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Alderaan's Respecialized Trilogy

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I’ve been working on my own fan edits for Star Wars Respecialized, The Empire Strikes Back Respecialized, and Return of the Jedi Respecialized for a few months now. This was just a personal project but a few people have asked to see these versions. I figured I might as well start a thread here and try to share what I can.

Some examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VELVuIFR-7c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwBsu1M363M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5NMmjj_HCQ

The initial goal of this project was to start with Harmy’s Despecialized versions of the original trilogy, and then swap in the Special Edition changes that I considered beneficial to each film. After awhile though, I started making my own custom edits, and eventually by Return of the Jedi I was interested in doing a fan edit more in line with the original Phantom Menace fan edit, where I wanted to cut out some of the Ewok sequences, particularly during the Battle of Endor.

Anyway, I’m doing a final pass on Star Wars Respecialized right now.

List of changes:

  1. Sharpened the image quality of the dewback shot in front of the cantina.

  2. Color corrected the Special Edition shot of the Millenium Falcon blasting off from Mos Eisley and exchanged it for the original. Did not use the first half of the shot with the Stormtroopers exchanging fire. Just used the CGI rendered part that overlaps with the original cut, although I had to slow down the new edition.

  3. Edited in the Special Edition version of the Alderaan explosion.

  4. Added splash noise when Luke gets dunked in the trash compactor. In the original, there is a missing sound effect.

  5. Trying to improve the image quality of the two shots overlooking the hangar and the Falcon towards the end of the Death Star sequence.

  6. Fixing the lightsaber colors on the Death Star. Particularly, upgrading Vader’s white stick.

  7. Using the Special Edition shot of the Falcon taking off from the Death Star.

  8. Adding in missing TIE fighter blaster effect when Han and Luke shoot at the sentry ships.

  9. Reconfigure the sequence of shots of the Falcon approaching Yavin 4.

  10. Edited in all Special Edition X-wing shots during the Battle of Yavin.

  11. Used the Special Edition Death Star explosion.

  12. Used the Special Edition shot of real actors to replace the original cardboard people.

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If anyone wants to offer feedback or discuss, then this is the place to do it.

I already have rough cuts of all three films, but once I finish a final version of Star Wars, I’ll be going back and touching up Empire and Return of the Jedi soon.

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SparkySywer said:

This wipe here is temporary, right?

And not a huge fan of restoring Vader’s shuttle. It kinda messes with the pacing, and it’s unnecessary.

Yeah I think I said on the other forum where I posted this before, that one is just temporary. I haven’t gone back and done a final cut of Empire yet. Mostly I was just showing someone there how I used the new exterior shot, but cut out the CGI video game nonsense that precedes it, then had to adjust the soundtrack and framerate and make Leia pause before she turns around in order to sync everything up.

And I agree about the importance of the pacing in the second sequence. I left out the exterior shot of Vader boarding the shuttle, and him landing on the Executor. Those just kill the film’s momentum.

But I do like the SE music cue better, and the idea of intercutting between Luke and Vader as the climax progresses. I think that one shot actually enhances the pacing, but yeah maybe some people will feel differently.

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This might sound nit-picky, but why “Respecialised”?
The name gives the impression you’re adding as many of the SE changes into one cut as you can.
Especially when the goal of “Despecialised” was to remove everything.

Not knocking you, some of your ideas sound interesting, just uncertain about the name.

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So yeah, Despecialized removed every SE change or just about every SE change, and that’s where I wanted to start. The goal was to go back to the originals and add in the special edition changes that I thought improved each film, while leaving out the rest of the nonsense junk.
I’ve seen some other people use “Semi-Specialized” and so on, but I decided on Respecialized because this is just an attempt to do what the Special Editions should have done all along. Limit the alterations to mostly effects upgrades that allow the audience to more fully immerse itself into the world of the story. Along the way, I came across some shots in Despecialized where the sources weren’t good enough and broke the fourth wall, or there were some things off in the soundtrack that I thought needed work on, etc. I just wanted to recreate the best Star Wars OT viewing experience possible. Maybe a different title would be better though…any suggestions?

