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Editing Episode II: Is there a great film there?

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I've watched a couple of the fan edits of Episode II and I must say the film is still pretty boring even with certain scenes deleted and added. Episode I really improved "under the knife" and became a decent film. I recently tried to watch the original "Attack of the Clones" all the way through and couldn't make it. I'm convinced now that Ep II is the worst film in the saga. Even worse than the original "Phantom Menace." Basically because it's boring, the dialogue is annoying, the acting weak, the visuals aren't as impressive as in Ep III and the plot is uninteresting.

My question to all the talented fan editors on this board is.... can the film be salvaged? Could the raw footage be turned into something as good as the Magnolia Fan edit of Ep I or dare to dream, Episode III? I'm convinced there's a great film in there somewhere. Lucas had some good ideas. And the screenplay looks a lot more exciting on paper than how it ended up on film.

Some ideas for the editors:
The most annoying things about Ep II, IMO are:
- the pacing: it's poorly edited. Lucas takes for ever setting up scenes. We get these overly long "reveal" shots of planets and buildings. Ep III had these. But they were really short and quickly panned over by the camera. This kept the momentum of the story going. From the opening frames of "Clones," we are tortured by painfully long sequences that do nothing more than show off ILM's CGI work.

- the dialogue: watching "Attack of the Clones" can be an exercise in tedium because the dialogue is so repetitive and unnatural. The thing that makes repeated viewings torturous is the repetition of characters titles and names. "M'Lady," "Senator," "Master," "Anakin," "My young apprentice," "my Padawan," "Your Excellency," "Chancellor," ad nauseam. I mean, how many times is Padme called My Lady or Senator in the movie? And it doesn't help that "My Lady" sounds absolutely stupid in a science fiction film. (What is this, Shakespere?) The original screenplay for "Revenge of the Sith" (if you read the EBook) actually suffers from the same problems. Luckily writer Tom Stoppard went through and polished up the script. And thank god, editor Roger Barton eliminated a lot of the repetitive phrases and use of names for the final film. Or "Revenge" could have ended up equally as corny as AOTC. The best thing about Ep III is that about half the dialogue from the original screenplay doesn't show up on screen. And the movie still makes sense. It's a shame Lucas couldn't have done the same with Episode II.

- the acting: The acting is lackluster all around, and the performances are even more wooden than in "Phantom." And it all pales in comparison to the much improved acting in Ep III. One of the most painful lines to read in the "Making of Ep III" book is when Dialogue Coach Chris Neill admits he's nervous about working on the film because he's filling a position that wasn't used on any of the other films. Just think if Lucas would have used Neill (or anyone to work with the actors) for Ep I and II.

I don't know what can be fixed and what is irreparable. I think the film could be more tightly edited. The problem is synching the changes with the music. John Williams score is what drives the prequel films emotionally. So it would be hard to trim or change anything without making the movie sound disjointed. The dialogue could definitely be improved. Again, eliminating the constant exposition would help. Again, my main gripe is the "M'Lady's" and "Senators" in referring to Padme. And scenes like outside the nightclub where Anakin refers to Obi-Wan as "Master" about 9 times.

Not much can be done about the acting. I do think a tighter edit could increase the emotional impact of some of the performances. As far as the dropping and adding scenes I'm not sure. I thought Natalie's acting in the "Address the Senate" deleted scenes was her best in the film. The droid analysis scene was kind of cool in a "THX 1138" sort of way. The family scenes are good, but are poorly edited. The rest of the deleted scenes are pretty much worthless.

It'll be cool to see what people come up with. I've tried to edit Ep II for my own amusement, I still found the thing unwatchable.

It's funny to look back at the last 7 years: Before Episode I came out, I was convinced it would be the best film ever. Amazingly, it turned out to be one of the worst. In the build up to Ep II my feeling was Lucas couldn't possibly do any worse than "Phantom." I was wrong. Since "Attack" makes "Phantom" look like a rip roaring good time. And Ep I was actually redeemed by the phantom edits. Since 2002, I was convinced Episode III was going to be horrible. Yet it turned out to be great.

Of course, part of me is still waiting for Lucas to actually release the follow up to "Empire Strikes Back." The correct one.
The prequels brought balance to the saga. 3 good Star Wars films, 3 bad.






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Not much can be done about the acting.

Unless of course you decided to dub the main character...

Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side

Emperor Jar-Jar
“Back when we made Star Wars, we just couldn’t make Palpatine as evil as we intended. Now, thanks to the miracles of technology, it is finally possible. Finally, I’ve created the movies that I originally imagined.” -George Lucas on the 2007 Extra Extra Special HD-DVD Edition

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I'm editing Attack of the Clones as well. I took out the entire droid factory sequence, as well as the subsequent threepio antics during the battles.

With a few scenes removed, deleted scenes put back in, dialogue trims, and creative cut-arounds... I think it's a much more enjoyable film to watch. Still the least on my Star Wars list, but a lot better at that.

PM me for links to my edits; apparently, some feel shy about this.

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I actually like AOTC, but it far from a great movie. I still think the only two great Star Wars films are ANH & ESB, after that they are all good with positives and negatives aspects.

