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(9000 Series) Star Wars Episode III: Labyrinth Of Evil

Hal9000

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Cover artwork by user OnlyOneKenobi

**For those authoring the BluRay version to disc with TSMuxer, you need to select “Do Not Insert VUI/SEI Data."**

Synopsis
The third of the revamped '9000 Series,' Labyrinth Of Evil delivers a re-crafted perspective on Star Wars Episode III in keeping with the drive of the original trilogy of films. Anakin's fall to the dark side is portrayed in a more believable way, with political motivations that are ignited by, rather than preceded by, a desire to save his wife. Padme's role is expanded, and her fate is made to match her daughter's memories.


Intention
By stripping away extraneous tangents and bolstering attention to character development, this edit seeks to improve the original film. The original trilogy is regarded as the template toward which the prequels strive. The prequels are made to submit to the continuity and drive of the originals to the degree possible.




The following three goals are held in balance.
 
  • Bend the prequels to the story continuity of the original trilogy and the impressions it gives.
  • Improve the prequels in and of themselves, as films, through conventional 'FanFix' methodology. The pacing is improved, dialogue trimmed, and characters are developed better. This is the most readily apparent of these three goals that can be seen in The Phantom Edit, for example. The edits should be viable as films on their own.
  • They ought to be functional as replacements for the original versions. This means leaving the film's thoroughly "prequel" nature unaltered, respecting the broad strokes of Star Wars orthodoxy, and avoiding making changes that would betray to the audience that they're watching a fan edit. In other words, none of the other two listed goals should put undue stress on the goal of producing something that would have been suitable to have been released in 2002.


Running time is about 109 minutes.
 Cuts and Additions (An asterisk, *, signifies a change for V6):

 
New title crawl, courtesy of Sir Ridley.
 
Trimmed unhelpful dialogue during the opening battle.
 
Trimmed the buzz droid sequence. This and other trims serve to downplay Obi-Wan's familiarity with R2 somewhat.
 
Removed Obi-Wan leaping from his cockpit, and his little jump during the fight with the battle droids.
 
Lovingly borrowed audio from L8wrtr's edit in a few spots to remove battle droid voices.
 
Dooku is not mentioned until he arrives to confront the Jedi.
 
Obi-Wan never refers to R2 by name. It's not much, but it's a small way to gloss over the tension between the continuity of the PT and OT.
 
*Partially reinstated confrontation with destroyer and battle droids while boarding the elevator.
 
A match cut removes bad dialogue before the duel.
 
Removed sound effects in the rear audio channels that were lifted straight from The Empire Strikes Back.
 
Cut away as the railing starts to land on Obi-Wan. The original made it look like his legs were crushed.
 
*Anakin quickly decapitates Dooku with no influence from Palpatine. However, he still questions his actions afterward. (V6 reinstates Palpatine instructing Anakin to kill Dooku, whereas V5 and prior removed this completely.)
 
*Trimmed dialogue and tightened up the action sequence leading up to the bridge fight, including removing R2 slapstick humor. (V6 goes further to remove R2 striking the super battle droid with electricity, thanks for Siliconmaster and Adam Burrows.)
 
Corrected two inaccurate lightsaber ignition sounds during the opening sequence. Obi-Wan and Anakin's sabers must match their ANH and ESB sounds.
 
Removed as much silliness as possible during the fight on the bridge of the Invisible Hand.
 
Grievous says, "Time to abandon ship" as he breaks the hull and escapes.
 
*Reinstated snippet in which Grievous mans the escape pod and launches, addressing an abrupt musical transition introduced in prior versions of the fan edit. Used dialogue from The Clone Wars to replace line that was moved to earlier.
 
Lightly trimmed dialogue during the crash landing on Coruscant.
 
Trimmed Anakin and Obi-Wan's dialogue recounting past adventures we never get to see.
 
Removed Jar Jar's one line.
 
In this version, we see Anakin's political motivations for turning to the dark side and tensions with Padme before he develops concerns about her impending doom. He is only shown to have one nightmare about her, and the order of scenes implies it was planted by Palpatine. 
 
Anakin never tells Padme about his nightmare, another conflict within him.
 
