Star Wars - Episode III: Dawn of the Empire

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Finally I can rest easy, knowing there is a competent, well-thought out, enjoyable prequel trilogy for me to watch whenever I choose. A/V quality is top notch, as expected. Of course I had a few minor complaints here and there (Yoda sharing his feelings with Chewie being the most glaring), but overall this is the best of the ROTS edits I've seen. The moving of the Opera scene to earlier in the film was brilliant, I loved the new lizard voice, the Sidious reveal is almost as amazing as Kerr's (sorry!)...it's just about as much as I can hope for without tackling it myself. Kudos!

9/10

I'm looking forward to revisiting all three of these edits through the commentaries so I can complete my training. :)

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10.0
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9.0
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9.0
I always enjoyed Episode III the most of the prequels, and L8wrtr's edit made it even better in my eyes.

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(Updated: September 25, 2013)
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
********** This Review Contains Spoilers ************

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. DOTE is by far the best Episode III edit I’ve ever seen! It works on every level and turns this movie into one of the best Star Wars films hands down. The movie did such an amazing job of making Anikan a powerful decisive leader, it almost made Hayden Christensen seem like a good actor. I was shocked by much I really believed that he was becoming Lord Vader, and that his beliefs and ideals were turning him to the dark side as much as his anger and jealousy. L8WRTR’s vision of this movie is stunning to behold and a must have for anyone’s SW collection.

From the very beginning it was clear that this movie was going to focus as much screen time as possible to making Anikan’s turn to the dark side believable, which is the way it should have always been conceived. The initial confrontation between Dooku and Anikan really sets the tone by having him furiously avenge his fallen master. It would have been only that much sweeter if Anikan had yelled something along the lines of “no, Master” out of concern after Dooku collapses the platform onto Obi Wan.

The fight editing was superb, one of my favorite parts was Palpatine’s quick transition into what I’ll call his ‘Sith Form’ during his confrontation with Mace Windu. I thought you did an amazing job with the Palpatine Yoda fight, I don’t care what anyone says, this scene needs to be included for Yoda to have any kind of resolution. The only thing I would have done differently here was to cut the lightsaber section just a tad more so that as the senate platform rises the viewer never sees the fight from a close up angle. Otherwise I thought Yoda’s defeat and subsequent exile was terrific. I felt Obi Wan and Anikan’s fight could be shortened a bit more. Some of the scenes where they are wrestling early on just seem unnecessary and the fight is plenty long without it. Anikan’s shocking defeat at the end works so much better now. I thought that was an amazing cut!

All of the sequences leading to the birth of the rebellion are extremely well executed. A common criticism of the prequel trilogy is that they focus too much on politics, and I used to agree with that. However the way you’ve focused these scenes and removed the filler has made the political half of this movie extremely engaging. It’s important in this film to make the viewer care about what is happening on the political side because if they don’t, then Anikan’s turn and the setup for “A New Hope” doesn’t work at all.

The rest of this review is going to be nit picky, but these are just my opinions and it should be stated again that this movie is amazing on every level.

The scenes following Order 66 that show all the major players moving into position for the finale seemed a bit rushed. I don’t exactly recall how it played out in the original film, but there were just too many cuts all happening too quickly for my taste.

The birthing scene I also thought was extremely well done, I just wish you had excluded Senator Organa’s scene with Leia at the end. It is too much of a spoiler if you watch the movies in the order intended, but it works just fine if you watch the movies in Machete Order. If you leave this scene out it almost makes it seem like just the one child survived, but since that is never stated it makes it a great surprise for ROTJ.

I happily give this film a 10 out of 10. This is a great triumph of the Fanedit community and I encourage everyone who has been looking for a “definitive version” to dive into this film just one more time.

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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
Wow.

I have always had a soft spot for the prequel trilogy (don’t kill me!) and especially for Revenge of the Sith. But that didn’t mean I thought the films were great, far from it; but what I saw were epic films. Films with a massive scope. Films with massive amounts of characters and settings. Film with (believe it or not) complex and intriguing plots. Revenge of the Sith delivered the most on these aspects.

Unfortunately, ROTS also featured a few other common aspects of the PT: bad dialogue, acting, and humor. These things have ALWAYS made me cringe.

Well, guess what? No more! In Dawn of the Empire, they’re gone. These things are excised, and they are excised with great skill. The excision is so successful that, even though I have seen ROTS an innumerable amount of times, I completely forgot where these cringeworthy parts were, and if they ever even existed. There are some transitions that feel a little awkward but they are very easily overlooked.

But to talk as if this is all L8wrtr has done is to ignore his greatest achievement: the re-crafting of Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side. His re-ordering is nothing short of brilliant. I don’t know how I can explain this other than to say: It really works now. His fall is organic, gradual, and, most importantly, believable.

The opening is notable as well. All I could think of while watching it is: quick, and seamless. Quick is exactly what the opening always needed to be, and seamless is what the other fan edits of the opening haven’t exactly been; because when I say seamless, I mean perfect.

I only have a few qualms with this edit, and they all have to deal with the ending:
1. Padme doesn’t name the newborns. I don’t really mind this, but it means that this edit is meant to be watched as part of a 4-5-6-1-2-3 order, which, again, I don’t mind. In any other order, it’s just a little confusing, because it’s never explicably stated in this edit that the second baby is Leia. If you watch in chronological order, you know the whole time Luke has a sibling, but whether or not you know it’s Leia depends on how well you were able to pay attention and deduce from this edit. It doesn’t really work for a Machete order because, like chronological, the viewer may or may not know the other baby is Leia.
2. Removing the final scenes on Tantive IV. This creates two plot holes in the saga – force ghosts and C-3PO’s memory, and it means, because Yoda hasn’t said what he’ll do, there must be a…
3. Yoda lands on Dagobah scene. I don’t dislike this scene, I just prefer the film to end with the Skywalker family – Vader on the Star Destroyer, Leia on Alderaan, and Luke on Tatooine.
4. The final scenes seem to almost go too fast.

Just to be absolutely clear, though, the ending still works. As does everything in this edit. Everything works so well that I think if I were to give Dawn of the Empire a rating as a movie, I would give it a 9 out of 10. As a fan edit, I have to say it is with out a doubt an improvement over the original. A few months back I said, based on how the edit was shaping up, that this was “already my preferred version of ROTS.” Now that I’ve seen it, I can honestly say that my mind hasn’t changed. Because of that, I give STAR WARS EPISODE III: DAWN OF THE EMPIRE 10/10

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(Updated: June 15, 2015)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
I always hated the original Episodes I and II, but Episode III is different for me. I didn't like it but neither did I hate it. It was bad, but not terrible.

Thankfully just like in Episode II, L8wrtr has successfully nailed it in Star Wars editing.

The video/audio quality was great. There is one part that looked a little pixely, it's before the Anakin/Obi-Wan fight. Obi-Wan says "I will do what I must" and there, the screen looked pixely. That's a very minor flaw though, other than that, it looked great.

The video/audio editing was perfect, it felt like it was never actually edited.

The narrative was much better than the theatrical cut. I have some problems that prevents this from being my favorite though. Chewbacca is still there (universe shrinking) and Padme dies unlike her daughter's memories, C-3PO's memory isn't wiped, the reason how Obi-Wan and Yoda can use the force ghost technique is no longer here (continuity errors). Because of that, HAL9000's edit is my favorite. However if you prefer Chewbacca and continuity errors over "NOOOO" and no Yoda vs Sidious fight, then this is a better edit for you. Kinda depends on minor opinions, as both fanedits are almost perfect.

I really enjoyed this fanedit and I definitely recommend it!

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