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Star Wars: The Fall of Skywalker (PT 3-in-1 edit) (Released)

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 (Edited)

Hey guys, this is my new fan-edit that attempts to boil down the most important part of the story told over the prequels into one feature length movie. The result is 130 minutes of a purely character-focused film centered around what I consider to be the most essential part of the PT: Anakin Skywalker and his downfall. What’s always been most important to me about Star Wars is the human element, the characters and their arcs. That’s why I wanted to cut away all the parts of the prequels that did nothing for me, the trade disputes, political scheming, CGI wankery and over the top humour, and just focus on the story we actually wondered about the first time we watched ESB: Who was Anakin Skywallker? What caused him to become Darth Vader? This film attempts to answer that question and to do so in a self-contained way that work even for someone who’s never seen the prequels before. It’s best watched in the Machete Order after ESB as it’ll address the cliffhanger well as it can be with the source material, without suffering all the rest.

The theme that I hoped to emphasize in this edit was that it was ultimately Anakin’s fear of loss which drove him to what it did. It was the guilt of leaving his mother behind, the anguish of losing her, the resurgent fear of losing Padme, the desolation of being so powerful but not being able to do a thing about that fear, which all culminated in him becoming Vader. And of course I also emphasized how Palpatine both orchestrated and cultivated those negative feelings alongside a bond of trust with Anakin which resulted in his eventual choice. It’s safe to say the three main characters of this film are Anakin, Padme and Palpatine.

The film is split into three acts: the first focuses on Anakin’s budding relationship with Padme, and his anxiety and fear over his mother, ending with her death and Anakin’s promise to get powerful enough never to face such loss again. In the second act, we jump to Anakin years later, never really having recovered from that loss, but now having visions of Padme’s death. His faith in the Jedi Council wanes as they hold him back while his relationship with Palpatine continues to grow. Again, he is primarily motivated by fear and not being powerful enough in the constraints put on him by being a Jedi. This all culminates in the boiling point that we know and he resigns to the dark side as it is the only way to gain power and save Padme. The third act is about the consequences of his choice and plays out much the same as in ROTS. Edited together like this, Yoda’s maxim about fear leading to the dark side becomes strikingly apparent.

Disclaimer: This is not a good film. It is a remix of three awful films to try and make something less awful. While it is a much better film than any of the prequel films individually, there is only so much one can do for the terrible dialogue, wooden acting, and school-grade storytelling. That being said, like hundreds before me, I’ve done everything I felt I could to address those flaws wherever I could (let’s call them the ‘anti-cringe cuts’). For what it is, I think it came together pretty well.

Now, onto the cut-list. Well, actually it would be easier to list what I did include:

  • New crawl (like ANH, I used the crawl not to talk about the protagonist but set up the political context about the war, Jedi and Palpatine so we could get straight into the story)
  • Padme’s ship is ambushed. Palpatine talk to the Jedi Council about the war and Palps suggests Obi-Wan and Anakin being assigned to her.
  • Anakin and Obi-Wan meet up with her (with a flashback to young Anakin giving young Padme the necklace)
  • The second assassination attempt with significantly shortened chase
  • Obi-Wan being assigned to investigate and Anakin to guard Padme. Palpatine whispers in Anakin’s ear.
  • The rest of the first act centers around Anakin and Padme on Naboo, with the worst scenes and dialogue being (hopefully) seamlessly cut. They’re a couple of horny teens, you don’t need a lot of dialogue.
  • Anakin dreams about his mother. Flashback to him saying goodbye to her. Anakin and Padme go to Tattooine to find his mother. Most of the scenes play out the same, but I took out C3PO being recognized (because him being Anakin’s droid is dumb)
  • Anti-cringe cuts to Anakin’s angery scenes talking to Padme after he returns from getting his mother
    The first act ends at her grave on Tattooine and Anakin making a vow

Cut to title cards in the iconic blue typeface which tell us it’s been five years and we’re now well into the war. This might seem like an amateurish choice that pulls you out of the film. To that I say: this plays to the saga’s pulpy roots as much as the opening crawl and titles. It’s fine. It gets the job done. It’s not an art film.

Based on @NeverArGreat’s idea, there are now vignettes in between each title card between EP II and III. More specifically, I used a shot of the Anakin/Padme wedding, a battle scene from the battle of Geonosis and one of Palpatine looking over the clone army. I think it looks pretty good.

