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Episode II: The Republic Divided by L8wrtr

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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

EDITING DETAILS:

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.

Cut list:

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)

 


 

 

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I've been following this edit over at Fanedit.org and I have to say that it is really looking like a good, interesting edit *thumbs up*

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How are you handling Jango.... To me, he is the biggest issue outside of Dooku flat out telling Obi-Wan about Sidious.

 

 

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mrbenja0618 said:

How are you handling Jango.... To me, he is the biggest issue outside of Dooku flat out telling Obi-Wan about Sidious.

Apparently you never saw this scene.

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mrbenja0618 said:

How are you handling Jango.... To me, he is the biggest issue outside of Dooku flat out telling Obi-Wan about Sidious.

That's a really broad complaint. I've definitely made changes within the scenes that Jango exists, but the problems I fixed with him were in context of the scenes as I saw them as opposed to trying to thematically alter his character (like making Anakin not be a petulant whiner, or Obi-Wan a condescending a-hole)

So:

I cut him talking to Zam, now his first appearance is flying away via jet-pack.

I cut out Boba being a clone. Now he's just his son.

I trimmed the conversation with Obi-Wan, cutting out the terrible bits of dialog (I'm just a simple man...)

Fight on the landing platform follows Phantom Editor's edit.

Asteroid chase is kept but trimmed.

The Reek is no longer involved in his demise.

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TV's Frink said:

mrbenja0618 said:

How are you handling Jango.... To me, he is the biggest issue outside of Dooku flat out telling Obi-Wan about Sidious.

Apparently you never saw this scene.

I do stand corrected.

 

 

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 (Edited)

L8wrtr said:

mrbenja0618 said:

How are you handling Jango.... To me, he is the biggest issue outside of Dooku flat out telling Obi-Wan about Sidious.

That's a really broad complaint. I've definitely made changes within the scenes that Jango exists, but the problems I fixed with him were in context of the scenes as I saw them as opposed to trying to thematically alter his character (like making Anakin not be a petulant whiner, or Obi-Wan a condescending a-hole)

So:

I cut him talking to Zam, now his first appearance is flying away via jet-pack.

I cut out Boba being a clone. Now he's just his son.

I trimmed the conversation with Obi-Wan, cutting out the terrible bits of dialog (I'm just a simple man...)

Fight on the landing platform follows Phantom Editor's edit.

Asteroid chase is kept but trimmed.

The Reek is no longer involved in his demise.

I hope you didn't think I was complaining about your edit. That wasn't my intention. Just voicing one of my plot issues with Jango. The problem for me is not Jango working with the Separatists, it's Jango working with the Separatists and being connected to Kamino. If I were the one investigating this whole situation, Jango would be my star interrogation. I would make him the priority as he is the template for the clones that the republic bought, AND is clearly working with Dooku. I would have too many questions, and Obi-Wan or the Jedi ignore this issue completely. It's a major issue to me.

 

 

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To add some comments, many editors have found (Including myself) that removing the entire Kamino sequence fixes the issue, but then of course you are left with a very short film.

 

 

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 (Edited)

mrbenja0618 said:

To add some comments, many editors have found (Including myself) that removing the entire Kamino sequence fixes the issue, but then of course you are left with a very short film.

And Kamino is a fairly interesting sequence...it's got some nice characters in the Kaminoans (sic), a nice Jango/Obi discussion (if you cut some of it), and a decent fist fight in the rain (though I'll never understand why Obi doesn't just force push the shit out of him, or how he survives TWO close attacks from a big-ass ship laser).

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Ahhhh.. yes.

First no worries, I just couldn't tell what your complaint about Jango was, so I didn't know if I had addressed it :)

I have the same complaints about the Jango subplot, but unfortunately there is no way that I can see which negates this serious gap. No matter how you look at it, a clone army ordered by a dead Jedi Master in secret, based on a Bounty Hunter obviously hired to assassinate a leading Senator is a huge red flag. There simply isn't enough footage resolve the gaping problem (IMO). For me I chalk it up to logic fails that plague even the OT, such flying directly to the Rebel Base after escaping the Death Star while knowing that Falcon has a homing beacon somewhere on board. Wait, wut?

My strategy was simply improve his scenes as best as possible. 

 

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First of all, congratulations for your effort. I've seen it already and it's definitely a step forward in the right direction, but still, it is not the film I would show to someone who has not seen the SW prequels. Not that I would show someone the original version, but this movies (I-III) still needs more tweaks to be good. Not that your edit isn't good, it's brilliant, considering how much limited your footage resources are.

Things that I liked are definitely:


The love story, relationship between Anakin and Obi and much faster pace, which is what this films NEED. Great idea that Anakin and Padme kiss for the first time before Arena - this is how it should have been done in the original cut. Anakin is now much more likeable, altough I still don't like how he looks like (but this is something you can't repair) and his acting is still wooden. Also, the opening crawl is brilliant - Looking forward how you will improve this in ROTS. Great thing was removing Jettster Dexter - this subplot was so lame, god, I can't believe Lucas could wrote such shit. I was always thinking that Zam Wessel should have told them about Kamino, like in your edit. There are many minor things that I also liked.

