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AspiringCreator thanks for the review (I still need to read the whole thing). 5.5 stars is definitely fair as this was one of my first edits. I’m honored someone would take the time to write such a detailed review. Maybe one day I will restart this from scratch and get rid of the whole Corellia plot. But first I want to see what Spence does. Hopefully his will be definitive for me.

EDIT: read the whole thing now and thanks again. Very fair critique. In later revisions of the edit all audio transitions got moved into wrong positions after having to try and replace source files in a dying Premiere project. They had to each be manually fixed and perhaps that contributed to some of what you didn’t like. If I do anything else on TROS it would be starting anew in Resolve.

heil palpatine!


krausfadr said:

AspiringCreator thanks for the review (I still need to read the whole thing). 5.5 stars is definitely fair as this was one of my first edits. I’m honored someone would take the time to write such a detailed review. Maybe one day I will restart this from scratch and get rid of the whole Corellia plot. But first I want to see what Spence does. Hopefully his will be definitive for me.

EDIT: read the whole thing now and thanks again. Very fair critique. In later revisions of the edit all audio transitions got moved into wrong positions after having to try and replace source files in a dying Premiere project. They had to each be manually fixed and perhaps that contributed to some of what you didn’t like. If I do anything else on TROS it would be starting anew in Resolve.

I hope I wasn’t too harsh. I tried to be as honest as possible while making sure not to discredit the effort that went into it. Also if you do go back to it? That would be awesome but if you don’t that’s also great. The fact you put in the effort to taking this finished movie and edited it into something so different is insanely cool and some of the stuff you did with it blows my mind.


Star Wars Episode I: Cloak of Deception (2013) by Hal9000

WARNING: The following will contain spoilers for Cloak of Deception and The Phantom Menace. If you somehow haven’t seen either movie and wish not to be spoiled then please stop reading now and do so. You have been warned.


The Prequel Trilogy in terms of my experiences with it have been… interesting to say the least. Growing up, I was old enough to see at least Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in theaters. Because of my mom not necessarily being the biggest fan of the movies? I wouldn’t truthfully get to see them until various visits to one set of grandparents’ place which had the movies on VHS and later DVD if I remember correctly. So before that my first experience with Star Wars was in the so-called “proper” order where I watched the unaltered Original Trilogy on VHS first and then I’d watch Episode I, II and III but because I was a kid? I really loved the PT growing up. It helps I was also inundated with the era through the Clone Wars microseries, various video games and so much more and thus I grew to love it all.

Then 2008 hit and I’d rewatch these movies and my opinion would very drastically change. With the exception of ROTS maybe if you caught me at a certain time? I really found that I did not care for the PT the same way I used to. Not for a lack of trying mind you. Every time I’ve had a Star Wars marathon I’ve incorporated these movies in some form or another and therefore each time I’ve had my opinions shift every so often with this most recent watch I did prior to going to see Episode IX being where I was the most positive about these movies. Now as for the topic of fanedits? Well… I never really experienced any until 2021 when I watched Dragon Ball Recut as a means to introducing someone to that franchise in as efficient of a manner as possible and The Rise of Skywalker Ascendant which was the first fanedit I checked out for a movie I had major issues with. In other words unlike some Star Wars fans I’ve never watched The Phantom Edit, quite possibly one of the most famous fanedits of all time. I’ve heard of it but I never got around to watching it or any other prequel edits… until now.

Hal9000’s work I only really know from his edit of Ascendant and for a first impression? You couldn’t get much better than that since Ascendant is so professionally put together that at points when I watch the original movie? It feels like it’s a slapdash fanedit instead of being the other way around so when I saw he had edits for all three prequels? I knew I just had to take that plunge eventually as I was so curious and excited to see what this lovely dude and his band of friends could do for this story because the prequels really had some ambitious ideas and really great concepts. Concepts that unfortunately in the source material weren’t executed necessarily in the best manner so seeing what an edit could do for it piqued my interest, especially when it comes to the likes of TPM and AOTC which to this day are my two least favorite Star Wars movies. For the sake of transparency, I am reviewing the most updated version and with all that out of the way? Here are my thoughts on Cloak of Deception, Hal9000’s take on The Phantom Menace.


The editing across the board is phenomenal. Granted maybe this is something I should’ve come to expect at this point considering this is the seventh version of this and what I’ve seen with Ascendant but it really can’t be stressed enough that so far the edits I’ve checked out from Hal9000 show a level of professionalism that it’s kind of frightening. The cuts and splices feel seamless, audio cues are preserved very nicely and overall? It feels like a professional finished product. Like I can believably see this being a version of the movie brought to the big screen instead of being an impressive but still ultimately amateur endeavor done on someone’s downtime. It also I have to say compared to recent releases of the original movie looks so much better with that layer of film grain added. I personally have never been someone that sensitive to movies that have had a high amount of DNR applied to them but I have noticed over the years how the prequels seemingly with every new release in HD look considerably more dated than what I saw on my original DVDs and what I remember seeing in theaters and this really helps to counter that.

Mind you, it can only do so much since we are still talking late 90s and mid-2000s CG effects in movies that are kind of infamous for their very liberal use of them but at least with this edit, it makes things so much easier to gloss over at least for TPM for visuals blend a bit more with the environment and actors and it helps one to appreciate the movie more from a place of it being an ambitious technical marvel for its time rather than your eye being drawn to how it was probably filmed 90% of the time on green and blue screens. It even manages to do this while utilizing various AI-upscaled deleted scenes at certain moments. Now I’ll probably talk more on these scenes if I find any that are particularly noteworthy but in terms of the aesthetics? This impressed me. Normally, I am someone who is kind of against AI upscaling in terms of going from SD to HD. When it’s 1080p to 4K? It’s a problem but I find that visually it’s still fairly pleasing but SD to HD? If done improperly and especially if you stick it in with scenes that are very clearly not upscaled? It can stick out like the sorest of thumbs. But in this instance it actually works quite well. I have to really look in close to notice any real oddities and considering that when I’m watching a movie I’m not seeking out every tiny flaw? It’s hardly gonna be noticeable on a regular viewing which is a great thing and it all contributes to again just how professional this looks and feels.

Act One

Immediately it starts out very strong with the opening crawl which I adore. Generally speaking, the original movies have always nailed the opening crawls, AOTC and ROTS in particular are shining examples of crawls that are going to hang around in your memory long after you’ve seen them in all the right ways. The only two outliers to this are TROS and even so that mostly depends on who you ask and TPM which with its whole first paragraph does not set the stage right by bringing up the Trade Federation’s taxation first with the structure and language of it really throwing things off, creating this sense that this movie was set back way, way too early in the timeline as this doesn’t seem like the kind of conflict that would maintain our interest. This new crawl however does and it does so in spades by taking the first paragraph and changing it out to place the focus on the state of the Republic and that there is an unknown adversary with the second paragraph reframing the details about the Trade Federation to be more about how they’re taking advantage of the current situation to benefit them. To me, had this kind of crawl been what was seen back in 1999? It would’ve set a much better first impression and gotten people more willing to accept what they were about to see whereas the original just felt really off and really sets you up with the idea that you should probably be prepared to be rather bored as you sit through trade disputes.

And with that we get right into the pacing of this which is significantly faster than what was seen in the original movie and it makes various adjustments that I’m sure some will be mixed on and there are a couple I am kind of on the fence about but for the most part the decisions made here help it to feel like a consistently moving adventure. In the original, there are points where it felt like the movie just stopped dead for the sake of scenes that were either unnecessary in the grand scheme of things and when coupled with some of the odd acting? Well if ANH and TFA as the beginnings to their trilogies are like thrill rides that keep giving you something exciting with downtime at only the most opportune moments? TPM was like having a car that was starting to get to its last legs. When it works, it really works well but it can take a good while to get going and god forbid once you stop, be prepared to have to waste time to get it working again. This brings it more in line to being like a thrill ride which is helped along by some genius editing choices such as removing some of Jar Jar’s introductory dialogue and having that first meeting cut off when Qui-Gon mentions that more droids will be coming with a screen wipe after Jar Jar’s line to show said droids approaching Theed. I am a sucker for filmmaking choices like this that prefer to show rather than simply tell and this edit provides those in many places.

It also cuts back on unnecessary reveals and connections with the ones it can’t necessarily remove it does a good job of mitigating. One of the prequels’ biggest issues I’ve always felt was how it fell into trappings that a lot of prequels from other franchises would continuously struggle with and one of the biggest issues was how the movies seemingly kept feeling the need to connect elements to the OT even when for the story it just wasn’t necessary with even the good moments often being undercut by dialogue that draws too much attention to it like it’s trying to spell it out for the people struggling to see in the back. Here? It’s just right. I smiled a bit seeing that R2 wasn’t just referred to by name immediately when he was being congratulated for fixing the ship. It makes to where regardless of if this was someone’s first experience with Star Wars or if they watched the OT beforehand? It doesn’t feel like a distraction but rather a natural part of the film.

In fact there is so little in the way of distractions here which really calls attention to how as a movie, TPM really had a lot of potential and a solid foundation for its story that really just needed another pass in the editing room to achieve it and that the optimal decision if any changes had to be made at all to the home release? A lot of them shouldn’t have been based around adding content back in as what that did was bloat the movie. Things here are faster, a bit more intense, a bit more focused and natural. Case in point, Jar Jar goes from being a very frustrating ball of useless childish failed comic relief that takes away from the drama and tension in all the worst ways and now he feels like how the film seemingly wanted us to view him, the clumsy average joe whose curiosity over what’s around him and innocence often gets him into trouble. It helps to bring out the best of the performance that the brilliant Ahmed Best gave and makes Jar Jar honestly kind of charming.

We also get a lot of little tweaks that really help this to feel like a more believable prequel to the OT. Trimming Watto saying he’s a Toydarian in response to Qui-Gon’s Mind Trick? It’s subtle and a great choice as it takes the attention off of the idea that Toydarians can just resist the Mind Trick and puts the attention more so on Watto’s strong will to see actual cash, highlighting what happens when a Jedi isn’t necessarily faced with the weak-minded. Also what convinces Qui-Gon to ultimately take Anakin under his wing is done so much better. Instead of being about Midichlorians, a concept that to this day I still roll my eyes at as it takes a good deal of the mysticism out of the Force? It instead has Qui-Gon’s interest piqued when it comes to Anakin’s skills in this podrace as he notes only Jedi reflexes could allow for the kind of piloting Anakin claims to have engaged in and that is properly built upon when Qui-Gon gets a confirmation from someone who saw him race and speaking of the future Sith Lord, the edit does a great job of making Anakin feel like a more believable prodigy and a more natural little boy. For instance, removing the little bit of dialogue that implies Threepio was just built by him completely works really well. It builds upon what he said about how things wouldn’t work that well at Watto’s without him around to fix everything by showing his technical prowess in that field, it tones down the connection to the OT in a way that feels more like how Star Wars tends to structure its stories and it allows us to get more invested in Anakin’s story without it feeling like all of a sudden this galaxy is being forced to center around this one family.

Of course it’s not entirely without its faults. I feel the escape from the planet is maybe just a tad too fast without certain scenes and dialogue, certain chopped down comedic beats with Jar Jar kind of don’t work without the more ridiculous slapstick but overall a lot of those issues are more a result of the movie and unavoidable issues with the edit process rather than being genuinely poor decisions that hurt the movie. It comes back to that detail I stress about faneditors and how they are very much at the mercy of what’s available to them. That being said, the only real major problem here is the podrace which is mainly just a me problem because I have always felt this scene was just too long. This edit makes a couple tweaks that speed things along and allow for it to be a little more exciting but honestly I think I will forever feel this scene is just obnoxiously long no matter what.

Act Two

The second act of TPM is where I honestly feel a great deal of editing was needed the most. A big complaint that has been thrown around about the movie is that it puts too much focus on space politics which really is unfair considering this movie really doesn’t have much in the way of political debates. That being said, I think I can see where the complaint comes from as with the way the film is written and delivered coupled with just how long we spend on Coruscant due to the editing? In the original movie these sequences on the planet come across as being overly long and very boring with the debate scene itself being very low on passion and energy. With this edit? It is trimmed down to a much more manageable length and a lot of this film’s most important plot beats get so much more focus. In particular, I want to draw attention to something that I was not expecting this edit to really fix so heavily and that’s the whole Chosen One angle with Anakin.

Now me personally, I’m not big on Anakin actually being the Chosen One nor am I a fan of those kinds of narratives, especially with how the original film did it. Here though, it feels much more natural and more like Qui-Gon from seeing the signs believes Anakin to be the Chosen One while the council finds this dubious at best. It doesn’t completely change my opinions on it and I’m sure someone pointed this out with the original movie but here it’s done a lot better due to how things are framed. I also really like how this cuts down on so much fluff, including Obi-Wan’s apology to Qui-Gon. To me, that ensures the death of Qui-Gon has more emotional impact and it adds a whole other layer to Obi-Wan’s struggling relationship with Anakin since with him being unable to properly apologize to Qui-Gon and being put into this uncomfortable position in part thanks to him choosing to take on Anakin as an apprentice? You get the sense that this poor guy is carrying a lot of responsibility and regret for a single man.

There isn’t any issue here at least not one I can think of, the second act’s really solid.

Act Three

The third act of TPM is often considered to be its strongest and… yeah. Yeah I have to agree. The battle for Theed is a great one. It really gets to show off what this new CGI technology could do for battles like this and it really delivers since this was at the time the largest incursion I think Star Wars had and it was only topped by the next two movies. This is the first time that it truly felt like a massive war so the third act for this edit has more to consider overall.

And for the most part? It does a lot of great things though this is where at least a few not massive but still noticeable issues come up. To start with positives, I have to say the cutting of the battle droid dialogue throughout has been a change that I thought I wasn’t going to like and that it was gonna make some scenes awkward but honestly? It really improves upon the movie as not only does it mean the battle droids are allowed to feel more robotic and by extension have more menace to them but certain beats are just sold better without the dialogue. In particular, the pause that occurs before Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon ignite their sabers at the beginning and the one that occurs when the tank gets destroyed at the battle of Theed towards the end demonstrate just how much silence in these scenes can really make a moment pop. I also feel most of the cuts are very well executed and that it makes this fight feel more intense, us getting Boss Nass and the other Gungans here really works as an introduction and the dialogue flows very seamlessly and I love the idea of moving Anakin’s piloting of the N-1 starfighter to after Maul comes out and the destruction of the control ship to after Padmé captures Nute Gunray. It allows for more natural progression as we go from seeing the locals and Padmé succeeding in reclaiming their home before transitioning to the story that’s more important for just the entire saga with Obi-Wan taking down Maul. Not only that but this really helps Anakin to feel more important to the story for it now feels like he’s more proactive and that chose to take a chance in order to help his friends rather than just hanging around behind cover. This continues with his actions in space where he actually is competent in the battle which means it feels less like he just stumbled into his victory. Same goes for Jar Jar Binks and how we see less outright slapstick from him during this battle.

One problem I really felt that TPM had was very inappropriate comedy. Not that the comedy was all bad mind you, Star Wars has its trademark wit here with many dialogue exchanges still getting me to crack a smile every now and again but TPM really struggled with finding that balance and I feel the final battle is the perfect example of it for in what should be their shining moments? Jar Jar and Anakin… really should’ve died the way the original has things play out and while Anakin gets to recover a bit? Jar Jar’s clumsiness is so overplayed and yet so successful at taking down droids that it helped to inspire a whole fan theory that he was a hidden Sith Lord. This makes things much more balanced and much more natural. We still get bits of comedy like Anakin trying out that neat trick called “spinning” and Jar Jar freaking out when a droid lands on his back but now they’re welcome. In Anakin’s case it gives us a small glimpse at his overconfidence and maybe a tad bit of arrogance, issues he will struggle with well into adulthood along with his fear of losing those he loves and in the case of Jar Jar you understand it because he’s just a local dude fighting for his home. Gungans are proud warriors but it’s clear he’s not a warrior himself. Hell when Jar Jar’s goofiest moments happen during the battle like when he gets launched onto the AAT? It’s when the droid army gets the upper hand and destroys the shields thus at this point this is when Jar Jar’s bravery would feasibly leave him and thus he goes back to being scared out of his gourd. Jar Jar actually has dignity while still being comic relief and considering that I feel that not even most Jar Jar-centric episodes of TCW even made him likable? I have to just state that Cloak of Deception might just have my favorite use of Jar Jar ever and I can’t believe I’m even saying that right now.

Though I did say I had issues that are small but noticeable and mainly it’s just a few moments where you kind of have to remind yourself it is a fanedit and that it can only do so much to change up the film and there’s also the build-up to Obi-Wan charging Maul after the laser gate goes down feeling a little too truncated but that’s really it to be totally honest.


While I have at least one more edit of this movie to look at and that’s Octorox’s aptly named “Faster, More Intense!”? I feel pretty confident in saying Cloak of Deception is one of the best takes on TPM and a great way to get this story. Aside from a few minor quibbles and nitpicks here and there, this edit takes a movie that is often swapping places with AOTC as my least favorite entry in this series and really brings out all of its best qualities while removing and mitigating the worst. I’m in fact very confident in saying that if I absolutely am going to include the prequels in a Star Wars marathon that this is how I’m gonna watch it from now on. To score it? I give it a 9.5 out of 10, this is well worth a watch and I have nothing but praise for Hal9000 and his editing buddies. I swear if his edit of Episode II keeps this up, I might end up convinced he’s an angel with all the miracles he keeps pulling off.


