Star Wars - Episode II: The Republic Divided
As with Shadow of the Sith my goal with The Republic Divided is to trim out the inexplicable story elements, improve the quality of the characters by relieving them of annoying and/or frustration dialog, and in general, improving the tone and pace of the film. When all of this clutter is removed, a respectable movie emerges, with Palpatine quietly setting all the pieces for his master-stroke which unfolds in Episode III.
Also, Dwight Fry, Hebrides, Elbarto1, BionicBob and TV’s Frink provided invaluable feedback on the original release. THANK YOU.
Everyone in the community who chimed in on the thread, thank you and I hope you enjoy the final product.
Lastly, thank you George. That I take the time to modify these films speaks to how deeply the Star Wars universe affected me growing up.
Special thanks to Rogue-theX for his amazing cover, to Q2 for his assistance with HD editing, and NJVC for the sweet menus and hard work in making the HD remastered releases so slick.
- NTSC DVD-5
- NTSC DVD-9
- AVCHD (DVD-9)
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
Audio Commentary (All Release Formats)
About this fanedit vignette (BD and Dual Layer DVD)
Deleted Scenes (BD and Dual Layer DVD)
Trailers (BD and Dual Layer DVD)
- New Title and Crawl establishing Count Dooku as the leader of a Separatist movement threatening Civil War.
- Cut announcing Coruscant inside the Naboo Cruiser
- Cut ‘We made it’ dialog
- Cut Cordé’s dying words
- Cut 1st half of dialog in Chancellor’s office about their not being enough Jedi and the Dark Side clouding everything.
- Trim dialog throughout the Chancellor’s office
- Trim dialog inside elevator
- Cut most of Jar Jar introducing the Jedi
- Trim dialog throughout meeting with Padme, including creepy lines about being beautiful, antagonism between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and Anakin’s whining afterwards
- Cut Jango giving Zam poisonous bugs
- Trim dialog between Anakin and Obi-Wan while bugs are making their way to Padme
- Trim speeder chase in half, Anakin no longer loses his saber
- Cut most dialog outside of nightclub (resolves saber issue, plus more antagonism between Obi-Wan and Anakin)
- Trimmed nightclub sequence, eliminate Anakin POV shot, gratuitous cameo shots.
- Toned down Anakin’s anger while interrogating Zam
- Removed Obi-Wan’s Ric Olié moment “Toxic dart”
- Removed contradictory Yoda line about Padme having to listen to them.
- Cut the entire sequence from Padme giving authority to Jar Jar and Anakin and Padme’s conversation as she packs.
- Cut the entire conversation in skybus between Padme and Dorme.
- Cut ‘we’ve got R2′ joke
- Cut entire Diner sequence and Library sequence
- Insert portion of deleted landing platform scene
- Trim dialog between Padme and Anakin on refugee transport
- Cut entire Yoda/youngling scene
- Cut entire sequence of Anakin and Padme arriving on Naboo and seeing the new Queen
- Insert deleted scene of dinner at Padme’s (with dialog trims)
- Cut Obi-Wan dialog about their missing planet Kamino
- Re-cut Kenobi’s visit on Kamino to support new sequence of Anakin/Padme scenes on Naboo.
- Trimmed conversation with Prime Minister so as to not have Obi-Wan completely give away that he has no clue what is going on.
- Trimmed confrontation between Jango and Kenobi. No more “I’m just a simple man…”
- Trimmed Obi-Wan’s report to Windu and Yoda, and cut out their discussion after they dismiss Kenobi
- Trim out most of the Jango/Kenobi fist fight.
- Trim the various scenes between Anakin and Padme to remove both the forced nature of the story-line, as well as their resistance. Also cut the giant tick-cows and of course the conversation at the fireplace (though the opening footage is still used with a new purpose
- Cut creepy shot of Anakin having his nightmare.
- Lightly trim conversation on balcony about his nightmare
- Trim chase through Asteroid belt
- Trim conversation between Wato and Anakin
- Trim conversation between Anakin and 3PO, and Anakin and Owen
- Trim conversation between Anakin and Shmi as she dies
- Cut out ridiculous cartoon voices of varios Separatists as Obi-Wan listens in (nearly cut for cut of Attack of the Phantom)
- Trimmed Yoda and Windu’s conversation about Skywalker in pain
- Trim/restructure Dooku’s interrogation of Kenobi (cut out Darth title)
- Massively restructure Anakin’s break-down in the Lars homestead garage
- Cut R2 receiving message from Kenobi
- Trimmed funeral sequence to focus on Anakin and remove over-the-top dialog/delivery
- Cut Padme’s “R2? What are you doing here?”