*Replaced scene with Windu hearing that Obi-Wan has engaged Grievous with deleted scene "A Plot to Destroy the Jedi” earlier in the film. (V6 repositions this scene immediately prior to Anakin missing the briefing, up from right before Anakin’s appointment to the Council as in prior versions of this fan edit.)
 
Dialogue trimmed in most scenes, especially during Anakin's appointment to the Jedi Council.
 
*Borrowed audio work from MalàStrana to incorporate an eerie rendition of the Imperial March as Windu denies Anakin the rank of Master.
 
Reinstated the deleted scene in Bail Organa's apartment, gently color correcting it to appear to be a bit later in the day, in order to give Padme something worthwhile to do in the film and contribute to a sense of tension between her and Anakin.
 
*Reinstated a brief reference to the Jedi Code.
 
Moved Grievous' arrival on Utupau to after Anakin and Padme's tense political discussion. 
 
Placed Anakin's sole nightmare after this, with the opera scene right afterward. 
 
During the opera scene, removed reference to midichlorians. Also removed Palpatine calling Anakin out on spying on him. It is more effective to let Anakin carry that tension inwardly only, and provide no relief. 
 
*Reinstated reference to Plagueis having learned to “create life” and an ability to cheat death.
 
*Chewbacca’s onscreen appearances have been altered to either remove him or disguise him by recoloring his fur and adding alternate clothing. (Thanks to Poppasketti)
 
Reinstated the sunset meeting between the loyalists and Palpatine, further elaborating on the tension between Anakin and Padme.
 
Anakin is depicted as being in his right mind up until he formally joins the dark side. The scene where he seems to have paranoia about Obi-Wan being as Padme's apartment is gone. I guess we can interpret his crazed psyche at the end of the film as being caused by using the dark side. Your guess is as good as mine, but it's better than having his personality fluctuate throughout the film.
 
Along with other dialogue trims, removed Obi-Wan telling the corduroy man to summon warriors.
 
*Reinstated Boga’s introduction, though trimmed her very slightly later on.
 
Removed the first half of Grievous' line, "It is a volcanic planet. You will be safe there." Volcanic equals safe?
 
Trimmed Grievous' lunge that Obi-Wan does not react to. It betrays the chasm between the CGI and live elements.
 
 Grievous retreats as soon as the clone troops arrive, in keeping with what little characterization about him we have seen so far, rather than gloating a bit and then running away.
 
Removed the now redundant scene in the war room talking about a plot to destroy the Jedi.
 
Trimmed dialogue as Palpatine reveals his true nature to Anakin in order to slightly downplay Padme as Anakin's only real motive for joining the dark side.
 
Removed Palpatine's voiceover as Anakin waits in the Council room, talking about Padme again.
 
Trimmed dialogue as Windu and his gang confront Palpatine. It reads, "Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?" "Not yet."
 
Trimmed the lightsaber fight, including Palpatine's bizarre serpentine jump.
 
As Anakin enters the scene, Windu is already going to kill Palpatine, who defends himself with force lightning and sends Windu falling to his death. I made use of an idea from Kerr's fan edit that L8wrtr also used to imply that the wrinkly face was Palpatine's true appearance all along. Palpatine uses lightning only once instead of twice. He's human-looking at the start, then the lights go out, and he has a monster face when they come back on. Trust me, it's better than it sounds.
 
Anakin and Palpatine don't mention Padme during the knighting of Vader scene. Other dialogue is trimmed a little for effectiveness. The idea is that saving Padme's life is the spark that ignites a myriad of other factors for Anakin's turn toward evil.
 
*Reinstated Palpatine referencing Plagueis’ ability to cheat death.
 
*Added a short scene in which Jedi are being slaughtered in the Temple while Anakin oversees.
 
After Yoda's brief and only use of his lightsaber in the whole trilogy, removed the scene where Anakin ignites his saber on a roomful of children. By cutting this, Anakin's slip toward depravity can be seen as a little more gradual. Plus my version of the trilogy does away with the idea that Jedi are harvested as infants and raised in a cult environment. The term "youngling" doesn't appear in these edits.
 
Removed Yoda's interactions with the Wookiees after Order 66. 
 