The Hobbit: Spence Edit - 2014 - Spence

Fan-editor Spence combined the bloated Hobbit trilogy into one film, running three and a half hours.
Virtually all moronic humor was cut, as were most Elvish appearances not in the Tolkien book.
Big omission, Beorn. Otherwise, one doesn’t really miss the rest.
The plot stays coherent and works.
If anything, more characters could have been tossed, meaning the bulk of the dwarves. Tolkien never elaborated on two thirds of them and most could have been dispensed with.
To be honest, though, near the end I was ready for the whole damn thing to finish already.
Certainly not the fault of Spence, who has done a job here.
The narrative itself is sluggish and bombastic. Much of the film was miscast - sacrilege I know, but Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Bilbo never rings true for me.
Still, there are Hobbit fans galore, and this edit - easy to track down - is a tidy way to watch it in one sitting.
Fans of the originals should enjoy more than I did.


Silence (A Quiet Place; A Quiet Place Part II) - Maniac (2021)

A two in one edition of A Quiet Place I & II. Both great horror films in my view, so I was certainly intrigued to see what Maniac did here.

As usual, video quality and A/V editing is superb, didn’t notice even one transition, which is impressive. Flash frame at 53:24. There’s one flashback sequence towards the beginning which stands out as it looks professionally edited - the sound design in particular is commendable. Subs are present (Hard coded English), which is appreciated, especially since there’s a lot of sign language in these films.

Both of these films are pretty trim to begin with, yet the edits flow quite well with a few scenes and subplots cut - I didn’t feel the loss of most of the cut material. While moving the AQP2 flashback works well, I personally prefer the original AQP opening due to the suspense and mysterious nature of the creatures early on. But this scene had to be placed here as I don’t think it would’ve worked well later on, and in terms of the new overarching story it works better for Emmett to be introduced at the beginning.

Very smart creation of new flashbacks around the 35 minute mark. I also thought that cutting out the creatures attacking small animals was a good choice. Always felt this was a flaw of the original AQP, as if they were that sensitive to noise they’d be constantly attacking any animals that make the slightest sound, including insects.

Watching the originals for the first time was very tense due to the unpredictable nature of the films. While naturally some of that is lost on a rewatch, this edit keeps the films fresh through new flashbacks, a quicker, leaner story with fewer subplots, and very well chosen rescores. I greatly enjoyed revisiting these films, more so than I would have had I simply watched the originals. Another fine piece of work from Maniac.


One Shot (The Deer Hunter) - Maniac (2021)

Video quality is very good. Audio isn’t too great, and sometimes the levels change, but I suspect that the original is at fault. Cuts are largely unnoticeable. A few rescores, are were well chosen.

The Deer Hunter is one of my favourite films and, in my view, a masterpiece that moves just a little too slowly at the beginning. I was interested in this edit as it promised to reduce the first act, which features a very long wedding sequence. This goes further than that and takes out quite large chunks from the film. I estimate that about 30 minutes is cut from the first act and a little over 30 minutes from the second and third. Since I’m a big fan of the original, I’m not sure what to make of that. While the edit does progress at a far higher pace, a lot of great stuff has been cut. Outside of the first act, I was mostly fine with the pace of the original. The edit does however (largely) work narratively.

The first act is reduced to just under 30 minutes, which is very impressive, and it allows us to get to the superb second act a lot more quickly, with all the moments preserved from the first act being the most relevant ones to the story and main characters. I do still miss the absence of some scenes, but the edit works without them. Two critiques of the new first act:

24:48 the characters are talking about what Stan said earlier, but it’s not clear what about. I suspect something during the wedding that was cut.

Michael and Stan’s conflict is not set up in this version, as the scene from the first act in which they quarrel over clothing is cut, meaning that their confrontation in the third act makes less sense.

All in all, it’s a technically and narratively sound edit, and it has its merits in making the film an easier and shorter watch. However, I didn’t think that the second and third acts should’ve been cut so much, and so I do still prefer the original - with the exception of the first act, which is mostly improved in this cut.


Thanks for the review, but I did the first version of a 4K Bluray disc.
In the progress, there was nothing wrong with it but the finished mp4 cut was at some scenes out of sync, strange shit in the copy, so I did it again and strange enough with the same result. It was pissing me of but because of the work I had, I released it anyway on the site. My fault but after some time it didn’t feel right to me so I did the edit again from an old 1080p Bluray disc and that was correct. So it’s not clear to me if you saw that 4k edition (which is removed of course) or the normal 1080p copy.

The conversation on 24:48 is about that the baby is not from Steve
You see that later in the conversation Stan has with Michael in the same scene, but so far I know Stan never mentioned that at the wedding, it is (or I must absolutely miss something) like in the original.

In the third act when Michael enters the cabin (I think you rever to that) Stan is playing with his gun, well you know the scene but for me personally that has nothing to do with the cut scene about the clothes and that whole conversation. The reaction of Michael is what was happening to him in Vietnam.

I was not satisfied with the sound on both Bluray discs but the 1080p version was much better than that 4K.
The 4K was a piece of shit to work with but I was stubborn at the time I worked on the edit.
Anyway, thanks again for the review, also for the Silence edition.



My bad regarding the post-wedding comment, I guess that’s Cimino’s fault. I agree that you don’t technically need the scene of Michael/Stan earlier confrontation, it adds context that there is some tension between the characters but like you said, the cause of Michael’s outrage is the gun being pointed, so that’s a fair point.

I believe I have the 1080p version. I suspect that the audio level issue that I had is from the original, as it occurred even during scenes where I did not see any cuts. Could just be something on my end.


Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (The Definitive Anti-Cringe Cut) 2018 - DonKamillo

WARNING: The following will contain spoilers for this cut and The Last Jedi. If you haven’t seen the movie or this cut and wish not to be spoiled then please stop reading now and do so. You have been warned.


So this is gonna be interesting. This is not my first trek into the world of Star Wars for fan-edits but it’s my first trek into this for a movie I actually really love. Yes let’s get this out of the way right now, I love The Last Jedi. It’s my second favorite Star Wars movie of all time nestled neatly right by ESB. For a movie I was so terrified was going to turn out awfully when I first went into it back in 2017? I left that theater with nothing but love in my heart for it. It has a few problems certainly and there are a couple I will point out as I review this but those hardly are an issue for me as someone who loves this to death. So with that in mind, I’m not looking at this Anti-Cringe Cut from the perspective of a fan who hates this movie and wants to see a fan-edit can do to improve upon it but rather I’m viewing this from the perspective of an unabashed lover and defender of TLJ who is wanting to see if this will just be a good movie and decide for myself if seeing this in theaters I would’ve been satisfied. With that all said and done? Here we go, this is DonKamillo’s Anti-Cringe Cut of The Last Jedi.

Act One

The Last Jedi’s first act is a very crucial part of why I love this movie. Right away it throws us into what the situation is following The Force Awakens, the crawl informs us more about what the First Order is and builds upon the idea of being a fringe element of the Empire trying to retake power and most importantly? It clues us in that this is not gonna be a safe movie. Poe succeeds at taking out the Dreadnought due to it being a “fleet killer” but due to him foolishly wanting to see this mission through when he could’ve probably settled on just disabling the big cannon along with the other surface shots? He ends up using up most of the bomber fleet and gets tons of people killed for his reckless behavior and asks for a plan from Holdo in such an uppity manner when she is just barely instated on the ship. Luke we see from this point is now a depressed loner hermit who due to circumstances really doesn’t want to get involved with this First Order business and clearly doesn’t have much love for the Jedi at this moment with Rey being confused as she expected to find on Ahch-To the hero of legend that the stories spoke of and finally Kylo Ren we see is being reprimanded by Snoke for his failures and receives a verbal beatdown that helps set him on his arc for this story and puts him in the perfect position for his scenes with Rey. How does the Anti-Cringe Cut handle it? Unfortunately this is where I immediately have to get into criticisms and I should stress I hate doing this when it comes to fan-edits. Fan-edits are insane pieces of work to put together, I can’t imagine what it must be like for people in an editing room to have to figure out what to do to make a final cut of a movie and the same extends to fan-editors who pull off the insane task of taking fully finished movies and whatever material they have on hand to make a whole new experience. The effort that went into this has to be commended still and I’m not about to downplay or crap on any of that.

That being said? The problems start at the crawl which I really don’t like. Now admittedly, it could just be that I’m spoiled on this for the edits I’ve watched prior were Hal9000’s Cloak of Deception and Ascendant and krausfadr’s Resurgence which have phenomenally well done crawls that look and sound official from the sentence structure to their vocabulary. This crawl uses specifically DigModiFicaTion’s crawl tutorial and make no mistake, it’s a fantastic tutorial and a great resource for editors to use. The problem I often find is that this is the kind of crawl that makes the “fan-edit” nature way too apparent. For one thing, the title font is off to me. It uses it looks like a take off the Universe font that ROTJ, the Special Editions and the PT used and make no mistake that font’s great and it was used for a reason but this version has kind of strange scaling on the letters, it’s hard to describe without looking at it for yourself but trust me, it’s very off but this is at best a nitpick like a lot of this to be fair is. Then there’s the crawl text itself. For comparison here’s The Last Jedi’s crawl transcribed:

The FIRST ORDER reigns. Having decimated the peaceful Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.

Only General Leia Organa’s band of RESISTANCE fighters stand against the rising tyranny, certain that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the Rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape…

And here’s DonKamillo’s:

The FIRST ORDER reigns. Having completed training his apprentice Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.

Only GENERAL LEIA ORGANA and her band of RESISTANCE fighters stand against the rising tyranny, certain that young Rey will find Jedi Master LUKE SKYWALKER and with his help restore a spark of hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the Rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape…

The main gist is the same but compared to the original, it doesn’t flow as smoothly and it also talks about information that really for this particular moment I’d say is irrelevant. For instance, Snoke completing Kylo Ren’s training is not important here. It would make sense say if the movie’s plot involved Kylo joining the First Order in their attack on the Resistance base but it doesn’t, instead it just comes across as a kind of shoehorned way of referencing that TFA ended with Snoke saying that it was time to complete Kylo’s training. The original line works because it basically is describing how Snoke is taking advantage of the situation whereas here it feels like it’s checking things off of a to-do list. Same goes for the second line, it works because describes the hope in more succinct terms that Luke Skywalker will return which plays into the through line the first act has about people expecting things to play out like the legends of old while not realizing that these people are just people and that one shouldn’t rely on legends on entirely. Here it’s unnecessary info for the audience when we already know what Rey’s doing, our expectations and thoughts are more regarding Luke specifically which the original crawl seems to get.

After that point we get to the First Order attacking D’Qar and the first cut I noticed is Connix having her “Oh no.” snipped when the Destroyers show up. It’s a minor thing and I get what it’s going for as she hears the Destroyers pulling in and thus she looks up and we cut to seeing the fleet and it works really well like this but I did like the “Oh no.” as a simple beat. Like she hears the ships, she looks up and she’s clearly taken aback by just how quickly the First Order has shown up and realizes right then and there the escape isn’t gonna be pretty. Again though, it’s very minor and to be fair it’s followed up by a pretty solid little change by cutting out Poe’s call with Hux. Now unlike a lot of people, I really love this whole gag, it does go on a smidge long but I like the idea that while the experimental hyperdrive is charging up, Poe’s just BSing to buy himself some time and Hux falls for it because Hux’s role in this movie is to be the foil. We saw in TFA Hux in his element where he’s in power, in-charge and really has nothing to worry about. Here we see him taken out of it and it kind of demonstrates just how much of a snide pathetic loser he is. It’s a very succinct commentary on neo-fascism, you strip away facade of the strength and power of the military or even just take these guys out of their element and you find that for as dangerous as they can be? They are shockingly pitiful but what makes them dangerous is their devotion to an objectively awful cause and how their words are being heard. Here? It works in a different way. Hux is informed a single fighter is pulling up and he’s kind of confused. You can imagine during the exchange he’s wondering what the Resistance is playing at, then the ship charges the Dreadnought and he basically is like “Oh, so this guy’s a moron then. Okay.”. I can overall appreciate the idea behind this and I think it was done very well and that theme is maintained for most of the changes. I love just seeing Hux stare at the surface cannons being destroyed and then after a few moments of being with Poe we see him contact Canady. I actually really like the cut of BB-8’s repair gag and how it’s now more a gag that relies on your imagination. It cuts away from when there’s one spark leaving you and BB-8 to think “Oh it’s not gonna be that bad.”. And then when we get to BB-8 finally getting the weapon systems running we see just how much work he’s putting in to get the systems online, conveying a similar idea to the original scene but in a new way that doesn’t make it feel like crucial stuff was lost. Another cut I like and I especially have to give props for because I didn’t even notice it? Moving Leia telling Threepio to wipe the nervous expression off his face to after the cannons point at the cruiser. Both ways work I feel but whereas in the original it’s like Threepio is really concerned with what Poe’s about to do, here it feels like we wordlessly get classic Threepio worrying when things are getting hairy while showing Leia’s steely resolve. I like it overall and again, nothing crucial was lost it feels like.

Though we then lose another scene that I feel, while not crucial, was really good. Following the Dreadnought’s destruction, Hux’s interaction with Snoke is cut, leaving us with him just giving this pouty, worried face as he is told that Snoke is making contact. This is a mistake to me. As I stated before, I think there’s a very clear reason why Hux is portrayed the way he is in TLJ and honestly looking at how the scenes are cut? If the scene of Hux being reprimanded by Snoke stayed? It would be a better drawn out reveal for what Hux actually is in the First Order but here, I feel like something is lost by stripping this out. Yes it’s a little more overt humor as we see Hux get slammed to the floor and he skids around but with the cutting of the humor that’s been done anyway? I feel like this would’ve been earned and that it would feel less like humor and more like Snoke showing more overtly that he doesn’t screw around. It’s especially weird because then next scene we get is Finn waking up, hitting his head and falling over which I like but to me that feels more like overt goofy humor that I would expect to see cut here and it just makes the movie flow a little awkwardly.

Now… next change I like the idea of but I feel this is a case where execution really doesn’t come through and might be a case of overambition. For good stuff? I like that we cut down Rey handing the saber to Luke and it’s more focusing on what happened after that ending in TFA. The original movie’s version is still really good but it does a good job of playing it up as less a “See we only did the dramatic pause for the cliffhanger, this is actually went down.” and more like we’re just picking up where we left off. Now I really like Luke tossing the saber over his shoulder in the original, in one action we get the perfect picture of where Luke’s at mentally and emotionally in this movie, it throws the audience for a loop and it sets up for what I think at least is a very well done arc. That being said, I recognize why people have problems with this scene and upon thinking about it, I think I have my own small issue with it, it comes across too much like a comedic beat than a huge serious moment. The way the dramatic music stops as Luke gives this frustrated stare before chucking the saber so casually and walking off with Rey giving out a confused “Master Skywalker?” makes it feel like a comedic bit when this isn’t a scene I think we should be laughing at. The edit does a good job of presenting a potential alternate idea by having Rey approach Luke as she sees in his expression he’s seemingly not interested in being handed the lightsaber and then she just takes it back, possibly noticing how Luke isn’t gripping onto this thing that hard before he walks off with a simple “I’m sorry.”. It’s a great idea… but there are problems here. For one, I think this is a case where manipulating the footage just isn’t enough to convey the proper feeling. If I was watching this in theaters, I think this would have that kind of odd disjointed feeling that they didn’t have time to shoot a different version of this scene so they just manipulated elements they had to make it work. I think the “I’m sorry.” assuming that’s not in the original movie is unnecessary, the wordless interaction works perfectly in conveying Luke’s disillusionment in the Jedi and it ensures the audience keeps their shock a little longer which is a good call and very intentional on the part of Rian Johnson as we’re not getting answers right away and we’re just as confused as Rey is. In a way I guess it avoids showing supposed disrespect to the saber but I feel that disrespect works in conveying Luke’s mood at this point in the film. To me this was a change that I think had a good idea but the original source didn’t provide enough. It does have a neat idea though and it almost lines up with my idea for how I would’ve changed this scene which is to have Luke grasp the saber and look at it for a bit before roughly shoving it back into Rey’s hands before walking off or just dropping it.

