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SSWR's Attack of the Clones - Alternate Timeline Edit

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Hello everyone! I’m in the very beginning stages of my first fan edit of Attack of the Clones! I haven’t decided on a name for it yet. However, the idea behind this edit is that it is on an alternate timeline separate from the original. Some of the events of TPM might be eluded to but for the purposes of this edit, it doesn’t exactly exist. It’s almost like Superman Returns…it’s not exactly a sequel, but I guess I’ll be cherry picking things from TPM for this edit.

The reason I’ve started this thread so early in the game is to hopefully brain storm a bit with you guys. I plan on showing some early very very rough ideas and hope I can get feedback. There are so many things I want to change that in the process of editing, other events might be inadvertently affected. So I definitely would love a fresh set of eyes to help notice anything odd or out of place.

I have some very specific ideas I want to try and implement, and then other things I just don’t know what to do with.

SO…

Some overall thoughts/ideas:

With a few exceptions, most edits seem to leave in all of Anakins “dark” moments. I want Anakin’s character to be more in line with Luke. We basically won’t see any dark side to Anakin…just like Luke. Not that Anakin won’t have flaws but there won’t be any overt foreshadowing…at the very least, minimal. The whole Star-Wars-prequels-equals-Titanic angle I want gone. I want him to be a likeable guy who then turns evil in ROTS. Can you imagine if Luke had turned evil at the end of ROTJ? Now that would be tragic. That’s what I’m shooting for.

I will indeed be cutting scenes or shots that don’t seem to make sense from a narrative or character stand point, but want I REALLY want to achieve is to repurpose shots and scenes for different parts of the film to extend and/or possibly create new scenes. I want to create new moments or extend a moment that might already be there. This of course will be very difficult, so we’ll see how it goes.

My main goal is to make the internalization of the characters work. I want there to be more emotion and motivation from our heroes. Specifically Anakin. Therefore, Anakin is going to be dubbed. Because I’m replacing his dialogue, I’m finding ways to better set up Anakins relationships (Jedi, Obi, Padme, Palps, etc.). The challenge is to find the right balance. Some of my early attempts to change these things were a little too on-the-nose.

Changes to the plot is really secondary for me. Generally, the way I view all movies is that if I’m invested in the characters, I’ll give any plot conveniences and/or holes a pass. I certainly WANT to bring more simplicity/coherence to the plot, but I realize my limitations. I’m open to suggestions.

The fact is, I’m not sure what I want to do about the Trade Federation, the clones, the “mystery” plot and all the political stuff which has several issues (just watch Confused Matthew or Plinkitt). I’ve yet to see a version that I would want to implement.

I also want to bring things up a notch when it comes to the actual changes. I know with several fan edits, changes to the plot are put in the opening crawl. I certainly plan on changing the crawl but I’d rather show-and-tell than ask the viewer to read-and-remember the changes, all-the-while, scenes play out the same with the exception of a few omissions of dialogue.

Also, I don’t want to rely on flashbacks. I’m not particularly a big fan of edits that do this even when it’s done very well. Hell, I don’t really like it being used in TLJ that much. It just hasn’t been a part of (until TLJ) a Star Wars way of exposition.

There’s more I can get into later. What I’d like to do is go ahead and show you all a very rough clip. It doesn’t make sense for me to finesse it any further until I get feedback. I might be blind to some very obvious flaws. I thought about setting up the clip and what I’m trying to achieve but I’d rather you just watch and respond. I feel like I’ll get a better understanding of what I’ve done if you guys don’t know ahead of time.

P.S. I’m currently using DVD footage on a laptop. I’m hopefully going to be putting together a PC that will allow for bluray quality footage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpveHJhutFE

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Very nice.
A thought I had for Anakin’s voice would be for it to have a similar accent to JEJ’s. I really like Jones’ thespian way of speaking, his accent is American but also has a regal and educated aspect to it - not saying anything about American Accents.
Having rolled Rs and extra oration skills would, I think, make the character fit better with the OT character we all know and love.

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 (Edited)

I’d love to help in any way I can with this!