Removed R2 popping out of Anakin's fighter.
 
Removed Obi-Wan and Yoda's fight to enter the Temple. The line of dialogue about everyone being preoccupied about the Senate session is good enough.
 
Because I removed the duel between Yoda and Palpatine, I also removed discussion about said duel after Obi-Wan sees the security hologram. Also removed Yoda's line that sees Anakin and Vader as separate people; it sounds like something he would have said in Return of the Jedi, rather than immediately after Anakin turned.
 
Padme is never informed about Anakin killing children, for the same reason as in my edit of Episode II. It is out of character for her to take it with anything other that indignation. Trimmed other dialogue during this scene for effectiveness.
 
*Though no changes have been made for V6 to the contents of the scene between Padme and Obi-Wan, the audio has been reworked to avoid breaking up the musical score, allowing it to play out in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
 
Removed Obi-Wan sneaking into the bathroom on Padme's ship. If you missed him during the wide shot, it'll be a surprise when he shows up later.
 
*Reinstated Palpatine spitting a bit of propaganda at Anakin about having restored peace and justice to the galaxy.
 
Removed most asinine dialogue as Padme arrives and confronts Anakin, including "I saw your ship." No reference to younglings. Tension ratchets between the two as Anakin finds out Padme told Obi-Wan about their relationship. No discussion about Anakin trying to save Padme; she never knew about Anakin's fears about that. Anakin doesn't seem focused on it himself anymore.
 
*Reinstated line: “The Jedi turned against me. Don’t you turn against me.” While not necessarily a rational thought, it tracks with his character by this point. (Anakin would make a strong candidate for borderline personality disorder.)
 
The duel on Mustafar plays out in full without cutting away to other plot threads. There is no duel between Yoda and Sidious. Not that the EU has bearing on my decisions, but I rather like Timothy Zahn's description in Spectre Of The Past: "If Luke's own current level of knowledge was any indication, Yoda could surely have defeated the Emperor all by himself. Yet he'd chosen instead to leave that task to Luke and the Rebel Alliance."
 
Removed dialogue about the ‘high ground’ at the end of the duel.
 
*Reinstated Obi-Wan bemoaning the fall of the Chosen One. (Formerly removed in prior versions of this fan edit, originally due to having removed the Chosen One concept altogether, then liking how it came to be anyway.)
 
The ending of the film was great fun to work on. You'll hear my own voice replacing that of the medical droid. His prognosis is not that she's dying, but rather that she will survive without ever fully recovering. 
 
*Thanks to Snooker and Sir Ridley, removed R2 and 3PO from the birth of the twins. This eases continuity tensions with the original trilogy, avoiding awkward questions like, “Shouldn’t R2 have recognized Yoda on Dagobah?”
 
Replaced Vader’s scream with the Russian dub, arguably making it a little less cheesy. 
 
Courtesy of Hundsdorfex, replaced shot of Taintive IV descending toward Naboo with the ship streaking through space.
 
Trimmed dialogue aboard the Taintive IV to accommodate the idea that Padmé survives to travel to Alderaan with Leia.
 
Replaced Padme's funeral with the deleted scene of Yoda arriving on Dagobah. 
 
Padme is seen cradling an infant Leia on Alderaan, using footage from The Other Boleyn Girl, with her eye color corrected by Hundsdorfex. (Idea by 'The Cutter,' also used in Q2's edit.)
 
Added credits for myself, workprint viewers, contributors, and acknowledgements of all other ROTS "FanFix" fan edits to date.

Versions:

DVD5, 720p iTunes-compatible mp4, and 1080p BluRay-compatible mkv

Trailer: 
 

Hal9000

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"I want that edit," you might be saying, "not excuses." But I have one for you.
If you were at my home tonight you would have heard a loud slew of obsenities as I looked over the completed render of the 720p version. Below is a screenshot.

Screen_Shot_2014_03_04_at_8_51_34_PM.gif


Needless to say, I somehow unchecked the "feather edges" box for this scene transition after tweaking the colors for the clip of Leia and Padme on Alderaan. Basically a week of encoding has been lost.
It seems like more people are interested in the 1080p mkv, so I will go ahead and encode that version next, before returning to encode the 720p one. Sorry about the delay; I'm as anxious to get these out there as you are, so I appreciate your patience.
 

