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

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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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7.5
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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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(Updated: May 10, 2022)
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6.3
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(Quick words of note, this review will contain some spoilers for both The Rise of Skywalker and this edit. If you somehow have not watched either the original movie or this cut? I'd recommend doing so right now. Also this is a summarized version of a much longer review I made on originaltrilogy.com. If you would like to read the full review? Please follow the link here: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/FanEdit-Reviews-Post-Your-Reviews-Here/id/74322/page/9#1483342)

I felt like this was a necessity. I watched the Anti-Cringe Cut of The Last Jedi so it only made sense to also watch and review the Anti-Cringe Cut of The Rise of Skywalker, especially since it bills itself as a sequel to that edit instead of what I find is the norm for edits which is that they're designed to where you can watch it without watching the previous edit but watching the previous edit could enhance the viewing. Now quick thoughts on the previous cut, it really wasn't that great. It had some really cool ideas and moments and a lot of ambition but it suffered greatly from over-ambition resulting in very awkwardly done cuts, choices that put strict adherence to certain franchise "laws" over the story and characters and various decisions that resulted in more plotholes and contrivances than what was present in the source. That being said, that easily could be changed or improved upon in a sequel and since certain edits have resulted in these two being companion pieces to one another? I thought I might as well look at this.

And to give my general thoughts, this was... unfortunately a mixed bag. That being said, I’ll give it credit and state this is much better than the Anti-Cringe Cut of The Last Jedi, that it shows a ton of potential and that it makes a lot of choices that build off of that cut in ways that makes me soften my view of it at least in terms of when I look at these as two parts of a larger whole. There’s a lot of really impressive editing here that streamlines plenty of scenes in ways that don't disrupt anything, one particular edit involves altering Luke to where he looks more alive which is done so startlingly well with so few seams that it makes me really wish to see more editors take a crack at this concept and refine it and some of the scenes on their own bring really striking visuals like Ben fading with Han, the multiple Reys screaming as Palpatine steals her life-force and the image of Rey accepting the darkness in her by constructing a red lightsaber, making her one of the first Jedi I think to do so at least in this new canon. The movie also does a good job of maintaining most of the character arcs of our main trio.

However, it also has a ton of glaring negatives that really bring it down like the TLJ cut from editing choices resulting in wonky all over the place cuts that screw up the pacing and wind up calling attention to how it would’ve been better to just leave certain aspects stock for the sake of having the story flow more naturally such as what happens with Ben being taken out of the picture early which results in so much of Rey's fight with Palpatine feeling rushed, certain ideas just being either way too ambitious like cutting Rey's Force Jump to slice Kylo's TIE which results in quite possibly one of the worst instances of a PNG being edited over footage I've ever seen or it's not conveyed properly like with how it cuts out Kylo telling Rey she's a Palpatine to remove the connection but it doesn't remove the line about her having his power and it doesn't remove Kylo explaining that they're a dyad in the Force which in turn results in me feeling rather lost without the change list about if Rey was still a Palpatine in this or not. There are also a great deal of odd audio glitches and jumps and in one instance, the change of making Leia's blade yellow is not only incredibly noticeable but in the Exegol sequences the wrong saber gets colored yellow.

I applaud the attempts made to change things up more drastically than certain edits and unlike the previous, I will grant it that I didn’t end this viewing feeling kind of angry due to certain decisions made but overall? While it has tons of great ideas and I don’t feel like my time was wasted? This is far from being the ideal edit of this movie and I’m probably not going to be rewatching this ever again unless I can think up a good reason to. I do applaud DonKamillo for his efforts though and I hope he keeps on making more edits and that those who enjoy this edit keep enjoying it and that those who haven't seen it are willing to give it a try.

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(Updated: May 16, 2020)
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This was GREAT! I didn't realize how truly bloated TROS actually was, until seeing how much of it didn't really add anything at all. I thought the editor did a wonderful job of creating a streamlined story that both made sense and pushed the action forward. To be honest, it felt like a really well done hour long tv show that flew by. When watching the theatrical TROS, there was only one moment that made me emotional, and that was when Luke raised the X-wing, I could not figure out why I was emotional over that. My wife then said, "it's the music, the music is Yoda's music and you liked that part as a kid". There were several parts in this edit that had me tear up at the end. It was really quite perfect in the ways that actually count.
I think I could see and visualize the connective tissue that the editor wished he had to work with. There are scenes and call backs that I could imagine a scene added that would have full fleshed out the vision, but the editor only had so much to work with. AND WORK WONDERS HE DID.
the final battle is pretty much flawless, if someone had not seen the theatrical TROS final battle, I don't think they would be able to figure out that this was not the way it was intended to go. So many things just made so much more sense. I also liked that certain things and characters were left in, from a narrative standpoint they made sense. Seeing Babu Frik and Poe's relationship was really cool. I also didn't mind Rose, it made sense that she would be included in some way. Everyone just made sense. The amount of time they were given, where they came in at, and I especially liked seeing how much "fluff" was just removed all together. There were alot of scenes and characters and go-nowhere plot points that needed cut.
All in all, I cannot praise this edit enough. If you are a big Star Wars fan and enjoy fan edits, go out of your way to see this one. It takes the story in exciting, emotional, and fulfilling directions that are both surprising and engaging.
Thanks so much Don, awesome job my friend, truly awesome.

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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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