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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - Faster, More Intense!

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This is a fanedit of Star Wars Episode I that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. In truth it is less of a fanedit than a fanedit hybrid, combining some of the best (in my opinion) of Hal9000’s edit, l8wrtr’s edit, the original Phantom edit and a few cuts from Seciors’s edit as well. There are a couple of original cuts, but relatively few.

Frankly, there is not much new that can be done with the Phantom Menace (without some serious visual effects work), but no one fanedit has ever fully satisfied me when it comes to this film. I feel they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and I set out to make a cut that curates edits from these various fanedits to match my vision for the film. While some of the cuts were recreated by myself, I confess that most of them were cribbed directly from the source material: the original fanedits, with Hal9000’s as a primary source and l8wrtr’s as a secondary. Some audio from the original phantom edit was also used. I have put an emphasis on matching the professionalism of these original edits, and I wanted to make the film a suitable replacement for someone who has never seen the Phantom Menace before. I do plan to make similar edits of Episode’s II and III once Hal finishes his V4 releases and L8wrtr releases his Episode III V2.

Original Runtime:
2h16m
Fanedit Runtime:
1h37m

Cut List:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/179rtro9Lq-jwlEWSoYkd97yGME7UIMg1-SPRgJ8SDbs/edit?usp=sharing

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Seems to be interesting (especially your own contributions). Hal9000’s version is around 98% close to be my view of the perfect edit, though you’ve got some ideas that I want to check if someday I find enough time and skill to assemble my “own” cut.

Just something I strongly disagree :

Removed Anakin giving Padmé a necklace. (Hal9000, may revisit depending on what I end up doing with Episode III)

I don’t think the ending of Episode III is so relevant to this scene. The Padmé funeral uses the necklace as a reminder of this sequence, but even if you manage to let her live the scene has its own meaning in Episode I, as well as in the entire Prelogy: making a necklace gift, that is what young boys do when they want to express their love (yeah it’s childish, however not “ridiculous childish”). It’s another step that leads in to the romance of Episode II.

“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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MalàStrana said:

Seems to be interesting (especially your own contributions). Hal9000’s version is around 98% close to be my view of the perfect edit, though you’ve got some ideas that I want to check if someday I find enough time and skill to assemble my “own” cut.

Just something I strongly disagree :

Removed Anakin giving Padmé a necklace. (Hal9000, may revisit depending on what I end up doing with Episode III)

I don’t think the ending of Episode III is so relevant to this scene. The Padmé funeral uses the necklace as a reminder of this sequence, but even if you manage to let her live the scene has its own meaning in Episode I, as well as in the entire Prelogy: making a necklace gift, that is what young boys do when they want to express their love (yeah it’s childish, however not “ridiculous childish”). It’s another step that leads in to the romance of Episode II.

I think you raise some very good points here. However, If I add this scene back, I will likely remove the scene where Anakin goes to say goodbye to Padme, since I think Portman’s performance is particularly weak in that scene. Thoughts?

EDIT: I’m also undecided on whether or not to leave in JarJar’s “Weesa goin’ home” and would appreciate feedback on that moment as well.

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Octorox said:
I think you raise some very good points here. However, If I add this scene back, I will likely remove the scene where Anakin goes to say goodbye to Padme, since I think Portman’s performance is particularly weak in that scene. Thoughts?

Well, the goodbye scene adds a little extra to the “decoy” subplot, and if you skip it you lose too much interaction between the protogonists, as well as the “miror construction” which is a signature of Lucas style in the Prelogy (Padmé goes to Anakin on the spaceship; Anakin goes to Padmé in Coruscant). Hal’s version of this scene is the best compromise. The same with “missa going home” : after the long part in Coruscant (which is not really the funniest part of the movie, though the most interesting for the main plot), which is very cold and talkative, you need to have an explosion of joy from a character, in this case Jar Jar. Besides the music montage is powerful.

