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Get ready for "Star Wars - Shroud of the Sith", a radical fan edit of "The Phantom Menace"

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Hello OT! I’m a fresh face in this community, but hopefully you’ll come to accept me in this ever-growing community of fan edits.

To kick things off, I’d like to give you all an idea of why “Shroud of the Sith” is different from every other fan edit out there (at least to my knowledge):

While I’ve come across some outright brilliant edits of Episodes I, II, and III, I have yet to really find one that satisfies my ideas of what the prequels should be. This isn’t intended to discount other edits in any way. I just wanted to do something different. Most edits I’ve seen tend to get some things right while missing the point of others (again, totally my opinion), or they’ll cut the film in a great way plot-wise while stumbling through some of the sound editing or recoloring. Or they won’t mess with the sound and color at all. Basically, I wanted to do a radical edit that makes me happy and hopefully gives the viewer a new experience with the film, instead of just trimming the fat. I wanted to make the prequels worthy of the name “Star Wars”.

So, here’s what I did:

  1. COLORING - To start, I took the original cut of TPM and recolored EVERYTHING. I took inspiration from the original trilogy, while also taking some cues from The Force Awakens’ color palette, in hopes of giving TPM a familiar, yet unique look in comparison. I took a lot of the odd red, blue and purple “filters” out of the original cut, while desaturating many neutral colors and overhauling a lot of the more prominent colors in set pieces and vehicles, like the yellows, oranges, lighter blues and greens. I also recolored most of the gunfire to match the colors of The Force Awakens, with a slightly off-hue tone. Some scenes have been dramatically recolored, such as the Gungan battle at the end (which now takes place at sunset, instead of the middle of the day). And to cap it off, I added a KD 5213 35mm full-frame grain to the film, to give it the same “feel” as the OT.

  2. CUTTING - This was probably the most taxing process, minus maybe recoloring the gunfire. No scene was left untrimmed, though I managed to get the final cut to around 130 minutes (which is typically longer than your average fan-cut). There was a bit more I initially wanted to cut, but I decided that I would rather try to make certain things work with restructuring than cutting it altogether. However, some things most definitely had to go.

Midichlorians are no longer a thing, for obvious reasons. Instead, during Qui-Gon’s original explanation to Anakin, he now says to Anakin (after a bit of audio-engineering) “[…]Your focus determines your reality. Stay close to me, and you’ll be safe. When you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll hear the force. With time and training, Ani, you will.” This, I feel, is infinitely better with keeping the mythos of the original. Also, the “over 9000” midichlorian count scene has been cut. The scene now plays out with Qui-Gon checking Anakin’s blood for infection, and then Anakin’s mother calling out to him, after Anakin and Qui-Gon discuss the planets for a minute.

The “chosen one” prophecy is gone. Now, Qui-Gon simply tells the council he has discovered a vergence in the force, and wishes for Anakin to be tested.

Anakin’s immaculate conception is also a thing of the past. In this version, when Qui-Gon asks Anakin’s mother who the father was, she simply says “there was no father”, and Qui-Gon has a moment of realization. My intention is for this moment to imply Anakin’s father was not in the picture, but for any purists who might watch this, it can still be interpreted as an immaculate conception if you wish (though purists would probably dislike a lot of the more creative liberties I’ve taken with this as a whole).

Poop/fart jokes are gone. I don’t think an explanation is required.

The underwater “bigger fish” sequence is gone as well. Going through the planet core was always a weird plot device, and makes zero sense. In this version, Qui-Gon convinces Nass to spare Jar-Jar on the grounds of a life debt, solely because Jar-Jar claims to know how to get to the Royal Palace. So, they leave on the bonco, and they surface next to the palace. One of Jar-Jar’s (several) life debts is paid by this action. Which, in turn, adds another life debt to the mix, as Qui-Gon saves Jar-Jar from execution in Gunga city (in this version, Jar-Jar was never banished. But he is to be punished for bringing humans to the hidden city).

The whole sequence with Palpatine-Amidala leading into the Senate is drastically restructured to make for a much more compelling political sequence. Also, in the Senate scene, I’ve removed all traces of Naboo being a democracy (what planet, or nation, would choose to elect a 14 year old girl as the ruler of the free world?), which I think gives the whole Chancellor election greater weight anyway.

