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Star Wars: Episode 1 - Balance of the Force (Magnoliafan)

joebshmoe

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Original film name: Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
New film name: Star Wars: Episode 1 - Balance of the Force
Film studio name: LucasFilm
Edit crew name: Magnoliafan
Date original film was released: 1999
Date edit was released: 2004?
Original runtime: 133 minutes
New runtime: 117 minutes
Amount of time cut/added: A LOT of changes (a total of 15 minutes shorter) .


Changes:

First of all, I changed the title and the crawl itself.
Title: Balance of the force (to differentiate from the 1,000 edits out there and I just liked the name better)

The crawl gives a little more exposition to the Galactic Republic, the role of the Jedi, and also identifies the federation as the Neimoidian Trade Federation, to identify their species, also rather than trade routes, it is prohibition of slave labor that makes the Federation seize Naboo.

The Neimoidians, and Gungans are dubbed into their own languages and subtitled and through liberties in the subs, I added many new layers to the plot.
Also droids speak in the dialect of the person they are addressing. TC-14 addresses the Viceroy in his language, but the Jedi in theirs as do the battle droids.
Jar Jar was banished from the Gungans because he was in charge of guarding a relic of theirs' the Kyber crystal (an old idea of George's), he slacked off and it was stolen by humans... As such the gungans also have a bitter hate of the Naboo, which is a new little subplot throughout (the racial tension was in early drafts of the script, but dropped).
The whole subplot was introduced to give Jar Jar a history and explain that big glowing ball that Padme gives Boss (Governor - in the edit) Nass.
Jar Jar is still a putz, but he's toned way down. He's just arrogant and always says the wrong thing at the wrong time.

The Federation has invaded Naboo and want Queen Amidala to surrender the people of Naboo to the Federation as an alternative uncompensated labor force as revenge for Naboo being instrumental in the outlawing galactic slavery. So, while seeing Anakin as a slave, Padme is also faced with the possibility of herself and her people becoming slaves themselves.

The opening third is slightly resequenced for pacing, moving one Sidious/Fed scene to earlier in the film to break up a long series of successive Gungan scenes. It also serves to quicken the pace (don't worry, it causes no continuity error in the film).
The only major scene to be cut entirely is the second underwater scene, which was replaced by the waterfall scene to change up the scenery and quicken the pace.
The Greedo scene, probe droid scene, dawn before the race scene, and air taxi scene were all also tightened up and integrated into the film.
There are no fart or poop jokes in the film.
There are no midichlorians.
There is no immaculate conception discussion... Anakin's origins are left vague... A child who is gifted and a vergence in the force.
Anakin's annoying friends are trimmed to a minimum.
The Trade Federation are much more sinister through the subtitles, ordering Padme's companions shot instead of processed, and discussing the mass executions vaguely hinted at in the film.
The attempt was to make Gunray more of a straight up bad guy in the film, ala Tarkin, rather than a bumbling oaf.
Through some creative manipulating of frames, a few scenes have been expanded with lines not in the original film, using audio outtakes.
Sidious has a new line, Watto has several, as do Gunray, TC-14, Rune, and Jar Jar.
In one such case, the reason for Jar Jar accompanying Qui-Gon on Tatooine, instead of any of the trained soldiers, security captains, or the Jedi Knight onboard is also explained... The Queen thinks he is stinking up the ship and orders him to go. (as taken from an early draft of the script).

A few changes that most people don't ever notice:

The first scene between TC-14 and the Viceroy has been extended with additional dialogue.

Original - Darth Sidious: I don't want this stunted slime in my sight again!
Balance - Dath Sidious: I don't want this slime in my sight again!

The Jedi mind trick now has its own sound effect.

When Qui-Gon and co enter Mos Espa, a large ship flew by at a very low altitude against line of sight. It had been digitally painted out of the shot in Balance. The wipe is trimmed to help hide it.

Beisdes the cantina song (if you've seen it, you know), Watto has several new lines of dialogue.

Original - Anakin: Since I was very little... Three, I think.
Balance - Anakin: Since I was three, I think.

Original - Anakin: Sandstorms are very... very dangerous. Come on, I'll take you to my place.
Balance - Anakin: Sandstorms are very dangerous. Come on, I'll take you to my place.

Dozens of "Phantom laserblasts" have been given sound effects, and lots of additional sound has been added in other places, such as additional chatter on the streets of Mos Espa.

Any scene where music has been replaced or aliens are dubbed has had the entire sound mix reproduced from scratch.

In the balcony scene with Maul, Sidious has an alternate line of dialogue. Digitally altered footage of Sidious had to be painted over the original scene and looped in such a way that it created the illusion of a lip synch. The footage of Maul had to be altered also to match the new length of the scene.

That's just a few of the lesser known ones...

