Sign In

Dom's Useless Prequel Edits

Replies
32
Author
Time

Hey guys.

Like many of you I have spent probably a bit too much time looking for the perfect prequel edits - whether that be by actually watching different versions or simply reading every available cutlist over and over, trying to figure out which one is the best. I don’t think any edits turn the prequels into great movies, but they make genuinely enjoyable films out of what many consider to be hopeless wastes of time.

Like everyone I’ve got my favorite edits for each prequel that I always turn to when the occasional marathon strikes (Hal’s I and II, L8’s III), and I’m reasonably happy when I watch them. Problem is there’s always something nagging at me, every time I watch any prequel edit, no matter which one it is. And that nagging is a voice inside my head saying “I would have done that differently.”

I’ve said it before, but I honestly believe the only perfect prequel edits are the ones you make for yourself. That’s why for the past year or so I’ve been doing just that.

Why useless? Well, like I said, it’s really just for me. I don’t have plans right now to release them or put them on IFDB. For one, they’re not done yet (though before TLJ comes out seems a reasonable goal). For two, I would need the blessings of a few different fan editors, some who I stole ideas from and some who I literally lifted exact audio and cuts from. And for three, some of the choices I’ve made are dumb and no one will like. As I said, these are for me.

Why even bother posting an essay about this then? Because I feel indebted to this community, and figured I’d pay it forward and share some of the things I’m doing that I haven’t seen done before. (Also I am willing to be persuaded to release these in full if there is enough interest to make it worth the effort.)

First off, just finished replacing SFX in this scene and thought I’d upload it for you guys. Keep in mind it’s a first pass, so still a little rough in some parts.

https://vimeo.com/235506550
pw: rots

This is one of the things I’m trying to do that I haven’t seen much of anyone else do - replace reused music from TPM. Ultimately the music is still recycled, but at least this time it’s something that injects a bit of the fun OT adventure spirit into one of the few places in ROTS where it fits.
(acknowledgements: most of the actually editing here is just Hal, I’ve also stolen a music idea from aalenfae at the end, and a cut from someone - don’t remember, help me here - near the beginning when Obi-Wan interrupts Anakin).

Let me know what you guys think. I’ll be posting more videos (very) sporadically.

This post has been edited.

Author
Time

FWIW, I look forward to hearing as much as you care to share about your editing choices. And you have whatever permissions you feel you need from me to do anything you’d like.

Author
Time

This is what I loved a lot from the OT and I missed from the PT: More ‘‘friend’’ moments between characters, moments that makes me chuckle by the interaction of the protagonists (kinda what the TCW series had between Ani and Obi), I totally like this scene much more now!

I don’t really care if it’s in the shape of a movie, or a cartoon tv-series, or if it’s on videogames and books. Neither if it’s canon or legends; I love all my Star Wars (yes, even the prequels).

“Laugh it up, Fuzz ball.”

Oh wait, no, not all of it, don’t count the Holiday Special on it.

Author
Time

Hal 9000 said:

FWIW, I look forward to hearing as much as you care to share about your editing choices. And you have whatever permissions you feel you need from me to do anything you’d like.

Thanks Hal, I’d definitely need your permissions if I wanted to put these out in the wild as the majority of the work is just straight up yours.

I think I discussed this with you in a PM awhile back, but, in short, Episode I is yours (with a couple slight tweaks), Episode II is yours (with some bigger tweaks), and Episode III is basically a hybrid of yours and L8’s (primarily L8’s structure with your within scene editing; with some additional tweaks).

ROTS is the big one that I’ve spent the most time on. It’s pretty much the only one where I’m adding/replacing music, in about 10 different spots of varying length. Another thing I’m doing that I’ve never seen done before is removing the Order 66 montage. I’ll put a video up of that when I finish the audio.

Across the three movies, I’m also doing a relatively rare thing - scene by scene color grade. It’s nothing too crazy, and there’s not a unified goal beyond simply “make it look better.” What that means for me varies scene to seen. It’s a bit more of a filmic look (with grain added), but ultimately it’s what I like, so I think it might actually skew a bit more modern in some places. I’ll post comparison pics eventually. You can actually see the grade in the clip I posted, but it’s pretty slight in that scene (plus I didn’t upload it in HD and Vimeo isn’t the most accurate when it comes to colors).

I’ll probably post a more comprehensive cutlist at some point.

This post has been edited.

