Originally Posted by Ataturk
A few years ago I watched a set of "fan edits" of the prequel Star Wars movies. They rearranged and (heavily) cut down the movies to make them almost tolerable. Entire plot points and characters were removed, motivations changed, etc. It was surprisingly effective.
I believe the one I watched is the "MagnoliaFan edit" which goes a little further than "The Phantom Edit" which just straight up cuts out stupid stuff.
My recollection is that the one of the most significant changes is that they made all of the aliens speak in alien languages...this allowed them to subtitle their dialog and completely rewrite some of it.
In the end, they made the film a fair bit darker. No wacky jar jar antics, no "yippees" from Anakin...and a lot more racist subtext on why the trade federation was coming after the gungan's planet (basically changed their objection from being about taxation to being about slavery...which explains a lot more).
Still...the Machete order (named after the guy who proposed it) is probably the way to go...screw episode one in all forms. If you've seen it, you don't need to see it again (unless you really want to check out the MagnoliaFan edit)...and if you are new to star wars...don't taint yourself with that until you have watched and fully digested the rest--then you can treat it like the christmas special.