Then the editing continues and… it gets a little iffy. DonKamillo made a note that he cut Rey explaining what Chewie said to Luke which I get the idea behind because Luke at this point would know what Chewie’s saying and it feels like it’s restating what is better explained by just Luke’s reaction but the cut is kind of jarring and again a case where I don’t think the movie necessarily provides enough to make it seamless but it’s a minor issue. What is less so is the edit including the deleted scene “Luke has a moment” where we get Luke’s reaction to Han’s death. Now personal opinion time? I get why the choice was made to cut the scene and have it instead go from Luke asking the question to Kylo, it’s an editing trick that tells the audience through a reminder “This is where he is. This guy killed him.”. That being said, it is a really good scene with some fantastic acting from Mark Hamill and I get why edits have strived to include this… but this take on it provides severe tonal whiplash. For one thing, we cut to aerial shots of the island and thus we don’t see Rey breaking the news to him which is fine but it breaks up the flow a little… and then there’s the music. It uses the version of the Force theme that’s commonly played right before we transition to the credits or in other words, music that’s supposed to be there when punctuating a triumphant moment and it’s being used… for a man grieving their best friend’s death. Now I get what the intent is, there are plenty of movies where a character discovers a good friend has died and as their grief overtakes them the music swells but more often than not the music is made to sound somber in tone as in it represents building sadness. Here? I instead am ready to just laugh as it’s like the Force Gods or whatever are going “WOO! THAT NERFHERDER IS DEAD! WOO!” while Luke is hurting. I’ll be frank, this scene if I saw it in theaters would’ve made me feel like Han was being disrespected and it just would take me right out of the movie.

Later cuts are better but some cracks start showing. Cutting out Hux’s conversation with Snoke earlier has the knock-on effect of making Snoke’s line of “Tied on the end of a string indeed!” more off-putting. It’s not delivered like Kylo is just coming in on a standard conversation, it’s following up on Hux’s talk with Snoke earlier when he first brings this up which brings about the audience’s curiosity on what exactly they mean by this before they then answer it with the hyperspace tracking reveal. Maybe this would work if with some light editing we hear from Hux that he’ll tell Snoke personally rather than him saying he’ll take the message in his chambers but that would feel at odds then with Hux’s characterization for the sake of the plot so really the only answer I have for this scene is that Hux’s communication should’ve stayed. We get a minor cut later to get rid of a small comedic beat with two officers reacting to Kylo right before he steps off the elevator but this is a case it should’ve just been left in. It’s a tiny bit of humor for some levity after a very tense scene and it’s integrated in a way to where it really doesn’t or at least shouldn’t distract from the huge moment that was Kylo smashing his helmet. It’s a small thing though because otherwise the Snoke scene remains intact the way it should be. Moving onto Luke, I thought I was personally going to hate the cutting of Luke milking that creature. I know people have said so much about this one scene, it’s very minor in the grand scheme of things so cutting it shouldn’t be too much of an issue but to me I like it because… it’s intended to be disgusting. It’s Luke basically intentionally showing Rey that his life on this island is not glamorous but he fully intends on doing this and if she doesn’t like it? She can just leave and it wouldn’t be that much of an issue since he is not gonna join the fight and inject Jedi back into the equation. The way it’s done here though? It works. The framing is now not Rey watching Luke’s daily routine but rather her following Luke seemingly out of curiosity, like maybe this is just a test or a misdirection… and then she sees he’s just fishing and still has absolutely no intention on leaving the planet. Couple that with the aerial shots of the island that are there to fill out the scene and it feels very natural like this was how it always was.

And we keep this up with a great addition in the deleted scene with Poe and Finn. One complaint I simultaneously agree and disagree with is the one regarding Poe’s characterization here. I personally think the idea of having Poe’s arc being that he learns to be a leader and not just a hero is a great one and it was executed very well and in a manner that is loaded with nuance and subtleties that allow for the subversion to work without it feeling like it’s telling us everything. That being said, it does have one issue and that’s how it might be a little too subtle. There are many moments of great acting between Oscar Isaac and Laura Dern that deals a lot in expressions, intonation and body language that when coupled with the filmmaking and framing does a good job of selling that Poe is not exactly the one in the right and that he is making tons of screw-ups. The big problem though is you have to actively tell someone to look for them when they’re rewatching it for someone to see a lot of these and often it’s nothing but these kinds of subtle bits of filmmaking and bear in mind Star Wars isn’t really a franchise that’s made to be analyzed so closely like this. I mean sure it’s banking on the idea that Star Wars fans will see this movie several times but I feel it skews a little too close to feeling like that’s a requirement. Worst of all if people have already decided they hate the movie and won’t watch it again? Well that’s gonna be a problem and it’s gonna be an even bigger problem if those who come out of it pick up on these things and note that they should’ve been a bit more at the forefront. This dialogue scene between Poe and Finn does a lot of heavy-lifting. It shows that Finn can almost recognize something is up with the vibe on the ship and highlights he more cares about Rey than he does the Resistance right now, it sells Poe’s arrogance because of the way he speaks to Finn with him coming off as that one friend who you love but know has an attitude issue and is kind of a smug jerk at times. That being said it also shows Poe still is a good person deep down, especially with how adorably honest he is about not being much of a sewer and the scene going right into Leia slapping Poe works really well to pull the rug out from under the audience. I really like how the original movie did it but this to me works really well and does what adding a deleted scene should do since it adds to the moment while not undercutting anything else.

The movie plays out pretty much as normal until we get to the moment. That moment being when the First Order destroys the bridge and sends Leia and a great deal of the Resistance leadership out into the vacuum of space because in this version? It makes the choice that Rian Johnson was once saddled with due to unfortunate real life circumstances and here it kills Leia. I must admit… I am very mixed on this choice and a lot of it has to do with those real life circumstances. Now when Rian Johnson talked about the potential of making this choice, he said what ultimately prevented him from doing it was he felt it would’ve been a disservice to Carrie Fisher in what is now her final role on a film she enjoyed working on to change it to where she died, especially since it would mean getting rid of her big moment to use the Force. Now I am no defender of the Leia scene as is. I think Rian Johnson had a truly great idea when it came to the concept of Leia not necessarily flying but rather using the Force to pull herself back onto the ship. The problem comes down to framing. That sweeping shot of Leia moving toward the ship as her theme blares was a bad call to me because it’s framed almost like a superhero shot. The scenes that came later where everyone rushes to the bridge due to the damage before it shows Leia making her way through the destroyed bridge work better and if it was just those scenes like maybe it cuts right after her eyes open? It would’ve been fine but as-is, it doesn’t work that well and could do with some alterations. This is… not what I’d call good and this is where I have to stress that this is probably emotion over what actually happened coming in because I get what the editor is going for and that they had nothing but the best of intentions.

But I’m just gonna say it, if this was in theaters? The shot of Leia’s freezing corpse floating through space while the knowledge of Carrie Fisher’s passing lingers in the back of my mind would’ve come off as horribly tacky and disrespectful. It’s one thing to edit a movie to kill a character or write them off to account for the fact that the actor has passed, it’s another thing to make a movie where a character dies and then have that actor die before or just after the movie released since those are cases where the passage of time is a cruel mistress that doesn’t care a single bit about you. This on the other hand is a whole other ballpark and just awful. This honestly makes me appreciate more why Rian opted for the choice he did because this would definitely be one of those ideas that would be on the docket and he probably took one look at that and went “Nope! Nuh-uh! That sloshing in the back of my throat is vomit from my disgust I ain’t going for it!”. Granted he probably had the capabilities of reshooting stuff to make it more seamless since again fan-edit, it really can only use already completed movie footage but still this is not good. But setting aside the personal feelings? It also just isn’t done that great. It makes Leia Organa in this movie barely a footnote in the Sequel Trilogy one movie after Han got a very poignant send-off due to how it’s executed and also it hurts the scene of Luke wandering through the Millennium Falcon for the music that plays is a more mystical variation of the Force theme which transitions into that scene with Luke which pulls double duty of making it feel like Leia is gonna use the Force because the music is really not sad enough to sell that she died and it causes what should be just a slow scene of Luke reminiscing to come across as painfully awkward, especially when we hit the scene where R2 replays Leia’s message because now… it rings less like a fun moment of R2 knowing how to push Luke’s buttons that provides fanservice and is important to the story but now it feels like a cheap move as in it feels like the movie’s going “Look! We threw this in! Now you can forgive us for killing Leia and plastering her corpse on-screen!”.

That might be pushing things a bit but personally that’s just how I feel on this. I also feel again from an editing perspective? This movie doesn’t give enough to make this truly work the way the editor intended because after this, it goes into the speech that leads to Holdo taking command. In the original movie, the “Save your sorrow until after the fight.” bit worked because we’ve had a whole two years to process Han’s death and we get the idea there really is no time to give him a proper send-off and… well you can’t have a funeral when there’s no body to truly bury and the one other character that gets named is Ackbar who I know is a character that people feel is wasted… but bear in mind, in terms of the movies, he really only appears in two before this and is known for a single meme. Then he gets stuff in the EU and TCW but the stuff that’s canon really doesn’t play that massive of a role in this grand story. Therefore it makes sense for this to kind of our way of moving along while acknowledging the many deaths. Leia’s story though is important to the grand scheme of things. Her message to Obi-Wan helps to get him and Luke to join the adventure that kicks off the whole saga. To have Leia die in this manner coupled with the awkward transition to the Falcon and then her death glossed over so hard here is appalling in how off it feels. I personally think this is a case where even if you hate the scene? You need Leia to live and float through space because it just ensures the movie flows better as a story and things fall into place a lot more naturally because the alternatives can result in something like this which is outright anger-inducing. And again I should stress that I know DonKamillo had probably nothing but the best of intentions and that this couldn’t have been easy but this is just how it feels to me. Anyways it is with Poe saying that Holdo was not what he expected and it performing a screen-wipe over to Ahch-To that we end the first act and overall? This beginning act is a mixed bag.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s great stuff here. The streamlined Dreadnought fight is a ton of fun, the Finn and Poe scene that was added back in really works in favor of both their character arcs and especially helps Poe’s whole deal of learning to become a leader become more clear. I liked how the cutting of Luke drinking the milk was handled and it had the right idea of altering his toss over the shoulder. It stumbles a little at the beginning but it gets back up pretty quickly and those issues were ultimately minor quibbles. However those aren’t the only faults. When this cut falters? Oh it falters hard. Again, there are some minor quibbles I have here and there that I can ignore but there are genuine massive issues here that make this story so frustrating to try and watch. In particular one thing I’ve noticed about the weakest changes here is that while they add something? They take away so much at the same time. Sure we have Luke mourning Han now but that comes in a way that really disrupts the tone and flow of the story and takes me right out of the movie. Yes there are less jokes overall but it really takes away from the characterization of certain players and introduces some editing gaffes that make proceedings a little more distracting than if the movie had just left some of the jokes in. Yes Leia doesn’t fly through space anymore… but it comes at the cost of feeling like it’s done in poor taste and it harms all the scenes that come after.

Act Two

The second act of the original movie is where people tend to have the most grievances I find. A lot of people don’t like the Canto Bight subplot which this edit opts to completely strip out and personally… I don’t like that idea. Canto Bight’s problem never was its inclusion to begin with, it’s just that it ran a little long. It needed some trims and touch-ups to make it a little more refined more than it needed to be completely cut. This also is where Luke’s characterization is make-or-break for them and personally for me? It makes it all worth it. This is where most of the twists and subversions happen and the main message of the movie is given and I’m of the opinion that a lot of it is done very well. But that’s just me, how did this edit do?

To start off, this edit does something I haven’t really addressed but I think now’s a good time to bring it up. It chops out a lot of the Porg scenes and relegates them primarily to just small appearances as animals on the island. I don’t mind that aspect and think it was done fairly well. I never really had any strong feelings about the Porgs, they were goofy comic relief creatures that provided levity when needed but they didn’t need to be in the movie. What we do get more of is the Caretakers on the island, complete with a reinstated deleted scene where Luke addresses one of them and we get a brief explanation of what they are. I really like this overall, especially Rey’s comment of “I don’t think they like me.” which gets an extra chuckle considering we see one of them give her the evil eye while scraping their knife across the fish. There isn’t much to talk about for a good chunk of this in terms of changes. There is one change that’s made where Kylo discovering the rainwater in his hand is cut down to reframe it as if he’s just wiping sweat from his brow after an intense conversation. I personally disagree with this as a change but the alternative isn’t bad and still makes sense overall. The one thing I do want to comment on is that this second act really gives me a lot of appreciation for why Rian cut the movie the way he did and why most of the Star Wars movies tend to cut between and a side-plot. Spending a lot of time in a single location, especially when you look at how these scenes were originally cut together can make the movie feel like it goes on for longer than it actually is. I also find that certain scenes just don’t really have the right flow paired together compared to the original. For instance we go from Luke noting that he has seen this strength before and that it didn’t scare him then and we cut to Rey enjoying the sight and feeling of rain. We can tell from the establishing shot that yes time has indeed passed but having these two scenes put together like this feels very off. We go from Luke being very intense following him witnessing someone potentially heading down the same path as Ben to something that’s just a little too light, even if we get the good interactions between Ben and Rey.

See in the original movie, the scenes work in tandem. Star Wars is often structured where you get the war story that really is only there because… it’s named Star Wars and really because it provides a good backdrop for the true story and all our character development and as such, scenes and how they’re cut often inform the themes and through line of the movie and other scenes even if they’re not directly related. For example, the general themes of TLJ are that failure is our greatest teacher, destiny isn’t laid out for us whole hog and we need to carve out our own paths, our heroes can be fallible for they are just people and there is something to be said about deifying these figures and putting too much stock in legends but that at the same time there is good that comes from those stories. The Luke scenes when working in tandem with the other scenes really do a lot to make this clear because you see how it connects all these plot elements. Poe’s hubris and obsession with being a hot shot hero led to him making costly mistakes that lost the Resistance more than it helped and it is through his failure to both not execute his own plan and the plan just being a failure by concept alone that he learns to be a stronger leader. Finn’s focus is on Rey and he foolishly thinks that being involved in fights like the one between the Resistance and First Order will just lead to unnecessary death and destruction but the failure that is Canto Bight and his encounters with DJ and Rose get him to realize that in situations like this, neutrality is not the best route because it means you look out for no one but yourself and your closest allies and turn a blind eye to so much injustice and hardship and Rey… well her story’s still here so we’ll get to that later. Stripping all that out and leaving mostly the Ahch-To stuff means we kind of just are stuck on this planet with Rey with not much to do and it feels like we’re not really learning these lessons by seeing them demonstrated. We’re just stuck in Rey’s mode of “Luke you’re a grumpy dingus who is being needlessly bitter, ignite the green already you moof-milking son of a Vader and let’s go.”. It even hurts the addition of the third lesson from Luke and… okay I feel like speaking on this because I hear every time about how this is such a crucial scene to incorporate and I just don’t agree.

People get so hung up on how Luke only teaches at most two out of the three lessons. In terms of the final cut? It works because it comes across that Rey is contemplating and thinking about what Luke told her, how she’s dealing with the idea that this mythical figure is both real and at the moment rejecting his legend and the call to action which goes against everything she has heard about him and thus she finds an odd amount of solace in interacting with Kylo who seems to be straight with her unlike Luke and because her will and trust in this man is being shaken and tested? It leads naturally to her deciding to investigate what’s at the bottom of the island as she is looking for clear-cut answers in a situation that is messier and more complicated than she ever could’ve imagined and in this time? Luke is thinking over her words and her feelings because she’s providing actual counters to what he’s saying and while some of it is based on the idea that they need a legend? Some of it really does hold water like her statement that maybe the galaxy needs legends and that he indeed still saved Vader. The third lesson to me isn’t needed… because Rey learns it herself through the movie. The third lesson is about how the galaxy doesn’t need the Jedi to solve all their problems and that they in fact caused more problems than they solved and that their continued placement in these situations as far as the Jedi of legend are concerned don’t make things better. To paraphrase Luke, the Resistance needs someone who’s able to help and willing to jump in when the situation calls for it, not some husk of a religion. Yes it’s important in the sense that Rey then fires back that she understands while they’re doing this, their friends are dying and this helps spur Luke into wanting to help? But the thing is, the movie shows enough for why he would want to anyway. This is spelling out the arc through dialogue while the movie does it through action and showcasing this story unfolding with the only time it stops really being for the Yoda scene that presents the message that failure is the greatest teacher.

Now to play Devil’s Advocate? The scene would absolutely work in the movie because with all the scenes set during Canto Bight and such? Like I said the Luke stuff helps to enhance all those other stories and themes. I can see maybe this scene being big because it makes it more clear that Luke is doubting himself on his choice to self-exile and it helps present the idea that the old Jedi ways were flawed and that the worst thing normal people can do when organizations like the First Order rise is do nothing in the face of adversity and that relying on legends and putting all your stock in the idea that a single savior is going to solve all your problems is a bad idea with the balanced perspective being to look to those legends as inspiration to do good. Here though? With all the other stuff cut I don’t get that impression from Luke, he just comes off like the grumpiest, most untenable person to be around and I can say that because this edit makes it to where it feels like I’m stuck with him for a good long while and yet simultaneously, it feels like he rushes through the lessons since with this edit? All three lessons are given super quickly and there isn’t enough time for each of them to really sink in. After this we do get a scene with Holdo before going right back to Ahch-To and it’s to show Holdo’s moment of pause before she tells the crew to maintain their current course. On the one hand, we know the plan is to find a new base to contact other corners of the galaxy so this works in a basic streamlining sense where Holdo is right just from the start but on the other hand? It really makes her and the other characters feel superfluous. I love this scene in the original movie because it’s a subtle hint that while there is a plan at play? These losses are weighing down on her and that she does have her moments of pause, probably might be thinking even on if her course of action is a mistake and because we know by this point what Poe and Finn are doing? It should in a way maybe get you to pause and go “Hey maybe Poe is kind of being too hard on Holdo and should just take a breath.”. Here though? It’s like the movie remembers it has other characters and doesn’t really know what to do with them so it just shows them and basically is emphasizing that Rey and/or Luke need to get there and save the day.

