Alright, so I have a full test cut (w/o color grading and imperfected edits) rendering that should be done by morning, so if anyone wants to check it out when it’s “ready”, just PM me. Don’t hate on me if I send an unsolicited PM to you based on any expressed interest in this thread lol, I’m just a little excited. But yeah, I’d love to get feedback/suggestions/criticism. We can all work on making this better.
A few changes from what I’ve written before. (I need to update the cutlist)
So now every instance of Obi Wan training Anakin has been removed. Even the one by Yoda towards the end. Again, not that Obi Wan didn’t - because he did, this isn’t an edit of TPM/AOTC/the OT - but by not drawing attention to and downplaying that history, Anakin/Obi Wan’s friendship is more of that equal, “brotherly” bond.
To that end, every instance of Anakin being called “young Skywalker” has been replaced with just “Skywalker.” Anakin is an older, mature, and experienced Jedi Knight in this cut, not the young barely-not-a-padawan-anymore. Additionally, Mace doesn’t say “I don’t think the boy can handle it” before saying he doesn’t trust him. The council treating him like an adult better portrays Anakin as an adult, rather than the whiny entitled teenager he is in the original. Any animosity he has towards the council is framed less as him being petulant, insubordinate, and out of line - now the council is deliberately blocking him and not because he’s young and undeserving.
I snuck more Anakin/Obi Wan friendship into the first council meeting scene and its aftermath. They really don’t get that much time with one another after the opening. So a few tweaks: When Anakin says “How can you do this?” Obi Wan shakes his head at Anakin kind of as a way to talk him down from further lashing out, rather than disapproval. And when Anakin goes to sit down and looks at Obi Wan, Obi Wan looks away guiltily. So now, Obi Wan here has a little bit of conflict between his friendship with Anakin and the council’s decisions. And the line “I’m on your side, Anakin” manifests itself beyond him just saying it - we see it. That line is also removed, then, because we should or will understand that about Obi Wan’s character without him having to tell Anakin. It’s always felt like a disingenuous rhetorical appeal to me, anyway. (Anything for them to talk more like humans, too.) User Mithrandir did a mockup of something similar that I liked.
This is a big one, thanks to ImperialFighter for the suggestion in a private topic, but I think I’m doing away with the Darth Vader scream of anguish, improved LoE version or not. The Vader awakens sequence is very different now, and I used an idea I got from a re-edit of the scene on Vimeo that I saw a few months ago but can’t seem to find anymore. But basically, it goes:
P: Anakin. Can you hear me?
DV: … Anakin Skywalker was weak… I destroyed him.
Using Star Wars Rebels audio. I just think it goes by too fast and is abrupt, so I’d really like to hear if people want it in, or suggestions and ideas on how to improve it.
This introduces a weird place I’m at mentally with the edit tho… it’s “The New Canon Cut”; obviously after Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was determined that the old EU was now uncanon and that the new canon was mostly everything made after the purchase + the films and TCW. My main motivation for starting the edit was to bend ROTS Anakin into the canon portrayal of Anakin in TCW. If they’re both canon and it’s going to be more unified, both have to fit with one another. But in rejiggering this scene, I’m pulling audio from SWR, so now Vader will have said those exact words twice in different scenarios. Which is fine, I guess. I justified leaving in Qui Gon’s disembodied voice from TCW as interpreting it as just Yoda recalling what Qui Gon said and dwelling on it, rather than hearing it for the first time…
And I legitimately think it’s more powerful for Anakin to have fallen so far that he doesn’t even worry about Padme anymore by the end, but in new canon - in the Vader comics - he flashes back to the moment Palps tells him that he was the one who killed Padme, a moment that doesn’t happen in my cut anymore. I’m thinking about renaming it, tbh. This is the most nothing concern to have if the edit is fine on its own merits, but it betrays my initial motivation for doing this whole thing.