Star Wars - Episode I: Return of the Sith: Revisited Edition

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(Updated: January 16, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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9.0
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9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
For my part, this revisionist take on Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace might be the best version of the film. Right from the new opening crawl, we immediately understand the setting, the stakes, and the players. The recut film moves at a breakneck pace to the point it's occasionally jarring. It's hard to argue with the results, though. With any *other* movie, I'd say this was a problem...but the Phantom Menace really benefits from the adrenaline shot that seciors has given it here. We are on Tatooine by the 15-minute mark!

Almost all the bloat is gone. Most of the best parts are retained and trimmed/recut in places. All the worst parts are cut out where possible. The story beats are light, succinct, and comprehensible on first viewing. Better, seciors' excision of *any* exposition regarding the true mastermind introduces an element of mystery for first-time Star Wars viewers; who was behind the mysterious Sith warrior and why was he assisting the Federation? Something to pay out through subsequent films, of course!

Some debatable decisions: cutting out talk of Anakin's parentage and certainly the 'chosen one' prophecy, but only debatable due to possible continuity issues between different versions of the prequel films. A few deleted scenes are added but one's placement is a little out of context. I think it still works, though.

My opinion is that Hal9000's Phantom Menace fan edit is the best version of the film in the same way that Chris Hartwell's Hobbit edits are the best version of The Hobbit: as a halfway point for theatrical purists. For me though...after my viewing of seciors' edit, it made me wonder if more drastic surgery was *always* required to make this film 'good'.

I had a great time watching 'Return of the Sith'. That's probably the highest praise I can ever give *any* version of The Phantom Menace. Highly Recommended.

Edit: Have watched it again and increased the Narrative score again to a 10 from a 9. Although I never thought of Jar Jar as particularly distracting, I noticed that a side effect of removing most of Jar Jar's scenes/lines means there is no longer any ambiguity on who the main character is (definitely Qui-Gon in this edit). This makes his death at the end of the film a sort of narrative subversion that plays out across the remaining films; really hammers the tragic tone as the Prequels continue (if only he had lived, Anakin wouldn't have turned!). Of course, one can say that this had always been there--but the editing choices here just seem to bring it to focus in a way I had never noticed when watching the film before.

This edit is a treasure. Not to say that I'd put it on the level of 'The Godfather' or anything--just for what it is, it is as close to the best that it can be.

Edit 2:
One last thing I noticed about Jar Jar's dialogue excision. Again, thought Hal9000's approach to editing him to be reasonable (Jar Jar the Everyman stays, Jar Jar the Clown goes)--however, removing most of his dialogue here in Ep. 1 tracks with the *actual* reduced amount of dialogue he has within the next two films. So, oddly enough, it results in a more consistent experience.

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Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is a great example of fanediting, and it eliminates just about everything that can be eliminated while still retaining what is important. Some people claim that the cutting down of the dialogue hurts the characterization, especially of Qui Gon, however, I feel like 90% of the problems with this movie is that the character talk to much, especially Qui Gon. He does not feel like a Jedi Master, but a crotchety old man who gets upset and snippy every time someone questions his "great wisdom". This edit manages to jetison most of that, so in my book it improves the character tremendously. I stand by my opinion, how ever, that the Jedi of this era are not to be liked are are to look like fools too wrapped up in their own self-righteousness that they can't even see the obvious degeneration of the galaxy happening all around them.

That said, the editing itself was solid, although a few bits seemed a little out of focus. Not talking about the inserted scenes either. It may have been the sources, or maybe it was on my side as I had ran it through Handbrake to put it in H.265 format for storage. Not 100% certain, but my other movies have not had that issue after the same treatment, so just tossing it out there in case it is something in the files themselves. I did not detract for it, as I was uncertain of the origin.

All in all a great version of this movie, and so far my favorite that I have watched.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
A bit of background: I watch all the Star Wars movies once or twice yearly. This time and for the first time I began with The Force Awakens and went from the Rise of Skywalker to the Phantom Menace because I knew from the experience how bad it's to go to the new trilogy after The Return of the Jedi. Just finished watching the Episode I: Return of the Sith and oh boy how good it felt.

Now, I have watched this fanedit once or twice before many years ago and while it was good it never felt quite as good as it did this time. Other than the Podracing sequence it improves the original in every way. The pacing is very good and including some of the deleted scenes adds a nice flavor. The fanedit simply makes Phantom Menace into a very entertaining Star Wars movie.

For me, watching this after the sequel trilogy it's easy to say that Phantom Menace (at least through a good fanedit) is a better movie than any of the sequel trilogy movies. The Force Awakens is still good but it feels pointless to watch it because the trilogy itself is a wreck.

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Yes
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(Updated: November 26, 2019)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Pros:
- Less of the Gungans. Less of JarJar. Less of the bad CGi overall.
- No more cringy "Yippie" or "Oops" from Anakin. Less bad voice acting overall.
- No Midichlorians! This makes the Force way more like the Original Trilogy.
- More in tone with the OT in terms of humor and droid antics.

Cons:
- The added "deleted scenes" are SD/Low Quality. They do add greatly to the story though!
- The final battle vs Darth Maul is re-cut/changed. The battle itself was the best part of The Phantom Menace.

Conclusion:
THE BEST WAY to watch Episode 1 The Phantom Menace hands down! This edit cuts down nearly all the bad stuff from the original movie. It is and stays the Phantom Menace. You can't change that, but this edit comes as close to perfection for the movie from 1999. If this is your first time seeing TPM, or even if it's your 1000th time, i highly recommend this Edit. It's the best version of the movie. Most people tend to skip TPM on re-watching Star Wars. I say no more! Next time you watch Star Wars, do yourself a favor and watch this!

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I truly believe this is the best available version of this movie. As many already know and stated, the acting and actual shots are what they are, making the movie itself almost unbearable for me. Thiis edit however makes it the most fun possible. I did not think it was possible for anyone to make this film entertaining for me one more after all those years. I tried not to think of it as an edit and to enjoy it like this is the cut ment to be and I have to say there is little I would have done differently. Big thanks to seciors and big recommendation to watch for every star wars or edit fan.

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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