Alternate Title and Crawl, giving more history on the Jedi, Republic and Trade Federation
The plot is also altered from revolving around taxation to slave labor.
Opening crawl music replaced with music from EP IV UE soundtrack (a little longer and it just sounded better to me)
Cockpit scene en route to the Federation cruiser was ommitted
New music cue landing in Fed docking bay
Neimoidians are dubbed and subtitled as is TC-14 when talking to Neimoidians. Most of their dialogue has been totally rewritten.
First scene with TC-14 and the Neimoidians is expanded considerably with additional dialogue.
New music cue leading into Darth Sidious' appearance.
Sidious' face is digitally shadowed under the hood hiding his face.
Sidious' line "I don't want this stunted slime in my sight again!" has been altered to "I don't want this slime in my sight again!"
New sound effect added as gun turrret swings around.
The reaction scene in the cockpit has been omitted.
The sound effects for the explosion of the cruiser has been enhanced.
New sound effect added for the battle droid turning off the hologram of Nute Gunray.
Battle Droids dubbed and subtitled when speaking to each other or Neimoidians.
Some Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon dialogue is trimmed from the battle onboard the Federation ship.
Dialogue trimmed in "It's an invasion army!" scene.
Additional little plot twist added in the Viceroy's viewscreen scene with Queen Amidala.
Dialogue trimmed in Naboo council"Senator Palpatine?" scene.
Hologram scene between Nute and Droid commander is cut.
Jar Jar is dubbed and subtitled.
Jar Jar is a pompous ass who believes he saved Qui-Gon's life by dragging him down and thinks Qui-Gon owes him the life debt.
It is also revealed that the Gungans desise humans with a passion... except for Jar Jar, who doesn't mind humans so much, seeing as the Gungans hate him even more than they do humans.
Otoh Gungah referred to by name.
"The Invasion is on schedule, my Lord" scene has been moved to follow Jar Jar's debut, breaking up the Gungan antics.
Boss Nass is now Governor Nass.
Lots of alternate exposition in Otoh Gunga. Jar Jar is revealed to have been thrown out several times. The Gungans hate the Naboo people because humans stole a Gungan relic, the Kyber crystal from them, explaining the big glwoing globe at the end of the film.
Nass is leaning toward supporting the Federation against the Naboo, pre Jedi mind trick.
A sound effect is added to the Jedi mind trick.
There is a little trim to the end of the scene.
In the sub scene it is revealed that Jar Jar was the Gungan charged with guarding the Kyber crystal. He was sleeping on the job and allowed the crystal to be stolen.
The second underwater sequence has been cut and replaced with a recut version of the waterfall scene.
The Viceroy, having captured Amidala plans to force her to offer the people of Naboo as an alternative uncompensated workforce in retaliation to her lobbying to outlaw their slave labor forces.
Instead of telling the droid commander "Process them", he nonchalantly orders the droid to to "Shoot her companions."
When Qui-Gon and co rescue the Queen, Jar Jar claims credit for it, after lying face down on the ground for the whole fight.
Some dialogue is trimmed outside of the hangar.
The battle droid's "joke" toward Qui-Gon has been cut.
The "You stay here" scene between Jar Jar and Obi-Wan has been cut.
The entire Naboo escape has been resquenced so that they lose shields right away, but don't regain them until the last minute.
Some additional dialogue is trimmed during the escape.
Some dialogue is trimmed in the "Here Master, Tatooine" scene.
The line "Not for a Sith" has been trimmed out of the Darth Maul introduction scene.
As an homage, the Viceroy's aide says, "This deal is getting worse all the time!" in said scene.
Some dialogue trimmed in the Artoo intro scene.
The Padme and Jar Jar scene, cleaning artoo has been cut.
Upon arrival to Tatooine, it is revealed that Qui-Gon is taking Jar Jar with him to Mos Espa because the Queen ordered him to, as she felt he was stinking up the ship.
When Padme is ordered along, Jar Jar wonders if Padme was stinking up the ship as well.
A ship has been digitally painted out of Mos Espa's skyline.
New noises and chatter have been added to the streets in all Mos Espa scenes.
The poop stepping scene has been cut.
When we first come upon Watto, he hums the Cantina song from EP IV for a few seconds before Qui-Gon and co enter.
Watto is considerably harsher toward Anakin in the subtitles.
Jar Jar no longer has slapsticky antics inside the store and the "Are you an angel" scene has been trimmed considerably.
When Qui-Gon tries the mind trick on Watto, he becomes much angrier and throws Qui-Gon out shouting, "Get lost! Come back when you gotta some money!"
As Qui-Gon embarassedly exits the shop, Jar Jar knocks over a bunch of stuff and Watto shouts, "Hey! You break it, you buy it! Eh?!"
Jar Jar's "No again!" speech has been cut.
The scene of Jar Jar stealing the frog has been trimmed.
After Anakin saves Jar Jar from Sebulba, Jar Jar brags that he was about to give Sebulba a beating until that kid got in the way.
The Jira scene has been trimmed to make her less creepy.
Anakin's "very, very dangerous" line has been trimmed to "very dangerous".
Instead of "Hello", Jar Jar remarks "Oh, what a dump." upon seeing Anakin's home.
Anakin's acting is trimmed throughout Threepio's introduction.
Music is replaced throughout the Coruscant balcony scene, using the Imperial march seguewaying into the Emperor's theme. Every piece of sound had to be rebuilt from scratch for the sequence.
Sidious has an alternate line to end the scene, "The Republic will soon be under my countrol."

I'm sure I've skimmed over dozens of noticable changes and hundreds of really minor changes by now, but that should give you a gist on the first part of the film.


Intention for this fanedit:

Firstly, to DRASTICALLY change the pacing, story, plot, and maturity of "The Phantom Menace". Secondly, to change the overall tone of the movie to more reflect the Original Trilogy.


Hardware/Software used:

Mac G4 800
Final Cut Pro 2 Blue
Adobe After Effects 5.5
Adobe Photoshop


DVD Release info:

Media - Region 0 DVD5
Format - NTSC
Frame rate - 29.97
Aspect - 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio - 5.1 AC3, 448 kbps
Presentation - A static menu and a great assortment of cover art.


References:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... 01/page/1/
http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... post100864
http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post56794
 

joebshmoe

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Text for the new opening crawl:

For a thousand generations, the
Galactic Republic has thrived under
the guidance of the Jedi Knights.
But now, even under the semblance
of peace, a crisis stirs.

The Nemoidian Trade Federation,
outraged by the prohibition of slave
labor in core systems, has seized
the peaceful planet of Naboo with a
blockade of deadly warships.

While the Senate's endless rhetoric
drowns Naboo's cries for justice,
Chancellor Valorum has secretly
dispatched two Jedi Knights to
resolve the conflict...


DVD Chapter Stops*:

01 Balance Of The Force ... 0:00.00
02 Short Negotiations ... 0:02.40
03 Queen Amidala ... 0:07.21
04 Jar Jar Binks ... 0:10.04
05 Olah Gunga ... 0:13.17
06 Escape From Naboo ... 0:18.42
07 Tatooine ... 0:23.41
08 Anakin Skywalker ... 0:28.31
09 Fateful Dinner ... 0:33.51
10 Deal with Watto ... 0:38.42
11 Preparation for the Race ... 0:43.13
12 Podrace ... 0:47.01
13 No longer a Slave ... 0:57.02
14 Queen's Worries ... 1:01.27
15 Coruscant ... 1:06.52
16 Plead Their Case ... 1:12.25
17 Council's Decision ... 1:18.16
18 Forming an Alliance ... 1:23.37
19 "Activate the Droids!" ... 1:28.12
20 Lord Maul ... 1:33.14
21 Reaching the Throne Room ... 1:37.35
22 Control Ship Destroyed ... 1:43.05
23 Qui-Gon's Funeral & End Celebration ... 1:47.28

* = Chapter Stop Titles taken from Hal9000's excellent DVD Inserts


Reference:
http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post69033
 

joebshmoe

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Magnoliafan's "Star Wars: Episode 1 - Balance of the Force"

First, I must mention the fantastic reviews of Magnoliafan's edit of SW Episode 1 by Rikter and grandmoffbarkin which I've formatted and pasted below my review. I recommend reading these first to get a VERY detailed impression of this edit. Go on. I'll wait.

