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Star Wars Abridged — 9 films cut to 3 (new preview for sequel 3-in-1 available)

subjectzero

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Oh wow, that was so good. I feel like I'm watching these for the first time all over again.

Wholly agreed. I am very excited about this particular edit.

It surprised me too! It's weird how the contextual changes really create something that feels different but still hits the same narrative beats.

I finished stitching all the scenes together and the edit is coming in at 1 hour and 51 minutes without the credits (2 hours with credits) but there's still a lot of work to do. Two major battles make up the latter half of the movie and I'm mixing a lot of different battles together so the sound work is going to be hell.

I've kept the one appearance by Mark Hamill as a force ghost on the Jedi island so this movie isn't completely bereft of legacy characters. I might go back and tease his cameo in an earlier scene... this literally just came to me now! I know exactly how to do this!
 

subjectzero

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I have a complete version!

There's still a single shot I need to film myself and some audio I need to voice over but the edit is basically done! I'm 95% happy with it but there are a few bits that I just couldn't edit around. Some of the modified audio is very apparent and there's a few changes in clothing that are unavoidable but hopefully not brazenly apparent. Some of the pacing can be a bit wonky but I've done the best I can given the source material to work with.

Basically, I'm ready to output a copy for any beta viewers! There's still that one scene to shoot and 5 words to voice over but I've placed text where those go. It's maybe 10 seconds of screen time. If you're willing to put up with that, then I really would love to find out what you think of this. Just send me a PM and I'll get you a copy in a day or two.
 
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subjectzero

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Exporting video right now so links should go out in a few hours.

Woke up this morning with new names for all three edits so I redid the crawl for Abridged 3 to add it (plus I forgot to use the latest text I had written). Here's what I got:

Star Wars - Abridged I: Attack of the Sith
Star Wars - Abridged II: A New Hope Strikes Back
Star Wars - Abridged III: Rise of the Last Jedi

I kind of like these better than Republic, Rebellion, and Resistance. More Star Wars-y.
 

Zarius

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Watched it.

....

...


I feel like the sequels just got a whole new lease of life with this...you've managed to remix these three Frankensteins that, as individual components are all over the place, into a fully functional multi-layered piece of theatre.

You still have work to do? Oh yes, by your own admission there's still things to film and narration to add, some audio transitions are a little too quick or miss their cue, some cuts are faster than others, but that's to be expected with issues like timing and splicing as much content as you can in rapid succession to create something altogether different.

Finally, somebody knows what to do with Rey, her repurposed role and side-quests are unique and really give dimension to her character, Luke is also used sparingly and with the right sort of characterisation and character function.

There were times I had to stop myself from realising certain characters weren't there so I could stay immersed, that got easier the longer the edit went on and by the end I'd accepted the film as being able to work entirely with the characters that remained and the roles they had.

The splicing of the Exogal battle with the shield quest, battle on the Death Star, and Last Jedi footage is seemless and very well executed, everything built to it very well, and it may just be the first edit that actually makes the climatic duel between Rey and Kylo incredibly final, so many edits I've seen of it just fall at the last crucial hurdle, but connecting the duel to the destruction of Exogal/Starkiller Base gives it that neccersary punch.

Congratulations, you're closer to realising this vision more than ever, good luck with your additions, and I look forward to the next 'round. You're a top-tier talent, I apologise for all the arse-kissing, but I know talent when I spot it, and you deserve to know I appreciate and admire your gifts as an editor.
 

subjectzero

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@Zarius that just made my day! It's nice to get confirmation that the storyline works and it wasn't that it just worked in my head.

Rey really needed to carry the emotional heart of this edit and Daisy Ridley actually gave some really good performances but I don't think her character was well thought out past being a puzzle box who collects the things we all wanted as a kid (Luke's lightsaber, the Millennium Falcon, etc). I think I did the character justice by giving her something that would really tempt her to the dark side and you can see her struggle with that. I agree with the problems in the final battle between her and Kylo in other 3-in-1 edits that it felt a bit disconnected from the final battle and the fact that Leia isn't in this edit gave me a huge headache in figuring out how to do that final duel. You know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention and this was actually one of the last things I figured out. Everyone playing an important role in the final battle and having their actions affect the others was a crucial aha moment.

Really, thank you for the quick turn around and kind words! Honestly, this third installment took the wind out of my sails on my (admittedly very ambitious) three part edit. Confirmation that I nailed the landing after several attempts has really invigorated me to finish this project... I actually have to go back to an older computer and figure out how to transport those edits to my new machine.
 

hothstation

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I have a complete version!

There's still a single shot I need to film myself and some audio I need to voice over but the edit is basically done! I'm 95% happy with it but there are a few bits that I just couldn't edit around. Some of the modified audio is very apparent and there's a few changes in clothing that are unavoidable but hopefully not brazenly apparent. Some of the pacing can be a bit wonky but I've done the best I can given the source material to work with.

