Just when I thought everything that can possibly be done with Star Wars has been done, T-Bone has delivered something wholly new.
Primarily sourced from Blu-Rays and high quality DVD releases, this 720p release looks great. Some high resolution but unrestored deleted scenes are also included. Some less-than pristine footage from DVD and archival sources is used as well. However, the editor has incorporated them in a very natural manner, adjusting the adjacent high-quality footage to ease the transition to and from such footage. It is obvious what’s sourced from what, but it is never (unintentionally) jarring. Some slow motion sequences use artificial frame interpolation to create the illusion of high speed photography. Whether this is visually unappealing is subjective. I wasn’t bothered by it. The stereo soundtrack is mixed well. One early sequence may seem to be problematic at first listen, but it’s actually a rather clever intentional alteration for artistic purposes. I won’t spoil the reason for and meaning of it, however. It’s much more fun to think about it, let it click for yourself.
Good skills on display here. Besides successfully combining a variety of sources, the editor has combined and altered many film sequences in a variety of ways. It’s always convincing, and handled more than competently. There’s one particular moment that was so seamless that I didn’t realize how significantly it was altered until after the revised scene had played out. My brain just accepted it as a natural sequence of events, when it most certainly wasn’t in the original film. Also, there’s at least one chilling subliminal message I caught in there. There may be more.
Very good work here. Smooth crossfades when needed. Almost flawless dialogue replacement in a few spots. No obvious music bleed, if any. A few instances of well-executed music replacement.
This is where the project really shines! This is a radically different story. “A long time ago, in the not too distant future” – indeed! The galaxy is a very different place than the one we’re used to. Technological gaps vary from planet to planet. There are some nice lore references in the location names. If you know what Korriban is, you’ll get just a bit more out of this. If you don’t, you won’t be missing out, either. The primary motivation for the conflict appears to remain religious, but no longer between the Jedi and Sith. It would seem that at some point Earth got tangled up with the Galactic Civil War. And that point happens to be the mid 20th century. Rasputin’s influence is present. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type when talking about Star Wars! Furthermore, it would seem that the Axis Powers are Imperial puppets in this world, with the Allies siding with the Rebels. Also, I’m pretty sure Obi-Wan is a Communist in this version, disillusioned with the Alderaan monarchy. It isn’t entirely clear – in a good way. Much like George Lucas, T-Bone has crafted a large story in an even larger universe. There’s a much bigger story that we’re only getting glimpses of. However, the glimpses make sense. In terms of plot, thematic elements, and imagery everything has meaning and joins with the Star Wars elements in a way that that shouldn’t work, but does. Eventually. Clocking in at just under three hours, this is a slow paced project. Slowly paced – but not poorly. Everything serves a purpose, and pays off in some way. However, it doesn’t become recognizable as version of A New Hope until about the ninety minute mark. You’ll need patience for this one, but it is most certainly worth it.
The setting has changed. The plot has changed. The sequence of events has changed. The characters have changed quite a bit, both in terms of backstory and personality. Star Wars is a sci-fi/fantasy adventure influenced by pop culture of the mid-20th century. Star Wars: The Epic Picture is a war movie, influenced by the tragic history of the mid-20th century. It isn’t deathly serious, of course. It carefully balances just the right elements of humor and levity with the heavy stuff.
It really feels like watching something new, for the first time. That’s what this is all about. Strongly recommended.
Mixed bag for me.
I found the bookends - opening and closing - truly inspired.
Scenes of walkers superimposed against WWII stock, that took my breath away.
Creative idea of what an Empire invasion would resemble.
The ending with the Death Star was brilliant, as well.
Where I had problems were the additions of Bridge Kwai, Force Navarone, and especially Rasputin.
None of those worked for me. Different tones, different looks. Like mashing country and rap.
Took me right out of the narrative and I found myself impatient for them to end.
Also the black out segues between scenes grew noticeable after a bit.
And three hours?
Matrixgrindhouse gave this a nice review, which was what lured me.
I can see what T-Bone was aiming for, and to be honest, he did a great job.
I can also see where other viewers will enjoy this and give it raves.
By all means, check this one out.
This is a very difficult edit for me to review; I liked it, but I didn't like it. I will try to explain. The editors use of various sources to put together one narrative was very clever, and worked on a certain level. However, I could never fully become immersed and buy into these various back stories taking place anywhere but earth, especially with so many mentions of the US, Italy the English, etc. In the end it felt like what it was; a bunch of WWII movies interlaced with star wars footage. I felt that some of the back stories could have been effectively shortened. After the back stories played out, the film became just another re-watch of episode IV, until the surprise ending.
Now on to the things I really liked **Spoilers**
The storyline of Count Dooku being Darth Vader was clever and well thought out. What I really enjoyed the most, however was the ending. Ingenious, the way you turned the end of episode IV on its head and made the bad guys win. The ending footage of Han Solo and Kenobi was perfect and conveyed the mood precisely.
I can see that the editor put a tremendous amount of work into this edit and should be rightfully proud of this edit.
This is an edit that took me a little while to absorb, but when I got into it and began to understood the intent...to tell the story of people clutching onto to 20th century ideology as the years of galactic conflict shape them in different ways. There are some inspired visual and audio editing in this trim, particulary at the begining with the World War reels and a rather amusing exchange between the Emperor and Vader. I was told by the editor the intent was to make this film appear more and more dream-like as it went on and the narrative absolutely conveys that as it has a variety of visual styles and surreal moments. Everything does make make cohearant sense despite these turns and when you sit through the story, you feel like you may have actually learned a bit, you could actively debate this film in college or university. This editor trusts his audience for this kind of thing, and it's given him the confidence to dare to be different. Very strong, thought-provoking and mind-bending work
I found this to be a rather unique and quite bold fan edit. Some parts did feel disjointed in places but the overall narrative worked pretty well through I can understand why some would need a couple of viewings to really grasp the overall work fully.
Some lines of dialogue could have been cut in order to better streamline the world building you where trying to do with the fanmix, mostly little gripes here and there but nothing major.
Besides minor flaws here and there I personally enjoyed this more so with the mix of high tech and low tech worlds in the setting and just the idea alone of Darth Vader being a future Rasputin was enough to sell this whole thing to me hehe.
It was far from perfect, there are flaws that stick out as other reviewers have mentioned but what has been created is a pretty interesting piece of work oozing with style and some thought provoking themes.