My crew (which has watched your edits of ep1 and ep2 thus far) are hardly film critics, but they all really enjoyed them.
Your changes in ep1 are golden. Honestly, I would have been happy to never see ep1 again, but your edits actually made it a pretty enjoyable movie for me. Especially the trimming of the pod race and the Jar Jar antics, and the removal of the Gungan city. You have successfully elevated ep1 from “worst in the saga” to “second worst in the saga.” lol
That brings me to ep2… the new worst film in the Star Wars universe (since you were able to improve ep1 so much). My wife, who had seen all of the theatrical versions once or twice before but wasn’t overly familiar with them, did comment on how abrupt and artificial the romantic development between Anakin and Padmé was. I think the inclusion of the family scene helped mitigate that some, but obviously you can only do so much with the material available. I’m thankful you found a way to include the extended Naboo arrival scene in your v4 as well, as I suspect that may help some too.
The exclusion of the Yoda/Dooku lightsaber battle was met with mixed feelings. My brother-in-law and I both have fond memories of seeing that scene in the theater as the one highlight of the otherwise boring film. After talking and thinking about the reasons you gave for removing it, I concluded that I agree with your choice to exclude it, but I am still torn about it. I know my boys would have loved to see that scene.
Overall in ep2, your edits went a long way to clean up some of the awful acting, and improved the incredibly boring pace some, but when you boil it down, it’s still a downright dull movie with a confusing yet mostly pointless plot. I’m thankful for your improvements in it, but it really only exists to get you from ep1 to ep3, with very few redeeming qualities.
We are really looking forward to seeing your edit of ep3. My plan it to watch it Friday evening, because I have tickets to see ep7 with my oldest son on Saturday afternoon. Is there any chance v4 will be ready by then? 😃
I’ll try to get on this weekend to give you my thoughts on ep3.