There’s some really cool ideas in the cut list - things like the new shots of the Sith Fleet deploying and all the scenes with significantly redone dialogue especially. I’m excited to see how you’ve managed to achieve that. I’m curious to also see the effect of having Palps hidden away for most of the movie, since it’s basically the polar opposite approach to the theatrical cut’s minute one ripping-off-the-plaster.
I mean, the SEs and PT also have the ‘George Lucas Seal of Approval’. This site wouldn’t need to exist if that was actually any meaningful indicator of quality. Sure, as the creator of the franchise, everything he didn’t work on is essentially ‘fan fiction’ (be it the old or new extended continuities) but so are all the excellent fanedits and other projects here.
Re: Rey’s ‘power level’: I think a lot of the disagreement comes from a difference in understanding of how the Force is supposed to work. A lot of Yoda’s teaching in ESB - ‘size matters not’/‘only different in your mind’, ‘do or do not, there is no try’, telling Luke ‘that is why you fail’ in response to his disbelief over the X-wing being lifted out of the water - suggests to me at least it’s more of a binary thing than a linear power scale. Yoda wasn’t entirely just screwing with Luke, right, he really did think it could’ve been possible for him to lift the X-wing himself after what is, in the most generous interpretation of ESB, absolutely no more than a month of training, so long as he truly believed he could do it. After all, that’s how Luke wins in the first movie: he’s had less than an hour or so of training by Yavin, but the whole idea of the climax is that just by truly letting go and putting absolute faith in the Force, he lands the shot. Not because he’s spent six years training in the specific technique of Force-Enhanced Torpedo Accuracy.
I know the prequels jam that all up somewhat with midichlorian counts but that’s lame (and for people who are deeply concerned with how many magic Force bacteria our protagonists have, TROS does go out of its way to cover who Rey inherited her midichlorian-rich blood from, at great expense).
Regarding lightsaber fighting specifically, the movie shows us Rey is already well-practiced defending herself with other melee weapons, and in TCW (which has the ‘George Lucas Seal of Approval’) and also in other new continuity media like Rebels and Mando we see non-Force users wielding lightsabers/the darksaber, so presumably Rey’s ability to hold her own against Kylo (who is injured and not actually trying to kill her yadda yadda yadda) with one in TFA is just transferring over that general skill. If she was accurately deflecting blaster bolts with it or pulling off lighting-fast prequel-style choreography that’d be a stretch, but IIRC she basically just swings it around.
I really enjoy the tone and the refoleying work. I’m not entirely sold on Ben only finding out about Leia via Force vision - I get that with the limited footage you have available you have to segue from your opening to the rest of the show somehow, but it strikes me as the sort of thing that would’ve been eviscerated for being flimsily contrived if it had been in the original show. Obviously there’s only so much you can do though. I’d certainly enjoy seeing more of this project if you continue it.
I thought that wouldn’t be that hard for some team to do to improve the films cgi
While it’s true that it’s more accessible than ever to render fairly realistic looking materials and 3D models, we don’t have access to any of the original CGI assets used in the movies, so first you’d need to recreate everything (every character, planet, vehicle, prop etc.) to a realistic level of detail. Notice that a lot of the CG fan-films on YouTube mostly stick to what’s able to be ripped from Battlefront 2 to avoid doing this. This is already a monumental undertaking, but even with all the assets you’d be far from done - every scene would require painstakingly arranging your new props to match the original ‘set’, lighting it, animating all the moving parts, matching the camera moves… We’re talking a time investment of years for a large team. And that’s without even mentioning how you’d need to either digitally recreate every live-action extra (think of all the Lucasfilm/ILM staff members hidden in the opera scene) or cast and costume your own replacements for them. And then even with the best execution in the world, it’d still inevitably not quite fit with the non-redone parts of the movie.
I think at the moment the best order for a hypothetical newbie is the OT (theatrical or an edit that makes the SEs less awful), then the PT (theatrical - I love fanedits but I feel like you have to see the originals first), and then just everything else in chronological order, from TCW through to TROS.