And speaking of Amidala, I’ve adjusted the pitch of her voice to make her sound around 2-3 years younger (mostly for Anakin’s sake). It sounds soooo much better this way, and makes her “caring” for Anakin less creepy.

Any super cheesy line I could find, like the “sitting ducks” bit, or any of the “yippeees” and such, are gone (which unfortunately means the existence of ducks is no longer canon in my series).

The Nemoidians have been redubbed, subtitled and professionally mixed. I’ve rewritten nearly all of their dialogue, in order to make them appear more menacing and less cowardly.

Jar-Jar’s dialogue has also been rewritten (however, his voice has not been finalized. I’m bouncing back and forth between giving him an English-speaking voice or alien garble). Jar-Jar’s new personality is something of a combination between Han Solo and Lando.

Sebulba dies in the podrace. Anakin straight up kills him (to the tune of a soft Imperial March, as the crowd cheers). Qui-Gon gives a look of extreme concern just before Anakin blows up Sebulba’s pod, but he appears to be the only one. I wanted to give some traction to the “he’s too dangerous” complaint that the Jedi keep throwing around. Originally, we’re just supposed to take their word for this, because he’s “too old” and we know he’ll be Darth Vader one day. Well, I wanted to plant the seeds early in this version. Plus, the podrace does nothing for the plot in the original version. I decided to give it’s “purpose” a bit of characterization for Anakin. And it makes for a really cool scene with the crowd cheering over the Imperial March for a young Darth Vader.

The final 15 minutes or so is where most of the restructuring happens. There’s so much going on, so I tried to mesh everything in a more cohesive way. As I said before, the Gungan battle takes place at sunset now (which really doesn’t add much to the story, but I felt like this battle needed feel a bit less…generic, I guess. Anyway, it looks much cooler at dusk). I’ve also set everything up to make Anakin do everything more or less on purpose, and his destroying the control ship is what causes Padme and co. to best the Viceroy (there is no “decoy” attack thing. It makes what Anakin does completely meaningless). Anakin is the hero of this story now, and I tried my best to mirror his shot at the control ship with Luke’s scene in ANH. Anakin now hears the voice of Qui-Gon prior to shooting, telling him “Trust your instincts, Anakin. Feel, don’t think”. It’s basically this film’s “use the force, Luke”, because, oh yeah, Qui-Gon dies immediately after being stabbed.

Obi-Wan’s final fight with Darth Maul has been cut to present a scene similar to Luke vs Vader in RotJ (where Luke just starts wailing on him). Obi-Wan is filled with rage and unleashes it on Maul. After he kills Maul, he just sort of stands there staring at the pit for a while (which is intercut with the Gungan victory). One of my favorite transitions in this version is cutting from the Gungans cheering to the hum of Obi-Wan’s lightsaber as he stares down into the pit, collecting himself as he realizes that he has killed someone for the first time. Then he runs over to Qui-Gon, simply saying “master…” before cutting to the “kiss your trade franchise goodbye” scene.

I’ve also done away with the final celebration scene. The film now ends on Palpatine’s face at the funeral, as a “Hell choir” sings into the cut to the credits. I didn’t like how everything seemed to be tied up nicely at the end of the original. It felt much more appropriate to end the film this way, as sort of a contrast to the end of RotJ. The way I see it, when the Jedi are back, the ending is happy. When the Sith are back, the ending is not.

There are several other cuts, but these, I think, are the most important.

  1. MUSIC - I’ve mostly kept Williams’ original score in place, though there are a few places where I’ve taken pieces from some of the Star Wars video games to use in place of ones that don’t quite fit the recut scene (for length or emotional reasons). I’ve also given new pieces of music to the Senate scene (which was too quiet for my taste originally) and Watto’s introduction (to which I’ve added a piece from a Budapest Klezmer band, to give the scene a bit of similar characterization that the “cantina band” scene had in the original. Now, the droid Jar-Jar’s is messing with is actually producing the music, which I thought was really cool and gives the droid a purpose beyond Jar-Jar foolery). The podracing scene has been 110% re-scored for tension and character reveal (the Imperial March stuff I talked about above). Also, as I mentioned earlier, the film ends on a much more sinister note, with the rising voices of a “Hell choir” as we rest on Palpy’s face.

