Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker: Anti-Cringe-Cut

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Overall rating
 
7.7
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Oh boy...Star Wars prequels and now the sequels. The eternal debate/fight. Well, at least for the prequels we have a ton of fan edits, plus the Lucas' versions, so it's really hard not to find your cup of tea. Which means prequels are already saved. The sequels on the other hand, mainly episodes 8+9, have a long way to go, very few fanedit choices.

Before my review for this, I should state my brief opinion on the original so you know where I'm coming from. It had stuff I hated, stuff I was bored about and some stuff I enjoyed. My overall enjoyment was like a 3-4. I saw it once in cinema and never looked back. Before watching this I tried HAL's "Ascendant", which was a "restructure" type edit, but it didn't work for me, I needed an aggressive edit. Enter DonKamillo!

Technical wise, having also seen the Episode 8 Anti-Cringe, I was a bit dissapointed. In general the audio and visual edit was good, but as the movie progressed, especially at the section with Palpatine, the jump cuts where all over the place. And it was unnecessary, because the editor could have avoided all that if he had just left Kylo alone and not force-cut him.

More specifically, the scenes below are the ones that stood out a lot:
- Cutting Ray jumping above Kylo's ship at the desert. I mean, why? Is it better to see the ship crashed for no reason at the next scene?
- The sound of the lightsabers in Kylo's quarters where they "mind fight" with Rey. I read the reasoning behind this, but no. It was super weird.
- When Rey goes to the fallen Death Star by sea and Jannah said I'll take you there. Well, we just suddenly see Jannah and Finn at the fight for no apparent reason. In the theatrical cut we know Rey left by herself, but here they left all together, yet Rey is all alone and Jannah and Finn pop up before the duel.
- After Kylo gets the map and says "Look at yourself", the sound is almost cut off for like a second.
- I found the flashback dialogue between Luke and Rey after she stabs Kylo, a bit forced and unnecessary.
- One of my biggest problems, the fadeout of Han and Ben. I mean, that's how we end the arc of this character? A fadeout? That was a big no for me, which connects it to my next point.
- The whole ending scene that had to do with Palpatine, was "full" of jumpcuts and generally changes that where pretty obvious. Something that could have being avoided by keeping Ben there.
- And lastly, something that I mentioned also in Episode 8 Anti-Cringe, the green light in Luke's saber. You could tell it was added. I obviously understand the reasons behind it, but since I could tell, I wouldn't mind the other color.

Overall, I still suggest this version to anyone who wants an aggressive edit of Episode 9, Don's is the only one. I just hope the editor will revisit it to smooth some things out and change others. For me it will be my go to version, but that is because I don't have a choice and it's a shame not to watch the final film of the saga in a future marathon.

Thank you DonKamillo, thanks to anyone who read my review and may the force be with you!

P.S. I copy pasted some of my text from my review of the Episode 8 Anti-Cringe, because it applied here also.

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(Updated: December 31, 2020)
Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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7.0
Enjoyment
 
5.0
I owe DonKamillo a review for this one, but it's a hard one to quite put into words. His TLJ edit, though not my favorite, is really great work. This one... is as good as it gets? I'm of two minds; on one hand, I want to commend the effort to make something out of this cinematic malpractice, on the other hand, a corpse will eventually smell, no matter what you do.

As a fanedit, it's a valiant effort; small cuts to tighten the pace, trying to maintain continuity with the TLJ "Anti-Cringe Cut" and, well, that's the thing; The Rise of Skywalker is such a condensed disaster, I couldn't even tell you what has been edited in the movie without reading the list of changes.

I know, this isn't the most helpful review and it's not a reflection on DonKamillo's talent or efforts here; I just want to make sure that, if you watch this, you know what to expect. Some movies are so consistently bad, they're impossible to fix. It's a problem that, surprisingly, the Prequels didn't have, because for all their bad dialogue and questionable action sequences, you could tighten them up and come out with something enjoyable. TRoS is dense; you can't remove any major scenes without losing significant details and you can't space them out to breathe, because they never shot anything quiet or character-building. What DonKamillo does here, in effect, is cut out a lot of the extraneous information that don't contribute anything to the film, making it a little less of a headache. For example, Poe and Zorii don't know each other beforehand in this version of the film, which is good, but at the same time you can't cut out Zorii entirely, because her three minutes of screen-time are necessary to further what passes for a plot here, despite the fact that she's otherwise a superfluous character. That kind of thing.

From a technical perspective, the edit is good. I didn't really notice anything, it looks as pretty as it should with seamless transitions. The only bit that pulled me out was Luke's scene and his de-ghosting-- but I'm the guy that needs fifteen minutes to do a simple jpeg edit on Gimp, I'm not going to be the one to complain about this type of thing.

Ultimately, it's hard to rate the enjoyment of an edit like this, because the source material is just abysmal. I'd like to say that this is a better version than the theatrical, but I honestly never want to see anything related to TRoS in general, ever again. If, for some reason, you're enough of a SW fan to want to put yourself through this nipple-clamp of a movie again, then I can at least say that the "Anti-Cringe Cut" is the significantly less painful version of it.

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Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
After seeing TLJ in theaters I had no hope for this film and it still managed to be worse than my expectations. Whereas I would say theatrical TLJ was a worse individual movie, I would say TRoS was worse for Star Wars as a whole.