  • The entire first part of ROTS with the space battle is cut. Dooku is not mentioned. We open to Coruscant and Anakin, Obi-Wan and Palpatine fly in after the latter has just been saved.
  • We’re told Grevious is the last hold-out in the war and the Council agrees to pursue him. The remaining story of the war is told entirely through reference (it’s great how well this worked out). We’re told when Grievous has been located, when Obi-Wan has been selected to be sent and when he’s been dealt with. He is not shown (which is no loss because he is dumb). Anakin, like the audience, is left out from all this.
  • Meanwhile, we focus on Anakin and his fear of losing Padme, his growing trust in Palpatine and his growing resentment of the Council. All those character scenes are kept albeit edited for anti-cringe.
  • There’s no Yoda in Kashyyk or Obi-Wan on Utapau. There is no Chosen One plot (it is dumb).
  • Most of the scenes in the thrid act of ROTS (the best part of the PT) are kept. We see Anakin make his decision and carry out Palpatine’s bidding in a desperate attempt to save Padme. We see him end the war. We see the Jedi die and the Republic fall. We see Yoda attempting to stop Sidious and fail. We see Padme and Obi-Wan confront Anakin (with less dialogue). We see a shortened version of the Anakin Obi-Wan fight.
  • I’ve tweaked the dialogue in the pre-fight confrontation of Obiwan and Anakin. Anakin’s line about bringing peace to his new Empire has been removed. I feel like Anakin going from being a conflicted Jedi but ultimately good person to full blown fascist doesn’t have enough set up so that line always stuck out to me as too drastic a shift. Instead, when his back is turned, I’ve put in the line “I will save Padme’s life”. This ties back into the main theme of my edit, which is that his fall was caused by the fear of loss and inability to let go. His turn on Mace and acceptance of Palpatine as his master works much better if it’s fuelled by that tragic flaw the trilogy builds up in him. Now the confrontation ties together better, because it’s consistently about themes that have been developed i.e. (i) how the Jedi personally failed him and (ii) he’s doing this to save Padme.
  • Padme dies but there’s no explanation of it being from heartbreak (which is…you guessed it, dumb). The survivors get to their resting places and the stage is set for the OT.
  • The story of Anakin’s downfall is thus told. The story of how Palpatine manipulated him and the Jedi and the Senate is told to the extent it needs to be.

And that’s how I chose to do it. In case it wasn’t clear, this is ‘done’. Now I need your feedback on two things:

  1. The technical aspects. I’ve done this before but I’m not some master editor. If there are cuts which are too sharp, transitions that look off or sound transitions that just mess with the scoring too noticeably, let me know. I want this to feel seamless as much as possible. I’ve shown it to one other person who’s a casual fan and they only noted 2 noticeable cuts. I’ve reworked them since. Also thinking about putting in a color regrade or grain for a V2, or taking ideas from other fan editors.
  2. Theme, narrative and continuity. I’ve done my best to describe which scenes and parts of the prequel trilogy I kept to serve the narrative I chose to focus on and the theme at play. Do you feel I missed some key scenes from the PT which would’ve strengthened that narrative? Were superfluous scenes included? Are there any other loose plot threads or parts of the film someone watching this for the first time wouldn’t follow? I would’ve liked to include Anakin offing Dooku at Palp’s behest, but it would’ve required too much setup and ultimately wouldn’t add much to the narrative. Nevertheless, open to ideas. Have other fan edits with a similar mission done interesting things which would add to my edit?

Anyway, that’s the thing. Thanks for reading and PM me if you want a link.

Clips:

New opening crawl: https://streamable.com/2z9wd
Lead-in to first flashback: https://mega.nz/#!0apixaDZ!65mxu-FGpLSXL_pDbIo_yrj0HiqVIjxPk1hX-9A2mB0
De-cringed “love” scenes and Lead-in to second flashback: https://mega.nz/#!ZPw03CaZ!P2G9RsXGzfJpRZuv82iku4LgBlFIXlpq-_XCdCxcV5Y
Transition from the first act (ep 2) to the Episode III with the title cards and vignettes): https://mega.nz/#!UHxwQQIK!BGvRCFwTDW_KDwUsX27epi93NPMgxoDsErkbruwruWU
New pre-fight confrontation scene: https://mega.nz/#!df50nYbI!O7rUhZKxzEwBhWMCHovdi4MUrjeaKw8LP1H0vtCT9yQ
Shortened Ani/Obi fight: https://mega.nz/#!IT4EAIaK!yEmKdfc5yiY7i-wYK7MysZnhDhJb-at65Id0VGPhS1A
And for the enterprising who want to see more and how this cut looks in practice, the full first 30 minutes: https://mega.nz/#!NC4i1QLZ!DeZbQ_Oom9uVINgyx7MMrALV_GW-3Jx7Xw_DCIZ6h7E

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 (Edited)

Just a point, the title is really similar to my upcoming 3-in-1 prequel fanedit.

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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 (Edited)

So I just gave this a watch, and I quite liked it! It really does a good job of cutting extraneous plot threads in favor of Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. I especially liked how Obi-wan’s mission on Utapau was almost entirely removed in favor of Anakin on Coruscant, since this made it feel like the audience itself was being excluded from the Jedi council and really allowed solidarity with Anakin and his frustrations.

