We Watched The Siege of Mandalore & Episode III Fan Edit, Here Are Our Thoughts
A Must-watch For Superfans
It was early 2020, the pandemic had just begun and most folks were staying home. I was helping my cousin buy his first new car, when the two of us sat down with the finance manager of the dealership I noticed that he had a lot of Star Wars memorabilia. Like most super fans of the franchise, we eventually started talking Star Wars. He clued me in on the existence of a fan edit of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, an edit that combined scenes from The Clone Wars as well as a few scenes from the 2005 micro animated series. We eagerly watched this four-hour supercut and collected our thoughts for our readers.
Over the span of the edited version of the film, a lot stood out. Deleted scenes were restored, the pacing of the film edited, and the editor skillfully cut all of this together with the Siege of Mandalore arc from the final season of The Clone Wars. These changes add a lot of context to the final days of the Clone Wars, especially the inclusion of a bevy of deleted scenes focused on the formation of the Rebel Alliance. This is a one-of-a-kind edit and for good reason.
One of our favorite changes to the movie is that by adding in the Siege of Mandalore arc we are given a fitting conclusion to Darth Maul's story in the prequel trilogy. His hatred was able to sustain him and eventually, he found himself with a pair of cybernetic legs and control of the most powerful elements of the Galactic Underworld. Maul was one of the few who had any idea of Sidious' grand plan to use the Clone Wars to play both sides until he could take control of The Galaxy. With this inclusion, we see just how close the Jedi were to uncovering the Supreme Chancellor's Machiavellian schemes.
Most fans thought Maul should have been in more of the story seeing as he was a very unique character. When given that chance in the final season of The Clone Wars he certainly proves that these fans were onto something. He almost turns Anakin's former Padawan to his side before revealing the name of Sidious' new apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, her former master. After his capture, later on, we see him on the way to Coruscant where he will be taken into the custody of the Jedi. It is during the hyperspace jump that Order 66 takes place and he is set loose on a Venator and its crew.
In regards to Palpatine's grand plan, the inclusion of several deleted scenes from Revenge of the Sith reveals to us that a key group of senators knew that the Chancellor was expanding his power unlawfully by amending the Republic's constitution. The senators go from assembling their coalition all the way to facing the Supreme Chancellor in his office. It is there that Anakin and Padme find themselves on opposing sides of the Chancellor's desk. Anakin standing by Palpatine, Padme beside her fellow senators, aiming to protect the democracy they worked so hard to keep alive.
These scenes were left on the cutting room floor to improve pacing despite them being finished. Luckily for us, the editor decided to include them as they build up Palpatine's schemes not only to overthrow the Jedi but to dissolve the Republic and form his Empire. Several fans have always said that the plan seems to unfold out of nowhere in the theatrical release of the film. If you are in that camp these scenes make it clear that more than just the Jedi knew that something was amiss.
The only issue we had with the edit was the pacing at the start of the film. With the inclusion of Gendy Tartakovsky's 2005 The Clone Wars micro-series during the start of the film, the opening of the movie is stretched out to nearly an hour in length. Had it been us editing the film we probably wouldn't have used the footage. While it does show the beginning of the Battle of Coruscant, the edits between the final season of The Clone Wars and the micro-series make for some jarring transitions in animation that don't sit particularly well.
Once you make it through this, however, the film edit really comes to life. It adds a lot of depth to both the show and the movie in its extended runtime. As an added bonus, both Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars’ final season have their events unfold in chronological order. This serves to add to the scale of the war on screen. After all, this is the reason behind The Clone Wars animated series as fans wanted to know more about the conflict that led to the downfall of both the Jedi and the Republic.
Perhaps our favorite section is the lead-up to Order 66 when we see Master Windu defeated right as Ahsoka begins to feel the disturbance in the Force. Then, the massacre of Jedi by their own troopers. This also occurs alongside Operation Knightfall, the raid on the Jedi Temple led by Darth Vader. Immediately following this, Ahsoka struggles to deal with what she is feeling through the Force as her own troopers betray her. This added so much depth to Order 66 and an additional perspective from a surviving Jedi. The inclusion of Rex having his inhibitor chip removed also neatly ties up why these soldiers betrayed their generals.
By slowing the pace of the movie down this edit is able to add weight to Anakin's fall to the dark side, alongside the Republic's end, that the theatrical cut misses the mark on. If you happen to be a fan of both of the shows and the movie and have a spare four hours, the fan edit is highly enjoyable. Tying both the final season of The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith together makes for almost an entirely different movie.
Sadly, the fan edit is not readily available online to stream. If you decide to take the time to track it down we assure you that the film itself is a treat to any superfan of the Star Wars franchise.
Written By James E. Cockrum
Syndicated From Culture Slate