I don’t really think leaving ROTS until after TCW does either any favours. TCW pretty much assumes you’ve seen I-VI, with the Order 66 arc especially relying on the dramatic irony of knowing what Fives has stumbled upon and that he must therefore inevitably fail to stop it, and it also has a few other spoilery moments like the depiction of Anakin’s future in the Mortis arc. ROTS (at no fault of its own due to the limitations of linear time) doesn’t really line up with the characterisation of Anakin we get in TCW, and the lack of any nods whatsoever towards Ahsoka, Satine, Maul, and so on would be more jarring if you’ve just come off of watching TCW. It works much better, IMO, as a sequel to AOTC than it does as a finale to TCW. It also just feels more authentic to how those movies were originally intended by Lucas and seen by audiences.
There are admittedly a few other little niggles with watching the post-Lucas content in chronological order rather than release order, like how if you meet Hera first in Bad Batch you might be a little thrown as to why so much screentime is being dedicated to a random little Twi’lek girl, or how seeing the Inquisitors first in Obi-Wan Kenobi is probably a tad abrupt (I’ve seen a lot of people who skipped Rebels disliking them), but generally I think it works pretty well. Tales From the Jedi and The Acolyte will make it much worse though, since they feature content chronologically earlier than TCW - in the former’s case that means seeing really good modern animation and then jumping to shitty 2008 animation, and in the latter’s case that means jumping back in time to before the PT for a presumably standalone story before then returning to the PT characters… I’m sure twenty years from now when I’m showing my children Star Wars I’ll have to do some insane calculus to work out the perfect order for two hundred Disney Plus shows, lol.
I do stand by showing a newcomer the ST after all the other new content, though. I don’t even dislike (2/3) of those movies, it’s just I think the “Mandoverse” stuff will probably enhance them more if you see it before you see where’s it all leading to. I see them as an epilogue, to a degree. Also, the more Star Wars you can be exposed to before you watch TROS the better, I think - not just so you can recognise the voice cameos, but so that it forms a smaller part of your overall view of the franchise, and because I’m hoping we’ll eventually get a show that better grounds its total left-field twists like the Sith Eternal better into the larger canon. My opinion on that may change though depending on what future content we get.
For rewatches I just jump around; there’s way too much for any kind of marathon at this point IMO, it’d become some kind of long unnecessary project instead.
The Inquisitors seem to be a big sticking point for a lot of people who didn’t watch Rebels or play Fallen Order. I think the important thing to remember about them is that they’re not the top-tier villains or even proper Sith, they’re just the morally-bankrupt bottom-rung ex-Jedi who sold out to survive. They’re not quite cannon fodder like stormtroopers, but they’re very much expendable (in Fallen Order you fight a few as literal videogame bosses). Being a threat but a bit of a lame one is kind of their shtick - in Rebels at least they mostly exist as warm-up baddies to make Vader and Maul even more intimidating by comparison.
I imagine opinions about the villains of this show will improve now that Vader, the real threat, is coming into the picture. He ought to carry his usual presence, assuming the voice work and physical acting is up to scratch. While the Grand Inquisitor definitely isn’t really dead (because continuity), I think his wounding has been introduced to make him a severely reduced presence in the second and third acts. He is definitely the same guy because he appears with his Rebels look in comics set before this series. Reva will probably be separated from the rest of the Inquisitorius for the rest of the show, but keep interfering with Kenobi and Vader to continue serving the role of ‘character whose fate we don’t already know so there’s actually some dramatic tension’.
Re: how she knows Vader’s identity - we see at the start of Episode 1 that she was present at the Jedi Temple when Anakin Skywalker’s 501st Clone Legion started shooting everyone, and she may have even seen him killing Jedi himself (he only wore a hood, not a great disguise). Even if she only suspected it, Kenobi’s emotional response to hearing of “Lord Vader” would’ve confirmed it for her. I don’t think it’s so far-fetched to think quite a lot of the more clued-in Imperials who had been around since the days of the Republic would at least harbour suspicions - canonically Tarkin and Thrawn are basically 100% sure and Ahsoka figures it out based on vibes alone, so I’d imagine people like Wullf Yularen or the Inquisitors could also piece it together. I’m sure mentioning it to Vader’s face would be fatal, of course.
