-kk650’s regraded bluray
-bryantmh’s upscaled deleted scenes
-own upscaled footage from my dvd
Well, this edit has been a long time coming. I joined the forum a little over 10 years ago, on August 2011 and actually tried to edit this movie already the next year (first Premiere edit file for this movie is from June 2012). I did finish the edit back then but it did not turn out so great with the skills I had back then, especially the sound edits were pretty crude. So I never published it or actually even watched it myself, since I was trying to edit all prequels first. I got stuck at Ep 3 though, since I could not get some effects to work that I was planning to do.
So after honing my skills with other edits I decided to give this a new try. I have always liked how The Phantom Menace blew up the scale and grandeur of the world of Star Wars movies and despite the clunky dialog (that I’m used to over the years) I think it has a fairly good adventure/action movie buried underneath all the unnecessary scenes and bad humor. I thought this would be pretty fast project, since my changes to plot points would not require any effects work, I was only planning to fix this shot of Obi’s saber:
How wrong I was…
The editing part for this new version was mostly done by fall of 2019, when I had to take a half year break. However, I realized after watching this video from CorridorCrew (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbAV4dO8gvM), that the lightsaber fight had many other issues with the sabers. Also in the beginning of the movie for some reason the colors have had their highlights washed out witch makes the planet of Naboo and the sabers very dim. So I set out to fix the issues, and the project ballooned to fix all kinds of continuity issues and to include some ideas I found on this forum. The result must be one of the most comprehensive edits of this movie (IISSM), that has been finished (there has been more ambitious efforts but I think they have fizzled out).
The edit uses the the Kk650’s regraded bluray version as a source. With it’s color correction and slight added grain, I think it’s the best looking source to use. It beats even the 4K version, since the ”so called” 4K versions of the prequels used the same scan of the movie than blurays and don’t have any added detail. See for yourself below:
https://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/20309 (Look at the furry part of the queen’s outfit)
Of course the brightness is different too and it affects how details pop up.
Here is the trailer for the edit:
Every shot in that trailer (except the opening logos) has some kind of visual change from slight sharpening of the picture to almost all elements in the footage replaced. Most changes are very small, and you have to know what to look for. 😄
Credit goes to kk650’s color correction most of all but also to Jackpumpkinhead for his Crawl creator and bryantmh for upscaled deleted scenes. These helped this project to finish faster.
Major goals of the edit:
Less politics: -Take out political aspect of the invasion until Coruscant scenes. References to politics are reduced from Neimoidian and Sidious’ dialog to make the plot more exiting and streamlined. This also helps conceal Sidious’ identity. The Trade Federation is now The Federation of Dissenting Planets in this edit and has nothing to do with taxation. The organisation’s full name is mentioned in the crawl but referred as ”Federation” in dialogue. Their motivations are left more vague.
More mysterious Sidious: Make connection between Sidious and Palpatine less obvious. I wanted to do this, but of course this doesn’t matter so much if you’ve seen the original version (like 99,99% of people =). Sidious’ appearances have been approximately cut in half throughout the movie to keep him more mysterious. All mentions about connections to senate have been removed and his voice has been lowered to not make a connection to Palpatine. His face is more concealed to also help with this until the balcony scene with Maul, where his face was not possible to hide because of how light hits his face.
No slave subplot: No mention of Anakin and his mother being slaves. This has to be the most contrived plot points in the movie, and it hardly plays a part in later prequels. Them being poor and not able to escape the planet would be enough. They just both have to work for Watto to make ends meet. The slave subplot also creates a huge problem in the next movie, where 10 years later Jedi apparently STILL have done nothing to free Shmi and relocate her to a nicer environment. Plus the exploding tracker in body- thing. Lazy writing much? So this edit pretends that the Jedi are just tight on funds right now and Shmi has to stay behind because they can only afford to locate Anakin to Coruscant. Shmi is also kinda used to her life on Tatooine. Not perfect but it’s better than the original. This change took the most of the editing time, since the dinner scene and Anakin’s new future- discussion had to work without the slave angle.
No second bet: This also means there is no second bet. This takes out needles complications of the original plot about getting out of Tatooine. Streamlining this part of the movie makes the movie roll much more smoothly, since in the original the momentum stops badly during Tatooine scenes. This location is at this point the most overused in all of SW, IMO. Now they meet Anakin, come up with the bet to get the parts, race and then they are out of there.
Less universe shrinkage: Universe shrinkage is avoided by removing unnecessary fan service. This includes C-3PO and Jabba, which are both removed from the movie completely. I always strongly disliked Anakin building 3PO and the droid has nothing to do in the movie anyway. He was put there purely for the fans but it doesn’t serve the story. You can see ”him” in some of the shots during and after the podrace, but now he is just a random droid provided to Anakin for the race. All the characters knowing each other and popping up in the original versions makes this fictional world of supposedly tens of thousands of systems seem very small.
No mention of the rule of two Sith: This is taken out because I tried to make this movie match the original trilogy better. If there is a rule of two, surely the emperor and Vader are fully aware that they are trying to betray each other by trying to convert Luke.
Reducing lameness and stupidity: I tried to get rid of lame turns and stupidity that made me cringe every time I watched the movie. What irritates is of course personal and some of the things that others find irritating might be left in. Jar Jar is (obviously) minimized. He has few lines here and there so he doesn’t become completely mute during the middle of the movie, but I tried to left in only the least irritating sentences and sounds he makes. His voice is made slightly deeper, but it’s actually hard to tell. Could not change it too much without it getting distorted.
There might be some ”deal breaker” parts for some viewers. These may tell you this edit is not for you and you save some time and trouble. 😉:
The two headed podrace announcer: Still in there. I think we need announcer in the race and I didn’t bother to remove the announcer shots since I was already editing around Jar Jar- antics. He doesn’t bother me so much.
Anakin is still refered as the chosen one: (but not too old to start the training) This explains why Qui-Gon wanted to train him although he was just a boy. This edit does not imply that younglings have to start training when they are tree years old or something. This makes Jedi more of a humanly organization, not taking children away from their parents so early. Also the chosen one- angle brings some dramatic weight to the later movies.
End celebration is still there: I like it (great score) and I think this movie needs a happy party at the end, since the next ones don’t have them.
-Hundreds of cuts
-Tens of added slight sharpening effects to blurry shots
-About 75 Audition- audio edits
-About 170 After Effect- shots, mostly saber fixes, about 90% redone.
-Added probe droid deleted scene, and multiple shorter shots from upscaled dvd footage.
-Countless and countless hours honing the effects shots
-Countless hours thinking what I’m doing with my life…
List of some more detailed changes:
-The Jedi are mentioned by name in the crawl because otherwise Qui-Gon’s name is mentioned first time on Tatooine, way into the movie.
-Planets are made brighter and Naboo and Tatooine have added city lights(Had to do a very time consuming manual tracking for the added layer for these).
-First action scene is cut so that the Jedi supposedly don’t sense the explosion or notice the gas being pumped into the room. That way we are introduced to the lightsabers with the shot of their glow shining through the gas and the Jedi are not so jumpy, lighting the swords up from the smallest sensation of ”something is wrong”.
-Obi-wan and Qui-Gon go down to the planet to help Naboo, not warn them, since they are going down there with invading ships.
-Otoh Gunga is cut to be more mature scene and no talk about going through the planet’s core. The impression is that the ships landed near Theed, not on the other side of the planet for no reason. Jar Jar is just saved by Qui-Gon from punishment. Qui-Gon doesn’t tell Obi-Wan that they need him for navigation, since Jar Jar just goes batshit crazy in sub and does zero navigation (in the original cut). Submarine sequence is now cut around the encounter with Sando Aqua monster, which I like (random monster of the movie) and Jar Jar antics are obviously minimized.
-The ”Hyperdrive monitor” is changed from busy 3D monitor to more simpler easy to read at glance- monitor (in the trailer). The original monitor was way too advanced looking and unpractical to read at glance.
-Watto isn’t affected by the mind trick simply because he is not weak minded enough, no toydarian bulls**t needed.
-I first had Anakin starting the Naboo fighter without his dialogue but you can see his mouth moving, so I added back part of the lines. He wonders where the trigger is but then finds it right away. He catches on pretty quick you know…😄 Also Anakin purposefully participates in the space battle but is just struggling with the fighter controls.
-Jar Jar is not made general, he is just participating (quite quietly) in the battle as one of the soldiers.
This edit has given me a goal to finish and always something to do during these corona times when I have spent a lot of time home. It became my passion project but also my obsession, since I was putting off some real life projects because of it. Many times I wondered if this movie is worth the trouble, but I was already too far. 😄 I came up with new things to fix or add pretty late in the process too. My first deadline for this was 4th of May I think, then it was at the end of August, then halfway of October, then Christmas, then New Year… But now it’s done, and I try to have a break from this stuff and get more done in the real world.
Original run time: 2 h 16min
New run time : 1h 44min ( 1h 50m with credits)
Format: MKV (10,3G), MP4 video and ACC 5.1 audio, subtitles and chapters
Thanks for reading and have a good year ahead. If someone is interested, just ask me a link via PM. I would also appreciate feedback , especially if you spot any glaring errors so I can fix them.
My other edits:
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Improved Edition : https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Improved-Edition/id/65907
Prometheus - Improved edition: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Prometheus-Improved-edition-Released/id/68622
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Improved-Edition: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Vol-2-Improved-Edition-Released/id/73451
Iron Man 3 - Cut and Chromed Edition: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Iron-Man-3-Cut-and-Chromed-Edition-Released/id/87734