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The Phantom Menace: Radical Re-Edit

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 (Edited)

Overview of Edit:

None of the Phantom Menace fan edits I’ve seen have gone far enough. Jar Jar is either still really annoying or so side-lined that he serves no purpose at all. The Federation remain bumbling and ineffective villains, and there is a lack of tension and excitement. This isn't the fault of the fan editors, of course, but to fix a movie this terrible something more radical is required.

So when I watched Trooperman’s Episode 2 edit “Shroud of the Dark Side”, which radically altered the tone of the movie through new music and re-dubbing of certain characters, I was inspired to try something similar with Episode 1. Using these techniques I wanted to evoke that “classic Star Wars feel” so glaringly absent from the Lucas version.

The first major change was to re-score most of the movie. Adding pieces from the Original Trilogy goes a long way to making TPM feel more like a Star Wars movie.

I also wanted to make Jar Jar an effective humorous foil for the humor-deficient Jedi, so I dubbed him into an alien language and added subtitles. He is now more cynical, world-weary and tagging along with the Jed to save his own neck.

The Trade Federation have also been redubbed. Instead of bumbling and ridiculous, with their Asian accents, they now sound and act like menacing alien threats. Much more worthy antagonists.

In addition, removing the other Gungans deDisneyfies the movie, and makes it feel less like a dated CGI cartoon.

Key Changes:

- Tons of musical changes throughout, largely from the OT

- Jar Jar is the only Gungan

- The Trade Federation and Jar Jar are both subbed and dubbed

- The space battle happens when the Queen leaves Naboo

Quick note: an early version of this edit was released on FE under the subtitle "Lone Gungan Edition". It was way rough and in hindsight not ready for release.

This version is significantly tightened up and slicker. So my advice for any editors out there: don't release your edit until you're 100% sure it's as good as it can be!

Hopefully this edit will be up on MySpleen sometime today.

Or you can PM me for the links.

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 (Edited)

I have your edit and I consider it to be the best but rough. From there I got inspired to move the space battle to the escape of Naboo. Very good score changes and brilliant editing.

By the way I know you did this a long time ago but by any chance do you remember how did you drowned or eliminated the music on the center channel. I'll understand if you don't remember. Thank you!

Check out my Episode I edit.

Sorry for Bad English.

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I wonder if you downloaded the early version that was once on FE rather than the "finished" version? It's certainly a lot less rough now.

About the centre channel: unfortunately there is no way (as far as I know) of removing the music. I just spent lots of hours trying to get it sounding the best I could. It's not perfect but I think it's mostly OK.

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I downloaded the FE version, it is a little rough. What is the difference of that one and this "finished" version. Does it have any mayor difference or just thighten up the editing?

Check out my Episode I edit.

Sorry for Bad English.

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Honestly, I can't remember too many specifics. Most of the changes were to the audio: originally the music I added was way too loud, and there were loads of poor bits where all the multiple audio sources weren't blended together well (like the foreign voices).

I remember adding a bit where the Trade Federation explain that Sidious was responsible for building their empire. Plus the Naboo invasion was changed a lot - stuff from a couple of the Trek movies added. Also, I think in version one I hadn't yet removed the midichlorians, but that's gone now.

I really hope you had version one - because I'm pretty sure for a while version two was on FE, and it would suck if you're downloading the same version twice.

Anyway version two is 1 hour 27 mins 1 second, so if that's the exact length of the copy you have then you've already got it.

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No worries, and good luck with your edit.

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Bumping this thread for a few reasons:

I'm gonna upload the mkv to MySpleen this week. I'll update here when it's gone live.

The latest version isn't the same one krloz had seen (see two posts up). It's 3 minutes longer, more polished, and using a blu-ray source instead of DVD. Basically it's less horribly amateurish.

Also, it's better if discussion of this edit was kept here instead of cluttering up Frink's request thread.

Still not sure if I should go with "Lone Gungan" or "Radical Re-edit". It's either the clever pun or tying it to my ROTJ edit. Probably the latter.

 

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Bingowings said:

I'm gonna have to see this now after seeing the ROTJ edit and enjoying it so much.