I feel like Anakin should act/sound just like Luke, with his accent and mannerisms, and transition into a more authoritarian, regal voice by the end of Episode III.

If I had a good mic setup I’d totally dub him in my cut.

JEDIT:

I really love what you did to that scene! There’s an energy there that wasn’t there previously! Impressive as hell!

she/her

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@stickydixon
Good idea. It never made sense (to me) to cast someone who didn’t at least sound similar to JEJ. At this point, I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t know if I can pull that off or if I can find someone else to. Right now I’ll continue to try and come up with dialogue that will help with fixing plot and character issues and of course adhere to the OT.

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 (Edited)

@snooker
Hmm…I hadn’t really thought of it like that. Thankfully, this is not a decision I have to make right now.

Have you done any voice work?

Also, I apologize for not knowing this: you DO have your own fan edits?

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 (Edited)

I have a lot of unreleased edits and ideas that I mostly just post parts of in the Prequel radical ideas thread. I have a problem with focusing on one idea and completing it because I think of something radically different to try before I’m done.

I’ve done some acting before but never voice work. I’m not too sure about my own abilities honestly.

JEDIT: Plus I feel like I’m better suited to visual effects rather than film editing. I could never have thought of half the things you put in that short clip!

she/her

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 (Edited)

This is exactly what I used to do. When I had an idea, I would just release a clip. I guess I’ve had enough of a few ideas to finally try a full blown edit.

Well, I’ll tell you now that I plan for there to be many many new effects shots in this. You up for some rotoscoping? 😉

@LordZerome1080
Got anything uploaded anywhere? Currently I’m planning on keeping Ian as Palps but there could possibly be a need for a line or two.

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I’m deffo up for some rotoscoping. Dm me with the details!

she/her

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YES!

I remember ages ago you were batting around the idea of making Windu a sort of Severus Snape style foil for Anakin - would you do something like that?

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Yep! More or less. To me, it looks like Sam Jackson gives off that vibe already in his facial expressions. And of course that becomes more clear in ROTS. But yes I like the idea of Windu just not liking Anakin. So maybe we as the audience won’t know exactly what to think of him as a Jedi. I plan on dubbing Windu for this very purpose. I think those two are the only ones I’m dubbing. However I am on the look out for additional dialogue from other films for people such as Padme and Obi. Garden State has some lines from Portman I think might work. Anyone know of some other films where Ewan’s doing an English accent?

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 (Edited)

Yeah, Snooker is your man for this stuff. His clips are fantastic. Really looking forward to this edit already. Great clip, obviously its early but I would definitely consider getting a different voice for Anakin. Also, I think it was Snooker that did a clip that exchanged the poison centipedes for blaster bolts, I would consider using that change. I like that the centipedes are unusual and kinda random like most things in star wars, but in the context of this assassination they don’t really make sense.

edit: I didn’t realize you we also one of the people advising sheepish on his TPM edit, he’d be a great addition to this project as well. Your videos you did for him were really good too.

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I’ve seen the bugs replaced by the laser. It’s obviously well done. Personally I like the build up with the bugs. They’re creepy. I realize how it would’ve made more sense for the laser fire instead. And i might have considered it more but the thing that pulls me out of that change is the fact that Anakin is not looking toward the window when he deflects the bolts. Personally that just pulls me out of the moment.

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If its okay I’ll just start splurging ideas out that may or may not be appropriate to your edit! But just sort of radical enough to maybe fit your approach to editing. They also assume we don’t have a TPM necessarily.

DOOKU -
I always liked the idea of giving him a mask - like Darth Revan/Kylo Ren. This would be with the intention of him un-masking just before the Obi-Wan duel, to add more weight to the fight.

Through the magic of science, what if it was possible to swap the heads of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in the balcony scene in TPM (ie the “Master you’d be on the council right now…” scene) with Dooku and bearded Obi-Wan to an earlier point in the film.

Remove YODA from the film entirely - he’s just referenced heavily. During the Dooku/Obi-wan duel, take the dialog from the interrogation scene, but swap the Qui-Gon references to Yoda (“I wish YODA was here right now, I could use his help” etc). I always felt the interrogation scene was quite flat, as was the duel, so maybe the dialog mixed into the duel could add some weight again. “You must join with ME Obi-Wan” right before a scene change mid fight would be great.

