10 Fan Edits That Totally Transform Famous Films

The Phantom Menace with 100% less Jar-Jar? Yes please!

Carrie Fisher Star Wars

One of our pet peeves is when creative types dismiss all criticism of their art by people who aren't artists themselves. You know the sort: the self-righteous musicians, writers or filmmakers who shrug off bad reviews with the zinger €œ"well how many books have you written/how many number ones have you had/how many successful movies have you made?" or simply "€œthink you can do better? Then why don't you?€"

It's silly. And not just because we take it personally; believing that the opinions of your audience don't matter is a sure-fire way to end up making crappy products. Which people often do, especially in films.

Funnily enough, when they do, there are fans who prove that they can do better. Beginning in the early days of the internet, before download speeds increased and editing software became cheap-as-free and it grew into its own cottage industry, fan edits are exactly what they sound like: film obsessives taking movies, and piecing together their own versions of them. That could be chopping out the crappy bits of failed films, putting together €œextended editions€ with deleted scenes and the like, bringing adaptations closer to their source material, or even mashing up multiple different movies into something completely different.

Fan edits have fixed box office bombs and critical pariahs, brought us the €œtrue€ visions that never made it to screen, and also gone off in directions we never could've imagined. Just wait until you see what they did with Star Wars (and not just The Phantom Edit).

These are ten fan edits which totally transform films...

10. Prometheus: Giftbearer

Prometheus Giftbearer

The general consensus over Ridley Scott's return to the Alien franchise with 2012's Prometheus was...not great. Most audiences would rather they not have bothered explaining where the xenomorphs came from when it entailed loosely defined alien goo, confusing motivations, and predictably evil robots. Rumour had it that the original screenplay, before Lost's Damon Lindelof got his hands on it for rewrites,“ was much better, sticking to its guns as an Alien prequel whilst crafting an exciting, scary space thriller.

Using deleted scenes and other supplementary material, enterprising fan Severian (possibly not their real name) noticed €œPrometheus could be a better movie with those scenes included€. So they put them in.

Prometheus: Giftbearer grounds things a little more in the human story, without getting into all that spiritual, religious mumbo jumbo about space gods and the like. Well, they still show up, but they're not the crux of the plot. It also trims out a lot of the fat, plot holes, fleshes out the characters a little with extended dialogue scenes which allow for more development that the theatrically released version, and makes the final confrontation much scarier, even drafting in some of the original Alien score to recall the tense climax between Ripley and the xenomorph in her escape pod.

Best of all, however, is that with some judicious editing Severian has made the bit where Charlize Theron fails to sidestep a big rolling monolith from crushing her. Thank the maker.


Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/