Star Wars: Episode III - Labyrinth Of Evil

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(Updated: December 28, 2017)
Overall rating
 
9.2
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
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9.0
HAL9000 gives us a perfect conclusion to the trilogy. After his excellent Parts I and II, this Part III edit elevates the entire trilogy to a higher level through the Boleyn inclusion.
Does this make the Prequels a great story? Nope. Does this make a *better* story? Yes! HAL9000's Prequel trilogy is the only one you need.

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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

Well, it's been a long search for the perfect edit for ROTS. I'm now with Hal9000's indefinitely. There is so much that is so right here that I forgive the moments I'd take out, myself.....ROTS is a tough one to edit and please everyone, and some of the other attempts I've seen at editing this film try way too hard, others not hardly at all. This one finds a comfortable ground with familiar edits while at the same time delivering one of THE whopping masterstrokes of fanediting that I've ever seen.

Incidentally, I like pairing this film with L8wrtr's TPM and AOTC edits. That's my current "go-to" trilogy unless some mindbending new edit comes out.

The good:
***Of course, the economy of the edit takes out the corn and the silliness, and what's not to like there? There are a LOT of small cuts, but they all work and if you're not familiar with ROTS you'll not know they're gone. My personal favorite? The eternal dismissal of Obi-Wan's "...for DEMOCRACY!!!!!!" I remember laughing out loud in the theater when he said that.
***The 2nd-boldest move of the movie is the face-off between Windu and Palpatine. That's another scene with some got-to-go GL silliness ("HE'S the traitor, arrrrgghhh!") I get EXACTLY what Hal was going for here, and it does indeed work. It does sound odd, but I like the guts Hal had to try and realize the vision. That scene had far too much filler, dialogue, and needless suspense for my taste in its original form. Now we get right down to it.
***The focus on politics being Anakin's primary motivation for the turn works very, very well. I thought the Padme thing was always way too obvious and predictable, but with politics at the forefront his change becomes far more realistic and believable. Certainly politics has put people on weird sides of one another, especially during wartime. Padme's element is delightfully downplayed, to the point that when Palpatine says that line ("...save your WIFE from certain death") it has a huge impact, because we're so focused on the politics it makes Anakin's one dream seem trite, but then suddenly very important. Especially when Palpatine reads Anakin's trouble a little too accurately. Later on, when Anakin leaves Padme in the dust after the chokehold and rambles on to Obi-Wan about this and that, it fits right in with the Padme motivation being minimal against the power he craves. When Vader asks the Emperor post-surgery about Padme, it fits even better with the minimized arc - in other words, he feels guilty as hell.
***Padme as one of the instigators of the rebellion? Giddy-up! Why Lucas chose to delete this subplot is mystifying, but makes sense here in light with the above political motivations.

The hmmmmm.....(all minor nitpicks)
***OK, there are some lines that could still be easily excised. One of the most self-rightesouly laughable moments in the entire PT is Padme's "thunderous applause" bit. Spare us, please!
***Also, not the fault of our intrepid editor, but shouldn't 3PO's line be "I feel so.....USELESS?" Not "helpless"? Anyways, Hal, since you boldly dubbed the droid at the end, how about that line? I bet Anthony Daniels would do it for scale ;) That said, I love the battle droid voice removal. Now we have to tackle the entirety of the Clone Wars...
***I think it's OK to have more Wookies, and Yoda's interaction w/ Chewbacca definitely helps set the table for ANH and Obi-Wan "randomly" finding Chewbacca at the bar.
***Showing Obi-Wan sneaking onto Padme's ship in the closer shot works as in the original cut....there's no need for a surprise reveal.
***I wouldn't mind a little more dialogue to imply Obi-Wan's fate on Tatooine. While this would be tricky to edit around Padme's now non-demise, I liked that interaction.

and....the balls-out bold:
***That footage of Padme alive and cradling her infant daughter is amazing and I was bowled over at the audacity of the decision. It works even without the motivation being the plot hole fix from ROTJ. I like how so much is implied and the myth driven by images, not dialogue, in the film's final moments. Hal using his own voice for the mid-wife droid - again, bold and a hopeful sign of things to come with our wonderful editors and their tasteful decision-making. That finale, again, with Padme, is beautiful stuff. And...isn't it telling how Natalie Portman suddenly becomes a great actress when out fo the hands of GL?

