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Star Wars Episode I: Cloak Of Deception (Finished!)

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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"

Synopsis

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.

Intention

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.

Versions

DVD5, 720p iTunes-compatible mp4, and 1080p BluRay-compatible mkv

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_TWqFOruwQ

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Really excited to see one of our oldest fan editors back in the mix. Excited to see what you cook up.

If you need any help I would be glad to when possible.

 

 

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Hey, thanks. I'm always open to ideas. Would you be interested in viewing a workprint once one is ready?

And finally, here is a clip. It's my version, at present, of the podrace. 

https://vimeo.com/69629597

Picture quality is poor, but the final result won't be. The deleted scene bits are temporary and will be replaced with a better source later. 

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That it was! 

I was just being... [Plinkett_Voice] LAZY! [/Plinkett_Voice]

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I'm nearly ready to export a workprint release. It'll be distributed in a shared Dropbox folder. Anybody interested should PM me their email address. I'll get the folder set up, and the workprint should appear there either tomorrow or Thursday.

I'm particularly looking for people who can test the audio on a proper surround setup. Mine is sort of crap, and I need to buy some more blank discs to test it myself. Things like audio transitions, sound levels, music volume during the podrace, etc. And any other input is welcome.

 

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As stated at FE.org, this will NOT require an email address. I can send you a direct link via PM only. 

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Ok so I've just seen the work print of Cloak of Deception and I loved it. I think it was well paced, tense and even quite light hearted at times. 

Things I liked:

.The Portrayal of Anakin was better since he seems more brave and a likeable kid

Other sides characters like R2-D2, C3-PO and Jar Jar were quite charming and funny, but weren't crammed onto the screen too much

.The action was really fun to watch since it got you engaged and excited for what's happening next. Also Maul was introduced perfectly.

The Things I didn't like too much:

.There was a few scenes which could of been cut, since they weren't too necessary like the Anakin saying goodbye to Padme scene and Jar Jar talking to Padme scene etc. They just felt like they were getting in the way of the stuff I wanted to see. But I'm 14, so what I think could be completely different to everybody else.

But overall this is one of the best edits of the Phantom Menace. Cut out alot of crap, but wasn't too harsh and the audio was pretty smooth through out :)

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Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. 

The scene where Padme talks with Jar Jar while she cleans R2 was kept in order to avoid coming across as a fan edit. If Jar Jar is in the film, I can't cut him to the point that the audience suspects something is going on. So that scene helps address Jar Jar's presence. Hopefully Jar Jar's character arc in my edit will be to go from an innocent bystander who got caught up in things outside his control to a general who fights bravely and goes on to serve in politics. 

I admit I was not sure whether to keep or cut the scene where Anakin goes to visit Padme while on Coruscant. I kept an eye on the runtime, and kept a few things like this that were not strictly necessary. I think it's a nice scene, and plays with the decoy subplot a bit. 

I'm waiting on ewanswfan to provide updated sources for the deleted scenes, but everything else is pretty much done. There are a few continuity issues I'm going to tweak for the podrace, but other than that I'm pretty much done. If anyone is skilled and willing, I could use some help making cover art for this project. 

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It still doesn't make sense.

This is the story of a boy a girl and a galaxy and how their parents met.

The galaxy would be stuffed with uninhabited planets with stuff the Feds would want.

It makes more sense if they owned the planet in the past but in a historic defeat lost it to the Naboo (the Gungans as natives don't like either set of invaders).

That way the invasion is an attempt to recover lost face

Honour is something very specific and very specific things are significant even on a Galactic scale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Sure it doesn't make sense; nothing makes sense. Hopefully it's more of a mystery rather than something that plainly does not make sense. If the edit suggests focus on the characters, the specifics of the villains' motivation aren't really important.

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I disagree (someone has to I guess ;-D ) the motivation of a villain says a lot about the sort of villain the protagonists are up against and how they respond tells you something about them.

Vader hates Rebels, he digs the idea of the Empire and the stability it provides and will ruthlessly defend it that order.

From this you can deduce he lived a hard life through turbulent times.

Something that it backed up with a few lines from Kenobi about the Clone Wars.

He isn't just a video game boss.

Having the Feds holding an ancient honour based grudge gives them and the planet a whole history.

It also says something about the crumbling stability of the Republic that such grudges can be acted upon.

In the current PT they are just greedy cowards conned into an invasion for no obvious reason and we learn nothing new about them or the planet they are trying to invade.

Ergo we couldn't care less about them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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The only way I can imagine incorporating that idea would be in the opening crawl. But none of it would be backed up within the film itself. 

You bring up some good ideas, but I don't think I'd be able to pull it off convincingly. These are not interesting villians, so I'm taking a conventional approach by downplaying them. This won't be a radical prequel re-edit by any means. Though it'll be much more thorough than my previous attempt. 