This edit does a valiant job of salvaging whatever could be saved from the abomination of its original plot. I watched this edit under the perspective of "The Crucible Canon" https://boards.theforce.net/threads/the-crucible-canon-merging-eu-and-new-canon-as-smoothly-as-possible.50053287/ and while I still think this is a bad film, I didn't end up furious after watching it.

A/V Quality: Perfect to my eyes, didn't notice anything there which gives this area a 10.

Visual Editing: While this area was still on the good side of things, I would recommend a Version 2 at some point with some touchups. As far as scene transition and the like go I'd give that a 10, however as Don made some much needed fixes to the narrative he was forced to add in some additional effects that are passable, but not perfect yet at an 8/10. Kylo's ship addition isn't extremely noticeable and I don't think a first time or casual viewer would notice, but it is slightly jarring when you do notice it. There's some room for improvement there. Regarding the Luke being alive fixes, I don't think it is at a believable level yet. However, from my perspective as I watched these scenes it seemed to me like Luke was still channeling an illusion to Rey, even on the island. If it is too difficult to make it look like he is actually there, I think keeping a ghostly but colored figure like he is currently in the edit might be the move if you run with that idea and touchup with that. Finally, regarding Kylo's death, when he stands up for his final scene you can see his stabbed area, but no flesh wound. Adding a simple mask and trace of the wound using footage from the theatrical version would be nice. Did a quick concept here: https://imgur.com/a/HReJkpB

Audio Editing: Some slight audio bugs could be hammered out but overall very good here, 9/10.

Narrative: This movie's plot is such a mess that I do not think it can be redeemed, at least until deleted scenes come out (if Disney ever allows it...). While much improved over the original, this movie still suffers from the plot moving at light speed. I cannot catch a breath in this film, and with the needed cuts to the major cringe in theatrical it makes this movie fly even faster. I loved the changes to Rey's storyline, but would take it even farther with Rey not taking the Skywalker name. She is, and always should be... Just Rey. And there are edits I've seen that do keep that intact. In this edit, it is slightly confusing why Palpatine is so interested in Rey, especially as a child in regards to the storyline of her parents. It's possible to explain this in the current cut, but something else needs to be in here for it to entirely make sense. I have also seen cuts that make Rey accidentally kill her own parents on the ship when she was a child which I think works better in showing her dark side temptations. Finally, I did love the Lando reveal a lot in this cut, but it was a little confusing as to whose body was under the tarp there. I didn't hear anyone say it was Leia, and if it was... TRoS is a year after TLJ so why is her body still under a tarp in the jungle? Overall, the narrative was good, and I'd even say it was believable as a plot, though the original content is so flawed I am working under that understanding. Oh, I would also highly suggest adding the "Force Ghost" edit from John into the next version of this, but I don't know if another version is even worth it without deleted scenes. Luke passing after helping Rey is fantastic too!

Enjoyment: Whereas I would've originally gave TRoS a 1/10 in the theater version, I would score the TRoS Anti-Cringe cut as a 6/10 film, which earns an 8/10 performance for this edit. Again, watching this edit under "The Crucible Canon" perspective that is linked above changes my perspective with this movie. TLJ had more cringe whereas TRoS had more terrible plot points, so I think this movie is harder to flip as well as you did with TLJ. It was A LOT better than theatrical and I do think it is a watchable film now, but one that could benefit greatly from a Version 2 with some fixes listed above.

TLDR;
A good edit and what I'd watch at this point. Improved over theatrical considering Luke isn't dead and the cringe and pure nonsense is gone so I'm not eye-rolling for 2 hours.. Could use a little touchup on audio in a few places, and needs a Version 2 on some video effects before being a passable "theatrical" version. Could use help from deleted scenes (if they ever come) and some small narrative adjustments.

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Owner's reply December 06, 2020

Thanks for the long and constructive review. Let's hope those Deleted Scenes are released at some point... ;)

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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This movie takes a confusing theatrical cut and turns it into a confusing edit, but in a different way. When I watched the original I kind of rolled with it. It has a few moments and a lot of meh. This edit doesn't really fix anything, it just moves the pieces around. Frankly, the whole Kylo Ren arch is the best part of this specific movie, and the way it's handled in the edit, with Rey killing him on the Death Star because of a distraction, is very, very anti-climatic. If I had my way I'd have a version with Kylo both turning AND surviving. Yeah, I'll leave others to wonder how to deal with that sucker. But I just hate that every dark-sider that turns needs to be killed off. I mean, where's the upside in turning to the Jedi's, then? If my prize is dying, might as well ride it out with the dark side.

I did enjoy watching the Rey scene with Palpatine as an alternative ending, but I think I prefer the ending with Kylo Ren in it. In any case, this move is pretty messy and pushes the good will of the audience. The edit, unfortunately, is unable to fix it properly. To summarize, I like the little edits that make the movie more watchable -still no Lea!-, but the big edit is where my biggest beef lies.

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Overall rating
 
8.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I'm just coming off the review for "The Last Jedi" as I watched both of these edits back to back. With the hurdles and hoops the editor had to jump through to make a cohesive story and bring it back to feeling like Star Wars again is something to be applauded. I understand some limitations with Luke on this one, and while it was a bit jarring I can't knock the editors on that as they had no hand in the filming aspect. Again this is the only version of the movie I'll watch from now on. I would really like to see this editor make an edit of "The Force Awakens" to see how they could weave the entire Sequel Trilogy together without any of the unneeded fluff.

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