Apparently, re-cuts of famous works by people who are in the industry isn’t anything new. We’ve got Steven Soderbergh’s re-cut of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, and now we have something completely different. Topher Grace of That ’70s Show fame, who is a huge Star Wars fan, and he re-cut the three prequels, Episodes I, II, and III, into one 85-minute film. He screened it just once publicly, but he’s got a trailer online, and some reactions from people who saw it. In honor of Star Wars day, we’ve also got some other new Star Wars materials just released, including a trailer for the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels.
He recently did a trailer for Star Was: Always, too!
He showed the film publicly to about 50 people, but it’s not currently available to watch in any other way, likely due to copyright issues. The new cut was simply an exercise in editing for him, since he’s such a big fan of the series, and he wanted to see what he could do to make the first three films as lean as possible:
They do talk about the fact that he can’t really show it in public, and even though it’s mentioned he might be able to show it at Comic-Con since he’s not making any money on it, that’s just not the case. Where he may actually be able to show it is if he was going to teach a special lecture on the film. There are certain allowances within copyright law for educators or people using copyright works for educational purposes, so there might be a way he could show it publicly many times without having the legal might of Disney brought down on him. There may very well be some other complicated legalese that would prevent this particular work from being show in its current form, so it’s not necessarily a cut-and-dry case (feel free to share if you’ve got more information on this from personal experience).
If you were trying to improve yourself as an editor, taking something that already exists and trying to cut it down in a way that still allows for the main ideas to come across is a pretty useful exercise, since it’s an essential skill for editors. If you had some time on your hands, trying to cut down the Lord of the Rings trilogy into one 2 hour film could be another useful exercise. Hopefully at some point we will get to see this re-cut of the Star Wars films.
And for even more Star Wars, here is the Star Wars Rebels animated series trailer, and what they are sadly doing with all of the new material that was created for the Expanded Universe: