Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - Spence Final Cut

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Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1999
Original Running Time:
136 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
118 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
After 15+ years of noodling, I've finally landed on a version of the prequels that I prefer. The main concept is to fix AOTC, the weakest link that brings down the other two, and make TPM lead into it, and ROTS build from it.

The biggest problem I have with these movies isn’t necessarily the content. There’s some stuff I’m not crazy about, such as midichlorians and some of Anakin’s whiney, creepy behavior, sure. However, the biggest problem to me is in the minute to minute pacing. They just feel… weird? Off? Something’s not quite right in every single scene. The most egregious example is AOTC, where seemingly nobody talks like a human being, characters stand around clearly waiting for their cue, and much of the action mostly falls flat.

Even worse, the love story doesn’t work, partly because I think they focused on it way too much. The dialogue between Anakin and Padme is shockingly strange, but the chemistry between the two actors is definitely there. Just letting them spend time together would have sold it enough.

So I’m taking another crack at the Prequels, but I’m starting with AOTC, the biggest problem with the trilogy. Once I get that working, I can build up to it with TPM, and off of it with ROTS. The idea here is to go into every scene and remove that disjointed, stagey, unnatural feeling that permeates the film. Action will be pumped up and pacey, conversations will have that zing that they’re lacking, and the movie will move along at a steady pace.

There’s a lot of PT edits out there, and I’m not the most technically accomplished editor to tackle them. However, I think my particular knack for action and pace (I’m aware of my strengths as well as my faults) will make these stand out.
Intention:
Improve the pacing of all three films to feel more in-line with the originals. Flesh out the story and characters with deleted scenes and content from other Star Wars projects.
Other Sources:
Star Wars soundtracks
Special Thanks:
Artisdead
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
TPM is definitely the prequel that's in the best shape as far as acting, effects, and story. It's also aimed at a younger audience, and I didn't want to lose that in the process of editing. Huge attention is paid to the pacing of every individual scene, often just removing little gaps and pauses in dialogue to move things along. Action is re-edited to be more exciting, and character arcs are clearer. Deleted scenes were used to flesh out areas that were lacking.

This edit retains more of Jar-Jar and the Gungans than most TPM edits, though they receive considerable trims. I am of the mind that they exist for specific story reasons, and should remain as much as possible.
Cuts and Additions:
- Replaced 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm logos with the old 70’s versions (I do this on all my Star Wars edits)
- Removed Nute’s "As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal"
- Removed Nute’s first “WHAT?!” before “what did you say?!” to the protocol droid.
- Removed some of Qui-Gon being brought tea for pacing.
- Cut straight from Palpatine’s “Kill them immediately.” to the ship being attacked.
- Removed some battle droid dialogue.
- Removed some of Nute’s dialogue before the destroyer droids show up.
- Removed some stilted dialogue from the Amidala video chat.
- Cut straight to the army arriving after “a communications disruption can mean only one thing: Invasion”
- Trimmed Jar-Jar’s introduction to make Qui-Gon purposefully tackle and knock Jar-Jar to the ground instead of Jar-Jar jumping on him and being ridiculous.
- Removed “exsqueeeeze me”
- Removed some of the business of getting to Gunga city.
- Tidied up dialogue throughout Gunga City. No Boss Nass ticks save one irritated jowl shake, and no mention of the planet core.
- Removed planet core sequence.
- Move Jar-Jar’s explanation of being banished because of his clumsiness to just before they arrive at the city.
- Generally removed all of the “now there are two of them!” “we shouldn’t have made this deal!” “A Sith, here?!” nonsense at the end of the Trade Federation scenes.
- Removed Jar-Jar stepping in poop-eh and his ruckus in Watto’s shop.
- Removed Anakin’s “all my life” response to being a pilot. Just always sounded silly to me. He’s 9.
- All of the Anakin’s yippees, whoooahs, and oopses have been removed.
- 3PO has been completely removed from this film, as with AOTC.
- Toned down Jar-Jar’s reaction to Qui-Gon grabbing his tongue at the dinner table.
- Removed the sequence where Anakin’s crappy friends come by to be crappy to him.
- Cut straight from Watto and Qui-Gon’s chance cube scene to the racecourse.
- Trimmed up the intros and pageantry at the podrace to get to the action faster.
- Ben Quadrineros’ pod no longer stalls out in addition to Anakin’s.
- Lots of little nips and tucks to the podrace for pacing, including adding a portion of one of the deleted scenes.
- Inserted the scene where Anakin beats up Greedo, but removed the explicit mention that he is Greedo.
- Created a new transition shot of Shmi’s door to get out of that scene.
- Inserted the deleted probe droid sequence.
- Removed "Master Qui-Gon, I’m tired."
- Lots of small cuts to the Coruscant section of the film for pacing. It’s an important section of the plot, but it grinds the movie to a halt. Need to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.
- Midichlorians are gone, obviously.
- They no longer test Anakin by asking him what’s on their etch-a-sketch, which to me is a supremely stupid way to determine if someone should be a jedi.
- Maul is not shown again until Duel of the Fates, so the audience can forget about him for a little while till that reveal.
- Made everything Anakin and Jar Jar do a bit more deliberate throughout the ending so they’re not “accidentally heroes”
- Used Hal’s structure of moving the Queen capturing the Viceroy to after the control ship is destroyed.