Basically, I'm ready to output a copy for any beta viewers! There's still that one scene to shoot and 5 words to voice over but I've placed text where those go. It's maybe 10 seconds of screen time. If you're willing to put up with that, then I really would love to find out what you think of this. Just send me a PM and I'll get you a copy in a day or two.
When do you anticipate this will be 100% complete? Again, thank you for everything you have done on this entire project.
 

subjectzero

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@hothstation Not too sure when it will all be complete but I probably should round-up exactly where I'm at and next steps:
  • Ultimately, the hard work of organizing the narratives is done. All three movies just need a final pass for refinement but there are tech hurdles in my way.
  • I bought a new computer recently and have transferred the edits for Abridged I and II but have come across some glitches in the process. Moving Davinci projects has turned to be a bit of a pain and the fact that I had 2 hard drive failures has not helped matters. I've lost a bit of work or resources here and there but nothing too substantial or critical.
  • From here on out, I think I can now start finishing these films. I've already started on Abridged I: The Republic and so far there doesn't seem to be too many glitches here (knock on wood). Basically just trying to smooth out as many of the transitions as humanly possible and adding the opening crawl.
  • Abridged I: The Republic will probably be done in a week or so since it seems that there isn't that much work to finish here. This is dependent on normal life responsibilities (it's a busy week for me).
  • Abridged II: The Rebellion is a bit of a mess from scrubbing through. A lot of the audio got messed up and there's a few instances where I changed a clip's speed and those clips are now showing the wrong thing... and I don't remember what the "right" thing was. Fortunately, I did export WIPs so I just have to cross reference but it's still going to suck. There's quite a bit of rebuilding that will have to go into this.
  • The ending for Abridged II: The Rebellion will have to be redone. I originally edited it with Palpatine returning and the wreckage of the Death Star in mind. Since neither of those is in the final film, I have to rethink it.
  • Another possibility for Abridged II: The Rebellion is I may have to bite the bullet and create a brand new timeline from scratch. I'd rather not go down this route but I might have to. There's a small chance I might have to do that with Abridged I: The Republic as well but let's stay hopeful for that edit.
  • Abridged III: The Resistance needs to be sat on. The edit is too fresh in my mind for me to figure out some of the issues in the edit. I'll still end up filming that one shot and inserting it (along with the VO I need to do) soon but I'll have to come back to it later to work out some of the scene pacing issues.
I'm still a few months out with getting all three films completed but the biggest roadblock was working out the narrative for Abridged III: The Resistance. With that issue now resolved, it's just wading into the weeds to finish this project.
 

mrbenja0618

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VO.... You come from television. Love it.

Anyway, watching and waiting.
 

subjectzero

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VO.... You come from television. Love it.
the ring GIF


It's been years since I worked in TV to be honest. Nothing glamorous but you caught it!
 

subjectzero

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UPDATE: Finished a final pass on Star Wars: Abridged I - The Republic! Very little work needed to be done on this one although I caught an instance of dialogue that needed to go, reinserting a scene for narrative context, and a few frames that needed trimming. I still want to do a final watch before I call it complete but I think it's ready for release.

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Abridged II is next in line and I suspect it will take much longer to complete for previously stated reasons. I had a chance to record my extra dialogue for Abridged III so all that's currently outstanding is using my hands as a stand-in for Rey's hands.

The finish line is now in sight!
 

hothstation

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Abridged II is next in line and I suspect it will take much longer to complete for previously stated reasons. I had a chance to record my extra dialogue for Abridged III so all that's currently outstanding is using my hands as a stand-in for Rey's hands.

The finish line is now in sight!

Thanks again... We can hardly wait!
 

subjectzero

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@Zarius Makes me feel a bit dumb that I didn't just try this first. And now I don't have to worry about color matching or that I would be shooting on an iPhone or shaving the back of my hands....

Abridged I - The Republic (@asterixsmeagol convinced me to keep the titles) has been completed and submitted to the Academy! Onto Abridged II - The Rebellion!
 

subjectzero

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Just finished a pass on Star Wars: Abridged II - The Rebellion and I'm happy to say I did not have to rebuild this! When transferring to my new computer, the audio for all my Empire Strikes Back clips got set to a single audio channel so those had to be reset. It wasn't hard, just tedious. Fortunately the audio for A New Hope and RotJ remained just fine. Also found a few single frames at several transitions which became a bit of a hassle as well as a couple of lost clips that were retimed in the original edit—had to reference my previous output to figure out which shots I used.

New stuff! I reworked the ending to remove any reference to a piece of the Death Star or the Emperor surviving since I no longer need those. I did lose a great transition in the process but them's the breaks.

I also added a quick effect when the Super Stardestroyer crashes into the Death Star. Since the Ewoks have been cut, the way they take out the shields is when Ackbar focuses on taking out the Executor. Here's a previous version of that... I've since changed it to the shields going down when the ship explodes.

pass: fanedit.org
 
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Zarius

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Very expertly done there. Thank goodness your files were alright, as always, these edits are full of great promise.

Currently watching the Republic prequel edit. I like how it's mostly just II and III rather than try to cram as much of I in as possible.
 

Zarius

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@subjectzero

Well, I definitely enjoyed that. Not as radical a rethink as the other two episodes, but I don't mean that in a negative sense, this feels like a very straight forward condensed take on the prequel trilogy. Like I said in the previous response, it's largely just the broad strokes of episodes II and III with an appetising minute or so of Episode I as the pre-titles, but this method probably works the best and doesn't try to cram so much in to a decent two and a bit hour runtime.

I quite liked how you cut down Episode II to the very basics, to the point I totally forgot that you did not include the final battle and repurposed aspects of it for the scene that both represents the Clone Wars and then bridges us into the Revenge of the Sith portion. Quite clever that.

Overall, it's a solid edit and a fine start to a trilogy.
 
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