This show is definitely pitched more to the Prequels/Clone Wars/Rebels generation in its tone and characters, rather than being marketed towards OT fans like Force Awakens was. I think at this point Lucasfilm recognise that that’s the core audience these days, and even the breakout stuff like Mando seems to be designed to indoctrinate newbies into watching TCW and Rebels. With Filoni’s large role in TV even outside of projects he’s actually writing, that’s the current “Star Wars”, which is great if you like it, and not so great if you don’t.
Loved the first two episodes.
Like NFB, I thought Obi-Wan was comparing Leia to Anakin at first before he elaborated, but given how much of the rest of the show is about Anakin, I suppose it’s good to have a moment for the least-appreciated member of the prequel trio, especially since Leia does go on to become a political leader and aggressive-negotiator like her mother. Young Leia is adorable and I love how savage she is, especially when interacting with Obi-Wan; definitely gives the show more energy. Ewan is as entertaining as ever. I particularly enjoyed the scene where he confronted Haja, and of course all of the long shots of him looking sad. I also really enjoyed Alderaan, and Bail, and the homeless Clone Veteran, and Owen, and Obi-Wan’s nightmares, and the Jawa swindling him, … etc.
The Inquisitors are pretty daft and stiff looking, but that sort of works given that they’re not supposed to be the true big baddies like Vader or Palpatine, just Dark Side interns - doubly so with Reva since she’s got that Kylo Ren insecurity. Very interested to see how well they execute Vader next week, what with JEJ presumably not coming back (they would’ve said if he was).
Filoni’s larger-than-life dramatic character stuff works well enough for me in animation, I think, but I agree that it’s nice to see something a little more understated here in live-action. His episodes of Mando and BOBF felt kind of shallow or sketchy, never quite getting into the actual meat of things - Ahsoka and Luke’s scene was very stilted and hollow (not helped by Deep Fakewalker).
Anyway, as the most forgiving Disney Star Wars shill alive, I am really looking forward to Kenobi. It’s interesting seeing the perspectives on this from people who have been checked out since the prequels, or since TCW, or since Rebels, or since the sequels… we all have our own ‘Star Wars’. Luckily for me, Lucasfilm seem to be making this for people like myself who like or have at least have seen basically everything that’s been released, and have thus managed to build up a tolerance to bizarre lightsaber spins and continuity violations. If it manages to be emotionally compelling and exciting, I can happily forgive A LOT of silliness - I always ask myself “is this worse than the Ewoks?” and the answer is almost always no.
Re: the last episode leaks…
I don’t think it’s too unreasonable for Luke to have seen a lightsaber before. He never explicitly says he hasn’t, and he does know about the Clone Wars, which featured Jedi and lightsabers quite prominently. Back in TPM, random backwater planet slave boy Anakin Skywalker was aware of Jedi and their “laser swords”, also. Rewatching the scene in IV, it can easily be viewed as Luke just not knowing that the object Obi-Wan presents him with is a lightsaber, which makes sense as it looks quite different from Reva’s dual-bladed one.
Obviously it is a bit of a stretch to get it to fit with the implications made by the OT, but… that’s true of A LOT of things at this point. In just this same scene, Obi-Wan claims he had an apprentice named Darth Vader who killed Luke’s father, which was retconned to be a lie, and Darth was retconned to be a title rather than a name. Obi-Wan also acts as if he has no idea who Artoo is and claims to have never owned a droid, which is ludicrous in light of the prequel trilogy. The whole thing is a complete mess. I think part of the ‘deal’ you make when suspending your disbelief for these things is just allowing a bit of flexibility, in the same way you accept Obi-Wan or Owen having entirely different faces.
“Vice Admiral Holdo is mobilising the fleet!”
I’ll get my coat.
Honestly, I’m kind of glad that the show is going to be a new canon, Rebels/Fallen Order-tied in, large-scale adventure, probably full of ludicrous retcons and continuity stretching.
Doing anything with Obi-Wan in this time period that’s actually worth making six episodes of TV about is immediately going to violate the previous implication that he basically just sat in his hut for twenty years (and people who aren’t okay with that will have already resolved to exclude the show from their headcanon). And if you can’t avoid crossing that threshold, why hold back and just tiptoe over it? While I’m sure you could write a neat smaller-scale story like the ones in the comics or Legends, it’d hardly be an event worth bringing Ewan back for after 17 years.
