Here are some thoughts and ideas I had, as I’m sure you like feedback on such an extensive project (at least I would).
BALANCE OF THE FORCE
-I like the new title and crawl. An observation though, the text seems to curve up instead of roll back. Am I just imagining this or is it a bi-product of the program you used to re-write the crawl?
-I noticed in both edits you used fades as transitions for very small cuts, like when the Republic ship is approaching the TF Battleship. This feels very un-Star Wars, and I think quick cuts would be best.
-The subtitles are genius! Great job on the Battledroids too; they would have totall slipped my mind.
-Darkening up the Sidious hologram was a good idea, but it was a little *too* dark at times.
-I love your Jar-Jar! Now the Han Solo-esque character TPM desperately needed. The Gungan/Human dynamic was great too! This makes the film SO MUCH BETTER. And the Kyber Crystal!!!!! The new explanation of the life-debt was a little confusing though.
-Are you going to keep the new Jedi Mind Trick sound throughout your saga?
-Thanks for cutting down the Bongo scenes. Now you can imagine Jar-Jar *actually* helping them navigate through the planet core as well as forget the ridiculous amount of useless monsters.
-"This deal is getting worse all the time."
-The Cantina Song!
-Watto is a much more realistic slave owner here; I actually feel bad for Anakin now, unlike before. And his extra lines came from the Episode 1 Video Game, right?
-Jake Lloyd is SO much better with all the trimmed dialogue. This really strengthens the character if Anakin.
-I don’t recall the original sequence of dialogue at the Skywalker diner, but Anakin’s “Has anybody ever seen a podrace,” which before came after an awkward silence, seems rather random in your version of the conversation.
-Removing the midichlorines was an excellent move, but is does lead to these problems:
-The scene w/Qui-Gon checking Anakin's blood could have been totally deleted, as it is totally useless now and would make the re-inserted "Good Morning" scene make a lot more sense; Anakin just stayed w/his pod all night. As it is now, Anakin wakes up outside because...?
-Again, while I disagree with the midichlorine idea, I understand while something along those lines was necessary, and it shows itself in your version. Midichlorines were made as a scale of sorts to measure Jedi. Without them, why would Qui-Gon or anyone else for that matter believe Anakin to be the Chosen One?
-And following up on that point, I actually liked the virgin birth scenario, and it would still work fine w/in the context of the film. The only line that would have to be altered would be Qui-Gon’s, “I believe he may have been conceived by the midichlorines,” which is of course absent from your version, but all that’s needed is a sound bite of Neeson saying “The Force” and problem solved. “There’s something about this boy,” should have been left in as well. As it stands now, the whole prophecy/chosen one angle is very vague.
-Adding the Imperial March to the Sith scenes is no doubt very cool, but seeing it is Vader and the Empire’s theme, it really has no place here at the beginning of the saga.
-As much as I like Sidious’ alternate line, it really doesn’t fit in with the conversation at all. If it was altered to “AND soon the Republic will be under my control,” then it would make sense. I’m sure finding a Palpatine “and” sound bite wouldn’t be too hard.
-Great job with the podrace! I always found it to be rather boring and predictable, but your re-shuffling is awesome! Another thing: I never realized before watching BotF that there was no music in TPM’s podrace. No wonder it was so bland. And until Qui-Gon mentioned the Hutts to Watto, I had totally missed your omission of Jabba. Good call; I too want him to be a mysterious crime lord until he’s finally revealed in RotJ.
-The reverse frames of Obi-Wan could be flipped to look correct.
-While the goodbye to 3P0 is an understandable cut (acting wise), it’s comparable to Anakin and Padme just taking him w/out any discussion in AotC: they need some explanation. Maybe the scene could be adeptly trimmed salvaging the required exposition while scrapping the mediocre acting.
-GREAT re-insertion of the probe droid scene, a very natural flow. I always wondered why that scene was cut.
-Question: why was Windu’s “I do not believe the Sith could have returned without us knowing” trimmed?
-In the Senate scene, you took out Palpatine’s reference to Amidala being elected. I would agree with this, but there’s also her line of, “I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die…” as well as the extensive explanation of her political history in Episode II, so there’s really no way around the goofy 14-year old elected as queen thing.