...

"The Balance of the Force" is probably the best re-interpretation of "The Phantom Menace" that I have seen (in comparison to edits by The Phantom Editor, Slumberland, and ADigitalMan.) The story is VASTLY improved with the clever addition of ENTIRE story arcs. These new plot elements are made possible by the dubbing of all alien voices and relaying this new information via extensive subtitling and a new episode crawl.

Where most SW Episode 1 edits focus on tightening up the pace and removing the offensive elements, Magnoliafan takes a much more drastic approach and decides to change the plot entirely and actually KEEP much of the offensive moments and just change the meaning of the scene. Very few ENTIRE scenes are removed, but all are drastically edited. This creates a new, enjoyable experience, and by keeping most of the original scene progressions you keep the feeling that this is a complete film. Nothing is lost in the editing process, and a WHOLE LOT is gained. Awesome.

In regards to technical quality, "The Balance of the Force" is not perfect. It is obvious that the SL DVD was prepared from a higher quality source and the re-encoding process has unfortunately left some tell-tale signs (pixelation, blocking, image softening). The audio mix is an entirely different story, though. It is evident that Magnoliafan had to recreate the audio mix for entire scenes due to his alien voice dubbing and this works VERY well. I noticed very few audio issues and none were distracting.

The DVD is presented with a static menu, but the good folks over at the OT forums have provided several cover art sets to choose from.

I cannot recommend viewing Magnoliafan's "The Balance of the Force" more. This is required viewing.

entertainment 10/10 (Seriously. You will be amazed at how the story is changed!)
fanediting 9/10
video 8/10
audio 9/10
original 6/10
fanedit 9/10

Total 9/10 (The major detraction here is video quality, which is unfortunate.)


Magnoliafan's "Star Wars: Episode 2 - The Clone War"

Where "Balance of the Force" really shines with creative ideas and great execution and outputs a tight, interesting fanedit, "The Clone War" seems to be out of gas. Magnoliafan handles the material here WAY too reluctantly. What we end up with is some not-so-amazing creative ideas and ok execution.

Here we have only >some< of the offensive elements cut. To summarize: the romance is heavily truncated (but we still have a fabulous groaner line), the dialogue has been hacked up to leave out the cheese factor, and we have a more "mature" version of "Attack of the Clones".

My favorite change with "The Clone War" is that Dooku's motivations and alliances are left ambiguous, but this is just not enough. I found myself enjoying this edit, but still was left slightly unsatisfied.

Technical quality is identical to "Balance of the Force". This could really benefit from an upgrade.

entertainment 8/10
fanediting 9/10
video 8/10
audio 9/10
original 7/10
fanedit 7/10

Total 7.5/10 (lets round down...)
 

joebshmoe

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* An edited review by Rikter (Rikter Blacksvn):

Star Wars: Episode I - Balance of the Force - MagnoliaFan Edition

'It was once said that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. - This is merely another.'

Is the first thing you see when you hit the play button - A hint at what's to come?

This is hands down the most complete and TRUE version of the film PERIOD -

I popped it the DVD player just to take a look at it - now two hours later.....

I need to share this review!

Through the subs, a vast amount of character and plot have been drastically changed. The once vague reason for the 'Blockade' of Naboo is now brutally clear. Believe me this version does not hold back. The story now has a much darker feel as the Trade Federation is now depicted as slave traders/owners and there is also talk of 'death-camps' and mass exterminations during the invasion. These atrocities were only slightly hinted at in the Phantom Menace but are thrown at you with a frightening casual approach. (You really learn to despise the Trade Federation)

There is a dark secret that is unveiled with the introduction of Jar Jar Binks a history of near genocidal war between the Gungan and the Naboo. This film also shows Jar Jar and all the Gungan beings in a NEW light. (I found a new love and respect for Jar Jar)
Jar Jar's character through the use of new and un-child like dialogue is now someone else altogether. Witty, funny and a foul mouthed smart-ass; this new Jar Jar is the true comic relief that he was to have been in The Phantom Menace.

It is truly amazing how the dialogue changes can alter the overall feel of a story!

In my opinion this is the version of the film that best fits with the original Trilogy - as the real 'evil' of the Empire (okay the Trade Federation but you can see the similarities) is now shown (again in the new subtitled dialogue).

THIS is the version you need to see. I now consider this the DEFINITIVE version of STAR WARS: Episode One.

This may be the strongest and most prolific fan-edited film in a string of seemingly never-ending unauthorized fan re-edits of George Lucas' STAR WARS films.

- RiKter Blaksvn

SPECS:
There have are also been a lot of dialogue trims to enhance performance, and extra cuts applied to the film for pacing and plot. NO Midi-hoobie-doobies or talk of virgin births either! There have also been some changes to the SPFX of the film itself such as Lord Sidious' face has been darkened under his cloak so that you cannot tell as easily that he is Ian McDiarmid. There is an alternate title and crawl, and the Federation is much much more sinister in this version.

Re-Edit runs 1:57.06 and features 23 chapters is encoded in MPEG2 VBR and has an average bit rate of 4.75 MBps - the audio is re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) , contains most of the deleted scenes, some alternate music, a completely different edit on the pod race, Anakin is quieter and darker, aliens speak in foreign languages and are subtitled - all the subtitles can be turned of as well (but you lose the new story line)


Reference:
http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... 01/page/1/
 

joebshmoe

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* A review by grandmoffbarkin of Magnoliafan's "Balance of the Force" AND "The Clone War"

I've been a Star Wars fan almost my entire life, from the age of 4 in 1977 and still today. I love Star Wars for Star Wars, even with all the Lucas revisionism and repeated cash grabs. I really liked The Phantom Menace, despite (and perhaps in some way, because of) its flaws. There is some brilliant symbolism there, and Lucas took some storytelling risks that he doesn't get credit for. I saw it 19 times in theaters, including 2nd run and the Christmas charity run, when it was all said and done.