At least a maximalist load of implausible fanservice featuring every possible character in this time period will definitely be stimulating and interesting, even if it’s terrible (if Ahsoka appears I will cackle).
Oh yeah, “From my point of view…” is a notoriously silly line, but personally I don’t think it really contradicts his character too much at that point (he does have reasons to hate the Jedi even outside of the coup, like their lies and endless distrust of him, and general heartlessness towards his mum/Padme/Ahsoka, even if calling them ‘evil’ is a bit hyperbolic), it’s just Lucas-tier dialogue. I was trying to limit myself to removing just the one line that stood out to me as being detrimental for the audience’s understanding of Anakin’s motivations, since this is for a reasonably light-touch edit focused on making Anakin seem less stupid.
While you certainly can justify Anakin’s behaviour towards the end as the dark side jumbling his mind up so much he can’t remember what’s actually true, I’ve always thought that was a bit of a cop out. I do think there’s genuinely enough substance there in the save-Padme-and-himself plot thread of the movie to motivate each step towards his fall without resorting to him just going insane, or forgetting that Palpatine is the Sith Lord that orchestrated the war.
Hopefully the upcoming Obi-Wan series and its behind-the-scenes materials, or the Ahsoka show after that, will grant us something usable for a better ROTJ ghost. It’s also fairly easy to age people up with FaceApp/EBSynth so it could finally be age correct, rather than too young/old.
What if Anakin didn’t bring up the Jedi plot against Sidious during the Mustafar fight? This is a way overly-laboured change to excise a single line that bugs me (“I should’ve known the Jedi were plotting to take over!!!”).
Every instance in this movie of Anakin appearing to sincerely believe the Jedi were unjustified in their actions against the Sith Lord that lied to and endangered him and his family/friends for years gets on my wick. The whole 'the Jedi betrayed the Republic!" big lie works fine for me as what Anakin and Palps conspire together to tell the galaxy (and Padme) to justify their coup, but only if Anakin is in on the lie, otherwise it just makes him look stupid. I believe a lot of this stuff is debris from the pre-reshoots version of the script where Anakin’s turn was more to do with politics/feeling the Jedi had been lying to him, but since in the final movie Anakin personally sends Mace to stop Darth Sidious the evil SITH LORD they’ve been looking for, having him later behave as if he truly, earnestly thought Mace was there to take control of the Republic in some kind of top secret anti-democratic plot against the totally innocent Chancellor just gives the impression Anakin’s brain is dribbling out of his ears.
Arguably the rest of the dialogue that I’ve left in here is also carrying the exact same sentiment, but I think without the context of the previous line, you can read it as a more general criticism of the Jedi as being just as evil as Sheev (because of not helping him with saving Padme or whatever), rather than him having amnesia.
Adobe After Effects or Nuke (and Blender or similar) are going to the sort of things you’ll want to look in to for fixing continuity errors, changing lightsabers and the like. More experimental tools like EBSynth could also be useful. For making things higher resolution, Topaz Video Enhance AI is your best option short of recreating the elements from scratch. Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve are the most common consumer tools used for cutting together video.
I don’t believe it’s possibly for consumers to put together Atmos mixes yet, so if you’re going to alter the actual runtime of the movie (add, remove or retime shots such that the audio needs changing), you probably won’t be able to maintain the Atmos mix because it won’t be in sync anymore. Ditto for changing Yoda’s voice and things like that.
I’d also be interested in a link, if possible, please.
This is really cool - there’s some stuff here I’d never seen and the work you’re doing to merge it in fairly seamlessly is very neat.
It’d be great if we could convincingly sell the same transport recovering and flying off somehow. You could even keep “Chewie!” (well, unless you’re trying to avoid clashing with Starlight) because, well, he’s been kidnapped! I suppose the difficulty would be selling the idea that leaning further into the dark side would’ve helped Rey in this instance. The fewer fake deaths the better though, IMO.
Sounds great! You definitely go further than I would in places, but anything that strengthens the focus on Rey and Kylo is doing the movie a favour IMO. I’d love to see your workprint when it’s done
so I can continue to poach everyone else’s changes.
