Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise Of Skywalker: Ascendant

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Overall rating
 
9.1
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10.0
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10.0
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7.0
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6.0
Finally the last one, the end of my HAL9000's SW marathon.

On a pure editing and technical level, this is really impressive and can't be praiseed enough. From the force ghosts, to the SFX add-ons, and scenes ajustements. Everything works great, pretty stunning work from everyone involved.

On the other hand, it's by FAR the weakest SW in my opinion. The story doesn't make sense (looks a like a bad video game side quest), there's a lack a tension and epic scenes especially considering it's last one. Everything is written in reaction to the previous one, so it ruins the trilogy continuity...

You've done great work, as always, but I think this one can't really be saved, just better. Unlike the prequels (contained great stories but badly highlighted), it is a mediocre movie and a bad SW in his very core,

If I had to watch it again, you edit is clearly the way to go. But I don't think I will.

This review comes after two weeks of binge-watching your 10 fanedits (Rogue One included). And I can't thank you enough for all your hard work enhancing and sometimes saving thoses great childhood memories.

Your work is from now on, my official Skywalker Saga. Can't wait to watch them again.

Thanks for this great edit (even if the movie is really mid I think), and french subtitles as always.

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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
An often subtle but absolutely brilliant collaborative effort. This edit shows a lot of love for the material and great care, thought and effort is displayed throughout. This is TROS at its best and easily replaces the original for me.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
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
I gotta hand it not only to HAL but all the talented members of OriginalTrilogy.com, they managed to make Rise of Skywalker satisfying! All of the little details:

-Removing telegraphed plot points

-Allowing the audience to breathe, by slowing the pace/creating quiet moments

-The Palaptine Clones/Earlier set up of Spirit Posession

-Why Kylo reforges his mask

-The Sith whispers in the Dagger instead of the compass

-The fleet at the end shouting "We believe in you Poe" & "For Skywalker"

-Leia's purple lightsaber

-The Force Ghosts fighting Palpatine

-The new take on both "Rey Skywalker" & how Rey finishes the trilogy with her friends

All this and more gives Rise of Skywalker a fresh coat of paint, put oil to lube up the mechanics, and lets me look at this movie through fresh eyes!

The only reason It's not a perfect 10 across the board is because the lack of the Star Destroyers actually using their cannons can't help but spit in the face of the Checkov's Gun rule of screenwriting. Maybe if it were implied that the lasers on the Star Destroyers were only as powerful as the Death Star blast on Jeddah like in Rogue One, that would be easier to swallow/more satisfying.

Aside from that, here's what I'm hoping to see in V2 of this edit:

-The Lightsaber crackle to Luke/Anakin's lightsaber to make it more like Kylo's (excellent visual symbolism)

-A Finn voice double replacing "Rose, please. Go," with something along the lines of "Rose, I'm saving what I love" or "Rose, you must survive" (which could easily be done, since we only see the back of John Boyega's head, you could totally ADR it in). Partly because I feel so bad for Kelly Marie Tran, mostly because this would help create more connective tissue between this film and Last Jedi. I know that line's not in your edit of The Last Jedi, so I guess I'm saying, hey HAL, you know anyone who can do a good Finn impression? :-)

-I would love for Leia's Force Ghost to show up against the showdown with Palpatine. After he says "I am all the Sith," you could show Leia's body becoming one with The Force, then superimpose footage of her in space from Last Jedi (since that both shows her opening her eyes after a long sleep, as well as holding her hand out to use The Force). Would make an awesome moment feel even more complete!

-A Rey Palpatine Alternative. I don't think straight up cutting it and replacing it with nothing works, otherwise the film has no Midpoint to anchor Rey's change of character from all-loving hero to single-minded & rage induced. Right now, my best guess is to get a Kylo soundalike to say "You don't just have power; You have ALL their power," and reveal that Rey is genetic hybrid created from all the Galaxy's best known Force Users. Heck, even changing "you're his granddaughter" to "your his creation" would go a long way in tying her to Palpatine while simultaneously making Rey still feel like her own person, if that makes any sense.

In any case, HAL and OT.com have done the impossible: they made me want to watch the entire Sequel Trilogy in full at least one more time. And that's not nothing!