Here’s a list of all the edits I’ve done on my rough cut of Empire:

  1. removed one out-of-place frame when Han cuts open Luke’s tauntaun

  2. edited in the bluray footage when Rogue 2 searches for Han and Luke (the compositing of the snow speeders looks more natural)

  3. had to redo the dissolve between those two sequences

  4. edited in the bluray footage when the first transport takes off from Hoth (again, the vfx compositing looks much better in these shots)

  5. used bluray footage for several but not all exterior snow speeder shots during the Battle of Hoth (you have to pay attention to how each shot looks and make it look seamless, not like you’re always flipping back and forth between different sources)

  6. edited in Adywan’s new Emperor hologram, but have been working to better sync the audio and lip/mouth movements

  7. increased the volume when Yoda says “anger, fear, aggression…” during Luke’s training; it was nearly inaudible in the '80 theatrical mix

  8. softened one of the frontal shots of the Cloud Cars and Millenium Falcon approaching Cloud City

  9. edited in the brief SE shot of the Falcon landing on Cloud City (it’s not the entire thing, just the frames where it actually lands)

  10. after Luke leaves Dagobah, replaced the Cloud City establishing shot and the exterior window shot of Leia with the new SE versions, but left out all the nonsense where the camera follows the escort ship around Cloud City

  11. increased the volume on 3PO’s dialogue when he says “remember Chewbacca, don’t do anything foolish” during the Carbon Freezing scene; previously, it was drowned out by the special effects on the '80 theatrical mix

  12. edited in the BR footage when Boba Fett loads Han onto Slave I

  13. strengthened the music cue when Luke reaches out to Leia with the force from beneath Cloud City

  14. edited in the shot of Vader’s shuttle flying to the Executor (but not him boarding the shuttle nor landing), and did some edits to mix the new SE music cue seamlessly into the original soundtrack and sync everything up

  15. edited in the SE exterior shot of the medical frigate, looking on at Luke, Leia, etc. at the end of the movie

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Alderaan will you be updating the se effects like the x wings getting ready to attack the death star the ending of jedi celebration thought the galaxy bespin etc so they don’t look dated anymore?

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I won’t be creating any new custom effects like Adywan has done, for example. I’m mostly editing in select special edition changes for a different cut of the films, but I have added in sound effects, colored in the lightsabers with After Effects, and tried to enhance some shots in Despecialized that didn’t look seamless (like during the Rancor scenes).

The goal is to alter the films as little as possible, while still acknowledging the need to alter them a little in order to make them more realistic. So yes, I am using the SE digital X-wing shots during the Battle of Yavin, since they look more maneuverable and realistic than the original static shots. However, I will not be using things like the Celebration finale at the end of Jedi, since that significantly alters the film. Nothing worse than cutting away from the setting and the characters you’ve been watching for 2 hours to see throwaway shots of random places that aren’t even in the rest of the movie.

Hope that helps!

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Just another one on Empire while I’m thinking about it:

-after the Falcon jumps to light-speed at the end of the movie and Vader does a double take, he starts to walk off the bridge. At the last moment, he looks over at Admiral Piett and I’m going to cut this a few frames short, because I much prefer the idea of Vader just being in his own world and ignoring everyone else on the bridge.

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Working on the Battle of Yavin right now. Here’s about the first minute, thirty seconds.

Lots of Harmy’s Despecialized here but I’ve edited in the digital shots and tried my best to make them look good and less artificial. I’m not an expert but just took out some of the pink, adjusted colors with the RGB curve corrector, maybe did a little masking on some of the Xwing shots for better compositing, stuff like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9E09C6lX9A&feature=youtu.be

Shot of the takeoff looks much brighter with better contrast compared to the BR version.

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Took down the last video and uploaded a new one. Still need to adjust the luma curve on a few digital shots, and there might be one or two near the end that still need color work, but for the most part I’ve taken the artificial colors out of these first 3+ minutes.

Battle of Yavin edit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a04fbHf9fT4&feature=youtu.be

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OK took that one down, and uploaded a new update. Dimmed the first shot of Red leader to make the transition from the digital shot more seamless. Fixed a lot of the colors so the Death Star grays are now actually gray.

Outside of the 2nd X-wing explosion, which still needs to be color corrected, I think this sequence looks much better now. The digital shots blend in pretty seamlessly with the more natural looking Despecialized footage, but let me know if you agree or disagree or what you think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFmyvm4LPcc&feature=youtu.be

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