Hello all. A year ago I released Episode I: Shadow of the Sith, now nearly a year later I have finally completed Episode II.
Here are the details as listed at fanedit.org and can be found at fanedit.info
As with Shadow of the Sith my goal with The Republic Divided is to trim out the inexplicable story elements, improve the quality of the characters by relieving them of annoying and/or frustration dialog, and in general, improving the tone and pace of the film. When all of this clutter is removed, a respectable movie emerges, with Palpatine quietly setting all the pieces for his master-stroke which unfolds in Episode III.
Final run time, including final credits is 96 minutes, which is coincidentally the same run time as Shadow of the Sith
Similar to Shadow of the Sith, my goal was to:?- Drastically improve the many flawed characters as much as possible.?- Drastically improve the overall tone and pacing of the film?- Simplify the convoluted mystery plot.
The areas that I focused on for major improvements are:
Friendship: We all know that Anakin and Obi-Wan are supposed to be “good friends” so it was quite disjointing to see Obi-Wan be a dick to Anakin throughout the movie, as well as Anakin be a petulant, ungrateful whiner. By cutting out the mutual antagonism we are left with two characters we can believe are friends. The audience wants them to be friends, and by eliminating the obstacles to that, we now can simply accept that we are watching two friends on screen.
We need a Hero: From the first frame, grown up Anakin is annoying. He’s timid and unsure one moment, disrespectful and bitchy the next. Audiences react so negatively to these extreme personality traits that the moments where Ankin is likable or heroic are lost. By carving out his creepy leering at Padme, his whining, and his unexplained outbursts of anger, what remains are glimpses of the hero we want to like and root for, at least as much as can be salvaged with the footage we have at our disposal.
A Love Story: People bash Lucas for the stilted dialog, and this is a fair criticism, however I can forgive that because it is par for the course in the Saga of Star Wars. What is perplexing is how he chose to have them resist their emotions. We all know that they will end up together so the ruse of them resisting is at best distracting, but worse it impedes the progression of the actual story. In addition to eliminating their resistance, it is key to also remove Lucas’ attempt to show how/why they fall in love. He forgot his own brilliant solution to how to tell a love story back from The Empire Strikes Back; don’t show it. We never see why Han and Leia fall in love, we simply have two characters we like who over the course of several scenes admit their love for each other. Fixing Anakin and cutting out the more on-the-nose aspects of the story results in a love story that is far more believable.
Action, Action, Action!: Again like Shadow of the Sith I focused on improving the pacing, particularly in the action sequences. The opening speeder chase is easily cut in half, similar toAttack of the Phantom most of the Obi-Wan/Jango fist fight is gone, and the asteroid chase benefits from a few nips and tucks. But more importantly, the Droid Factory Rescue is majorly reconstructed to eliminate not only C-3PO’s antics, but flying R2-D2 and Anakin getting trapped in the machinery. The battle of Geonosis is heavily redacted because quite simply, it doesn’t matter. It is robots fighting clones. No character that we are invested in is in danger so the sequence just eats up time. Lastly, the confrontation between Dooku and Yoda loses the saber bit. They fight with the Force only.
Dialog:_ Also, like Shadow of the Sith Most scenes have some modification which eliminate redundant and/or obvious exposition as well as poorly written and/or delivered dialog. Six scenes were so useless and/or poorly written that they were removed entirely.
Simplify: The Obi-Wan Kenobi mystery hunt reveals a great many questions, most of which not only go unanswered in Episode II, but Episode III as well. Because there is no payoff for the great mysteries of his search, the convoluted plot points are truly useless. I have simplified Obi-Wan’s search for Padme’s assassin so that the story can move swiftly, cleanly and also saving Kenobi for being revealed to have an intellect less than that of a 5 year old Padawan. Relieved of this contrived plotline, the story now moves more cleanly. The illogic of the Jedi accepting the mysterious Clone Army remains, it’s an unavoidable WTF moment, but the rest of the non-sequiturs are removed or toned down.
This is a general list of cuts, order may be slightly off and many are not listed (over 250 edits in total)
New Title and Crawl establishing Count Dooku as the leader of a Separatist movement threatening Civil War.