Neglify

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Time may be lost, but kudos for catching your own errors and making sure quality products are released.
 

Hal9000

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Thanks for the consolation. Hopefully the mkv will require less time since its at the native resolution.
 

zebramatt

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Might have to watch this one at 1080p - not sure I can quell my excitement enough to wait for the 720p re-encode!

This trilogy is quickly becoming the definitive version for me, so I'm eager to see how it all comes together at the end!
 

TM2YC

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Hal9000 said:
"I want that edit," you might be saying, "not excuses." But I have one for you.
If you were at my home tonight you would have heard a loud slew of obsenities as I looked over the completed render of the 720p version. Below is a screenshot.

Screen_Shot_2014_03_04_at_8_51_34_PM.gif


Needless to say, I somehow unchecked the "feather edges" box for this scene transition after tweaking the colors for the clip of Leia and Padme on Alderaan. Basically a week of encoding has been lost.
It seems like more people are interested in the 1080p mkv, so I will go ahead and encode that version next, before returning to encode the 720p one. Sorry about the delay; I'm as anxious to get these out there as you are, so I appreciate your patience.

I hate when stuff like that happens. Also (Incase you haven't spotted it) the top and bottom layer is mis-aligned by a few pixels on the right side (You can see it peaking through).
 

Hal9000

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I'm not sure I see what you mean, TM2YC. It is a hastily taken screenshot with manual crosshairs, so part of the frame might be missing.
 

TM2YC

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Hal9000 said:
I'm not sure I see what you mean, TM2YC. It is a hastily taken screenshot with manual crosshairs, so part of the frame might be missing.

This bit on the right, a line of random grey pixels against the edge of the star field...

12949139865_e14babaf18.jpg


Maybe that's just part of your desktop that isn't cropped out of the screengrab?
 

Hal9000

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Yeah, that's just a bit of my desktop showing on the screencap. But thanks for pointing out a potential mistake!
 

Hal9000

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I greatly apologize for the delay. While the MKV is encoded and looking good, the recent announcement and release of an episode of Clone Wars in which Liam Neeson talks to Yoda about going to Dagobah has given me pause. Please allow me a few days to parse its contents and hopefully find some audio that can be used as Yoda meditates at the end of Episode 3 that won't sound like it's been lifted from TPM. What a coincidence to hear about this RIGHT as I'm about to upload. The DVD5 version is already out there, but oh well.
I haven't seen the episode yet, but it's a tremendous prospect!
 

TomH1138

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(Palpatine voice) I will watch the development of this project with great interest!
 

Hal9000

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The 1080p mkv version has hit the 'spleen, and I'll get it up to the .info within a day or two.
I was able to use some dialogue from that episode of Clone Wars after all. What a nice eleventh-hour surprise source. Liam Neeson talking to Yoda using Star Wars terminology; a newcomer wouldn't question it as a fan edit insertion.
 

smudger9

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Hal9000 said:
The 1080p mkv version has hit the 'spleen, and I'll get it up to the .info within a day or two.
I was able to use some dialogue from that episode of Clone Wars after all. What a nice eleventh-hour surprise source. Liam Neeson talking to Yoda using Star Wars terminology; a newcomer wouldn't question it as a fan edit insertion.

Glad you managed to fit some dialogue in. Can't wait to see it. Did you also add in the Dagobah deleted scene then??
 

Hal9000

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Smudger9, thank you for the tip off about the Clone Wars episode. Yes, I did reinstate the Dagobah scene. It functionally replaces the funeral for Padme. (At least one prior edit worked in some Liam Neeson dialogue during this Dagobah landing scene. I refrained from even trying to do this because that scene is part of the traditional ending sequence that is free of dialogue. Threepio has the last line of the film, which is fitting since he has the first line of ANH. This is also the reason I kept the not-that-great main street parade ending scene of Episode I; it just doesn't seem right to iris to the credits a few seconds after hearing dialogue.)

And the 1080p version should appear on the .info within a day; just handed off the links!
 

