Hello everyone! I’ve been viewing this forum for quite some time but haven’t had any incentive to join until now. I hope to become a film editor someday and for practice have done some fanedits of movies, mostly Star Wars. A couple of months ago I had an idea for a very ambitious project, and now that I’ve completed it I’d like to share it with others.
This is a 7 in 1 edit of the entire Star Wars saga, chronicling around the rise and fall of Darth Vader. TFA is the only film that is not used. The final cut comes to 3 hours 15 minutes (excluding a 2-minute custom closing credits). Overall ROTS gets the most screentime, followed by ESB, AOTC, and ROTJ. ANH gets around 20 minutes, RO around 10, and TPM 2. I have tried to cut the films in such a way that could be seen and understood by someone who has never seen Star Wars before. The edit tells a coherent story with no obvious plotholes.
The story is told with two plotlines- the rise of Vader and the fall of Vader. The rise of Vader (Anakin’s story) consists of the PT while the fall of Vader is Rouge One followed by the OT. These two plotlines are intercut like the Godfather Part II, signified by the flash sound effect from Lost. The ability to intercut allows me to jump ahead an undisclosed amount of time without it feeling jarring. Each “block” of the story is 5-20 minutes long.
Vader (Rogue One): Director Krennic goes to Vader’s castle and meets the dark lord. This is a perfect introduction to Darth Vader, with his shadow towering over Krennic. In this scene we also learn about the Death Star, a central plotpoint. In this edit there is only one Death Star.
Anakin (AOTC): Obi-Wan and Anakin are to protect Padme. It is painfully obvious that Anakin is in love with Padme, but without the forbidden love dynamic introduced we can assume that Obi-Wan picks up on the obvious and is helping Anakin with his advice. It’s still AOTC, but some small changes help the scene and provide us with a solid introduction to Anakin.
Vader (Rogue One): Krennic travels to Scariff to dig up dirt on Tarkin (I felt this was much better for several reasons: first, it shows he deserved to die later because he chooses to come here, second Tarkin seems surprised when he hears that Krennic is on Scariff, and third to show that most of the Empire besides Vader is corrupt). While this is happening, the rebels suddenly attack! Because this is from Vader’s perspective, the rebels are a surprise. A vastly shortened Battle of Scariff (9 mins) takes place ending with the Death Star destroying the Citadel (displaying its power) and Vader showing how badass he is.
Anakin (AOTC): Anakin and Obi-Wan guard Padme at night. We hear about Anakin’s nightmares with his mother and their differing opinions on politics. The assassin attacks and the two Jedi bolt into action, but the assassin quickly escapes. It’s clear that Padme is not safe on Coruscant.
Vader (ANH): We’re just where we left off with Vader chasing the blockade runner. All scenes featuring R2 and 3PO are cut, keeping the plan’s location a mystery.
Anakin (AOTC): Palpatine is introduced as a firm believer in the Republic and friend of the Jedi. He suggests that a Jedi protects Senator Amidala. Later the Jedi Council decides to send Anakin alone on a mission to escort the senator to Naboo. Through a couple of scenes Anakin makes successfully advances on Padme and eventually kisses her on the lake. This is the end of the romance subplot, the audience can assume the logical progression of things.
Vader (ANH): Death Star conference room, Stormtroopers find someone was at the pod, Leia interrogation. This segment is focused on the might of the Empire.
Anakin (AOTC): Anakin and Padme go to Tatooine where they look for Anakin’s mother. The first hints of the dark side appear.
Vader (ANH): Following her interrogation, the Empire learns that Leia lied about the location of the rebel base (the destruction of Alderaan does not happen, mainly because I was short of time and we already saw what the Death Star can do at Scariff). But right before her execution a freighter enters the Death Star. The princess rescue is from the Empire’s perspective, with “jump scares” of the rebels. Vader confronts an old Obi-Wan Kenobi and kills him. Right as the freighter escapes with the princess, Tarkin remarks about the tracking beacon.
Anakin (TPM/AOTC): Shots from the invasion of Naboo are repurposed in a montage showing the Separatist attacks- the negotiations have failed. The senate responds with granting the chancellor emergency powers and the grand army of the republic is formed. The Clone Wars have begun.
Vader (ESB): Twenty years after the creation of the Republic Army, the Imperial Army readies to strike at the rebel base and seize the death star plans. The Battle of Hoth occurs, and the rebels are given their own share of screentime to humanize them. During the evacuation we are introduced to Han Solo, who narrowly escapes with Princess Leia. Han is our main “hero” going forward, with the OT segments now intercutting between him and Vader.
