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The Phantom Edit

The Phantom Edit is a re-edited version of the Star Wars film The Phantom Menace, removing elements of the original widely thought to be unsuccessful by critics and adult fans. The purpose of this edit, according to the editor, was to make a much stronger film than what was released by Mr. George Lucas. These elements included:

  • removing most of Jar-Jar Binks' scenes
  • limiting exposition such as the discussion of midichlorians[?]
  • trimming reiteration of the politics
  • re-arranging shots and scenes
  • removing "Yippees" and "Oops" from young Anakin dialogue

It was circulated on the Internet and acclaimed as providing a more focussed, pacier version of the film. There is both a VHS version and DVD version available. The DVD contains two deleted scenes and a commentary track by the editor as well as a few easter eggs.

Rumour attributed it to Kevin Smith, probably because his films frequently refer to the Star Wars mythos and he edits his own films. However, he denied responsibility, while acknowledging that he had seen the edit.

The real editor was revealed in the Washington Post on September 7th, 2001 as Mike J. Nichols of Santa Clarita, CA. Mike J. Nichols is also known for his work on indie hit, My Father's House.

This version coined the phrase "Phantom Edit." It was the first to receive any publicity, although, much debated if it was the first version created.

Despite rumours, there were no law suits filed against the editor nor did the editor sell or make any money from this version. The editor claims, "I am not a bootlegger!"

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