So that's where I'm coming from when I watched the re-edits.

My summary of my experience watching Balance of the Force and The Clone War back to back on Friday night was this: When I have kids, and I sit them down to watch Star Wars for the first time, I'm first going to show them the TR47 O.T. DVDs. After they've seen those, and it's time to cover the backstory, I'm now tempted to show them Balance of the Force and The Clone War and deem those the definitive versions of the prequels. They're that good. Even the titles are great.

I'll start obviously, with the beginning.

Overall impressions of "Balance of the Force": Pacing is much improved (FASTER, MORE INTENSE!), character motivations make more sense, more serious tone overall, but also adding ADULT humor to lighten the mood! Someone once mentioned that as kids, we liked Star Wars because we were watching the workings of an adult world, and though we didn't comprehend everything, it still looked cool. Phantom Menace was missing this, but Balance adds it back in through the subtitles. (No matter
what Lucas says today, Star Wars and Empire were NOT kids' films!)

The most pervasive and best change you made, was making the Trade Federation slavers. When Padme is whining about her people dying, you actually believe that they are!!!! It's so strange to type, but because her pleas are more believable, it's almost as if Natalie's acting improved because of this detail being reinforced in the Viceroy's dialogue throughout the movie.

I'll go thru and list the changes that I remember without having the film in front of me. (and do the same with Clone War)

- Opening sequence: This scene worked pretty damn well in Menace as it stood, so you didn't need to make a ton of changes, and overall I liked what you did...
- Cutting the chatter between pilot and co-pilot and the Nemoidians, I thought, lessened the impact of the ship getting blown to bits in the hangar. To the viewer, the ship is empty, so why do we need to see it destroyed (other than it's a cool visual)?
- Cutting out the droids saying "Roger Roger"... this makes sense now that you have the droids speaking an alien language anyway, but it was one of those stupid parts of Menace that I actually like.
- Jar Jar's introduction (actually Jar Jar's entire character) has completely changed for the better. This is a good a point as any to
talk about Jar Jar overall: someone on a message board in 1999 wrote that Menace lacked a Han Solo rogue character (this should have been Anakin at age 15, but blame Lucas for that). Well, Balance now has the closest thing this film could have, and what Jar Jar really should have been in the first place... A wisecracking ne'er-do-well whose better nature eventually takes over.
- Great editing with Boss Nass' scenes, eliminating the silly head-shaking and making him a slightly sinister character!
- The "mind trick" sound effect is a nice touch
- The 2nd "fish getting eaten" scene in the planet core is completely unnecessary... replacing it with the more exciting waterfall sequence was a no-brainer that the Flanneled One missed out on
- Nice touch with Jar Jar's "Sometimes I even amaze myself" line, what I assume is an intentional parallel on your part, as I noted above with this new Jar Jar's similarities to Solo. And of course, I said back at the TV "That doesn't sound too hard!"
- Why does the battle droid still say "You're under arrest" in English? I actually liked that stupid "wait... uhh... that doesn't compute" line so I kinda missed it... and the scene seems a bit choppy without it.
- Thank the maker you removed the "The Hyperdrive is leaking" line
- Maybe there was no way to "fix" this... but it would have made a hell of a lot of sense to connect the Hutts' slave activity to that of the Trade Federation. Maybe the Trade Federation helps the Hutts by running interference in the government in turn for a cut of their profits. This would be a huge motivator for Ani to want to help Padme, and it would make her more sympathic to his plight. Hey, Lucas missed out on this big time. Your making the Trade Federation slavers begs for that tie-in to be made.
But I'm not sure how you could "tell" that portion through just Nemoidian dialogue.
- Thanks for removing the "It is to be commended" and "it deserves our gratitude" lines. They make no sense, no one ever commended droids in the OT.
- The Ani/Padme scene is perfect now. Shows his initial infatuation with her, and his anger, without the cheesiness. Good job. Good introduction to Ani. Sometimes the telling is in what you DON'T say!!!!!!!!!!
- You got rid of the annoying YIPPIE's! Cool.
- Nice touch in adding Watto's lines from Episode I Racer.
- Here's a bit of SW heresy. I actually don't mind the Anakin "virgin birth" or midichlorians, because my theory is that Anakin is a clone created by Palpatine, who stuck him with high concentrations of midichlorians and put him in poverty to make him angry and easily turned to the dark side in adulthood. To make that leap, you need a scientific explanation for the force. Now that to me make would make sense, which is why in Episode III it won't happen that way. Anyway, in the context of this film and the OT, neither of those phrases belong, so the film works a lot better without them.
- The dinner table scene is much improved with the tightening up.
- I actually liked the little kids teasing Anakin. Wald makes me laugh for some strange reason. I kinda missed that scene. Not sure of the purpose of cutting this scene, and replacing it with the "morning of the race" scene which doesn't reveal much of anything about Anakin.
- I kinda missed the "You've never won a race?" conversation, simply because Natalie glaring up at Liam Neeson at the end is priceless. Also further solidifies Qui-Gon's faith in The Chosen One.
- Really nice touch with the addition of music to the majority of the pod race. When I first saw Menace, I kind of liked it without the music. The sound effects of the pod engines are almost a symphony in and of themselves. But it truly works in Balance, as it is reminiscient of the earlier films and ties it all in.
- Removing the "You can't stop the change" lines removes yet another cringe-worthy moment from Menace that adds to the overall improvement of this film
- I don't really like the scene with Anakin fighting Greedo. One of those instances where the SW universe is a bit too small. And I don't think it helps the film that much.
- This film works so much better with Qui-Gon hacking down a probe droid, it gives a sense of urgency and explains why they're running when they get to the ship. You know what I would have loved, though? If you'd added the probe droid chatter from Empire.
- If memory serves, the stuff on Coruscant is pretty much unchanged. Which is fine, that part of the film works damn well. (again, removing the midichlorian line is fine since it serves no purpose to this film or tying it to the OT)
- I'm getting tired, I'm gonna try to wrap this up. Your changes to the final battle really help Anakin's character. I hated how
Lucas made Anakin's talent seem completely by accident. Especially after he built his skills up so well during the pod race. Thanks for removing those lines that caused Anakin's blowing up the control ship to be an accident. Now it's as if a 9 year old kid was the mastermind of the entire battle. Which he should have been to begin with.