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Or I could edit them like TV's Frink, so the audience roots for them. They're almost like Daleks. "I'm afraid," "I know nothing of any invasion." 

It's so tempting to throw in nods to Frink, especially to have Obi-Wan blurt, "You're sweating," to Panaka on Tatooine. 

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I've always wished that the feds were more like the Argentine Junta, slowly loosing their grip on their own people they invade an long disputed territory with assurances from a shifty politician that he will cut through the red tape only he is leading them (and half a dozen other potential obstacles to power) a merry dance.

Splitting the Republic in half and having both halves fight each other.

That way you could feel sorry for them and you could do most of it in the crawl.

This post has been edited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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It's finally done, and I've begun seeding the DVD5 version. First post has been updated.

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I have to agree with Bingo...the Naboo planet should have more significance to the plot, and like you said, can only be pointed out in the crawl. As Bingowings has already mentioned, there would be an abundance of worlds in the Galaxy for the taking...so why covet Naboo, anyway? Having read the books himself, I think Lucas was going for the Dune analogy here, but for some reason decided to downplay it, instead. I like the neighboring system or former world ideas myself, but the one glaring thing that stares you in the face (that nobody bothers to emphasize in their fanedits as important) is the plasma facility, itself. This little tidbit is mentioned in the Darth Plagueis novel and holds a lot of importance to the characters in the book. And it is the one thing that makes Naboo sort of unique, too. Instead of saying abundant resources in the crawl (which I'm sure a lot of worlds are, anyway), why not go with rich plasma resources, so it specifies why the planet is so special. Once you read the crawl and later see the plasma facilities that the Jedi fight in, you'll understand why the Neimoidians would want Naboo.

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I've watched through the pod race, and at the risk of premature congratulations, it seems really good to me ... I tend to agree that the invasion might be better explained, just one sentence in the crawl would be better than nothing. But I find that to be a minor point; I just think this moves along well, and SMOOTHLY, it's watchable (thus far) like a "regular" movie. 

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I'm gratified to see the edit received well so far.

Interesting idea about the plasma, but I prefer to keep the crawl intentionally vague. If I mention something specific, I think it falls flat to never have it referenced or mentioned again in the narrative proper. However, I admit that it's pre-existence as an EU idea makes it a little more intriguing. At the end of the day, I think the crawl works better as it is than throwing ideas into it that aren't expounded upon in the film itself. "Abundant resources" steers clearer of this than "plasma resources" would. 

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You probably have a point. If it's specifically stated in the crawl but then doesn't really mean much to the overall plot, it's sort of useless

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Musical score added to the podrace from the 'Shadows of the Empire' soundtrack and from 'A New Hope.' Podrace edited to accommodate new music. 

That sounds great! I've always wondered why fan editors don't use the SotE soundtrack. It's very good and, IMHO, better than the scores for AotC and RotS.

Can't wait to see the edit. Seems like a lean and fast version of Ep. I without being a radical change.

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@Hal9000

Hope you don't mind a little constructive criticism!  I just watched it, and I loved it, but I'll make note of some of my thoughts here.

The general editing and pacing is really great.  Although I noticed a few places where small pieces of dialogue were cut, nothing stood out or felt too choppy.  Removing the gungan city worked wonders!  Similarly, I enjoyed your removal of scenes and characters such as Jabba, the group of Tatooine children, and midichlorians, amongst others.  Great work cutting down Jar Jar's antics, although there two or three places where I would've gone just a tiny bit further.  But overall, he is far more bearable in this than in the original.  I (personally) would even consider removing 3PO to some extent.

The only thing I wish you hadn't removed was Qui-Gon's dialogue to Obi-Wan as he dies.  Although I understand your reasoning for doing it.  I wonder if there is any part of that conversation that can be preserved without the chosen one nonsense.

The inclusion of some of the deleted scenes or shots was interesting, but overall felt unnecessary.  For example the junk droids during the podrace, or the Kitser scene right before the race.  The Kitser scene especially just feels awkward.  Odd dialogue from 3PO, poor performances from Portman and Lloyd, and the weird photoshop transfer of Kitser's head.  To me, this is the one thing about your edit that I would hands down change.  No offense though, that's just my opinion.

The podrace score is a little bit choppy and sometimes doesn't best fit the action on screen, but the video is edited together very well.  I've never rescored anything like this, so I would imagine that it can be difficult to make preexisting music and footage fit together flawlessly.  It certainly isn't bad, but it could stand a little fine tuning.  But either way, great choice using the SotE soundtrack, I love it.

So these are some of the good and not-so-good things that I noticed.  You should definitely take comfort in the fact that everything I didn't mention worked perfectly for me, and in my eyes, this is far superior to the original film.  I hope my thoughts haven't come off as too critical, because I think this is going to be my go to version of the TPM.  Great work!  :)

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