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Episode III: The Eyepainter Fanedit (A WIP)

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Welp, we’ve finally come to the end of the prequel trilogy. I’ve given myself a much deserved break, and I think it’s time to begin work on what is arguably the best film in the trilogy. Although I think calling it “decent” or “good” is more accurate, it’s worth bringing up what was done right here by comparison to the other two.

For one, Episode III is a much more straightforward movie when compared to the overcomplications of I and II. With Episode I, there were too many characters to focus on, and a bunch of political stuff that was hard to pay attention to and care about. In Episode II, they made it even more complicated. Episode II had two plots going on at once. One a love story and the other being just another political plot that was even more overcomplicated. I actually had to make a lot of radical changes at the end of Episode II to make that film simpler and easier to understand. But with Episode III, there is a clear direction going on with this one. Basically, it’s just a straight arrow going down, down, down for the jedi. Anakin turns to the dark side. The jedi either die or get exiled. The republic crumbles. This alone makes Episode III a much simpler movie than the previous two, and the movie deserves praise for being a lot less complicated.

It’s also the riskiest, gutsiest film in the prequel trilogy. This was the first Star Wars movie to get a PG-13 rating. It was also the darkest film of the three by far. I know about Mr. Plinkett’s complaints, but when I compare how safe Episodes I and II felt, this one was like a breath of fresh air. We got something where the stakes seemed high. Or at least, higher by comparison. On that basis, Episode III is just good enough to be worth a watch.

With that said though, I think most people will agree that despite its advantages, there are still quite a lot of things that could use some improvement. Sure, the stuff I’ve mentioned above is great and all, but when this movie got it wrong, it got it very, very, unbelievably, stupifyingly, what-in-god’s-name-were-they-thinking-ly, wrong. The special effects are distracting in all the wrong ways, and the dialogue might just be the worst yet. There are several scenes in this movie that are so bad, I can’t help but laugh myself silly over them. And what’s worse is that they’re major scenes.

Episode III may be a good film, but it is a flawed film. One that needs a serious tune-up. So, with that said, let’s cut to the chase and get on with it.

First, a few influences…

My edit of Episode III is gonna take inspiration from three versions, and they’re the same ones from the previous two with the exception of the phantom editor, because the phantom editor never worked on an Episode III edit. That leaves me with the theatrical cut (As always, to see what was done wrong), the HAL9000 edit, and the l8wrtr edit. I think just like Episode II, III will most likely be a combination of HAL and l8wrtr, but I think HAL’s edit will most likely be the prize winner for biggest inspiration and influence this time around. Never say never, since I’m still deciding on what changes to make at the moment, but it looks like it might be going in that direction. This is a bit of a useless thought, but my main influence for Episode I is l8wrtr’s, Episode II is a HAL/l8wrtr combination, and with this edit, it’ll most likely be HAL getting the lead. Not important, but I find it interesting.

Quality control

Oh, those darn deleted scenes. When I worked on Episode I, I used HAL9000’s deleted scenes. Some of the scenes weren’t in HD, but fortunately, I didn’t seem to have this issue since I only needed two deleted scenes. Episode II was crazy in terms of deleted scenes, since this is where HAL9000’s deleted scenes didn’t have their HD luster. I was happy to get bryantmh’s HD upscales for the deleted scenes on Episode II, and for Episode III, I thought things were gonna be fine from here on out.

How wrong I was.

Yes, I do have bryantmh’s Episode III deleted scenes, and they are HD upscaled, but there’s a problem: they have no sound. I also made the mistake of deleting HAL9000’s deleted scenes (Sorry, but I needed to save some disk space), so I can’t go back to the audio for those scenes. I’m thinking I might be able to salvage it by ripping my Episode III special features DVD and nabbing the audio tracks, then replacing the SD scenes with Bryantmh’s upscales. I’m not sure if there will be a major difference in audio quality, but I think that’s a good place to start until I find a better solution.

As with my previous two, I’m using Schormann’s HD preservations for the main feature. They’ve served me well this far, and I’m going to keep it that way for now. However, I will be switching to my blu-ray rips in future versions of this edit. Same goes for Episodes I and II. My main reason for the switch is to see if I can get those versions submitted to fanedit.org. However, this is just stuff for the future rather than for the edit as it currently stands. This also might be the last time I edit on my computer before I switch over to the Mac Pro.

Overall, I think the quality will be fantastic. I just have to find a good solution for the audio on the deleted scenes. Once that’s taken care of, I think I’ll be settled.

