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Max's Prequel Edits (a WIP)

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 (Edited)

First of all, hello (again, to old friends).

I’ve been toying with the idea of edits and I’ve started in earnest on Episode I.

What interests me most is reordering and recontextualizing scenes. Who knows how far I will make it so I am making this thread for three main reasons: as a self-motivator, for advice, and for others to take any ideas they think worth trying for their own work.

I am making compromises along the way because (1) I want to minimize choppiness (2) I don’t have skills for everything I might want to do, and (3) in theory I want to preserve GL’s overall vision, up to and including Jar Jar - it’s a fun challenge to see how well that can be done.

[Source: TPM bluray]


The Beginning of Episode I:

A new crawl. The Trade Federation is occupying the planet of Naboo and the Republic has dispatched Jedis to negotiate.

From the crawl, pan down to the Trade Federation ship (Attack on Theed theme plays) with ships headed toward Naboo, then the line of troop transport vehicles headed to Theed, their procession in the City, Amidala watching from the window.

Cut to Trade Federation ship scene, exterior then interior, where Gunray is telling Palpatine, “the invasion is on schedule, my Lord.” This scene plays out as normal up until Palpatine says about Amidala, “controlling her will not be difficult.”

Cut to Theed palace, throne room scene (omitting Palpatine hologram) where Amidala talks about they need to rely on negotiations rather than engaging in military action, etc (rejiggering the scene to make it fit the new storyline). Amidala looks weak, seeming to fit Palpatine’s description. Governor Bibble exasperatedly asks “and where are the Chancellor’s Ambassadors?”

Cut to the Jedi ship making its way to the Trade Federation ship (omit pre-boarding call with Gunray). After Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are brought to the conference room, there is lots of reordering and trimming for the sake of the new storyline and for maintaining tension. After the Jedi flee the droids (omitting the fast run and mention of ventilation shafts), Amidala calls Gunray and tells him she believes the ambassadors have arrived, Gunray says he has no idea what she’s talking about.

Cut to Qui-Gon talking to Obi-Wan about stowing aboard ships and meeting below.


Big and miscellaneous changes:

A couple of big changes I want to make down the road relate to Darth Maul. I will omit his going to Tatooine. The first encounter with Maul will be on Corcuscant. After the balcony scene with Palpatine and Maul, taken from earlier in the film, we cut to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan speaking on Coruscant. Perhaps the balcony scene where Obi-Wan is asking Qui-Gon to not defy the council, or else the landing pad talk before they are set to return to Naboo. Digital magic places them in the power generator space where they are confronted by Maul mid-discussion. They fight, ending when Qui-Gon knocks Maul off the bridge and Maul seems to fall into the abyss (rather than onto another bridge). This is followed by parts of earlier scene where Qui-Gon tells the council about the threat he encountered and the council says they will look into it. I’m trying to figure out if I can make the council discussion a night scene to work better for the changed narrative (and not that Qui-Gon waited until morning). No idea how well any of this will work technically (or if I can do it) but think it greatly improves the story.

On Naboo, Maul shows up again, a surprising menace, acting so cool because he is still alive. They fight in the hangar as normal, with Maul kicking Obi-Wan to the floor before entering doorway with Qui Gon, then cut to the force field hallway. Some digital magic to obscure power generator background in a couple of shots.

Another big change is having the spat between Sebulba and Jar Jar occur while Qui-Gon and crew are just looking for a place to buy the parts they need. Anakin steps in to save Jar Jar and by end of scene, there is an inserted line from Qui-Gon about needing parts followed by Anakin’s statement (taken from later) “c’mon, I’ll take you to my place.” This makes the whole train of events, including meeting Anakin more organic. AND makes the story more in tune with GL’s declaration that “Jar Jar is the key to all of this.” There is limited material to work with but I think it is feasible. Minor edits in Watto’s shop scene also makes this work.

Some miscellaneous changes: There will be no 3PO. No midichlorians. After Shmi tells Anakin to not look back, he does. I desperately want to change the podrace announcers. Let it be Max Rebo and Droopy McCool. Musicians need to make a living however they can and maybe that’s how they got Jabba’s attention. Changing the announcers is beyond me and maybe I will omit them entirely, I don’t know. There will be color grading and music changes.

I have two small Gungan scenes mostly complete (links below). For the underwater swim,the original music never worked for me as it has an ethereal and magical feel that doesn’t match grumpy Jedi following Jar Jar underwater for an uncertain purpose. A Mussorgsky tune has been adapted instead. I’m rather proud of the second clip as well, a few subtle changes.

