Sign In

Post #1293975

Parent topic
Anyone else think Empire Strikes Back's Special Edition is actually better than the Theatrical Cut?
Link to post in topic
Date created
25-Aug-2019, 3:17 AM
Last modified
31-Aug-2019, 3:33 AM
Edited by
Reason for edit
None provided

I prefer the original 1980 ESB, although I agree that of the special editions, ESB was the least butchered. Taking the main changes I can recall in turn:

  1. Recompositing and patching up effects. A good change, this. The speeders don’t look pasted onto the background in some shots, making the effects more believable. Fixing some of the speeder cockpit issues and the Wampa arm were also arguably good changes. (Although I must confess I had never noticed either of these until they were pointed out to me afterwards.)

  2. Extra Hoth Wampa scenes. I’m on the fence here. I thought the shots themselves were very well done, despite taking away a little suspense. As for the Wampa not being quite the same as in the other shots, there was already a discrepancy in the fleeting appearances from 1980. Adywan wrote at length about these - and fixed them - when making ESB:Revisited.

  3. New emperor scene (from 2004). While there was a clear lack of continuity between the 1980 emperor and 1983 emperor in both look and voice, the new ESB SE dialogue is an absolute travesty. Overall, I prefer the 1980 version but would have been happy with something akin to ESB:Revisted for this scene. (When I was a kid, I just assumed there had been a change in emperor between the events of ESB and ROTJ and didn’t worry too much about it…)

  4. Boba Fett redub (from 2004). Aarrgghh. No one will ever replace Jason Wingreen for me; his voice was absolutely perfect for the role. 1980/97 all the way.

  5. Bespin. I liked the new fly-by footage in the SE (as I did with Mos Eisley in the Star Wars SE), but preferred the claustrophobic interior shots from 1980.

  6. Luke’s scream. Only used in the 1997 version, and a bizarre addition which was thankfully removed in all future versions. Without this, the 1997 SE would be about neck and neck with the 1980 version for me.

  7. Alert my star destroyer… As many have mentioned before, this new line - together with the new shuttle footage - wrecked the pacing towards the end of the film. The original “Bring my shuttle” was also delivered perfectly, conveying a real feeling of annoyance. Perhaps some of the new footage could have been inserted elsewhere to good effect? I did like seeing Vader’s shuttle with the Tie escorts.

  8. Audio. I don’t have a separate sound system, relying instead on my TV’s inbuilt stereo speakers, so I can’t comment whether or not the audio was generally better or worse in the SE. But two things did strike me as worse. The slight echo from 1980 in the conversation between Luke and Vader in the large chasm is gone, taking away some atmosphere from that iconic scene. And Chewie’s growl while strangling Lando now completely drowns out some of Leia’s dialogue.