Lots of little music changes here and there, as well as new sound effects in a few scenes (mostly out of necessity with adding new music.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of changes, but I wanted to get some opinions from this community. I’m about 90% done with the whole process (mostly just needing to record voices for the redubbing). It’s taken me a little over two months on and off, but I believe the final product will be well worth it.

-Sheepish

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Sheepish said:

Here’s a comparison for a scene with Darth Maul:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/163364

I’ll post a few more in a bit. Any specific scene requests?

First off, that looks really good! It makes me realize that his hood and the robot were SUPPOSED to be black but got graded strangely, it reminds me a lot of TeamNegative1’s Star Wars 35mm Silverscreen preservations.

I’d like to see shots like this one: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi2z8X5rpTLAhUN9GMKHUm-AOEQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Flucasfilm.wikia.com%2Fwiki%2FNaboo&psig=AFQjCNEvTF2oCDFJaSR7n4TGLDy7UOmmVw&ust=1456539582826173
and this one: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/IjzbqYZ8-5g/maxresdefault.jpg

Those ones to me have very unnatural/fake looking grading, I’d like to see what you’ve done with them.

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

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I corrected the whole movie, but I did it scene-by-scene. I didn’t use a “one size fits all” setting, if that’s what you’re asking.

Well, the film grain was universally applied, as was a couple of minor corrections. But as far as the curves, contrast/brightness and general recoloring goes, everything was done on a “per scene” basis, as to avoid using settings that may work for one scene but not another.

In general, most of the outer space sequences used the same settings, all of the underwater sequences used the same settings, the outdoor Theed scenes used similar settings, etc.

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I might tone down the grain slightly, but I kinda like it. It has the whole retro thing going on. What do you think?

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That regarding is imho good enough to warrant releasing on its own unedited as a separate release.

Chickens have personalities.

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Possessed said:

That regarding is imho good enough to warrant releasing on its own unedited as a separate release.

I’ll probably release it at some point for other editors to use as a source.

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This sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see how you re-dubbed the Neimodians.

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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Some of the grading goes too far in my opinion, for example making mauls black cloak look green. But I like how you got rid of the purple. Very strange choice for Lucasfilm.

Someone (I can’t remember who) uploaded scans of an original trailer, and though it’s a bit yellowed, it has a much more pleasing tone to me. It’s also a good idea of how it may have looked on a release print:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/163375

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation
The Force Awakens Starlight Fanedit

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NeverarGreat said:

Some of the grading goes too far in my opinion, for example making mauls black cloak look green. But I like how you got rid of the purple. Very strange choice for Lucasfilm.

See, I’m not really seeing green. Maybe that has to do with the settings on my monitor, but if there’s green to that cloak, it certainly presents a problem, as I didn’t do any green level adjustments in that scene.

…though I did use a slight teal filter to neutralize some other colors. That may have done it. I’ll give it another look.

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Sheepish said:

NeverarGreat said:

Some of the grading goes too far in my opinion, for example making mauls black cloak look green. But I like how you got rid of the purple. Very strange choice for Lucasfilm.

See, I’m not really seeing green. Maybe that has to do with the settings on my monitor, but if there’s green to that cloak, it certainly presents a problem, as I didn’t do any green level adjustments in that scene.

…though I did use a slight teal filter to neutralize some other colors. That may have done it. I’ll give it another look.

One way to check your work is in Photoshop, where you can get RGB info for any pixel. It’s showing higher green levels for the shadows than the other colors.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation
The Force Awakens Starlight Fanedit

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Okay, I’m going to touch up on the greens a bit.

While I’m at it, here’s a few clips from the edit you can check out.

Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrzwbqfCxMg (This was uploaded prior to the film grain addition. The colors have been tweaked since then, so don’t let this be an example of that. There’s also a weird cricket sound at around the 58 second mark. No idea what the hell that was or where it came from, so that’s also been removed. Basically, let this be an example of the cut of the scene)

Watto’s introduction - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9WZDA-5Oug (Again, this is a rudimentary version of this scene, pre-grain. The cut is essentially the final version, but the sound mixing isn’t complete, and Jar-Jar’s voice hasn’t been added to the scene. The music in this scene is what I’d like you to focus on)

Also, there is a version of a Darth Maul scene on this YouTube channel, but it’s outdated and looks nothing like the final color-grading. However, the added probe droid recording is in the final cut, so if you’d like to check that out, here ya go - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aOgb5y39vA

I’d like to reiterate that the coloring of these previews is NOT the current version.

