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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 'Faster, More Intense':


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Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 'Faster, More Intense':

I may be going against the crowd a bit here, but I'm sorry to say that for me this isn't "it". Although in many ways this is a great edit, just like other edits of EP1 I feel that there are pros and cons to watching one or the other. Certainly the editor has made an excellent effort in trying to combine the best parts of many different cuts (although I have not seen all of his sources), but, in my opinion, there is still room for improvement. Part of that is just personal preference; as I'm sure most would agree, even though 90% of fans universally concur on most things about the prequels (eg. Gungan racism is acceptable racism), we all probably differ slightly on other things, and therefore have different ideas on what our ultimate cut would be. Here are a few of my quibbles, some just personal:

- I believe sistros has also mentioned this, but Amidala's confrontation with the Viceroy after being captured is certainly quite jarring when we cut back to them, finding that the droids are automatically defeated.

- Although cutting the underwater scene with the Gungans was well done, I think that without it the army suddenly deciding to help them after a short plea comes across as a little bit of a Dues Ex Machina.

- I can't quite put my finger on what this is down to, but I really enjoyed L8wrtr's cut of the podrace, whereas I felt that this one dragged somewhat. It could just be that I was irritated by Jar Jars intermittent exclamations.

- This is half positive and half negative, and in no way something I blame the editor for: I really didn't realise how much I hated Jar Jar until I watched this, partly because other editors are quite gun-ho when cutting him out. So I really wish there could have been a lot less of him, but at the same time, I think the editor was wise to keep him in, and for just the right amount. Doing so allowed him to be established as a character and therefore make it less strange that this creature follows them around for the whole movie. The fact of the matter is that Jar Jar is a main character and unfortunately plays an integral part in the story. You have to choose between eliminating the most annoying character in the movie and sacrificing the narrative, or keeping him in, but giving the story a more cohesive flow. It drove me nuts, but I believe the editor made a wise choice. A good edit should be an edit that someone who's never seen the film before can watch and follow without any WTH moments.

- My only comment on the editing, which for the most part was superb, is there were I believe maybe a handful (if that) of what I would consider to be "obvious" cuts, some of which were made more noticable by a change in volume level.

- Finally, I would personally have left the celebration at the end. I think it's better to end on the "but who was defeated? Master or the apprentice?" scene.

A side note regarding some edits: There's a deleted scene in which Qui-gon encounters one of Darth Maul's probe droids. Some editors choose to insert this scene, and I'm glad they do as the film is better for it. However, it really bothers me that the transition is always noticeable due to the fact that the colours are different. I'm not sure how much can be done about this, but it honestly would be made so much better if some colour correction could be used so that it syncs up better with the rest of the movie.

I feel I have been chiefly negative, so I'd like to close on a high note. Despite this not being my go to version of this film, it really is a very good edit. Certainly one of the slickest I've come across. If I'm familiar with a film, I sometimes can't tell if the cut is bad, or if I'm just not used to a scene being absent, but with this I often noticed when something was missing and yet it still felt very natural (I would often nod to myself in silent approval).

I would also just like to say well done, Octoroxx, and thank you for making this available (and the same for those whose work laid the foundation). You clearly put a lot of work into this and it seems a lot of people consider this to be their definitive Episode I; it's easy to see why since the edit is of high quality and many sensible decisions were made in favour of both the pacing and the narrative. This is certainly an edit that I would recommend and I look forward to viewing your work on episodes II and III!

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