A while back, Topher Grace (of “That 70s Show” fame) cut all of the fat off of the Star Wars prequels and it was praised by many. Peter Sciretta of /film pronounced it the best possible cut of a terrible series of films. Today I discovered Darth Lunar’s version. They wanted to test Sciretta’s claim and see if it could be done better. The result is this. A reworking of the entire trilogy using the Japanese overdub but with English subtitles that actually sound like they were written by someone… well, other than George Lucas.
Sometimes we make fun of our resident culture snob, Kurt Halfyard, for unwittingly giving passes to certain films just because they’re in a language other than English. He claims it isn’t so, but after watching bits of this, I’m starting to wonder if there maybe is something to that theory. This is surprisingly pretty good.
Film maker’s NOTE: Unlike many other fan-edits of the prequels, “The Blackened Mantle” is not simply three separate films glued back-to-back with the fat cut out. It has proper dramatic pacing, new character arcs, reworked image quality, and a heavily modified plot constructed from a brand new, non-chronological script. It is not necessarily compatible with any Star Wars canon other than the original film trilogy (such as the fantastic “Clone Wars” animated series). Apologies go out to fluent Japanese speakers, who will likely not be able to watch the film without muting the audio.
The film makers have also graciously included a downloadable version of the movie. Or you can just watch it right here…