This is a high level list, there are small trims, lines removed, shots rearranged, etc. through every scene. Again, I’m not doing anything revolutionary with this one, as to me this is still the best and most functional of the prequels. Just trying to smooth it over and remove some annoyances. while linking it up with AOTC.
Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1999
Original Running Time:
136 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
118 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
After 15+ years of noodling, I've finally landed on a version of the prequels that I prefer. The main concept is to fix AOTC, the weakest link that brings down the other two, and make TPM lead into it, and ROTS build from it.

The biggest problem I have with these movies isn’t necessarily the content. There’s some stuff I’m not crazy about, such as midichlorians and some of Anakin’s whiney, creepy behavior, sure. However, the biggest problem to me is in the minute to minute pacing. They just feel… weird? Off? Something’s not quite right in every single scene. The most egregious example is AOTC, where seemingly nobody talks like a human being, characters stand around clearly waiting for their cue, and much of the action mostly falls flat.

Even worse, the love story doesn’t work, partly because I think they focused on it way too much. The dialogue between Anakin and Padme is shockingly strange, but the chemistry between the two actors is definitely there. Just letting them spend time together would have sold it enough.

So I’m taking another crack at the Prequels, but I’m starting with AOTC, the biggest problem with the trilogy. Once I get that working, I can build up to it with TPM, and off of it with ROTS. The idea here is to go into every scene and remove that disjointed, stagey, unnatural feeling that permeates the film. Action will be pumped up and pacey, conversations will have that zing that they’re lacking, and the movie will move along at a steady pace.

There’s a lot of PT edits out there, and I’m not the most technically accomplished editor to tackle them. However, I think my particular knack for action and pace (I’m aware of my strengths as well as my faults) will make these stand out.
Intention:
Improve the pacing of all three films to feel more in-line with the originals. Flesh out the story and characters with deleted scenes and content from other Star Wars projects.
Other Sources:
Star Wars soundtracks
Special Thanks:
Artisdead
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
TPM is definitely the prequel that's in the best shape as far as acting, effects, and story. It's also aimed at a younger audience, and I didn't want to lose that in the process of editing. Huge attention is paid to the pacing of every individual scene, often just removing little gaps and pauses in dialogue to move things along. Action is re-edited to be more exciting, and character arcs are clearer. Deleted scenes were used to flesh out areas that were lacking.

This edit retains more of Jar-Jar and the Gungans than most TPM edits, though they receive considerable trims. I am of the mind that they exist for specific story reasons, and should remain as much as possible.
Cuts and Additions:
- Replaced 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm logos with the old 70’s versions (I do this on all my Star Wars edits)
- Removed Nute’s "As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal"
- Removed Nute’s first “WHAT?!” before “what did you say?!” to the protocol droid.
- Removed some of Qui-Gon being brought tea for pacing.
- Cut straight from Palpatine’s “Kill them immediately.” to the ship being attacked.
- Removed some battle droid dialogue.
- Removed some of Nute’s dialogue before the destroyer droids show up.
- Removed some stilted dialogue from the Amidala video chat.
- Cut straight to the army arriving after “a communications disruption can mean only one thing: Invasion”
- Trimmed Jar-Jar’s introduction to make Qui-Gon purposefully tackle and knock Jar-Jar to the ground instead of Jar-Jar jumping on him and being ridiculous.
- Removed “exsqueeeeze me”
- Removed some of the business of getting to Gunga city.
- Tidied up dialogue throughout Gunga City. No Boss Nass ticks save one irritated jowl shake, and no mention of the planet core.
- Removed planet core sequence.
- Move Jar-Jar’s explanation of being banished because of his clumsiness to just before they arrive at the city.
- Generally removed all of the “now there are two of them!” “we shouldn’t have made this deal!” “A Sith, here?!” nonsense at the end of the Trade Federation scenes.
- Removed Jar-Jar stepping in poop-eh and his ruckus in Watto’s shop.
- Removed Anakin’s “all my life” response to being a pilot. Just always sounded silly to me. He’s 9.
- All of the Anakin’s yippees, whoooahs, and oopses have been removed.
- 3PO has been completely removed from this film, as with AOTC.
- Toned down Jar-Jar’s reaction to Qui-Gon grabbing his tongue at the dinner table.
- Removed the sequence where Anakin’s crappy friends come by to be crappy to him.
- Cut straight from Watto and Qui-Gon’s chance cube scene to the racecourse.
- Trimmed up the intros and pageantry at the podrace to get to the action faster.
- Ben Quadrineros’ pod no longer stalls out in addition to Anakin’s.
- Lots of little nips and tucks to the podrace for pacing, including adding a portion of one of the deleted scenes.
- Inserted the scene where Anakin beats up Greedo, but removed the explicit mention that he is Greedo.
- Created a new transition shot of Shmi’s door to get out of that scene.
- Inserted the deleted probe droid sequence.
- Removed "Master Qui-Gon, I’m tired."
- Lots of small cuts to the Coruscant section of the film for pacing. It’s an important section of the plot, but it grinds the movie to a halt. Need to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.
- Midichlorians are gone, obviously.
- They no longer test Anakin by asking him what’s on their etch-a-sketch, which to me is a supremely stupid way to determine if someone should be a jedi.
- Maul is not shown again until Duel of the Fates, so the audience can forget about him for a little while till that reveal.
- Made everything Anakin and Jar Jar do a bit more deliberate throughout the ending so they’re not “accidentally heroes”
- Used Hal’s structure of moving the Queen capturing the Viceroy to after the control ship is destroyed.