Apart from a few rough cuts in the beginning (most notably the elevator scene and Padme’s apartment from AOTC), the music and audio was cut well and flowed nicely.

There are a few notes I have concerning the particulars of the edit:

I understand why you included the two clips from TPM, which were important moments setting up Anakin’s romance with Padme and his desire to free his mother, but they were so brief that they felt out of place. I feel like if you were to have those moments, they would need more context in the form of the whole scenes to really shine. Anakin leaving his mother in particular is a real highlight of TPM and it’s a shame to lose that beautiful music.

The overall structure of the edit makes it very light on action in favor of Anakin’s psychological turmoil, and this is mostly to the benefit of the film, however in practical terms this means a lot of shot-reverse-shot and people walking slowly in hallways while talking. The beginning and end of the edit has enough action to sustain these talky scenes, but the middle drags a bit. I’d actually like to see some of the rescue of Palpatine from ROTS, because apart from a needed respite from the psychological drama it would establish the violence of the war which you allude to in the interstitial text. To make room for these additions I think you could still lose some more from the Yoda/Palpatine battle and Anakin’s murder of Sandpeople (I think his journey is stronger if he merely dreamed of murdering them, since actually doing it this early tips his hand).

Speaking of the transition between films, I would really have liked to see some of the end of AOTC with Anakin and Padme’s marriage and the beginning of the clone wars. It could even be presented as a series of vignettes between the lines of blue text indicating the buildup to war. I’m imagining something like the time jump in Dune, except with text instead of voiceover: https://youtu.be/OKStvZJQBDg?t=75

Despite these issues, I really enjoyed this and consider it one of the more successful prequel edits I’ve seen.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V2 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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 (Edited)

NeverarGreat said:

So I just gave this a watch, and I quite liked it! It really does a good job of cutting extraneous plot threads in favor of Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. I especially liked how Obi-wan’s mission on Utapau was almost entirely removed in favor of Anakin on Coruscant, since this made it feel like the audience itself was being excluded from the Jedi council and really allowed solidarity with Anakin and his frustrations.

Apart from a few rough cuts in the beginning (most notably the elevator scene and Padme’s apartment from AOTC), the music and audio was cut well and flowed nicely.

There are a few notes I have concerning the particulars of the edit:

I understand why you included the two clips from TPM, which were important moments setting up Anakin’s romance with Padme and his desire to free his mother, but they were so brief that they felt out of place. I feel like if you were to have those moments, they would need more context in the form of the whole scenes to really shine. Anakin leaving his mother in particular is a real highlight of TPM and it’s a shame to lose that beautiful music.

The overall structure of the edit makes it very light on action in favor of Anakin’s psychological turmoil, and this is mostly to the benefit of the film, however in practical terms this means a lot of shot-reverse-shot and people walking slowly in hallways while talking. The beginning and end of the edit has enough action to sustain these talky scenes, but the middle drags a bit. I’d actually like to see some of the rescue of Palpatine from ROTS, because apart from a needed respite from the psychological drama it would establish the violence of the war which you allude to in the interstitial text. To make room for these additions I think you could still lose some more from the Yoda/Palpatine battle and Anakin’s murder of Sandpeople (I think his journey is stronger if he merely dreamed of murdering them, since actually doing it this early tips his hand).

Speaking of the transition between films, I would really have liked to see some of the end of AOTC with Anakin and Padme’s marriage and the beginning of the clone wars. It could even be presented as a series of vignettes between the lines of blue text indicating the buildup to war. I’m imagining something like the time jump in Dune, except with text instead of voiceover: https://youtu.be/OKStvZJQBDg?t=75

Despite these issues, I really enjoyed this and consider it one of the more successful prequel edits I’ve seen.

I’m a fan of your work so this coming from you means a lot. (: Thank you so much for checking it out and for your constructive comments.

I did notice that there was a glut of dialogue scenes towards the middle which slowed the pacing down a bit, but like you said, I liked that being stuck on Coruscant showed Anakin’s increasing level of isolation and dispritedness. I’ll tinker with restoring some of the Utapau scenes and see how that flows.

As for the flashbacks, the purpose of their length was tied both to an effort to keep the edit a reasonable film length and not to distract from the main narrative. I contemplated removing the Padme scene altogether to obfuscate the age gap, but I wanted to establish the motif of the locket as it’s shown throughout the film and ties to the theme. Point taken on the Shmi scene, I’ll lengthen it and see how that goes. I like your idea of the vignettes, I’ll definitely try that as well.

The rough cut you mentioned, is that the one from Palpatine’s office to Padme’s apartment?

