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'The Phantom Menace' Ruined Jake Lloyd's Childhood & Topher Grace Edited All 3 'Star Wars' Prequels Into An 85-Minute Movie For Some Reason

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 7, 2012 at 2:11PM

Well, it's a weird week for random news about George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels, so let's just jump into this.
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Star Wars The Phantom Menace Topher Grace

Well, it's a weird week for random news about George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels, so let's just jump into this.

Remember Jake Lloyd? He was the young child actor who was plucked from relative obscurity (he was previously best known for starring opposite Arnie in the holiday movie "Jingle All The Way") to become young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace." And it seems it ruined his childhood. Chatting with The Telegraph (via The AV Club) he reveals, "My entire school life was really a living hell - and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day." But that's not all, as he adds, "Other children were really mean to me. They would make the sound of the light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad." Too bad Harvey Weinstein and his "Bully" documentary weren't around back then.

But Lloyd saves the best of his burn sauce with this passing shot at Lucas, "When you have something like that there's a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don't think George did that. For me to go back and watch it now would be kind of creepy." We agree Jake, but don't tell that to superfan Topher Grace, because it seems this guy has had way, way, way too much time on his hands.

Last night, a very select group of folks were invited to a screening of Grace's fanmade, 85-minute cut of all three prequels titled -- wait for it -- "Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back." If you want an exhaustive rundown, head over to /Film who were there, and detail the changes and additions (for example, Jar-Jar Binks gets about one line and some deleted scenes are added in what is apparently an action-heavy version). But we have a couple of thoughts on this. Firstly, it says something about how empty that trilogy is that it can be hacked down to under 90 minutes and still presumably present the same scope. But secondly, would anyone care about this if it was done by some kid in a basement in Muncie, Indiana?

Fan edits -- especially of the "Star Wars" films -- are done all the time. Seriously, you can find a zillion of them right now. The only reason this got some attention was that it was done by a famous guy who invited some people to come watch and write about it. The thing is, it's pretty common. Steven Soderbergh has been known to recut films for his own amusement or to learn something (he's done "Heaven's Gate" among others). We did a fan edit of "Watchmen" that ends right after the opening credits. But honestly, we can't imagine any version of those "Star Wars" prequels is worth watching.

Anyway, you'll probably never see Grace's version due to the iron legal fist of George Lucas -- the actor says he has no plans to upload it or screen it publicly without approval from the filmmaker -- so this will forever pass into a legend...or just be a footnote about the guy from "That '70s Show" who showed his edit of the "Star Wars" prequels that one time.

This article is related to: Topher Grace, Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace


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