Cover artwork by user OnlyOneKenobi
For those authoring the BluRay version to disc with TSMuxer, you need to select “Do Not Insert VUI/SEI Data"
The first of the revamped ‘9000 series’, Cloak of Deception delivers a re-crafted perspective on Star Wars Episode I in keeping with the drive of the original trilogy of films. Unnecessary ‘galaxy shrinking’ cameos from classic characters have been cut down or removed. Anakin is depicted as a more mature and capable figure an audience can identify with. Jar Jar is recast as an everyman caught up in events outside his control who does his part in the fight for freedom, rather than a traitorous clown.
By stripping away extraneous tangents and bolstering attention to character development, this edit seeks to improve the original film. The original trilogy is regarded as the template toward which the prequels strive. The prequels are made to submit to the continuity and drive of the originals to the degree possible.
The following three goals are held in balance.
- <span style=“font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.2em;”>Bend the prequels to the story continuity of the original trilogy and the impressions it gives.</span>
- <span style=“font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.2em;”>Improve the prequels in and of themselves, as films, through conventional ‘FanFix’ methodology. The pacing is improved, dialogue trimmed, and characters are developed better. This is the most readily apparent of these three goals that can be seen in The Phantom Edit, for example. The edits should be viable as films on their own.</span>
- <span style=“font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.2em;”>They ought to be functional as replacements for the original versions. This means leaving the film’s thoroughly “prequel” nature unaltered, respecting the broad strokes of Star Wars orthodoxy, and avoiding making changes that would betray to the audience that they’re watching a fan edit. In other words, none of the other two listed goals should put undue stress on the goal of producing something that would have been suitable to have been released in 1999.</span>
Running time is 106 minutes.
Cuts and Additions:
Light film grain added throughout, to counter the overapplication of DVNR on the BluRay source.
New title crawl to replace political exposition with menacing villainy, courtesy of Smudger9.
Removed Viceroy’s line justifying his activity, as part of a larger attempt to transform the Neimoidians into more active villains.
Cut Qui-Gon’s line about ‘Federation types’ being cowards
Trimmed Neimoidian dialogue such as, “Are you brain dead?”
Removed Viceroy’s hesitancy to invade Naboo.
Trimmed Sidious’ dialogue, removing concerns over legality.
Cut instruction for the battle droids to “destroy what’s left of” the Jedi.
Removed all instances of battle droids speaking or gesturing to communicate with one another. They seem to all be on the same ‘network.’
Trimmed Neimoidian cowardice during the fighting.
Trimmed Viceroy’s conversation with the Queen via viewscreen to downplay tedious political minutia and portray him as autonomous.
Trimmed unnecessary dialogue during throne room scene.
Removed Neimoidians addressing a battle droid as “captain.” Again, if they are all on the same network, they would act as one mind. They are not referred to by rank.
Trimmed Jar Jar’s dialogue during his introduction.
Removed the entire underwater trip to Otah Gungah, along with the tedious Sidious scene caught in the middle.
Removed scene descending the steps inside the palace discussing political exposition that we get again later.
Cut Qui-Gon’s line that dismisses the battle droids as unimportant.
Tightened Qui-Gon’s knock-knock joke with the battle droid, though kept some of the whimsy.
Removed Jar Jar’s antics in the droid bay. Jar Jar throughout is portrayed as more of an everyman than a clown.
Dialogue trimmed throughout escape from the blockade.
Removed the Queen personally thanking R2-D2 by name.
Removed line, “No more commands from her highness today.”
Removed Jar Jar’s stepping in poop antic.
New subtitles with similar dialogue throughout, formatted to match the theatrical version.
Drastically reduced Jar Jar’s antics in Watto’s shop. Added noises of him causing a ruckus in the background in order to remove it happen onscreen.
Trimmed Anakin and Padme’s conversation.
Removed Watto’s line that implies he was immune to the Jedi mind trick merely because of his species.
Removed several instances of the line, “Yipee” throughout the film by various children.
Removed Jar Jar’s handful of, “Muy muy” lines.
Removed cartoony sound effect of the frog thing flying through the air as Jar Jar spits it out.
Trimmed Jar Jar and Anakin during the introduction scene for Sebulba.
