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The Force Awakens - Ridley's Edit

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For about a year I’ve been working on a TFA edit based on Hal 9000’s “Restructured” edit, mostly for fun. The goal is just to make what to me is the best version of an already great movie.

I’ve had my eyes on this nice community for a while, mostly thanks to adywan’s fantastic efforts, and a few months ago I joined to help out with Hal 9000’s Restructured v2. So my edit is developed side by side with that edit (which I will help finish before I complete my edit), and I’m taking inspiration and borrowing things from other people as well, like NeverarGreat and DigMod who have a lot of interesting ideas.

Anyhow, my edit isn’t fully done, maybe something like 75% complete. I just work on it now and then in my spare time, so I can’t say when it will be done. But I made this thread to share this project with this community, because it’s nicer to work together!

As I mentioned; this edit uses the “Restructured” edit as a base, because I’m a big fan of that idea, and on top of that I’m including a bunch of small changes. Below is my change list, as it looks now. Points marked with < are changes straight from Hal’s “Restructured”, points with • are planned and points with an x are more or less completed. Points in parentheses are things I’m unsure of.

x Replace Main Theme with Episode I version
< New opening crawl, written by Hal 9000
x Reedit the part with Stormtroopers inside a transport to make the sequence less jumpy
(• Add unused shots of Stormtroopers from Teaser 1)
(• Fix Kylo’s helmet which has an inconsistent mouth guard)
x Reduce the diss battle between Kylo and Lor San Tekka
x Reduce Poe being cocky with Kylo
x Add VFX to practical effect desert bird to make the feathers look more convincing
• Add Rey having a daydream/vision about the island (idea by NeverarGreat)
x Remove Kylo’s line "Comfortable?"
x Reduce Finn shooting a lot of people as he escapes in the TIE fighter
x Remove Kylo saying Finn’s number
• Restore IMAX sequence
x Remove Finn’s line “… cute boyfriend?”
(• Reduce Bala-Tik part (idea by NeverarGreat and DigMod))
x Reduce Rathtars
< Remove General Hux from first scene with Snoke (VFX by Jackpumpkinhead)
x Remove Snoke mentioning Han Solo being Kylo’s father
x Slight fix of shot of Rey by the lake (straightened horizon, removed lens distortion)
x Color correct shot of Maz, Solo, Rey and Finn walking past the spy to match following shot
x Subtle zoom in on the spy watching as they pass
(x Remove droid saying “Alert the resistance”)
x Remove Kylo calling Darth Vader "grandfather"
x Replace “These are your first steps” with Alec Guinness’ voice (audio by DJ Mitz)
< Replace seeing the Hosnian system being destroyed in the sky with a Star Destroyer (VFX by NeverarGreat)
x Change Finn’s line “It’s the first order, they’ve done it” to "they’ve found us"
x New sound mix and music for this sequence to match the change in visuals and story
(x New color grade of Takodana outdoor scenes after Rey runs away to more of a warm evening/sunset light (to have the nice looking TIE sunset shot make a little more sense))
(• Add unused shots of X-Wings approaching from Teaser 1 and 2)
• Remove Han shooting over his shoulder without looking
(• Reduce Han playing around with Chewie’s Bowcaster)
x Remove Han’s line “I saw our son”, keep the “I saw him” part to keep some mystery
< Remove mention of the Hosnian system’s destruction when Finn is introduced to Leia
(• Add Poe telling Leia that Finn knows about a weapon system/base (edit by NeverearGreat))
• R2D2 starts searching for map files on his hard drive after hearing C3PO mentioning the map (edit by NeverarGreat)
• Add deleted scene with Leia talking to Korr Sella
(• Changes to the talk about Kylo between Han and Leia)
x Flip back flipped shot of Kylo putting his helmet in the ash tray
< After Rey resists Kylo Ren’s mind probe, add the portion of the Snoke scene from earlier where General Hux suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic (VFX by Jackpumpkinhead to overlay Kylo Ren’s face over his mask)
• Further VFX to remove Kylos helmet in this sequence
< Move General Hux’s speech to after Kylo Ren overreacts to Rey’s escape
< After the speech, the nearby Sun begins to be drained
< During the Resistance briefing scene, remove Leia identifying their base as the Starkiller’s next target, Threepio lamenting the prior loss of the Republic fleet, and the mention of the First Order charging the weapon “again”
< Remove C3PO’s line "It would take a miracle to save us now"
x Flip back flipped shot of Stormtroopers looking for Rey
x Remove sharpening artifacts from a shot of Rey inside Starkiller Base
x Remove smoke from Starkiller Base when X-Wings approach (based on VFX by NeverarGreat)
x Add deleted scene of Kylo searching the Falcon
x Remove Finn not understanding Han’s signal to look at Rey behind him
< After Kylo kills Han, the Starkiller fires at the Hosnian system, and Leia senses it through the Force
< As Finn and Rey head outside the oscillator, cut to the battle in space where the fighters notice that the oscillator has been damaged. Cut back to Rey and Finn before the X-wings begin their descend toward the trench.
< As Kylo Ren and Rey duel, cut to the X-wings descending toward the trench, skipping over the portion of the sequence used earlier.
• Change Kylo’s facial scar to match Episode VIII appearance
< As the Falcon flies away from the imploding planet, remove shots in which the fighter pilots appear too joyful
x Remove Poe’s line "Our work here is done"
x Remove Chewie walking past Leia (because of the Chewie hug controversy)
• Remove Chewie from crowd behind Leia
x Stabilized ending shot (by NeverarGreat)

