Two main goals here, beyond just the general nips and tucks. ONE - Give the film more of an OT vibe with color correction, film grain, and new music throughout. TWO - Improve Anakin’s story. I find his fall to the dark side in the theatrical film to be rather sudden and unconvincing. So here my job was to sort of smooth out the kinks - trying to make Anakin more sure of himself and his allegiance to Palpatine before the turn, and then somewhat softening his words and actions after the turn. There’s a lot of subtle little changes and tweaks that went into this all across the film, but I do feel like the sum is that his story in this version is more believable.
My intention started off as taking Hal9000’s edit and mixing it with the structure of L8wrtr’s edit (where the opera/Plagueis scene comes early, to establish the dark temptation right off the bat). Eventually the project morphed. The structure has some similarities to L8’s, but is mostly my own design which I spent a lot of time considering. Many scenes are based off Hal’s, but just as many changes are my own. My most radical change is removing the Order 66 montage, and just focusing on the main characters. The whole film has a new scene-by-scene (shot-by-shot when needed) color correction, along with a light film grain applied. Many sequences have been rescored (and, as a consequence, re-SFXed) to add in more of a classic Star Wars feel throughout.
- Scene by scene color correction and film grain applied throughout.
- New crawl, and new main title recording (Williams performing on the “Skywalker Symphony” album… V1 is from “Hollywood Sound”).
- Trimmed superfluous and awkward dialogue in the opening battle (following Hal9000’s lead).
- The vulture droid only fires two missiles - no buzz droids at all. Anakin gets them to blow each other up, set to the Rebel fanfare cue that used to accompany R2 taking out the buzz droid.
- A classic track from the original film plays as the Jedi make their daring landing on the Invisible Hand and fight the battle droids (thanks to aalenfae for the idea).
- Removed Obi-Wan leaping from his cockpit, and his little jump during the fight with the battle droids.
- The Jedi do not encounter droidekas, and the elevator sequence is gone. None of the R2 stuff.
- Dooku doesn’t do a flip, and Palpatine doesn’t warn the Jedi that he’s a Sith lord.
- The music for Dooku’s arrival plays through the beginning of the duel.
- Palpatine does not make random sounds throughout the fight.
- Cut away as the railing starts excessively damage Obi-Wan.
- Anakin quickly decapitates Dooku right away without goading, but feels bad about it. He let his anger get the best of him, but while he notes that this wasn’t the Jedi way, Palpatine sets his mind at ease. Step one towards Vader.
- The ship going lopsided has been trimmed. To get rid of the silly ray shields, the battle droids capture Anakin and co. while they hang in the elevator shaft (Hal9000).
- The bridge fight and subsequent landing has been completed rescored (with SFX recreated where necessary) with a classic track from ROTJ.
- The whole scene of Grievous meeting the heroes has been tightening up and reorganized. Obi-wan interjects during, rather than after Anakin’s joke to Grievous, for a better comedic effect (thanks to NFBisms for the idea).
- Trims made throughout the bridge sequence, primarily removing battle droid silliness (following Hal9000 - more aggressively cut down in V1).
- Grievous says, “Time to abandon ship” as he breaks the hull and escapes (Hal9000).
- Slight trims during the crash landing on Coruscant (Hal9000).
- Added another classic track from the original film to score the moment after the happy landing (the transport flying through Coruscant and landing).
- Obi-wan interrupts Anakin numbering the times he’s saved him. Hopefully makes this kind of banter feel like a common occurrence (V2 only, from NFBisms).
- Jar Jar’s line has been cut.
- A slight sort of haze/gauze filter has been applied to the nighttime balcony scene at Padme’s apartment.
- Removed the ridiculous “So love has blinded you?” back and forth in the balcony scene (followed L8wrt’s cut here near exactly).
- End the scene where Anakin tells Padme about his nightmare on the more ominous note of “We don’t need Obi-wan’s help,” rather than talking about it being a “blessing.”
- The next scene is Anakin missing the briefing. He doesn’t ask if Palpatine getting more executive powers is a good thing. Anakin’s much surer of his opinions in this edit - the goal being, in every possible instance, when it comes down to Jedi vs. Palpatine he is firmly with Palpatine as a way to make his turn to Vader clearer (it’s a matter of allegiance).
