First off - I don't have much of an eye for these things, nor that much of fancy equipment but the pic and sound quality are top notch, and the all-round editing and production quality is superb.
The Edit itself - WOW, just WOW!
This is how IMHO Ep 1 should have been - the pacing is quicker, more in keeping with the OT, the aliens all come across less cartoony and more menacing, and in the case of the Gungans it gives a backstory to them that makes you actually care about them as a species. The Tade Federation are now far more sinister and have a more meanicing presance - their oppression and gradual extermination of the Naboo people is ore greatly alluded to. The subtitles and altering of the alien voices are done very well - anyone who is a fan of the UK sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf's 'Backwards' episode will enjoy this.
Now, I was never too enamoured with original The Pod Race section, it seemed overlong and without much tension, however this Edit really does liven it up - there are more things going on between the drivers, a real sense of danger is now present and you actually believe Anakin had to really work for his victory in the race. Most impressive.
The battle scenes seem more 'tighter' - there are certain bits that seem to have been cut, though it does give a more involving sense of the various fight and battle scenes. In this Edit you feel that the people of Naboo are being systematically wiped out - and with each passing moment more are being eliminated - which gives more weight to Amidala's actions, and to that of Palpatine too. More of the story too seems to actually make sense, and without leaving you to dot-the-dots, is a lot more intriguing.
I'd recommend any SW fan to get their hands on this version - it does make me wonder how the editor and/or GL could get it so wrong with their version...
Hope a certain person here (cough, ahem, cough) is going to a DVD slipcover and DiscArt for this one...
Many Thanks to those who created the Edits, and those who made it possible for us fans to get our hands on them too.
Just watched the Star Wars : Episode 2 - The Clone War - MagnoliaFan Edit, on DVDr.
The Opening Crawl:-
The Clone War
Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. Over a thousand star sytems, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, have declared their intention to seceed from the Republic.
The seperatist movement has made it nearly impossible for the limited number of Jedi Knights to continue maintaining peace and order throughout the galaxy.
Senator Amidala, former Quenn of Naboo, is returning to Coruscantfor the first time in a decade, to vote on the issue of creating an army of the Republic, to combat the growing rebellion..."
I have to say I don't own an official dvd of Ep2 - so any comparisons are done from my rather poor memory.
The pic and sound quality once more is of a very high standard and cannot be faulted. The Edit itself is certainly a more interesting version than that of Lucas' - and the story does seem to flow a lot easier too. The altering of the aliens voices and content of their conversations are in line with the above Ep1 MagnoliaFan Edit, and again the effect gives a more sinister presance to the bad guys, whilst JarJar comes across as more noble.
The opening scene is recut - there is no dialogue before the Senator's ship explodes, and there are also slight dialogue and timing trims throughout the movie - it does give a more important sense of timing and like the Ep1 Edit makes a more flowing film.
The Zam chase seems to be shorter, there is no Janfo Fett around until he shoots her with the Kamino Dart.
The Mace, Yoda and Obi Wan scene walking thorugh the Jedi Halls has been edited out, as has Obi Wan's meeting with the Jedi Librarian. IIRC Amidala's meeting with the new Queen of Naboo has been cut too.
There is an added scene in which Mace walks Obi Wan to his Jedi Starfighter and Ben reveals that he may have been wrong about Anakin being trained as a Jedi...
Scenes featuring Padme's family have been restored and you begin to see why Padme actually starts to fall for Anakin - something completely beyond me in Lucas' version, also some of the more 'ickier' love scenes have been removed (ie 'I don't like sand' and the rolling around in the grass fields scene ).
There is a fantastic bit of editing involving Watto, which for me made it the lighthearted moment of the film.
Obi Wan's fight with J Fett is complete - something us UK'ers may not have as a 'headbutt' scene was removed (and IMHO badly done) for the UK audience.
Schmi Skywalker's death scene has been trimmed too, making it a more poignant death.
C3P0's 'comedic' action & lines seem to have been improved or cut - I certainly found them less annoying and out of place in this Edit.
Dooku now fights Anakin with a yellow lightsabre - not red, and does not meet up with Palpatine upon his arrival at Coruscant.
SW - The Phantom Edit 1.2 ReEdit, on DVDr
The title screen presents you with an option to see the movie, or watch 2 altered scenes differing from the vhs edit and the dvd edit - both versions are here to see and there is a text explanation as to why - all of which is very well done.
The picture and sound quality is on a par with the official dvd release, Jar Jar's new voice makes him a less annoying creature than Lucas' edit - and does across as more noble. The Trade Federation are less 'cartoony' too - and now seem a more worthy, though sinister adversary.
more to come...