This is a high level list, there are small trims, lines removed, shots rearranged, etc. through every scene. Again, I’m not doing anything revolutionary with this one, as to me this is still the best and most functional of the prequels. Just trying to smooth it over and remove some annoyances. while linking it up with AOTC.

User reviews

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1-3 stars
 
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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(11)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(11)
Visual Editing
 
9.8(11)
Narrative
 
9.4(11)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(11)
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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
 
8.0
A very well done fan edit. Going right into it the biggest fixes to me are obviously reducing Jar Jars antics, I am glad for this choice I don't think you can remove him without the movie becoming incomprehensible, but no stepping in crap and other annoying unfunny scenes are now gone.
Completely removing C-3PO was another favorite fix, Anakin may be a prodigy in the force and adept at piloting I will buy him building a pod racer as it ties in with his character; But building a humanoid robot I do not, it doesn't even tie into the story except for fan service.
Finally no medichlorines scene (hope I spelled it right) we didn't need it.
There are other scenes shortened and just improve the pacing without losing any information like most fan edits but Spence went further and removed lines of bad dialogue. This is where I'm torn now some removed lines were great like Anakin's wopee or shouts, those were fine, but I think certain lines come off as little jarring an example would be Jar Jar's "Excuese me" he now just goes "the most safest place".... these aren't deal breakers and most of the dialogue removed is good.
All in all I enjoyed this edit it I enjoyed it far more than the original and it comes recommended particularly if you didn't the movies more eyerolling moments.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: May 20, 2024)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I never thought an edit would make me even slightly like TPM, yet here we are. Watching this cut has been the least I've hated this movie in quite a while.

The most noticeable choice this edit makes is keeping more Jar Jar/Gungan stuff than most edits, and despite what it sounds like that choice is entirely to the movies benefit. Aside from the fact that Jar Jar's weirdness is the only sign of life in this dull movie, the Gungans are the sole carriers of this film's theme of unity, which is an important theme given that separation will lead to the galaxy's downfall in the subsequent 2 movies. Also, Qui Gon daring to mind trick a head of state just to save Jar Jar is a good early moment of characterization for him. All of this is lost in edits that ruthlessly cut Otoh Gunga and every spare moment of Gungan hijinks, and I applaud Spence for having the bravery to keep so much in.

The other qualities of this edit that need mentioning are the pacing and dialogue. Now yes, I know that improving pacing and trimming bad dialogue is usually the first priority among all prequel edits, but even in this competitive field Spence has truly outdone himself. He's imbued this movie with that great sense of flow that a good star war needs. This edit knows when to slow down and when to speed up, and it never drags or feels rushed. As for the dialogue, you can really tell that this was an important area of focus for Spence. He has turned what was once this trilogy's worst quality into mostly a non-issue. Don't get me wrong, you can only do so much with this crummy dialogue, but Spence has done a killer job at making it as least-distracting as possible.

There's only one major gripe I have with this edit, and that's the fact that there's no custom crawl. Hal's edits benefited greatly from having new opening text that did a much better job at getting me excited for the adventure to come. The fact that this edit had the same snooze-fest opening crawl as the original was a bit disappointing.

