Well, Spence. I think I'll be writing a detailed review soon, but it's so exciting to watch Jedi this way I just have to write something now immidiately after watching it. First of all, thank you for all the hard work you've done. Only a few things:
-this edit is the bravest step till date of showing what ROTJ could really have been although it's probably still far away from an original idea in the times of Gary Kurtz's Star Wars production presence.
Here is Gary Kurtz talking, from this interview (http://movies.ign.com/articles/376/376873p4.html):
One of the reasons Jedi came out the way it did was because the story outline of how Jedi was going to be seemed to get tossed out, and one of the reasons I was really unhappy was the fact that all of the carefully constructed story structure of characters and things that we did in Empire was going to carry over into Jedi. The resolution of that film was going to be quite bittersweet, with Han Solo being killed, and the princess having to take over as queen of what remained of her people, leaving everybody else. In effect, Luke was left on his own. None of that happened, of course.
IGNFF: So it would have been less of a fairy-tale ending?
KURTZ: Much, much less. It would have been quite sad, and poignant and upbeat at the same time, because they would have won a battle. But the idea of another attack on another Death Star wasn't there at all ... it was a rehash of Star Wars, with better visual effects. And there were no Ewoks ... it was just entirely different. It was much more adult and straightforward, the story. This idea that the roller-coaster ride was all the audience was interested in, and the story doesn't have to be very adult or interesting, seemed to come up because of what happened with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones films – and the fact that that seemed to make a lot of money and it didn't matter whether there was a really good story or not – that wasn't what this kind of film was about. We had serious differences about a lot of that.
This edit tries to get closer to this first concept and does it with success! It's a enjoyable movie now, people in it behave like in adult world which is still adorable for children. I personally was wery touched by seeing it because it reminded me on that anticipation of it back at 1983. Now this is what I actually like more for a lot of reasons:
-all the lines indicating that characters in this movie are actually played by real actors, are gone, and that includes some crappy street humour from our "earthy" lives as well Tarzan - parody (not very star warsy, isn't it?), so characters "stay" in their characters which is great
-less great thing about cutting certain "character lines" like "hey!...it's me" is the fact you can't replace them with something else "more in his or her character" because there isn't anythyng else available to use. So what one ends with is an rather empty sort of character. That is what happened to Solo and Jabba in this edit.
- cutting Jabba's screen time brings less fascination for Leia killing him, it felt like Jabba is some minor character, a not very interesting space gangster like lots of others and a character one doesn't want to know more about, he just sits and threats around
- the whole Jabba's palace sequence reminded me on some new "Clone Wars" - tv - episode now. It's also almost the same length :-) and I don't know is that good or bad
- after seeing "trimmed versions" of some of this movie's characters it is clear that this is as far as one can go trimming them because although they are more believable now, they also feel less personal and the whole movie like "made from a distance". I didn't feel "in it" like in ESB but looking at it "from outside" which still is better then original cliche and over the top - lines of every character. They are all gone now in that 30 min cut out.
- ewoks involment now feels appropriate and right. They don't have to hijack the whole movie any more and are actually very likable in this edit. They are really living there on Endor so now you just get along with it and one might even like them a lot without getting too patheticaly close to their characters.
- the duel doesn't seem short but simple now. It could live with one intercutting to the Endor/Space battle but this was your choice, it brings a new simplier feel now, like a chamber instead symphonic concert. It doesn't mean that it's less spectacular, it just feels new and different also because of trimmed dialogues.
- the star destroyer duel - concept is great. But overall I felt a need to see more places-introductions (Boushe walking in hallways of Jabba's palace, Trone - room from outside star destroyer) and this would probbably be neccessary in any attempt of a bigger edit then this one
- it is clear to me now after seeing this great made edit that it's impossible changing ROTJ to make it in another kind of style, but with all bounded elements that a good movie should still have but also, there are great functioning new moments in this version which are real pleasure to see (new intercuttings for example) and can represent an inspiration and orientation for Adywan and his decisions on his future ROTJ:R, because Spence, you brought a clear light on a certain road
- I allways liked to watch ROTJ, particulary it's noble opening. This version is the one I'll be looking from time to time from now on and enjoy it
- i think it would be great now to watch the whole OT with this version in it. If I do it , I'll write again how it felt. This could bring some new impacts as well
- I'll adress some cutting details and music choices in more detail soon
Congrats to you Spence, everyone who helped and thank you for your dedication!