What do you think? Anything else I should do? Anything I shouldn’t do? Please share your thoughts, and I’ll keep you updated as I make progress.

This post has been edited.

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This is a more substantial edit than mine to be sure, and most of these ideas sound good. Some thoughts, haphazardly listed:

A lot of people seem to dislike the banter between Poe and Kylo, but I like it. I could take the boyfriend line or leave it.

Is this edit intending to preserve the Han’s son reveal until the Oscillator scene? Because I wonder if you’d be able to cut enough out of the Han/Leia discussion at the base without it becoming unnatural. I do agree that some of that should be cut, especially the Snoke references. In fact, all Snoke references in the film could go and I wouldn’t be sad about it 😉

My edit seeks to remove the Poe closeups on his approach to the castle to preserve the revelation, and I wonder if the trailer footage can be combined with the film shots to repair the single X-wing shot.

Overall, this edit is pretty close to ideal.

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

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What do you think? Anything else I should do? Anything I shouldn’t do? Please share your thoughts, and I’ll keep you updated as I make progress.

Your edit looks good on paper, and since you’re asking, I’ll give it a shot 😄

Ideas I consider to be good:

New opening crawl, written by Hal 9000
Reduce Poe being cocky with Kylo => DigMod Edit is perfect for that scene.
Add Rey having a daydream/vision about the island (idea by NeverarGreat)
Remove Kylo’s line "Comfortable?"
Reduce Finn shooting a lot of people as he escapes in the TIE fighter => DigMod Edit is perfect for that scene.
Remove Kylo saying Finn’s number
Restore IMAX sequence => What is it ?
Remove Finn’s line "… cute boyfriend?"
Reduce Rathtars
Remove General Hux from first scene with Snoke (VFX by Jackpumpkinhead)
Remove Snoke mentioning Han Solo being Kylo’s father
Replace “These are your first steps” with Alec Guinness’ voice (audio by DJ Mitz)
Replace seeing the Hosnian system being destroyed in the sky with a Star Destroyer (VFX by NeverarGreat)
Change Finn’s line “It’s the first order, they’ve done it” to "they’ve found us"
New sound mix and music for this sequence to match the change in visuals and story
New color grade of Takodana outdoor scenes after Rey runs away to more of a warm evening/sunset light (to have the nice looking TIE sunset shot make a little more sense)
Add unused shots of X-Wings approaching from Teaser 1 and 2
Remove Han shooting over his shoulder without looking
Reduce Han playing around with Chewie’s Bowcaster
Remove Han’s line “I saw our son”, keep the “I saw him” part to keep some mystery
Remove mention of the Hosnian system’s destruction when Finn is introduced to Leia
Add Poe telling Leia that Finn knows about a weapon system/base (edit by NeverearGreat)
R2D2 starts searching for map files on his hard drive after hearing C3PO mentioning the map (edit by NeverarGreat)