- The next scene is Anakin summoned to the opera. Cut out mentions of Grievous and Anakin spying on Palpatine to fit this placement. The idea here is that right away Anakin is given a solution to the problem of his nightmares. It is of course not within the bounds of the Jedi, but everything that Anakin experiences in regard to the Jedi from them on only goes to make this option seem more viable. When we finally hear Anakin say “I’ve found a way to save you from my nightmares,” since it’s been so long before he told Padme that there’s such an option, we know that he’s fully considered the implications of that solution and going to go with it anyway (restructure inspired by L8wrtr).
- Palpatine doesn’t mention midichlorians (V1 only).
- To sell this even more, after Palpatine’s line “Not from a Jedi” in the opera, we hard cut to the temple, where Yoda tells Anakin to, essentially, get over it.
- Following Yoda’s indirect mention of Padme, the scene is the first “seeds of Rebellion” scene in Bail’s apartment, cutting the reference to Palpatine having control of the Jedi council (which hasn’t happened yet). It’s criminal how little Padme has to do in this film. This scene doesn’t accomplish much, but it does alleviate that to some extent. Placed here mostly to make sure it doesn’t feel too jumpy, going from Anakin in one place to another to another.
- Next is finally the scene in Palpatine’s office where he appoints Anakin to the council. Reinserted a couple deleted lines where Palpatine criticizes how the Jedi treat Anakin. Palpatine: “They see you as a threat to their power.” Anakin: “I’ve sensed that.” To achieve Anakin’s line, I’ve overlayed his mouth from the deleted scene over the finished shot from the film (it’s the same take, they just digitally closed his mouth in the final version). This exchange helps to show Anakin has distrusted the Jedi to some extent since before this film.
- Anakin doesn’t randomly interrupt Palpatine to announce he doesn’t know what he’s about to say (Hal9000).
- Before the Jedi council meeting, inserted the “plot to destroy the Jedi” scene, but removed redundant lines that also feature in the later scene in the Jedi war room.
- Trimmed a bit in Anakin’s appointment to the council. Anakin does not say he understands that this move by Palpatine is “disturbing” (he doesn’t). His outburst is barely that, which makes Mace’s “Take a seat” feel more judgmental, and Anakin more reasonable.
- Trimmed Anakin’s pauses in his argument with Obi-wan to once again make him more sure of his stance in all this.
- Anakin even interrupts Obi-wan at one point during their debate (V2 only, inspired by NFBisms).
- Added a menacing underscore to the sunset scene at Padme’s apartment to highlight the tension between her and Anakin.
- Chewbacca is deleted or replaced in almost all of his shots (but for fun still gets a blink and you miss it appearance in an establishing shot). Thanks to poppasketti for the excellent visual effects and Hal9000 for the audio (V2 only).
- Yoda doesn’t explain that they want someone with more experience to go to Utapau. So it seems like, to Anakin, the only reason they don’t let Anakin go is because Palpatine suggested it (Hal9000).
- Added a wistful rendition of the Force theme (from the extended ROTS end credits suite) to score Anakin and Obi-wan’s final scene as friends (credit to aalenfae for the idea).
- After Obi-wan jumps to hyperspace, transition to the deleted scene of the delegation speaking with Palpatine in his office.
- Transition from there to the next nightmare, hopefully highlighting the doubt about Padme that Palpatine is sowing but following it up with Obi-wan appearing in Anakin’s nightmare and him asking about if he came by.
- Cut extraneous shot of CG gas attendants on Utapau.
- Cut out Grievous saying that a volcanic planet is safe (Hal9000).
- Cut out a redundant line (utilized earlier from a deleted scene) in the scene where Anakin informs Palpatine that Obi-wan has engaged Grievous.
- Cut out Anakin saying he’d like to kill Palpatine (he shouldn’t). Instead, he just says he’s going to do what he’s supposed to (turn him over to the council).
- When we go back to Utapau, we see the ongoing battle that originally played before Cody was given Order 66. Fits better here, before Obi-wan kills Grievous.
- No overbearing Palpatine’s voiceover as Anakin waits in the council chambers (Hal9000).
- Streamlined dialogue as Windu and his gang confront Palpatine (Hal9000).