 

Things that I think that could be improved or I didn't like:

Still some stupid lines from Anakin left - Like the one where he is standing and meditating on Naboo and Padme comes in. I think it would be better if Anakin would come straight to the point - When Padme told him that she heard him in the night, he should have say her about his mother and his nightmare - Without this stupid "Jedi don't have nightmares bla". Yoda still does feel Anakins emotion, what makes him blind and stupid (thanks to RLM for pointing this out). If he felt that Anakins was struggling and using more and more dark side, why didn't he do something about it? There are still some problems with the plot - I know why you have removed the dialogue in the senat between Yoda and Mace, but without it, the audience have no clue how could Yoda come with all Clone Troopers in the deciding moment. Mace and the Jedi's coming to Geonosis is alright - he said earlier that he will deal with Count Dooku, so the audience will understand that. Although you have done a great job, improving the romance, there are my thoughts:

When Padme said to Anakin - "I'm not afraid to die", it should be everything and they should just kiss. Not this shit "I love you", bla bla, because Padme sound like she would reading the script. It's weak and sound like from a bad romantic movie. This scene is just perfect with "I'm not afraid to die", Anakins looks at her and they kiss. I don't know what to think about Anakin arguing with Obi about Padme on the ship, when they are following Dooku. I understand why you left it, but Obi sound again like a dick (hello original cut) and Anakin is stupid and can't understand that capturing Dooku is more important. I think it's to early for Anakin to care more about Padme than Jedi order. Look, he just met her again after 10 years a couple of weeks ago. On the other side he was Jedi for 10 years. Too early. In ROTS it would work (3 years later), but not here. And the last most important thing to the casual viewer - why do they get married so quickly? Not that you would understand in the original cut, of course not, Lucas showed again a middle finger to the audience. Maybe he doesn't understand that when young people loves eachother, that doesn't mean they are going to get married right after they realised they are in love. Unfortunately, because this is impossible to explain, I would suggest to cut the marriage out and in the ROTS cut out all statements that say they are married. Why does Anakin and Padme even need to be married? They can still have children. It is even not important for the plot in ROTS, that they are married. The movie can still be great without it.

I always thought that Anakin and Padme should have been hiding their love  from other people (like Obi-Wan). Because in the original cut and sometimes in your edit, Obi is just stupid not to see it (Padme kissing Anakin when she jumps on this beast and caring so much about him when he lost his arm)

 

There are of course some minors things which disturbed me, but I don't want to point everything out, because it's hard to get ride of this things. You have still done an excellent job removing them.

 

BEST AOTC EDIT I HAVE SEEN so far. I'm waiting for your ROTS edit. Also, I wanted to ask something - do you plan to update your edits (also future edits) to HD? I mean not upscale, but do it from scratch? Because today, it's really pain in the ass to watch DVDs, and I'm starting to cry when I think that there is new BD set coming in September and I can't watch the prequels in beautiful HD, because it's so awful.

Kenkraly about this site:

Those trolls at originaltrilogy.com are mean and disrespectfull.

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Thank you for the great feedback, and you bring up some compelling points. The most intriguing of them is the moment before the arena. 

Regarding your question about High Def. Frink has been lobbying me to do HD since Shadow of the Sith. I'm not opposed to the prospect of replicating my edits in HD once the blu-rays come out, but I've yet to create an edit from an HD source, and because I edit on a Mac, the current time it takes to create editable files is staggering, and even then, the methods for creating AVCHD disks, as far as I understand it, are limited/problematic. 

While I make no promises, my plan is that once I wrap Episode III, I'll look into editing something non-SW in HD. If I can successfully create an edit, I will likely then see about recreating Episodes I - III sometime in 2012. There are at least 3 projects which I want to work on before stepping back into Star Wars editing, so it won't be any time in the near future.

Thanks! 

L8

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L8wrtr, this certainly was an astounding fan edit! It's amazing that Anakin and Obi-Wan finally seem completely sympathetic, unlike in the theatrical cut.

This edit is wonderful in its handling of most aspects. The romance is also much more believable and distinctly less cheesy. While watching your edit, I was truly stunned that you were able to cull footage from romance scenes previously thought too cheesy to include in an edit. In stark contrast to "Attack of the Phantom," you decided to keep in a tad bit unwillingness on both Anakin's and Padme's parts, which was really surprising. Unlike other reviewers on fanedit.org, I saw no issue in having that brief fireside scene.

Furthermore, since I did watch the original a lot when younger, I noticed that you've trimmed dialogue in various places, most notably Corde's "I've failed you, Senator." Not only have you cut some of Lucas's most cringe-worthy dialogue but you've heavily tightened up the pacing of the film, taking out the filler. I always did find a sense of irony in the fact that though Lucas's main directing advice seems to be "faster and more intense," he always kept some extraneous dialogue within scenes.

