I have been a lurker in this community for years, and a dedicated theforce.net forum poster (particularly in the television and Literature boards) for even longer, dating back to lurking PT leaks and spoilers in the late 90s. In short, I’ve been in the online Star Wars fandom for almost as long as the modern internet has been around, though I myself am still just an older Mid 80s-born Millennial fan. I’ve long since admired the work of members like Adywan, Hal9000, the project 4k77 editors, and other long time vets of this community. Even if my vision and take on the material is different, the talent and dedication many of you here have is truly a testament to some of the incredible work Star Wars fans are capable of at their best.
I posted mostly in the Fall of the Republic thread for the Clone Wars/ROTS edit project, as that was at the time the only project which I had intended to do. Then I ended up posting my work on reddit and youtube and was met with surprise when it rapidly exploded in popularity and demand. I learned from people here and preceded to combine that with my own oldschool Prequel Era enthusiast lore knowledge.
One thing led to another. I did one project, and that gave me the infrastructure needed to move on to the next, and the next. I’ve now done edits of 7 different Star Wars films, a lot of the Clone Wars TV series, and some other bonus projects throughout 2020.
My software isn’t terribly complicated. I have two versions of Adobe in my possession, one which is continuously given the latest updates, and an older copy of 2019 that allows for MKV files to be read instantly before they dropped MKV support again late last year. Most of my editing for these projects is done on the 2019 version. I do separate audio-track editing in a combination of Audacity and Sony SoundForge, and create my english Subtitles primarily with Aegisub. I don’t tend to do a lot of FX/Graphics work, so this setup typically meets my needs without too much issue. Handbrake is always helpful if I need to re-encode in a lossless format, and both TarTube and 4K Video Downloader let me get any footage I need intact from a digital source. I also sometimes (though rarely) do 4K ScreenCaptures with ShadowPlay, as I’ve found you can capture some footage in very clever ways if you prepare for it correctly. All of that, along with a few ffmpeg tricks, accomplishes most of what I need to do. For legal reasons, I won’t discuss any software that breaks DRM and obtains the original film footage from either physical or digital sources that are protected.
I do my primary video Editing on a 43" ACER 10-Bit Monitor I received at a discount from my last job, combined with an overclocked i7-8700k/GTX 1080 TI Editing/32GB DDR4/Gaming Rig combo. HDR video is then repeatedly tested/color graded between this screen, a 65" Samsung 4K Smart TV, and a 4K Microsoft Surface to determine the most ideal results, often exporting short 10 second clips and repeatedly testing them over and over again against screencaps from the original source until I feel I’ve gotten the result I was aiming for.
Each film project I’ve released is encoded in HEVC/x265 and released as an MKV file. I edit each film as a 4K HDR film first, using the latest 4K footage available wherever possible, then export/downsize it to 1080P from that original source, attempting to preserve as much quality as the encoder allows while still going for filesize efficiency. I’ve found that a minimum bitrate of 15000kbps and a max of 45000 usually yields an ideal filesize for 4K that still looks phenomenal on my 65" Samsung 10-Bit 4K TV with HDR metadata intact, while a minimum bitrate of 7000kbps for 1080p with a max of around 35000 works well for the 1080P SDR releases. A 2.5 hour 1080P file ends up at 8GB, while a 4K version of that same film comes out to about 16-17GB with this method. Large, but still more efficiently encoded than many releases, and reasonably small for 4K.
I color correct scenes myself with Adobe Premiere Pro’s Coloring tools, encoding for 10-Bit HDR metadata first and comparing the results continuously between 3 different 4K screens until I find what I believe to be the best balance. My work will NOT be perfect, but I’ve still tried to tweak it and make it overall look as good as possible on high quality screens, and in many cases I keep the original HDR-metadata intact if it translates into Adobe correctly (such as the S7 Clone Wars Episodes did). SDR conform is then used to tweak and downscale this data to the 1080P release, producing a nice, vibrant, but not overly saturated image that pops where possible. I don’t have the capability to extensively correct the brightness of individual objects as well as a professional would, but, again, I do my best. If you watch the videos I put up on my youtube channel with the right screen, they all have the same HDR data intact (Chrome and Edge are best for windows setups, or a Smart TV. Firefox does NOT do true HDR on youtube, but only converts the data into a kind of fake HDR. If the colors of the clips look a bit off to you on Firefox, this is why).