Add deleted scene with Leia talking to Korr Sella
After Rey resists Kylo Ren’s mind probe, add the portion of the Snoke scene from earlier where General Hux suggests using the weapon to destroy the Republic (VFX by Jackpumpkinhead to overlay Kylo Ren’s face over his mask)
Further VFX to remove Kylos helmet in this sequence
Move General Hux’s speech to after Kylo Ren overreacts to Rey’s escape
After the speech, the nearby Sun begins to be drained
During the Resistance briefing scene, remove Leia identifying their base as the Starkiller’s next target, Threepio lamenting the prior loss of the Republic fleet, and the mention of the First Order charging the weapon "again"
Remove C3PO’s line "It would take a miracle to save us now"
Remove smoke from Starkiller Base when X-Wings approach (based on VFX by NeverarGreat)
Add deleted scene of Kylo searching the Falcon
Remove Finn not understanding Han’s signal to look at Rey behind him
After Kylo kills Han, the Starkiller fires at the Hosnian system, and Leia senses it through the Force
As Finn and Rey head outside the oscillator, cut to the battle in space where the fighters notice that the oscillator has been damaged. Cut back to Rey and Finn before the X-wings begin their descend toward the trench.
As Kylo Ren and Rey duel, cut to the X-wings descending toward the trench, skipping over the portion of the sequence used earlier.
As the Falcon flies away from the imploding planet, remove shots in which the fighter pilots appear too joyful
Remove Poe’s line "Our work here is done"
Remove Chewie walking past Leia (because of the Chewie hug controversy)
Remove Chewie from crowd behind Leia
Stabilized ending shot (by NeverarGreat)

Ideas that I don’t consider to be good:

Replace Main Theme with Episode I version => Stick to the theatrical version !
Reduce the diss battle between Kylo and Lor San Tekka => I love Von Sydow too much to even remove one frame of him
Add VFX to practical effect desert bird to make the feathers look more convincing
Subtle zoom in on the spy watching as they pass
Remove droid saying “Alert the resistance”

Ideas I need to watch finished to be sure about:

Reedit the part with Stormtroopers inside a transport to make the sequence less jumpy
Add unused shots of Stormtroopers from Teaser 1
Fix Kylo’s helmet which has an inconsistent mouth guard
Reduce Bala-Tik part (idea by NeverarGreat and DigMod) => What is that ?
Slight fix of shot of Rey by the lake (straightened horizon, removed lens distortion)
Color correct shot of Maz, Solo, Rey and Finn walking past the spy to match following shot
Remove Kylo calling Darth Vader "grandfather"
Changes to the talk about Kylo between Han and Leia
Flip back flipped shot of Kylo putting his helmet in the ash tray
Flip back flipped shot of Stormtroopers looking for Rey
Remove sharpening artefacts from a shot of Rey inside Starkiller Base
Change Kylo’s facial scar to match Episode VIII appearance

I would then suggest to change other things (most of them found in DigMod edit), such as:

