There’s been so many fanedits of Revenge of the Sith, and I’ve appreciated and enjoyed a great deal of them, but I’ve never been able to find one that I’ve truly felt was my ideal RotS. And for one reason: The Clone Wars animated series.
The Clone Wars, once you get past its initial suck, really does wonders for the prequel era. Sure, it may not adhere to the OT 100%, just by proxy of following the prequels, but it does make up for those OT Ben Kenobi lines of “He was a great pilot, and a good friend…”- It gives us an Anakin Skywalker that is all of those things and is truly one of the most compelling Star Wars characters ever.
Matt Lanter/TCW depict Anakin very differently than Hayden Christensen and Lucas did; he’s a charming, swashbuckling, but mature jedi/general/teacher/pilot/friend - with a dark side that manifests itself in ways more interesting than bratty whining and naive creepiness. Knowing that THIS guy falls to the dark side is tragic, and seeing him inch further and further away from the Jedi Order as the show progresses is incredibly compelling.
Watching all of that build in TCW and then going into RotS almost makes RotS work - but Anakin is a completely different character. Theoretically, TCW should be able to complement the movie nicely for those who put the time in - but there’s too much suspension of disbelief at play to connect Christensen to Lanter.
Every edit I’ve seen hasn’t been able to do this (mostly b/c idk if they’ve really tried to) without me thinking to myself, “Well you could’ve done this or left in or out that.” So for this edit, I’m going to try and make an edit that reasonably connects RotS and TCW, specifically in the case of Anakin. The structure is essentially like HAL’s in terms of how Anakin’s motivations are presented, and which extraneous scenes and expositions were removed, but Anakin is depicted differently, and just to keep it canon, Padme still dies.
For starters: TCW!Anakin is 10x the man Christensen was. Christensen still seems too unconfident and naive, and less competent - Obi Wan consistently scolds and lectures him throughout the movie as if he was fresh off of being a padawan! Anakin had his own padawan and is the inspiring, capable leader to the 501st! Even if you hadn’t seen TCW, he has a reputation as Grevious mentioned. So obviously, I’m cutting out every time Anakin does something stupid or naive or just young-ish. A lot of this is in the opening:
- Obi Wan trusts him way more in saving his life and doesn’t act fed up by his “antics”
- Not just in the opening, but every single reference in the film - bar for one from Yoda in the last act - of Obi Wan training Anakin has been removed. So Obi Wan doesn’t reply in surprise when Anakin suggests “Patience”, “All because of your training”, “[I haven’t been very appreciative] of your training”, “I have trained you since you were a small boy”, and “Don’t lecture me, Obi Wan.”, etc. Not that he didn’t train him, but Anakin and Obi Wan’s relationship is supposed to have evolved past mentor/mentee. They’re equals - brothers - and have been for a while now. These mentions are super expositional, anyway.
- Agency. No Palpatine goading and blatant manipulation. Anakin’s assertive throughout the film. New dialogue and rearrangement of many conversations to achieve this. Anakin cuts Palpatine off to finish his thoughts. He’s aware Palpatine might be using him, but b/c he also thinks the council is, it comes off as though he’s just picking a side. It’s a selfish choice, but it’s better than Anakin being “tricked” into thinking the Jedi are evil by Palps.
- As per the above, Anakin is in a gray area throughout the entire film. Not just until he’s heralded as Vader and then does a 180 into evil. New dialogue and cutting of certain “evil” lines keeps his allegiance to himself and Padme rather than to Palpatine and the Empire, until it’s clear that he’s lost everything.
TLDR; Almost done with a TCW/New Canon fitting Revenge of the Sith.