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Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
So I have a very complicated relationship with Rise of Skywalker. When I first watched it, after hating the first 20 minutes of the movie, I actually really enjoyed it and had a blast watching it in theaters despite having tons of problems with the movie, but as time went on those issues started to annoy me more and more. When it came out on Blu-Ray, I watched it again and while I still enjoyed watching it in the moment, mere hours after I finished watching it I started to dislike it a lot. The last time I rewatched the movie in its entirety was when I tried to make my own fan edit of the movie, and that was when my hatred for Rise of Skywalker was cemented. Since then, around 2 years ago, not only have I been unable to watch Rise of Skywalker I have become unable to watch even the first 2 of the sequel trilogy despite really enjoying Force Awakens and adoring The Last Jedi. I’ve been interested in a few edits of Rise of Skywalker, and also a few 3-in-1 edits of the sequel trilogy, but I could never bring myself to watch them. However this year several things have reinvigorated my interest in Star Wars, and I really wanted to be able to enjoy the sequel trilogy again. I’ve been debating whether or not to try an edit of Rise of Skywalker for some time and there have been a few I’ve been interested in, but I thought that if any edit would be able to fix the film it would be Rise of Skywalker Ascendant, and since version 4 has been completed I decided to start here. I know that’s kind of a long preamble before actually reviewing the edit, but I really needed to write it so I could fully give my thoughts on the edit itself.

Despite making some of the best Star Wars edits out there, I wasn’t sure that even Hal9000 would be able to salvage the movie but I knew that if anyone could it would be him. Still, I was very nervous before watching the edit, and thankfully I had no need to be hesitant. I can gladly say the film has been almost completely salvaged for me. The edit isn’t significantly shorter than the theatrical edition, only around 4 minutes, but despite that, the film works way better. There’s been so many awful lines and cringy moments cut, such as “Somehow Palpatine returned”, “They Fly Now” and the line about the Holdo maneuver, and a ton of little additions to the film that massively improve the film, such as some added lines of dialogue for the Knights of Ren, and a few AI line replacements, and they’re almost all completely seamless. In fact, I believe that if you showed this edit to someone who’d never seen the film before they wouldn’t even be able to notice that this is a fan edit. I watched the Rey Nobody version of the edit, which is slightly shorter than the regular cut, 4 minutes shorter, and before watching it I didn’t realize how much I hated her being a Palpatine, and that so many of my issues with the movie stemmed from that choice. I thought I was OK with her being a Palpatine, that her arc still worked really well, and that it was mostly other things that made me so dissatisfied with the film, but now I can never go back to watching the theatrical edit, or any edit of the film where Rey remains a Palpatine for that matter.

Now for the technical aspects of the review, I didn’t notice any issues with the video, I watched the 30-gig 1080P version of the movie and it looked really good I didn’t notice any issues. The video editing is also pretty much flawless I didn’t notice any cuts. Audio editing is also nearly flawless, there were 2 or 3 AI line replacements that I could tell weren’t in the original cut, and the audio during the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren on Endor sounded like it was peaking a bit, but other than that nothing of note was out of place.

However, nothing is perfect and there were still some things that I’m not a fan of that remain in the movie. Some of these are nearly impossible to change, such as the Chewie fake-out death and Rose barely being in the movie, and there were some minor issues I still had with certain lines of dialogue and character moments that could be changed but weren’t, such as Poe flirting with Zori Bliss, and the Lando and Jannah scene, although these I excuse as being down to personal preference. I’m also still not a fan of the final scenes on Tatooine, although the additions to the scene in this edit make me no longer wish it wasn’t in the film.

Also like I said before I watched the Rey Nobody edit which so drastically improves the film that I can no longer watch any edit where Rey remains a Palpatine. Now when I finish the movie I’m no longer thinking about all of the problems and issues that drag it down, I’m thinking about how much better the movie is and how it’s now a film I can enjoy with little reservation. I cannot thank Hal900 and the very many collaborators who helped with the edit as it has now not only replaced the original version of the movie, which to be fair isn’t that hard given how awful I find the theatrical cut is. While I still have my issues with the film, and it’s still my least favorite of the trilogy, this edit has completely salvaged the movie and now the entire sequel trilogy for me. I can finally watch all 3 movies in the sequel trilogy without dreading getting to the ending, and I can't wait to do so.

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Yes
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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
As always, Hal brings the best. Not his most ambitious cut, but it still manages to improve upon the original and actually create a fun watch. I still had plenty of plot questioning after viewing, but in the moment I actually had a fun time and didn't roll my eyes too much. There were some really brilliant moments here, love the inclusion of the group to the final tatooine visit.
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