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Return of the Jedi: A Gentle Pruning

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I think it is time to give Return of the Jedi some attention. Up to this point, I had drawn a line around the OT, not wanting to do fan edits of them (excluding hybridizing the OOT and SE versions). However, there are some positive changes to make to ROTJ. I cannot give an ETA for this project’s completion, but it will certainly be!
For this version, my two goals are to hybridize the Despecialized Edition and BluRay versions, and prune the film gently to keep its tone from going off the rails. Anyone is welcome to throw out suggestions, though keep in mind that I don’t want to radically alter the movie. The changelist will likely increase.
Obviously, this edit will benefit from the prior work of others, such as Darthrush, Q2, Spence, and especially Harmy.

As you can see below, I do not have a slam-dunk source identified for the 2004 or 2011 version roughly matching the picture of the Despecialized version. Can anyone recommend a source to use? I am not great with color correction, but if there are overall changes I can make to the BluRay footage to get it in the ballpark, let me know. I am not a stickler with colors, but I want the sources used to come together well. If anyone who knows how wished to run the BluRay (or relevant portions) through a color matcher with the Despecialized Edition, that would be the best option. I’m open to input on this.

Sources:
Despecialized Edition v2.5
[Unidentified source for 2011/2004 version color corrected to roughly match Despecialized]
'97 DTS 5.1 audio (processed by CapableMetal to be appropriate for home video)

(The good thing about using Despecialized is that it is GOUT-synced, and I can merely keep around the other sources used in order to be able to export new versions whenever Harmy puts out major revisions to that project.)

From the Despecialized as a base, Special Edition changes to be included:

Possibly add Oola falling into rancor pit, though retaining no other SE elements of the scene

Recomposited Rancor scene

Bantha herd and fixed sail barge FX

Recomposited Boba Fett flying toward the barge with an out-of-control jetpack

Rope around Han’s ankles as he dangles from the skiff

Recomposited final shot of the sail barge sequence, conversation between Han, Leia, and Luke in space including blue R2 and recomposited ships, also the following recomposited establishing shot of the Death Star

Recomposited ghost of Obi-Wan

Use at least two specific recomposited shots of the space battle

Use SE for shots of the Emperor in his chair to remove slugs

Recomposited shot of Emperor falling down the shaft

Anakin’s unmasking without eyebrows

Possibly show the fleet moving away from the Death Star right before it explodes

NEW CHANGES:

Fan edit title card (followed by OOT 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm logos)

Trim down Bib Fortuna and 3PO’s conversation

Remove 3PO’s, “Look, Captain Solo! And he’s still frozen in carbonite.”

Less laughter from Salacious Crumb

Remove gonk droid screaming, and if anyone capable volunteers, it’d be wonderful to have the steam and the hot iron actually sync up

Remove subtitle for “I want fifty thousand. No less.” if possible, with differing sources needing to closely match very similar shots

Remove sarlacc burp after eating Boba Fett (an earlier burp by the frog creature outside Jabba’s palace will stay)

Possibly remove either Han and Lando’s conversation before the rebel briefing

Remove Han’s, “Good luck. You’re gonna need it.”

Possibly remove unnecessary scene in which the Emperor essentially tells Vader to go wait in the car

Han doesn’t step on a twig, and the trooper reacts to Chewie’s growl

Remove Han’s, “I hope she’s all right.”

Remove R2 electrocuting an ewok

Cut to next scene partway through 3PO’s narrative to the ewoks, possibly using, “Yes, R2, I was just coming to that” as a transition after moving it to later in his tale

Remove a strong sense of jealousy from Han after Luke and Leia’s conversation

Possibly remove cutting back to Paploo after he speeds off on one of the bikes

Remove Tarzan yell

After the Death Star blows up, remove Han’s jealousy

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What are you going to do about the musical number? I personally don’t like any of the versions, but the harmonica player from the Special Edition is not that bad at all.

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Collipso said:

What are you going to do about the musical number? I personally don’t like any of the versions, but the harmonica player from the Special Edition is not that bad at all.

Lapti Nek all the way.

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I don’t have any suggestions, but I recognize that this movie could absolutely benefit from a fan edit. Will definitely watch when done!

No offense, kid, but I don’t think you know how to boil water.

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Hal 9000 said:

Collipso said:

What are you going to do about the musical number? I personally don’t like any of the versions, but the harmonica player from the Special Edition is not that bad at all.

Lapti Nek all the way.

Do you plan on trimming down some of the “look at how cute this Ewok is” moments?

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Just reiterating what might be buried in the OP: Anyone with counsel about a source for the 2004/2011 version with colors that could be made to roughly match the Despecialized, let me know. Doesn’t have to be 100% perfect, but I need the best possible starting place.

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Kk650’s semi specialized 2.6 series actually has quite good color. It would make for at least a very good starting point. Not yellow as were the previous versions, decently balanced.

However, I don’t think Jedi is available as tehparadox is down and that one has not hit spleen yet.

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Collipso said:

Hal 9000 said:

Collipso said:

What are you going to do about the musical number? I personally don’t like any of the versions, but the harmonica player from the Special Edition is not that bad at all.