- Trimmed the lightsaber fight, including and especially Palpatine’s spinning.
- Palpatine doesn’t use Force lightning until Anakin has cut off Mace’s arm, which helps give Anakin the appearance that Palpatine is going to be helplessly executed, and also masks the stupid “scarring” by transitioning to wrinkly face using flickering lights once he finally attacks Mace (a popular idea, originated by kerr).
- Softened the blow of Anakin’s heel turn by removing him referring to Palpatine as “master” at all after his dubbing (V2 only). Palpatine doesn’t specifically call out Obi-wan as an enemy (a bridge to be crossed later). When Palpatine says the Jedi are to be destroyed, Anakin doesn’t robotically say he understands, he just silently accepts (V2 only).
- Anakin’s march on the temple is rescored with a classic Imperial march cue from TESB.
- Easily the most radical cut in this whole edit, when Palpatine executes Order 66, we don’t see it enacted throughout the galaxy - only on the planets with the characters we really know (Utapau, Kashyyyk, and Coruscant). This sequence is rescored with a rendition of the Emperor’s theme from ROTJ.
- Anakin doesn’t kill any younglings, we only see him look upon the massacre in the temple.
- Padme doesn’t say “Oh Anakin!” when they’re talking about the Jedi “revolt.” Just sounds a bit pathetic and out of character (V2 only).
- The Imperial theme from the original film plays while Obi-wan is avoiding clones on Utapau, courtesy of the Rogue One soundtrack.
- Removed Yoda’s interactions with the Wookiees after Order 66.
- The classic “Rebel Blockade Runner” cue from the original film plays when we see Obi-wan board said Rebel blockade runner (rather than the altogether unfitting heroic cue played in the theatrical version).
- Bail doesn’t respond to Mas Amedda, and the video of Mas Amedda has a VHS effect to make it look more similar to the video chat screens from the OT.
- Removed Obi-Wan and Yoda’s fight to enter the Temple in V1 only. In V2, we see them fight the clones, but we do not see Yoda perform any flips.
- Added the cue from the original film that plays when Ben tells Luke about Vader to the scene where Obi-wan learns about Vader.
- Cut out Obi-wan and Yoda talking about killing the Emperor, because Yoda doesn’t fight him in this edit (Hal9000).
- Cut out Obi-wan telling Padme about killing younglings, for at least three different reasons (Hal9000).
- Cut Obi-wan entering the closet on Padme’s ship, so if you blink and miss him it’s a nice surprise when he shows up later (Hal9000).
- Once again added the original Imperial theme from the Rogue One soundtrack, this time to the moment where Palpatine’s hologram tells Anakin he’s brought “peace” to the galaxy.
- Padme doesn’t mention younglings to Anakin, naturally.
- No showdown between Yoda and Palpatine whatsoever. It’s the Mustafar duel all the way (more or less followed Hal9000 here).
- Cut out Obi-wan dealing in absolutes.
- Cut out Anakin and Obi-wan wrestling on the conference table, because it’s silly and it doesn’t fit.
- No “It’s over Anakin,” no “high ground.” Just a swift de-limbing (Hal9000).
- Removed Obi-Wan referencing the chosen one prophecy while Anakin roasts (V1 only).
- Qui-Gon tells Yoda to go to Dagobah (V1 only).
- No reference to Padme losing the will to live. Any edit that includes this line should be ejected into space.
- Vader’s “No” replaced with the more visceral, guttural yell of the Japanese dub (Hal9000).
- A final cue of the original Imperial theme to accompany our first look at an Imperial star destroyer.
Runtime: 120 min
Special thanks to the various edits I’ve stolen from, by editors such as Hal9000, L8wrtr, aalenfae, NFBisms, kerr, seciors, and all the others I’m forgetting or don’t know who have made their impression on the lineage of ROTS edits. Those who have provided materials that I used, such as kk650, bryantmh, and brash_stryker and Bobson Dugnutt’s SFX archives. And of course Collipso who has been an invaluable sounding board with which to brainstorm about the edit, and who has always been available to give excellent feedback.
The V2 is the current and preferred cut and is available as a 1080p MP4. The V1 is also still available as a 1080p MP4.
Opening 6 Minutes
Invisible Hand Fight and Landing Rescored
Order 66 Recut and Rescored