Well hell, if I were the screenwriter, Anakin would be the same age as Padme, he'd want to help her fight the Trade Federation (his indirect slavemasters) because he knew he wasn't going into the Jedi Order, and like Luke in the Death Star battle, he'd take a command role in the Naboo squadron. So there!

But you can't do any of that without recasting the film.

Not as much to say about The Clone War because Attack of the Clones is a better film than (if not as deep as) Phantom Menace

Good job on removing the obvious linkage between Dooku, Jango Fett, and Darth Sidious. At the end of your film, the viewer might be wondering if Count Dooku is in the right! Because we are pretty sure from Menace that Chancellor Palpatine is the Dark Lord of the Sith. And somehow Dooku knows this! So is he good or evil? Or neither?

I'm glad you removed the "your skin is soft, not like sand" line. That was really dumb. However, the scene where they kiss and the music swells, only to have her cut him off abruptly, is actually pretty funny. But then again, in The Clone War, they kiss for the first time at the Geonosian arena, and that REALLY has an impact. Now we know for sure that she is letting go of her inhibitions and letting herself love him, and it's a breakthru instead of a retread. So it works either way.

I actually missed the scenes in the field. Especially with them rolling around and her ending up on top of him... kind of sexy and innocent at the same time, like she let go for just a moment before catching herself

Personally, and most importantly, I think it was a mistake to cut the scene where Anakin and Padme discuss politics. (We find out that Darth Vader was a Young Republican... j/k) Seriously, I love this conversation, showing the idealism of Anakin, and the political pragmatism of Padme, foreshadowing how Anakin's simplistic ideals will be manipulated by Palpatine, and that he's got
an autocratic streak! But yet it's very lighthearted! If you could have found a way to include this scene without the "I'd be much too frightened to tease a Senator" line, but keep Natalie's distrustful gaze that ends the scene, that would have worked really well. But maybe this wasn't possible.

As it stands, The Clone War is helped greatly by including the Amidala family scenes. Nitpick: The scene of Natalie discussing the walrus kids who all died ends really abruptly. Maybe there was nothing else you could have done, given the way the scene was laid out on the extras reel. I haven't the Attack of the Clones DVD in a while so I don't remember.

The Shmi Skywalker gravesite scene is helped immensely without Anakin's god-awful "I miss you...... so...... much......" that probably made William Shatner cringe.

Oh yeah, nice touch on recoloring Dooku's saber. We've never seen this color in a Star Wars movie before. I could see the red underneath the yellow. Or could I? Not sure if you intended the color to be ambiguous, but it works since Dooku should be an ambiguous character.

Good job on editing out those horrible Threepio scenes of him clinging onto the treadmill, but leaving in the parts with his head attached to the battle droid.

One other thing, why oh why couldn't you have edited out the flying R2-D2? I swear this nearly made me walk out of the theatre when I saw it. It's the second worst thing in any Star Wars film. And everything reading this forum *knows* what the first is...

Again, in summary, your re-edits are far superior to the Ben Burtt hackjobs. I would say they are the closest things to the definitive versions that are out there. At this point, I am not sure which I am more excited about, Revenge of the Sith or your re-edit of it! But I can tell you this... when it does come out, I'm going to invite folks over before hand to watch your re-edits, not the "real" DVDs!


Reference:
http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post72252
 

TV's Frink

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Thanks for making this available JBS :)

This looks like a seriously challenging cutlist to compile.
 

joebshmoe

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* A review of both ""Balance of the Force" and "The Clone War" by oojason


Just watched Star Wars : Episode 1 - Balance Of The Force - MagnoliaFan Edit, on DVDr.

First off - I don't have much of an eye for these things, nor that much of fancy equipment but the pic and sound quality are top notch, and the all-round editing and production quality is superb.

The Edit itself - WOW, just WOW!

This is how IMHO Ep 1 should have been - the pacing is quicker, more in keeping with the OT, the aliens all come across less cartoony and more menacing, and in the case of the Gungans it gives a backstory to them that makes you actually care about them as a species. The Tade Federation are now far more sinister and have a more meanicing presance - their oppression and gradual extermination of the Naboo people is ore greatly alluded to. The subtitles and altering of the alien voices are done very well - anyone who is a fan of the UK sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf's 'Backwards' episode will enjoy this.

Now, I was never too enamoured with original The Pod Race section, it seemed overlong and without much tension, however this Edit really does liven it up - there are more things going on between the drivers, a real sense of danger is now present and you actually believe Anakin had to really work for his victory in the race. Most impressive.

The battle scenes seem more 'tighter' - there are certain bits that seem to have been cut, though it does give a more involving sense of the various fight and battle scenes. In this Edit you feel that the people of Naboo are being systematically wiped out - and with each passing moment more are being eliminated - which gives more weight to Amidala's actions, and to that of Palpatine too. More of the story too seems to actually make sense, and without leaving you to dot-the-dots, is a lot more intriguing.

I'd recommend any SW fan to get their hands on this version - it does make me wonder how the editor and/or GL could get it so wrong with their version...

Hope a certain person here (cough, ahem, cough) is going to a DVD slipcover and DiscArt for this one...




Many Thanks to those who created the Edits, and those who made it possible for us fans to get our hands on them too.




Just watched the Star Wars : Episode 2 - The Clone War - MagnoliaFan Edit, on DVDr.

The Opening Crawl:-

"Episode II

The Clone War

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. Over a thousand star sytems, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, have declared their intention to seceed from the Republic.

The seperatist movement has made it nearly impossible for the limited number of Jedi Knights to continue maintaining peace and order throughout the galaxy.

Senator Amidala, former Quenn of Naboo, is returning to Coruscantfor the first time in a decade, to vote on the issue of creating an army of the Republic, to combat the growing rebellion..."


I have to say I don't own an official dvd of Ep2 - so any comparisons are done from my rather poor memory.