AUDIO AND SUBTITLES
I edit and retime the English subtitle tracks for all of my film edits, in some cases even creating new subs from scratch if necessary for a scene. Since all projects have a 6 channel 5.1 surround track, I typically export both a 5.1 audio track and a stereo track. Some have more extensive 7.1 surround tracks, but it has been difficult to get them to properly decode, so I’ve stuck with 5.1 for simplicity since the differences in the mixes are often not extensive. The only projects missing subtitles right now are the Holiday Special and 2D Clone Wars Recut Edit.
This has been the interesting one. You can’t just go to most public trackers and stick a torrent on there anymore. For the protection of the sites, and the safety of the general public (so people won’t upload virus infected torrents), most stuff has gone private. A major Star Wars Discord leader helped collaborate with me to get a network setup for distribution. I won’t go into details, other than to say the most clever idea ended up being a single redditor’s suggestion of setting up a gmail account with a vacation email setting to send out links automatically to anyone who requests it. (email@example.com is the email address I use, BTW. Send it a message with a throwaway account you feel safe with. It works.) That, in tandem with google docs, lets me easily keep a database of links running without much effort. For obvious reasons, I can’t post those links here directly.
MY EDITING BACKGROUND
I’m a late 2000s media production graduate who entered the working world during the last major recession, only to find that the industry had shifting mostly to gig work. I have professional training and the degree for newscast editing, and have privately done a number of freelance projects over the years. Obviously, I can’t and won’t share specific details of that here. However, since 2019 I’ve finally taken to youtube to begin sharing new fan projects/AMVs/Passion Projects I did on the side for various convention panels throughout the country over the years. The Channel is here:
A Playlist of some of my AMV Work can be found here:
I am often inspired by the works of well known game directors/storytellers like Hideo Kojima, veteran Anime Directors like Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shoji Kawamori, and Noboru Ishuguro (all of whom I’ve met in person at least once) and of course, the likes of Star Wars veterans like George, Dave Filoni, Marcia Lucas, among others. I’ve studied their styles fairly closely, both in the PT, the OT, and the TV shows, and tried to bring those sensibilities to my own work within the limitations of what my resources allow me to do. I hope that reflects in the editing/storytelling choices I’ve tried to bring to my edits.
My STAR WARS EDITING PHILOSOPHY
Most fan edits I’ve seen tend to aim at either cutting out content, or altering the nature of the film’s story, altering it to be more what many fans believe it should be. I respect and even admire the work that has gone into these takes. Again, this is where some of the most incredible talent in the fandom is on show producing amazing results.
My approach is much simpler. I want to create edits that are purely addative, taking the existing material, and giving us the widest look into the Star Wars universe that’s possible. I try to avoid adding scenes without complete FX unless they are hard to notice, or I have workarounds (See Solo, or 1-2 Episode II scenes), but my goal is to simply take the existing films and give us 4K edits of Star Wars that are as long as can reasonably be without overtly contradicting the current canon in any major ways. I tend not to rescore the films if I can avoid it (even if that means the audio transitions won’t be perfect), and only alter tiny visual bits in non-canon scenes. I tend to cut out very minimal amounts of material, and add far, far more to it wherever I can. Does my approach work? Do you prefer another editor’s take? That’s cool and totally understandable. I just ask that you respect the goal I’m trying to accomplish with these edits.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about Star Wars Edits themselves.
First, let me start again by immediately crediting Hal9000 and DrDre for their excellent work at upscaling the PT deleted scenes to 1080P. Their high quality work further scaled to 4K with little issue in my software, and also was easy to Color-Grade in HDR, giving us decent looking 4K versions of many of these scenes for my projects. While I did attempt to obtain the scenes through alternate means myself (and had to do so for 2 very small bits in Episode I, as they were not finished in Hal’s collection), his versions remained by far the best source available anywhere in the world, so again full praise should be given to these two for the gift they gave us editors. Dropping his video files into my Episode III edit was like night and day compared to the other versions I was using.
