Review Detail

8.4 7 10
Overall rating
 
8.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
TM2YC plainly states that his intention for his PT edits was "to make good versions of these films that still felt like the same films in essence." Furthermore, an important goal was to make "a true SW film [that] should give you around 2 solid hrs of entertainment."

In some aspects, I feel he succeeded; in others, I believe the source material was just not there for him to achieve his goal.

It is from this perspective from which I have chosen to review this edit, and thus while I do have some detailed criticism, I feel it mostly is due to the poor source material that failed the editor, as opposed to the editor failing the source material.

VIDEO/AUDIO QUALITY - 9

This edit is presented in HD, with most of the deleted scenes included. For the most part, video quality was excellent; TM2YC did a fantastic job in upscaling and recoloring most of the deleted material; there were only a few places where I felt I could notice a difference in quality. But I was very impressed with his work in this area. The only noticeable non-HD part was actually the very beginning, where the edit used some non-HD introductory title card and fanfare material, I'm guessing to give the movie a throwback feel. For me it stood out a bit too much though. However, this is a minor point and quickly forgotten once the actual movie started.

With regards to audio quality, it was fine (though surround sound would have been a nice addition). However, the only problem with the audio I noticed was during some of the deleted scenes -- in some cases, voices seemed to have a raised pitch, which implies to me that the frame rate for the deleted scenes didn't get properly converted to what the main movie's frame rate was. The most noticeable voice change to me was C3P0's during the morning of the pod race.

The length of these moments were short though, and since the video quality was so good, I hesitate to mark the overall quality down any further than I already have.

VISUAL EDITING - 9

For the most part, the visual component of the editing was well done. There were a few noticeable issues such as transitions that happened a bit too fast (a few did seem to start before the last line of dialog had ended), and one scene during submarine chase seemed to have a couple frames that stood out. Finally, I think it would have been nice to fix the visual continuity problem from the original footage when Qui-Gon falls after being struck down by Darth Maul (the next time we see him he is in a completely different position). A minor issue, and not really caused by the editor. Just something that I like to see fixed in fan edits. :-)

AUDIO EDITING - 8

In terms of technical editing, I feel this was the weakest area of the edit, but not terrible by any means. However, there were places that had noticeable audio cuts (usually coinciding with the video transitions), but not always. There were a few moments where dialog got cut off a bit too quickly (or not quick enough), but very few. (I think the most obvious one is when the announcer during the pod race says it is the third and final lap -- half the line is literally cut out.)

Generally speaking, I think the attempt to "remove" the presence of the Queen (when Padme was onscreen) led to the most noticeable problems for both audio and video.

Finally, (and this is true of other fan edits so TM2YC is not alone in this), while I understand the desire to remove Anakin's line "Now this is Pod Racing!" as well as perhaps one of his celebratory cheers, this happens to be during the main star wars theme, and without fully re-scoring this section with replacement music, it becomes a very obvious edit point (and kind of hurts the powerful effect the full theme has at this climactic moment).

All in all though, editing Star Wars audio is a very, very tough thing to do, and so I am willing to cut the editor some slack in this area. :-)

NARRATIVE - 7

While I understand and appreciate TM2YC's desire to create a "full length" Star Wars movie that is actually also a good movie, I believe the material is just not there to accomplish this satisfactorily without trying more radical approaches.

There were some good changes done which I greatly appreciated -- Jar Jar's antics are for the most part removed. All of Anakin's yipees are gone, and only one "oops" remained, which I can live with.

However, I unfortunately had problems with some of the other key narrative choices.

The biggest problem for me was the attempt to remove the Queen/Padme ruse that was very much integrated into to the original storyline. While TM2YC did an admirable job in trying to make this work, I feel there just isn't enough source material to really explain this without being confusing to the audience.

I do understand the desire to remove this seemingly silly plot line (though personally I don't have a problem with it), but I just haven't seen a way to do this without causing narrative damage (as well as noticeable editing issues, as mentioned previously). Seeing the Queen in her full costume and makeup, and then seeing Padme dressed as a peasant who talks and acts very differently, made it very difficult to really feel like they are the same person.

Perhaps the biggest incongruity happens when Padme/the Queen asks the Gungans to help, and in at least one shot we can see the fake Queen in the background. This entire scene could have been easily removed by using Jar-Jar's subtitles to explain he has successfully gained support of the Gungans when he returns from the underwater city (he is the Prince, after all...). Which leads me to....

