Topher Grace turns all three Star Wars prequels into one short, punch 85-min hypermovie

Topher Grace, star of "That 70s Show," created "Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back" by mixing down all 7+ hours of the three Star Wars prequels into one tight, punchy, 85-minute movie. The video is private on Vimeo, so I haven't seen it, but Peter Sciretta's detailed description on Slashfilm has me drooling for it.

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.

The first time we see Anakin, he is grown up and played by Hayden Christensen (Jake Lloyd never appears in this version). Kenobi and Skywalker are assigned to protect Amidala from additional assassination attempts. This leads us quickly into the chase to capture the assassin in the skies of Coruscant. Anakin is assigned to accompany Padmé to her home planet of Naboo. Unlike George’s version, Obi-Wan doesn’t discover an army of clone troopers on Kamino, but instead stumbles upon Count Dooku’s motives.

While the Clone troopers make a couple short appearances in this version of the film, the word “clone” is only used once, and the whole storyline is almost completely cut from the story. Jango Fett makes only a small appearance, and his son Boba Fett is left on the cutting room floor. Anakin returns to Tatooine and finds his mother tortured to death by the Tusken Raiders, but gone is the laughable aftermath.

Topher Grace Edited The ‘Star Wars’ Prequels Into One 85-Minute Movie and We Saw It (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. If edits could be articulated, seperate from the media itself then we as consumers could run the edit script and generate the movie.

    :( give us freedom

    1. What you’re describing is called an “edit decision list” (EDL) in film editing.  So it’s not that edits can’t be articulated separate from media.  It’s that nobody has bothered to put together a consumer app to do it.  It shouldn’t be TOO hard.  The software would just need to (1) rip the audio and video tracks off the DVDs, (2) apply an EDL to them, and (3) encode the result.  At least on the Mac, you could probably even write an Automator script to do all that, since the latest Quicktime Player does basic editing (cut, copy, paste).

      1. EDLs are relatively tiny text files, too, so assuming everyone’s working off the same media (meaning the same edition of DVDs, or better yet Blu-Rays, knowing Lucas and his habit of fiddling with things, and meaning everyone’s ripped media files starting from the same Hour 1:00:00:00 point), then all everyone has to do is ingest their discs into the program we’re all using, and apply the EDL, which again would be a small file easily emailed, particularly if all the audio edits just coincide with picture edits.  (Doing a proper job would entail numerous audio edits and dissolves, to say nothing of massaging the music and FX.)  And then hit play.

        If we’ve agreed on the software and disc editions and we all get the EDL, then ingesting the media is the only time-consuming part, and then only if your system demands it come in in real time, like it’s tape-based or something.

        I wonder if Grace used Final Cut.

        1.  The movie industry will sue you to oblivion, then 5 years later sell the service at Walmart for $10.

    2. Such a scheme would work only if the edit involves discreet snippets of the original media. Where it falls apart is when different aspects of multiple scenes are stitched together. (The most obvious example of this would be combining the audio from one section with the video from another.)

      An EDL system would get you most of the way, but I suspect it’s the pesky, (seemingly) minor aspects that give life to the art.

  2. Based upon Peter’s description, I’d loved to see this. I’d pay for all three movies just to see the edit. Come on, George!

    1. Actually, I’m surprised there isn’t a leaked copy floating about the torrentverse already.  Nothing that seems legit via a Google search, at least.

      1. Well there’s really only one person to do the leaking, so I imagine such a thing turning up would get Topher Grace in trouble with Lucas’ army of clone lawyers.

          1. I suspect he’s smart enough to keep a tight control over every extant copy of his cut, down to making sure he only screens it in front of friends who don’t record the screening on their iPhones.  This was essentially a training exercise for himself, which turned out well enough that he wanted to show it off to some buddies.  In that sense, my guess is that he’s vanishingly unlikely to get into any trouble whatsoever for it.

            Releasing it to a worldwide (or even neighborhood-wide) audience, however, is another kettle of Gungans entirely.

  3. I’m watching Star Wars for the first time (and I’m 30 and a huge geek so it’s a bit outside of the standard narrative) and everyone told me to just watch the original 3 and skip this trilogy. But this edit sounds like it could be just the ticket.

    It’s hopefully just a matter of time before it’s ‘leaked’ and everyone has it…

  4. I’m not sure if I really grasp the point of this article. “I made an amazing edit of Star Wars, and it is phenomenal. No, you can’t see it. But trust us, it is definitely newsworthy, that we have seen it.”