I haven't seen a TPM edit all year other than Frink's.

Oh... I'm not a Spleenie so it would be a gas if someone put it up FE.info.

It's not likely to be up on .info at any point. I'll PM you over the links.

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 (Edited)

I finally managed to see this today and like Dan's ROTJ edit it has a lot going for it.

The opening moments on the ship almost work now. My preferred order is well documented on these forums (of having the Jedi and the the Queen travel to Naboo to free it rather than escaping and returning) but this is as close to an optimal version of the original order as make no odds.

I've heard some Fed dubs before but this is the best.

It sounds like an authentic Star Wars alien language and because there is less said by Nute now it doesn't drag so much having to read the subs.

I like that Nute is already having strong reservations about Sidious but what is lacking is a real motivation for the invasion.

Sid wants his treaty for reasons best know to himself (I guess he doesn't really but there is no explanation of the false reasons for him helping Nute). And the tax crap doesn't cut it as to why the Feds want the planet.

I would have kept the intro to Jar-Jar but dubbed it so he is only Gungan on the planet (in this version) and in exile (in this edit he isn't the lone Gungan at all it's still their world and we see them getting captured).

His dub doesn't work as well. I fear he must speak the same language as the humans as he has dialogue heavy scenes which become a bit of a chore otherwise.

The merge of the battle from the end and the escape from the hanger is seemless but pointless as everyone ends up there again anyway.

It makes more sense to have all that stuff at the end so the hanger is used only once in the story.

If the Bongo/fish scenes are to be used at all maybe someone could make a matte of the Bongo parked in the pond so the Jedi go straight to it and in the ship Jar Jar could explain he was exiled because his people predicted he would cause some terrible catastrophe (which sets up Ep2).

I was surprised how much I didn't miss the droid battle.

Threepio is hardly missed at all either, maybe he could be inserted in the background on Coruscant and on the Queen's ship.

Maybe it would make sense if Qui-Gon meets Anakin before Watto.

He goes back to his place, discusses the race and then meets Watto to talk betting.

Qui-Gon has already annoyed Watto in an earlier scene so it makes sense if this is the first time they meet.

The scenes with Schmoo and Qui-Gon work better now.

I wish Obi-Wan was given something to do on that ship.

I would trim away Anakin stalling on the starting line so he is only stalled for a fraction of a second (if at all) and quickly catches up.

I would put back the extended material of the Sandpeople shooting the Jawas collecting junk to the race.

It's a bit of local colour that works. 

I don't see why Sidious and Maul are openly walking around on Coruscant.

It makes more sense if that exchange happened on Naboo with Sidious as a hologram (or better still in a battle droid factory elsewhere in the galaxy).

I don't know if it's possible to trim Palpatine's description of the senate being full of delegates to be just full of arguing and squabbling in general.

It's the Senate so it's bound to have delegates in it so the line plays a bit dumb.

You could cut Anakin being tested entirely and have the Jedi decide to defer their judgement until after the Naboo crisis.

I loathe those scenes.

It just trowels Anakin's instant hate for Mace onto the film in a forced manner.

Cutting the land battle improves the saber duel immensely. It does leave Anakin with nothing to do and leaves only Padme's adventures as a cut away.

I would as I said earlier stick all the hanger stuff in the end.

Have Anakin take down a ship deliberately and trim the queen's adventures to a minimum (largely because Pananka is so bleedin irritating).

i'd move the fight to the droid control ship and stick those scenes together too because that powerstation just sticks out like a sore thumb on Naboo.

Nice to end with the funeral.

As with the ROTJ edit this is more of a series of experiments.

Some of which work really well and should be seen by anyone else considering doing this sort of thing.

I think with a production team doing new effects and bit more restructuring this film can be saved.

It will never be great but it could be a half descent Star Wars film with a bit of TLC and this edit proves it can be done.

Thanks again for an enjoyable experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Thanks for the detailed review. I'll go through some of the key points.

"I've heard some Fed dubs before but this is the best.

It sounds like an authentic Star Wars alien language and because there is less said by Nute now it doesn't drag so much having to read the subs."