Speaking of Luke, we get the scene of him reconnecting to the Force again and he happens to connect to Leia’s Force server and sees the worst. She is dead and floating in space complete with close-ups of her corpse with him getting a ghostly echo of her voice. I harped enough on the Leia stuff in the first part, the same criticisms those scenes apply here but I just gotta note how much this really takes away from this scene. First off, I know it’s a fan-edit and this might be asking for a bit much but it is way too obvious that these are reused shots from earlier in the movie. If you must show Leia at all? I’d personally try to just keep it to the hand and maybe one of the shots where her face is in shadow in order to avoid the feeling that we’ve seen this stuff before. Next off, in the original movie it really felt like a sweet tender moment. Luke sensed his sister was in trouble and since he was mulling over what Rey said? That helped to motivate him to want to join the fight and it showed a lot more was going on with Luke than maybe what people and Rey were thinking. Here it just calls further attention to the fact that Leia’s gone and honestly feels still very exploitative. Thankfully though I’ve got a good edit to talk about though a small one. The edit cuts Rey’s comedic bit of her in a flustered manner asking if Kylo can just put on a cowl after she sees him shirtless and honestly it’s pretty well done. I really liked the beat in the original movie, especially because it wasn’t put in a really bad place but I think leaving it to that unspoken reaction of Rey ready to ask Kylo why he left only to lose a good deal composure once she sees he’s shirtless makes things much more funny. It’s like when something completely stupid happens while you’re serious and it derails everything. It can’t be helped and you know you need to continue but you at the same time need a moment to find yourself because you were thrown completely off-base.

Speaking of being thrown off-base though, we get more changes I don’t really like after the scene in the pit and between Kylo and Rey. The first change that was made was so that Luke didn’t fall after the first strike in the back of the head and it really is noticeable. The idea is to make Luke look more skilled but that makes me scratch my head. I’m aware of the complaints about Rey, I know that there are people out there that cite this scene as being an example of Rey being overpowered because how can she knock down the mighty Jedi Master Luke Skywalker? I’ll say why. In the original movie, Luke’s not fighting her. He’s not prepared to force her off the island and wanting to use all his abilities to get her and Chewie the hell off. After seeing her and Kylo sharing a moment and presumably feeling it because he’s reconnected to the Force now, he simply sternly tells her to leave as he walks back up the steps, presumably to his hut either to wait or to finally end the Jedi because he hasn’t fully climbed back out of his funk and this happens after Rey demands to know if he attempted to murder Kylo like his version of the story suggests so she is at this point angry and sick of not getting answers so she strikes Luke in the back of the head, hoping to force his attention on her and get the answers out of him that way. He didn’t want to fight and wasn’t expecting that strike therefore it caused him to fall down. Then he immediately gets back up and uses the Force to pull towards himself a staff to defend against her strikes. The cut here is so jarring, messes the music up a bit and even the sound, coming across more like a glitch in the video than a deliberate moment and after this? We get Luke having a vision of Rey being tempted by the Dark Side as the voice of Yoda tells him not to strike.

I’ve got to be blunt. I hate this addition. I genuinely hate this addition. As I stated before, Luke is not aiming to fight Rey, he is merely defending himself. You watch the movie back? Notice how he’s effortlessly blocking and dodging her blows, his movements showing not a hint of malice or hatred towards her. If I recall correctly, Rey does get struck once but it’s not aggressive, it’s more done in that way of a master letting an uppity student know they are not trying to fight but that if it were to happen? It will not go their way. It’s only when Rey draws the saber that Luke shows visible concern because at that moment he doesn’t have a weapon to stand up against a lightsaber and there’s the shock of seeing this girl actually pulling one out on him. Yoda’s dialogue here restates what we already can see, kind of takes away from Yoda’s appearance later instead of acting as a fun tease and while I understand that multiple readings of the same scene can be valid? I’m sorry I just don’t see how that scene in the rain could’ve been taken any other way. This change is a solution in search of a problem and ends up causing one in its attempt to fix that problem. Speaking of problems? We get to the next big change, the end of the Rashomon tribute where in the original movie, we learn the true story of what happened with Ben. Luke went into his hut after seeing several glimpses of darkness during his training and decided to finally see what was up and looked into him and what he found was worse than he imagined. Snoke had already turned his heart. In Luke’s own words, he would bring destruction, pain, death, and the end of everything he loved because of what he’d become. And thus for the briefest moment of pure instinct, Luke ignited his saber… and then stopped as he was left with great shame and the consequences of those actions were made clear because before he could leave and compose himself? Ben had woken up and stared up at him, Luke noting he saw the face of a frightened young boy whose master had failed him. This is a moment that a lot of people find themselves at odds with in TLJ and considering you’ve heard most of the arguments already, I’m not gonna repeat them here except for the relevant ones. This change though I’m just gonna state now does not make this movie better. In fact, I think in general if this had been the choice made in theaters? I would’ve looked at everyone calling Luke a coward… and sympathized with them.

Now it’s not all bad. I think the fade to black right before the “Snoke turned his heart.” line worked really well. I like the idea of the flashbacks to stuff from TFA since it makes it more overt that Luke saw more than just a little darkness in Ben and like I said about the Poe and Holdo stuff, I’m willing to meet detractors halfway here because maybe we needed a more overt showcase of what Luke saw instead of just hearing the sounds of screams and lightsabers igniting. That being said? I feel in the effort to make Luke feel more “in-character”? This ends up causing more harm than good. Bear in mind the reason why Rashomon sequences work is that you get multiple perspectives and then you get the true story which often has elements of both while others are painted by biases and what people thought they saw. In Luke’s eyes, he did not want to think about the idea that instinct almost overtook him and nearly caused him to kill his nephew and so he compartmentalized it and saw it from the perspective of a master showing concern and then finding his student had already turned and betrayed him. Kylo’s perspective is that of a terrified young boy who only saw his uncle with an ignited saber standing over him and because not every Jedi is just reading people with the Force to find out what they’re feeling or what conflict they have, his emotions overtook him, a fight or flight response occurred and he assumed the worst and the true story comes down to a mixture of both. Luke did go to Ben to investigate this darkness, got way more than he expected to find and his instinct to end the evil that would be unleashed on the land in a moment overtook him and he ignited the saber. Immediately he felt guilt but it didn’t matter to Ben because of what I said earlier and Luke saw that. It was a little too late unfortunately and thus Ben took a swing and Luke was forced to defend himself and what it led to was the creation of Kylo Ren and the burden being on Luke. He took in the son of his best friend and sister, promised them he would train them to be a great Jedi and they trusted him… and not only did Snoke turn his heart but he ended up expediting the process that would lead to him becoming that great evil that would bring pain and destruction. To me it works in the movie because we don’t know much about what this Luke has been through in thirty years aside from him not really going through the insane amount of hardship as his Legends counterpart did where due to those stories being about the continuing adventures of the classic trio, he found himself roped up in a lot more severe situations that would help shape him. This only would work to me if we knew more about how Ben was turned by Snoke because otherwise it’s really odd that Ben would see Luke standing over him and staring, presumably with a more pained expression on his face and he’d jump right to attacking him. The saber being ignited works because that is something so severe, that is an act that can be read in the most horrific way possible otherwise I’d think Ben would more be like “Uh uncle why are you staring at me while I sleep? Is this a Jedi thing because I don’t like it.”. Now maybe to be fair Ben being a Force user feels Luke in his mind and is fearing the possibility that by seeing the darkness he feels that he’ll be rejected but in that case he should be more distraught but he’s not here. He’s scared and taking a swing at Luke out of fear which feels so at odds with how the scene plays out.

Moreover, many people criticized TFA for the idea of there being a map to Luke Skywalker, asking why Luke would leave pieces of a map for people to find him and why he’d be off on some planet for so long while his friends deal with the First Order and TLJ we were promised would answer that question. Of course later watches of TFA would show the map specifically was to the first Jedi Temple and that it’s more a guess on that being his current location than it is an actual map to Luke but that didn’t answer the other questions about why Luke was here and Rian Johnson honestly to me came up with the best possible answer he could with the pieces he was provided and when you look at this? It makes a lot of sense why this along with learning about the history of the Jedi would convince Luke to cut himself off from the Force and be bitter about the Jedi because he feels responsible and like he has just retread what he feels the legacy of the Jedi is now, a legacy of inaction, failure and unchecked hubris and also there is no way he can just look Han and Leia dead in the eyes and state what happened. I mean just hearing even the thought of killing Ben passed through his mind would’ve probably been enough for Han to sock Luke and end their friendship for good so he went into exile. This? To me, it’s more like Luke would feel responsible for failing him and would go out of his way to try and help him not as a Jedi Master but as his uncle.

That’s what makes the scene so powerful in the original movie to me, it’s Luke feeling on all fronts he has failed. He failed him as a Jedi Master because he let him fall to the Dark Side and played a part in that, he failed him as his uncle because instead of being his protector and friend, the thought of murdering him occurred and it nearly happened, he failed his best friend and sister because he broke the promise he made them, he failed as a legend and he failed as the Jedi who was supposed to restore the Order and bring peace and justice back to the galaxy. Now? Ben just comes across like he had the most massive overreaction and Luke at best only really failed him as a master. To me, this is one of those changes that would more rely on the movie showing us more of Ben and Luke’s dynamic as student and master and again some of what Snoke did to turn him. In a way, this is the kind of story that I think would work if say we got a version of that comic miniseries The Rise of Kylo Ren that goes off of this version of events because while that series undermines a lot of the simplicity of the original movie as it goes out of its way to “fix” Luke’s character from this movie? Here it works better because it is more of a simple case of a dark shadowy figure manipulating a member of the Skywalker family again and you need the extra time because otherwise Luke really just comes across as a terrible coward on most fronts. It also undermines the scene with Yoda which is fully intact and still as great as ever… but it works with the movie as-is because it allows you to put everything in perspective. All the scenes with Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke and I’d argue even both the Original and Prequel Trilogies, all of them get painted in a brand new light. Now though with us only getting Luke and Rey and this altered version of why Luke left? It doesn’t read that way, instead to me the scene comes across as Yoda basically going “A dum-dum you are. Missed everything I tried to teach you did and therefore I have to set your ass straight.”. This also severely undermines Rey’s story since one of her lessons is coming to understand that legends and folktales while they can be used to lift our spirits and inspire us should not be taken as fact or a sign that this is how history and destiny work as she believes in the stories of Luke Skywalker and thus thinks that like he did, she can use the connection she shares with Kylo to bring him back to the light while missing that Kylo himself isn’t like Vader and that their two stories have diverged drastically. This feeling of undermining stories is particularly felt with the next scene where Poe confronts Holdo.

Again, because we have not really spent any time with these characters really? They feel superfluous to this whole story and the dialogue here because it’s the same as in the regular movie? It implies this song and dance of Poe demanding a plan has happened a lot but now because we don’t see Poe actually doing anything to undermine Holdo’s command? It comes across like Poe just went stir-crazy and snapped waiting on this ship and it makes Holdo’s inability to speak the plan to him seem like it was an intentional joke. The story the way it is in this edit really makes the only important people the ones with the laser swords while everyone else is just completely pointless. I mean even if you dislike the story of TLJ in regards to what goes on with Finn and Poe? Cutting them almost completely out of the movie I’m sure you can agree at least is not the best decision as far as building off what we saw in TFA is concerned.

Second act in review is much, much worse than the first. Again there are solid ideas I will grant this edit such as some streamlined scenes but all the good execution is relegated to minor cuts. This however really ramps up the issues as too much of the movie is missing. The important story beats as a result don’t have a lot backing them up and a lot of the really powerful moments that should have impact crumble to pieces so fast or they barely leave even a simple crack in the pavement they’re landing so lightly. This is the point in the story where I feel the desire to correct “plotholes”, character mistakes and “cringe” has become an obsession that’s at the expense of the characters and story and as a result my enjoyment of this cut goes down tremendously and I find myself sorely wishing I could watch the actual movie. Now it’s not incoherent to be fair and certainly there’s a lot to consider because again, it’s a fan-edit but I have to say that even if I had not seen TLJ beforehand and I saw this in theaters that this is the point I would start actively asking more questions in my head and thinking about if I should plan a bathroom trip soon the fact it’s Star Wars be damned.

Act Three

Now here’s an act that I think even some of the largest fans of TLJ would agree could’ve used more trimming. The third act of the original movie is absolutely fantastic and provides a satisfying climax to many of the arcs and stories in progress but it is also the one point of the movie where you really feel its length at two and a half hours. A specific scene to note where this really becomes apparent is everything that has to do with Crait since while providing a fun battle and what is in my opinion one of the best Luke Skywalker moments I’ve ever seen? At this point the movie feels like it’s kind of spinning its wheels after already reaching a natural ending with Rey and Kylo splitting the saber so a recut like this tightening this up I’m all here for.

And to start off I have more complaints unfortunately. Because Poe didn’t mutiny, all of Threepio’s lines come across as being way more paranoid than normal and his responses now read like he’s trying his damnedest to scare the daylights out of the droid with his tone and wording. This then leads into some admittedly beautiful shots of Crait as we get an exposition dump on what the exact plan is. Now this is a case where I really can’t be too harsh because again, it’s a fan-edit and thus DonKamillo did the best he could with what he had. However this whole thing just doesn’t work for me. For one compared to a lot of the amazing cinematography of the movie throughout, the Crait shots make this feel too much like I’m watching an in-universe Powerpoint or documentary on the planet itself and considering it’s a planet of nothing but salt it’s pretty bland to look at. I also think this isn’t really done that naturally as it feels like the movie is sitting us down with its hands on our shoulders gazing into our souls as it just spells out to us what is happening because again with it not doing anything with Poe, Finn or anybody? It just feels like it forgot about these characters, recalled it needs to do something and hastily threw something together. As a result I don’t care for Poe nor do I care for even Holdo in this edit as they feel completely superfluous to this story. Also as a result of cutting the Finn story, it feels like every Stormtrooper, officer, whatever in the First Order had precognition or a Spider Sense that told them about the transports. The whole purpose of escaping on the transports in the original film was basically that it would come at a point when the First Order would be completely unaware and would just assume to keep following the big ship. Because of that everyone would’ve been bought more than enough time to contact the assistance they needed and would be able to properly regroup and plan the next move. Poe’s plan messes this up because it’s banking on really bad odds, guesswork and the assumption that Holdo is an out-of-touch fool and because he’s not one to carefully work through things? Finn and Rose end up with a codebreaker who backstabs them and leads to the culmination of his character arc as he learns the negatives of not joining a cause and only being out for himself for the codebreaker tells the First Order of the transports for cash and to save his skin. Here? No such thing, it just happens because we need more conflict to happen and because the movie doesn’t really allow for the transports to safely get away which tells me this idea was just a tad too ambitious for a fan-edit. Now maybe, maybe the assumption is that the edit expects you to hear Snoke’s line about the transports and go “Oh so Snoke is the one who used the Force to learn of them.” but there’s nothing in the movie to set up that possibility. Hell it makes it seem like if Snoke was that powerful and that able to predict everything that he should absolutely be able to see when Kylo turns the saber on him.

The Snoke scene basically plays out the same way it did in the original movie though it has some minor changes here and there. I don’t know if this is an edit thing but right before the big clash with the Praetorian Guards and the slow-mo wide shot, we hear Kylo’s blade ignite as he’s just standing looking at Rey and his body lights up a smidge in red for the sake of the light which is a neat idea but it disrupts the flow a little bit and I don’t feel it’s really required but the other changes are pretty good. The speeding up of the shot of Rey using the reverse grip to get out of the hold is very nicely done and kind of adds more to the fight overall. I applaud the edit for keeping it intact along with the reveal that Rey’s parents were nobody. The rest plays out as normal until we get to Crait where everyone’s already set up at the base, we get some shots of the crystal foxes and we get finally, after so long Finn just returning to the movie… and it’s just to explain the battering ram cannon and to give part of a speech about how their allies believe in Leia. The edit also cuts the Resistance fighter looking out over the horizon for incoming enemies and Gareth Edwards’ cameo. Small scenes? Yes they are but I really don’t feel they’re deserving of being called cringe. If anything they’re just small moments and in the latter’s case? It’s a fun little gag before the very tense battle that’s about to happen. Another thing we notice here is the reveal of Rose being Paige’s sister happens here because she’s cut out of most of the movie and the idea was that it contrasts the beginning by having Paige die in battle while Rose lives. I… am conflicted about this. On the one hand, most of my complaints and issues I’ve said already and can just be applied here but on the other? I do kind of like the idea of a book-end where we see regular Resistance troops with family fighting that aren’t necessarily main characters. But on the other other hand? This rings hollow to me. One aspect I loved about Rose in the original movie was we were seeing basically a grunt in the Resistance, a regular old engineer grieving over a lost loved one as a reminder that these wars are fought by people and it serves as a further reminder that Poe’s actions had very real consequences for someone is no longer whole thanks to losing their sibling as the pendant represents and we see how much this fight means to her. It’s through her adventure with Finn that the two develop. In Finn’s case, he learns how important standing up for something is, why this fight matters and that it can be won and in Rose’s case she sees that while he wasn’t the legendary hero quite like she and Paige imagined? Finn’s a genuinely good guy. Plus we get to see someone who isn’t a smuggler, isn’t a Jedi or anything like that rise up to being a main character which parallels Rey’s story a little as it shows great heroes can come from anywhere and the real good legends do. Now she’s… just some rebel woman who happens to show up because side-characters for comm chatter show up all the time.