Lapti Nek all the way.

Do you plan on trimming down some of the “look at how cute this Ewok is” moments?

Most likely, though those things will probably be up in the air until I have everything ready to go in my NLE and I can take a close look. I don’t have specifics in mind, but yes.

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towne32 said:

Kk650’s semi specialized 2.6 series actually has quite good color. It would make for at least a very good starting point. Not yellow as were the previous versions, decently balanced.

However, I don’t think Jedi is available as tehparadox is down and that one has Not hit spleen yet.

Thank you for the tip. I was looking at the most recent version on the spleen, which is V2.15 and did not know there was anything more recent than that. And I thought it did look much too yellow. Sounds good, I will try to find a way to get it.

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the other 2.6 entries are on spleen thanks to other people. he has been going through and uploading copies himself, but I think he is still working through prequel uploads.

I think he will get to it. But you can grab esb to get an idea of if you like the general style.

The changes will be things you would incorporate anyway, most likely. Might want to ask permission as I don’t know if I’ve seen people use his versions as edit bases before.

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I think most cartoonish sounds could (should ?) be removed:

  • when the speeder-bike is slashed by Luke;
  • when the Walker gets off balanced during the battle.

It can be done without removing video (just sound alteration, such as Tarzan yell).

Are you going to try reinserting the Bunker extended sequence ?

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

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One note about new obiwan composite is that it messes up the background image for a few shots, I think. a branch gets its position shifted. Might want to see about color matching Harmy’s version for those shots, if it looks reasonable next to the recomposited ones for the rest.

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I like the changelist so far. Definitely with you on the eyebrows thing, believe it or not - it makes more sense “saga-wise.”

I haven’t checked out kk650’s regrades of the OT, but I really liked his TPM regrade (not the most recent one, I don’t have that yet).

The PT is the greatest thing that’s happened to Star Wars if you don’t count everything else. – Collipso

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Yeah. I don’t think I actually have a problem with the eyebrows when you take away the ‘why do you keep changing things instead of giving us the actual film’ angle.

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^ Cartoony sounds listed above will be taken care of if the source audio allows for it. And good tip about the Jabba door. This is the minutia that even someone like me can get lost in. (Not the change itself, but that it was recomposited in 2004 before being replaced in 2011.) 😃

This edit, for me, will try to serve the “custom special edition” function while still fitting in with either versions of ANH and ESB one may have just watched (OOT or a SE). In that spirit, recomposites are okay but obvious CGI is not; Anakin’s eyebrows being removed is okay, but Hayden’s ghost is not.

About Obi-Wan’s ghost, I’ll just use Harmy’s if there’s a problem with the SE.

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I’d get rid of any cutesy/comedy moments involving the Ewoks.

Remove any burp jokes in the film.

Do something about the droid torture scene - make it more serious.

Prune back any cut-away shots to Salacious Crumb laughing.

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Hal 9000 said:

If anyone who knows how wished to run the BluRay (or relevant portions) through a color matcher with the Despecialized Edition, that would be the best option.

Didn’t NeverarGreat do something about the colors in the Blu-Rays?

Remove subtitle for “I want fifty thousand. No less.” if possible, with differing sources needing to closely match very similar shots

The Blu-Rays don’t have burned-in subtitles if that’s any help.

The Empire did nothing wrong

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SparkySywer said:

Didn’t NeverarGreat do something about the colors in the Blu-Rays?

Just ANH.

The PT is the greatest thing that’s happened to Star Wars if you don’t count everything else. – Collipso

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Slavicuss said:

I’d get rid of any cutesy/comedy moments involving the Ewoks.

The problem with, that, though, is that you’re attempting to portray the Ewoks as an actual threat if you take out anything that makes them seem otherwise, but they at their core are meant to be cute

No offense, kid, but I don’t think you know how to boil water.

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Exactly. I’m just aiming to trim the furthest reaching instances of cutsiness. Remove just the extremes.

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liamnotneeson said:

Slavicuss said:

I’d get rid of any cutesy/comedy moments involving the Ewoks.

The problem with, that, though, is that you’re attempting to portray the Ewoks as an actual threat if you take out anything that makes them seem otherwise, but they at their core are meant to be cute

They can still be cute but removing some of the more silly moments won’t hurt them or the film.

Edit out the shot of Wicket knocking himself out with the bolas and shorten the moment an Ewok steals a speeder bike. I’d end the scene just as the biker scouts begin their pursuit. Dump the footage of the Ewok trying to control the bike.

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A quick suggestion, Can you possibly restructure the Jabba “plan” sequence? It seems to me there’s no plan to save Han at all. All they just do is to get captured and wait for Luke to rescue them.

Another thing, when Threepio describes Jabba’s palace, he says that Lando and Chewie has never gone out of the palace, even though we see Chewie brought in by Leia.

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Yeah, the line about Chewie at the beginning will be gone, I just didn’t include it in my changelist but would’ve seen it. 😉

Hadn’t planned to alter the… plan, but I am open to suggestions, provided they are simple and elegant changes.

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