  • Cut Poe and Finn’s conversation after Finn says “Because it’s the right thing to do” [DigMod Edit]
    as well as Finn and Poe’s celebration after blowing up a turret [from DigMod Edit] while keeping the Tie flying within the ship after the celebration
  • Cut Finn’s “this is what we look like, some of us” lines [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut the mention of a map leading to Luke, in order to remove a very awkward “fourth wall breaking”
  • Cut Rey’s “No” when responding to Finn’s “You ever fly this thing?” line [DigMod Edit]
  • Finn and Rey’s “I can do this” lines when they first get into the Falcon [DigMod Edit]
  • Removed the Falcon taking a nose dive into the sand upon take off [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut Finn and Rey’s excessive teenage celebration after they make it to space [DigMod Edit]
  • Remove/trim Finn being so awkward at giving Rey the tape
  • Cut scene of Finn childishly pushing down on Rey’s head and added Red Gradient glow to mimic the overhead light and connect the edited scene visually [DigMod Edit]
  • Remove Han and Chewie coming aboard “We’re home” and cut directly to the two of us finding Rey and Finn in the cargo hold
  • Cut the “14 parsecs” dialogue and Rey breaking the fourth wall by being amazed to meeting with a movie hero
  • Cut the cameo of the sphere Luke used in Episode IV
  • Cut “- What ? - Compressor !”
  • Cut all Poe’s cockpit shots and the subsequent “bull eye” shots to free Han-Chewie-Finn [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut Poe’s references to his jacket when talking to Finn [DigMod Edit, but keep the “you completed my mission” part of the dialogue]
  • Remove troopers walking away from Ren’s wrath after he discovers Rey is missing [DigMod Edit]
  • Remove Han’s “so it’s big” line [DigMod Edit]
  • Remove Han’s “there’s always a way to do that” line after asking how to blow it up. Removed Leia’s “Han’s right” line [DigMod Edit]
  • Remove Leia’s lines about good old times with Han
  • Cut scene where Han asks Finn what his job was and their verbal altercation [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut the “I’m in charge now !” part when Han and Finn encounter Phasma
  • Cut Finn threatening to blow Phasma’s bucket off [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut Finn’s answer to Han’s “Trash compactor”: just cut directly to the following scene after Han delivers his line
  • Trim Finn v Ren fight so Ren wins easily [darthrush edit]
  • Cut Snoke’s line about Ren who needs to finish his training
  • Completely cut the hugging scene
  • Trim down the “puzzle map”scene so it’s less cheesy

edit: gosh I forgot about one thing: remove Maz’s “Those beasts !” which is cheesy as hell 😄

This post has been edited.

“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 sincerely look forward to watching your finished product, as the list sounds very sensible and targeted. I don’t have time at the moment to respond to each change, but many of them sound great and only a few seem ill-advised. It’ll have to wait for now.

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NeverarGreat said:

Is this edit intending to preserve the Han’s son reveal until the Oscillator scene? Because I wonder if you’d be able to cut enough out of the Han/Leia discussion at the base without it becoming unnatural. I do agree that some of that should be cut, especially the Snoke references. In fact, all Snoke references in the film could go and I wouldn’t be sad about it 😉

I’m not going to fully delay the reveal that far, just make it dawn on you a bit slower. I guess it will be pretty clear by the time Kylo takes his helmet off for the first time. I have considered to cut some Snoke references, yeah. But I don’t want to change things that might turn out to be important for the following episodes. It should be okay to remove a bit of exposition.

NeverarGreat said:

My edit seeks to remove the Poe closeups on his approach to the castle to preserve the revelation, and I wonder if the trailer footage can be combined with the film shots to repair the single X-wing shot.

Overall, this edit is pretty close to ideal.

I’ve considered delaying the Poe reveal, but I feel like his big comeback becomes less triumphant if it’s reduced to just a short glimpse of him at the end of his aerial heroics.

