light fades, darkness reigns; light redeems, darkness returns; again a spark
With this rendition of the Saga, I aim to show a way in which it can be seen as a complete and necessary whole; as this is what the Sequel films seemed to promise, and where they failed. In this way, my approach is to revise these classic films by giving what already has value a place to show itself: to balance the political, romantic, and spiritual elements of the plot; to cut where a part serves only spectacle and not character; to cut where I find a part problematic, so that the narrative is continuous and the oppositions are clear; to cut through my own nostalgia for scenes, to see what is necessary.
Major Cuts; or, why to watch these edits in particular
- New episode titles and title crawls.
- The Separatists are rebels; this is emphasised where, for example, Dooku is not shown as Sidious’ apprentice in EP2, and Poggle’s subtitles are altered to imply that the Death Star plans were stolen from Coruscant by Jango.
- No kiss at the lakeside: in EP2 the romance scenes on Naboo are trimmed, removing the kiss there; now Padme and Anakin share their first kiss before the arena sequence on Geonosis
- Addition of PT deleted scenes: to give Padme more agency in the plot; addition of EP5 & 7 deleted scenes, to give Leia more agency in a similar way.
- Harmy’s Despecialised Editions are the primary source for the OT; Adywan’s Revisited Editions are used for certain shots.
- There is only one Death Star: in EP4 the assault on the Death Star sequence is trimmed and combined with the Falcon escaping the Death Star; the EP5 & 6 crawls are written to reflect this.
- No Luke-Leia romance; cuts to EP4, 5, & 6; they are platonic friends, who then realise they are lost siblings.
- Luke’s prison break plan is revised to be more coherent (restructure of EP6 Act 1).
- No 3PO as a golden god, in EP6.
- Stormtroopers are clones; in EP7 dialogue is cut that states otherwise.
- R2 does not have the map; in EP7 Rey finds Ahch-To via the Force.
- In EP8, Poe is more stubborn and his fault is clarified; also, Holdo’s point of view is made more reasonable.
- Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars (CW03) and Rogue One (R1) are included: with new titles, but without episode numbering; CW03 with some restructuring, and R1 with minor edits. They contain moments that are essential in bringing the Saga together as a whole, and in supplementing the PT and OT, respectively.
- TROS will not be included. To me, the broom boy scene at the end of EP8 is the perfect end to the Saga. Still, no cuts contradict TROS.
Generally, there is some restructuring for efficacy, scenes cut for brevity, and many deleted scenes added. Otherwise, the cuts are a question of a style (to remove or reframe ridiculous antics, unnecessary action, stilted dialogue, and irrelevant shots), and that style being unified across all episodes. No cuts require continuity between trilogies, at most they only extend within a single trilogy.
Potential Cuts; to be attempted
- Naboo is Alderaan; to be achieved through a partial sub and dub of the Gungans in EP1, with Rakatan alien dialogue from KOTOR, and other minor edits in EP2 & 3.
- In EP1, trim the shot of Maul falling down the shaft, and add brief a voiceover (‘Kenobi!!’?), to imply that he lives, for Clone Wars continuity.
- Sidious has been removed from EP1, but will be restored, as this cut feels unsuccessful.
- EP3 ‘Seeds of Rebellion’ deleted scenes restructure; the first scene moved to last position in the sequence, so that the formation of the rebellion (and not the petition of two-thousand) concludes this subplot.
- Addition of Clone Wars content to EP3 (Yoda’s Journey, Tartakosvky’s Battle of Coruscant, Siege of Mandalore & Order 66), as in Delpheas’ edit. With an intertitle due to length.
- Combine EP7 & 8 into a single film without an episode number, with an intertitle due to length.
- Restore broom boy epilogue scene in EP8, as this was originally cut in anticipation of TROS.
Cuts (both major and minor), by Episode
If a cut is copied from another editor, I have attempted to note the source in brackets. Still, some may have been missed, and many imitated cuts are modified in some way.
- Title; VEIL OF DARKNESS
- The opening sequence is heavily trimmed, along with the Naboo throne room and Otah Gunga scenes being cut.
- The Federation/Sidious scenes are heavily trimmed.
