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 second of the revamped ‘9000 Series,’ The Approaching Storm delivers a re-crafted perspective on Star Wars Episode II 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 and Padme are depicted as realistic adults developing romantic feelings for one another. The political plot is made more straightforward and graspable. Superfluous action is subdued to make the film more story driven.
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.
- Bend the prequels to the story continuity of the original trilogy and the impressions it gives.
- 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.
- 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 2002.
Running time is about 108 minutes.
Cuts and Additions:
The primary source material is a preservation of the HDTV version by OT.com user Schorman.
New title crawl to better define the political plot, making Padme’s role a bit clearer, courtesy of Smudger9.
Camera pans down, rather than up, after the crawl, to maintain continuity with the other five films.
Removed Captain Typho’s lines before the ship blows up.
Trimmed Corde’s death.
Added deleted scene where Padme addresses the Senate. This establishes some context for the political content of this film, as well as Padme’s post-Queen character.
Trimmed the scene in Palpatine’s office to remove unhelpful dialogue.
Jar Jar’s introduction is removed, cutting from Obi-Wan and Anakin in the elevator to Padme greeting them.
Anakin’s inappropriate compliments are trimmed in favor of making it a relatable awkward moment for him. It doesn’t give Padme pause.
In the interest of downplaying Obi-Wan and Anakin’s antagonism, their discussion about their roles in front of Padme is trimmed to get to the point.
Anakin does not talk to Jar Jar.
Removed Jango talking to Zam, to save his reveal for later and remove redundancy.
Removed scene where Obi-Wan and Anakin merely bicker.
Tightened Padme’s reaction to Anakin slicing the poison slugs.
Tightened up the speeder chase to remove overly dumb moments, dialogue, and physics.
Anakin doesn’t lose his lightsaber, and Obi-Wan doesn’t lecture him about it.
Trimmed the transition from the bar to the back alley.
Lovingly borrowed audio from The Phantom Editor’s version to alter Zam’s dying words to, “Kamino system…”
Cut Windu’s instructions to Anakin. It’s more effective characterization if Anakin decides to talk to Palpatine himself.
Jar Jar is not depicted as openly incompetent. Removed his awkward acceptance of his new duties.
Removed Anakin complaining about Obi-Wan to Padme. Padme consoles him, and they acknowledge that Anakin has grown up. Padme’s only initial barrier to him has been dissolved.
Removed Dex’s Diner sequence.
Anakin doesn’t mention attachment being forbidden. This on its own doesn’t change anything drastically, but it’s not necessary to define the universal ‘Jedi Way’ so narrowly.
Added deleted scene where Obi-Wan and Mace talk on the landing platform.
Used extended arrival scene on Naboo.
Added first deleted scene of Padme with her family, replacing conversation with the new Queen.
Removed Kaminoan prime minister listing numbers of clone units. It lessens the power of their reveal in a few scenes.
Boba Fett is not described as being a clone. He probably still is a clone, but the pacing is off when the movie pauses to talk about him when nobody asked.
No fireplace scene. Instead, we have a day-for-night moonlight kiss that is interrupted by a scene transition.
Trimmed Obi-Wan and Jango’s dialogue.
When Obi-Wan reports to Yoda and Windu, removed Windu’s perspective-less question about the assassination attempt.
Removed dialogue about the Jedi not being able to use the force due to the dark side clouding everything.
Lightly trimmed the fight in the rain.
Tightened up the chase through the rings of Geonosis. Removed childish Boba moments, and sped up the pacing.
Removed Threepio recognizing Anakin as “the maker.”
Trimmed Cliegg Lars’ dialogue that goes over the top to characterize him as a good guy.
Removed scene where Yoda senses Anakin’s pain.
Removed Separatists’ walking conversation with Dooku, including the reveal that Padme’s assassination attempts stem from Nute Gunray’s pettiness.
Minor tweak: Changed Dooku’s dialogue and the opening crawl to suggest that “a thousand” star systems have revolted against the Republic, rather than “several” or “ten” thousand systems.
Obi-Wan identifies Count Dooku as the mastermind of the assassination attempt, rather than Nute Gunray.
Trimmed dialogue as Palpatine and company discuss what to do.
Jar Jar doesn’t fumble his words as he proposes giving Palpatine emergency powers. He also doesn’t seem caught by surprise when his colleagues applaud him. He appears more competent.
Yoda doesn’t tell us that he’s going to Kamino.
Threepio and Artoo stay on the ship and do not make their way into the battle.
Added a deleted scene on Geonosis to replace the indescribable droid factory action sequence.
Trimmed love confession scene to remove Anakin’s surprised reaction, because they had not decided not to get together.
Trimmed Nute Gunray’s dialogue during the Gladiator sequence.
Removed Threepio and Artoo from the battle, as well as trimming it up slightly.
Removed Geonosian war room sequences in order to remove the unnecessary Death Star cameo.
Lessened Obi-Wan and Anakin’s antagonism after Padme falls out of the transport.
Removed the Jedi giving the clones military advice; this helps establish the clones as competent soldiers and the Jedi as being dependent upon them.
Trimmed the duel with Dooku.
Yoda does not take out a lightsaber. I borrowed one brief shot from L8wrtr’s edit.
When AOTC first came out, I read somewhere that reversing the audio of Dooku’s pilot droid sounds like, “Use the Force, idiot.”
Sidious does not address Dooku as ‘Tyrannus,’ and that title has been removed from the film.
Added credits for myself, workprint viewers, contributors, and acknowledgments of all other AOTC “FanFix” fan edits to date.
DVD5, 720p iTunes-compatible mp4, and 1080p BluRay-compatible mkv
This post has been edited.