The second narrative issue for me was the use of (or really non-use of) Jar-Jar. TM2YC made the decision to use subtitles for the Gungans, which should have freed him to make much more bold choices with regards to Jar-Jar and especially the visit to the Gungan City. However, beyond calling Jar-Jar a Prince and being Boss Nass's son, there really was nothing different about Jar-Jar, as most of his appearances were cut out anyway (with good reason of course, since most of his appearances after the underwater city are poor attempts at comedy).

I think the biggest problem was having an extremely shortened visit to the Underwater City. The visit seemed to last less than a minute, and merely involved Jar-Jar asking the first person they meet for a submarine, which he gets because he is a Prince. Then they are off and away in the submarine. From a narrative perspective, I'm not sure what this sequence added, beyond a bit of length.

Third...the pod race. Beyond the very basic plot points of Anakin needing to win for the money to repair the ship, as well as Qui-gon's bet to win Anakin's freedom, the pod race serves no narrative purpose. Perhaps some people really enjoy the pod race and can't get enough of it. For those people, this edit will make you happy, since the pod race lasts a full 15 minutes! For me, however, I found this to be a bit boring to watch (though I do admit I ended up seeing pod race footage I never have seen before, which was interesting to some extent!)

I wonder...why use the pod race to fill up time when instead TM2YC could have tried to use the visit to the Underwater City, as he had already made the choice to subtitle the Gungans and thus could really change the plot line and truly make something out of Jar-Jar's character (and the Gungans) given the freedom the subtitles might have provided.

The final problem I had with the narrative was the partial removal of the midichlorians. I say "partial" because the scene where Qui-Gon tests Anakin's blood is left fully intact, except for mentioning midichlorians by name. This ends up being a red herring at best, as Qui-Gon states he is checking for infections, and then Obi-Wan reports the "levels" (of something unnamed) are off the charts. I think the goal was to imply that the "something" is what makes Anakin turn to the dark side, but this is only implied by some musical cues that are part of the next scene, which and since they are part of the next scene, it is not clear whether the editor intended this musical cue to be meaningful for the prior scene or not. And there is no other mention of these levels or their meaning ever again. I really think it would have been better to either keep the midichlorians (yes, I know it's blasphemous, but is it really that much worse than the Virgin Birth?) or cut that part of the scene out completely. While I dislike the midichlorians, they do fit into the narrative of the original plot line.

However, with all that being said, the narrative still works well in many other places, and the 23 minutes removed from this edit were minutes I certainly do not miss in the least bit!

ENJOYMENT - 6

Enjoyment is obviously a purely subjective issue. While I really, really wanted to enjoy an edit of TPM that was of "full Star Wars" length (and this is really why I wanted to watch this edit -- to see if it could be done, and I was really rooting for it to be true), in the end, I cannot say I enjoyed this version as much as I wanted to. Beyond the aforementioned Narrative issues, I also personally do not care for the Virgin Birth, The Chosen One, and Palpatine-as-Sith-Lord being a bit too easy to figure out so early in the PT. I also felt that fiddling with the Queen/Padme plot kind of hurt the relationship building with Anakin.

However, with all that being said, I do feel there are some very nice elements about this edit, and I greatly appreciate TM2YC's effort and skill in making this attempt to provide us a 2 hour version of Episode I. I am sure there are those who will enjoy this edit more than I have, and I'm glad for that. After all, like I said, this is a very subjective category, and you can't please everyone!

NOTE - My enjoyment rating for the original release of Episode I is probably around a 4. So TM2YC's edit certainly is an improvement over the original, from my perspective!

OVERALL RATING - 7

Overall, I think TM2YC did an admirable job, even if I found it to be a bit problematic in certain areas. Again, I want to stress that this is not the editor's fault, but rather a noble goal thwarted by the movie itself. And again, the movie itself, in my opinion, is just not very good, and it is difficult if not impossible to make an edit of this movie that can stand up along with the OT.

Good Job, TM2YC, on your first edit, and I look forward to seeing future works by you, as you clearly have editing talent that will only get better with more experience!

User Review

Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply July 18, 2013

Thanks for the detailed feedback Seciors, must of taken you ages lol.

Re the opening titles in SD. When I did these edits I was unaware that Harmy had done such an amazing job on these, otherwise I would have cut them in, rather than the GOUT source I used.

Re the length. It was never my intention to make these edits 2 hours by padding them out (2 hours was always a secondary goal). My philosophy for appraoching these edits was improving character and enjoyment. Most other edits are focused on streamlining narrative. Just because something 'could be taken out' I wouldn't remove it, if I was enjoying the scene or it did something for our perception of the character. I've got 60% through a 30 minute edit of TPM just to prove this point to myself (And for comedy value). Even at 90/60 minutes there is a huge amount of redundancy in TPM, so removing it just for the sake of it seemed like a pointless goal.