I’m more excited about my ideas for Episode II but I think it will go better if I have Episode I worked out, at least as practice. Episode III is a big challenge but I have similar ideas for its alteration. I’ve been following the The Prequel Radical Redux thread which has ideas worth integrating.

Let me know your thoughts!

https://streamable.com/aph0qy

https://streamable.com/yc1e4t


The Beginning of Episode II:

A new crawl. Opponents of the military creation act are being targeted for assassination. Jedi Knight Obi-Wan and his apprentice Anakin are in pursuit of the assassin.

From the crawl, pan down to Coruscant, ships flying, night side of the planet with the lights on the surface. Cut to surface, very possibly using the following scene from TPM: https://streamable.com/lcc1bh

Cuts from there to Obi-Wan and Anakin pursuing the assassin in their speeder. This provides a strong introduction to the characters, with cringier dialogue trimmed. Anakin tries his “shortcut” and loses the assassin, as Obi-Wan says. The scene cuts to Zam Wesell in her speeder escaping (along with the denouement in the music as it exists) as she removes her veil, now that she’s safe and for the audience to see her.

Cut to Padme’s ship arriving through the clouds, then to Obi-Wan & Anakin going up the elevator to see Padme. All kinds of trimming here of course! I am sure others have done many clever things with this scene that I will have to consult. It is hard not to reduce it to almost nothing. One little change I will make is after Padme says, “Ani? My goodness, you’ve grown,” Anakin responds “So have you… for a senator, I mean.” It makes a bad line feel more authentic, like he is awkwardly covering himself and not being a creep. Then the shot of Captain Typho looking uncomfortable and a simple awkward smile from Padme.

Padme is no longer the assassin’s lone target and the dialogue in this and other scenes is trimmed accordingly.

There is the meeting in Palpatine’s office somewhere, maybe here.

After Palpatine’s office scene with talk about Separatists, we cut to the base on Geonosis, separatists meeting around the table. Letting the audience have a clear idea what is happening is good!

We get to the Jedi protecting Padme in her apartment. I’m pretty sure it is snooker who has done some great work on this scene (I cannot find the post right now), eg makes it look like Anakin jumps out the window. In my vision Zam Wesell flies right up to the window to assassinate Padme and Anakin jumps onto the speeder where the speeder fight ensues. Obi-Wan rushes after in his speeder and lands where Zam has crashed to join Anakin at the club. Another suggestion I want to adopt is to omit shapeshifter talk, change line to “He is a she”/“In that case, be extra careful”.

Obi-Wan and Anakin go before the council, Obi-Wan instructed to investigate the bounty hunter and Anakin is to protect Padme.

Obi-Wan goes to the diner to find out about the saberdart. I think this scene can be charming with careful cutting of things that are too silly or repetitive.

Then we cut to first few seconds of “Star Wars: Underworld” footage showing a grungy lower level street. Cut to Anakin and Padme, incognito, eating there in a shabby cantina (ie what was the refugee ship).

We cut to Anakin speaking with Palpatine who promises to speak to Padme. There is solo shot of Anakin at the council in front of window saying it will be hard to get Padme to leave. That scene can be added here. (Mace Windu/Yoda do not orchestrate her leaving.) This is Anakin’s initiative because he cares too much for her and Palps is more than happy to oblige.

Anakin has a bad dream about his mother (taken from Naboo portion of the film). Cut to Padme getting ready to leave, all upset. The scene is trimmed and revised.

[And much, much more!]


The blue elephant in the room.

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This sounds amazing.
Especially your idea with the fight in the generator room.
I love these weird and sometimes overambitious what if ideas about changing location, time, plot, characters or dialogue of a scene.
I would both love to hear your ideas for II and III, as well as check out your Episode I for myself as soon as you can share it.

Let Qui-Gons be Qui-Gons

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This concept is really neat, looking forward to see more of it!

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I’m not sure how many of your ideas for this edit are possible, but I will say that I am intrigued, and I like what I’m reading here. I wish you the best of luck, and I’d be happy to see it when it’s released!

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

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Thank you for the supportive comments 😃

I’ve taken a quick run at Meeting Anakin/Watto’s Shop. It needs polishing and maybe more trimming but I think works telling the story. Is a 4:20 (no pun intended) clip too long to share?

I’m curious about your work Eyepainter.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

Thank you for the supportive comments 😃

I’ve taken a quick run at Meeting Anakin/Watto’s Shop. It needs polishing and maybe more trimming but I think works telling the story. Is a 4:20 (no pun intended) clip too long to share?

I’m curious about your work Eyepainter.