I’m quite interested in your montage of the celebration scene. As soon as the file is available I’ll try to check your original contributions.

“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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Yeah I agree with both of your arguments, but at the same time I can’t help but sympathize with Frink’s viewpoint. The initial reason I found myself unsatisfied with Hal’s edit in the first place was because I couldn’t watch it with friends without everyone complaining that “there’s still too much JarJar”. At the same time I don’t want to make JarJar a silent bystander throughout the film like most edits do because in a way that draws even more attention to him and feels uncharacteristic of the character (as much as I don’t like the character, he is still integral to the plot of the film). I think “Weesa goin’ home!” is one of the relatively inoffensive JarJar moments so I’ll probably leave it in. Same with the Queen moment. Not having it in probably makes the decoy thing even more confusing. I’ve already cut “we are brave, your highness” which is another nod to the decoy thing (I felt it was better to introduce the character of “Padme the handmaiden” when the decoy queen names her later on), so I probably shouldn’t cut this too.

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I believe the Jar Jar character suffers of the over the top and stupid micro scenes he’s involved in; when the worst parts are removed, the character is no longer (or “less”) obnoxious. I would have never bet a penny on it but when I saw Hal’s version I was very surprised to even smile at what’s left of the comic relief characterization (“more droids you say” with a cut to the invading army is funny; the encounter with Sebulba with the whistling joke is also nice) while other bits can’t be saved without seriously damaging the flow of the montage (the “bad droid” battle scene and when he gets his nuts smashed by the Federation tank: if you cut it you reduce too much of the gungan battle). On a logical point of view, I don’t think it’s less distracting or ridiculous to leave a character in a shot while removing his obvious line (“wessa going home” in L8 version is awkward: you clearly see Jar Jar yelling something but you don’t hear anything).

“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 can agree about the “more? More did you spake?” line but not the whistling, which felt very Warner Bros. cartoon to me. I also cut out the tank scene in a new way. Lasts thing I’d like to hear your opinion on is the “farewell to 3PO” scene. In my current edit I’ve excised it entirely a la l8wrtr because I think it includes some of the very worst child acting from Lloyd "you’ve been a Ggrreeaat pal!"and falls in weird place between two emotionally charged scenes. I’m open to other opinions though.

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Lloyd is indeed terrible in that scene (that’s not his fault, Lucas did’nt give a s*** about actor’s direction and was obviously lacking an actor coach. He eventually hired one on Episode III, which explains why most of the movie actually works pretty well in spite of awful dialogues). I like 3PO’s lines (Anthony Daniels is always great - only his Geonosis scenes of Episode II truly suck - and the animation is good), but Lloyd’s lines + his acting are lame here. Hal has removed the most offensive parts (“my best paaaaaaal”, oh gosh I almost forgot about this…). I think you should consider a trimmed version of Hal’s: the exact same edit without the “i’m going in a spaceship” (which is true but also very dull to say). However the scene itself has no real purpose, so you could remove it entirely (if you do so I would advise you to add more lines to the goodbye scene with the mother, otherwise the emotional heart of the movie would seem too rush). This is up to you, and keep in mind that you’re trying to assemble your own perfect cut, if you think something doesn’t belong and is too painful for your ears and eyes, just remove it 😃

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“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, I was almost ready to release but I noticed some odd framerate stutter in a couple of scenes. I’m going to try to rectify that before I put this out. Also I decided to keep in an extremely cut down version of the 3PO farewell scene fwiw, it now goes like this:

3PO: Hello Master Anakin.
Anakin: Well 3PO, I’ve been freed.
3PO: Oh Master Anakin, I wish you well.
Anakin: I’m gonna miss working on you 3PO. I’ll make sure Mom doesn’t sell you or anything.
3PO: Sell me!?
Anakin: Bye.
3PO: Oh my…

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Your edit of the 3PO goodbye scene seems nice. Good choice !