-THANK YOU SO MUCH for trimming Anakin’s ‘cuteness’ in the space battle. It is so much cooler now.
-Very clever editing of Qui-Gon’s last words as well as Obi-Wan’s debriefing with Yoda. Now it really seems as though Ben “took it upon himself to train him as a Jedi,” instead of just doing it because that’s what Qui-Gon wanted. Although his drastic opinion change on the issue of Anakin is a bit odd, it’s better this way.
-I see where you were going with “Always two there are…” but if you were going to alter it, I think it would have been best to cut it down even more to, “Always two there are, a master, and an apprentice,” (like in the trailer!). “No less” seems silly w/out “no more.” (actually, the both sound silly, anyway!)
THE CLONE WAR
-Again, nice job with the new crawl, but the same technical glitch as before, if I wasn’t just imagining it that is.
-As for the title, I personally think “Dark Force Rising” would have been PERFECT for Episode II, as the future army of the Empire is created, Palpatine gains even more power, and the darkside is warping and taking over the Force from the Jedi. “The Clone War” doesn’t really start until the end of the film. But that’s just me…J
-Your editing of Anakin is again EXCELLENT, and he is a much stronger character because of it.
-Removing the changeling reference is good, as the plot point goes nowhere. However, I would have kept in this bit of dialogue and made it a witty joke by Obi-Wan:
Anakin: I think he is a she.
Obi-Wan: In that case, be extra careful.
-Your mix and match of the Naboo scenes worked really well, though I do think the waterfall/field scene could have been salvaged. Anakin expressing his political views is a nice window into the mind of Vader. Maybe end it with “Well, it if works.”
-I have no specific idea of how to do it, but re-editing of the analysis room, Diner, library, and younglings scenes would be very beneficial to the plot. Perhaps allow the droids to identify the dart after all, deleting the Diner scene, and having the library scene segue into the END of the younglings scene. Those stupid ‘cute’ kids figuring out something that should have been so obvious makes Obi-Wan look like an idiot. And the Diner is too much CGI and too 1950s; good riddance.
-If only the Lost Twenty scenes were available, those would be great to re-incorporate…
-On Kamino, when Obi-Wan surveys the Clonetroopers, I never understood why the Trade Federation March was used. The Imperial March would be PERFECT here.
-Why did you delete Jango’s reference to “Tyranus”? The name will have to be used in RotS, and it was never mentioned again in AotC, so what harm could it do?
-Is there a movie where Liam Neeson yells, “Noooooooo!” If so, the sound clip MUST be found and replace the HORRENDOUS impression heard by Yoda.
-As with young Anakin, trimming Boba’ lines helped a lot.
-I LOATHE the Droid Factory stuff, especially with 3P0 and R2. I would have left them on the ship, ending their plot with 3P0’s, “If they wanted our help they would have asked for it.” And as soon as Anakin and Padme get pushed out the door, have them be captured by Jango and the Geonosians.
-Something has to be done with Padme’s “I truly, deeply, love you.” Maybe just, “I love you”?
-Mace’s entrance in the arena is actually a shock now instead of, “Oh look, there’s Mace.” Clever edit.
-Dooku: I like how you made him just a rogue Jedi and not a Sith. After all he does say, “My Jedi powers are far beyond yours.” As for his saber, do you remember the rumors that he was to wield a flame-saber? Well, that’s exactly what it looks like in your version. The yellow doesn’t cover up all of the red, which makes for a very strange effect. Perhaps purple would work better? Not only technically, but symbolically as well. Dooku is a mix of Jedi and Sith: purple is a mix blue and red. And no, this wouldn’t mean Windu was evil. Actually, I always thought Yoda would have been best served with a yellow saber.
-Although the Dooku/Sidious scene was cool, it’s understandable why you cut it for your version. Not to mention it makes Dooku’s motives far less confusing.
-But why the re-shuffling of Clonetrooper footage on Coruscant?
As you can see, when I get into something I REALLY get into something. And MF, when I make suggestions on stuff, I’m just kind of bouncing it off you to see what you think, not necessarily saying it would be better. I have video editing aspirations myself and someday hope to acquire the technology to create such projects, so this sort of things really does pique my interest. Again, thanks for being such a hard-working fan. I can’t wait for RotS to come out so we can see your versions of Episodes III-VI!