Re the podrace. I'm aware that perhaps a majority of people seem to find the Podrace boring. I'm not one of them. I think it is an absolutely thrilling experience from start to finish. It's only 15 minutes because there wasn't 20minutes of material lol. It's not that length to pad things out in any way. For me it was always the best bit in TPM and I just cannot understand how people are bored by it.

Once again thanks for the feedback and please have a watch of parts 2 and 3.

p.s. Don't think you mentioned Anakin. Did you find him more likeable? e.g. Doesn't stall his pod, joins the space battle on purpose etc

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Comments

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July 20, 2013
Hi TM2YC,

First, I just want to re-iterate that even though I didn't fully enjoy the edit as much as others did (and it is obvious others very much like your edit, as I suspected they would!), I did feel you displayed some very strong editing talent, especially this being your first released edit!

I can understand if you might be disappointed by my overall rating; and perhaps since I am so familiar with the material, it is harder for me to not notice certain narrative elements, as I already know about the vast number of problems inherent to the original narrative! And I did enjoy your edit more than the original at least! :-)

I completely respect your opinion about the Pod Race, and like I said in the review, I'm sure there are those that really like the pod race (which is why I specifically said those people will really be happy about this, since most edits remove most of the pod race!).
For me, the pod race is just not that interesting because it feels repetitive (three laps, lots of the same techniques displayed, two similar times where Anakin is in trouble and has to fix his ship) and the payoff is kind of minimal since Anakin is the hero of the movie, and it's hard to think he would actually lose the race. It's also heavy in CGI characters, which just triggers a sore spot regarding Lucas' seeming wish to replace all humans with CGI.
One thing I forgot to mention which I really did like in your version of the pod race is that you let SelBulba's fate be undecided (which is probably death). Instead you keep us focused on Anakin's triumph, which is how I think the pod race should end!

Let me be more clear about what caused my lower rating in terms of enjoyment; the pod race barely was a factor (that probably only counted for a half a point.) It mostly was your decision to try and remove the Queen/Padme plot. I just think it is so embedded into the source material that without taking a radical approach like lukeburrage did in "The Silent Menace," you have little room to make it work effectively, without causing noticeable edits and/or discontinuities. And I personally think it negatively impacts the Padme/Anakin relationship (though I don't know if that's something that was important to you or not, which is why I didn't mention it in my review).
I hope that makes sense, as it is not intended as a criticism, only a comment on an approach that I feel is very, very hard to accomplish; and I am not really sure why it is important to the narrative for this subplot to be removed. So, this narrative choice probably counted for 2 points, because I feel it just had broad repercussions on the narrative and editing (as I tried to describe).
1/2 to 1 point goes to the abbreviated Underwater City visit (which I talked about already in my review). The final 1/2 to 1 point goes to the accumulated other issues that I just subjectively dislike (Virgin Birth, The Chosen One, most of the talking droids, the danger of people realizing Palpatine is up to no good so early in the PT, and perhaps some minor other issues here and there.)
While I didn't mention it in my review, something I DID enjoy is your inclusion of the final celebration as a way of ending the movie; in my opinion, this is really the best way to end Episode I, and so I really liked that you chose to do that, as a lot of editors choose to end on the Funeral scene, which I am against.

To address your question about Anakin and his like-ability. You did make Anakin a stronger character by the choices you mention. Truthfully though, I really don't think Anakin in Episode I is not "likeable." His acting is bad and he comes off as immature in some places, and that's really the big problem that needs to be addressed. I did mention that you took care of the worst aspects of this with the yippees and oops's. There were some other moments you could have removed that most editors do (for example "you mean *I* get to ride in your starship??" and "You've been a grrreat pal!"...stuff like that) , but essentially I don't think they were that big a deal. You did a fine job in this area.
So to answer your question -- yes, I found Anakin more like-able as compared to the original movie. But really, Anakin's like-ability problem is much more an issue in Episode II and III. And the level of Anakin's like-ability in Episode I to me is less important in terms of enjoyment than other factors. For example, addressing Jar-Jar is MUCH more important, which you did successfully (with regards to getting rid of all his stupid antics).

Hopefully this is a satisfactory answer to your question.

I do plan on watching your other edits, and I'm glad to hear your Episode III will be available soon, since l suspect that in order to truly appreciate your approach, one needs to watch all three of your edits to understand what you are going for in terms of story. Episode I by itself is just not enough to really grasp how you are going to deal with the bigger picture of Palpatine/the Sith, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme. I briefly read through your Episode II changes and it seems like that edit should be very interesting as it aims to address all of these issues.

Again, congratulations on your first edit -- you truly showed some real skill and talent!
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