Author
Time

Smithers said:

Pretty cool, you tackled one of the strangest and most unnatural sequences in the entire PT and injected some life into it for sure!

jarbear said:

Added some good life to that, I like it!

Thanks. I’m still trying to see if there are spots in AOTC where I can add in OT music (ideally the battle on Geonosis), but that’s been a bit trickier to crack. I don’t really want to go too overboard and get rid of too much of Williams scores for these films, but I don’t feel much remorse in replacing music if it’s actually already reused music (and there are quite a few instances of this in AOTC and ROTS).

Edezio Enk’or Valorum said:

This is what I loved a lot from the OT and I missed from the PT: More ‘‘friend’’ moments between characters, moments that makes me chuckle by the interaction of the protagonists (kinda what the TCW series had between Ani and Obi), I totally like this scene much more now!

Thanks, yeah a lot of people cut out that joke entirely but I feel it’s the small moments like that that do a lot to try to make that friendship “work.” The way I cut it was someone else’s idea that I actually just recently remembered and implemented, but I honestly can’t recall who came up with it.

Author
Time

Great project that could interest me. As much as I love Hal’s PT I agree that here and there I would have personally made slightly different choices (but very slightly, such as the droid factory sequence in EpII or “this is where the fun begins” in EpIII, things that don’t fondamentaly change anything). I always welcome a fresh take on the PT since I’m very bad at editing (but I’ll try again some other day… at least to try something about EpVII… I will try !). I also guess you’re indeed the first one to use customed/regraded video sources for your 3 edits. A “film” look more aligned with the OT (and the ST/spin-of) is a very good idea.
Good luck with your project Dom 😉

This post has been edited.

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

Author
Time

DominicCobb said:
First off, just finished replacing SFX in this scene and thought I’d upload it for you guys. Keep in mind it’s a first pass, so still a little rough in some parts.

https://vimeo.com/235506550
pw: rots

I took the time to watch it, and I like it. You’ve kept most of the Grievous exchange with Anakin and thanks to a very well done restructured montage you’ve made Anakin’s joke more funny and in line with his TCW counterpart. The reused cue also is a great choice (even if it’s hard to not remember the images I’m used to associate with !). I’ll definitely give your Dom’ PT a watch 😉

This post has been edited.

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

Author
Time

I like how you added the main theme to the escape from Grievous. It adds a sense of fun.

Author
Time

Okay so obviously I’m dumb and I said I’d be done with these before TLJ, which at this point isn’t even close to true because I got a new job basically a week after I posted that and haven’t worked on it since then. I’ll be out of that job soon though, so maybe we’ll see some progress (and maybe I’ll post some color correction examples this weekend).

Author
Time

I’m looking forward to seeing your edits, if you plan to make them available. The clip you posted is marvelous, congratulations.

Author
Time

DominicCobb said:

Okay so obviously I’m dumb and I said I’d be done with these before TLJ, which at this point isn’t even close to true because I got a new job basically a week after I posted that and haven’t worked on it since then. I’ll be out of that job soon though, so maybe we’ll see some progress (and maybe I’ll post some color correction examples this weekend).

It’s chill man, happens to us all

Prequel Fan-Edit thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Yet-another-series-of-prequel-edits/id/17329

Author
Time

DominicCobb said:

Some completely randomly chosen preliminary shots from ROTS (FYI the originals are 720 and mine are 1080, so the difference in resolution is not me being a wizard or anything).

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/126575
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/126576
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/126577

Holy hell, those are massive improvements. I’m loving the grading you’ve got so far here.

Return of the Jedi: Remastered

Lord of the Rings: The Darth Rush Definitives

Author
Time

Looking for feedback on this one. This is a change I’ve wanted to make for a long time, and I’m really happy with the way it works for the first half of this clip, but when the music kicks into higher gear half way through, I’m not sure. Let me know what you think, does it work like this, or should I fade it out earlier?
https://vimeo.com/248610489
pw: rots

Author
Time

Wow Dom, great job! I actually think it’s perfect, the “crescendo” helps to build tension to Obi-Wan and Yoda going back to the temple, even if you cut the scene of them facing the clone troopers. Honestly, I think it’s great.

Author
Time

Man, I’m interested just for the color correction.

The Empire did nothing wrong

Author
Time

snooker said:

The music is great, but I think that as soon as it starts to ramp up the intensity you should make it a little quieter because Yoda gets kind of hard to hear.

Yeah, I’ll probably try a different mix and post it sometime soon.


