George didn’t seem to care about how bumpy things looked, just look at the Phantom Menace features. Now it’s all fluff.
Funny thing about that is that everyone pretends that he was watching something close to final when he made the “too far in a few places” comment.
We know he did, because Ben Burt gives us a sequence of events, that closely follows the final movie, pointing out the tonal issues to Lucas, and Lucas himself admits there’s little he can do about it at that stage, because of the way the movie has been constructed.
You assume way too much though. You have no idea what Lucas did or didn’t do to “diminish the effects of it”, because they don’t show the footage.
But speaking of Ben Burtt and the TPM finale, in the commentary track when Obi Wan kills Darth Maul, Burtt talks about how they were fine tuning the editing of the climax up until basically the minute they shipped the movie out, which would have been much later than the time of the “too far in a few places” screening.
You don’t know that that cut wasn’t notably worse than what Lucas ended up with.
You don’t know the final cut was notably better, so I’m not the only one making assumptions, however, given Lucas’ own admission that he couldn’t do much to improve it, other than diminish the effects of it, it seems logical to conclude the final version isn’t too far off the one they were viewing, and the fact that they were fine tuning the editing of the climax until the movie shipped out, indicates they weren’t satisfied with the climax up till the end. The issues discussed are related to Lucas’ choice to go for a four act structure, which results in the audience being jerked around from scene to scene. The tonal differences between the scenes with Jar Jar comedic antics in one scene, and Qui-Gon Jinn’s emotional death scene in another, and other scenes surrounding them, are very much intact in the final film, and consistent with the criticisms Ben Burt leveled at cut they screened internally.
Look it’s obvious you really like the prequels, and that’s fine. I enjoy them, but also feel they are flawed on many levels. It seems you reject the “gone too far in some places” comment, because you don’t want it to be applicable to the final cut, not because there is much circumstantial evidence the final cut is markedly different, while I think if you look at it objectively (not a point of view biased by love or hate for the film), it’s logical to conclude Lucas was and is aware of some of the flaws in the film, and tried to improve it where he could, but was also aware, that at that stage in the production, they could only dull the symptoms somewhat, but not remove the cause, the four act structure, and the tonal issues that come with it.
In any case this thread is supposed to be about the 4K restorations of the OT, not about the prequels, so this will be the last I will say on the subject.