Topher Grace is probably best known for being called a dumbass by his father in the 70’s and doing his part to help ruin Spider-Man 3, but apparently not only is he massive film geek, he is also a mean hand at the editing table.
Grace recently held a private screening of his own cut of the Star Wars prequels at his house. Yes, his own cut. He had apparently taken the nearly 7 hours of total footage, and condensed it down into a single 85 minute film, which already is no small feat.
What’s shocking though, is that apparently his cut not only manages to retain the 3 film’s full narrative, but apparently does it better than anything Lucas ever did.
Grace had recently become interested in the editing process, and when wanting to attempt his first editing project he decided to tackle something with which he was intimately familiar. He used a used a number of sources, not only the three prequels, like scenes from the original trilogy and music from the Clone Wars animated TV series. He even went to far as to create his own version of the famous opening text crawl.
He then screened the result, titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back, for close friends, select press and a few film makers at his house in complete secrecy.
Slashfilm was lucky enough to be present for the screening and has written up a fairly substantial beat-by-beat breakdown of Topher’s movie and exactly how he managed to accomplish this feat. Here’s a snippet of their write-up:
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. Starting the story in the middle of this fight was a brilliant choice. Qui-Gon’s dying request that Obi-Wan train Anakin perfectly sets up the story.
Grace’s version of the film(s) centers on Anakin’s training and friendship with Obi-Wan, and his relationship with Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). Gone are Trade Federation blockades, the Gungan city, the whole Padmé handmaiden storyline, the explanation of midichlorians, the galactic senate and the boring politics, Anakin’s origins (a backstory which never really needed to be seen in the first place), the droid army’s attack on Naboo, and Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) appears only briefly for only one line of dialogue, used as a set-up to introduce us to the Queen.
Its an interesting read and shows exactly how much fluff was filling up Lucas’ movies. Hopefully Grace eventually makes the whole thing readily available, though I don’t think that the Bearded Flannel One would approve.
Last Updated: March 8, 2012