Cut announcing Coruscant inside the Naboo Cruiser
Cut ‘We made it’ dialog
Cut Cordé’s dying words
Cut 1st half of dialog in Chancellor’s office about their not being enough Jedi and the Dark Side clouding everything.
Trim dialog throughout the Chancellor’s office
Trim dialog inside elevator?- Cut most of Jar Jar introducing the Jedi
Trim dialog throughout meeting with Padme, including creepy lines about being beautiful, antagonism between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and Anakin’s whining afterwards
Cut Jango giving Zam poisonous bugs?- Trim dialog between Anakin and Obi-Wan while bugs are making their way to Padme
Trim speeder chase in half, Anakin no longer loses his saber
Cut most dialog outside of nightclub (resolves saber issue, plus more antagonism between Obi-Wan and Anakin)?- Trimmed nightclub sequence, eliminate Anakin POV shot, gratuitous cameo shots.
Toned down Anakin’s anger while interrogating Zam?- Removed Obi-Wan’s Ric Olié moment “Toxic dart”?- Removed contradictory Yoda line about Padme having to listen to them.
Cut the entire sequence from Padme giving authority to Jar Jar and Anakin and Padme’s conversation as she packs.?- Cut the entire conversation in skybus between Padme and Dorme.
Cut ‘we’ve got R2′ joke?- Cut entire Diner sequence and Library sequence?- Insert portion of deleted landing platform scene?- Trim dialog between Padme and Anakin on refugee transport
Cut entire Yoda/youngling scene?- Cut entire sequence of Anakin and Padme arriving on Naboo and seeing the new Queen?- Insert deleted scene of dinner at Padme’s (with dialog trims)
Cut Obi-Wan dialog about their missing planet Kamino?- Re-cut Kenobi’s visit on Kamino to support new sequence of Anakin/Padme scenes on Naboo.
Trimmed conversation with Prime Minister so as to not have Obi-Wan completely give away that he has no clue what is going on.
Trimmed confrontation between Jango and Kenobi. No more “I’m just a simple man…”?- Trimmed Obi-Wan’s report to Windu and Yoda, and cut out their discussion after they dismiss Kenobi?- Trim out most of the Jango/Kenobi fist fight.
Trim the various scenes between Anakin and Padme to remove both the forced nature of the story-line, as well as their resistance. Also cut the giant tick-cows and of course the conversation at the fireplace (though the opening footage is still used with a new purpose
Cut creepy shot of Anakin having his nightmare.
Lightly trim conversation on balcony about his nightmare
Trim chase through Asteroid belt?
Trim conversation between Wato and Anakin
Trim conversation between Anakin and 3PO, and Anakin and Owen
Trim conversation between Anakin and Shmi as she dies?- Cut out ridiculous cartoon voices of varios Separatists as Obi-Wan listens in (nearly cut for cut of Attack of the Phantom)
Trimmed Yoda and Windu’s conversation about Skywalker in pain?- Trim/restructure Dooku’s interrogation of Kenobi (cut out Darth title)
Massively restructure Anakin’s break-down in the Lars homestead garage?- Cut R2 receiving message from Kenobi
Trimmed funeral sequence to focus on Anakin and remove over-the-top dialog/delivery?- Cut Padme’s “R2? What are you doing here?”?- Trim conversation in Chancellor’s office to remove ‘If only Senator Amidala were here…”
Massively restructure Droid Factory sequence. No flying R2. No 3PO. No trapped Anakin
Reinsert scene of Padme demanding Kenobi be set free.
Restructure pre-arena conversation between Anakin and Padme
HEAVILY recut arena battle, too much to list.
HEAVILY recut Battle of Geonosis, including entire removal of Geonosian War room
Cut Nute Gunray leaving from the same hangar bay as Dooku
Trimmed conversation between Kenobi and Dooku
Trimmed lightsaber battle between Dooku and Anakin
Trimmed duel between Dooku and Yoda, including the saber duel (HUGE thank you to BobGarcia for providing special effects shot which removes Dooku’s saber as he runs up the gantry)