Patience, my young padawan…

As was the case with the previous two, I’m not ready to announce what changes I’m going to be making at the moment. A lot of this has to do with the dialogue oriented scenes, where it gets so specific to the point that it could give you a headache. I have to decide which bad lines to get rid of and which ones to keep. I also have to think about continuity with Episodes I and II as well. I also don’t know what I’m going to change for the beginning action sequence, as there’s a lot going on. All I know is that something needs to go.

So that’s the current situation. I think this movie’s gonna be a lot easier to edit than Episode II, probably because I don’t expect to edit this film as much as the other two (and I don’t think a family member of mine is going to die while I’m working on this episode), but I have to get to work and find out. Anyway, everything’s under control. Situation normal. We had a slight malfunction, but uh… Everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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It’s been a few days, and I’m still working on the opening action sequence. Sheesh, this one’s been a challenge. I’m still deciding which jokes to keep and which ones to remove, which Anakin and Obi-Wan moments to keep and which ones to remove, which special effects to keep and which ones to remove, etc. (Just when I thought this episode was gonna be easy).

This is why I’m glad I don’t put up the list of changes immediately. It’s because of scenes like this where I’m changing a lot of tiny little things and details by the minute. I’m sure the opening is gonna be great by the time I’m done, but it’s a pain in the neck right now.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Got the opening sequence down to a rough version. I’ve removed 10 minutes so far. I’m likely going to change it again.

Otherwise, I’m at the opera house scene listening to the tragedy of Darth Plageus the wise. Despite the troubles I’ve had with the opening sequence, I haven’t found a lot of things that need to be removed so far. I expect that to change when I get to the halfway mark, though.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Edited the rest of the film, and I’ve brought it down to a rough cut. Currently, my edit stands at 109 minutes, but it isn’t final. I still have a lot of things to patch up. Plus, I haven’t added the deleted scenes yet. I also have a lot of decisions to make with the more dialogue-oriented moments, as those could arguably be the worst moments in the film (The Padme and Anakin moments being the worst offenders).

So, I still have a ways to go, but at least the first steps have been taken.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Getting the deleted scenes converted for Resolve. I ripped the second disc of my DVD of Episode III and tried coverting it through EaseFab, but for whatever reason, one of the scenes wouldn’t convert to DNxHD. So I bit the bullet and went over to Handbrake instead. I guess I’m one of Handbrake’s followers now, because I was able to convert all of the scenes to a workable MP4. I also gave the audio a DTS-HD passthru, which might give the audio a boost (or not).

My only concern now is the framerate of the two sources. If they aren’t properly synced, I’ll have to convert the files again.

I’ll try to work on the deleted scenes soon, but Easter’s making my day job busy at the moment. Fortunately, things are expected to get quiet after Easter, so I’ll be able to return to the edit once that bunny has laid his eggs.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Working on inserting the deleted scenes. The only difficulty I’m experiencing at the moment is where to place the Padme/Rebellion subplot scenes in a way that works. I put them in rather late in the first half, but then I realized, “Oh wait. Padme’s trying to mention a jedi they can rely on, but he’s on Utapau at the moment.” So I’m going to see if I can place them earlier rather than later.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Deleted scenes added. With the new scenes, the running time shot up from 109 minutes to 115 minutes, so I went and shortened the movie down to 108 minutes.

I’m still in the cutting stage, and I have no intentions of saying “the cutting stage is over.” Especially since I want to see what I can do about the dialogue to make it less cringe-inducing. However, it’s looking like we’re gonna end up with a 105-110 minute edit. I want to see if I can shorten it down some more (especially since I and II were shortened down by a lot), but I’m already finding that hard, because I’m seeing things that need to be shortened down some more, but other areas that I may have trimmed too much, resulting in a sort of yin-and-yang situation.

I’ll give the edit a watch and see what areas can be fixed.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Just realized that Yoda’s adventure on Kashyyyk really isn’t all that essential to the plot and promptly deleted it, reducing the runtime to 106 minutes for right now.

I’m having a little difficulty deciding where the deleted scenes featuring Padme and Organa should go. I’m gonna rewatch HAL and l8wrtr’s edits again to see how they did it and hopefully glean some insight.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Removed some more dialogue and cut the edit down to 103 minutes. I like the edit so far, but I haven’t watched it in one sitting as of yet. I will see what else can be edited, but I think the general stuff is close to being done.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Sounds very interesting. Will you have link when done?

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J_Scarp1273 said:

Sounds very interesting. Will you have link when done?