STAR WARS EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE - EXTENDED EDITION
An extended edit of TPM with 7 different deleted scenes restored, available in 4K HDR and 1080p. Meant to be paired with my releases of Episodes II and III for a new extended experience for the entire PT. 2 Hours and 23ish minutes.
DUE TO COPYRIGHT, YOUTUBE INSTANTLY BLOCKS EVERY EPISODE I CLIP I TRY TO UPLOAD, SO I CAN ONLY SHOW SAMPLES FOR EPISODE II.
STAR WARS EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES - EXTENDED EDITION
An extended edit of AOTC with 10 different deleted scenes restored, available in 4K HDR and 1080p. Meant to be paired with my releases of Episodes I and III for a new extended experience for the entire PT. 2 Hours and 35ish minutes.
10 Minute Episode II 4K HDR sample from the edit (featuring 5 restored scenes!):
1 Minute Deleted Scene - Jocasta Nu and Kenobi Discuss Dooku’s Backstory
STAR WARS EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH - THE SIEGE OF MANDALORE CUT (v2.0)
This is a 4.5 hour cut of Revenge of the Sith, merged with the 4 episodes from the Siege of Mandalore Clone Wars Finale, 21 minutes of the battle of Coruscant from the 2005 Clone Wars Microseries, and 5 deleted scenes, all put together into one massive chronological canon-friendly super edit. Available in both 1080p and 4K HDR. The gag dub of “backstroke of the west” (google it) is also included in the files as a 3rd Audio Track that can be heard during all the live Revenge of the Sith segments. The Original edit was released on May 5th, but as of 12/15/2020, we are now up to a v3.0 release of the cut, with improved visual and audio transitions, and a more natural opening sequence. See the 3 minute preview below for the update.
4K Project Trailer:
4K HDR - ROTS Supercut The First 3 Minutes (v3.0)
4K HDR 3 Minute Sample Clip (The transition in this video is old and outdated):
(Spoiler) Test Clip from Anakin’s Fall
Clone Wars Tribute AMV (Bonus):
STAR WARS 2003 Clone Wars Microseries 4K HDR (And 1080P) RE-CUT
The 2003 Clone Wars Microseries, upscaled to Cinematic Aspect Ratio 4K to match the films and Clone Wars quality, and recut into 4 episodes that can fit in a canon viewing order. Scenes are selectively cropped to minimize the amount of objects/faces that get cut off. The series is recut into 4 Episodes which occur over different points in the Clone Wars timeline, and it is now compatible with a Canon Clone Wars Viewing order as a result of this edit (see the next 2 projects below). The 4th Episode is the Battle of Coruscant, so if you already have the Episode III Supercut, you don’t need to watch it twice. The 3rd episode of this set leads into it. The first 2 take place before the Clone Wars film, and after AOTC. I may upsale a full 16:9 unedited version at a later date, but have not yet done so as of today.
Anakin vs Assajj 4K HDR Sample:
Siege of Mandalore/RoTS cut clip - Canon Friendly Microseries Ending Test Scene (From the ROTS edit, but using edited footage from the 2D Show, so I put this clip here)
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS FILM - EXTENDED EDITION CUT
A 2.5 Hour Cut of the 2008 Clone Wars Film, upscaled to 4K HDR (and also released in 1080P), with 10 minutes of restored Deleted Scenes, and re-adding the 2 related TV prequel Episodes, Cat and Mouse (S2E16) and The Hidden Enemy (S1E16) to make one big coherent story arc. This is my newest project, released the same day as I made this post. Having recently wrapped up the entire 4K HDR series project, I am now including a new v2 release of this cut with the larger project down below, matching the video quality of the rest of the series.
