Sunday, August 1, 2010

Star Wars Episode I- Attack of the Federation (A Fan Edit)

I have something to admit. This isn't easy. Here goes. I loved the Star Wars prequels. Not as much as the original Star Wars Trilogy, but I still enjoy them immensely. When Episode I was released I was one of the cats in line for the midnight showing. Then, I went back for the 8 a.m. showing. I also have to admit that I don't mind Jar Jar. I don't love the character, but I don't spew the vitriol that others do. I mean think about it, we could be living in a world with no new trilogy. That would probably mean no Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, no Darth Maul and we wouldn't have gotten to see the baddest of badass MoFo's Samuel L. Jackson wielding a lightsaber (unfortunately he went out like a punk in Episode III).

That being said, I did have issues with some of Lucas' choices. I never did like the fact that the Battle Droids could talk. I probably wouldn't have minded it if their dialogue weren't so horrible. Also, the talk of Midichlorians and virgin births was also something that bugged me. Don't even get me started on the announcers during the Pod Racing scene. They were not funny at all and just looked really silly. The real killer though, was the pacing. A lot of (in my opinion) unnecessary scenes just brought the film to a crawl at certain points.

Thankfully, someone was just as bugged about these issues also; so much so that they made their own cut of the film that, I have to say, I like a lot more than the official version. It's known as a Fan Edit, which is a "new take on existing movie material created by video artists. Anything can be changed, improved, restructured for a different watching experience and only the sky is the limit." This particular edit is known as Episode I- Attack of the Federation and was done by a video artist named JASONN. According to the video artist, this version "combines the best aspects from other TPM fanedits along with the faneditor's own concepts/edits to create a definitive version of "The Phantom Menace".

JASONN's cut is now going to be my preferred go-to version of the film when I feel like watching Episode I. All of the issues (and a lot more) are literally cut out of the film. Now, Battle Droids don't speak (save for one scene in the film), which makes them feel more threatening rather than being incompetent and annoying. Gone are the announcers and a lot of Lucas' (Jar Jar) weak attempts at humor. The film was cut by 30 minutes and 2 minutes of deleted scenes were added into the film. To give you an idea of all of the changes, here is the cutlist from the films page:

*Added a new title crawl (developed from an After Effects "Star Wars title crawl" sequence originally created by Taolar)

*Major cuts/edits to Jar-Jar Binks, Anakin, Padme, the Gungans, and the Trade Federation

*Removed all references to midichlorians, Anakin's virgin birth, or the Chosen One prophecy

*All scenes featuring Sidious now has his face from under his hood removed and his voice has been altered/lowered to conceal his identity

*All Battle Droids' voices have been removed (with the exception of one scene, where the voice is needed for plot purposes)

*Removed dialogue redundancy throughout the film

*No "Planet Core" sequence (both first and second parts)

*Removed a lot of redundant dialogue by Ric Olie (aka "Captain Obvious")

*Took out the Viceroy's "Now there are two of them!" line followed by his cronie's "We shouldn't have made this bargain."

*Removed Jar-Jar's redundant scene with Padme cleaning R2

*Removed Jar-Jar stepping in sh*t

*Added in Watto humming the "Cantina theme" in his first scene in the film (audio taken from Magnoliafan's "Balance to the Force" edit)

*Added Watto shouting "You break it, you buy it, eh!" line to Jar-Jar (audio taken from Magnoliafan's "Balance to the Force" edit)

*Added the deleted scene of Anakin beating up Greedo back into the film
- it now serves as Anakin's character introduction to Qui-Gon

*Removed the "Jar-Jar antics" at the Skywalker table

*The Pod Race has been patterned after Slumberland's cut (with a few additional tweaks/edits of my own)
- No two-headed alien "sports announcer" commentary
- No scenes of Jabba the Hutt

*Added the deleted scene of Qui-Gon cutting down the probe droid back into the film

*No mention of Queen Amidala being "elected" in the Senate scenes

*Anakin does not talk after the "No Sir" line during the Jedi Council's testing

*Took out Qui-Gon's description of Obi-Wan to the Jedi Council to "sell" them on making him a Jedi Knight

*Numerous cuts to the Battle of Naboo sequence (Gungan army, Padme's group, Anakin in space)

*Padme's "Get to your ships!" line has been replaced with the voice that was used in the TPM trailer

*Anakin's ship is no longer on autopilot (now pilots of his own choice)

*Removed Qui-Gon asking Obi-Wan to train Anakin at his death

*Removed Obi-Wan's "I gave Qui-Gon my word" line to Yoda on training Anakin at end of film (Obi-Wan now decides to train the boy on his own)

*Corrected the bad match-cut of Anakin turning his head at Qui-Gon's funeral

*Added "Faneditor's credit" to the end credits

As you can see, a lot of work was put into this edit. The result is a much better version than the one we saw in theaters. It's a film with a much faster pace, a tighter focus and a lot less comedy; making it a wholly different experience. Check out for this and many more fan edits, ranging from movies (Spider-Man) to television shows (Prison Break).

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to watch this; it sounds so much better...