So, I’ve started work on my true edit of Episode III, which will be the follow-up to my other prequel edits, Faster More Intense and Sanded Down. So far, I’ve got a close to final cut of the opening sequence, through the crash landing of the Invisible Hand.
A few notes:
This edit will probably be a bit more conservative than my other two prequel edits, and probably one of the more conservative Revenge of the Sith edits in general. While the first two prequels are movies I don’t enjoy because of their flaws, ROTS is a movie that I enjoy despite it’s flaws, I just wish it could be better. Changes to the ordering of scenes and general structure will be less radical than most other ROTS edits. I won’t be making any effort to preserve the OT’s twists.
I might make two versions: one where Padme lives and another where she dies like in the theatrical cut. I’m not 100% set on this but it’s something I’m considering.
Edits I will be inspired by: Hal9000’s Labyrinth of Evil, l8wrtr’s Dawn of the Empire, Kerr’s Dark Force Rising, NFBism’s New Canon Cut and some ideas from The_Cutter’s unfinished edit.
Here’s an open question: how ruthless should I be with excising the Battle Droid’s vocalizations and humor? Most edits have been pretty severe on this front, but I tend to think that without a little bit of the humor, the fact that there are so ineffectual in this movie feels strangely out of place rather than a conscious choice. At least turning them into a joke “lampshades” it a bit.
I have a balance that I’m pretty happy with right now but I will upload a clip soon and let you guys weigh in on it.
It’s been almost a decade since I first dabbled with editing the prequels, and I think I finally have a trilogy I’m fairly happy with. Obviously I could keep making tweaks forever, but frankly I think I’m ready to put these projects behind me. “Another Happy Sanding” is ready for release and uploading as we speak. Please PM for a link, I’ll try to send some out tomorrow.
My overall philosophy with this particular edit was to focus on making a lot of small changes that add up to something greater, rather than radically altering the structure or flow of the film. Like always, Hal9000’s edit was a big influence and a primary source for this edit, but “Another Happy Sanding” diverges from “Labyrinth of Evil” in that it attempts to preserve the original structure of the movie. Like in the original film, Anakin’s fears of Padme’s demise serve as the primary impetus for his fall.
While I’ve made some cuts of my own, I’ve also restored some fan-favorite lines and moments of camp, like most of Yoda & Palpatine’s duel. It’s silly, but it’s fun & inventive and I miss its presence in other edits. I hope this edit strikes a good balance for most people.
Like the theatrical film, Padme dies at the end of this edit. I went with this ending partially in order to preserve canon, and partially because I feel like it’s the natural conclusion the movie is leading up to. I’m honestly pretty divided on this particular question though, so I may at some point upload an “alternate ending” version that concludes like “Labyrinth of Evil”, with Padme living on Alderaan. Chime in if that’s something you’d like to see.
Other edits that influenced this one are Kerr’s “Dark Force Rising”, L8wrtr’s “Dawn of the Empire”, NFBism’s “New Canon Cut”, and SiliconMaster482’s “Rebalanced” edit. I also borrowed a snippet of video from Bobson Dugnutt’s “expanded edition”, which originally borrowed from my “extended edition”. The circle is now complete, as Anakin would say.
Sade1212 provided a visual effects shot that was originally created for Hal’s edit but never used. Keep an eye out for it.
Last but not least, here is the mostly complete, but not exhaustive, cut-list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1g2NmJYOkNHSzvguMgKMvTYaCcPSQqwOKI6nQNjMoxQM/edit?usp=sharing
I hope you enjoy and may the Force be with you!