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Glad I can be of help! I agree that the locket theme should be emphasized, but there might be a better place for the flashback. I’m not sure where…

As for the audio issues, I actually misremembered the scene, it was the first scene of Palpatine’s apartment. There was one noticeable cut after Yoda says ‘Seeing you alive, brings warm feelings to my heart’, as well as after Palpatine says ‘Master Kenobi’.

The only other problem in that area was the transition from the elevator to the brief flashback.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V2 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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I think you could smooth out that transition from the elevator to the flashback by having the first line of dialogue from the flashback play before the video cuts over to the scene. I don’t know if I explained that well but hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say.

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 (Edited)

Back with a V2 and clips!!

I took a lot of @NeverarGreat’s suggestions and implemented them into the video and tweaked some other areas. Here’s the new changes:

  • Harsh cut in Palpatine’s office is fixed
  • The lead-in to the first flashback is a little more telegraphed with a close-up of Anakin and early dialogue cue-in
  • There are now vignettes in between each title card between EP II and III. More specifically, I used a shot of the Anakin/Padme wedding, a battle scene from the battle of Geonosis and one of Palpatine looking over the clone army.
  • I’ve re-implemented parts of the Obi/Greivous sideplot to speed up the pacing of the second act. I was conflicted about this because as we know, Grievous is a en empty character with no meaningful significance to the themes of the saga or to our characters. Obi-Wan going after him and killing him has no emotional impact. Nevertheless, We do get to spend a little more time with Obi-Wan, which isn’t a bad thing.
  • I’ve tweaked the dialogue in the pre-fight confrontation of Obiwan and Anakin. Anakin’s line about bringing peace to his new Empire has been removed. I feel like Anakin going from being a conflicted Jedi but ultimately good person to full blown fascist doesn’t have enough set up so that line always stuck out to me as too drastic a shift. Instead, when his back is turned, I’ve put in the line “I will save Padme’s life”. This ties back into the main theme of my edit, which is that his fall was caused by the fear of loss and inability to let go. His turn on Mace and acceptance of Palpatine as his master works much better if it’s fuelled by that tragic flaw the trilogy builds up in him. Now the confrontation ties together better, because it’s consistently about themes that have been developed i.e. (i) how the Jedi personally failed him and (ii) he’s doing this to save Padme.

Clips:

New opening crawl: https://streamable.com/2z9wd
Lead-in to first flashback: https://mega.nz/#!0apixaDZ!65mxu-FGpLSXL_pDbIo_yrj0HiqVIjxPk1hX-9A2mB0
De-cringed “love” scenes and Lead-in to second flashback: https://mega.nz/#!ZPw03CaZ!P2G9RsXGzfJpRZuv82iku4LgBlFIXlpq-_XCdCxcV5Y
Transition from the first act (ep 2) to the Episode III with the title cards and vignettes): https://mega.nz/#!UHxwQQIK!BGvRCFwTDW_KDwUsX27epi93NPMgxoDsErkbruwruWU
New pre-fight scene scene: https://mega.nz/#!df50nYbI!O7rUhZKxzEwBhWMCHovdi4MUrjeaKw8LP1H0vtCT9yQ
Shortened Ani/Obi fight: https://mega.nz/#!IT4EAIaK!yEmKdfc5yiY7i-wYK7MysZnhDhJb-at65Id0VGPhS1A
And for the enterprising who want to see more and how this cut looks in practice, the full first 30 minutes: https://mega.nz/#!NC4i1QLZ!DeZbQ_Oom9uVINgyx7MMrALV_GW-3Jx7Xw_DCIZ6h7E

Would be happy to hear your thoughts! Message me if you’d like a link to the full edit.

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Improvements all around, I’d say!

The first flashback is better integrated now. I would only suggest working on the music transition, it still feels a bit rough.

In the second flashback, I wonder if the nightmare even needs to be shown or if the flashback alone would be enough to sell the idea of his guilt at not freeing his mother.

Nice vignettes! Again the music transition from Naboo to the vignettes could be improved, but I like the use of the imagery from the end of AOTC, it really helps bridge the gap.

For the Anakin/Obi-wan pre-fight, I wonder if cutting it down more would be better, if you are intent on placing the focus firmly on Anakin’s desire to save Padme. Maybe have something like:
‘Don’t lecture me, Obi-wan. I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the Dark Side as you do.’
(closeup on Obi-wan checking Padme)
(Anakin softly, to himself, starting with the Padme shot and ending with Anakin back to camera) ‘I will save Padme’s life’
Then it might be possible to combine the part of the shot where Obi-wan gets up with Anakin looking grim and not saying anything for a silent Obi-wan reaction shot to preserve continuity (Anakin originally said ‘my new empire’ at this point).
(Anakin back to camera) ‘Don’t make me destroy you.’
‘I will do what I must.’

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V2 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Could I also please get a link for this? 😁

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Could I also please get a link for this?