I just want to start by saying that I think one of your greatest strengths as a editor is that you have fantastic sensibilities. Your cuts are neither too conservative, nor too liberal, but are always just right. I’m just a guy who loves fanedits, and I really believe you have the best TPM and AotC edits, period. Anybody who hasn’t seen them should check them out.
At the end of the day, if I really have a vision for how a Star Wars fanedit should be, I should just do it myself. Chances are you know these movies better than me, and that you’ve thought about how to improve them more than I have. Therefore, I will try to be brief in addressing your points:
Regarding the decapitation scene, you make a very good point. Palpatine has betrayed Dooku and it is worthwhile to see the look on Dooku’s face when he realizes it. It is, however, Anakin’s story, after all, and I think it serves Anakin’s character better to kill Dooku impulsively and then regret it immediately afterwards. Palpatine is also a master manipulator. The fact that he could set up events so that Anakin would kill Dooku without even being told is good foreshadowing for what will come later (i.e., manipulating the Senate in very subtle, covert ways to “kill” the Republic) as well as a good indicator from the outset of where Palpatine and Anakin’s relationship currently stands. Palpatine is a puppeteer pulling the strings long before Anakin full-on pledges his allegiance to him.
On leaving Obi Wan behind, I agree (as per your subsequent edit) that once is enough, i.e., Palpatine says leave him behind, Anakin says no, and they move on.
On the “Roger” bit, I’m mostly agnostic. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I really like camp and humor in films. My issue here, however, is more that it seems like the actors goofing off, rather than the characters. It comes across to me as bloopers or outtakes. That may not be the case at all, it’s just how it comes across to me personally.
On Padme dying of a broken heart. Yes, for me it was the issue of the droid saying there was nothing wrong with her medically, which still implies she has lost the will to live. I get that Lucas was trying to model this after a Shakespearean tragedy of sorts, but people don’t literally die of broken hearts (and it’s a betrayal of her character).
On Vaders tantrum. Maybe we’ve just gotten used to hearing it, but I remember being in the theatre and hearing Vader’s “Nooooooo” for the first time. I remember the laughter and groans it elicited from the audience. I will admit L8wrtr’s solution isn’t perfect, but for me, I don’t necessarily need to see Anakin’s reaction to Padme’s death. Rather, knowing that he is going to find out soon and have to live with that for the rest of his life is still satisfying to me as a viewer. L8’s edit is weighty and sad without overstating things.
On Mace saying he doesn’t trust Anakin. Yes, I agree, and I really like that scene you’ve included of Obi Wan and Mace from AotC.
In the sequel trilogy, I see the First Order as incompetent, man-baby wannabes. However, this is not how I see the Empire, which is what the First Order is trying to emulate. To me, the Empire is actually pretty terrifying, including its Emperor. So seeing Palpatine get hilariously thrown over that chair just doesn’t fly with me (no pun intended). If it was General Hux, I might in fact love it, but not when it’s Darth Sidious.
My only intent in writing this post and my prior one was to say that L8wrtr’s edit of RotS is pretty damn good. Hal 9000 is true professional, and I appreciate his work. I just wanted to point out that there may be instances where L8wrtr has made the stronger, more competent cut.
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my feedback. It is easy to criticize after all, whereas you have actually gone through the time and effort of making these great fanedits. Again, thank you and well done.