Of all the male cast members from That 70s Show, it’s safe to say that (Chris)Topher Grace has had the most successful career from a pure acting standpoint. I suppose you could argue that Ashton Kutcher has more money and fame or Wilmer Valderrama signed a better deal with Satan, as evidenced by him dating Minka Kelly (WTF!!!), but when it boils down to the actual trade, Grace is the clubhouse leader.
Now the star of Take Me Home Tonight and In Good Company has his heart set on directing, so he’s been learning the process of film editing, and he apparently decided that a good place to start would be taking the first three episodes of Star Wars and turning them into one film that he would eventually screen for his friends and a few select members of the media.
*checks mail box for invitation, sits on curb*
Grace finally screened his effort on Tuesday night in Hollywood, and Peter Sciretta from /film was on hand to check out the finished product.
The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.
Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.
So the good news is that Grace supposedly did a great job and created something that Star Wars fanboys might actually like, as opposed to the loathsome attitude they’ve long expressed toward Episodes I, II and III.
The bad news, though, is that unless you become friends with Grace, you’re never going to see it. Also, if you become friends with Valderrama, you can totally smell his finger, bro.
And here are Sciretta, Alex from FirstShowing.net, Steve Weintraub from Collider and Fanboys director Kyle Newman discussing the film in a parking garage. Ladies, you might want to put on your flood boots and an extra pair of underwear.