And that rebel woman nearly gets shot dead by TIEs before the Falcon shows up in a… really awkward cut to get rid of the triple kill shot. I’ve seen the critiques about this and specifically the change notes mention how it’s exaggerated and… I mean different strokes for different folks but setting aside how much I like the scene? It being cut like this just is off. The music noticeably shifts as does the audio, the Falcon’s engines feel like they come in way too quickly and overall? I say it just would’ve been better to leave it in, exaggeration be damned as it made for a more natural entrance for the Falcon into this battle. I feel like if maybe it was cut in a way to where we see the TIEs in the air and we get the single one being blasted, followed by a reaction shot and then the shadow it might’ve worked out a little better. This also includes an instance of a Porg showing up with Chewie which… I guess if I have to nitpick it’s that this now kind of feels like just a random inclusion of a Porg for marketability rather than the culmination of the comedic side-story of Chewie’s changing relationship with the Porgs but I can’t bring myself to care, I like the Porgs so seeing one makes me smile. The scenes mostly progress as normal, there is one very jarring audio shift when the AT-M6s just start unloading on the speeders and then there’s the Wilhelm scream which is if I’m being honest kind of unwelcome here. It’s used for the wrong kind of death, very badly timed, the audio isn’t really loud enough to give it the impact these screams usually have and feels like it’s more here out of an obligation and not because it was actually needed.

And then we get to an edit I like the idea of… but I accept that ultimately this is a case where the movie really doesn’t provide much to work with. I do agree that one of the big missteps in this movie was Finn’s thwarted useless sacrifice. The idea was a nice by Rian Johnson, I get absolutely what it’s going for and I like the ultimate message but it’s kind of absurd. Rose ramming into Finn to stop him from pointlessly killing himself is edited not only kind of weirdly with the quick zoom on Rose’s cockpit (which kept me making think of Spy Kids for some reason)? It also is just too violent a crash for it to feel like either of them could’ve survived that. To me this scene should’ve been reshot either with Rose using her techniques as an engineer to hack her way into Finn’s comms to stop him or maybe when he shuts his eyes, the sound goes out and he remembers Rey saying “We’ll see each other again.” which would hint towards the Force being present in him and then his eyes could shoot open, he looks around and sees that the speeder is burning up and then he quickly forces it to either move out of the way or he opens the hatch and quickly jumps out of it sustaining some minor burns. Then you could have Rose pull up beside Finn and pick him up as she demands to know what he was thinking and he then says something about how he thought this was his way of making a difference, that this was him fighting for a cause he believed in until he realized he had more to live for or at least that’s his way of explaining it since he has no clue that what he just tapped into was the Force or something like that.

But this is a case where the movie doesn’t have enough to actually do a proper redo with. The only tweak I can see being made without it breaking the scene is removing the zoom on Rose’s cockpit so that the reveal of who stopped Finn comes when Finn rushes towards her speeder. As it is though? It feels way too broken up and leads to more clunky audio shifts that take away from the immersion and my enjoyment. Another bit that does this is Luke’s appearance on Crait unfortunately. For one thing, due to the flow of the movie now it happens way too fast now with us getting barely time to even kind of process what just happened and it really doesn’t have the impact it should. Next, without Leia being here it really hurts both the moment of letting the despair linger for a bit when we hear that no one’s answering the distress call and it just makes Luke feel like the movie kind of forgot about him and so it’s just like “Here’s Luke Skywalker guys!” as Mark kind of struts awkwardly onto the scene and then of course there’s Luke marching out to confront the First Order which is done well as usual but it makes me ask why clever editing wasn’t done to make this the big reveal of Luke. I mean we know this place has multiple entrances and we know these guys currently are feeling a little bit of despair over what’s going on so they won’t notice if a space wizard just appeared here and really it makes more sense. The moment with Threepio is sweet but it only really works with the Leia scene to back it up for on its own Luke feels like he just shows up, no one notices him come in and then he just winks at Threepio and walks off, no real good emotional moment or anything happens, the scene just… exists.

We also cut Hux getting pushed aside by Kylo and I disagree with that. It not only was a fun comedic beat but even if I didn’t like his abuse when Snoke is in charge? I think him getting thrown around and smacked is perfect to mark the change over to Kylo as the Supreme Leader since he hates Hux. He doesn’t give a single speck of Bantha poodoo about Hux so any opportunity he gets to either undermine him or just show he cannot backtalk anymore would be something Kylo would do in my eyes. It shows his title is basically just a formality because what does Kylo care about with this weasel? That being said, there are more issues to discuss. Specifically without the scene with Leia and when paired up with the revisions made to the Rashomon sequence? Luke’s very matter-of-fact “No.” to Kylo here comes off as just being so cold and dismissive and then there’s the lightsaber color. I’m just gonna straight-up say I’ve never cared about this little visual. To me the original movie works because Kylo is so blinded by his rage and hatred for Luke that he fails to notice that the lightsaber he’s wielding is the one that was destroyed. It also works to me because when the scene happens where Kylo and Rey have their struggle over the saber and it shatters. Pay close attention and you’ll notice Kylo is out for longer than Rey is so it stands to reason that maybe when the saber broke in two and Holdo rammed the ship that Kylo didn’t see it shatter. The saber noticeably causes a flash so that tells maybe Kylo was partially blinded and flung back and thus he was knocked out cold, long enough to where he didn’t see the saber in two pieces. In other words from the perspectives of both if he didn’t see it and him being so blinded by hate, I don’t see why he’d question the logic of Luke having it. Now granted the change notes state how this was done primarily so that the con about him being a projection isn’t given away which is a nice idea… but now I ask why it is specifically his old saber that’s projecting the green blade and not his ROTJ one. Granted one can say this is a nitpick and a case where it being a fan-edit needs to be considered because I do not think it is sane to ask someone to edit in Luke’s ROTJ saber in every single frame that it’s on his belt or when he holds it but this really causes a lot more attention at least for me to called to the fact he’s not there whereas in the original movie? Yes you might ask for a moment why he’s holding a saber that was just shattered in two but that’s if you’re really focused on the very minute details. Most people on their first viewing will more pay attention to the fact that Luke Skywalker just seemingly tanked hundreds of cannon shots and is facing down the First Order all on his own which is exactly what he said he wouldn’t do at the beginning of the movie and if questioning of the saber happens? It’s just shrugged off and rationalized that maybe he did some crazy Force magic to repair it or that perhaps in the chaos that transpired that maybe we didn’t see the saber get destroyed. That last one is a very big stretch admittedly but it’s still possible. This though? This is one of those very overt small details that throws everything off and to top it all off I just have to state that I don’t think the green recolor job looks that amazing. It’s impressive for sure but there is something about it that feels very artificial and also I think it kinda just doesn’t look great with the colors of the scene. Moving on though, it keeps all the beats for the most part the same, there is one minor editing gaffe I want to note where in a wider shot Leia is very clearly standing among the group despite the fact she should be dead but it’s a minor thing and really if there is one compliment I can give across the board it’s that all the edits made to take out Leia are pretty seamless for the most part. Having one scene she pops up by accident in is easy to overlook and chalk up to being just another Resistance person in robes.

Moving on we get another editing gaffe for Kylo the fake projected dice on the ground like he does in the original but with there being no Leia to give the dice to and considering we don’t see Luke bring the dice when he projects himself? This comes across as kind of awkward. To be fair the original movie having the dice was off too considering the added importance on what was otherwise just a cute bit of joke set decoration comes across as being very strange but at least we set it up more properly with Luke bringing them to Leia. I guess Luke is trolling Kylo but I prefer to just go with this scene being here because it was quite difficult to edit around. Though watching it, I think muting the sound design of the dice, using some editing wizardry and cutting out the scene with them could result in just a nice scene where Kylo drops to his knees as he feels Rey’s presence and then when she closes off the connection he just is left seething with rage. Rewinding back a bit though? I do like the edit featuring Luke collapsing right before cutting to Kylo marching in with his forces, that’s a nice touch and while maybe a little quick? It conveys the idea nicely enough. Moving on though I have to ask what exactly caused Rose to get so battered she needs to be nursed back to health now that she didn’t save Finn. Did she caught in the blast of the battering ram cannon? Was she just that tuckered out? I don’t know and also apparently here an edit was made to make Rey seem less jealous of Finn and… I didn’t get that from the original movie at all. It’s not a bad edit by any means but I really didn’t see that though my focus is more put on not having Leia here because it kind of makes ending go a bit too quickly but I kind of forgive it considering what this edit makes its new ending. Broom Boy is not here anymore because Canto Bight isn’t here so we get a brand new ending that the change notes promised was going to be Luke picking himself back up after his projection as he watches the suns set (or rise depending on how you look at it). As the notes put it, he looked at it as an infant in Revenge of the Sith, as a young man in A New Hope and finally as an old Jedi Master. Hope fills his eyes. He is alive after all. That sounds like an ending I would’ve been satisfied with.

And then the version I have just had to kriff it up. Oh my God where to begin with this editing choice? After Luke starts picking himself back up, we hear the music get a bit of a sinister tinge as Luke looks more worn down and kind of frightened. We then cut to a scene of Kylo from The Rise of Skywalker looking over Vader’s helmet as he sets his hand on it and gets that one crazy vision from that movie. My heart sank there… and it might as well come out of my butt leaving me a dead husk like Palpatine because it transitions to Kylo flying towards Exegol and goes all the way until he meets Palpatine. We don’t see every bit of it, some very music video editing is done to the visuals while Palpatine says the “I’ve been every voice…” line except he only says “I’ve been every voice inside your head.” and the film ends on a very unfitting moment where the Force theme plays as we have Palpatine grinning to the camera before the movie ends. And to top it all off due to the changes made to the credits? The timing for Carrie Fisher’s tribute where the piano rendition of Leia’s theme plays is thrown off and thus it doesn’t have the same impact and thus at this point? I am left actually pretty pissed. Now, before I tear into this, let me be clear respect has to be shown to the fan-editor and that I am strictly speaking about this only as far as my opinions on the edit are concerned. I am not here to insult, I am not here to belittle and I am not here to downplay the effort that went into it. I will even say the idea of the movie ending on a kind of cliffhanger is not the worst one. I loved that TFA did it because it was ballsy and it demonstrated that this was a trilogy that at least knew it was going to be a trilogy from the beginning so I don’t mind the idea of continuing that with this.

But this? This is outright awful. This feels like what would happen if an MCU film ended on a scene intended for the post-credit and not the actual climax. It steals all the emotional weight of the final scenes, it makes Palpatine the focal point of this ending when old Sheevy boy hasn’t received even a mention aside from one single line, it completely robs Kylo of the chance to be Supreme Leader before he gets the opportunity to fully be one and worst of all, this is done just for the sake tying this movie into the next one while replacing what sounds like an actually pretty beautiful little ending for a movie all about Luke. Now I’m aware that the choice was made because apparently in the edit of TROS? A change was made to have Luke go in that movie which okay, I can see that and I can understand that maybe this was done because otherwise in TROS, people will notice the reuse of shots. That being said? This choice utterly kills this edit and this third act.


The Definitive Anti-Cringe Cut was something I was intrigued by despite its title. I adore TLJ but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to indulge in fan-edits of movies I love. It can allow for me to see some flaws I maybe never noticed for, concede that some ideas could’ve been handled better or more simply? It just allows me to get a look into one of the many ways a movie could’ve reconfigured in the editing room and don’t get me wrong, despite my tone throughout this review? It is impressive to see something like this and I genuinely do like a good couple of the choices I made. There’s a good bunch of stuff to like here and I will admit when it gets to the climax? For a moment I just go with the ride because it brings up everything I love about The Last Jedi to the forefront for the most part.

But that being said, the flaws in this are too numerous and too glaring to ignore. This at least feels like a finished coherent movie but it is sorely lacking in so much content. It tosses out character stories left and right without considering how it would affect the structure and pace of the main movie and how it would mess with certain sound cues, certain changes that were made to “fix” character issues either created brand new issues or they were based on an off-base interpretation of the scene to begin with. Certain ideas were not executed well either because the ambition stretched well beyond the boundaries of what fan-edits are and I think even what the editor was capable of at the time or the idea genuinely just wasn’t fantastic for how this film was laid out and worst of all? Its biggest change which was to kill Leia ends up in turn making this movie unintentionally insulting to Carrie Fisher and her legacy. I think personally if this was the version of The Last Jedi I had seen in theaters back in December of 2017? I would be one of the people who hates this movie with the burning passion of twin suns. If I were to give this a score? I would give this a 4.5 out of 10, maybe a 3 depending on how I feel. This was a very unpleasant surprise.

That being said, I wish DonKamillo nothing but the best and I still do recommend you give it a watch if you can. Fan-edits are a beautiful thing that require a ton of effort and patience to be crafted and clearly this one still had plenty of hard work put into it that should be commended. There are even people who view this as being their favorite take on The Last Jedi and you know what? That’s awesome. I’m glad there’s a version of this film out there that appeals to those people and if nothing else? As long as I’m able to, I’m still willing to watch other edits of DonKamillo’s because I think they still deserve a whirl. But this one though? Oh this one was not for me.


Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (The Anti-Cringe Cut) 2020 - DonKamillo

WARNING: The following will contain spoilers for this cut, the prior cut of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. If you haven’t seen the movie or this cut and wish not to be spoiled then please stop reading now and do so. You have been warned.


You know by this point between fan-edits and rewatches of the actual movie for comparison or just simple rewatches? I will probably have ended up seeing The Rise of Skywalker more times than is ever necessary for a person and I’m not really changing that since I am now covering the Anti-Cringe Cut made by one DonKamillo. Now this is a sequel to his edit on The Last Jedi which in case you haven’t read my monster of a review on it? The cliff-notes are that the edit was not great. It had some very interesting ideas for sure, it streamlined elements from the original movie in ways I liked and to make one clarification, I still did enjoy seeing such a different take on the movie. However the edit itself to me was marred by over-ambition, there were so many scenes chopped out it effectively made the story incredibly thin and lacking in content on top of adding plotholes and other gaffes and there were outright choices that made me feel very uncomfortable like how killing Leia was handled and then baffled like the cases with the music choice on the deleted scene where Luke grieves Han and the ending. However despite my dislike? I was willing to give this one a shot because I am both a glutton for TROS edits and I’m genuinely curious about how this builds upon the previous edit. With all that said, let’s get right into it.

Act One

This really intrigued me going into this. The first act in the original TROS was a mess through and through. From the moment the crawl begins with the cheesy and memetic lines “The dead speak!” to when the gang comes across Ochi’s ship? The pacing is breakneck and the content is excessive with how much gets established. I was curious how this was going to be handled in particular because with the move of Palpatine’s reveal to the end of the previous edit? That means this movie is going to have to do some significant shuffling and reorganizing for its first act which has the potential of making it feel like a bunch of scenes were chopped to bits and shuffled around. So how was it done here?

Much like the previous edit, let’s start with the opening crawl which goes as follows:

The galaxy is in turmoil. A mysterious broadcast in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE has heralded in a new age, a NEW EMPIRE.

Sensing a disturbance in the force, Jedi Master LUKE SKYWALKER embarks on a quest for answers, leaving his apprentice REY with cryptic notes and a restored lightsaber to finish her Jedi training.

Meanwhile GENERAL POE DAMERON and a small group of his most trusted agents head out to gather intelligence on the diabolical FIRST ORDER and the whereabouts of its Supreme Leader…

The crawl here is a significant improvement from at least the crawl in the previous edit. It still looks a little off in terms of the title font but it overall reads a lot better, there’s a sense of flow and while this could be me seeing things? There are nice nods to past crawls like having it begin with “The galaxy is in turmoil.” which brings to mind the beginning of TPM’s crawl for me. It still has flaws to be fair. I think the second paragraph is a little much in terms of how it’s worded, seeing “force” instead of “Force” is odd and in the movie proper there’s a lot of weird spacing done to the words make the crawl fit but it still works very well. Afterwards we get the pan-down and right away while it’s the same scene of TIEs flying to the Finalizer hovering over Mustafar? The music really hits this time as we get this very operatic choir like something straight out of the Prequel Trilogy which I adore. One complaint I did have for TROS and the Sequel Trilogy in general is that they really overcorrected on trying to ensure that not a single element of the prequels ever entered the movies aside from a handful of references and considering this was Episode IX and the grand finale of the Skywalker Saga? It felt like it would’ve been a perfect fit to have elements from all trilogies so this I’m grateful for. Another aspect I like? We go into Kylo getting his helmet reforged as we hear Palpatine’s broadcast along with his theme with it ending on his evil laugh which is a very nicely done change. Even though I overall don’t like the idea of Palpatine being back and I really didn’t like how the previous edit ended on him? This is to me how you get me more comfortable with the change because it makes me think “Okay, it’s a sacrifice to get this really cool opening out of it.”. I love it in particular because you almost get the idea he made the broadcast after he met Kylo and it really sells that this is his movie and his return a whole lot better than in the original where he just came back with barely any explanation and they kind of speedrun through what he has been doing these past couple years. Also in a way it’s a nice little editing trick since the crawl ends with the mention that Poe and the others are searching for info on the First Order and Kylo’s whereabouts and we scroll down to see where he is.

