Note: The title was provided by the very talented, and mysterious Steven Smart.
Last week a fan edit of Star Wars Episodes I - III titled Star Wars: Turn to the Dark Side (episode 3.1) was leaked online. The copyright gremlins have since then worked tirelessly and it has been taken down.
While this edit is claimed to have been inspired by the structure created by Topher Grace in his 85 minute cut titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back, the edits in this version don't redeem this second rate trilogy.
Even though it cuts nearly seven hours down to a runtime of two hours and forty-five minutes, Turn to the Dark Side can't salvage poorly written dialogue and wooden deliveries.
I have only seen the films that comprise the early trilogy once - when each was released theatrically. I'll never forget the somber silence that filled the theater about half an hour into Episode I, when the fans that had lined up to see this opening night realized that their childhood was now tarnished.
Turn to the Dark Side does open strong. We are fully "en medias res" as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle Darth Maul. That's right, we've cut straight past midichlorians, pod racing, Jar Jar, and young Jake Lloyd's performance.
However, once Hayden Christensen appears, I was reminded that the Force also impedes one's ability to speak like a normal human being.
I was hoping that I would enjoy this edit of the trilogy, but many of the weaknesses remain. There are a few things that I remember about Attack of the Clones. I was hoping they would have been cut. Unfortunately we still still have Obi-wan turning down "death sticks" and a ridiculously coincidence riddled chase on speeders.
At that point I had to stop. I've already given these films 7 hours of my life. I'm not willing to give them another two that could be better spent on another film.
Perhaps I'll go have dinner with Andre.