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The Star Wars Saga Conservative Re-editing Ideas Thread

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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.

  1. Bend the movies to the story continuity of the Saga as a whole, but maintain the character of each movie.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

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Episode I - The Phantom Menace (to be expanded upon)

The opening act to this movie is very messy, and can easily be slightly cut down and rearranged to deliver the same information it does much more effectively.

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Episode II - Jar Jar’s Big Adventure

The final scene from Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan gives Luke to the Berus, should be in this movie instead. The young Berus only appear in this film, and the scene was shot during the production of II anyway. It also helps tie the Saga together, as you see the start of Luke’s story, followed by Anakin’s as a young adult. Possibly it could be placed before the title, after A long time ago… .

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Episode III - Attack of the Clones

George had the right idea when he cut the “droid speak” scene. This is one of the few places where he should have gone further with the cutting. The comedy sequence with the elevators and R2 does not fit the tone of the movie at all, and it stalls in a movie that is usually very good about not wasting time. It should cut from before Obi-Wan gives R2 the communicator to the first Grievous scene, and from that scene directly to the Jedi entering the throne room.

Because I cut the ending from this movie and put it at the end of II, this movie needs an ending. Perhaps some of the Vader stuff from R1, and R1’s ending, could be put at the end of this one. I don’t particularly care for the CGI Carrie Fischer, but I think it works far better as an ending to the final movie in the saga than it did in the spinoff.

Much of the problem with the prequels is less in bad scenes, and more in them being arranged poorly. Subtle rearrangement is our most powerful weapon as editors, as it keeps the scenes intact as we remember them, only presenting them in a more ideal order.

The Yoda vs. Emperor fight could have a couple scenes cut, but for sure the force trickery in the Senate room should be kept.

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The Original Trilogy

Episode IV - A New Hope

The titles should be adjusted to both match the others in their speed, but also keeping the Episode IV line.

The Biggs reunion from the SE should stay, as well as the new ship effects.

The original Emperor scene from the original ESB could be moved to the beginning of ANH before the titles, with the SE version staying in ESB.

Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

In my opinion the most overrated SW movie, barring the ST. It is still very good though, so not very much should be cut:

The Luke and Leia kiss scene is terrible. Even before they retconned it to be incestuous, it was in my opinion “very bad.” Some of it is funny though, so perhaps it could just be truncated.

Perhaps the Hoth segment could be rearranged to increase tension.

All of the SE changes were pretty good. Cloud City looks cool now, and I like the blue color of Hoth (though it could be toned down a bit).

Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

Jedi Rocks is cancer, but the froggy dude has a sick solo right before it. I also think that the original Lapti Nek song was pretty bad as well. Maybe just the froggy dude could be kept, or maybe someone could figure out how to edit Lapti Nek and froggy dude together seamlessly.

The Ewok stuff is not bad, barring a couple shots where they tackle stormtroopers.

The stuff with Han being jealous is terrible though, and should be excised.

I am not sure what to do with Victory Celebration. I like both versions a lot. I had an idea for putting Victory Celebration as the cold open for TFA, but I also think it works well as an ending to the Saga.

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See this is why I respects Hal’s edits. They’re simple fixes rather than futzing around with the entire continuity. I have having to deviate from Canon in my edits, generally reserving it for the two egregious crimes of contrived lineage twist and more Death Stars (both of which have somehow happened twice). Maybe lightsaber colors, but really, I like to have versions of the films close enough that things line up when looking at external material so the edits aren’t just this weird bubble universe.

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.

This.

The comedy sequence with the elevators and R2 does not fit the tone of the movie at all, and it stalls in a movie that is usually very good about not wasting time.

That scene’s a classic!

I agreed that both versions of the RotJ celebration are good and think the SE version would best be moved to the end of the Saga.

As for changes of my own, people always talk about Anakin being a creep in AotC, but Han is just as bad in ESB. Maybe some trims could fix that? I agree the film is grossly overrated.

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This also means that changes to the titles and the crawls should respect the original movies, rather than be radically changed.

Personally, I’m against changing titles as it makes it obvious it’s not the official film. It sorta goes with that rule about seeming like an actual movie. People shouldn’t notice it’s a fanedit, so when people hear that Episode VIII is called The Last Jedi, you’ve just gotta roll with it. It’s why I’m trying to think of the most seamless ways of implementing my big changes, which are eliminating pointless familial relations and excess superweapons.

For example, you can’t just remove Death Star II because it’s a key part of the lore referenced all the time in the EU. However, what you can do is clarify that’s it’s a reconstructed version of the same Death Star rather than an all new one. The first one still has to be destroyed, but you can redefine “destroyed” as shattered to pieces rather than literally blown to smithereens. Think of it as a two-phase boss fight. First you destroy the outer shell, then you come back to finish the job by blowing it from the inside.