The hard cut to black goes on a little long before we get to Finn, Chewie and Poe meeting with Boolio but I still like it overall. When we get to Boolio though, the attempts cut out some of his lines create some fairly awkward long pauses between sentences and thus the exchange here doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as it did in the original movie… which to be fair wasn’t that smooth given there are so many words exchanged in such a short period of time that help to contribute to the breakneck pacing and honestly there’s not much one can really do here so I’m a little more forgiving and it’s a small thing. There’s kind of a noticeable audio jump here when we go from Finn’s line telling Poe to get them back to base and the hard cut to black to get rid of lightspeed skipping is also jarring. Now unpopular opinion time, I liked the lightspeed skipping sequence in TROS. Yes it made probably very little sense in the grand scheme of things but it was something new and insane being done with a classic feature of Star Wars and I always love when this series gets a little kooky every so often. As for the actual change itself? Well one thing that’s leading to me giving this a bit of a pass and what consequently makes me rethink some of my criticisms of the previous edit is that this and the one before came out before edits that used visual effects to make more natural changes like The Last Jedi: Legendary and The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant which is clear because this uses more straight hard cuts which isn’t a bad thing overall. That being said, Star Wars doesn’t use hard cuts super often and some of these aren’t done the absolute smoothest so there are points where they’re more than a little jarring, especially if the cut to black lasts a few seconds longer than you might be expecting.

This one doesn’t though. In fact it actually provides a neat audio transition as the music during Rey’s training builds before fully transitioning to us in the middle of the action. This I love and it really plays to the strength of not having Leia here. I love Carrie Fisher as much as the next Star Wars fan and I absolutely sympathize with the crew and her family for the effort they made to try and wrap her story through this movie. That being said? Her inclusion often really hurt the movie for aside from one scene? Most of the ones she was involved in made the movie flow much more awkwardly as the seams of them reusing deleted scenes from TFA were very obvious and with how limited they clearly were in what they could use it resulted in dialogue feeling unnatural. Here though it’s no problem and also I have to say the cutting of Kylo’s scene with Vader’s helmet is handled very well. The seams aren’t too noticeable and there are jarring audio jumps as a result of this cutting out the Imperial March. We do get a poor edit though later on with the cutting of the Falcon being on fire and the interactions that result afterwards. Now I’m of two minds about this since on the one hand, it made sense for the Falcon to be on fire in the original due to the lightspeed skipping pushing it too far and with that being cut? I can see it maybe not making much sense to see it taking so much damage after just one jump that smashed through an ice wall. On the other hand? The edit is described as being for the sake of the Falcon not being treated like trash and it kind of brings to mind similar issues that the previous edit had with making changes like this that in the effort to “fix” issues with either characterization or the respect that was shown to legacy elements end up causing more problems due to how these would affect the film not being taken into consideration.

Case in point? The silence prior to the briefing scene is kind of distracting and the cut to it is more than a little jarring. To be fair it’s faithful at least to the previous edit which tried to make Poe seem more like a calm collected intelligent commander but I feel that’s to its detriment overall. The briefing scene itself though does something really cool. We don’t get Palpatine’s full broadcast but rather just the laughter and I like the silence that permeates the scene and the use of the close-up shots of Poe as he looks up, almost seems like he’s about to say something and then he looks down and shakes his head like he doesn’t know what to say about news this awful. It works very well in selling just how unbelievably frightening the idea of the return of the Emperor is, it strips out the memed “Somehow Palpatine returned.” line and just gives us this sense of dread, especially as you hear the ramblings of everyone in attendance. There is an awkward audio bit here after we hear from Aftab Ackbar as Poe mentions Palpatine’s been planning his revenge for years but still, this is very nicely done. Another thing I like? It cuts the “Dark science. Cloning. Secrets only the Sith knew.” line. Now you can just hear speculation in the background as Rey rushes for the books and that’s how I prefer it since originally that not only highlighted how rushed the movie was but also it felt it was kind of simultaneously spelling out and brushing aside the reason why Palpatine lived. If we must have Palpatine back? I like the idea of it being a mystery with only the prequel line being there to kind of explain it because any explanation we’d end up getting would basically amount to him either not being the original Palpatine or some really bizarre dumb explanation.

Awkward editing continues though since after a well done transition to Maz’s line, we get Rey showing up with the books and standing rather awkwardly. Now perhaps this was done because originally this led into dialogue with Leia who obviously isn’t here so I’m willing to forgive the change but still, it does make things a little odd. I also find Rey’s dialogue about her picking up Luke’s search for Exegol now more odd considering while I can imagine that wide-eyed look before she went for the books was her realizing what Luke’s quest was about? Her nailing that his trail went cold feels a little far-fetched to me. The scenes play out as normal and for the most part I do like how Leia has been edited around but there are every so often awkward transitions like when we go from R2 to the Falcon taking off as both the music cue and R2’s beeps get cut off and it’s kind of jarring. Thankfully that quickly picks back up with the Kylo scenes and I absolutely adore some of the choices here. First the trooper dialogue regarding the Knights of Ren has been snipped which is a little disappointing since it was a fun interaction but I love that the looks of the Stormtroopers now convey a different idea like it’s the troopers more perplexed to see the Knights of Ren here. I also really like the editing done here to make Kylo’s dialogue more about an unknown traitor rather than someone in the First Order. It’s a small change and one that may not be considered necessary but with how well it was done? It’s a welcome one to me.

Most of the Pasaana stuff plays out as it did in the original, including surprisingly enough the items being transferred through the Force which makes me want to call out how this kind of contradicts the previous edit which made a note of cutting out instances of that but considering it kept in the stuff with Kylo and Rey joining hands it makes me willing to accept that as being a tease of the possibilities and this just evolving the Force further. Another big change? No Lando and honestly I really like how this is executed. Rey runs up and mentions Ren’s coming as normal and rather than just encountering a Stormtrooper, Poe takes no chances and leads them to speeders with this being where we get our first glimpse at the Jettrooper who is now our first shot of the First Order presence on this planet. It’s done in a way to where it feels like this was how that scene was always meant to go and it keeps things moving instead of having our only stop be for fanservice. As a result it does make Lando feel more superfluous to the movie but I’ll take that if it means the movie flows better. We do get another cut with this time being the “They fly now.” gag and this one is kind of a problem because I can still hear a little bit of Poe saying the line when it was cut and also I feel this was a mistake because the gag itself was quick and fun. I get people have expressed that this kind of conflicts with earlier EU material where flying First Order troopers were already a thing but there are ways to rationalize the scene and I really just love how the interaction was done.

We get another odd choice made as Rey still refers to the ship they see as being Ochi’s and that is a problem to me since without Lando’s scene which gave us some background on Ochi? This kind of makes Rey’s knowledge of the guy come out of nowhere. I think a simple cut to her saying that she knew this ship would’ve been better but then again, maybe there was too much stuff with them referring to Ochi to cut without things being very awkward. More editing is done to cut around Leia and in one case while Rey is interacting with the serpent? She doesn’t heal it but instead she reaches out with the Force to calm it while we hear Luke’s voice. Now I’m mixed about this change. On the one hand, it was so neat to see the Force Heal ability being present and I liked how it was a contrast to what Palpatine does in how it allows for a Force-wielder to transfer some of their life-force into another while the Sith steal that life for themselves. On the other hand it’s a pretty neat little change and the added voicelines are a nice way to clue us in on what’s happening. Also I like how it kind of reframes Rey’s interaction with BB-8 as being less about how he would do the same and help to maybe him noting how reckless it was while she just coyly tells him he would’ve done the same.

Then we get probably the worst edit of the first act. It cuts out Kylo coming at Rey with the TIE Whisper in an effort to remove her “Matrix jump” as the change list called it and an attempt is made to edit the movie so that it looks like the TIE was parked. Now I like overall how the scene plays out with Rey focusing on Kylo and having to calm herself presumably because this is the first time the two are going to see each other in person in a good while and the way they cut around this to allow for Finn to tell Rey about Chewie early feels very seamless. Then we get Rey looking straight ahead at Kylo who has landed and the TIE Whisper… is basically a PNG overlayed over the scenes at one angle with some scaling and blurring being applied and at one point the keying around Kylo’s hair makes it to where you can see a decent amount of the desert behind him. I’m not gonna lie, I burst out laughing seeing this because it just looks so bad. I don’t like outright calling the work of editors bad but in this case? I have to comment on it because it just looks so cheap and unfinished. First off, the fire crackle sounds are still there which there’s no reason for considering the thing didn’t crash. Second, the smoke is still present which when coupled with the single angle of the TIE makes it seem like Kylo’s form of landing it was to skid it across the sand and wreck the ship partially and third? This just seems like a change that while the ambition can be respected? I genuinely think either more shots should’ve been cut or had heavy visual editing, the TIE could’ve been placed further in the background or better yet the scene just should’ve been kept as-is. This to me is an instance where regardless of intent the movie just doesn’t provide enough for a change this extreme to be possible and while the effort and idea is admirable? The PNG TIE really doesn’t make it seem all that worth it so much as it makes this scene now kind of laughable as more attention is on that effect.

That being said? The first act itself is pretty decent overall. It streamlines elements of the original film pretty well, most of the cuts are pretty seamless and they for the most part do a fairly decent job of balancing the editor’s personal desires with giving the film a natural flow. However when there were problems they were fairly glaring ranging from scenes feeling broken to in one case an absolutely ridiculous effect that pulls me right out of the movie, mostly coming as a result of careless cutting and ambition being put at the forefront over how natural it was going to end up being.

Act Two

The second act was generally where most people could agree that TROS managed to find its footing somewhat for this was where the film slowed down somewhat and managed to maintain a flow that was more in line with Abrams’ previous offering in the ST in that it’s less spice-addict and more thrill ride.

There isn’t much to discuss at the beginning with how the edit handles it. It cuts out the early reveal that Chewie is alive but does opt to leave in the towing of the Falcon up to the Finalizer which is a pretty solid choice. It helps to really set up this feeling of dread as now the audience would believe Chewie is dead and to make matters worse, now the ship that it’s safe to say Kylo grew up in for most of his life is in his possession and considering he’s about destroying the past? It leads to the imagination going a little wild. After this not much really happens until we hit Kjimi and it’s here where more drastic cuts are made, cutting out Zorii’s introduction, the reveal of Poe being a spice runner and instead it leaves us with meeting Babu Frik and Zorii at the same time and this is where I have big criticisms. The sound editing is pretty off as there are noticeable dips and cuts and the biggest one is just how this completely disrupts the flow of the movie as it leaves too much up to the audience having to accept introductions happened off-screen, without the scene it means we don’t build off of Finn’s question to Poe about how he’s able to hot-wire a speeder and again it leads to very noticeable issues in the editing. Now full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of Zorii since I feel she is a cool design first and an actual character second. She has elements to her I like but considering this is the third and final film in this trilogy and the closer for the entire Skywalker Saga? This is one new character that really doesn’t need to be introduced here. I also don’t like what it meant for Poe’s development because it felt like Abrams was both appeasing studio executives by showing that there was no way on this planet that Poe could ever be interested in Finn to appease a country that never cared about this franchise to begin with and that he was a much more like Han Solo which contradicts how he has been portrayed in past movies and it completely screwed up the new canon EU which had to bend over backwards to accommodate this change. That being said? I should address that there is the very real reality that quite a few people who are watching this edit have seen TROS already and know the characters but to me that only goes so far. After all some people show fan-edits in place of the actual films when introducing these stories to people just to give them the best possible experience and also these are still being described as potential replacements for the original movie and to me that just makes it all the more imperative that editing choices are done in service of the story and its flow and not for personal taste unless you are truly a wizard that can make this work. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s commendable that changes like these were attempted in the first place but I still think this deserves another look.

One edit that is decent is that it cuts out Zorii’s disbelief that they’re aiming to translate Sith but I personally still feel it should’ve been kept. It’s natural for underground smugglers and spice runners to not question really any shady dealings but I think hearing that they need to translate Sith would raise enough of an eyebrow for someone to bring it up but it isn’t that important and the edit is done seamlessly enough. The change with Threepio and when he’s translating Sith I actually quite like. It really is reflective of how this was a quick and dirty process done by an underground blacksmith and not by an experienced engineer and it even makes a noticeable audio glitch work in its favor since I can buy that this process would lead to odd jumps in the sentences. It does bring up the question though of why the wayfinder plot was cut because honestly it now conveys the idea that Palpatine is actually in the Endor system and not on Exegol which means when they head to Kef Bir? It just comes across as them being on a wild goose chase and thus it would make this trip feel pointless. Another change that reflects other issues is the removal of the First Order coin. Now this is definitely a change I agree with in concept. The scene between Poe and Zorii, while a nice small character moment where we get more info on just what the First Order has been doing to various worlds and it does give us one of the themes of the movie which is that evil thrives on making you think you’re alone and that there is more good to go around than there is that but on the other hand, it’s a scene in a movie that devotes time to a character that isn’t that important to the plot and the coin is just another MacGuffin that’s introduced for the sole purpose of explaining why the group are able to get up on the destroyer to save Chewie.

That being said? The movie really doesn’t provide enough to cut this out fully without something being knocked out of place and in this case, it’s hearing Poe say they’re here for entrance as if he has clearance… on a ship that the First Order is looking for. To me this was a case where even if the scene in spirit should’ve been cut? It is too woven into the story for the flow to not be disrupted so I think either the Poe line should’ve been muted or we should’ve just had the scene in there in the first place. Then again maybe it’s just Poe BSing just for the sake of trying to maintain some sense of cover so who knows. Later edits are better though, I really do like how the edit cut out Finn and Poe’s charge down the hall blasting troopers though I personally disagree with it being done because of the logic of seeing two characters do this without cover. It’s a fun action beat in the original movie and feels like the kind of thing you’d see in many adventure and fantasy stories which Star Wars is. That being said, this feels like an edit that was done to service the story and so I give it a pass. I have more mixed opinions on cutting Kylo’s “I’ll come tell you.” line. The way it’s done now just makes it seem like Kylo just is standing in awkward silence as he truly expected Rey to know why Palpatine wants her dead and so he just kind of decided to disappear to save himself the embarrassment. I get the idea behind it but without anything to either fill it in or maybe more cutting to make Kylo disappear faster or just snipping out this exchange altogether it really doesn’t work as well as imagined. Then there’s the reveal. Now on the plus-side? Rey isn’t revealed as a Palpatine which is a great choice to me. I’ve always never minded the reveal from the perspective of how it was executed in the movie but I have never liked it as an idea. It undermines TLJ’s message that greatness can come from anywhere but it also bizarrely tries to honor that at the same time and as a result it pleases no one. The way this was handled though I do have my criticisms for, mainly that Kylo still says she has his power which still basically comes across as revealing Rey as a Palpatine. Now to give it credit, that is better than what’s in the original film because it means Kylo doesn’t spell out the connection thus leaving the silence and music to do the heavy-lifting though if there is a minor criticism I can give, the flashes of her vision of her on the throne of the Sith were completely unnecessary and with no sound cue or anything just makes this feel like an editor accidentally submitted a cut with scenes placed in the wrong areas.

But that’s not my biggest issue with these choices. My big problem is that the changes would work… if Rey being a Palpatine was intended but it isn’t. One of this edit’s expressed goals is to remove that connection entirely but quite frankly I think it fails to do that to a satisfying degree. The framing really doesn’t reflect the intentions and as a result if it wasn’t for the change list I would be confused about what the intentions for this were. Not to mention this undermines the whole purpose of the Force Dyad which I get for people is a controversial concept and certainly I don’t like it either but at least the explanation made some sense with how the movie went over it. This to me reads a lot like it was an edit that was done with good intentions and a lot of ambition that just didn’t translate properly as far as execution was concerned. Later edits are better though, the edit cuts out the Falcon crash-landing and this change I feel is done for the better compared to the last time the Falcon being damaged was cut. With the scene of Rey repairing something on the Falcon being present it’s pretty easy to infer that Rey and Finn worked double-time to fix the Falcon’s landing gear before they landed. It also cuts Rey matching the dagger to the mountains which is pretty smoothly done but it does result in the dagger feeling like the most useless MacGuffin ever but still it’s done pretty well and then there’s the stuff with Jannah that’s cut down significantly to where she’s just a person they meet on a planet that provides them with the skimmer and it’s immediately used. Personally? I think it’s a very well done change that streamlines the story and it removes the very unnecessary bickering between Finn and Poe. Consequently though it does cut out some good development of Jannah as being another Stormtrooper that left the First Order. Granted Jannah much like Zorii felt very underdeveloped for it’s basically taking the idea of Stormtroopers revolting from TFA and Colin Trevorrow’s Duel of the Fates and kind of reducing it to no more than a footnote. That being said, it still provided a nice bit of bonding and development between the two characters and it still addressed the idea but I’ll chalk it up to being the movie’s fault for not doing enough with her since I don’t see how the edit could’ve handled this differently.