This is now my definitive AOTC cut that I can place between your Shadow of the Sith and Kerr's Dark Force Rising. You've turned his movie from an FX showcase to Star Wars. Fantastic work! :-)

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Wow! Thanks AF.

It's always a joy when people notice/enjoy the more nuanced changes such as trimmed dialog and pacing improvements. I'm particularly pleased that the fireside scene worked for you. As I've noted on the board at FE, it's one of those story points I am really insistent on. I agree that it would be better if the scene were longer, but for me it works as it is, and I'm glad at least one other liked it too!

Would you mind if I copied your review over to the page at .info?

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L8wrtr said:


Would you mind if I copied your review over to the page at .info?

No, I wouldn't mind at all. Feel free to copy this review wherever. :-)

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Booshman's superman returns fanedit was the first fan-edit I had the pleasure to watch, and then I stumbled upon your fanedits of Star wars I-III.

Eventhough I haven't seen any other fanedits, I'll try and give a short review of your fanedit of Star wars II:

I never liked the Star wars prequels, because they are too crowded with scenes and dialogue and story that it all seems dense and rushed. The original trilogy succeeded because it had a focused story of the rebellion to tell with a limited number of protagonists. 

That allowed these movies to breath and its characters to develop roots and the magic could materialise. We followed a young Skywalker to the stars and becoming a Jedi.

Lucas tried something similar with Anakin but it didn't really pay off because the focus was lost with the myriad of things happening and because he started with a child, having to change the actor for the next installments.

With your fanedits you obviously tried to bring some focus to the new trilogy by trimming all the unnecessary dialogue, characters and scenes and to try to make it an Anakin-story.

In this you greatly succeeded, although Star wars I was a bit too short and rushed in your edit, it still was superior. As an edit star wars II is imho even better, although the underlining movie was worse.

You improved the love-story, and that's really what the second part is about. 

I would have cut the fire-scene as well as it makes it look like they would have intercourse which would not fit well with later scenes.

Some criticize the dialogue before the arena, that Padme's love-confession feels cheesy. I disagree and think that dialogue was important and fitting as Padme thought that they would die in that arena and wanted to make sure that Anakin knows that she loves him.

In the arena I felt the fight against these monsters was too short and inconclusive in your edit, Anakin gets that animal to ride on and the others jump on and that's it.

With the exception of that everything else seemed spot-on, even your decision to minimise the slaughter of these sand-people by removing certain scenes like Yoda's vision. That way Anakin's tilt towards the dark side is not yet conclusive, although it removed a memorable acting-moment.

The movie was the weakest of the new three and so no fanedit can save this movie fully but your attempt probably did the best possible.

Original movie: 6/10 Your edit turns it into a 7.5/10.

Thank you very much for your edit. 

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Since there is no thread for your fanedit of Star wars III "Dawn of the empire", I hope you don't mind if I review it here:

Imho "Dawn of the empire" is your best fan-edit, because you manage to edit it in such a way that it isn't obvious that it is a fan-edit, there are no scenes that seem abruptly short like with the arena-fight-scene in part II or with the visit in the underwater realm in part I.

You retell the story of Anakin Skywalker falling to the dark side it in a much more exciting and dramatic way than George Lucas did.

Ok, the movie itself is better than the first two outings, but still you add so much tension and better structure that it is a phenomenal success.

There are of course still things that I don't like, but these you can't change cause Lucas filmed it in that way: The CGI-landscapes and actors walking, running, fighting in them. They look fake and videogamish, and I didn't like them in the second part when Anakin was riding through the desert either or the look in the arena. In the original trilogy CGI didn't exist and it was for the better, the crew had to film in real locations and it showed. Unfortunately this can't be changed anymore.

The pacing, the structure is in this third part of your fanedits just perfect. You clearly got better from part to part and now reached your masterwork.

If there was one scene I would have completely cut, it would be the fight between Yoda and the sith lord. It served no purpose, was redundant and didn't look well as the setting was awful. You did well when you removed the swordfighting of Yoda in Episode II, but here the complete fight should have been cut.

It was already enough that Windu fought against him, and that fight had a purpose, namely to force Anakin to choose side, but this Yoda-fight had no purpose.

And I don't know if this was your intention or not, it's not possible for those who never watched Star Wars to watch the prequels first and then the original trilogy. The whole story of Anakin Skywalker is a major spoiler for the best surprise in the original trilogy.

For that to work out, all mentioning of the name Skywalker and the pregnancy of Padme would have to be removed.

Movie: 7.5/ 10, Your fanedit turns it into a 9.0/10.

Thanks for your hard work on this edit. 

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Is there a BD version of this? If so, could someone send me a link to it? It would be greatly appreciated