Are you doing SITH dooku or rogue Jedi Knight dooku?

NABOO -
If you lose TPM, you have the potential for Droids to invade NABOO.

An opening could be having the Battle of Naboo, with Padme leading a fight to the hangar to get to coruscant. You’d obviously lose the potential to return to Naboo later in the movie though…

Alternatively the invasion of NABOO could be a motive for Anakin and Padme leaving?

If you really wanted to turn the film on its head - could Anakin and Padme be from Naboo? Could the film open with the romance scenes on Naboo? And instead of travelling from Coruscant to Naboo its the other way around - theres alot of walking/talking that could be leading TO transports and not away from them

REUSED FOOTAGE -
I skipped through a film called VIRGIN TERRITORY the other week, thinking a medieval film with Hayden could be a great source for Anakin stuff. I’m not sure it is - he has this weird fake british accent in it - he does however do alot of gardening though, which might some how fit with the scenes at her parents house? (could he be a family friend?)

This probably wouldn’t work - but I did wonder once if anything from the outtakes could actually work in an edit, you actually see more chemistry between Portman and Hayden off screen. There’s the odd apologetic laugh and hug that might make them believable - just in the totally wrong parts of the film.

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Now that you mention it, I remember that bothering me as well. Would it be possible to re-edit that scene to imply the bugs getting in another way? Because honestly, in either scenario the whole droid/ window interaction is weird. Why have a “shield” on your window if a droid can open it with no resistance?

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@littlev87
I’m not sure of another way for the bugs to get into the apartment. But, my for my edit, the droid has to be at the window for a certain Jedi to grab hold of.

Alright, Mr. Ben Danger. Let’s get into this…

I love the out-of-the-box thinking!

I like this idea of Dooku and Obi earlier in the movie using TPM footage. I’m not sure this scene is doable-…actually: is there anyone here on the forums dipping their toes into deepfakes yet? Please tell me there is! We need you! It could really help in a few instances.

I‘ll tell you what I’m currently thinking: Anakin and Obi-Wan are friends. Not Teacher and Student. Obviously Ben is older and wiser so he does kind of coach Anakin, but he is not his Master. Dooku is a rogue Jedi. His saber will be blue or green, not red. No purple for Windu.

As for Yoda, as much as I like this idea of cutting him altogether, I think I’m gonna need him. But I agree the interrogation scene and saber duel are flat. Earlier this year I looked at adding some of that interrogation dialogue into duel. Unfortunately I can’t just throw those shots into the dual. The eye lines and camera angels won’t work together. And Obi-Wan has blue sh*t all over him. 😉 But some of the dialogue could possibly work…

I love the idea of walking TO transports and not away from them. This is exactly the way I’ve been trying to think about these scenes. I started thinking about the whole movie and what if all the scenes played backwards? What if the end of the movie was the beginning? The clone troopers leaving for battle. What if the clone wars have already begun? Now, of course, with that idea, the obvious question becomes: if the clone war has already begun, then what is happening in the Senate? Why is Padme going there? Is she not opposing the creation of the army now? Why would someone be trying to kill her? I feel like those things can’t be lost. BUT you get the idea.

The outtakes….yes…as a matter of fact, can they be used? I mean, isn’t the video quality not very good? I would love to use one in particular: the sipping soup shot “God! That’s hot!” I would absolutely use that in my edit if there isn’t a noticeable dip in video quality.

Here’s the out-of-the-box thinking I’ve been doing: what if we could insert Qui-Gon into this movie (and later in ROTS) as a somewhat random Jedi? I was thinking since this is kind of Episode One, we as the audience need to have a proper introduction to the Jedi and Sith. So what if Qui-Gon encounters a Sith? Maybe he’s on Coruscant and he sees a shadowy figure (it would have to be Palps). The figure turns to meet his eye and smiles evilly. Before Qui-Gon can respond, a speeder passes between them and the next second, the figure is gone. Qui-Gon goes to the Jedi: “My only conclusion can be that it was a Sith Lord.” That conversation happens and then Obi and Anakin are next in line. “Track down this bounty hunter you must…”. Qui-Gon can then show up at the Arena at the end. And then (if I ever get to it) in ROTS he’ll die with all the other Jedi. Maybe THEN I’ll feel sad when the Jedi are dying. 😉 I don’t know….would that be too many things going on in this movie?

