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Topher Grace Screens Star Wars Prequel Re-edit 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the applying-a-quality-filter dept.
silentbrad writes "/Film (as well as IGN and A.V. Club) reports about Topher Grace's fan re-edit of the Star Wars prequel trilogy into a single, 85-minute film titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back.' Quoting /Film: 'His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels' (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.' It continues with what stayed and what was cut. It's just too bad it was a one-time-only screening."
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Topher Grace Screens Star Wars Prequel Re-edit

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  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:15PM (#39304833) Homepage Journal

    He also seems to want to favor storytelling over merchandising, which is a strange and unusual concept.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      This isn't really what your Mother and I had in mind, when you decided to stay here at home.

      Dumbass. No wonder Donna dumped you on your sorry butt and left for Madison without looking back.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:16PM (#39304859)

    Separate, boring they are.

    Together, one good movie it would be.

    • by demonbug (309515) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:27PM (#39305033) Journal

      Separate, boring they are.

      Together, one good movie it would be.

      Nah, just cut all three movies together as one. I think the best cut would be about 136 minutes long [imdb.com].

    • by Rizimar (1986164) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:28PM (#39305051) Homepage
      I'm not sure that editing them down to one movie would even save the sequels. Though, if you want more of The Matrix, The Animatrix has some really good short animations surrounding that universe.
    • by Picass0 (147474) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:54PM (#39305415) Homepage Journal

      Nothing can save that sugar-coated ending on the park bench with the Oracle and the children and the sunset.... It's like someone stole the movie I was watching and slipped in Micheal Jackson's 'Moonwalker' movie.

      Matrix 2 and 3 are better forgotten. The first movie stands better alone.

    • by Dogtanian (588974) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:14PM (#39305667) Homepage

      Should do that with Matrix 2 and 3. Separate, boring they are. Together, one good movie it would be.

      That's because they *are* a single overlong movie split into two parts in all but name. Even moreso than the explicitly split "Kill Bill" (where you could enjoy each of the parts in its own right due to its more scene-based nature).

      More's the pity because, although it clearly wasn't as good as the original, The Matrix Reloaded was still quite good in its own way (if a bit too long)... but clearly a "part 1" that requires you to watch "part 2" to be complete.... except that "part 2" (i.e. Revolutions) was just lousy, and would have been too long at anything over an hour. I'd personally trim Reloaded and hack all but the essentials from Revolutions.

      Even then it wouldn't solve the "resolution" of Revolutions which felt less like a satisfying "tying things up" ending and more like an intentionally incomplete and half-baked non-resolution designed to provide a point to expand the franchise (*) from. Ironically, we *haven't* really seen much Matrix-related stuff in the 8+ years since then (I'm sure they've done backstory comics and such guff for the fanboys, but I'm talking about mass market on the same scale as the movies themselves). Is this because it really was intended as the final movie, or because Revolutions' reception was so poor that it seriously damaged the prospects of more Matrix material?

      To be honest, part of the problem may always have been that- although "The Matrix" looks on the surface like it should be one of those films that would work well as a franchise (due to the questions and possibilities it throws up and the expanded world it suggests)... it isn't. What worked about the first movie was wrapped up by the end. You can't redo the sense of wonder and discovery that drove the first movie, and once Neo has made that journey he's no longer really the confused and bemused everyman cipher (that Reeves' criticised acting style actually worked really well for), but a knowledgeable Superman in a much larger world (Zion) of characters with bad dialogue we really don't care about.

      (*) Ugh, anyone notice how common that word has become in the past decade? We're all using terminology that makes us sound like a mixture of fanboy and corporate studio types. Though of course it's true- such things *are* moneymaking franchises, but it doesn't say much for artistic integrity, nor for us in that we accept and use the term.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Past decade?

        Franchise has been around longer than that. JMS started Babylon 5 in 1992 by (1) announcing on the early internet (usenet) that the project was being filmed and (2) saying he would not turn it into a never-ending franchise like Star Trek. That word already had negative connotations 20+ years ago.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Disagree. The plot was fundamentally broken from the second movie on. My personal theory is that The 13th Floor stole their ending and they had to wing it.

    • by yodleboy (982200)
      You might be interested to know it has been done.

      The Matrix Deionized [fanedit.org]
    • by spike1 (675478)

      I take it you've never seen "the matrix: dezionised"?
      2 and 3 edited together, removing all traces of zion and various other tweaks.

  • Ok I'll start.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:17PM (#39304867)

    Video or it didn't happen.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:21PM (#39304937) Homepage

    Without Being Prevented From Doing So By Lucas

    would have been the name of the Star Wars movie about an alternate reality where the prequels were substantially better.

  • Since Torrent Links are so... last... something! HEX
  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:23PM (#39304971)

    Interesting concept... could never happen for legal reasons... but I'd be intrigued if people could "cut n' paste" scenes from OTHER films into a meaningfull order to make it look like another star wars film.

    For example- Take Ford from the Tom Clancy Films- and Indiana Jones; cut and paste them together- with a few special affects and make it look like episode 7.

