OK, I had some time to compile some of my plans into one coherent post (maybe). Here goes:
First of all, I will not be dubbing Anakin until late in the game, possibly not until everything else is finished. First, I’m going to;
1. Write Anakin’s new dialogue
2. Cut rough movie together
3. Complete the audio mix, almost (with all of the original Anakin lines removed).
4. Record Anakin’s dialogue
5. Mix the lines into the audio track.
6. Do what I’m going to do about Jar-Jar, and mix his few lines in
7. Render video!
What follows are some more changes that will be present in my version. Keep in mind that all of my changes are based on 1. Personal irratations, or 2. Things that Lucas wouldn’t have done 30 years ago, things that are not classy or seem too P.C., crowd-pleasing, contrived, or corny to me. I’m trying to get it as much into the style of the OT as possible.
One think I don’t think fits is the “younglings” scene with Yoda. It seems to be a crowd-pleasing scene (“Aw, aren’t the little kids cute…”), and I think it also makes Obi-Wan look stupid. He doesn’t need a four year old to suggest that the information was deleted; Obi-Wan would have thought of that. I will still utilize a clip of this scene (maybe starting at the point where Obi-Wan asks Yoda whether it’s impossible for anyone to remove information from the archives.)
Another big stylistic mistake in AOTC was Natalie Portman running around in the last part of the movie with a bare midriff. I know Leia had a skimpy outfit in ROTJ, but it was in style (and Jabba made her do it, after all). I think the “strong female lead” thing, while it could have been handled well enough, was completely butchered for AOTC. It’s just not believable and it gets really tiresome and irritating for me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against a woman having a good role in the movies. Leia’s role and attitude in the OT was just right. But the bare midriff outfit especially is not in the style of the OT, and so every effort has been made in my edit to cut it down in the film. Padme no longer gets on the gunship with Obi-Wan and Anakin; she continues to fight in the arena until we see her next (when she shoots at Dooku’s ship). This streamlines the Dooku chase as well, and we don’t have the “Padme falls off the ship” subplot.
That’s the biggest change to Padme’s role, but some of her lines are being seriously chopped or changed for my version, simply because I couldn’t stomach several of her lines. Lucas would never have written them 25 years ago. Yell at me all you want, but Padme is quieter in this version and not quite as bossy, which I think is for the better. How will Padme’s absence from the Republic Gunship be achieved? Sometimes by zooming in slightly on the widescreen DVD, but sometimes by taking the full-screen DVD and lopping off the top and bottom (if much zooming is needed, to improve quality).
Other changes so far?
1. I’m keeping the fox logo but replacing the glimmering Lucasfilm logo with the original one, only it’s lifted from the Ewok DVD instead of the OT because it’s of better quality.
2. As in the MagnoliaFan edition, the first scene between Zam and Jango will be deleted. While it’s a neat scene, it does nothing but ruin the appearances of both characters later on (when it’s more exciting).
3. Various scenes have been streamlined. There are times in the original version where you’ll have a shot followed by two other shots, and then a reaction shot to the original shot. What I’m doing is cutting the other two shots (whatever those may be) so that action and reaction are back to back. This happens in several places.
4. The scene with Anakin and Padme in the grass field has been reworked considerably. It begins with the camera panning across to show a view of the mountains, green grass, etc. (taken from different movie, but it still fits). The love theme is playing in the background. Then, we fade to Anakin and Padme rolling around on the ground, laughing (as the musical theme finishes). Only at the end of this shot, we have a straight cut to the picnic portion of the scene. It plays until Anakin says: Well…if it works… Padme stares at Anakin, and then we have a shot of Anakin. He smiles at the end of the shot. So instead of the “Making fun of a senator” dialogue, we have a clock-wipe to Kamino, which is done in such a way so as to leave Anakin’s smile on the screen for a short period (similar to when they have Palpatine ending a scene. He looks very serious until the wipe starts, and then you can see the corner of his mouth turn up in a smile right before he’s covered up by the wipe.) It ends the scene on a much more eerie note.
I don’t know if any of that was coherent, but the important info is that this scene has been rearranged considerably.
5. “Blast, this is why I hate flying” and other dumb one-liners by Obi-Wan have been cut.
6. Music has been added to the fight sequence in the arena (besides the percussive stuff).
7. Some of Yoda’s corny dialogue (like “to the forward command center, take me.”) has been cut. Didn’t
8. You don’t see the back of Mace’s head before he ignites his lightsaber; completely ruins his entrance.
9. “This party’s over.” No longer present; didn’t sound very classy coming from a Master Jedi. A couple silly shots of Jedi igniting their sabers have also been cut.
10. The pause when Dooku about to kill Obi-Wan and Anakin jumps in has been shortened.
11. And in case there was any question, Yoda will not be participating in a lightsaber fight with Count Dooku. Dooku will also not be trying to zap him with electricity. Dooku shouldn’t be concerned about having a “contest” with Yoda; he just wants to get the heck out of there. He also knows Yoda too well to try anything like force lightning against him. Therefore, we have Dooku saying, “I’ve grown more powerful than any Jedi.” He then brings the object down onto the two Jedi. He doesn’t say, “Even you.”
The only problem with all this is that Dooku’s saber is still ignited as he runs inside of his ship, but I still want that shot. It’s only about a dozen frames long, so I’m painting the lightsaber out, frame by frame, in Photoshop.
Some miscellaneous notes:
-Anakin: Don’t say that, Master. I love you like a father. (adapted from rough draft)
-Insert swing music in nightclub. End it as patrons clap.
-MUTE DIALOGUE: You don’t need guidance, Anakin.
Anakin: But I have grown up (dialogue change). You said it yourself.
Padme: Please don’t look at me like that.
Anakin: I’m sorry, milady.
Use deleted Jedi Analysis scene. Dub over robot’s voice (in robot mode in Audio HQ) to say “Dex’s” dialogue and identify the bullet. Delete the diner scene, therefore; not classy.
Oh, I should probably address the Jar-Jar question. I think what I’m going to do is use a modified version of MagnoliaFan’s subtitles (if he doesn’t mind) for Jar-Jar’s speech to the Senate. Why is he speaking in another language? Answer: He has to speak in Basic, because it’s the galactic standard. My dilemma, as I’ve said before, is that I don’t know whether I’m going to have time to go back and redo Episode I to the extent that I’m doing this one. Therefore, I think I’m going to create two versions of my edit; one containing Jar-Jar’s voice in a blend of the French and Spanish audio tracks (that still kind of sounds like his voice from Episode I), and one where Jar-Jar is dubbed in English with a British or Scottish accent. Being an animated character, lip synch is probably easier. This way, if I’m not able to do Episode I, then my Episode II will still be consistent with Lucas’ Episode I. If I do get around to Episode I soon, then there will be continuity as well.
Feel welcome to ask any questions; I’ll be happy to answer when I get the chance. Constructive criticism, suggestions, or new ideas are also welcome; I won’t get offended if you don’t agree on some of my changes; I just might not listen to you if I really like my change!