I will, although the minor stuff takes a while in my experiences with episode I and II. That is, video transitions, wipes, color grading, sound editing, etc. Given the time I worked on the previous two, I’m guesstimating it will be finished in a few months.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Bad news. My computer got updated and it messed with both my internet settings and turned off the audio. I tried restarting, but that didn’t fix the issue. Now I’m in a catch-22 situation where my computer refuses to search for an internet connection, but in order to fix the updates, I need an internet connection. I’ll see what I can do to fix the problem, but for obvious reasons, my edit is gonna be delayed. I will post an update when the problem is solved.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Still having problems with my computer. I tried getting a backup for my edits, and attempted transferring them over to my mac last night, but my mac rejected the Schorman transfers straight up, which is the source I’ve used for all three up to this point.

I’ve been thinking about the blu-ray rips I added to my mac a few weeks back, and I’m entertaining the idea of editing those rips. However, if I choose that option, I’ll have to do everything from scratch (including episodes I and II. Yikes!). I’ll be back to square one, but at least I’ll be able to hear the audio and edit it on the latest version of Resolve (Plus, I could submit it to fanedit.org). For now though, I’m considering it as a last resort. If I find a different solution, I’ll use that instead.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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After going through solution after solution, I gave up and reset my PC. I tried to salvage it by keeping my personal files, which did help since I still have the schorman HD transfers and deleted scenes that I’ve been using from the start. However, my editing program got uninstalled, and I lost all three of my projects, which means I will have no choice but to start over.

On the bright side, it could have been worse. In addition to the source files still being around, I made the right decision to keep my edits of I and II on a flash drive. So I still have the final products (so far), and I still have the files I’ve been editing with from the beginning.

I think this is a perfect opportunity to start editing my blu-ray rips on my mac. I still need to get audio for the deleted scenes, but I might be able to rip my DVD of Episode III onto my mac, and use those as a substitute.

For obvious reasons, I’m going to restart editing III first, and soon. It’s the only movie I haven’t finished anyway. I’ll get to fixing up I and II once I’ve finished III.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Just managed to bring everything down to a rough cut. Surprisingly, I managed to edit things back to 103 minutes. I’m not sure if it’s because I have a good memory or not, but I’m glad that I seem to be on the right track. I’ll see if I can find anything else that needs improvement over the next week.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Just edited the film down to 102 minutes. The second half of the film is close to perfect now (and by that, I mean everything after Mace’s little lightsaber fight with Palpatine). The first half, however, is still in need of some work. The main problem I’m having is finding the right placement for the deleted scenes involving Padme and the future rebellion. It seems like anywhere I put them, they feel like they’ve been placed at random. Maybe I need to change the placement of a few scenes from the movie. Who knows?

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Eyepainter said:

Working on inserting the deleted scenes. The only difficulty I’m experiencing at the moment is where to place the Padme/Rebellion subplot scenes in a way that works. I put them in rather late in the first half, but then I realized, “Oh wait. Padme’s trying to mention a jedi they can rely on, but he’s on Utapau at the moment.” So I’m going to see if I can place them earlier rather than later.

I always thought the Jedi she was referring to was Anakin.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

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CaptainFaraday said:

Eyepainter said:

Working on inserting the deleted scenes. The only difficulty I’m experiencing at the moment is where to place the Padme/Rebellion subplot scenes in a way that works. I put them in rather late in the first half, but then I realized, “Oh wait. Padme’s trying to mention a jedi they can rely on, but he’s on Utapau at the moment.” So I’m going to see if I can place them earlier rather than later.

I always thought the Jedi she was referring to was Anakin.

Strange. I’ve always thought that it was Obi-Wan, especially since Padme asks Anakin to see if Obi-Wan can help them with their issues regarding her pregnancy at the beginning of the film. On top of that, it seems odd that she would mention her husband to the rebellion as someone who can solve this problem when their opponent is her husband’s best friend. Why would her husband, the guy who already approved those executive powers to begin with, rat out Palpatine? To paraphrase Rick Deckard, “That’s no way to treat a friend.” On top of that, while Padme does end up having issues with Obi-Wan, particularly at the end when Obi-Wan tries to find out where Anakin is located, she still trusts him as an advisor. And in a situation like the petition of the 2,000, it seems like she would direct the rebellion towards someone who has a level head, something Anakin has had a consistent problem with throughout the prequels.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Eyepainter said:

CaptainFaraday said:

Eyepainter said:

Working on inserting the deleted scenes. The only difficulty I’m experiencing at the moment is where to place the Padme/Rebellion subplot scenes in a way that works. I put them in rather late in the first half, but then I realized, “Oh wait. Padme’s trying to mention a jedi they can rely on, but he’s on Utapau at the moment.” So I’m going to see if I can place them earlier rather than later.

I always thought the Jedi she was referring to was Anakin.

