The creator of the now infamous “Phantom Edit” of “Star Wars: Episode I” is very sorry and has issued an apology. Here is the text from his statement:
To George Lucas and Star Wars fans everywhere,
My re-edit of George Lucas’ The Phantom Menace was simply an innocent exercise and editing challenge that has now escalated into a worldwide topic. This project began as a personal endeavor when I watched The Phantom Menace as an audience, analyzed it with the care and attention of a Lucas team member, and carefully re-edited it, concentrating on creating the storytelling style that Lucas originally made famous. The result was a version that friends (Star Wars fans) embraced and wanted to harmlessly show to other friends. Remember, this IS Hollywood, and people soon became interested. I think it’s evident that George Lucas was a huge inspiration for my interests in filmmaking and my re-edit was a labor of love reflective of his inspiration and leadership. Unfortunately, this is where circumstances diverged from my intended path and began to spiral out of control.
When Lucas publicly expressed his desire to view The Phantom Edit, it triggered press involvement and a potential worldwide bootleg frenzy that has since prompted Lucasfilm Ltd. to exert copyright privilege, and rightly so.
Although I definitely appreciate all the unexpected attention and support The Phantom Edit has received, I also respect and understand the discontentment of Lucasfilm Ltd. I sincerely meant no harm.
It has been brought to my attention that the mystery surrounding my identity may suggest that I may not only be inspiring the spread of bootleg activities, but also making a statement that I am endorsing or profiting from it. For the record, I am not now nor have I ever sold copies of, The Phantom Edit, and I DO NOT support this. I do not want my name associated with these kinds of activities so I, therefore, come forward in hopes of defusing this situation and to state unequivocally that this was NEVER, repeat, NEVER about a fan trying to rip off George Lucas or Lucasfilm Ltd.
I can now understand first hand the issues that Hollywood and the music industry face in trying to maintain control over the distribution of their content. I sincerely apologize to George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd. and the loyal Star Wars fans around the world for my well-intentioned editing demonstration that escalated out of my control.
To anyone who is involved in the illegal sale or distribution of The Phantom Edit, I make this plea: Please stop. Let’s all respect the public wishes of Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Phantom Editor ^ Los Angeles, CA
P.S. Sorry to Kevin Smith, Sofia Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Henry Winkler, Nicolas Cage, and anyone else who’s famous names were dragged in this.
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