Topher Grace Cut 'Star Wars' Prequels Down to Sensible 85 Minutes

March 7, 2012

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Over the years, George Lucas has time and time again edited, re-edited and re-released his Star Wars films in the hope of realizing his ever-changing original vision. Rarely has he ever considered the will of the fans. Even more rarely has he considered, "I wonder if Topher Grace could trim the fat off those prequels..." Topher Grace, however, has apparently considered this, and now he's done that.

Last night, to a select crowd, Dennis Quaid's In Good Company co-star premiered what he called Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back, an 85-minute film that condenses the entirety of the Star Wars prequels into a compact length that won't waste half your day before letting you laugh along with Vader's anguished "NOOOOOO!"

In fact, in Venom's cut, Darth Vader never shouts at all, and Jake Lloyd's squashed head never even makes an appearance. As reported by /Film's Peter Sciretta, who received one of the limited invitations, the Predators star's edit opens with the fight between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul, skipping right to the part we all skip to on the DVD anyway. Nearly all of The Phantom Menace was apparently cut out, as was all the bullshit about clones, political turmoil, and the seventh-grader-designed General Grievous. Sacrilegiously, Jar Jar Binks delivers but a single line of dialogue.

As you might expect, these changes reportedly make for a much more streamlined, less exasperating experience that still manages to tell a surprisingly complete story of Hayden Christensen losing his limbs and getting a more dignified voice. Unfortunately, no one else is going to get to see the thing. This was said to be "the one and only time Grace would screen his cut." Legal problems will keep it from being screened at conventions, and he won't be uploading it online, either, so we can stop refreshing youtube.com/user/The_RealThat70sShowEric. It's not happening.

The edit was apparently made as an experiment to test Jason from Valentine's Day's new-found hobby of film editing, and it won't be his last: prior to the screening, a trailer ran for a new, Topher Grace-approved edit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, to be screened at a later date. So... no Bob Balaban this time? We'll have wait and never see.

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