- Jar-Jar Bink’s antics are reduced (Hal).
- Added the ‘Anakin fights Greedo’ deleted scene (Hal).
- Qui-Gon using the Force to sabotage Sebulba’s podracer is emphasised more clearly.
- Final battle is restructured to make Anakin the hero, rather than a lucky fool (Hal).
- Title; A SEPARATIST THREAT
- Count Dooku is not Darth Sidious’ apprentice in this film; hopefully implying that he is gradually corrupted by Sidious after EP2, to make his plea for Obi-Wan to join him earnest and not duplicitous
- Cuts made to prevent Anakin from being a creep, and have Padme take the initiative in their relationship
- Second assassination attempt has been trimmed, the slugs are replaced with lasers (Swagbeditor)
- Obi-Wan’s ‘toxic dart’ subplot has been trimmed (Phantom Editor)
- The scene between Padme and the Queen of Naboo has been trimmed; all of Anakin’s and Sio Bibble’s (the Governor) lines have been removed here.
- Lama Su’s (Kaminoan Prime Minister) lines stating that the clone army was made for the Republic are removed, as this overly complicates Obi-Wan’s detective subplot. Here we only find out that Master Sifo-Dyas ordered a clone army, but not why or who for. Here, the Jedi begin the Clone War with direct ownership and control over the Clone Army, but by EP3 this control has been eroded.
- The ‘forbidden love’ night interior scene (Anakin and Padme) has been removed (Phantom Editor); also the lakeside kiss scene is removed, so their romantic relationship begins toward the end of the film, with their first kiss at the Geonosian arena.
- Act 2 has been restructured so that Obi-Wan’s holo-call occurs in real time/is not a recording (Seciors?).
- Added deleted scenes: Padme addresses the Senate (scene extended further than Hal’s edit), Obi-Wan and Mace (Jedi landing pad), extended arrival on Naboo, Anakin meets the parents, and Dooku interrogates Padme.
- The scene with Watto on Tatooine is removed; Anakin can find his mother through the Force.
- The confession scene on Tatooine (Anakin and Padme) has been removed.
- Where Jango and Obi-Wan meet, their duel on Kamino has been trimmed and their dogfight in the rings of Geonosis removed (Phantom Editor)
- The droid factory sequence has been trimmed (Hal).
- The final battle sequence has been trimmed and restructured (Phantom Editor) so that Dooku remains at the arena, with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme returning to face him there (in the, presumably adjacent, hangar).
- In the Separatist war room scene, Poggle has been subtitled, and states that the Death Star plans were delivered by Jango, implying that the Separatists stole the plans from the Republic, in order to make clear that the Separatists are rebels.
- The duel between Dooku and Yoda is cut (Q2).
Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars (CW03):
- This edit of CW03 is a very early draft; the initial restructure is still in progress, and is not ready for public release
- Title; TRIAL OF THE JEDI
- Trims to reduce excessive action, and keep the plot moving.
- First scene is of Ventress arriving on Rattatak (renamed Dathomir in the crawl), to maintain the classic opening style of the planetary descent.
- Dantooine and Mon Cala sequences are cut.
- Durge vs. Obi-Wan is cut.
- Clone troops reinforcing Anakin on Yavin are cut.
- Title; TWILIGHT OF THE REPUBLIC
- For Anakin’s fall, there is a tendency to interpret this as being apolitical; I aim to show the lure of Imperial authority, of the dark side of the Force, and fear at losing Padme as three equal parts to this tragedy.
- The opening sequence is heavily trimmed (no buzz droids, elevator antics, or crash landing)
- The balcony scene is trimmed (l8wrtr), with the first nightmare scene moved to later in the film
- Deleted scenes have been added (Hal), with the addition of part of the ‘adjustments to the constitution’ scene between Anakin and Palpatine.
- Act 2 has been restructured, to allow for all theatrical scenes with the additional deleted scenes
- The duel between Obi-Wan and Grievous has been shortened; we cut from when the Republic fleet arrives to Palpatine’s office.
- The Jedi holo-room scene is removed
- The duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan is trimmed, to make the action more effective (l8wrtr)
- The duel between Yoda and Sidious is cut (Hal)
- Padme does not die (Hal)
- The Vader reveal scene is shortened (l8wrtr or Q2?); now we fade to black on Vader’s line ‘Yes Master’
- Parts of the epilogue montage have been cut (no Padme’s funeral, Yoda arrives on Dagobah, or Alderaan scenes)
Rogue One (R1):
- Title; DOMINION OF THE SITH
- Wipe transitions added throughout.
- The original ‘Rogue One’ title is replaced with a fade to black transition, over the original score.
- Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba’s cameo is cut.
- Cuts on the landing platform at Eadu: Jyn and Krennic do not aim their blasters at each other; Jyn is not blasted back by the shuttles engines.
- The last two shots of Vader’s bacta tank draining out have been cut. We don’t see Vader unmasked until EP5 & 6.
- Vader force choking Krennic, and the associated pun, is cut.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO’s cameo is cut, as they should already be in space at this point.
- Leia’s cameo is cut, and the shot of Vader looking at the Tantive IV as it departs is cut.
- Title; A HIDDEN FORTRESS
- Added the deleted scene between Luke and Biggs on Tatooine.
- Obi-Wan’s line ‘I don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid’ has been cut.
- The Luke-Leia romance subplot is removed; Luke is not jealous of Han over Leia.
- The escape from and assault on the Death Star sequences have been trimmed and intercut: the ‘trash compactor’ and ‘swing across the chasm’ scenes have been cut; with the final battle, all shots of Luke piloting an X-Wing removed, and neither Red Leader nor Luke perform the trench run. In this way, there is only one Death Star as it is not destroyed here; EP5 & 6 title crawls have been written to reflect this.
- Title; THE FORCE UNKNOWN
- Cuts made to prevent Han from being a creep, and from misconstruing Leia’s feelings towards him.
- The Wampa sequence will be removed; Luke gets lost in a blizzard.
- The deleted scene between Luke and Leia in the medical bay has been trimmed and added, despite it’s poor quality.
- The Luke-Leia romance subplot is removed.
- The following shots are lifted from Adywan’s Revisited edit: looking through Luke’s binoculars, the Battle of Hoth sequence, scene between Vader and the Emperor, some shots of Obi-Wan’s ghost, and final shots of the Rebel fleet.
- Luke single-handedly destroying the AT-AT has been removed.
- Vader executing Captain Needa has been cut, as he was neither an incompetent commander (like Admiral Ozzel) nor a traitor.
- Lando is less of a creep towards Leia; his line ‘Hello, what have we here?’ is cut.
- Luke does not call to Leia from Cloud City, instead she hears him calling to Ben, in order to show her force-sensitivity.
- Title; A NEW DAWN
- The opening scenes are heavily restructured, to imply that since EP5 Luke has been training with Yoda, and so that Luke’s plan to rescue Han (and everyone else) makes sense. The sequence is as follows: Vader arrives at the Death Star, then Luke on Dagobah, Lapti Nek dance number to introduce Jabba’s palace, Leia attempts to rescue Han, Luke plants the droids (extended with the ‘lightsaber construction’ deleted scene), Luke arrives at Jabba’s palace and feigns capture (the Rancor is cut), the fight on Jabba’s sail barge, the Emperor arrives at the Death Star, then as normal from the Rebel briefing.
- Obi-Wan’s line ‘from a certain point of view’ is cut.
- Boba Fett does not die, as he is not present at the fight on Jabba’s barge.
- 3PO’s golden god subplot has been removed, as it undermines the cooperation between the rebels and Ewoks.
- The Luke-Leia romance subplot (Han being jealous of Luke over Leia) is cut.
- In the scene between Luke and Vader on Endor, Vader’s line ‘Obi-Wan once thought as you do’ has been removed for continuity, as in EP3 it was not Obi-Wan but Padme who, in asking Anakin to abandon the Empire, thought as Luke does.
- Some Ewok battle scenes have been removed, to make them less cute and more effective in the final battle.
- The Executor is not destroyed in the final battle, hopefully implying that it is the Super Star Destroyer wreck on Jakku in EP7.
- The deleted sequence of Jerjerrod preparing the Death Star to fire on Endor has been added and intercut with the end sequence of the final battle, to maintain suspense in the battle after the Emperor is destroyed.
- The force ghosts have been removed from the final celebration scene, so the final iris wipe occurs on a shot of Luke turning to face the camera (originally setting up the shot of the force ghosts) with Leia and Han in the background.
- Title; FATE OF THE REBELLION
- Hosnian Prime is renamed to Coruscant (will be changed to Dantooine, due to Treverrow’s Duel of the Fates) in the crawl.
- The deleted scenes with Leia (‘Jakku message’ and ‘Leia and the Resistance’) have been combined and added as a single scene between Rey meeting BB-8 and Poe’s interrogation.
- Kylo’s meditation scene has been placed earlier in the film, between Rey refusing to sell BB8 and Finn escaping with Poe, in order to show Kylo’s relationship to Vader as having priority over Snoke.
- Dialogue stating or implying that the Stormtroopers are no longer clones has been cut; Kylo doesn’t say the First Order troopers are not clones and Finn doesn’t say he was taken from a family.
- The Rathtar sequence has been trimmed.
- The first Snoke scene has been trimmed, and placed after Rey’s force vision on Takodana, as this seems most like the ‘awakening’ that Snoke refers to.
- The scene between Rey and Maz, after Rey picks up the Skywalker saber on Takodana, is cut.
- Shots of Poe (X-Wing interior) in the sequence on Takodana are cut, to delay this reveal until he reunites with BB-8 and Finn on D’Qar.
- The Falcon crash landing on Starkiller Base has been cut.
- Han’s death is trimmed slightly; Kylo does not drop his mask, and there is less grappling of Kylo’s lightsaber.
- Starkiller Base fires on the Republic capital in the final battle, not during the Takodana sequence (Hal).
- A fade to black (w/ score) has been placed after Leia and Rey embrace on D’Qar, in order to separate the epilogue from the rest of the film.
- In the epilogue, R2 does not have the rest of the map, he simply reunites with BB-8 and C-3PO. With that scene cut, Rey then uses the Force to find Luke (previous films have clearly shown this to be a Force power); the map itself is unnecessary. NeverarGreat’s excellent ‘daydream’ scene is used earlier in the film to support this.
- Title; ODYSSEY OF DARKNESS
- Ahch-To is renamed to Telos (from KOTOR2/TSL) in the crawl.
- Poe’s ‘rogue leader’ subplot has been trimmed, to imply that his demotion was due to his inability to protect the bombers, and not from disobeying Leia in order to attack the Dreadnaught turrets (as this was a sound strategy in protecting the Raddus); also, the resulting conflict between Poe and Holdo is trimmed, to make Holdo less unreasonable and Poe more stubborn.
- BB-8 does not electrocute itself to fix Poe’s X-Wing.
- Added deleted scenes: Luke talks to caretakers, Luke mourns Han, part of the Mega Destroyer stealth mission, Rose spits before execution, Rose and Finn escape (shuttle interior).
- The scene with Yoda is cut, to prevent Yoda from burning down an ancient Jedi temple.
- The Mega Destroyer stealth mission deleted scene has been trimmed and added, as it helps imply that Finn was a clone.
- Hyperspace/kamikaze manoeuvre: removed all close up shots of secondary impact on Star Destroyers, to reduce its destructive power.
- Reduced the number of rebel transports destroyed as they flee to Crait, to lessen the unfortunate consequences of Finn and Rose’s subplot.
- Removed Rose’s line ‘we’ll win by saving those we love, not destroying those we hate’, as her actions and the plot show this well enough.
- Removed AT-M6 walkers firing on Luke; trimmed Luke and Kylo’s faux duel so that Kylo strikes Luke’s force projection on his first attack.
- The shot with Luke becoming one with the Force is removed, to leave his fate more ambiguous, perhaps implying that he lives for at least some time after EP8.
This is still an open project, in need of a final pass to polish things up. I aim to return to it soon as the Saga is complete; or, at least, as the primary extension of the Saga by the Sequel films is now complete.
Feel free to comment or PM me for a link; any thoughts you have on the project are welcome.