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Alot of threads! The challenge is have them connect meaningfully.

I really like the idea of bringing Qui-Gon in. He might end up being a bit like Poe in TFA, where he’s a bit there but a bit not.

If he, Obi-Wan and Dooku are all Yodas apprentices there could be some nice collective scene with the four of them perhaps? Or maybe where they talk about Dooku without him being around. Qui Gon dying in the temple assault could be good - there was no real point of view for that, and maybe Maul could be edited to a sort of proto-Vader?

I sort of like the idea that Palpatine is the one who brings up Sith for the first time, like its a legitimate alternative to being a Jedi for Anakin - and not overtly associated with being evil. This being said your suggestion that it’s Qui-Gon who sees the Sith (maybe in a vision?) would be good - maybe he sees wrinkly Sidious which could lead to an alternative explanation as to why he looks so radically different at the end of ROTS.

Maybe Qui-Gon orders the clone army as a result of his paranoia about the Sith and the rebels?

I agree about the Clone Wars in action already. Maybe the politicing is about escalation?

Yeah the video quality is bad generally - I’ve only looked on youtube though. Surely that sort of thing makes it to the Blu-Rays?

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@ ben: I like the idea of Qui-Gon seeing the Sith in a vision. Probably easier to achieve than what I was originally thinking. Maybe show a vision of the Sith and cut to Qui-Gon opening his eyes (shot from the Maul battle from TPM) but instead he’s in Yoda’s chambers meditating?

I’m trying to get around to posting another clip with some more ideas BUT…

If anyone cares to, could you watch my first clip again and give me your impressions? I know most don’t care for my voice but does the dialogue and exchange work? Is there too much said off screen? Does R2 alerting the Jedi work? I’ve never seen anyone else edit it that way. It took me forever to figure out how to not only cut back and forth but to rework it so Anakin and Obi basically start at the balcony and move closer and closer to the bedroom. But does it work? Anything feel off?

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 (Edited)

I finished this next clip sooner than expected.

https://youtu.be/2C9f1GyX4IQ

Let me know what you think!

I’ll let you know what I was going for:

-Added line from palace scene specifically for the “isolated” line. I don’t like the palace scene but that line sort of helps further the idea that they’ll be safer from any bounty hunting.
-Tried adding some chemistry between these two.
-Padme smiles more.
-Anakin attempts some humor (also slightly referencing original complaints about Anakin’s creepy stare…BUT is it still too creepy to leave in in this instance?)
-Tried to make Anakin a bit more “cool” if you will, with the way he speaks to Padme. In the original, he just seems too try to hard to make her like him.
-Leaving “Jedi love” rules a bit vague on purpose…making this more about Windu’s personal take on the Jedi Scriptures furthering Anakin VS Windu idea for the edit.

Is this scene working? Did anything feel “off”?

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I like your efforts but for me it was a bit off.
Anakin is still creepy and you focus too much on him. I think AOTC works better if you focus on Padme and Obiwan.
He is not that important on this movie. Let Anakin be a secondary and remove as much dialog and awkwardness as possible.

Padmé is the lead, and their relationship only works if she’s calling the shots. This is in line with the way she takes lead once they get to Naboo.
So make her talk first and end the scenes as much on her as possible. You will see that it works.

Don’t be afraid to cut stuff.
The first scene works better with no covered camera talk and just distant indistinct talk instead of “does she have a boyfriend”. Cut that and the pacing is better, with the awkwardness gone.
(I have a cut of this scene I can share if you wish, don’t want to hijack your thread)

Also, I’d cut the transport scene completely and use the extended arrival scene instead.

