Revenge of the Sith: The New Canon Cut (workprint) by NFBisms
This edit (TNCC) has a very specific goal in mind: make Anakin’s character from ROTS into Anakin’s character from The Clone Wars TV show. Those two versions of Anakin are very different - I think both of them work for the two different stories being told, but it does result in whiplash when watching ROTS directly after TCW. That’s what this edit seeks to address. I was dubious going into TNCC that Hayden’s Anakin could successfully be made into Matt Lanter’s Anakin, and I was proved completely wrong. It works amazingly well. While the focus is on Anakin, TNCC also manages to make all of the supporting cast feel like their TCW counterparts as well - in particular Padme and Mace Windu.
It’s refreshing when an edit has a specific goal in mind rather than simply being a general attempt to fix or improve the original. TNCC feels more like a complimentary piece to ROTS than a replacement. This is the version you watch when you’re marathoning TCW, whereas the theatrical cut is the version for marathoning the Prequels.
I want to draw attention to one scene in particular, which I can’t stop thinking about: Palpatine’s reveal to Anakin. In the theatrical cut, this scene stretched credulity for me. I always thought, “How could Anakin possibly fall for that?” In TNCC’s version, I thought instead, “How could Anakin even consider not siding with Palpatine?” This scene is such a phenomenal improvement, such a fantastically clever bit of editing, that I’d edit this version into all my other preferred cuts of ROTS if I could.
(I’m also amazed at how seamlessly Obi-Wan referencing Ahsoka and Mandalore has been added.)
I have a few constructive criticisms, all of them technical. There are a couple of places, mostly during the “rescue the Chancellor” sequence, where dialogue that’s been dubbed in is a little distracting; Anakin has a few too many lines all at once where his face is offscreen. (This technique works fine through the rest of the film, though.) I could tell when Mace and Yoda’s lines that referred to Anakin as “young” had been edited, which is mostly due to a lack of coverage rather than the editing. And the audio at the beginning of the balcony scene was too quiet for me to hear properly. However, keep in mind that the cut I’ve watched is a workprint, and these issues could all easily be resolved in the final release version.
Overall, I would highly recommend this edit, in particular to fans of TCW.