I actually think the one think that can't be changed in AOTC is Hayden & Natalie. To me, they just weren't perfect for the part. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hammill, not academy award winners, are perfect for their role. You can always say to yourself that I couldn't envision anyone else playing that role. For the prequels, Liam Neeson was perfect for his role, and so was Ewan McGregor. Throughout Episode II & III I always thought there was a better couple to play Anakin & Padme.

To me the biggest reason why I think people don't like AOTC is the love story. True, there is some cringeworthy dialogue, but I just don't think people want to watch a Star Wars movies with the love story as the central point. In the ESB & ROTJ, the romance between Leia & Han was minor subplot that didn't interfere with the movie. I know so many people who were so turned off from AOTC when they saw it in the theater. They would shake their heads everytime you mention the love story.

As I said, I actually like AOTC, I dont think it is a great Star Wars movie, but I can still watch any Star Wars movie all the time. Lucas made a bold move with the prequels:

TPM: The Setup

AOTC: The Romance

ROTJ: The payoff

Most people just wanted the payoff.
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Originally posted by: Hal 9000
I'm editing Attack of the Clones as well. I took out the entire droid factory sequence, as well as the subsequent threepio antics during the battles.

With a few scenes removed, deleted scenes put back in, dialogue trims, and creative cut-arounds... I think it's a much more enjoyable film to watch. Still the least on my Star Wars list, but a lot better at that.


I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR EDIT FOR MY PSYCHO REVIEW THREAD IF THAT IS POSSIBLE. I REVIEWED GREENCAPT'S BATMAN & ROBIN: DE-ASSIFIED DVD THERE.

"I'VE GROWN TIRED OF ASKING, SO THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME..."
The Mangler Bros. Psycho Dayv Armchaireviews Notes on Suicide

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My hard drive failed during production, and I haven't started over yet. But I'll let you know when it's finished.

PM me for links to my edits; apparently, some feel shy about this.

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I think some of the awkwardness in the dialogue comes from just the formality of speech. Anakin has to call Obi-Wan "master" and has to address Padme as "m'lady" and "senator" due to his status. It's a sign of respect and as a padawan, he probably would've been whipped into properly addressing authority figures. I'm sure the dialogue (especially Padme's) would've sounded much more natural if her character used contractions, but they made a point of keeping the speech so damn formal. In many cases it's distracting and I know I don't like it, but Lucas probably felt this was important for whatever reason.

I can't say I have too much of a problem with the acting. I thought Portman was pretty bland in AOTC though I thought she did a great job in Episode I. I feel Christensen did an okay job with what he was given (his character is supposed to be whiny and arrogant as even stated in the films). The dialogue in the love story has lots of clunkers and I feel the restoration of the Padme's family scenes would have helped the love story feel more natural. I also think that it's better to have all the Anakin/Padme scenes in rather than cutting any (except for the ones where they visit the capital and the rolling in the grass). They really do feel like a natural progression. Without the family scenes, the love seems too sudden and without the others, (like it in the Magnoliafan edit) I don't think it goes anywhere.
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The backbone of every star wars experience (that's right, experience) is the music. And it's no secret that burtt and lucas butchered Williams' masterpieces when they glued together their special and sound fx tests and dared to call it a movie.

I'd join the dark side to see the entire pt fixed properly. No farting. No midichlorians. Effective editing. And spot on perfect musical harmony in every scene...

bliss.
He big in nothing important in good elephant.

"Miss you, I will, Original Trilogy..."

"Your midichlorians are weak, Old man." -Darth Vader 2007 super deluxe extra special dipped in chocolate sauce edition.

http://prequelsstink.ytmnd.com/
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i am with those who wonder if AOTC is truly fixable at all...i have the magfan edit but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. His BotF edit of TPM made that film much more watchable for me, although it's hard to polish a turd enough to make it truly good.

for me, AOTC is two movies. others have mentioned the groanworthy love story sequences, and I think they suck hardcore. yet there's also this interesting little mystery flick where Obi-Wan becomes an intergalactic gumshoe to track down the mystery of the dart and the Kaminoans and the clones.

what fails miserably is that this mystery is pissed away by a) Yoda basically shrugging and flying off to Kamino to pick up an army THAT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO ORDERED IT OR WHY, and b) absolutely NO follow-up on who deleted the planet from the Jedi Archives and who Sifo-Dyas was.

(and I get that the info may be in the books, and maybe we're supposed to assume Dooku or Sidious was behind it--but SPELL IT OUT, GEORGE. we're the audience. there are things we like to know, such as the particulars of a freaking story we've paid ten dollars to watch.)

my edit would cut the love story down to the bone and use whatever means possible to expand the mystery stuff--i know AOTC was the only prequel with a co-writer, and my honest theory (supported by nothing but my brain) is that Lucas penned the love sequences, told Jonathan Hales to leave them alone, and Hales largely penned (or at least, heavily influenced) the Obi-Wan sequences. cause to me, it's like two different movies.

but yeah--cutting the pauses, the stiltedness of the whole affair, the wasteful sweeping establishing shots and transitions would help a ton too.
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