- Trim conversation in Chancellor’s office to remove ‘If only Senator Amidala were here…”
- Massively restructure Droid Factory sequence. No flying R2. No 3PO. No trapped Anakin
- Reinsert scene of Padme demanding Kenobi be set free.
- Restructure pre-arena conversation between Anakin and Padme
- HEAVILY recut arena battle, too much to list.
- HEAVILY recut Battle of Geonosis, including entire removal of Geonosian War room
- Cut Nute Gunray leaving from the same hangar bay as Dooku
- Trimmed conversation between Kenobi and Dooku
- Trimmed lightsaber battle between Dooku and Anakin
- Trimmed duel between Dooku and Yoda, including the saber duel (HUGE thank you to BobGarcia for providing special effects shot which removes Dooku’s saber as he runs up the gantry)
All I can say is WOW. I can't believe I actually enjoyed Attack of the clones! If you are someone like me who just wants to see better Star Wars films, look no further. This is a FANTASTIC edit. I only have minor gripes
Before you kill me for not giving this a good score, just let me explain.
I actually don't mind Episode II. It has many problems, but I can enjoy it for the sum of it's parts. Now, if you had asked me what I thought of this cut about a month ago, I would have said it was the best AOTC edit out there and recommended it without question. But then I had a closer look at The Phantom Editor's cut, and found it made many more creative choices than this. Then I watched Seciors, and saw, again, many more creative choices. Then, finally, I watched Trooperman's workprint edit, and really feel sorry for other edits, because his is so damn good and creative, it blows all other edits out of the water automatically, regardless of how good they are. So anyway, one thing I noticed in L8wrtr's edit was lack of originality. Most cuts here don't radically change up the story, or even the individual scenes themselves. I kind of just felt bored, seeing things taken out, with no re-arranging and dialogue changes.
Aside from lack of creativity, I also think some more cuts should have been made. For example, Zam's description of being a changeling was left in, as was Yoda sensing Anakin's pain. The garage scene is a hard edit to take in. I would either leave it in completely, or cut it out completely. The reason I would leave it all in is because the way L8wrtr edited it, it feels anticlimactic. He just says he killed them calmly and that's it. There's no drama. It feels worse than before.
The video quality was good, not great. It was nowhere near as good as the official Blu-Ray's and suffered from nasty pixelation from time to time.
Audio cuts were sometimes good, but sometimes hard to stomach. The transition between Palpatine's office and the bus landing was sudden. You could hear the audio fade out in the transition to the Dooku deleted scene. The transition between "aggresive negotiations" and the other Jedi was also really rough.
At the end of the day, it is a good edit, but feels like another forgettable cut, with no changes to the overall story. It also is a let down from Shadow of the Sith, my favourite Episode I cut.
Full disclosure: I'm in the middle of downloading L8's Episode I and III, but haven't had a chance to watch them before viewing Episode II. This review is only regarding L8's Episode II against the theatrical version and another fan edit, Attack of the Phantom.
Given the limitations that L8 had with Attack of the Clones and uncompleted deleted scenes, he really has done something quite grand with his edit. The only other fan edit I've seen of this film was Attack of the Phantom. It's difficult to completely say which one narratively is better because both have their pros and cons. Technically speaking, L8's version is leaps and bounds beyond what The Phantom Editor had at his disposal. There's a few audio bits that pop up, but for most viewers, they will not notice.
L8 has a better eye than Lucas for what needed to be in the film. The deletion of Anakin/Padme with Padme's parents in Naboo not only worked from their relationship, but it also humanized Padme in a way that the entire theatrical trilogy failed to do. By not having this scene in the film, there's a huge hole in her character and she begins the trilogy as a strong-willed Queen of the people to a battered housewife. Quite unfortunate. Also necessary was the inclusion of Obi-wan and Mace on the landing platform. This scene works better than what was in the original film, and it also shows a bit more of the technology of the time with the warp ring on Obi-wan's fighter.