I’d be happy to send a PM if you’d like. Just say please.

I’m not sure how long is too long, but I did post a link to a 6-minute YouTube video I created detailing changes I made for my Terminator 2 fanedit. I haven’t gotten in trouble for it, so I think a 4:20 clip is probably okay. That is, unless the clip in question is offensive or obscene, but I doubt a clip of Episode I is gonna do that. I would say Jar Jar is obscene, but I think my definition is different from the moderators.

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

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Eyepainter said:

Mrebo said:

Thank you for the supportive comments 😃

I’ve taken a quick run at Meeting Anakin/Watto’s Shop. It needs polishing and maybe more trimming but I think works telling the story. Is a 4:20 (no pun intended) clip too long to share?

I’m curious about your work Eyepainter.

I’d be happy to send a PM if you’d like. Just say please.

I’m not sure how long is too long, but I did post a link to a 6-minute YouTube video I created detailing changes I made for my Terminator 2 fanedit. I haven’t gotten in trouble for it, so I think a 4:20 clip is probably okay. That is, unless the clip in question is offensive or obscene, but I doubt a clip of Episode I is gonna do that. I would say Jar Jar is obscene, but I think my definition is different from the moderators.

Thor meme with text “is it though?”

Maybe I’ll bleep Jar Jar’s lines and blur him out to make it family friendly 😉

It would be a third scene featuring Jar Jar I’ve posted…

The blue elephant in the room.

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I think it works pretty well, the Anakin and Sebulba subtitles really sell it too.

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Mrebo said:

Here is my rough draft of meeting Anakin. Would love any comments.

https://streamable.com/q62z0b

I think it’s an interesting choice, and it does a good job of introducing Anakin in a more unique way than the theatrical version.

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

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Mrebo said:

Here is my rough draft of meeting Anakin. Would love any comments.

https://streamable.com/q62z0b

That’s FANTASTIC. Obviously, it’s far from seamless–it being a rough draft–but it flows well and actually works nicely as a first introduction.

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I like this a lot. It feels like a more natural introduction to him.

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Nice work!

“Always in motion is the future” 🌌

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Thank you for the very encouraging comments.

The blue elephant in the room.

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I did this quick edit just to see the gag but I think it’s too jokey. I’m on the fence whether to keep that single Jar Jar moment at all, in its proper place, but definitely cutting the first tongue shot. I go between not liking the antics and thinking a Gungan creature is not theoretically a bad idea that can work if toned down.

https://streamable.com/mhwxv4

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

I did this quick edit just to see the gag but I think it’s too jokey. I’m on the fence whether to keep that single Jar Jar moment at all, in its proper place, but definitely cutting the first tongue shot. I go between not liking the antics and thinking a Gungan creature is not theoretically a bad idea that can work if toned down.

https://streamable.com/mhwxv4

I’m leaning towards getting rid of that Jar Jar moment. I even cut that joke out of my own edit because (like a lot of Jar Jar moments) it distracts from the main focus of the scene, which is on Anakin and Qui-Gon in this case (and occasionally, Shmi and Padme).

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

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Mrebo said:

I did this quick edit just to see the gag but I think it’s too jokey. I’m on the fence whether to keep that single Jar Jar moment at all, in its proper place, but definitely cutting the first tongue shot. I go between not liking the antics and thinking a Gungan creature is not theoretically a bad idea that can work if toned down.

https://streamable.com/mhwxv4

Okay that is brilliant.

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AS, thanks 😂

Eyepainter, I’m thinking you’re right. There are times that Jar Jar can be used to add color or defuse tension, but mostly he’s all over the place distracting as you say.

The blue elephant in the room.

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I’m rethinking the opening sequence because it doesn’t flow. There is too much cutting back and forth between shortened scenes. And the throne room scene doesn’t feel right when the droid army is already occupying the city.

I might keep my basic outline intact by not showing the droid army going to Theed so early and keeping more of the Theed throne room scene so it’s not such a quick jump back to the Control Ship.

In editing the film, I’m becoming more aware of story-telling errors. Too often the same information is given multiple times and deflates the impact when it ultimately matters. I didn’t have a view on this before but Qui-Gon needed to be more plainly portrayed as the protagonist. I’m realizing why a number of editors completely cut Otoh Gunga. I’m keeping it but it is frustrating how little the underwater scenes do.

One small thing that is bothering me in the original film occurs right after Qui-Gon tells Jar Jar he’s headed into trouble. There is dialogue that appears to have been cut (Qui-Gon’s mouth starts moving which is what makes me crazy) and obscured by a Weequay walking in front. The original cuts/edits of that scene are awkward and I wonder why the scene seems so overworked.

