Four weeks in, and here’s my wish list for a definitive Ultimate Edition of The Phantom Menace (you can read the wish lists for the original trilogy here, here, and here). I had a lot of fun with this one, as I’ve more or less been contemplating an Ultimate Edition of Episode I since it originally was released. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
- The Phantom Menace: The Archival Edition – The original edit of the film upgraded to the best possible HD.
- Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace – This would be the “definitive” special edition of the film, with new special effects, restored scenes, etc. As with the Archival Edition, it would be a completely new digital master, in the highest resolution possible, and with correct color timing. Here is the list of changes I would like to see:
- Using stand-ins, digital image manipulation, and professional voice-over actors, include a scene with a hooded Qui-Gon Jinn checking in with a holographic Chancellor Valorum (I’m thinking there are enough reference shots that they could replicate the hologram similar to the late Laurance Olivier appearing in the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as a hologram) on board the Republic Cruiser to flesh out the nature of the blockade and dispute just a little bit more.
- Using digital stand-ins, show Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan exiting the Trade Federation ships as they land on Naboo, possibly including the deleted scene of Obi-Wan emerging from the swamp (I’ve seen still images of this being shot, but never any actual footage)
- Tone down Jar Jar’s jump into the lake to be less cartoonish.
- Expand the Invasion of Naboo to show the Battle Droids actually taking over cities, rounding up prisoners, etc. Basically, make us feel the plight of the Naboo people instead of telling us about their suffering.
- Eliminate the “through the planet core” sequence after the “There’s always a bigger fish” section.
- Restore Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar having to contend with the waterfall once they arrive in Theed (essentially, replacing the second half of the planet core action beat with this sequence to maintain the pacing, but without seeming as repetitive)
- Recut the “running the blockade” sequence to increase the tension by including more shots of the Queen’s ship navigating through the Federation blockade and eliminating some of the overacted bits of reactions from the characters during the sequence.
- When the holographic Darth Maul is revealed on the Trade Federation ship, darken his image so we don’t get as good of a look at him (basically, making him even more mysterious).
- Using stand-ins and digital image manipulation (much like the proposed Qui-Gon/Valorum scene), add a scene of Obi-Wan and the Queen’s Decoy contacting a holographic Palpatine and alerting him to their whereabouts.
- Restore Anakin’s first interaction with Jira to it’s full length.
- Cut the Eopie farting in Jar Jar’s face.
- Restore the pod race grid sequence.
- Restore the full-length pod race.
- Restore Anakin fighting with Greedo and being interrupted by Qui-Gon.
- Restore Anakin’s farewill to Jira, and his and Qui-Gon’s discovery of the probe droid in Mos Espa (it’s always infuriated me that they are randomly running as if in a panic in the desert for no apparent reason).
- Restore Qui-Gon and Darth Maul’s fight on the ship’s ramp. Possibly expand the scope of that lightsaber duel slightly with stand-ins and digital stand-ins.
- Include the cut bits with “Bail Organa” in the senate, but refer to him as Bail Antilles.
- Completely redo the CGI animation during the Gungan/Droid Battle on Naboo to make it more realistic looking, while also toning Jar Jar’s antics down a bit.
- Expand the space battle.
- Restore any of the cut lightsaber footage from the final duel.
- The Phantom Menace: The Special Edition – The original, expanded DVD version of the film, upgraded to the highest possible HD.
- The Phantom Menace 3D – The theatrical 3D version of the film (with a 2D option for those that wish to view it this way).
- Multiple audio commentaries for both the Archival and Ultimate Editions, featuring the filmmakers, the actors, and the special effects crews that created the movie.
- Deleted and/or alternate scenes of the original film, including any which were upgraded/replaced by the Ultimate Edition.
- From Jedi to Menace – A new documentary exploring the sixteen year gap between Star Wars films, including the unrealistic fan expectations revolving around the release of Episode I.
- An expanded version of The Beginning: Making Episode I from the original DVD release.
- Rick McCallum, Jake Lloyd, and Liam Neeson – Biography featurettes on the prequel trilogy producer and the actors who portrayed young Anakin and Qui-Gon Jinn.
- Reactions to Episode I – A documentary that explores both the positive and negative reactions many fans had to the film.
- Updating a Menace– A new documentary covering the work that went into the making of Ultimate Edition.
- Trailers and television promotions.
- Stills gallery featuring behind the scenes and promotional images, as well as merchandising images.
- Vintage documentaries, interviews, and news coverage
Next Up: Attack of the Clones!
PHOTO SOURCE: Darth Maul