The Phantom Edit

Posted in edit, Phantom Menace, Star Wars by Tony C on March 25, 2007

No available in the shops...sadlyI missed this first time round and I suspect a lot of other disappointed Star Wars fans did too but did you know there are ‘fan’ edits of The Phantom Menace’?   Yep a couple of guys (I guess they were guys) took the pigs ear that was the first Star Wars prequel and removed as much dead weight as they could and in the one case over dubbed some of the appalling dialogue.  On one hand I had to wonder how much of the original movie would be left behind after it had been chopped about and by all accounts they both rattle along at a cracking pace but as the ‘Lucas version’ is more pedestrian in places than a coach load of sight seeing OAPs that might not be a bad thing.  Gone or at least changed beyond recognition is the indefensible Jar Jar Binks, the useless Trade Federation back plot and as mentioned some of the worse dialogue this side of a poorly dubbed Hong Kong action flick. 

This does raise a couple of questions that might invite some discussion.  Firstly is the legality of such an endeavour as it takes copyrighted material and mixes it up in a way that it’s creator never intended, or does the fact it was done without any intention of profiting from it matter?  I can see armies (Clone Armies maybe) of IP Laywers arguing the letter with the spirit over this.  The other question is why even bother?  If like me the 1977 Star Wars movie was an integral and totemic part of your childhood then seeing George Lucas over 20 years later piss away the greatest movie franchise in history is the film making equivalent of finding out a close family member is a wrong ‘un so seeing someone trying to right some cinematic wrongs is intregeing to say the least.

But why stop there?  Whilst remaking the prequels is an impossibilty, rewritting them wouldn’t be a creative no go and Lucas himself has taken the opportunity to be revisionist with the original trilogy.  One idea I’ve seen is that that Episodes I, II and III should be Obi-Wan’s story not Anakin’s and I agree as he’s a far more interesting character at least before Master A Skywaker goes bad.  Now just imagine the possibilities…