So, as it turns out, I’ve changed things a little more than I expected. It’s still around the same length (only 92 minutes), but I’ve made a few improvements (or at least, what I hope to be improvements).
First, let’s talk about everybody’s favorite character, Jar Jar Binks. Now, when I first started out on this editing journey, I was trying to get rid of Jar Jar Binks as much as I could. A relatable cause, no doubt. Unfortunately, I might have taken out a few too many things associated with him. In v1 and v2, I took out Jar Jar’s first shot. A.K.A. this one:
I’m bringing this shot back for v3, because in v1 and v2, he just appears at random. I’m not doing it because I’ve suddenly softened up to Mr. Binks. Far from it. He’s still a terrible character, but alas, he is a character. One who has a part to play in this movie. Giving him no introductory shot at all feels… Off.
Another shot I’m bringing back is this one:
This was another shot I deleted in v1 and v2, and looking back, I have no idea why I cut it beyond the fact that Jar Jar is center stage in this shot (If you’re panicking, rest assured that “How wude!” is still on the cutting room floor). Having this shot of the guards is necessary to establish Jar Jar’s arrest.
Let’s get away from Jar Jar now. I’ve reinserted Qui-Gon’s line “We are ambassadors for the supreme chancellor.” Originally, I wanted to make Queen Amidala the person who sent Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon as ambassadors for Naboo. This was an attempt to try and water down the political stuff and make it less important to the plot. Unfortunately, the mentions of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon being sent by Chancellor Valorum were all too frequent. This particular line transitioned the moment where Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are rescuing Amidala to the moment when they discuss the outcome of the negotiations. Taking it out turned that transition into a cut. A cut that seemed oddly placed. So, I admit defeat on this, and I’m bringing it back. I will also be rewriting the crawl so that Valorum sends the jedi for this reason as well.
I know this was a l8wrtr inspired moment, but looking back on it, Qui-Gon’s telling the droid that he’s taking people to Coruscant is kinda dumb. All that happens is the obvious. The droid responds with “You’re under arrest!” and Qui-Gon slices him away. So, to raise the IQ of this film, I decided to just remove the conversation altogether, let Obi-Wan walk up to the droids, and then cut to Qui-Gon slicing a droid. I’m not sure if that’s the jedi way, but by this point, it’s obvious that negotiations are over.
Then, there’s the pod race. The pod race was the hardest scene to edit for Episode I. Specifically in the start and finish of the race. The beginning was especially awkward on v1 and v2. All I did was keep the opening shot of the podrace, then I cut away to the flags. A lot of this is because I had no idea how sound editing worked. So my approach was just to delete anything with a bad line of dialogue. Knowing what I know now, I can easily remove any dialogue I hate from the following shots and put them in without any problems, giving the scene a little more room to breathe:
And if you’re still upset that I added in more Jar Jar, you can breathe a sigh of relief that I also removed a bit of Jar Jar for v3 as well. I’ve taken out the gasp Jar Jar made during the pod race as a reaction to Anakin’s pod spinning out of control. At the time, I thought that the moment needed a cutaway because the next shot was similar, but after having edited the whole prequel trilogy, I’ve made an observation. I can just remove Jar Jar’s reaction and the next shot and it works seamlessly. Now, the pod race has no reactions from the characters in the sidelines.
However, I think I need to address the announcer guys. Since I was doing what I could to remove every last thing associated with them (Once again, due to l8wrtr), I might have gotten a little too perfectionistic about it. I was going so far as to be disappointed that I couldn’t really take out a line like “Start your engines!” even though, in context, it’s totally necessary. So, I’m just going to let some of their lines slip, but only in the background. We still never see them visually. It also means that the starts of laps 2 and 3 are in a little more too. Lap 3 didn’t exist at all in v1 and v2, so I suppose it’s a good thing I’m reinstating them.
The next thing I’ve done is reinsert Yoda’s line: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” I removed it due to Mr. Plinkett’s reviews of the prequels (Which I still recommend, but only if you’re a responsible adult). Here’s his criticism of the line:
While I do get where he’s coming from, looking back, I’ve noticed that this line is one of the more popular lines from the prequels. And it’s one of the few things in the movie that actually had some form of depth, which is why it’s memorable. In context, it’s a line that demonstrates an all-too-human truth that fear can lead us in the wrong direction. Sorry Mr. Plinkett. Please don’t kill me.
Now, for the big one
As I’ve said, I’ve restructured the ending. By now, that isn’t gonna be a surprise if you’ve been following this thread a while. However, I’ve done another major restructure. I’ve swapped two scenes and switched them around. Scene 1: Amidala’s decision to return home. Scene 2: The jedi council’s rejection of Anakin. Now, Anakin’s rejection comes first and Amidala’s decision to leave comes up soon after. This little switcharoo fixes a major structural problem in the plot and establishes that the jedi council’s rejection of Anakin is the film’s lowest point in the second act, and therefore, Amidala’s decision to leave for Naboo is the springboard for the film’s third act. It also means I can remove the jedi telling Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to go with the queen to Naboo as it hasn’t happened from a continuity standpoint. Plus, we lose a lot of useless exposition (Because obviously, these two jedi are just going to throw the queen under the bus after everything that’s happened to them unless the council tells them to go. Makes perfect sense).
Anyway, that’s most of what I’ve changed from v1 and v2 for now. Hopefully, those are all the biggest changes I plan to make. I’ll send an update if anything else comes up.