I highly enjoyed this edit. The color grading was fantastic, I love that the blaster bolts were updated to match the prequels, and the lightsabers were also vastly improved. A lot of the other new visuals, too, were great (especially the new atmospheres and suns to the planets; the old atmospheres look absolutely terrible on the Blu-Rays and really bug me, they legit just look like big blue lines). I loved the new destruction of Alderaan and every cut/rearrangement worked for me. A lot of the new music was great, as I love prequel music. One part I especially love is the choice for both scenes with Vader when the Millennium Falcon arrives on the Death Star and the scene with Vader telling Tarkin he senses Obi-Wan, it gives this great feeling of mystery and made it much more ominous while also making them feel like more powerful and significant moments. The choice for the Millennium Falcon’s arrival is actually quite brilliant, as it’s from the part in Attack of the Clones on Tatooine (which relates to the fact that they talk about Mos Eisley) while also having the Imperial March in it which works because Vader is in the scene, and it’s music from the last time Vader was on Tatooine. The Imperial March being added for Vader’s entrance and the ending of the scene on the Tantative is also excellent. I quite enjoyed the music added to R2 being captured by the Jawas, and I never knew how well Jar Jar’s theme works with the scene with the droids when they first arrive on Tatooine until now.
However, there were times in which I either found the music choice odd (like the conference scene; I think the first track felt out of place and too loud and the second theme I feel like should be designated for the Separatists; I would’ve chosen “Palpatine’s Teachings” like Adywan did, I think the really eerie part of that piece works incredibly well with the part when Vader chokes Motti) or felt like it was overbearing (the “set your course to Alderaan” scene; music was too loud and I don’t feel like it fit). There were also a couple weird audio moments (the music can be heard when Luke says that Anakin was “just a navigator…”, and some of the audio transitions during the trimmed Mos Eisley entrance were jarring, though the visual cuts were great), and while I love the idea of having the guy who tells Tarkin that the rebel base isn’t on Dantooine being a hologram, you can still hear the door opening and Vader is clearly looking at where the guy’s supposed to be. Hologram looks great though.
Still, this is probably my favorite version of ANH released thus far. It’s a great modernization and feels much more at home with Rogue One and the prequels for me.