But keep at it, I like what you are doing, just my 2 cents.

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@4throck
Thank you for your feedback. I can’t respond in full at the moment…it will probably be tomorrow. But thanks for taking the time to watch and type your thoughts.

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@4throck
Once again, thanks for the feedback. And YES I would love to see your version. I want to see as many different versions as I can.

Anakin’s creepiness:
I would like to know if the general consensus thinks he’s still too creepy. My goal (in that instance) was to go a bit meta, referencing his creepiness in the original version PLUS attempting to have more chemistry between the two. Really, that particular idea came about when I was playing around and reversing footage. It looked funny so I found a way to use it. I sort of fell in love with that moment. BUT if the general consensus is that it’s creepy, I’ll cut it. I want to make Anakin more chill and NOT creepy at all.

As far as Anakin not being important in this movie and being a secondary character: I can’t say I agree. While it probably should have been written that way to being with (especially if you wanted to make the “I am your father” scene a surprise) it really wasn’t. My plan is to repurpose any appropriate dialogue from Anakin while changing a sh*t ton of the rest. The idea behind that is it will help make him a likable well-rounded character.

As far as Padme goes, I would argue she is a lead. Yes, she calls the shots a lot but my plan is to alter that in some cases to have Anakin do it instead.

I really want to make Anakin the “official” lead if you will. And I think it can be done. It will, at the very least, be more in line with the OT where you have Luke, Han and Liea. In this case, it’s Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme. Anakin being the link between the other two…since Obi and Padme spend very little time together.

Believe me, I’m not afraid to cut stuff. I’m already cutting that palace scene and looking at cutting more. I’ve seen people cut scenes and entire storylines out of the prequels which can work. But for this edit, I’m challenging myself to instead repurpose as much as I can to make something closer to what we all wanted…at least I hope!

I don’t believe I’ll be cutting the transport scene because I’ve been able to insert some info that I think is necessary to the plot of this movie and more so to the next. Anakin and Windu must be set up properly. And leaving these rules about “Jedi love” a bit vague works for me. It has become (in-world explanation) more of a tradition that Jedi don’t get romantically involved with others. There’s not one rule the Jedi could point to and say “See? Right here! Can’t marry!” but there are other writings that seem to indicate it. I hope to be able to fully communicate this in the edit.

Even though I disagree with some of your thoughts, this was also very helpful. Please continue to comment if you so desire.

I DO NOT want to go along blindly making this thing and it end up sucking. Again, if I get a lot of others saying similar things, I’ll reconsider just about anything. I also think it will help if I can post some more clips for more context.

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Anakin is written as a creep in AOTC, but that wasn’t driven home so completely until I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ww3NDNC4eA

It’s an interpretation of the character which might actually work in isolation and could be fascinating. However, it is this aspect of the prequels, above anything else, that makes them fundamentally incompatible with the spirit of the OT. Luke’s journey is predicated on the belief that his father was basically a good man, but if Anakin is really just a predatory creep then his redemption rings hollow. But take away Anakin’s predatory and creepy behavior and you have removed his most distinctive and interesting trait.

I don’t know how you would go about fixing this problem.

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@NeverarGreat

Excellent video…all 3 parts. I’d never seen these. This guy seems to know what he’s talking about.

I openly admit I’m no screen writer. Plus it makes things more difficult when you have to make alternate dialogue work with lip sync.

I hope to eliminate all predatory and creepy (not to mention whiny) behavior from Anakin. He’ll obviously have some flaws. But the flaws need to seem reasonable…like the flaws we can see in Luke. We don’t dislike Luke for these flaws, we relate with him because of them. We see ourselves in him and his choices and actions.

“But take away Anakin’s predatory and creepy behavior and you have removed his most distinctive and interesting trait.”

Wow, I can’t argue you on this! 😉
As far as eliminating this behavior: I think something that will really help is by removing certain shots of Anakin. Those overtly creepy shots (“I’m sorry M’lady”) OR giving them another context by reworking the dialogue.
I hope to show more clips in the future of what I’m talking about…giving you guys more context. If this is not working…then…I don’t know what I’ll do.

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