Trimmed Anakin’s line as he invites them to his home.
Trimmed entrance to the Skywalker home, including some of the lines about Threepio. Anakin doesn’t state that he is “building” him. A small change, but it allows for the idea that Anakin is merely repairing a previously abandoned Threepio.
Dinner scene has been trimmed, including mention of slave transmitters, Jar Jar antics with the fruit, and bad child acting.
Trimmed bad child acting during scene convincing Watto to work a bet with Qui-Gon.
Removed scene after Qui-Gon and Schmi’s conversation with Anakin working on his pod, taking the annoying kids with it.
Removed balcony scene where Qui-Gon checks Anakin’s blood. Anakin’s racing/“piloting” skills are what prompt Qui-Gon to recruit him, rather than a blood test.
Added trimmed version of the deleted scene “Dawn Before the Race” to help fill out the shortened film and make up for removing audience exposure to Anakin’s pod in prior scene.
Removed Jar Jar’s grin after Qui-Gon tosses the chance cube.
Cut conversation about Anakin never having won a race.
Trimmed introduction to the racers to focus on Sebulba and Anakin.
Cut pack animal farting in Jar Jar’s face (and in most of the audio channels, I’d point out).
Altered Sebulba and Anakin’s conversation to be less juvenile.
Trimmed podracers’ engines startup sequece.
Musical score added to the podrace from the ‘Shadows of the Empire’ soundtrack and from ‘A New Hope.’ Podrace edited to accommodate new music.
Two-headed announcer trimmed throughout, along with various other things during the podrace.
Trimmed bad child acting during scene where Anakin discovers he has been freed.
Trimmed farewell to Schmi.
Added deleted probe droid scene to explain why Qui-Gon and Anakin are running to the ship. This scene was color corrected to remove pink tint and better match the surrounding footage.
Removed Anakin’s line, “Qui-Gon, sir, wait, I’m tired!”
Cut Qui-Gon’s line, “Tell them to take off!” Anakin doesn’t tell them anyway.
Removed scene on Naboo where the Viceroy sits on his walking throne because it references the excised underwater trip to Otah Gungah.
Lessened Jar Jar’s presence in the scene between Anakin and Padme en route to Coruscant.
Removed Anakin giving Padmé a necklace, because it has no payoff in my version of Episode III.
Trimmed Ric Olie’s dialogue upon arrival at Coruscant.
Removed Padme calling for Anakin on the landing platform.
Removed Anakin’s unassured statement about hopefully starting his training.
Removed a reference during the Senate scene to the taxation of trade routes, to comply with the revised opening of the film.
Removed dialogue about Anakin being too old to be trained. Throughout these edits, the implication that all Jedi begin their training as children is removed.
Cut dialogue about the Jedi Code forbidding more than one apprentice.
Removed line, “This may be the clue we need to unravel the mystery of the Sith.” This is never expounded upon.
Removed all references to midichlorians.
Removed scene where Obi-Wan apologizes to Qui-Gon and Jar Jar emerges from the swamp.
Trimmed scene between the Naboo and Boss Nass, including Jar Jar’s hesitancy and cowering.
Trimmed the battle planning scene, making Padmé less verbose.
Reduced Jar Jar’s antics throughout the battle, though he does appear during each Gungun battle sequence because he is the audience’s only anchor.
Anakin gets into a cockpit and leaps into action in order to help the Queen, and intentionally flies up into the space battle.
Battle sequences restructured slightly to allow for Anakin to save the day rather than Padme. Originally, Anakin’s actions were redundant after Padme captured the Viceroy.
Qui-Gon’s last words are trimmed to remove heavy-handed request for Obi-Wan to train Anakin, allowing Obi-Wan to “take it upon [him]self to train [Anakin] as a Jedi.”
Trimmed Obi-Wan’s conversation with Yoda to imply that Obi-Wan wants to train Anakin himself, rather than to fulfill a promise to Qui-Gon.
Trimmed the final celebration scene slightly.
Added credits for myself, workprint viewers, contributors, and acknowledgments of all other TPM “FanFix” fan edits to date.
DVD5, 720p iTunes-compatible mp4, and 1080p BluRay-compatible mkv
This post has been edited.