    C3P0 could be in episode 7- just rip scenes of Rex from "Yo Gabba Gabba". Mark Hamil has been in so many block buster films since Star Wars- should be easy to get footage of him to use.

  • by Galestar (1473827) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:24PM (#39304981)
    Can we get a link to where we can watch Episode III.5?
  • NnoooooOOooooooOooooooOOoooooooooo!

  • by SilverJets (131916) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:37PM (#39305167) Homepage

    He can't release it or George will sue him into oblivion. We'll never get to see it. So why even tell us it exists?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      But a construction worker might see a disk lying on a counter and torrent it. Plausible deniability.

    • He can't release it or George will sue him into oblivion. We'll never get to see it. So why even tell us it exists?

      The lesson I took from telling us is that George *could* have made better movies if he had concentrated less on merchandising angles, dumbing things down for toddlers and whatever else is rattling around in his addled brain - like making Han shoot first - and concentrate more on telling a good, crisp, clean and, perhaps, semi-adult story. While the original three Star Wars films are not perfect, they're an order of magnitude better than the prequels, especially considering they were made using a lot less te

    • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:26PM (#39305861) Homepage

      Why can't he release a detailed list of every edit he made (allowing someone else with a nonlinear editing suite, lots of time on his hands, and fewer qualms about BitTorrent to piece it together)? Surely he kept records, if he's studying to be an editor?

      • by Verdatum (1257828)
        I'm amazed I had to scroll this far down to find this suggestion. (Lower quality of comments than usual for slashdot. I guess the science people don't bother as much to comment on SW stories these days). But this is exactly right, there are zero legal implications of a list of "frame 456-789 of RotS synced with audio from frame 1024-1138 of Clone Wars S3E2" type instructions. Naturally, he shouldn't encourage anyone to push the result up to the Internet, but naughty people never need to be advised to be
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          One of his geekier friends could even release it as a complete script involving a lot of mplayer command.

          Feed in originals... get out the fan edit.

        • there are zero legal implications of a list of "frame 456-789 of RotS synced with audio from frame 1024-1138 of Clone Wars S3E2" type instructions.

          Or just export the project files without the media...

          • by Verdatum (1257828)
            Well yeah, I assume it's something like this. I'm no video editor. I'm used to the simpler world of diff outputs!
        • there are zero legal implications of a list of "frame 456-789 of RotS synced with audio from frame 1024-1138 of Clone Wars S3E2" type instructions.

          Or just publish the project file without the media.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      But he could release an edit list script, that would take ripped movies and cut them in the correct order and produce the final movie output (provided there's no effects). Of course, you'd have to add the disclaimer that you should never ever rip the DVD's and actually run the script.

    • We'll never get to see it. So why even tell us it exists?

      This is DRM done right. The best way to prevent people from copying it by any means -- especially mentally -- is to not release the media at all.

  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:42PM (#39305243) Homepage Journal
    Someone needs to edit down Robert Rodriguez's movie, Machete [rottentomatoes.com]. The original concept was great. When he unnecessarily extended the story to fit all the Hollywood celebrities on screen, the movie goes downhill. Booth was a terrific character. When he dies, the movie should end. Fin.

    Oh, but keep that scene in there where Danny Trejo is in the swimming pool with the topless women.

    Seth
  • Man this would be fun to watch!

  • by SpryGuy (206254) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:45PM (#39305283)

    Listening to this guy describe how he would change the first prequel is really interesting... it would actually make for a pretty decent movie.

    I'd love see his take on the subsequent two movies.

    This 12 minute video is totally worth your time:

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/02/how-to-fix-the-phantom-menace-in-12-minutes/ [gizmodo.com.au]

    • I agree, I stumbled on that the other day and watched it all the way through. I was more interested and engaged in his verbal telling of the story than I ever was in any of the prequels. It is exactly what the prequel should have been, with surprisingly minimal changes to the overarching plot... if I were a movie producer in a world with loose copyright and trademark laws I'd greenlight his version in a heartbeat.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      OMG, thank you!
      That guy narrating his version of the story was actually better than watching Episode 1. Which in retrospect now clearly and specifically appears to be a tangled mess of no focus whatsoever. Only now I understand how.

      So how long has George Lucas to be dead so we can have this kind of movie?
    • by marnues (906739)
      Wow, that guy knows how to make a movie. I'd like to hear more, but his Episode 2 would differ so greatly that I'm not sure it'd be feasible to use mash-ups. His episode 3 would circle back though, and be more than just Anakin's transformation. Multiple threads of interest, o my!
    • by metacell (523607)

      Very interesting.

  • If there's one thing George Lucus loves is DVD/Blu-ray releases. Eventually he'll release it to make a few extra bucks.