TPM has always been the least salvageable movie to me, because the characters are so devoid of traits and personality that no amount of cuts can make them fun to watch. That being said, Spence's edit is definitely the most fun I've had watching this movie, and it's an edit that does a great job at preserving what the original actually did good. For my future full saga rewatches, this will probably stay as my go-to TPM.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Your movie edit was great. Faster paced and minimal Jar Jar.
I didn't even realise C3PO wasn't around till I finished the movie.
The only thing I thought should have still been there is Qui-Gon's you will finish the race moment as it
gives us some insight into a Jedi's mentality.
Still this is better than the original.

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Yes
Format Watched
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is a review for all three of the Spence prequels, which I will copy and paste onto each of their pages, since what I have to say about the application of the editing process applies to all three.

First of all, the cuts, both visual and audio, are the most seamless of any of the fanedits I've seen thus far. For the most part, unless you know what was already there or not there, it plays out as though this is what was intended. I can't think of an overtly awkward cut. Greater care was taken here to overlap the dialogue and music on the cut or over a different shot, which helps remove that abrupt feeling some other fan edits tend to have when material is removed or scenes rearranged, and it also improves the performances and the pace. The movies move at break-neck speed, perhaps maybe a little too edit-happy, nearly every shot it seems is trimmed even if just a few frames at the beginning and end of the shot. It's okay to sometimes see the full movement of an action, it's okay to see a character thinking before they speak, or to let a moment breathe a little, and I don't necessarily understand some things that were cut or trimmed, however those are all minor personal differences I have with the edit, doesn't impact the skill on display, and it does not take away from the enjoyment (I'm just nitpicky because I've see the movies, in various forms, too many times). They are a vast improvement over the original versions. Knocking off nearly 30 mins from Attack of the Clones while still adding the deleted scenes is impressive.

Changes that stuck out as superior to other fanedits: The transitions of the scenes involving Anakin/Padme on Naboo; Palpatine's physical change in ROTS (still somewhat inexplicable but not much can be done about it except to leave it as is, which I honestly would be fine with); The handling of the gungans and JarJar; all of the battle scenes; removal of all dialogue during the Obi-Wan/Anakin Duel; I liked the added Anakin introduction from the Obi-Wan show; I think all of the Delegation of 2000 scenes were included here, while other edits use some or most but not all, I think they're all important and needed; C-3P0 is removed from TPM and mostly removed from AOTC, while inferred to be a different protocol droid through a change of voice in the brief scene he does appear in. Both those changes are welcome. However, I don't understand why some of his lines in ROTS were retained and others weren't. I don't know why he doesn't inform Padme that Anakin returned to the Jedi Temple while his line about "getting the hang of this flying business" (considering his removal from AOTC) is still there.

Changes I wasn't a fan of (this effected my rating for Narrative): The removal of dialogue informing us Anakin has never won or even finished a pod race. I understand there's awkward kid acting, but that information drives up the tension of the race and is needed; The removal of the asteroid scene in AOTC, sure it's unnecessary but it's fun and the seismic charges are cool; The conveyor belt scene is a little too short, could have still cut it considerably while keeping some of the tension of Padme's impending doom, or just remove it altogether; The birth scene in ROTS should have been left as is, including Frankenstein Vader. The reference is deliberate, and only his "NOOOOO" needs to be altered/removed, the intercutting is somewhat altered as well which diminishes the full impact of the scene IMHO.

Overall, these are now my current go-to for TPM and AOTC (though HAL9000's Approaching Storm is also a great edit, I think this one beats it if only for the way the Naboo sequence plays out), I think ROTS is a tie with DominicCobb's, there are things I prefer in each one, but I really like the new tone set by DominicCobb by using more music from the OT. In any case, great job to Spence! Clearly a skilled editor, I had a great time watching these. Thanks for your work!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
I think this is a great Phantom Menace edit. One of the best. It doesn't try to change too much of the original movie. This is for people who like Phantom Menace but wish it was a little better. Jar Jar is now a humorous character but not annoying. It think the pace is greatly improved and I like the addition of the deleted scenes. The edits and cuts are seamless. And that's coming from someone who has seen this movie tons of times.
My only complaint is that the planet core sequence was completely removed. I know a lot of people hate it, but I think they should lighten up. This underwater monster/action sequence is what Star Wars is all about. Personally I love the sequence. Qui-Gon saying "there's always a bigger fish" is iconic Star Wars to me. I have seen other fan edits streamline the planet core sequence and remove all Jar Jar annoyance and it works well.
Overall, this edit is better than the original. If this edit had part of the planet core sequence added back in, it would be a perfect edit for me.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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View all user reviews