope has a timeless feel to it that is hard for any film to duplicate. The only way you could really tell it was made in 1977 was mostly the hairstyles. But these extra scenes are pure '70s all the way, baby! Biggs even talks in '70s lingo! So if you want that timeless feel preserved (or you don't like '70's pop culture that much), this one ain't for you. Of course, none of this is the fault of the faneditor. That's just how the subplot was written and shot.

Otherwise, this is a great extension to an already great film. If you always felt like the film needed more insight into Luke Skywalker's character, definitely give this one a watch!

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