So I know these versions are “final”, but I figured I’d type up a quick review of sorts for LOE (alternate ending), specifically from the perspectives of two women who haven’t seen any Star Wars films/the prequels.
COD and TAS were very well received by both the two aforementioned women and some of my friends who have seen the prequels dozens of times. There were a few complaints about pacing issues, but I’d argue that those exist in the theatrical versions as well.
LOE was definitely received a little less positively - some of that was because many of the Palpatine moments you removed are also fan-favourite moments (despite being ridiculous and cheesy). That’s not a big deal though. The two issues that everyone seemed to have were in regards to Anakin motivation to turn evil, and Palpatine’s deformation. Without the scene that follows Anakin’s dream of Padme, both of the prequel newbies didn’t understand that Padme was dying. They just thought that she was crying/in pain from giving birth and didn’t understand why Anakin was suddenly so paranoid about losing her. If I remember correctly, TOS removes Anakin’s dream of his mom - perhaps if that had been included it would have been easier to connect the two moments from each movie? And in regards to Palpatine, the newbies didn’t understand why he was suddenly so deformed. The theatrical version doesn’t do a good job of explaining this either, but it’s less sudden and perhaps makes a little more sense.
Everyone LOVED the additional deleted scenes. They appreciated how it gave Padme more to do in the film and planted the seeds of the rebellion. Many initially wished the killing of the younglings hadn’t been cut, but after seeing the newbies’ responses to Anakin killing in the holograms, they agree that it was a powerful edit. The Chewbacca and droid edits were seamless and people didn’t even realize they were changed.
This got long - Sorry! Very well done overall. We’re all excited to start the OT next weekend. Thanks again for all your hard work!