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“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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Okay. A V1 of the edit is now up on Myspleen. However, I’ve noticed that there’s still framerate stutter/dropped frames in a few scenes. I would really appreciate if anyone who downloads could point out the shots they notice the stutter, so I can go back to these shots and try to correct them. I think it’s something that happened in the process of converting to ProRes for editing.

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I have watched a few scenes (sorry I didn’t take notes of where the framerate is problematic, but still I noticed some issues around 0:11’04 and during the duel of the fates). About your edit choices themselves, you aimed at a fast-paced movie, so I guess it works to your taste, though I believe that sometimes you rush things too much and that inoffensive bits are hard to remove without audio issues (the same goes with L8 version, especially for the arrival on Coruscant). You’ve nicely removed the Podrace announcers. I like the working on the pod sequence as well.

“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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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the intention is to have a pretty fast paced cut. The number one complaint I hear from people about TPM is particular is that “it’s boring” and “I feel asleep during the movie” so I wanted to try to turn the movie into more of a ride, and one of the few ways I have to inject energy into it is through cutting for pacing reasons. Are there any audio edits that you found particularly jarring?

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Octorox said:
Are there any audio edits that you found particularly jarring?

Not that much in fact: the arrival on Coruscant, Boss Nass weird noise (but it seems to be improved over L8 version) and the music during the final battle montage.

“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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Octorox said:

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the intention is to have a pretty fast paced cut. The number one complaint I hear from people about TPM is particular is that “it’s boring” and “I feel asleep during the movie” so I wanted to try to turn the movie into more of a ride, and one of the few ways I have to inject energy into it is through cutting for pacing reasons. Are there any audio edits that you found particularly jarring?

is your edit of tpm out yet?

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It’s out, with some minor technical issues. I will have a fixed version out in a few days so you might want to wait.

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Octorox said:

It’s out, with some minor technical issues. I will have a fixed version out in a few days so you might want to wait.

are you doing color correction and adding back the grain.

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jedimasterobiwan said:

Octorox said:

It’s out, with some minor technical issues. I will have a fixed version out in a few days so you might want to wait.

are you doing color correction and adding back the grain.

I’ve inherited the color correction and grain from Hal’s edit and done it myself to the few bits not in Hal’s edit in order to make them blend better. Also the new version should be up within the next few hours.

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jedimasterobiwan said:

Octorox what’s the latest on your edit and are you doing episode 2 and 3.

It’s out on Myspleen. And yes I will, but I’m waiting for Hal’s Ep2 v4 with the upscaled deleted scenes first.

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Octorox said:

jedimasterobiwan said:

Octorox what’s the latest on your edit and are you doing episode 2 and 3.

It’s out on Myspleen. And yes I will, but I’m waiting for Hal’s Ep2 v4 with the upscaled deleted scenes first.

your edit of ep 1 doesn’t put the deleted scenes back in does it?

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jedimasterobiwan said:

Octorox said:

jedimasterobiwan said:

Octorox what’s the latest on your edit and are you doing episode 2 and 3.

It’s out on Myspleen. And yes I will, but I’m waiting for Hal’s Ep2 v4 with the upscaled deleted scenes first.

your edit of ep 1 doesn’t put the deleted scenes back in does it?

Just one, the scene where Qui-Gon cuts down the probe droid. I felt it was necessary because it explains why Qui-Gon and Anakin are running in the next scene. I generally tried to avoid deleted scenes in Ep1 because the gulf in quality next to the Blu-Ray footage is even more noticeable compared to the other two films, even with the great upscaling job done in Hal’s edit.

EDIT:
Also, these are the WORKING titles of my trilogy.
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace - Faster, More Intense
Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones - Sanded Down
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith - From My Point of View

I can also confirm that while all of the edits will be hybridized versions of existing edits, I do have some more novel ideas of my own when it comes to Episode II and III. It depends on what I’m able to pull off.

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