The pic and sound quality once more is of a very high standard and cannot be faulted. The Edit itself is certainly a more interesting version than that of Lucas' - and the story does seem to flow a lot easier too. The altering of the aliens voices and content of their conversations are in line with the above Ep1 MagnoliaFan Edit, and again the effect gives a more sinister presance to the bad guys, whilst JarJar comes across as more noble.

The opening scene is recut - there is no dialogue before the Senator's ship explodes, and there are also slight dialogue and timing trims throughout the movie - it does give a more important sense of timing and like the Ep1 Edit makes a more flowing film.

The Zam chase seems to be shorter, there is no Janfo Fett around until he shoots her with the Kamino Dart.

The Mace, Yoda and Obi Wan scene walking thorugh the Jedi Halls has been edited out, as has Obi Wan's meeting with the Jedi Librarian. IIRC Amidala's meeting with the new Queen of Naboo has been cut too.

There is an added scene in which Mace walks Obi Wan to his Jedi Starfighter and Ben reveals that he may have been wrong about Anakin being trained as a Jedi...

Scenes featuring Padme's family have been restored and you begin to see why Padme actually starts to fall for Anakin - something completely beyond me in Lucas' version, also some of the more 'ickier' love scenes have been removed (ie 'I don't like sand' and the rolling around in the grass fields scene ).

There is a fantastic bit of editing involving Watto, which for me made it the lighthearted moment of the film.

Obi Wan's fight with J Fett is complete - something us UK'ers may not have as a 'headbutt' scene was removed (and IMHO badly done) for the UK audience.

Schmi Skywalker's death scene has been trimmed too, making it a more poignant death.

C3P0's 'comedic' action & lines seem to have been improved or cut - I certainly found them less annoying and out of place in this Edit.

Dooku now fights Anakin with a yellow lightsabre - not red, and does not meet up with Palpatine upon his arrival at Coruscant.

Reference:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post54570
 

joebshmoe

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* A review of "Balance of the Force" by Jambe Davdar


Oh, and here's my quick review of 'Balance of the Force'

Balance of the Force

Firstly I am an editor by profession. Secondly I am a huge Star Wars fan. Like many of our generation I was inspired by the Original Trilogy to enter into Film and Television production. You can therefore imagine my excitement to hear that a new cut of The Phantom Menace was doing the rounds. So, I contacted Rikter and promptly received the discs.

Having already seen the Phantom Edit some time ago I was not expecting a particularly slick effort. Whilst the Phantom Edit excised many of the frustrating elements of TPM it was still tantamount to polishing a turd. So I was surprised to see and read that the MagnoliaFan (MF) edit was not only Anamorphic and of fairly decent quality but that some story elements had been cleverly changed.

Happy From The Opening Crawl

I was pleased to see the changes on the opening crawl. If anything they served to remove the complicated (and boring!) back story of TPM and create a more intriguing one with certainly more weight and a darker feel from the off.

The re-dubbing work on the Neimoidians was a great idea and whilst it's clear that some reverse effects had been made on a European language track (German, Austrian?) it was a welcome change from the pseudo Japanese which for me really began to spoil TPM from a very early point when I first watched it back in '99.

I particularly liked the removal of "Master! Destroyers!" early on, immediately giving the impression that Qui Gon had sensed the arrival of the droids and adding a truer dimension to Neeson's Jedi character.

Jar Jar

Jar Jar's introduction is one of the most painful parts of TPM for me so I was eager to see what MF had done. Like Gunray and co, Jar Jar has been given the dubbing treatment (using some backwards Spanish this time?). Not only does this remove the childish tone it enables a whole new and yet still clumsy character to come through. I liked the majority of the new lines (subtitles) for Jar Jar and the Trade Federation, however, I felt that some of them went a little too far. My impression was that this edit was to make TPM more in-line with the OT. Where in the original trilogy do we see alien's swearing at anyone, let alone kids!? MF's new Watto was far more balanced for me and worked far better. That said MF's Jar Jar is still a HUGE improvement over the original.

Trims

I am 2/3 of the way through editing the TPM myself (learning Final Cut Pro) so I was pleased to see that MF had trimmed some of the same dialog as me. Jake's performance does genuinely seem improved by simple trimming as does the scene between Qui Gon and Shmi by leaving out the virgin birth embarrassment. Also the reintroduction of the waterfall scene was welcome as was the removal of the extensive underwater bongo sequence that precedes it.

Tech

Technically MF has done as good a job as could be done. Some of the additional music and timing of the wipes didn't work for me but one can certainly see that a lot of effort has gone into 'Balance'. Being an editor I am all too aware of the frustrations of having to work with the available footage. A while MagnoliaFan has not created the slickest of films it is by far the slickest fan edit to date. It is clear that he has done as much as anybody could do with what Burtt and Lucas have left us with. Indeed imagine what MF could do with all of the source material that Lucasfilm had available to them.
-------------

I have since watched 'The Clone War' too. Despite AOTC being far far better than TPM in my opinion, MagnoliaFan has made a better film by far. By removing silly points and reintroducing some deleted character development scenes the film now feels right. Wonderful stuff!

Reference:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post59150
 

joebshmoe

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* A review by commander courage of "Balance of the Force" AND "The Clone War"

I received my MF DVDs Saturday. Everything you've heard about how they astronomically improve the prequels and feel like authentic Star Wars movies-its all true. Thank you MagnoliaFan for making watching the backstory an enjoyable exercise rather than the painful task it once was.

Here are some thoughts and ideas I had, as I'm sure you like feedback on such an extensive project (at least I would).