Strange. I’ve always thought that it was Obi-Wan, especially since Padme asks Anakin to see if Obi-Wan can help them with their issues regarding her pregnancy at the beginning of the film. On top of that, it seems odd that she would mention her husband to the rebellion as someone who can solve this problem when their opponent is her husband’s best friend. Why would her husband, the guy who already approved those executive powers to begin with, rat out Palpatine? To paraphrase Rick Deckard, “That’s no way to treat a friend.” On top of that, while Padme does end up having issues with Obi-Wan, particularly at the end when Obi-Wan tries to find out where Anakin is located, she still trusts him as an advisor. And in a situation like the petition of the 2,000, it seems like she would direct the rebellion towards someone who has a level head, something Anakin has had a consistent problem with throughout the prequels.

I figured it was Anakin because she knows she can trust her husband with a secret, and he has a direct connection with the Chancellor, whose mind they want to change. She even asks Anakin to talk to Palpatine personally about resuming diplomacy at one point in the movie, which I’d assumed was originally intended to relate back to this scene - she’s testing the waters.

But what you’ve said makes just as much sense. Interesting that it can be read either way.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

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I always assumed it was Obi-Wan especially in light of TCW. Padmé technically has known him for longer than she has Anakin, he’s expressed a distrust of the Chancellor openly, has the confidence and trust of Padmé’s friend Satine, knew about and kept the secret of Anakin and Padmés relationship, and is a high ranking member of the Jedi Council.

It’s not massively apparent in the final cut of RotS or in TCW (thanks to the Return to Mon Cala arc being cut) but, by the end of the War, Padmé is really having trouble with finding herself on the opposite moral side to her oldest adviser/mentor and her husband. A build up of that conflict would have gone a long way to explain exactly how quickly Anakin assumes Padmé and Obi-Wan have teamed up against him when they all get to Mustafar.

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Also, there was apparently a plot thread that got dropped late into the scriptwriting stage of ROTS where Anakin would (wrongly) start to suspect Padme and Obi-Wan were having an affair. It was the right decision to cut it, but you can still feel vestiges of it in the shooting script, when Anakin suspects Obi-Wan has been in Padme’s apartment and when he declares “You’re with him!” on Mustafar.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

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CaptainFaraday said:

Also, there was apparently a plot thread that got dropped late into the scriptwriting stage of ROTS where Anakin would (wrongly) start to suspect Padme and Obi-Wan were having an affair. It was the right decision to cut it, but you can still feel vestiges of it in the shooting script, when Anakin suspects Obi-Wan has been in Padme’s apartment and when he declares “You’re with him!” on Mustafar.

Interestingly enough, I’ve wanted to cut out Padme’s line about Obi-Wan visiting, but haven’t found a way to cut it successfully without causing some continuity issues. Still, someone thought it would be a good idea to throw an implied affair into this movie? Geez, that’s crazy even for Lucas.

Anyway, I’ve been busy with a bunch of other tasks, so I still haven’t gotten around to finding a good placement for the deleted scenes. Right now, I’m thinking of placing all three of them before Obi-Wan says goodbye to Anakin, since I’m still convinced about Padme suggesting Obi-Wan. Where the scenes should be placed now, however, is the tricky part.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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I can understand the reasoning - Padme is the axis that Anakin’s downfall balances on, so finding a Padme-centric way to pull apart his friendship with Obi-Wan sounds like a slam dunk in terms of consistent and efficient storytelling. But in practice, I agree it was right to cut it; Anakin’s falling out with Obi-Wan is already set up thoroughly elsewhere, and adding a mistaken affair would have been confusing in a film that’s already stuffed to bursting.

I know Hal added those scenes back in with LoE, but I don’t remember where off the top of my head. I’d just count the number of scenes they could take place between, divide them by the number of cut scenes, then pop them in at equal intervals. That would at least give you a starting point to begin evaluating their placement.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

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CaptainFaraday said:

Also, there was apparently a plot thread that got dropped late into the scriptwriting stage of ROTS where Anakin would (wrongly) start to suspect Padme and Obi-Wan were having an affair. It was the right decision to cut it, but you can still feel vestiges of it in the shooting script, when Anakin suspects Obi-Wan has been in Padme’s apartment and when he declares “You’re with him!” on Mustafar.

I don’t recall ever reading those scenes like that. It would make sense, but it always felt like more of the ‘everyone except Palps ganging up on poor Ani’ plot that was necessary for Anakin’s turn.

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Just watched L8wrtr’s and HAL’s edits of Episode III again to see if I can come up with some ideas on how to add the rebellion subplot. Overall, I think I’ve got a few ideas, but I’m gonna have to see if they’ll work for my edit, since I’ve also removed a few scenes that both of those edits have.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.