  • by Fieryphoenix (1161565) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:01PM (#39305505)
    Mr. Grace should be able to "release" his version, not directly, but by describing what sections of each source were used. For instance, something like this made up example: "Scene 1, five segments, 5 minutes 10 seconds. First Segment: Episode I Blu-ray, begin 1 hour 1 minute and 11 seconds, end 1 hour 3 minutes 52 seconds. Second Segment: Episode II Collector's Edition Blu-ray Deleted Scenes, "Meditation", begin 32 seconds, end 1 minute 2 seconds." etc etc.
    • In these days of high horsepower CPU and quick app development, surely there is a program to format edits correctly based on timecodes, and input the movies, and it spits out your edited movie? Add in a few effects maybe like fades and wipes, what else would be needed? Surely this would bring editing to the masses where the community provide the timecodes for it, and the end user self edits the source. That's not copyright violation is it?
      • by omnichad (1198475)

        As long as you release the edit script with a big disclaimer that basically says "DON'T USE IT," you're probably fine.

      • by Pope (17780)

        He could upload an EDL to pastebin with no violation.

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      And the hardware to apply a list of edits to a DVD while it's playing already exists [wikipedia.org], too!

    • by Animats (122034)

      Right. That's called an "edit decision list". It would be amusing to have a setup where you could order all the components from Netflix, then run a program which assembled them appropriately. Lucas still gets paid, and Jar-Jar gets cut out.

    • This would be trivial if he simply released the Final Cut Pro or Avid project file, or an EDL and had people rip their own dvd's to get the media. They would just contain information on the edits done, which would be applied to the media that the viewer legally owns.
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:02PM (#39305521)

    The editing done by Topher Grace is typically referred to as "Polishing A Turd".

    • by DarthBart (640519)

      I read the headline + first part of the article summary. I thought some fan of Topher's had some how edited him into the movies. I was hoping for Darth Vader calling him a dumbass and then using the Force to make him stick his own foot up his ass.

      • by Pope (17780)

        To be called a dumbass he'd have to be edited into Star Trek movies.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      The editing done by Topher Grace is typically referred to as "Polishing A Turd".

      Hold on! Good editing can mean the difference between a masterpiece and a turd.

      Ironically, the original cut of Star Wars (EP4) was the penultimate example of this... There are several people who will attest that the first edit was horrible.

      "The first cut of Star Wars," Burns' narrator says, "was an unmitigated disaster."
      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040913-692895,00.html [time.com]

      Not much more info at that source,

  • He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels' (C-3PO) audio book recordings.

    He used parts of the first one, that most of us desperately tried to forget? If he was in need of material he should have used the deleted scenes [youtube.com] from episode 3, they tell a much deeper story than the final one.

    • by metacell (523607)

      Just because the first movie was bad, it doesn't mean the individual *scenes* were bad. The same scene can be part of very different stories.

  • So, I'm assuming they cut Hayden Christensen's part down to only the parts he did well, right?

    So, he's no longer in the movie, right?

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday March 09, 2012 @06:55PM (#39306967) Homepage

      Not a single damn actor in that movie did well. After watching the prequels I had to go peruse some of Natalie Portman's other films. Because I had thought she was a good actor, but was starting to doubt it. Turns out that yes, indeed, she has acting chops. But there's only so much an actor can do with a terrible script, nothing but a green screen to act against, and a director who isn't happy until the actor does exactly what he wants and what he wants is retarded.

      Same with Ewan McGregor. To a lesser extent Liam Neeson, Samuel Jackson, and Christopher Lee, but that's because they had less screentime to erase memories of other things they've done.

      So, I don't recall seeing Hayden Christiansen in anything else, but my default assumption is that he can probably act but looked horrible in those movies just like everyone else did.

      • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday March 09, 2012 @07:13PM (#39307117) Journal

        Not a single damn actor in that movie did well. After watching the prequels I had to go peruse some of Natalie Portman's other films. Because I had thought she was a good actor, but was starting to doubt it. Turns out that yes, indeed, she has acting chops. But there's only so much an actor can do with a terrible script, nothing but a green screen to act against, and a director who isn't happy until the actor does exactly what he wants and what he wants is retarded.

        Same with Ewan McGregor. To a lesser extent Liam Neeson, Samuel Jackson, and Christopher Lee, but that's because they had less screentime to erase memories of other things they've done.

        So, I don't recall seeing Hayden Christiansen in anything else, but my default assumption is that he can probably act but looked horrible in those movies just like everyone else did.

        You're right, in general everyone did badly. I have seen examples of good acting against a green screen, so I don't think that's the reason. (Or at least, the whole reason.) I think "what the director wants is retarded" is closer to the mark.

        I saw Hayden in "Jumper", a movie that didn't totally suck, and he was a bit stiff in that, but not nearly as bad as he was in the SW movies. This could be because he had a better director.

        A good director can drag good performances out of a bad actor. (Example, Barry Lyndon (1975)) A bad director can drag bad performance out of nearly anyone.

  • ... when copyrights expired in a reasonable amount of time, the public domain existed, it was legal to do this kind of stuff after a film had been out for few years?

    Me either, but I gather it was pretty cool.

  • I figured there might be enough in the 3 pointless terrible movies, to make one ok, slightly less pointless movie.

    In Sequence it should go after ESB. Luke has found out Vader is his father, next movie is the back-story on Vader.

    Then finish up in Jedi, now if he could do something about the damn ewoks....

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