So, for those of you who have kept up with my RotS edit, this is my episode II!
Obviously, I’m partial to the interpretation of Anakin Skywalker as described to us by Ben Kenobi in the OT and presented to us in the 2008 Clone Wars series, so to fill in the blanks between TPM and TCW/RotSNCC, this edit of AotC aims to lighten Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship, and make Anakin Skywalker a more genuinely likeable person. While the prequels are incongruous in a lot of ways with the OT, I believe the characterizations and arcs should stay consistent across all canon.
The approach here is a little different than in the New Canon Cut for RotS. Anakin won’t be a decorated general or that mature. In fact, my AotC kind of aims to age Anakin down a bit, a tad closer to the sweet boy Ani we met in TPM. That’s not to say he will be annoying, but what I did here was make Anakin more willing to be a student. Theatrical Anakin is in a hurry to grow up, and thus tries to act like it to the point he sounds whiny, immature, and entitled. Obi-Wan is pretty much done with his shit, and thinks Anakin is a bit of a trouble student. Anakin in my AotC is reframed as more or less a good student with a bit of a playful, rebellious edge; he knows and embraces his place as still just a padawan and Obi-Wan is more seemingly fond of him, trusting him much more.
I think there’s a contrast between that young student and the decorated general in my RotS that just makes the fall in RotS more tragic. The trajectory is now set up where Anakin’s arc is more or less him on his way to growing into being like Luke by the end of ROTJ (maybe even better), but he ultimately fails to grapple with his attachments and passions.
In that vein, Anakin is much more mellow and less cold in this edit. Specifically in the scenes where he’s interrogating, Anakin doesn’t become intense or irate. He’s patient with Watto, softer with Zam, and I’ve removed his coldness towards his step-family.
I’ve tried to make Anakin and Padme’s romance a lot less creepy and weird. Anakin not being obssessed with her from the jump was a good place to start with that. Anakin here has a little crush, sure, but he doesn’t talk to Obi-Wan about dreaming about her, flirt awkwardly, promise to find her assassins obsessively, or anxiously jump to conclusions about her forgetting him completely. The scene where he talks about his dreams about his mother with Obi-Wan ends with Anakin nodding in agreement to “dreams pass in time” instead of him shifting the conversation to dreaming about Padme and defending her even if he hasn’t seen her in 10 years. It feels more like Anakin is here to do his job for an old friend, rather than primarily try to score some points towards getting laid. His crush is tertiary to his duty as a Jedi, and as a friend.
Padme falling for Anakin is more straightforward and streamlined. They don’t bicker, and there are no real barriers to hurdle in terms of her being comfortable with how she knew him then and now. Anakin is just more boyishly charming in my cut. He confidently chuckles as she does instead of doing his “grown more beautiful for a senator” thing, and I’ve moved up the “if you’ll excuse me” to replace him imperatively telling her to “stay here” after Obi-Wan jumps out the window. The traces of creepy are all replaced with an Anakin straddling the line between boy next door and charming rebel.
I used Octorox’s and Hal’s edits as my base. PM for first version, and I’ll add a full cutlist later. Feedback would be cool. There’s a lot more to the edit than what I described.