BALANCE OF THE FORCE

-I like the new title and crawl. An observation though, the text seems to curve up instead of roll back. Am I just imagining this or is it a bi-product of the program you used to re-write the crawl?
-I noticed in both edits you used fades as transitions for very small cuts, like when the Republic ship is approaching the TF Battleship. This feels very un-Star Wars, and I think quick cuts would be best.
-The subtitles are genius! Great job on the Battledroids too; they would have totall slipped my mind.
-Darkening up the Sidious hologram was a good idea, but it was a little *too* dark at times.
-I love your Jar-Jar! Now the Han Solo-esque character TPM desperately needed. The Gungan/Human dynamic was great too! This makes the film SO MUCH BETTER. And the Kyber Crystal!!!!! The new explanation of the life-debt was a little confusing though.
-Are you going to keep the new Jedi Mind Trick sound throughout your saga?
-Thanks for cutting down the Bongo scenes. Now you can imagine Jar-Jar *actually* helping them navigate through the planet core as well as forget the ridiculous amount of useless monsters.
-"This deal is getting worse all the time."
-The Cantina Song!
-Watto is a much more realistic slave owner here; I actually feel bad for Anakin now, unlike before. And his extra lines came from the Episode 1 Video Game, right?
-Jake Lloyd is SO much better with all the trimmed dialogue. This really strengthens the character if Anakin.
-I don't recall the original sequence of dialogue at the Skywalker diner, but Anakin's "Has anybody ever seen a podrace," which before came after an awkward silence, seems rather random in your version of the conversation.
-Removing the midichlorines was an excellent move, but is does lead to these problems:
-The scene w/Qui-Gon checking Anakin's blood could have been totally deleted, as it is totally useless now and would make the re-inserted "Good Morning" scene make a lot more sense; Anakin just stayed w/his pod all night. As it is now, Anakin wakes up outside because...?
-Again, while I disagree with the midichlorine idea, I understand while something along those lines was necessary, and it shows itself in your version. Midichlorines were made as a scale of sorts to measure Jedi. Without them, why would Qui-Gon or anyone else for that matter believe Anakin to be the Chosen One?
-And following up on that point, I actually liked the virgin birth scenario, and it would still work fine w/in the context of the film. The only line that would have to be altered would be Qui-Gon's, "I believe he may have been conceived by the midichlorines," which is of course absent from your version, but all that's needed is a sound bite of Neeson saying "The Force" and problem solved. "There's something about this boy," should have been left in as well. As it stands now, the whole prophecy/chosen one angle is very vague.
-Adding the Imperial March to the Sith scenes is no doubt very cool, but seeing it is Vader and the Empire's theme, it really has no place here at the beginning of the saga.
-As much as I like Sidious' alternate line, it really doesn't fit in with the conversation at all. If it was altered to "AND soon the Republic will be under my control," then it would make sense. I'm sure finding a Palpatine "and" sound bite wouldn't be too hard.
-Great job with the podrace! I always found it to be rather boring and predictable, but your re-shuffling is awesome! Another thing: I never realized before watching BotF that there was no music in TPM's podrace. No wonder it was so bland. And until Qui-Gon mentioned the Hutts to Watto, I had totally missed your omission of Jabba. Good call; I too want him to be a mysterious crime lord until he's finally revealed in RotJ.
-The reverse frames of Obi-Wan could be flipped to look correct.
-While the goodbye to 3P0 is an understandable cut (acting wise), it's comparable to Anakin and Padme just taking him w/out any discussion in AotC: they need some explanation. Maybe the scene could be adeptly trimmed salvaging the required exposition while scrapping the mediocre acting.
-GREAT re-insertion of the probe droid scene, a very natural flow. I always wondered why that scene was cut.
-Question: why was Windu's "I do not believe the Sith could have returned without us knowing" trimmed?
-In the Senate scene, you took out Palpatine's reference to Amidala being elected. I would agree with this, but there's also her line of, "I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die..." as well as the extensive explanation of her political history in Episode II, so there's really no way around the goofy 14-year old elected as queen thing.
-THANK YOU SO MUCH for trimming Anakin's 'cuteness' in the space battle. It is so much cooler now.
-Very clever editing of Qui-Gon's last words as well as Obi-Wan's debriefing with Yoda. Now it really seems as though Ben "took it upon himself to train him as a Jedi," instead of just doing it because that's what Qui-Gon wanted. Although his drastic opinion change on the issue of Anakin is a bit odd, it's better this way.
-I see where you were going with "Always two there are..." but if you were going to alter it, I think it would have been best to cut it down even more to, "Always two there are, a master, and an apprentice," (like in the trailer!). "No less" seems silly w/out "no more." (actually, the both sound silly, anyway!)

THE CLONE WAR

-Again, nice job with the new crawl, but the same technical glitch as before, if I wasn't just imagining it that is.
-As for the title, I personally think "Dark Force Rising" would have been PERFECT for Episode II, as the future army of the Empire is created, Palpatine gains even more power, and the darkside is warping and taking over the Force from the Jedi. "The Clone War" doesn't really start until the end of the film. But that's just me...J
-Your editing of Anakin is again EXCELLENT, and he is a much stronger character because of it.
-Removing the changeling reference is good, as the plot point goes nowhere. However, I would have kept in this bit of dialogue and made it a witty joke by Obi-Wan:
Anakin: I think he is a she.
Obi-Wan: In that case, be extra careful.
-Your mix and match of the Naboo scenes worked really well, though I do think the waterfall/field scene could have been salvaged. Anakin expressing his political views is a nice window into the mind of Vader. Maybe end it with "Well, it if works."
-I have no specific idea of how to do it, but re-editing of the analysis room, Diner, library, and younglings scenes would be very beneficial to the plot. Perhaps allow the droids to identify the dart after all, deleting the Diner scene, and having the library scene segue into the END of the younglings scene. Those stupid 'cute' kids figuring out something that should have been so obvious makes Obi-Wan look like an idiot. And the Diner is too much CGI and too 1950s; good riddance.
-If only the Lost Twenty scenes were available, those would be great to re-incorporate...
-On Kamino, when Obi-Wan surveys the Clonetroopers, I never understood why the Trade Federation March was used. The Imperial March would be PERFECT here.
-Why did you delete Jango's reference to "Tyranus"? The name will have to be used in RotS, and it was never mentioned again in AotC, so what harm could it do?
-Is there a movie where Liam Neeson yells, "Noooooooo!" If so, the sound clip MUST be found and replace the HORRENDOUS impression heard by Yoda.
-As with young Anakin, trimming Boba' lines helped a lot.
-I LOATHE the Droid Factory stuff, especially with 3P0 and R2. I would have left them on the ship, ending their plot with 3P0's, "If they wanted our help they would have asked for it." And as soon as Anakin and Padme get pushed out the door, have them be captured by Jango and the Geonosians.
-Something has to be done with Padme's "I truly, deeply, love you." Maybe just, "I love you"?
-Mace's entrance in the arena is actually a shock now instead of, "Oh look, there's Mace." Clever edit.
-Dooku: I like how you made him just a rogue Jedi and not a Sith. After all he does say, "My Jedi powers are far beyond yours." As for his saber, do you remember the rumors that he was to wield a flame-saber? Well, that's exactly what it looks like in your version. The yellow doesn't cover up all of the red, which makes for a very strange effect. Perhaps purple would work better? Not only technically, but symbolically as well. Dooku is a mix of Jedi and Sith: purple is a mix blue and red. And no, this wouldn't mean Windu was evil. Actually, I always thought Yoda would have been best served with a yellow saber.
-Although the Dooku/Sidious scene was cool, it's understandable why you cut it for your version. Not to mention it makes Dooku's motives far less confusing.
-But why the re-shuffling of Clonetrooper footage on Coruscant?