Even in The Phantom Editor's cut, I never cared for Anakin. L8 did the seemingly impossible and made him an interesting character (on par with the presentation of Skywalker in later seasons of The Clone Wars). He's very quiet and has issues interacting with other people, but genuinely cares for people. He's much more of a follower who finally becomes proactive when he murders the Tuskin Raiders. Also, the confession that he makes to Padme later in the film is brilliant. It's short and sweet and he's asking for help from Padme. Rather than blowing up in emotion ("I slaughtered them like animals!"), he is trying to keep it all in. It's more of a nuanced performance that exists inside of a very one-note original characterization. Quite surprising.
Also surprising what how much of Padme and Anakin on Naboo existed in this cut and how effective it all is. There's a definite give-and-take between these two people who are subtly trying to decide whether to follow their heart or their duty. If only Lucas would have given L8 more to work with, this would have been even more effective. More on that later.
Removing the mystery of Kamino works well. It's no longer a missing system, but a planet that is well-known like any other. It makes sense that Sidious wants the Jedi to discover the Clone Army because it is crucial to the final plan. Removing the system of the Jedi Archive never made sense. This flows much better and I never had any confusion as to what Obi-Wan was doing. The assassin (via subtitles) mentioned Kamino and Obi-Wan goes to figure what the heck is going on over there. It's simple and grows more complicated as the cloning facility is discovered, without any spoiling of it from Dexter.
Thankfully, L8 kept the asteroid chase in the film, which was removed by the Phantom Editor. L8 small cuts work wonders here.
Once everything comes to a head on Geonosis, it's hard to see anything really sticking out as missing. Like Attack of the Phantom, L8 removes 3P0 and R2 from the droid factory (thank you!), so the focus of the action is solely on Anakin and Padme, with Anakin saving Padme instead of R2. Seamless, in my opinion, and truer to character. Sure, we didn't see every monster get killed in the battle arena, but honestly, I didn't miss it. Once the droids come out, it would make sense that the creatures were either moved away or stayed out of the battle. It never crossed my mind. The edit is tight, everything moves quickly, and there isn't much time to think about anything that is missing.
Some may dispute the shorted action sequences across the board on this cut, but in my opinion, L8's cuts help Episode II fit within the world of Star Wars in a way that it hasn't before. The Jedi rarely feel like over-powered gods, Yoda doesn't pick up a lightsaber and he stays on his walking stick, and there's much less flipping around from non-Jedi characters. Jango Fett fells more like an actual human being here in that he's not at the fighting level of the Jedi. He ran from Obi-Wan and fought from a distance. In his shorter fight with Mace, he never stood a chance.
What's not so good?
Thankfully there isn't much here that is weak, but what is there will stick out. Quite frankly, the fireplace scene is very odd. It lasts about 10 seconds and Anakin and Padme look at each other (in reverse motion to make the choreography work). That's it. It's meant to imply that the two slept with each other, but it isn't necessary. This is one place where the Phantom Editor's version is more successful. In his edit, Anakin and Padme go to Naboo and kiss by the lake (Padme never pulls away) and the following morning Anakin is at the same balcony when Padme comes up and tells him that she heard him have a nightmare. That really worked for me. In L8's version, Padme and Anakin are insinuated to have been intimate but never kiss until the final act, instead he just touches her back while they're at the lake, they talk, and then sleep together. It's a little odd.
I would have preferred the sequencing to be a bit closer to the Attack of the Phantom version, while still adding the talk on dictatorship but removing the dinner scene where Anakin uses the Force to help Padme cut her dinner. That dinner scene is ultimately unnecessary and only sets up the "aggressive negotiations" line near the end, which works just fine without it. Plus, we've seen three dinner scenes with Anakin and Padme almost back to back to back. It makes the timing of the story just a bit muddy.
Other than that, this is a great way to watch the film and definitely worth the wait to download! Great job and I look forward to seeing the other episodes of L8's trilogy.
In my opinion, This is the best edit of Attack of the Clones that exists. It is my current go to version. Awesome job.
This is the greatest edit of Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Some people may argue it's Q2 who has done the greatest Episode II edit but I disagree. I think L8wrtr done it.
The quality was perfect, and the editing was great, it felt like it was never edited in the first place, except in the very beginning, where after the L8WRTR FANEDIT screen with Fox fanfare, a frame of the Fox screen comes out. Other than that, it was great.
The narrative was so much better than the original. And, I really enjoyed it.
EDIT: Changed my mind about the best edit. It's now Hal9000's edit that is the best. However, this one is still an amazing fanedit.