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

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As someone who actually enjoyed the sequels (Rise of Skywalker included) quite a bit, this edit is really solid. Most of my issues with the film came from the pacing of the first 2 acts and this edit pretty much fixes them in their entirety. Unlike some people, I don't feel like TROS was trying to "undo/fix" The Last Jedi, but seeing more references to it in the film was a welcome change as well and helps the story feel more connected. Rey having an an unstable lightsaber and the new puppet show depicting the end of TLJ were among some of my favorite changes. I must say I prefer the silent knights of Ren option, but I'm glad that there is an option at all for people who like it. I only had a couple nitpics with the edit that are things I think could have been improved upon. Kylo's new line of "you were right" doesn't really feel right. I completely understand why that change was made and the impression is serviceable, but for me it took me out of the movie since the voice didn't match. The second is the truncation of the Lightspeed Skipping scene as that was one of my favorite moments in the film and was really sorely missed when watching this edit. I have mixed feelings about the force ghosts standing behind Rey as while they are well integrated and its a cool idea, I feel like it takes focus away from Rey's triumph in the moment. In the end, this is edit was very much worthwhile and highly recommended to anyone who wants to see a better paced version of the film.

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(Updated: July 12, 2023)
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9.9
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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7.0
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Yes
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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Finished up our SW re-watch with this one (1-4-7, 2-5-8, 3-6-9).

HAL has once again done amazing work. The cuts are seamless; I usually noticed that things were missing after they were done, and would never have known that they were missing in the first place if I hadn't seen the theatrical cut. There's amazing work here, including the addition of a few lines from the Knights of Ren that give them a bit more of a presence. And the new closing shot looks amazing.

HAL has whittled out parts of the narrative that just don't work, as usual. Unfortunately, I happened to watch a negative review of RoS on YouTube just before watching this, so I was aware that even more could have been cut to improve the movie, and the cuts wouldn't have affected anything going forward. Of course HAL didn't see the same review, so he wasn't working based on that, but nonetheless I couldn't help but notice that more could have indeed been cut. (Ironically, what the film really needs is *added* scenes that explain things better, enhance characterization, and improve the pacing. But since Disney has yet to release a 4-hour cut of the movie, HAL did the best he could with what's available, adding a few shots here and there and slowing down the frenetic opening scene as much as possible.)

I loved:
--The shots of the Palpatine clones in the tank at the beginning.
--The moving of Palpatine's broadcast out of Fortnite and into a Rebel briefing scene.
--The removal of the mention that R2 can just automatically restore Threepio's memory, making his sacrifice more noble.
--Moving some sound clips of Palpatine into scenes with Kylo and Rey so that they appear to be hearing him.
--Moving the otherwise pointless cameo of the Ewoks into the earlier Endor scene.

I'm also impressed that he worked in cues for "Duel of the Fates" and the droids' theme from Ep. I, although I admit I didn't catch them during the actual viewing.

To sum up, it's difficult to come up with a really good movie out of what's available for RoS. But HAL did his usual expert job, and until or unless Disney gives editors more footage to work with, this is reasonably the best edit one can hope for, to have a satisfying end to a SW viewing marathon.

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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
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10.0
Before watching from start to end, I saw a few random scenes from the edit and read about some of the changes. While I noted multiple improvements and interesting choices right away, I wasn't 100% on board, as changes were also made to some aspects of the film that I liked. Also, not all alterations felt that necessary to me personally. But that's the case with all fan edits anyway.
Overall, I must admit that the edit definitely makes a good movie noticeably better. Next time I want to experience Episode IX, I will consider which version I feel like watching. Looking forward to V2 as well. Happy to see when Star Wars community is doing something really useful, interesting, impactful and positive for a change. The project felt to me like it came from a place of love and passion first, not annoyance and/or disappointment. I might be off here, but I hope I'm not :)

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
For future viewings of the Sequels, this cut will be my choice over the official blu-ray (nothing against the people who worked hard behind the scenes).

I love all the work that done in this cut. I applaud all involved in this massive project.

Side note: If ever there were to be a v2, I'd love to see it.

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