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darthrush said:

This definetly has taken my interest for possibly taking the throne of my definitive TPM edit once your finished. Might I ask, if you will retain any of Sidious’s hologram scenes. When cut out, I feel it raises the mystery of Darth Maul and makes Yodas final thought at Qui-gons funeral even more thought provoking. Thanks for your efforts!!

Thanks! Here’s hoping!

As far as Sidious’ holograms go, it’s funny you should mention them, as I’m torn on keeping the few I have left in the film or axing them. I cut a few of them out already, but there are three (I think) that survived thus far in my cut, mostly for plot purposes (because I’ve redubbed the Neimoidians and rewritten their dialogue, some of their lines with Sidious help move the plot along).

My goal was to not make it so obvious that Palpatine is Sidious, so I tried to trim them up as much as I could, while also darkening the hood to reveal less of his face. Idk. I might cut them altogether. We’ll see. I definitely get your point, though.

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Wow, finally, an edit that actually addresses all of the problems! I’m torn between this and this now, although yours will obviously require little to no editing to suit my tastes.

Will you be making Episodes two and three? Would be nice, especially to continue all the work you’ve been doing on Jar Jar and the Neimoidians etc

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

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Will you be making Episodes two and three? Would be nice, especially to continue all the work you’ve been doing on Jar Jar and the Neimoidians etc

If my version of Episode I gets decent reception, then I’ll be doing Episodes II and III. I have big plans for III, if I do. For one example, Padme’s funeral will now be to the tune of this musical piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWt_kjS3JVY , which is a lullaby version of “Across the Stars”. I came across it on YouTube and thought it would be a great way to juxtapose Anakin and Padme’s somewhat childish relationship with the weight of her death (I’ve considered cutting her death for continuity reasons, but I like the irony of her death too much. I’ll find a way to work around the continuity of IV).

I’ve always considered II to be the worst of the prequels, but I’ll do my best with it. I’ve actually been playing around with adding Dooku to the end of Episode I, watching in the distance during the funeral scene, as Qui-Gon was supposedly his apprentince. The idea is to give his character a bit more depth, and sort of make the death of Qui-Gon be the final tear in Dooku’s connection with the Jedi. This should help flesh out the reasoning as to why Dooku sort of just shows up out of nowhere in Attack of the Clones. Also, if I do end up editing Episode II, I’ll most likely give Dooku a darksaber, as opposed to a lightsaber.

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Sheepish said:
I’ve considered cutting her death for continuity reasons, but I like the irony of her death too much. I’ll find a way to work around the continuity of IV

I think you mean ROTJ because that’s where Leia says the thing about remembering her mom.

I’ve actually been playing around with adding Dooku to the end of Episode I, watching in the distance during the funeral scene, as Qui-Gon was supposedly his apprentince. The idea is to give his character a bit more depth, and sort of make the death of Qui-Gon be the final tear in Dooku’s connection with the Jedi.

That’s a great idea but executing it should prove difficult. In the novel Darth Plagueis I believe that was Dooku’s last straw before resigning from the Jedi Order.

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I’ve always been confused as to why Dooku, turned, or even appeared in the films. Simply boggled my mind, like General Grievous. If he was so disillusioned with the Jedi Order, and then so angry at QGJ’s death, why would he join his killers?

Also worth pointing out that, while Darth Plagueis is somewhat considered a character, the book is not canonical.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

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I have actually grown to appreciate Dookus character more than Maul by a long shot. Dooku is somewhat of foreshadowing to the possible issues Anakin takes up with the order. I find rotoscoping his saber green or purple and removing the Darth Tyranus title would seal the deal for Dookus character really put to perfection as a intellectual rebellious Jedi who has noble goals with dark logistics of doing so. Figuring out a way to put Dooku in the funeral sounds very difficult but if executed correctly, I believe that would be absolutely fantastic. You have some great ideas for his edit!

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