Thank you for your thoughts! 😃

MalàStrana said:

Ideas that I don’t consider to be good:

Replace Main Theme with Episode I version => Stick to the theatrical version !
Reduce the diss battle between Kylo and Lor San Tekka => I love Von Sydow too much to even remove one frame of him
Add VFX to practical effect desert bird to make the feathers look more convincing
Subtle zoom in on the spy watching as they pass
Remove droid saying “Alert the resistance”

I feel like the Episode I theme has a bit more oomph, but it’s a nitpick. Von Sydow is great, I suppose as a fellow Swede I should leave him be. But I think parts of his talk with Kylo feel a bit silly and contrived, sorry about that. The VFX and zoom are small things as well, I’ll upload a clip of the bird later. I remove the droid so they’re not spotted twice in a row, to give greater impact to the reveal of the spy.

MalàStrana said:

Ideas I need to watch finished to be sure about:

I will try to upload some clips later.

MalàStrana said:

I would then suggest to change other things (most of them found in DigMod edit), such as:

Great list, thanks! At a first glance there are a few points here I agree with, a few I disagree with and a few in between. Right now I like these the most:

  • Cut Rey’s “No” when responding to Finn’s “You ever fly this thing?” line [DigMod Edit]
  • Finn and Rey’s “I can do this” lines when they first get into the Falcon [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut scene of Finn childishly pushing down on Rey’s head and added Red Gradient glow to mimic the overhead light and connect the edited scene visually [DigMod Edit]
  • Cut Finn’s answer to Han’s “Trash compactor”: just cut directly to the following scene after Han delivers his line

Thank you! 😃

Hal 9000 said:

I sincerely look forward to watching your finished product, as the list sounds very sensible and targeted. I don’t have time at the moment to respond to each change, but many of them sound great and only a few seem ill-advised. It’ll have to wait for now.

Thank you! I’d love to hear some of your criticism later on.

This post has been edited.

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FWIW, I wonder whether a good point to reveal Kylo’s parentage would be when Han first encounters Leia.

“I saw him. He was here. Leia, I saw our son.”

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Sir Ridley said:
x Remove Kylo calling Darth Vader “grandfather”

I went back and forth on this one in my own edit for a long time. I ultimately left it in, but you’re convincing me that this may be a good cut.

Excited to see your vision, especially your desert Force vision 😃

digmodification.wordpress.com

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DigMod said:

Sir Ridley said:
x Remove Kylo calling Darth Vader “grandfather”

I went back and forth on this one in my own edit for a long time. I ultimately left it in, but you’re convincing me that this may be a good cut.

Excited to see your vision, especially your desert Force vision 😃

I’m not sure why you would cut this personally.

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Hal 9000 said:

FWIW, I wonder whether a good point to reveal Kylo’s parentage would be when Han first encounters Leia.

“I saw him. He was here. Leia, I saw our son.”

Could be, could be. Right now I’m just keeping the “I saw him. He was here.” part. That way a connection to Kylo is implied, but we don’t know exactly what it’s about. But this might actually be the best place to mention their son. Their big talk about him comes barely five minutes later in the film. It might be good to know from the beginning of that scene that they have a son and that that’s who they’re talking about, so you can focus on what they say rather than figuring out who they’re talking about. Yeah, I think I might leave that line in after all. Thank you.

DigMod said:

Sir Ridley said:
x Remove Kylo calling Darth Vader “grandfather”

I went back and forth on this one in my own edit for a long time. I ultimately left it in, but you’re convincing me that this may be a good cut.

Excited to see your vision, especially your desert Force vision 😃

Thank you! It’s a debateable cut for sure, but for now I think cutting it is the right way to go for my edit. I will upload a clip of the vision!

Octorox said:

I’m not sure why you would cut this personally.

For me it’s simply about not spelling out Kylo’s lineage that early and that many times. At that point we learn that he worships Vader and wants to “finish what he started” and that’s plenty, I think. And then the human side of him is saved until later.

This post has been edited.

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When I first saw the clip I was like ‘‘oh, the sand is moving’’, but then I remembered the island part of the video. Quite beautiful Dune Sea, I like the clip and I dont think it needs more editing imo.