Hal9000

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One of the lines I borrowed from Clone Wars for Qui-Gon to say to Yoda was, "You must complete what I could not."
In the unreleased 'contingency versions' of these edits, a few references to the 'balance of the force/chosen one' prophecy were out back in. That version includes Yoda's suggestion earlier in Episode 3 that the prophecy could have been misread. (Kenobi's impassioned reference to the prophecy as Anakin burns alive is still removed in this version too.) Taken together, the 'contingency version' implies very subtlety that perhaps Luke is the Chosen One. Yoda must complete what Qui-Gon could not: training the Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith.
 

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I like how you've used the additional material to further link the PT and the OT.
 

Hal9000

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Well, after the help unlooked for in the form of Liam Neeson talking to Yoda about Dagobah, there's only a few things left on my fantasy fan edit resource wish list.
If there was some Jake Lloyd dialogue that could be convincingly mixed to sound like he's saying something to the effect of, "I found him in the street and fixed him up," I'd lay it over our first introduction to Threepio to lessen the insult of the idea that Vader built him.
I'd still love an HD version of JasonN's Star Destroyer scene at the end of Episode III, replacing the Death Star with Coruscant.
And finally, I would love a FX shot that removes the Naboo background from the scene immediately following the infamous Darth Vader "Nooo" scene and replaces it with empty space.

Even though I'm finished, utterly and truly, with these edits (and the final version of Episode III is encoding), I still have a long road ahead of me time-wise. I still have to go back and re-render all three versions of Episode II to fix the framerate issue with two deleted scenes, and reupload them. That'll seriously take at least two weeks of waiting. It's not like I can't use my computer during that time, but it's still a commitment to keep from doing anything that might interrupt the encode.
Once that's done, I'm going to render two (if not three) versions of the aforementioned "contingency editions" of each film.

I anticipate roughly another 7 weeks of encoding time before I can satisfactorily put this behind me. It's a lot, but I would regret not doing it if the sequel trilogy even so much as references the chosen one prophecy.
 

Hal9000

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After much delay, for both good and bad reasons, the 720p version of Labyrinth Of Evil is on the 'spleen, and will appear on the .info in a day or two.
 

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I swore I'd never do it. After watching Q2's excellent "Fall of the Jedi" edits, I decided to put these prequels to bed for good, never to subject myself to them again. But after reading your intentions and cut-list for this, and having found Q2's version of episode III to be a bit lacking (though still quite an improvement), I couldn't help myself.

My review, as posted on IFDB:

I couldn't bring myself to watch the two preceding edits in Hal's prequel trilogy, as I dislike the source material to such an extreme degree that it renders evaluation pointless. However, I've always found Episode III to be at least marginally enjoyable, so I gave this one a spin to see how it could be improved upon. I think I made the right decision.

First of all, this is a thoroughly professional looking and sounding edit. All of the cuts were invisible and well-timed. The film has better pacing, never too fast or slow, with a nicely struck balance between the different plot threads. As far as narrative changes, Hal's intentions were right-headed, and I believe they were well-executed. I want to especially applaud the expanded role given to Padme. I always thought it was shameful the way she was treated in the theatrical trilogy, increasingly sidelined and impotent until she has no bearing on the plot outside of unknowingly motivating Anakin to act. Here, she has a more fleshed out role in the political conflict with Palpatine, and it serves both to strengthen her as a character and to complicate her relationship with an already torn Anakin, adding depth to their scenes together. I also really loved the way the Mace Windu/Palpatine duel plays out, with the lights and all the pacing changes, so a special kudos for that. I do think the scene with Anakin and Padme staring out of their respective windows across the city is a bit awkward without any voiceover, but it's a minor complaint.

I watched the 1080p MKV file, which, while looking brilliant for most of the running time, did betray a marked drop in video quality when the deleted scenes popped up. It in no way called into question the inclusion of these scenes, but it was noticeable enough to distract a bit.

I highly recommend this edit, as it is easily the best version of Episode III that I've seen. It's still a thoroughly ridiculous movie, but if you're okay with that, you won't go wrong here.
 

TV's Frink

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plurmonger said:
It's still a thoroughly ridiculous movie

But not ridiculous enough if you ask me. ;)
 
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