FIRST 2.5 MINUTE 4K PREVIEW (EXTENDED INTRO)
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS TV CINEMATIC FILM CUTS PROJECT
After about 6 months of work and multiple releases, I’ve now adapted 38 Arcs of the Clone Wars TV series into 36 different feature length film edits so these stories all flow seamlessly as films now, also upscaling them into 4K HDR based off of a very high quality 10kbps rip from the Blu Ray Source. I also upscaled 9 uncut episodes that and left them in their regular timeline order. These cuts cover every episode of the show and put many out of order episodes back into a chronological order that’s much easier to digest and understand. 2 additional episodes were added into the above Clone Wars 2008 Film edit, which is now included in the main batch of releases for the full TCW series. For the first time ever, fans can watch seasons 1-6 in a gorgeously crisp 4K HDR upscale to match the quality of Season 7’s gorgeous official 4K transfer as closely as reasonably possible (also available in 1080p SDR cuts too).
A Series of Clips for the entire project, starting with 4 Teaser Trailers:
Full Series 4K HDR Trailer:
Teaser Trailer 1:
Teaser Trailer 2:
Teaser Trailer 3:
The Father tests Anakin on Mortis 4K HDR:
Perhaps the most notable edit in the single batch is the 3 hour “The Return of Darth Maul” supercut. The Return of Darth Maul Arc uses the 2012 official Target Exclusive DVD film cut as a base (which shared the same name), and then expands it from there, using exclusive clips of audio and even a few transitions from that cut, while then restoring scenes that it removed and then adding the Season 5 Maul Arc into its second half, creating the longest Supercut at a bit under 3 hours. Watch the above clips on a proper 4K HDR capable screen if you can to see how well the material can upscale. So far, I’m quite pleased with it.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY - EXTENDED EDITION
A new Extended cut of Solo, restoring 8-9 minutes of deleted content across 6 scenes back into the cut of the film, extending it a bit under 2.5 hours.
STAR WARS EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE - THE ROGUE CUT (ANH/ROGUE ONE MASHUP w/Extras)
A supercut that puts Rogue One and A New Hope together as one film with a new crawl, adds the Biggs Darklighter deleted scenes into ANH, as well as incorporates the SC38 Vader/Kenobi fight. The 4K D+/4K Blu Ray/MaClunkey Version of ANH is used as the basis for the edit. Total runtime is a little under 4.5 hours.
SAMPLE 1: (Rogue One to ANH)
SAMPLE 3 (ANH Deleted Scenes):
THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL - 4K HDR REMASTER (with 1978 Commercials)
A 4K upscale of the infamous Holiday Special from a 2nd hand broadcast master that was released some time back, I believe here in this community (I had found a torrent ‘years’ ago), by a group known as EditDroid. This cut includes ‘all’ commercials and bumpers pulled from a secondary source, and edited back into place. I then go and replace all original ANH footage with updated 4K FX shots, attempting to match them frame for frame, cropped into 4:3 from the official 4K ANH release. The animated Boba Fett cartoon is pulled from a Blu Ray source and then upscaled with unique settings before being inserted back into the source.
On youtube, to keep the video from getting deleted automatically, I had to remove 3 songs (The Star Wars Opening Theme, Ceremony Theme at the end, and Jefferson Starship Song), and replace them with Stock midis I had from old unused dead video game projects I worked on. This is ONLY the case on the youtube release.
The version you get “elsewhere” has the original audio untouched and intact.
Youtube (With Altered Music):
Finally, a word of warning… if you want to watch the 4K versions, you MUST have a compatible 4K HDR display with 10-bit color data output, and a video card which supports it. Most Smart TVs, Smart Phones, and NEWER tablets will support this, but many high end Gaming Monitors won’t do this. Instead, what happens is that extra HDR color data doesn’t display and you get flat and dull colors at 4K because the extra data literally will not show up. The PC world has been slow to adapt to the new standard. If you can’t get it to work right, watch the 1080P SDR version instead, or try putting the files on your smart TV or tablet directly to get them to display properly.
The same also applies if you’re watching youtube clips in the wrong browser without the right monitor settings. Youtube takes that HDR data and converts it into an SDR friendly version, which will look better, but not quite correct. Be aware of this when you watch the clips on my channel. Even on the right display, they may still look a bit off if you don’t use the right browser.
I hope you guys enjoy the work I’ve put in over the past few months during this COVID shutdown. Personal circumstances have left me with extensive freetime, so I am trying to use these projects to expand my own skillset even further while I have the opportunity.