I want to thank orchidal for encouraging me to share info about my 3 to 1 Prequel Edit, sourced from the 1080p blu-rays. This was my first fan edit, done a couple years ago and rendered in high quality. I’ve had good feedback toward it with friends and excited now to share it here.
The Episode I Duel of The Fates lightsaber battle is used as the assassination attempt on Senator Amidala that leads into Episode II. From there, it’s a very condensed Ep II with no Tatooine, no missing planets and significantly shortened action set pieces. Episode III is shortened to the essentials but only slightly altered (no death by broken heart, no flying R2, etc)
Total Run Time of 2 hours 29 minutes
Ep 1 @ 0:05:30 or 3.7%
Ep 2 @ 0:46:30 or 31%
Ep 3 @ 1:29:00 or 60%
Custom crawl + credits @ 0:08:00 or 5.3%
I meant for this version to be seen with Machete Order viewing. One movie that can be watched between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. If you want more info about this viewing order go here - https://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/
So my first goal was there couldn’t be Ep VI spoilers (success - though I left enough for people to infer some future revelations)
A big thing for me was that this needed to be a replacement for watching the movies with a new viewer. So the plot had to make sense without having seen the full movies. I was mostly successful. I didn’t want to drastically change the story, just condense it. You have to accept a few leaps of logic and Obi Wan changing his hair style in the first 10 minutes of the movie (the end of Ep 1 is the intro - sorry, no pod racing or yippees).
The next goal I set was it had to have a shorter runtime than the longest SW movie. Last Jedi made my life much easier as it clocked in at 2 hours 32 minutes with credits. I got mine to 2:29 - success! Pacing isn’t perfect but I pared down a lot of the actions scenes to keep it from just being set piece after set piece. Particularly in Episode II.
Another goal was to remove Jar Jar. Though that’s not quite possible (he’s in some crucial scenes), I was already going to take out all his dialogue (removing 90% of Episode I helped) and ended up being easier than I thought. Success! Similarly, I wanted to see if I could make the Trade Ministers not speak. Along with Jar Jar, they’re the other most annoying and mildly racist portrayal in the series. I got them down to only four lines.
Here was the big goal - make Annakin less annoying. What I found was, the more of his dialogue you cut out, the more tolerable he gets. There are some scenes I just cut in half. Like, he’s kind of okay for the first half of the scene and then devolves into child-like whining for the second half. Get rid of that and he’s okay! Also, lost any mention of his intolerance to sand. In fact, I got rid of Tatooine completely.
Final note - so many transitions! There were so many scenes that went through 5 wide shots to go from one location to another. I hadn’t seen the movies in a while so I had completely forgot. That really shaved down a surprising amount of minutes to just cut those transitions down to two shots each.
The biggest issue is some of the music transitions.
Hope everyone enjoys - would love to hear your thoughts!