It's Turkish. Whoever did the dubbing came up with some decent antagonist voices, certainly miles more menacing and interesting than the bizarre original voices.

"I would have kept the intro to Jar-Jar but dubbed it so he is only Gungan on the planet (in this version) and in exile (in this edit he isn't the lone Gungan at all it's still their world and we see them getting captured).

His dub doesn't work as well. I fear he must speak the same language as the humans as he has dialogue heavy scenes which become a bit of a chore otherwise."


Jar Jar's voice is obviously a huge problem. I agree it's not great, but I put it through Audacity and made it a little deeper and less childlike than the way it started. I also did a test of me dubbing his dialogue in English - but that footage will never, NEVER be shown to anyone.

That first part of the scene with Jar Jar's introduction should really be in there. If nothing else then for pacing reasons (the first twenty minutes are on fast forward, just way too fast paced). But I think that's probably the worst scene in any SW film and I couldn't come up with a way to make it work.

Hopefully others (including Adywan) will dub Jar Jar into English and come up with a better explanation for why he's tagging along with the Jedi.

"The merge of the battle from the end and the escape from the hanger is seemless but pointless as everyone ends up there again anyway."

There's a couple of reasons I put the space battle right when the pilots are freed. It made sense to me that if a planet has been invaded the military will fight back as soon as it possibly can. It doesn't make sense to me that the pilots run away instead of getting in the fighters and counter-attacking.

The other reason is obviously because I knew I wasn't going to include the space battle in act 3 so that footage might as well be used in act 1. It's a 90 minute edit after all.

"I don't see why Sidious and Maul are openly walking around on Coruscant.

It makes more sense if that exchange happened on Naboo with Sidious as a hologram (or better still in a battle droid factory elsewhere in the galaxy)."


Nice idea, but way beyond my skills.

"Cutting the land battle improves the saber duel immensely. It does leave Anakin with nothing to do and leaves only Padme's adventures as a cut away."


You're right about Anakin not being given enough to do, but the space battle was something I was always going to cut. The implausibility of a 10-year-old destroying the villain's ship is just too stupid, IMO, and serves to undermine even further the credibility of the Federation. And anyway, Anakin has already won the pod race to help out the heroes, and in the hangar he destroys the destroyer droids to save Padme. Pretty good effort for a kid.

"I think with a production team doing new effects and bit more restructuring this film can be saved."

Totally. It might be the only prequel that is salvageable, but there's definitely potential for a not terrible SW film.

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You might want to consider making a slightly smaller file of this edit.

It's okay for burning to disc but there is the dreaded 4GB (on disc) limit for transferring to FAT32.

I would have preferred to have copied this to hard disc to watch but in the end I had to burn it and my player is a bit odd about playing MKVs for some reason and cut off around the end of the pod race (I had to watch the rest on my laptop).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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I'm pretty sure MKV Merge can split MKVs in two without re-encoding. That's probably your best way around the FAT32 issue (other than making the file smaller).

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The edit came across as a political thriller, which seems to have been Lucas' intention. You took a bad film and made it watchable. Great job. It's amazing the improvements that can be made by primarily subtracting scenes.

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Is this edit not on iafd?  I'd love to put a review there.

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joos said:

Is this edit not on iafd?  I'd love to put a review there.

 Looks like you found it. :)

And thanks for the review. I'm glad you (mostly) liked it.

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Hi, any chance I could have a PM with a link? I am not on le 'spleen.
Thanks.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

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First time coming across this. I’m definitely intrigued.

Could you PM me the link as well?

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I watched this today and have some mixed thoughts. First off, the dubbing of Jar Jar and the weird engrish speaking guys was mostly seamless and worked pretty well. The pacing was mostly fixed although things really slowed down in the third act once the politics aspect was introduced. The visual editing was fine but the quality of the shots taken from the dvd and the ones that were cropped/stretched stuck out. Overall it was better than most edits I’ve seen but there were a few too many jarring moments

Prequel Fan-Edit thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Yet-another-series-of-prequel-edits/id/17329