  5. Saw the original trilogy as a kid; naturally I found it fantastic (cutesy Ewoks aside).

    When I watched Episode One, again my reaction was typical. Didn’t bother with the others.

    This, I’d be interested in.

    1. Hell, even if it sucks it’s still only 85 minutes of your life.  Much better risk than all 7 hours.

  6. A week ago I watched  The Phantom Edit and Attack of the Phantom, the  edited versions of Episode I & II:
    No jar jar, no midiclorian bullshit, no battledroid speak, no over exposition, no Naboo battle, no fart, shit, and poo jokes and jiggles, no romantic diarrhea, no over retarded dialogs…

    Much better than the originals.  

  7. Assuming no more extensions to copyright term, in what year will such an edit become legally distributable? Will I still be alive?

    1. Assuming no more extensions to copyright term…

      Getouttahere!  Fuhgeddaboudit!  You’re a funny guy!

      That said, the answer to your question varies from country to country, usually 50 or 70 years after the death of the work’s creator.  In the USA it’s 70 years, so if Lucas were to croak this year, Star Wars would enter the public domain in January 1, 2083.

      But next time Mickey Mouse is about to be legally free, they’ll cry “terrorism” and “pornography” in the same breath and Congress will pull yet another Joseph Heller on us.

      1. Close. Because the “author” was a business entity, it will expire 95 years after publication. So, 2072.

      2.  And you know, I can’t remember *ever* laughing at Mickey Mouse, unless it was The Air Pirates version…

  8. Now do the same thing with the “original” trilogy, and I’ll be happy.  Because they are equally full of ridiculousness that contribute little – although I think it would be difficult to solve the ending of Star Wars itself,  large amounts of RotJ could certainly be excised without trouble.  And how about a C3PO-free cut?  He is easily as annoying as Jar-Jar.

    edit: also, of course, one person’s “boring politics” is another person’s interesting narrative. I found the exploration of the inherent flaws in mass centralisation (whether at government or business level) to be worthwhile myself, even if it made the question of what happened next rather more pressing than was apparent in the original trilogy.

    1. No, the first two are fine. Maybe turn Return of the Jedi into a sitcom-length short. But no C3P0? Are you mad?

    2. “also, of course, one person’s “boring politics” is another person’s interesting narrative.”

      No, no, no. You don’t get to skew the terms of the “debate” based on some fabricated a priori assumption.

      Try, “also, one person’s ‘poorly formed self-indulgent tripe’ is another person’s interesting narrative”

      There are plenty of fantastic “boring political” movies out there.

  9. Leaking this is a moral imperative.

    Nature finds a way.  You can’t stop the signal.

  10. Wait. I’m confused. Did Topher Grace play “Donna” or did Topher Grace play “Kelso”?

  11. “The video is private on Vimeo, so I haven’t seen it, but Peter Sciretta’s detailed description on Slashfilm has me drooling for it. ”
    So we are getting third hand accounts of someones movie mashup now?

    1. The video isn’t on vimeo at all, Cory made the same mistake that I made – expect that the link to vimeo would show you the recorded conversation that is embedded at the end of the article. You can still see it, but only in the embedded format. In that regard, it’s at least a first hand account in the blog post and four further first hand accounts in the video.

  12. So I’m curious why the Fan sweded version of Star Wars IV is being allowed to exist and is viewable on YouTube but Topher Grace’s version isn’t?  Or does it just come down to what gets the red letter stamp of approval from Lucas himself?  One is a tribute I guess and the other is a “Look how much better my version of the story is than the original” slap in the face.  But in the eyes of the “law”, if one is allowed, there shouldn’t be a problem with the other.  (not that I’m a lawyer or anything…just speculating on that last part.)

    1.  There’s a pretty big difference between a parody that doesn’t use any of the original footage or audio and a re-edited version of the actual films…

      1. Yeah, but isn’t the audio for films just as much copyrighted as any of the visuals?  Many of the scenes in that fan-made film use dialogue, sound fx and the soundtrack from the original movie.  You’d think YouTube’s copyrighted music/soundtrack sniffing robots would have locked that down right away.  

  13. I made something sooooo good I can’t show it to you. What a great scam! And the web is falling for it! What a load of hooey. The other remixes are out there, and George hasn’t nuked any of them, so what makes this one different? Because some quasi-celebrity made it? Made what? Oh, right, it’s a secret. Until it leaks, it never happened.

  14. really really annoyed by this article. “this is finally the mashup/re-edit of the abortion that was the ‘prequels’ that you have all been waiting for… but sorry, you can’t ever watch it.”

    really?!? seriously Cory… not cool bro!

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