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Erasing the Prequels Entirely

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Hi all! New poster here, excited to converse with the community!

This has just been on my mind a bit lately, and I was wondering what you all would think. Obviously there have been numerous fan edits of the Prequel Trilogy in an attempt to make them gel more with the OT, or even to simply make them more enjoyable films, with varying degrees of success. I can’t help but wonder, though, if it would not be simpler, and perhaps more satisfying, to just erase the prequels entirely in a fan edit that would simultaneously be the most drastic and most effortless, thanks to the existence of Harmy’s Despecialized Editions: simply erase, or alter, the episode numbering in the opening crawls of the OT.

With ESB and RotJ, this would be an almost criminally easy fix: either change “V” and “VI” to “II” and “III”, or just remove the reference to “episode” altogether and be left with “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” After all, we don’t need to number the Lord of the Rings films to know that The Two Towers takes place after The Fellowship of the Ring and before The Return of the King.

With A New Hope, this could be done a few different ways, depending on personal preference. For those who would rather the film be just “Star Wars,” Harmy’s Despecialized Edition has already got it covered. For those who like the subtitle, again, simply remove the “episode” reference, and you’re left with “Star Wars: A New Hope” (again, like “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”). Finally, if you also like the numbering, just change “IV” to “I.” Boom.

Now, I know it’s controversial, but I actually really love The Force Awakens, and would love to see it titled “Episode IV,” or simply “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with no “VII” involved. However, minuscule though they may be, there are a few references to the prequels in the film, but those could be removed pretty easily, especially compared to some of the edits that others have made. The way I see it, the only necessary changes would be as follow:

  • Change Maz Kanata’s line slightly, to eschew the reference to the Sith. “I’ve seen evil take many forms…today, it is the First Order,” would do just fine.
  • Remove Palpatine’s “Sheev Spin” scream from Rey’s Force-Vision.
  • Remove Palpatine’s tiny but noticeable “any Jedi” from Rey’s vision as well, as it’s in reference to Revenge of the Sith’s “Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi.”

And that seems to be it! Every other prequel “reference” ceases to be one if there are no prequels; Ewan McGregor’s “These are your first steps” is never uttered in the prequels anyway, and it’s pretty much just him doing an Alec Guinness impression. Kylo’s mention of a “clone army” isn’t a real reference to anything besides the fact that clones exist in Star Wars, which we already got from “A New Hope.”

Granted, the changes to The Force Awakens would be premature until the rest of the Sequel Trilogy is released, since we have no idea how much the next two films will draw from the Prequels as of now. Honestly, I would have done all this already…but considering my complete and utter lack of any experience with video editing, I am 99% sure I would completely screw it up. Let me know your thoughts!

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Hey, that looks awesome! Thanks for the heads up!

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I’ve actually been toying around with this idea. I’ve elected to make my Rogue One edit into episode III, but I’ve been thinking of just having Star Wars movies that remove the “episode” part. Fixes a lot of issues.

digmodification.wordpress.com

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I’ve been planning out my own edit of ROTJ for a long time, I’ll be renaming it to Episode III, or just ditching the “Episode” part entirely, because the prequels don’t exist in my mind. I’ve also been thinking about just replacing the STAR WARS logo with the RETURN OF THE JEDI logo and deleting the title portion of the crawl. (I’d do that for ESB as well) I’ve seen mockups of that here in the past, and I looks pretty sweet.

Anyways, as far as the Force Awakens, the bits of Palpatine dialouge don’t bother me that much, but I guess losing them would be preferred. Maz’ reference to the Sith is fine. The word “Sith” was even in deleted clips of the conference room scene in Star Wars.

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I made some crawls for something like this about a month ago. I didn’t do TFA, and I’m not satisfied with RotJ (bad fade out), but this is still worth mentioning (unless you go with Tantive3+1’s suggestion, which isn’t a bad idea).

I’m redoing RotJ and making TFA right now. TFA is done!

-Star Wars: Episode I - A New Hope
-Star Wars: Episode II - The Empire Strikes Back
-Star Wars: Episode III - Return of the Jedi
-Star Wars: Episode IV - The Force Awakens

Edit: Fair warning, the ANH crawl’s audio isn’t from the actual movie, it’s the cover in the Special Edition Soundtrack release. Additionally, RotJ has a four-ellipses, not three like in the movie.

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The Empire did nothing wrong

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I think my favorite would be to use the theatrical crawl for episode 4 to just show it as the original first film; STAR WARS. And the subsequent movies are also apart of the STAR WARS saga but with added subtitles like STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Basically just how it was before the prequels came out, except you remove any reference to an episode number.

Return of the Jedi: Remastered

Lord of the Rings: The Darth Rush Definitives

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Purist idea that I can understand, but you would lose Clone Wars and the good The Clone Wars episodes (as well as the best of Rebels that is based on the previous tv series). The will to erase EpI and EpII (even if they contain good material from time to time) is something I could agree with (could, not would 😃), but I like most of EpIII so I wouldn’t erase it for Rogue One that I consider to be inferior in every way (besides, both Darth Vader scenes only make sense if you do acknowledge EpII-III…). So let’s take R1 as EpIII, but you need some kind of EpII made of ROTS with scenes from EpI-II as flashbacks (since R1 uses flashback structure this is no longer a stylistic issue). Then take 2003-2005 Clone Wars as Episode I (but it’s a cartoon…). Don’t know if the Han Solo movie could do the trick as a prequel episode. So it could go that way:

EpI- ROTS with TPM and AOTC scenes as flashback (3-1 movie edit ?)
EpII- Han Solo movie
EpIII- Rogue One

or
EpI- Clone Wars
EpII- ROTS (theatrical fanedited, 3-1, whatever you want)
EpIII - Rogue One (theatrical or fanedited)

(I don’t like it - I’m very fond of the I-VI structure of the main original hexalogy saga - but the idea is fun)

“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.

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Well… in almost every way then 😄 (the sfx are better in R1 but the movie is more recent so it was expected)

The fact is that we don’t really answer the topic title, which is:

Erasing the Prequels Entirely

since R1 is a Prequel !

“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.

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I’d prefer to go about this by merely removing the “Episode [X]” portion of the actual films’ crawls, without generating new material. As authentic as you can get with minimal meddling. (Might be good to time the appearance of [FILM TITLE] to the appearance of ‘Episode [X]’ and re-sync footage between the crawl fading out and beginning to pan downward.

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Seems like a community resource thing. I’d say go for it!

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If you duplicate the shot and stack it slightly off, you can use a cookie cutter effect (that’s what it’s called in vegas) to retain the stars the whole way up. It’s like making a moveable mask. Would save the headache of rotoscoping the stars.

digmodification.wordpress.com

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-Star Wars: A New Hope
-Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
-Star Wars: The Force Awakens

(ANH’s crawl taken from Harmy Respecialized, ESB and RotJ from Harmy Despecialized, TFA from the Blu-Rey)

I left the original audio in ANH, even though if it were up to me, I’d replace it. Video starts 6 frames before “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” comes in, and ends at the end of the first shot. Like HAL9000 suggested, the title comes in when the Episode number would have. However, my personal recommendation would be for the crawl to come in when the OOT SW crawl came in. I’ll make one like that if anyone wants.

All 4 crawls use the “A long time ago” text from Harmy’s ANH Respecialized, just for continuity reasons. If you’d rather a different one, it’s easy to replace.

Edit: Youtube took them down, reuploaded on Vimeo.

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The Empire did nothing wrong

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SparkySywer said:

-Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
-Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Perhaps you already know this SparkySywer, but this 3 videos have been taken down by Disney, hope they get back soon 😉

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.

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Nice work! The stars in the middle of the screen seem to flicker just before “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” comes into view, but that’s the only flaw I noticed.

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darthrush said:

Great work Sparky! I think the crawls look really fantastic.

Thanks!

Hal 9000 said:

Nice work! The stars in the middle of the screen seem to flicker just before “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” comes into view, but that’s the only flaw I noticed.

Weird. I don’t know why that happened. I can redo it if you guys want, but I won’t be able to until tomorrow.

The Empire did nothing wrong

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