Anakin (ROTS): The Battle over Coruscant. This is mainly a fun sequence that solidifies Anakin and Obi-Wan’s friendship. We see hints of darkness in the Dooku fight, but also Anakin’s bright side with the Grievous fight.
Vader (ESB): The Emperor reveals to Vader that he has a son, Luke Skywalker. Vader now wants to turn Luke to the dark side. However, Vader is confused that Luke is alive.
Anakin (ROTS): Anakin learns that Padme is pregnant, but suddenly has the same nightmares from his mother. Anakin seeks council with Master Yoda, who urges Anakin to let go of what he fears to lose.
Vader (ESB): Vader hires bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon. The Empire then catches up to Han, who tricks them through a serious of maneuvers. We are now given equal time between Vader and Han. At the end Boba follows the Falcon away.
Anakin (ROTS): Palpatine askes Anakin to be his personal representative on the council, and a back and forth dynamic begins between the chancellor and council. While this is happening Anakin slowly loses faith in the Jedi way, which climaxes once Obi-Wan leaves to hunt Grievous. Anakin confronts Palpatine and we learn that he is a Sith Lord.
Vader (ESB): The Falcon arrives at Cloud City where we meet Lando- who proceeds to walk the rebels right into a trap. The likeable heroes are tortured while Lando regrets his decision. Just as Leia declares his love for him, Han is put into carbonite. This is the last we see of Han. The audience is now fully onboard with the rebel cause and hates Vader for killing off the scruffiest nerf herder in the galaxy.
Anakin (ROTS): Mace confronts Palpatine (the duel is cut). Anakin and Padme have their twilight scene and Anakin decides to go the Senate, where he ultimately turns to the dark side. Things only get worse from here.
Vader (ESB): Luke Skywalker arrives on Bespin, taking Vader’s bait. They duel. Meanwhile Lando flips sides and helps the rebels escape. Luke loses the duel with Vader and learns the truth about his father.
Anakin (ROTS): Order 66.
Vader (ESB): Vader pleas Luke to join him and rule the galaxy as father and son, but Luke refuses and jumps off. Leia rescues Luke at the last minute and they escape Bespin after a tense sequence involving the hyperdrive. With Luke our new hero, how can he possibly defeat the Vader?
Anakin (ROTS): Anakin goes to Mustafar and kills the Separtist leaders while Palpatine announces the creation of the Galactic Empire.
Vader (ROTJ / ANH): The Emperor travels to the Death Star and regroups with Vader while Luke seeks Yoda for guidance. Yoda warns him of what is to come and then dies, making Luke the last jedi. Meanwhile the rebels regroup at Yavin IV and obtain the Death Star plans in preparation for a final battle.
Anakin (ROTS): Padme goes to Mustafar, but Anakin is too far gone. Obi-Wan confronts his former student and they begin to duel, but the duel is cut short.
Vader (ROTJ): Luke allows himself to be captured, just as the Emperor predicted. Here we learn Luke’s plan to turn Vader back to the light. As Luke leaves, Vader thinks back for a final time.
Anakin (ROTS): It’s towards the end of the duel. After some clashes Obi-Wan obtains the high ground, and Anakin is defeated. The most emotional scene in the PT follows before ending on a sour note for Anakin- or should I say Vader.
Vader (ROTJ / ANH): The 40-minute finale. The rebels attack the Death Star as it approaches the base. Meanwhile Luke tries to turn Vader to the light side while resisting his own temptations. We get an emotional conclusion to the entire film as Anakin gets revenge on Palpatine before dying. The final scene is Vader’s funeral, witnessed by the last jedi.
Stick around after the end for custom closing credits.
This edit is by no means perfect. I’m fairly new to editing and a few of the cuts come off a bit choppy. But when I had this idea I couldn’t help myself but try it out, and I think the movie plays well. This is an edit like no other.
Below is a short preview, showing a timejump and the Death Star break in. Since the story takes place from Vader’s perspective, the rebels are not shown. This level of “cutting as much as possible” is present in all the major battles, for example the Battle of Scariff goes from 40 minutes to 9.
I own all 8 movies (TFA soundtrack appears at one point, can you figure out where?) on DVD. The OT footage for the edit is special editions 😦
If you are interested in watching, please PM me and I will give you a shareable link to the edit on my google drive.