This is meant to be an alternative to the Radical Redux threads, where here the focus is more on what is easily doable, and deviates least from the source material. The goal of the ideas in this thread should be less to reimagine and change the core of the movies, and more to compile a canon of changes that are generally agreeable to people who both like and dislike each of the films.
General ideas that you don’t have to follow to contribute to the thread:
Here are some principles I have in mind for what makes a good change, loosely based on Hal9000’s idea for 3 balanced goals for his prequel edits.
Bend the movies to the story continuity of the Saga as a whole, but maintain the character of each movie.
Keep the edits conservative so that the final product looks less like a bad movie that was truncated, and more like a good, well-edited movie. “The edits should be viable as films on their own.”
Respect the intent of every decision, in spite of its execution.
This means that: TPM will still be a movie for 9 year olds, AotC will still be a movie about a romance and a weird mystery, RotS will still be an action movie with a great story, RotJ will still be about Ewoks. This also means that changes to the titles and the crawls should respect the original movies, rather than be radically changed. My main criticism of fan-edits that I have seen is their titles: In their attempts to replace the corny but sincere original titles with something better, they usually make it worse by trying so hard to be taken seriously. Also, they shouldn’t be shorter than 2 hours.
What about the deleted scenes? In my opinion we don’t have any of them in good enough quality to seamlessly blend into the movie. Some of them are really good, especially Padme’s in RotS. The AotC ones can also be used to cut out entirely the droid factory sequence, but I don’t know if that is necessary. Two versions should be made: one with visual fidelity as a priority, featuring no deleted scenes, and another including them as “Extended Workprints” or something (possibly with the regular footage downscaled to match).
The film grain idea I had a while ago (https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Using-Film-Grain-Effects-in-a-Unique-way-Prequel-Trilogy-Rogue-One-into-a-New-Prequel-Trilogy/id/71281) does a lot to improve the digitally-shot movies.
The goal of this thread is to create, collectively, the definitive fan edits of the entire saga. They should not be an individual user’s “personal take” on what would be the best, instead they should be honed to be good enough to please most people, while still being true to their original state.
I will make posts following this one outlining various changes I would make in each of the prequels, and likely a post explaining the smaller changes I would apply to the OT, mostly Empire and Jedi. These posts will be heavily edited and expanded as more ideas come, from myself and especially from others, either through their posts in this thread or my lifting of ideas from their edits. I encourage everyone interested to make their own posts similar to mine centered around an individual movie, to be expanded whenever they want.