I certainly intend to contribute more to the TPM thread when I have some extra time to pick at the movie. I still think these threads are good ideas, even if they have to last much longer than a single month to really get anywhere.
A lot of the discussion in the TROS Ascendant thread came from the fact people were arguing back and forth over exactly how to execute a change, but that’s not something that can really happen in a thread which isn’t producing a single product, since it’s easy to just agree to disagree.
Hard to believe we’re roughly halfway through this month already. I started going through the movie scene by scene and comparing the decisions made by different fanedits and how they affect the release of information, and the overall impression given to the viewer, but only completed that for… the crawl, so far. Perhaps these threads can outlive the actual months.
Ah, cheers, found the Phantom Edit. Unfortunately the links that the .dlc file for Secior’s edit on .info points to are dead (this is the case for quite a few edits on that site in my experience).
Does anyone have any inkling as to how I might be able to get my hands on Secior’s edit or the original Phantom Edit? I’ve had no luck with the .info site or other searches and these editors are not active online anywhere as far as I can see.
Luke, you’re going to find that the truth about whether or not I ever owned any droids depends greatly on our own point of view.
To really cut to the chase and centre the movie around Anakin, you could begin on Tatooine, with the party having just met him. In order to pull this off you’d need to substantially alter the opening crawl to convey the events of the now-excised first act. Perhaps something like this:
THE PHANTOM MENACE
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy
far away, Naboo was under an attack.
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
could talk the FEDERATION in to
maybe cutting them a little slack.
But their response, it didn’t thrill us.
They locked the doors and tried to
kill us. We escaped from that gas,
then met Jar Jar and Boss Nass.
We took a bongo from the scene,
and we went to Theed, to see the
queen. We all wound up on TATOOINE.
That’s where we found this boy.
I’ve been managing to watch like, twenty minutes of the movie a day but keep getting interrupted. Once I finally finish I’ll post something that’s not a stupid joke.
I think the important distinction to draw, as Lucas and Filoni do in those snippets, is between compassionate selfless love and possessive selfish “love”. Lucas is very much about selflessness vs selfishness.
In the PT, we see Anakin’s selfish, possessive love of Padme cause issues. He wants to keep her alive more for himself than for her: it’s “I won’t lose you Padme”, “I can’t live without her”, “you will not take her from me!”; he never asks her what she wants or thinks, even when she’s literally begging him to stop. And in the OT we see selfless, compassionate love: Anakin gives up his own life so Luke can live. He’s doing it for Luke, not so that he can keep Luke for himself or recruit Luke as an apprentice or whatever.
Where the idea of ‘attachment’ and the PT Jedi come into it, IMO, is that in order to avoid the risks associated with “selfish” love, the PT Jedi opt to forego all love entirely (on a personal level, they still supposedly maintain a general compassion/unconditional love towards all things, as Anakin mentions in AOTC), including the good, selfless parts. But that winds up being just as unhealthy. It leads to them being unable to appreciate the potential positive effect that Luke and Anakin’s bond could have, and instead write Anakin off as so far gone that he just has to be killed - a belief which Luke proves wrong.
This is one thing that I think TROS nailed. As a general rule, stopping people from dying (or even resurrecting the recently-deceased) is a Good Thing - here in the real world we call it medicine - so Yoda’s insistence in ROTS that Anakin not even bother trying to save Padme at all comes across as callous and heartless. By the end of the original six movies, the only people we’ve seen show any interest in using the Force to heal people are, bizzarely, the Sith. But then ROTJ is pretty unambiguous in its messaging that Vader opting to save his son was a Good Thing, a “light-side” choice that redeems him and allows him to become one with the Force and manifest as a spirit and all that. So we’ve seen that the old Jedi thought that trying to use the Force to save people from death was bad (even though it seems like it should be good), but also that selflessly saving people from dying definitely is good according to, essentially, the Force itself. Ben sacrificing his own life to resurrect Rey manages to combine these ideas while respecting the selfish/selfless love dichotomy: you can resurrect people from death on the “light-side”, but it can’t be done selfishly or possessively, only selflessly, because it kills you.
Sorry, this is not relevant to TPM lol.