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

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(Updated: December 31, 2020)
Overall rating
 
8.4
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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7.0
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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
 
8.2
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
Narrative
 
5.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
After watching DonKamillo's The Last Jedi edit I was super excited to see how more changes could be made with TROS. It's a fantastic effort with lots of great cuts. Admittedly, you're stuck with whatever footage you have and with limited visual adjustments possible.

Overall it's really great and WAYYYYY better than what we got in theaters. Leia stays dead since his TLJ edit, Luke is alive but on Ach To, and some of the fan service is really cut down. I love how Lando just shows up at the end because why would be be around earlier? There's a better arc for Kylo/Ben and he doesn't show up AT ALL vs. The Emperor-- and it works! My biggest joy was how DonKamillo made Palpatine spread a message throughout the galaxy, indicating his return, and Poe's line about SOMEHOW he returned is gone. Sheesh.

I do still have some issues but they're actually pretty minor. Changing Luke from being a Force ghost to still alive was tough and the visual isn't 100% convincing. Also Leia's lightsaber was changed to yellow in the flashbacks (cool idea!) but at the end battle its blue with the repaired Anakin one made yellow. A visual mistake but one this Star Wars geek noticed right away. I would have made a few more edits myself-- removing Rose completely, erase a few pointless lines and jokes, and adjusting some visuals. But overall this is a great job and my definitive version.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
7.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
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8.0
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7.0
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7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
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.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
7.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This was a fascinating edit. Having to stick to the decisions made in the previous edit created my biggest issues with this edit... Luke. I'm impressed with what was done, but sadly it's not enough. A new viewer would simply wonder why Luke looked funny and glowy. It's a shame that Lucasfilm gave us no deleted scenes to resource from because the ideas here are sound.

I never minded the Indiana Jones in a Star Wars movie moments, but I admit it works better without it.

My favorite aspect is the treatment/bookend to Kylo in this. That single piece of editing was worth the entire watch. Such a powerful idea, and it simply worked.

Don's editing of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker even gave me some ideas to tinker with on my own.

Like the previous entry, it's totally worth a look. It's edits like this that make this community so much fun!

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Yes
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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 was not a huge fan of the original ROS as I felt, though entertaining, was an overblown, pandering, hyper mess. I could not wait for a fanedit. I have seen a few but none had the nerve to use bigger scissors to cut this mess down. Thank you DonKamillo for making an aggressive stab at this. So much dreck has been cut away, motivations changed and unnecessary subplots cut that I just did not miss. I highly recommend this along with his The Last Jedi for a unique perspective on these very flawed films.

I agree with most of the reviews I have seen and the editor cannot fix everything without access to outtakes and alternate footage so I cut him some slack. To me this edit succeeds on all counts. Thank you for another winner.

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Yes
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