Lots to admire overall in the cut. Lots of attempts have been made at ROTS, but I'm very pleased to have this one as my go-to. Again, quibbles are nitpicks, as the overall arc of the film is extremely powerful (especially when viewed after the Clone Wars).

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Owner's reply December 18, 2017

Wow. I want to thank you for the very thoughtful review. It's really something that you gave me a few things to chew on, after I thought I thought of everything. This edit's thrust was mashing up two ideas: Q2's (and The Cutter's) use of Boleyn footage to depict Padme surviving the film, and moving Anakin's (now sole) nightmare to after the introduction of his political motivations. Everything else followed, seemingly inevitably to my mind.
Again, thank you; you made my day by interacting with this work with such insight.
Interestingly, I've often heard people advocate for the inverse of your suggestion of L8wrtr's Episodes I and II and my Episode III. As far as I am aware, the two trilogies can be hot-swapped to the viewer's preference, with a slight wrinkle in the form of Padme's necklace.

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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
As I continue my search for the prefect prequel edits, I was happy to come across this excellent effort by Hal 9000.

Hal cuts down a great deal of the movie, which is very welcome. In my experience, I've never seen an edit that I thought cut too much. His reshuffling of scenes and his use of a deleted scene is quite effective.

Although I wouldn't make this choice myself, I love Hal's gutsy use of a scene from a different Natalie Portman movie to imply that Padme lived and raised Leia. I understand that his goal was to make the lines in RotJ make sense, about Leia remembering her mother but Luke not remembering her. Unfortunately, there's no explanation as to why Padme would raise Leia but abandon Luke. Mind you, no explanation is possible with the available footage. The script would have to be rewritten from scratch to accommodate this, so what could any editor do? So, again, even though I wouldn't do it myself, I'm glad that such an edit exists, both for the uniqueness of it and for those who choose it as the way to fix the PT's inconsistencies with the OT.

The video and sound quality are excellent, and the editing is seamless. I can see why this edit ranks so highly among Star Wars edits. It's definitely one of the best of the bunch!

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(Updated: January 16, 2017)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I think that the most improved film in the prequel trilogy of Hal9000's edits is Attack of the Clones. But by a landslide, episode 3 is the best one in his trilogy. I truly believe this to be a genuinely great Star Wars movie. I think that in his prequel trilogy, episodes 1 and 2 go from bad to enjoyable. But with episode 3, I'd say it goes from good to great with this fanedit :) I'll just list off the amazing things done to episode 3 by Hal:

-He restructured the narrative so that Anakin experiences his political/philosophical motivations for joining the dark side first and THEN we see him have his vision of Padme dying. This makes his fall to the dark side more believable and logical. It provides a more solid foundation upon which all of his brutal actions take place. So when Anakin begins murdering Jedi in this fanedit, as an audience member it is far more logical because of the reordering of some scenes.
-He reinstated the subplot of deleted scenes with Padme and her fellow senators. This adds political tension between her and Anakin and gives Padme something to do for this third entry in the prequel trilogy.
-Anakin never murders children. This makes his fall more gradual and makes Padme look like less of an idiot. Great change.
-All awful dialogue/scenes are removed. This speaks for itself. It helps quicken the pace of the movie and improves the experience.

But for all these great things I disagree with Hal on one decision he made in the end. That is of keeping Padme alive. I totally understand where him and many other faneditors are coming from. It completely solves the plot hole in Return of the Jedi. But it brings about issues that I can't ignore. The addition of footage from a separate film is distracting because of the distinct color grading differences. It also has us lose the tragic irony of Anakin killing exactly who he was trying to save. And we lose the awesome moment of Padme taking her last breath and Vader taking his first. Again, this ain't a problem with the edit. It's done very well, I just disagree.

But in conclusion, this edit is an absolute home run. I really enjoy popping this in and watching such an improved version.

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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I wholeheartedly recommend Hal9000's trilogy of Star Wars prequel edits. The editor does such a good job with the material that I honestly enjoyed all three movies. Trimming a lot of the idiotic, childish humor and shortening overlong battle sequences the films are more tight and show a kernel of greatness in the muck and mire of the prequels. Especially redeemed is the character of Anakin, who comes off less as a whiny brat and more of a tragic figure. Great job in every aspect!

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