I do see though how this could’ve handled Dark Rey differently. Now when I read the list of changes and how it described that Rey would not briefly duel her dark self and instead the moment she’d move to strike, Rey would be frightened and fall back. Idea-wise? I think this is really cool. But I think the way it plays out in the edit proper really doesn’t convey the “creepier” nature that it was going for. Instead it comes off as a sudden jump-cut that throws off everything. Now I can see how this maybe could’ve been better like maybe let’s say we see the lightsaber ignite first and then we could get the strike because it would at least give it some build-up but instead it’s too sudden. That being said, it picks itself back up very quickly with the interaction between Rey and Kylo and I love how seamless this is and how it really sells Kylo as more of an intimidating villain. Now full disclosure, I really did love the scene in the original movie and how he spoke about Leia and him covering how she can’t go back to her like he can’t but this is a good way of remixing everything to remove her presence and make it more about the fact that she is leaning heavily towards the Dark Side and I like how it’s done without the Wayfinder with us instead being able to just guess that this artifact is just a holocron which concept-wise has been sold to the casual fan well enough in TCW, Rebels and various video games that we genuinely don’t really need an explanation. It does bring up the question why they came here if there is no purpose to this trinket but it is the Force, I can imagine them looking for the Wayfinder is more like they’re looking for just a simple map to Exegol or something else.

The positive comments continue with how we see Finn I guess sensing that Rey’s in trouble which I really like. I like subtly showing that Finn is Force-sensitive and how one can just assume Poe who isn’t in tune with it would be unable to sense it or that he’s just investigating another part of the Death Star or even just keeping watch on the island for any First Order activity. The change I will say I am kind of mixed on is Luke being the catalyst for Kylo pausing. On the one hand, aside from the voice saying his name clearly being from Leia with no alterations to make it maybe a little deeper to better match with Mark Hamill? I can totally see Kylo being naturally distracted by his master reaching out to him especially from far across the galaxy. Even though he saw a full-blown projection, that kind of thing is bound to shock anyone especially Kylo who probably at this point has shut himself off from Luke. On the other hand? It does result in this coming off as a little odd because personally, I think Leia stopping it worked because of the special connection Kylo had with his mother. It built off how she was his weak spot in TLJ and how that was why he couldn’t kill her, it was fitting for her last act in the story. Luke? Kylo just does not have that same connection with him. TLJ makes it clear that Luke cannot be the one to save Kylo for his hatred for his uncle was too strong to break so I almost picture that had Luke been the one to do this, Kylo would’ve stopped for a moment but then his rage would get the better of him and also he might take a sick pleasure in killing his one apprentice, the one he said was going to continue on the Jedi legacy.

And this feeling kind of continues as Luke is shown more. Now the reaction shot I have no problems with though I think his utterance of “Rey.” could’ve been cut since visually the idea works well enough. The flashback to the scene in the rain really doesn’t work though. Not only is the audio too clear for this to be a flashback but also it’s totally unnecessary. Rey and Luke’s interaction worked in TLJ because Luke was trying one last time to warn her that she wasn’t going to turn Kylo back to the light just because that’s how history played out with him and Vader and it confirmed that by having Kylo kill Snoke only to then say afterwards once Rey speaks to him expecting that he has redeemed himself that it’s time to let old things die. That isn’t to say I like the idea of this scene having added weight but I think it’s better left for the audience to think about instead of basically spelling that idea out. Showing and not telling is something that I’m willing to concede the ST kind of struggled with throughout all three movies so any opportunity to fix that is an opportunity to take to me. And then it continues because with there being no Force Heal? It means Kylo is actually dying here (Though I guess the Force gods or whoever decided he should at least go out with no scar for some reason though that is a nitpick.) and we do get the nice scene with Rey telling him she wanted to take Ben’s hand before leaving but then we get a very jarring cut back to Palpatine who gives a quick “Join me on Exegol, General Pryde.” before we move on and it leads to a problem I feel like addressing now because it kind of needs to be said that this edit very much mishandles General Hux.

The edit cuts out both him being the spy and also getting shot by Pryde presumably in an effort to allow him to maintain some dignity but unlike the TLJ edit where I could largely look past it despite it messing up some of the flow of scenes? This really emphasizes one of the original movie’s flaws which was how it drastically tried to course correct in the worst ways, in this instance deciding that we needed Pryde because Hux was seen as a joke now. Now they handled it decently well in TROS since I like the idea that in the intervening years Hux would become so disillusioned with the First Order under Kylo’s leadership that he’d basically decide to sabotage things for the sole purpose of getting back at him. Sure General Pryde then shooting him easily did make it a little more insulting for him but it still worked for me because considering the reveal later that he did serve the Empire and Palpatine during the Galactic Civil War? One could argue that this is showing that Pryde is aware of Vader’s redemption and is not about to let anything like that happen in the First Order. The way it’s done here just means Hux completely disappears from the narrative. Now unlike the removal of Phasma and DJ from TLJ in the previous edit? It doesn’t necessarily rob anyone of any character development but because Hux is still featured? It kind of makes it feel like the movie just forgot about him as it had no idea what to do and thus this reads more like a change that I personally feel shouldn’t have been done just for the sake of giving us closure to his character but that’s just me.

Speaking of giving closure? This edit recontextualizes the scene between Ben and Han as being now him accepting that it’s time to pass on and rejoin with his mother and father in the afterlife complete with an edit to the end which has him and Han fading out. I… am very mixed on this. Not because the edit is badly done because aside from an odd instance where a line feels like it was pulled from The Force Awakens due to the shift in audio, it’s done very well, especially with how the fade-out is done. No I’m mixed because I think this is a case where ambition really doesn’t match what is possible here. The dialogue still largely remains the same and some of those lines make it very clear this is about Ben replaying his encounter with Han from that perspective and not Kylo Ren’s. The way it’s framed, it’s clearly about him finding redemption to go and assist Rey and not because he’s becoming one with the Force and that really distracts from a lot of the good this moment has such as the music and how it keeps all the emotional beats. It also is immediately undercut by seeing the Final Order do its thing with blowing up Kjimi. I’ll get more into it later but I think this scene in concept is really good but execution-wise it’s a little off and it ends up creating more problems for this edit and the story it’s trying to tell.

The second act is a mixed bag to me. Not as much as it was in the previous edit since there is far more good than there is bad, especially with the many choices that were made to streamline the story and unlike the TLJ edit it doesn’t feel like large chunks of the story are missing but the bad that’s here is still very distracting, mostly coming down to edits having a good idea and a great deal of ambition behind them but there just is not enough to truly pull it off to the level that was intended. I think personally there should’ve been some concessions made for the sake of the story flowing more naturally but I’ll get more into that when I give my closing thoughts and verdict. For now though, let’s move onto the third act.

Act Three

Right away I have to give some positives, I like that this keeps the Star Destroyers all having planet-killing tech. Now to be clear, the idea in the original movie was insanely dumb. It was way too over-the-top for the tone ST set for itself and it kind of made some of the more insane ideas of this movie that were cool suddenly just kind of not great as a result since instead of paying attention to how new these ideas were you instead are noticing how ridiculous this all is. That being said? I always liked it as Palpatine’s desperation ploy. The idea that if he were to die that he’d have a contingency to come back and basically go full scorched galaxy as a means of restarting from scratch with people he trusts I’m all for. It kind of reminds me of how Thanos comes to the conclusion of wiping out all of Earth’s population in Endgame, it to me really works. It’s undermined though by Poe coming to Leia’s body. Now on the one hand, this is a good scene and I like how it’s utilized here since it plays off of Poe’s insecurities about being the new general and it provides a good spot for Lando to come in… but there are issues that stick out to me.

For one thing it’s why the corpse is here in the first place. In the original movie, I get why the corpse is just covered with a blanket since Leia had just died but due to the desperation of what was going on, there was no time to give her a proper burial as I’d imagine it’s being saved for after the war is done. That isn’t to say I don’t picture the Resistance going back and picking up the body from space assuming it hadn’t flown off somewhere to give her a burial but them basically picking up the body only to keep it under a blanket I’ve got to say feels immensely weird and really takes away from the emotional impact this scene was intended to have since I just picture someone in the Resistance or even Poe himself just noting how morbid it is they are keeping the corpse of a legend just out in the open like this. Like imagine doing that with your own family member that just passed away and instead of taking the body to be stuffed and getting at least a casket to put it in you just leave it out on a bed for several weeks as you plan for a funeral even when guests come over, it just sounds so weird.

As for Lando’s reintroduction into the story? It just feels so off now. Now to be fair this is more a criticism levied at the original film and not the edit because in the original film Lando really had no place in this story beyond fanservice. He just shows up on Pasaana, acts like the Lando we saw back in the OT, disappears for a long stretch of time until this moment and that’s it. Whereas Han, Luke and Leia felt like they were these characters after thirty years of development had passed and had very important roles to play in this story? Lando felt like he was just perfectly preserved almost like you’d see in fanfiction that care more about providing cool moments than a story so I really can’t fault DonKamillo for this choice. That being said this does show why you can’t have your cake and eat it too with Lando’s inclusion since now it really feels Lando pops in out of nowhere to fulfill this movie’s continuous trend of having OT characters prop up the ST ones almost as if there’s no faith in this new generation being able to carry the torch. And speaking of OT characters, because Luke is alive in this take on the story we do have him appearing on Ahch-To. One edit is made here so that Rey doesn’t throw the lightsaber into the fire and instead we have Luke looking down at her from atop the steps and she hangs her head in shame. There are a few oddities here, mainly I can tell this is using footage from TLJ to achieve this which had Luke in a completely different outfit from TFA and TROS which as a result brings to me the image of Luke pausing to get dressed in a different outfit before his talk with Rey and the fact that the steps aren’t behind the TIE which makes the cutting between scenes feel kind of disjointed but it’s still a fine idea and it’s done the best it could be. As for the stuff with ghost Luke being edited into being alive I am thoroughly impressed with how this was achieved. There are some small issues with it I can nitpick but no joke this is honestly one of the most impressive visual edits I’ve ever seen and I’d love to see someone build upon this effort in another edit because if it’s this good already I can’t imagine what it’d look like refined. In terms of other edits? I think the added scenes of Rey remembering what happened earlier in the movie were unnecessary considering the audience can easily infer what she’s thinking back to but it was still a neat idea. Another neat idea that’s here? Leia’s lightsaber is now yellow instead of blue or Ascendant’s purple which I really like. For one thing, it kind of brings to mind the Infinities Endor DLC that The Force Unleashed II had where Leia had a yellow saber but it also is neat because it’s a unique color and it calls forward to when Rey constructs her own saber and it’s yellow. Overall, this is very well done. There are some odd breaks in the editing as we don’t get the full unbroken flashback of Luke and Leia training with this being noticeable because the sound effect of Leia lifting the blast-shield plays when Luke’s talking despite us not seeing that happen on-screen until after another shot of Rey but that’s a minor quibble. I really can’t focus on every minor flaw that comes about. Sometimes I just got to appreciate what I’m given and I’ve been given is something really nice.

Another change that has been made is Threepio’s memory remains wiped and the way it’s edited together… kind of works. Now I love the original movie’s gag where we set up the potential for his memory being restored with Threepio making the crack about R2’s backup memory and how that leads to their interaction followed up by the smash cut to R2 just restoring it but I do get and even share the criticism about how it cheapens Threepio’s sacrifice and I think the way it’s addressed here works with you being able to read the scene as either R2 just not caring to waste time on this and thus he’s choosing to focus on more important matters or he gets the message just as he’s about to restore his memory or come to terms with this being the new normal. I even don’t mind hearing Threepio still calling Luke “Master Luke” since something tells me R2 would quickly brief him on who he was before they shared the message. I also really like how without the scene with Zorii, the line about how the First Order wins by making them think they’re alone is just something he shares. This works because easily I can imagine this being a sentiment that Leia would share with him and other members of the Resistance.

At this point it’s mostly Exegol stuff which plays out as normal with some minor edits here and there to cut out the Wayfinder and just some other minor scenes. We do still get the stuff with Jannah and Finn when he senses through the Force where the navigation signal is though now it is less impactful due to the cutting of the scene of them bonding. The biggest changes though involves everything from Palpatine trying to convince Rey to do the ritual onwards and this is where I get into one of the biggest criticisms. Personally, I think killing Ben early was a mistake. Now I must commend DonKamillo for this is a very ambitious idea and one that to an extent I like the concept of. But the execution really fails it because simply put? TROS does not provide anywhere near enough content to make this work and the seams are very noticeable starting with the fact the Sovereign Protectors (Those are the red armored dudes that surround Rey here.) just materialize in seconds due to the nature of the cuts, there are occasional audio issues, the flashbacks to Han, Leia and Ben don’t mask the the fact you can still hear the heavy breathing of Ben Solo over the audio which doesn’t match how Rey is at this moment and the reuse of audio from TFA just to give Rey a line refusing the ritual really doesn’t work as the line is breathless and delivered in a frightened manner when the framing and how the scene is filmed suggests it should be more defiant and the time between Rey refusing and Palpatine pulling away comes way too quickly. Not to mention there’s just all the jumpcuts and the fact Palpatine then just decides “Okay, you’re gonna play it like that? I’m gonna sap your life-force now.” which comes way too quickly and despite the rather awesome effect of the multiple Reys screaming in agony as this happens which brings to mind the pit from TLJ. I’m just distracted by how this feels very rushed and very sloppy.

To me, it was just not worth the hassle and the disruption of the pace to cut Ben out of these scenes. It especially doesn’t help because now the Knights of Ren join the ranks of Hux in that they just disappear from the narrative with no resolution which is what Ben’s inclusion provided and also it means the Force Dyad idea has no bearing on this story whatsoever because in the original movie, one might recall that was the reason given for why Palpatine could restore himself. He decided after the two messed up his plans he was going to take matters into his own hands and just steal their life-force, presumably he expected it would just preserve his life but then he discovered something odd. He found out about this dyad through how it healed him and the dialogue makes it clear that this is generally not how this usually goes down. Then overjoyed, Palpatine just goes full hog with it. Here I can’t figure out what Palpatine’s whole goal was with this for it makes me ask if he could just restore himself from one person who’s strong in the Force, why didn’t he do this way earlier or better yet, why didn’t he do this to Rey the moment she approached him? It throws off so much that it undercuts the whole awesome sequence of the galaxy uniting to stop Palpatine for your attention is more on how awkward the cuts in the previous chain of events were though this isn’t free of oddities since there’s an awkward with Lando’s line “Hold on Chewie!” and Poe’s “You made it!” was changed with the intention being he’s referring to Babu Frik instead of Zorii and… I mean it’s not a bad edit overall but this is a case where I do question the intention slightly.

Everything else plays out the same overall except without Palpatine flinging Ben into a pit and we still get the repeating of “Be with me.” and past Jedi speaking to Rey which I really like. Though one massive goof has been made here. In this the wrong lightsaber has been colored yellow. It’s the regular Skywalker saber that has been colored yellow and not Leia’s. Now at first I thought the blue blade was maintained during her fight with the Sovereign Protectors because the idea was that because it was shot from far away that most people wouldn’t notice and assume she was using the Skywalker blade still since that is the saber she pulls out. A solid idea that’s handled very well… but then you get to this scene where she Force Pulls Leia’s saber to her and it’s blue and even though we get a clear close-up shot of the Skywalker hilt? When she whips it out it’s yellow (Though color correction and all the blue results in it looking more green than anything.). It’s not a big deal to be fair but this is definitely a mistake that I’m amazed slipped through the cracks here, especially considering that there was so much time devoted to certain other major edits like changing Luke to appear more alive. Also the death of Palpatine is nowhere near as impactful thanks to the music which I feel was done partially because this cuts out Finn and Jannah raiding the Star Destroyer on those space horses which… I miss. Once again like cutting Ben Solo, this disrupted the flow of things so much more than if it was just kept and as a result the music cue just isn’t as impactful. In the original movie, it really felt like an accomplishment with how the credits variant of the Force theme was used as it really emphasized that this was the final end of the Sith and that Palpatine is definitively dead this time. Here? The vibe it kind of gives me is that this isn’t the end at all and is just a standard beating of a villain. Though I know why it was done because that theme is now moved to Luke’s death since in this edit? Luke’s death from TLJ is moved here with the idea being that with Palpatine gone and the assurance that he’s no longer gonna be the last Jedi? He finally lets himself pass on and this is when Leia finally goes which kind of makes me ask why a corpse stuck around for this long. Now edit-wise? I think it’s a neat idea but I think in execution it does disrupt the flow of the ending more than intended though I’m willing to let that slide when it comes to the Luke stuff because it is genuinely really good and it’s enough to distract from me questioning why Finn’s on the Falcon when here he never supposedly left the ship he was on.

The celebration happens and there’s mostly minor changes here. It cuts Chewie getting Han’s medal from Maz which is a solid cut. I like that it’s just a small moment between these two and no longer is an unnecessary bit of fanservice for people who joked about Chewie never getting a medal in ANH. I don’t really care for Poe’s non-verbal request to kiss Zorii being left in because now it doesn’t really build off of anything and just comes across as random. I… as minor as it is and as much as I’m gonna try to refrain from keeping any potential political stuff out of my review? I’ve gotta say I’m not a fan of the cut of the kiss between two female Resistance members. The list of changes states this was a removal of “pandering” and… I just can’t agree with this. I don’t want to get too deep into it because this will get too personal but what I will say is I think for a series that generally tries to share positive messages and be a force for progress? This is just a tad regressive. Is it necessary in the original movie? No but considering it’s a small bit among all the celebration and what happened with Oscar Isaac trying to push for Finn and Poe but not getting it due to Disney trying to appease countries that will never give a single kriff about this franchise? It was at least something. Moving onto a cut I like? I like that we don’t get Lando and Jannah’s scene though it really highlights just how superfluous and unnecessary he is in this story.

And to continue with the positives? We get one minor change at the very end and that’s how Rey’s lightsaber is… red now. Now at first when I saw this I really wasn’t sure how to feel about it and was worried that it would lead into a cutting of the “Rey Skywalker” line but it didn’t and honestly the more I think about it? The more I really like the idea. In a way, this is Rey wearing the darkness in her on her sleeve for all to see and showing that it’s okay to have that be a part of you as long as you never let it overtake you which contributes to how Rey is going to be better than her forebears because whereas Anakin was consumed by darkness and Luke tried to snuff it out? She’s accepting it and that I think is a very powerful message along with the idea of her taking the name of Skywalker. I’ll speak about my opinions overall of the third act in the verdict section.


The third act and by extension this edit is very much a mixed bag which in a way is kind of fitting since the original movie is a mixed bag. That being said, I’ll give it credit and state this is much better than the Anti-Cringe Cut of The Last Jedi and that it makes a lot of choices that build off of that cut in ways that makes me soften my stance on it at least in terms of when I look at these as two parts of a larger whole. There’s a lot of really impressive editing here that streamlines plenty of scenes, in one instance pulls off the insane task of making a character look like they’re alive and some of the scenes on their own bring really striking visuals like Ben fading with Han, the multiple Reys screaming as Palpatine steals her life-force and the image of Rey accepting the darkness in her by constructing a red lightsaber, making her one of the first Jedi I think to do so at least in this new canon. There’s a lot to love here.

However, it also has a ton of glaring negatives that really bring it down like the TLJ cut from editing choices resulting in wonky all over the place cuts that simply just call attention to how it would’ve been better to just leave certain aspects alone, up and down pacing and certain ideas just being either way too ambitious or not conveyed properly. I applaud the attempts made to change things up more drastically than certain edits and unlike the previous, I will grant it that I didn’t end this viewing feeling kind of angry due to certain decisions made but overall? I view this as a more interesting but very janky experiment. Now let me just say right now when it comes to fan-edits that I completely understand sometimes you’ve got to accept certain bits of jank due to the nature of what these are which is average joes who know their way around some editing software tinkering with completely finished movies. No one working on these has say a secret history at ILM with skills that rival some of their best and they are very limited by what footage, music and audio is available to them so to expect perfection is just ridiculous and simply not gonna happen. That being said, I do feel that editors should sometimes take as many looks as possible at what the footage provides and how the movie flows and weigh how necessary the fix is over what it does to the actual film. Bear in mind, while these edits are being made for specifically niche audiences because let’s face it not every person will go for fan-edits? I do feel that if you are making something for people to indulge in that some sacrifices are necessary. In other words, it’s the same as actual filmmaking and what happens in the editing process which leads to depressing cuts that may be of scenes or ideas you’re personally attached to but you have to do so because otherwise the flick doesn’t flow right.

That’s why in particular I’m quite harsh on editing choices like the kind DonKamillo has wound up making in both edits I’ve watched of his. It’s not that I hate the guy nor is it that I don’t recognize the sheer amount of effort put into it. I quite admire it actually and I think there is still something to be said about viewing these alternate versions of movies and seeing how some fans would’ve done it. That being said, I also feel if you put out a product regardless of if it’s something you pay money for or an edit you download for free that honesty in reviews is of the utmost importance because it is through that honesty that editors can learn how to potentially improve their craft. That being said, I also understand that it very well could be a case that these edits just weren’t for me and you know what? That’s also something I’m okay with. Much like how everyone has their own idea on what Star Wars is for them, everyone has their preferred edit of a movie. I can totally see why tons of people love these two cuts and I hope they do keep loving them and that more people give this a try.

But as I said, honesty is what I’m here to give and personally? I am going to give the Anti-Cringe Cut of TROS a 5 out of 10. It has tons of great ideas and I don’t feel like my time was wasted but this is far from being the ideal edit of this movie and I’m probably not going to be rewatching this ever again unless I think up a good reason to.


And why exactly there are Star Wars reviews in non-Star Wars part of the forum?



These reviews are for fanedits. Some are Star Wars related, most are not.


Vilgefortz said:

And why exactly there are Star Wars reviews in non-Star Wars part of the forum?

Basically what Vultural said. It’s mildly confusing because the section it’s in is named in such a way that it suggests it’s only about non-Star Wars stuff but this is just for fan-edit reviews in general.


I imagine someone could start a specific thread for Star Wars fanedits in that section of the forum.

For both of my review threads, I cleared the idea with MODs. They vetted banners and mission statements.
An index for each thread was essential. That must be alphabetized and hyperlinked to reviews.
Then it’s just maintenance. Login often, update the index.

I know some reviewers here also post in Reddit.
Possibly the Star Wars thread, too. I just seldom prowl around there.

Good luck.


The Killing Joke (Birds Of Prey) - Jack Tourette

Batman Consecution short.
I was / remain unfamiliar with the source material - never heard of, let alone saw - Birds Of Prey
The video quality was poor, the editing a bit heavy handed.
Audio was a decent 2-channel, dialogue clear.
The narrative was really interesting, however, and by the end I wanted a larger peek into that world.
As noted by another reviewer, this was also a pretty good Joker tale.
Enjoyed this a lot.


The Empire Begins (Prequel 3-in-1) - Darth Awesome

Fan-editor Darth Awesome combines all three Star Wars prequels into a single viewing experience, running two hours forty minutes. The heaviest trims come from Phantom Menace. The main sequence is the duel between Darth Maul vs Obi Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn. For action fans seeking Clone Wars, this ain’t it. Though Darth Awesome describes it as rise of Empire, fall of Anakin, the story is really a character study of Anakin Skywalker, with all the good and bad that entails.

Video editing had nice transitions, a couple scene shifts were marvelous.
Audio 2.0 stereo. No subs. At any given time, dialogue was understandable, during combat, street activity, whispered conversations.

Not scratching here, but pointing things out. Planet Kamino barely appears, to me a startling omission. As noted, all but eight minutes of Phantom Menace was jettisoned. The battle on Geonosis was minimized. Duly noticed and missed. General Grievous, on the other hand, was no loss. I could go on and on, parts I missed, others I was happy to see gone. The narrative holds together, but this is a story about Anakin, and I don’t particularly care for this Jedi. Exchanges with Padme remain awful, specifically because of utter lack of chemistry between the leads.

Grumbles aside, Mr Awesome’s edit is OK. I rewatch E02 and E03 occasionally, E01 never. There is clever invention in this effort. Definitely recommended, especially to those who can tolerate the Christensen films. For those who hated them, I doubt this will improve your opinion.


The Judas Breed (Mimic) - TMBTM

I saw Mimic years ago during a preview. Del Toro was in attendance to field questions, including the ever popular, “Is this film autobiographical?”
It played well enough that night, and I enjoyed it.
Disillusion set in swift once I bought a copy and watched at home.
Sloppy narrative, poor characters.
(For Sorvino in particular, Mimic was where her slide began.)

Video - Intelligent reconstruction throughout. Good editing and good choices of what to edit.

Audio - Clean 2-channel audio. Subs, yes, though unnecessary. All dialogue clear.

Narrative - This – this is where the edit gleams, even in the abandoned subway darkness. The story no longer bounces around, as if the flashbacks provided important information, but is more linear, more coherent. The annoying Chuy has been marginalized as much as possible, as has the “baby blues” theme. The “science” of the judas bugs remains sketchy, but this is not the film to overthink.

Enjoyment - For all its gloss and high octane cast, Mimic still cannot escape its cheap B-Horror roots. The last act is little more than a bug hunt and succumbs to cliches.
No mistake, though, this is better, much better, than the Del Toro original. Solid late night Horror. Even better if you watch in your friend’s roach infested home.

NOTE!! Sit through those credits! Two bonuses await.


The Curse (The Witch) - Maniac (2022)

Spoilers for both The Witch (2015) and the fanedit, The Curse (2022).

This is an edit of The Witch, Robert Eggers’ first feature. I requested this edit from Maniac a while back as I felt that the film had a lot of potential, being a very effective psychological horror, but I disliked two main things - the Old English dialogue, which became excessive and irritating after a while, and the ending, which moved the film more objectively away from psychological horror towards supernatural horror. This edit fixes both of these objections.

Firstly, a large chunk of the film is cut entirely - about 39 minutes in all, leaving the edit at a rapid pace of just 53 minutes. I had no problem with this as fanedits that are just rehashes of the original with little changed don’t interest me - this is an entirely different take.

Along with the cut footage goes a large chunk of the cumbersome dialogue, and as a result I felt the edit’s dialogue was more than tolerable.

There is a significant amount of rescoring and sound effects added which further darken the mood and bring a frantic, panicked feel to the edit - very skillful work. Additionally, the characters of Thomasin and Caleb are placed at the forefront, and each are given new flashbacks. These are taken from scenes that played out linearly in the original but are repurposed in an incredibly effective manner. Even though Maniac says he’s not a fan of psychological horror, he has ironically enough made this film even more of a psychological horror by increasing the ambiguity of events and implying that even more of the film takes place in the characters’ minds than the original does.

Finally, there are two death scenes that are both handled better by Maniac than in the original. Firstly, the aforementioned flashbacks edited for Caleb, giving him a much more unnerving death than in the original, which instead features a long monologue. The second is the death of the baby, which in the original takes place early on, but now forms the basis of Maniac’s much more ambigious ending. In both cases, the A/V editing is simply outstanding.

I’d say this is another masterpiece in fanediting from Maniac, and he should seriously consider putting out a couple more psychological edits in between the guts and gore. Similarly to Eggers, Maniac understands very well what makes the audience feel fear and discomfort.


Dune - 50 Minute Edit (Dune, 2021) - blankblank (2022)

This edit of Dune (2021) significantly cuts down the original and replaces the score with various tracks - largely electronic music. Nearly all the original audio is gone, including all dialogue, with a few sound effects remaining, such as that of the helicopters. The footage is drastically cut down to remove all shots of characters speaking, streamline the film, and match footage to audio cues and transitions.

Editing is well done, with the few sound effects used integrated well and the transitions between songs being mostly well executed. In a few cases I probably would’ve favoured more abrupt fades and fewer cross fades. Visual editing, which includes cuts to match music and the occasional fade, is also well done, and the footage which remained is appropriately chosen. The editing of the visions/dreams was very nice.

The narrative itself is certainly less clear than the original, and leaves it to the viewer to piece it together. As I barely remember the original film this was a little challenging at times but not so much so as to become lost. If you’ve not seen the original, then you definitely will be lost. While some dialogue could have been included to clarify the narrative, I appreciate the editor’s intent of making this an entirely visual story with audio only serving to immerse the viewer rather than provide any explanations. It’s up to you to create the story in your mind - as you would when watching a music video, which this edit resembles.

I’m a big fan of electronic music so I did enjoy this edit. I thought that the tracks chosen matched the footage well and often set the tone of what we were seeing, which helped tell the story better.

One thing I’d suggest as an improvement is to include more of the original audio effects. For example, while the song choices for the Harakan attack were good, the impact of the scene felt lacking due to there being no audio to match what we are seeing - no explosions, no impact of swords, no battle cries etc. Adding those in, whether from the original mix or from online sound effects, would improve immersion.


Batman and Robin: Deep Freeze by Musiced21

Musiced has made us believe in the same way Donner enabled us to have faith in a man who could fly. Here, a Bat has earned it’s wings!

Deep Freeze is a tidy, focused 90 minute forraye into the themes of lust, loss, age, vulnerability, teamwork, and family. It feels very much, through the use of the atmospheric and gothic filtering and editorial course corrections, like a natural end point for the Batman of '89 in his middle age if he had allowed himself to be more open. The performances are more dialled in, their stories make sense, there is strategy to the cuts that sees Freeze at his absolute, with Ivy helping his arc along. Ivy isn’t forgotten in the crosshairs either.

The choice of music also brings the film more in touch with the earlier Burton movies without being beholden to them, and the scores bring out the more humane and sombre touches, bringing to life every character action, reaction and motivation.

It’s often said you can’t polish a turd, but somehow Musiced has manged to thaw our hearts and made us revaluate this little popsicle Batman and Robin can be made ideal in an unideal world, which means there’s hope for the rest of us.


Transformers: Darkest Hour by Mark Moore

On a narrative level, the story is very clear and both Optimus revival episodes compliment each other well, I quite like how Mark synched up Optimus’s suicide mission with his rescue. Being an editor I have often wondered if one could skirt around showing the crisp and clean looking Optimus the whole time the rescue mission was underway, but watching it with it fresh again in the memory I can now say that would prove monumentally difficult. Obviously the continuity gaffs can’t be avoided, but the storyline still works.

There were instances where I feel the traditional Autobot/Decepticon logo flips would have provided better transistions than some abrupt cutaways and transistion fade-ins, the sequence following Prime being revived for example is quite sudden, as is a scene from earlier which switches from a sun to the moon (visually that’s great, it’s just the audio cut that sticks out)

I had an issue with Optimus being brought up to speed, but Mark explained why it was neccersary to keep the recap of part one in the edit even if we as the audience know what’s going on, and I understand the choice better.

There is plenty to enjoy in this omnibus, and it was good to revisit some of these really solid run of storylines and characters, combined with a firm restructuring of the visual specifications, I would still recommend viewing this edit even if I have a feeling it’s only a few steps away from being truly refinedst of us.


Bill And Ted’s Tubular Adventure - Wayne Workman

Way cool, junior
Well thought out and executed “Cliff’s Notes” version of the duo’s adventures.
Perfect for school slackers who only have fifteen minutes to devote to film class.
A bit jumpy at times, but not too much so. Besides, one is literally propelled at breakneck speed to pay much attention to tiny flaws.
There is a palpable joie de vivre electricity in this edit which is infectious.
I like to imagine John Wick watching this during his more thoughtful moments.


Star Wars Last Jedi: Coward’s Cut (The Last Jedi) - JXEditor

Straight off, this edit trims over an hour from the original.
The narrative is sleek, but often consists of scattered big moments.
The pace is propulsive, and if you simply want a condensed version, this is OK.

Filesize = 1.2 GB. Video = 1280 X 720p AVC . Audio = 128 kbps AAC. 2 Channel stereo. No subs.

There is no cutlist either here or on FE, but the editor does offer his vision elsewhere.
Confession. After touring elsewhere, I had anticipated seeing a dark overhaul of the film.
Thus, I watched with expectations of a reconfiguration. Not to be.


Dracula: Restored - Billy Batson

Old and creaky, the 1931 Dracula bears more cobwebs than Carfax Abbey. It never really escaped its West End production roots. Lugosi’s riveting count more than compensated, as did terrific photography by Freund, and outstanding set design which set the template, still resonating in Horror films to this day. The second half of the movie is deadly slow, however.
To quicken the pace, Billy Batson rearranged scenes slightly and added material from the Mexican version of the film.

Video - This is the nicest, sharpest version of this film I have seen. Superior to my laserdisc and DVD circa 1999. Credit excellent source material and attentive editing. Deft work here, though I noticed a repeated scene (56.25 - 1:07.15) where Mina removes her wolfbane necklace.

Audio - As to be expected, mono mix. Sound level extremely low, and I wish Billy would have amplified this. Not a complaint, I just had to boost it. No Glass score, by the way.

Narrative - No substantial change here. Second half of the film still moves slower than the first, but the pace is no longer glacial. Scene modifications definitely helped.
This makes a great alternative to the classic version.


Silent Hill: Christopher’s Story - Spence

Filesize = 413 MB, Video = 720 X 480p mkv, Audio = 192 kbps AC3, 2-Channel stereo. No Subs.

This focuses on Christopher’s search, or rather his futile search.
The narrative is choppy, the dialogue incomprehensible at times.
Overall, this is frustrating, especially, I imagine, for newcomers unfamiliar with the series. Then this edit will make little sense.
Unless – you regard this as a dream.
Which is what I did midway. Returned to the beginning, rewatched.
That method totally worked for me. Sean Bean’s character is either hallucinating, or is delusional, or psychotic.
True, for other viewers, this edit makes a cheat sheet for a favorite RPC … oops, I mean character.
Good example of a fledgling editor, this work is still available and worth studying by aspiring editors.