As you can see, when I get into something I REALLY get into something. And MF, when I make suggestions on stuff, I'm just kind of bouncing it off you to see what you think, not necessarily saying it would be better. I have video editing aspirations myself and someday hope to acquire the technology to create such projects, so this sort of things really does pique my interest. Again, thanks for being such a hard-working fan. I can't wait for RotS to come out so we can see your versions of Episodes III-VI!

Reference:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic. ... #post65805
 
H

Haltiamieli

Hmm.. What are the new Neimoidian and Gungan languages then, parts of dubbing in foreign languages?
 

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I'll try to put together a review of Balance to the Force a little later.
Unfortunately, I can't say that it's going to be as positive as some of these other reviews, because I had some major issues with some of the editor's choices. :-(
 

boon23

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JasonN said:
I'll try to put together a review of Balance to the Force a little later.
Unfortunately, I can't say that it's going to be as positive as some of these other reviews, because I had some major issues with some of the editor's choices. :-(
well, since you are working on SW prequel edits right now, it seems to me you were or are probably not at all open minded for a proper viewing. But an opinion is an opinion.
 

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boon23 said:
JasonN said:
I'll try to put together a review of Balance to the Force a little later.
Unfortunately, I can't say that it's going to be as positive as some of these other reviews, because I had some major issues with some of the editor's choices. :-(
well, since you are working on SW prequel edits right now, it seems to me you were or are probably not at all open minded for a proper viewing. But an opinion is an opinion.
Hmm, maybe that's true, but I've watched the MagnoliaFan edit long before I started work on my Prequels edits and while I thought there were some good ideas and edits to it, there were several other elements that really disappointed me and that I felt were not in the spirit of the OT.

For any fanedit that I review for which I've also done an edit of (like the Matrix sequels), I always compare the fanedit directly to the original film and how it is better/worse than the original or fanedits done by other people (but I never compare it to my own editing work).
 

boon23

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I for one stay away from reviewing movie fanedits that I have edited myself. I know I cannot be objective. And the only way to prove that wrong would be to write something exciting instead of something negative. Also I think such things reflect on oneself. So even if I do watch a fanedit of the same movie that I have edited, I prefer to keep my mouth shut about things I have to criticize. Most of all as a gesture of respect to a fellow faneditor.
 

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Reversed French and reversed Spanish are the main ones, if I remember correctly. There might be other language tracks used too.
 

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I remember I was very impressed by the ideas presented in this edit way back when I first saw it. The execution of some of those ideas certainly has room for improvement, but the originality that was demonstrated by Magnoliafan in that he really tried to do something different with the material is to be enthusiastically applauded.

Granted, the version I have is with the ADigitalMan subtitles, which makes a huge difference since I've read Magfan's are replete with grammatical errors and a few "groaner" lines. But I thought the whole concept of slavery and the divisions between the two Naboo races...and even the incorporation of the big light orb (seen at the end) into Jar-Jar's history was very inventive and handled really well.

As far as the voices go...the idea is great. The backwards Spanish? Not so much. Again, I think there are ways to improve this facet of it.

The pod race is great. One of my favorite versions of it in any edit.

Bottom line is, this is one of the first edits I had ever watched and it inspired me to try my hand at this whole editing movies thing. It will forever have my respect for being one of the first and one of the most inventive. I would love to have version 2.0 of this edit with a picture quality that's up to standard. I keep waiting for him to release it and it never seems to materialize. Ah well, I know how that is. ;)

--ID
 

joebshmoe

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my EP2 review won't be as glowing, but these are still great fanedits. also, i'm rating these (as i do for EVERY edit) within the context that they were released... how many fanedits were around in 2004?

MF essentially extends and polishes ideas from "the phantom re-edit" (new york version) into a more cohesive film.

even though these edits are far from perfect, i would still call them "required viewing" if only to see the very obvious progressions of fanediting history.

just for the SW PT, we have:
the phantom edit >
the phantom re-edit (new york version) >
balance of the force >
ADM's PT >
Slumberland's PT >
etc.

because MF's edits are not a complete trilogy (missing EP3) it is hard to recommend these over a complete PT storyline (why i recommend and view slumberland's for the full PT), but as singular edits they get A LOT right.


i've VERY interested to read your review, jasonn.
 

joebshmoe

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i think it is more complex than just reversed, but that is essentially correct.
 

InfoDroid

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MF's Episode II edit was kind of a yawner for me. He didn't go anywhere near far enough, IMO. I wasn't digging Dooku's yellow saber (the Jedi Order is starting to look like the Crayola factory) and all the other changes were either redundant from other edits or far too subtle.

Props to MF for doing it, but I don't know...this one just didn't hit the mark for me. It didn't live up to the promise of the first one.

Sorry, MF. Not your best work.

And as far as Episode III is concerned, I think MF said somewhere (atleast back in '05) that he was impressed with Episode III and didn't think it needed any changes. Of course, now that the ROTS euphoria has long worn off and we're no longer eating pop tarts with Hayden Christensen's face printed on 'em, I think most of us would disagree with him on that point.

--ID
 

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-I love your Jar-Jar! Now the Han Solo-esque character TPM desperately needed. The Gungan/Human dynamic was great too! This makes the film SO MUCH BETTER. And the Kyber Crystal!!!!!
It was one of the first fanedit that I saw and it was an amazing experience. That Kyber Crystal plot is quite a simple idea and at the same so jawdropping. It really add something to the last shot of the movie.
 
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