And just curiosity, theres no way to modify the line of Poe ‘‘Our work here is done’’ to a sadder tone? The idea has been stuck in my mind for a while, but I dont know if by editing the audio, cuting it in middle of the phrase could work, or even if theres something like that on other Star Wars source, like the Lego shorts or something, that would be my only suggestion.
Looking foward to the edit for sure, waiting! 😃

I don’t really care if it’s in the shape of a movie, or a cartoon tv-series, or if it’s on videogames and books. Neither if it’s canon or legends; I love all my Star Wars (yes, even the prequels).

“Laugh it up, Fuzz ball.”

Oh wait, no, not all of it, don’t count the Holiday Special on it.

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Sir Ridley said:

Here’s a clip of the island Force vision, based on the idea by NeverarGreat:

https://vimeo.com/218781507

Password: fanedit

That was great! Pity the sun wasn’t in the same position prior to the fade.
As Edezio Enk’or Valorum says the sea fading up looks just like sand blowing!
Cool 😃

Cheers, Paul

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Edezio Enk’or Valorum said:

When I first saw the clip I was like ‘‘oh, the sand is moving’’, but then I remembered the island part of the video. Quite beautiful Dune Sea, I like the clip and I dont think it needs more editing imo.

And just curiosity, theres no way to modify the line of Poe ‘‘Our work here is done’’ to a sadder tone? The idea has been stuck in my mind for a while, but I dont know if by editing the audio, cuting it in middle of the phrase could work, or even if theres something like that on other Star Wars source, like the Lego shorts or something, that would be my only suggestion.
Looking foward to the edit for sure, waiting! 😃

Thank you! The moving sand illusion is something I really loved about NeverarGreat’s concept.

I don’t know if it’s possible to change Poe’s line, really. And the triumphant music and his smile is part of it too, so you’d have to change all that as well.

Paden said:

Sir Ridley said:

Here’s a clip of the island Force vision, based on the idea by NeverarGreat:

https://vimeo.com/218781507

Password: fanedit

That was great! Pity the sun wasn’t in the same position prior to the fade.
As Edezio Enk’or Valorum says the sea fading up looks just like sand blowing!
Cool 😃

Cheers, Paul

Thanks! I guess the sun is just part of the vision, but yeah.

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By the way you’re not going to revisit (or remove) Ren’s wrath ? I consider this scene very silly and DigMod had an interesting - albeit not perfect - on it.

“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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Sounds fantastic. This’ll probably become my archival version. I don’t think TFA needs much changed at all - I totally agree with HAL9000’s reshaping of the Starkiller firing, and NeverarGreat’s R2 database scan. Other than that some gentle trims to the humour make sense, but beyond that it’s just the Rathtar sequence which I never enjoyed.

You’ve said you’ll cut down the Rathtars - is this the version that I think appeared in HAL9000’s thread where they effectively release the Rathtars then just escape from Han’s ship, with none of the running around in corridors?

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MalàStrana said:

By the way you’re not going to revisit (or remove) Ren’s wrath ? I consider this scene very silly and DigMod had an interesting - albeit not perfect - on it.

I’ll think about it, but it will probably stay. If it can’t be changed seamlessly I’d rather leave it as it is, even if it’s a bit silly. I don’t really have a big problem with it.

EddieDean said:

Sounds fantastic. This’ll probably become my archival version. I don’t think TFA needs much changed at all - I totally agree with HAL9000’s reshaping of the Starkiller firing, and NeverarGreat’s R2 database scan. Other than that some gentle trims to the humour make sense, but beyond that it’s just the Rathtar sequence which I never enjoyed.

You’ve said you’ll cut down the Rathtars - is this the version that I think appeared in HAL9000’s thread where they effectively release the Rathtars then just escape from Han’s ship, with none of the running around in corridors?

It’s similar to that version (DigMod’s), yeah. Rey and Finn don’t run into the Rathtars.

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This edit really sounds incredible. I’m going to be following this thread and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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