I want Shmi to be freed too but haven’t settled on how to finesse this - anyone else tried to make this happen? The pod that won the Boonta Eve Classic would seem to be worth Shmi’s freedom.

The blue elephant in the room.

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The editing continues. Learning what many editors before me have learned. Sometimes a segment can be so frustrating but then an easy fix appears or some things that seem okay are glaringly bad a day later. Scenes that get removed suddenly work better or are required for pacing or transition. One idea I had was to have Nute and Rune land after the queen has escaped and he say his line, “ah, victory” as the droid informs him the queen has escaped. Aside from getting a good battle droid voice, the timing doesn’t feel right for the joke to work. Likely abandoning but wanted to show the concept (with no battle droid line).

https://streamable.com/w5ii7c

The blue elephant in the room.

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Jedi fight aboard control ship.
A bunch of persnickety changes and one to suit my modified narrative. Let me know what you like, don’t like, and alternate ideas.

Daultay no longer “stunted” only “slime”

Because invasion already underway Palpatine’s line about making it legal has been repurposed in a way that is dismissive and foreshadowing.

Exterior shot of ship blows up few frames in. Lightsaber sounds a couple frames later to better match the action.

Removed “dioxin” shot / Nute telling droid to go in / droid voices. I like idea it is the Jedi who opened the door but it is quite fast. I’ve liked similar edits others have done and will have to consult them further.

Removed Nute’s interruption “what is going on down there” shot.

Trimmed exchange between Nute/Run about having encountered Jedi before.

Removed Obi-Wan’s post-slash posing.

Moved “close the blast doors” shot in a way I think flows better.

https://streamable.com/kdfus5

The blue elephant in the room.

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It is extremely challenging to stitch together a clean background shot of the front area of the Naboo generator room. Photoshop autoalign doesn’t do enough to get it to a workable place. There is sufficient imagery in the movie to cover 95%+ of the shot but the perspective varies so much from one shot to another. Is anyone aware of other images/video? I’ve read that there was more to this segment of the duel that was deleted but that doesn’t seem to be released.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Mrebo said:

Jedi fight aboard control ship.
A bunch of persnickety changes and one to suit my modified narrative. Let me know what you like, don’t like, and alternate ideas.

Daultay no longer “stunted” only “slime”

Because invasion already underway Palpatine’s line about making it legal has been repurposed in a way that is dismissive and foreshadowing.

Exterior shot of ship blows up few frames in. Lightsaber sounds a couple frames later to better match the action.

Removed “dioxin” shot / Nute telling droid to go in / droid voices. I like idea it is the Jedi who opened the door but it is quite fast. I’ve liked similar edits others have done and will have to consult them further.

Removed Nute’s interruption “what is going on down there” shot.

Trimmed exchange between Nute/Run about having encountered Jedi before.

Removed Obi-Wan’s post-slash posing.

Moved “close the blast doors” shot in a way I think flows better.

https://streamable.com/kdfus5

I think it’s wonderful. The only bit I might suggest removing is the line, “We will not survive this.” But then again, that’s just me. Otherwise, I like it.

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

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Eyepainter said:

Mrebo said:

Jedi fight aboard control ship.
A bunch of persnickety changes and one to suit my modified narrative. Let me know what you like, don’t like, and alternate ideas.

Daultay no longer “stunted” only “slime”

Because invasion already underway Palpatine’s line about making it legal has been repurposed in a way that is dismissive and foreshadowing.

Exterior shot of ship blows up few frames in. Lightsaber sounds a couple frames later to better match the action.

Removed “dioxin” shot / Nute telling droid to go in / droid voices. I like idea it is the Jedi who opened the door but it is quite fast. I’ve liked similar edits others have done and will have to consult them further.

Removed Nute’s interruption “what is going on down there” shot.

Trimmed exchange between Nute/Run about having encountered Jedi before.

Removed Obi-Wan’s post-slash posing.

Moved “close the blast doors” shot in a way I think flows better.

https://streamable.com/kdfus5

I think it’s wonderful. The only bit I might suggest removing is the line, “We will not survive this.” But then again, that’s just me. Otherwise, I like it.

Thank you 😃 I will think about that. I’m feeling out how much I like his constant cowardice in every scene, whether I like that bit of comedy or it goes too far.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Thinking way ahead to ROTS, does anyone know if this scene from Goya’s Ghosts was released:

I skimmed through that movie twice without seeing it although this image was released as part of promos.

The blue elephant in the room.