There have been plenty of edits that have tried to make sense of George Lucas' Star Wars prequels, with varying success. But what happens when you give Topher Grace (Venom in Spider-Man 3 and star of That '70s Show) the editing scissors? The results sound surprisingly inspired. Due to not wanting to be sued into the bottom of a Rancor pit (and perhaps deeper), Grace — yes, that Topher Grace — isn't releasing his 85 minute edit of not just The Phantom Menace but also Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.
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That's 85 minutes, start to finish for the whole trilogy. Slashfilm went along to the sole screening he did of his 85 minute, sensible sounding edit, and copious notes were taken. It's a long (and very satisfying) Friday read, but I'll leave you with a few gems:
"The opening crawl establishes that assassins have been after the queen and Jedis have been sent to intervene. Topher’s version begins with Episode I’s climactic lightsaber fight between Darth Maul (Ray Park), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), bypassing the majority of Phantom Menace completely."
Yep, that's a good start.
"The first time we see Anakin, he is grown up and played by Hayden Christensen (Jake Lloyd never appears in this version)."
Still liking it.
"Jango Fett makes only a small appearance, and his son Boba Fett is left on the cutting room floor. Anakin returns to Tatooine and finds his mother tortured to death by the Tusken Raiders, but gone is the laughable aftermath."
George, are you listening? George??
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
"Yoda goes into exile on Dagobah, the droids’ memories are erased, and the film ends with Anakin being turned into Darth Vader. The last shot features Vader’s helmet being lowered down onto Anakin, creating the most iconic villain. And we are left on that dark note."
For my reaction to the whole idea, I'll pass over to the late, great Randy "Macho Man" Savage:
Like the recent 12 minute re-edit of The Phantom Menace, I could totally dedicate 85 minutes of my life watching that movie. A pity then, that I never will. Topher Grace's next project is apparently a re-edit of Close Encounters of a Third Kind — and I can't see Steven Speilberg giving his blessing to a wide release of that one, either. [Slashfilm] Lead Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images