Alright, now for my biggest change (easily my most radical edit idea for any of these). As far as I know, I’ve never seen anyone do this (correct me if I’m wrong), but when I decided to make an edit, I came to realize this is something I’d have to do.

When I was a kid, the Order 66 sequence really worked for me. I don’t know why, probably because I was familiar with all the Jedi characters from the animated Clone Wars and a couple books I’d read (and from my own adventures with their action figures) and also probably because John Williams owns it (as usual). Problem is, you have to take the films on their own, and in that case, the music and the emotion of the whole montage is way out of whack with our investment in these non-characters. Plus, I feel like cutting around to random planets that we’ve never seen before is rather un-Star Wars. Basically, the sequence had to go.

So, without further rambling, here’s my rough radical edit of the Order 66 “montage” (not so much anymore) with a couple music changes thrown in:
https://vimeo.com/248689159
pw: rots

Added bonus: the Jedi don’t all die in one day

Author
Time

DominicCobb said:

snooker said:

The music is great, but I think that as soon as it starts to ramp up the intensity you should make it a little quieter because Yoda gets kind of hard to hear.

Yeah, I’ll probably try a different mix and post it sometime soon.


Alright, now for my biggest change (easily my most radical edit idea for any of these). As far as I know, I’ve never seen anyone do this (correct me if I’m wrong), but when I decided to make an edit, I came to realize this is something I’d have to do.

When I was a kid, the Order 66 sequence really worked for me. I don’t know why, probably because I was familiar with all the Jedi characters from the animated Clone Wars and a couple books I’d read (and from my own adventures with their action figures) and also probably because John Williams owns it (as usual). Problem is, you have to take the films on their own, and in that case, the music and the emotion of the whole montage is way out of whack with our investment in these non-characters. Plus, I feel like cutting around to random planets that we’ve never seen before is rather un-Star Wars. Basically, the sequence had to go.

So, without further rambling, here’s my rough radical edit of the Order 66 “montage” (not so much anymore) with a couple music changes thrown in:
https://vimeo.com/248689159
pw: rots

Added bonus: the Jedi don’t all die in one day

I like it, but I have a soft spot for the march on the Jedi temple Song, so I’m not sure how I feel about that part. The rest was great, but the original music is still heard when we transition back to the Jedi temple and to Kashyyk, but I’m pretty sure you know it already and that it’ll be fixed. Great job! (love the color correction)

Author
Time

That’s excellent. I really like the rescoring, feels a lot more “Star Wars.”

I was there

#rotjpigmengate

Author
Time

Thanks guys

Collipso said:

DominicCobb said:

snooker said:

The music is great, but I think that as soon as it starts to ramp up the intensity you should make it a little quieter because Yoda gets kind of hard to hear.

Yeah, I’ll probably try a different mix and post it sometime soon.


Alright, now for my biggest change (easily my most radical edit idea for any of these). As far as I know, I’ve never seen anyone do this (correct me if I’m wrong), but when I decided to make an edit, I came to realize this is something I’d have to do.

When I was a kid, the Order 66 sequence really worked for me. I don’t know why, probably because I was familiar with all the Jedi characters from the animated Clone Wars and a couple books I’d read (and from my own adventures with their action figures) and also probably because John Williams owns it (as usual). Problem is, you have to take the films on their own, and in that case, the music and the emotion of the whole montage is way out of whack with our investment in these non-characters. Plus, I feel like cutting around to random planets that we’ve never seen before is rather un-Star Wars. Basically, the sequence had to go.

So, without further rambling, here’s my rough radical edit of the Order 66 “montage” (not so much anymore) with a couple music changes thrown in:
https://vimeo.com/248689159
pw: rots

Added bonus: the Jedi don’t all die in one day

I like it, but I have a soft spot for the march on the Jedi temple Song, so I’m not sure how I feel about that part.

Understandable, it’s a great cue and works well in the scene. However, in my mind, it had to go. First because it’s the second time we heard that track in the film (trying to reduce this kind of repetitive tracking), and second because this is the birth of Vader - let’s hear his march.

The rest was great, but the original music is still heard when we transition back to the Jedi temple and to Kashyyk, but I’m pretty sure you know it already and that it’ll be fixed. Great job! (love the color correction)

Yeah I’ll have to completely recreate the sfx in the temple. The idea with Kashyyyk is that it ultimately blends in with the existing music, though I’ve cleaned up this transition a bit since I posted that clip.

Author
Time

Holy shit, that was awesome!

Beginner of many projects, finisher of few

To the top