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Post #1479095

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Community Focus Thread 2: Return of the Jedi
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8-Apr-2022, 5:47 PM
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8-Apr-2022, 5:48 PM
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I definitely have some thoughts on major restructures such as these for the film, and I could go ahead and talk about them a bit, but I do have some reservations about focusing too heavily on a radical re-edit.

I do agree with Vlad that I think it makes sense for Luke, Vader and the Emperor to be on the Death Star. I have certainly had thoughts on making radical changes to the movie, but reading through Rinzler’s making of book and reading the transcripts during the story meeting between Lucas, Kasdan, Marquand and Kazanjian made me understand more some of the choices they made. On one hand, this whole idea of a community focus month was partly inspired on the collaborative nature of Hal’s TFA: Restructured, which main goal was about a major plot restructure, so this type of thread could be a solid crucible to figure out the best idea and what would need to be done to achieve it.

On the other hand, I could see people having trouble coming to an agreement on such big changes. With the Starkiller restructure, we had a pretty solid consensus. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for people in favor of some of these restructures to do very rough cuts of the suggested scene order and see how it actually feels. I do see merit in ideas like Luke being on Dagobah at first, or simplifying the rescue plan for Han. It could be cool, but another part of me would rather focus on trying to make the ideas presented in the movie clearer. For example, make changes to the Jabba sequence to add clarity and focus to Luke’s plan, but not taking the fun out of it either. That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind making some trims to improve pacing.

Speaking of pacing, one thing I noticed with the beginning is how there’s little connection between the opening scene with Vader, and then with R2 and 3PO approaching Jabba’s palace and the rest of the Tatooine sequence. With ANH and ESB, I think the audience can feel this plot baton being passed along from one scene to the next. Sure, we do cut back and forth between our heroes and our villains, but by that point their stories had already been connected in the narrative. I think something that helped this problem originally in ROTJ was the deleted scene of Vader trying to commune with Luke on Tatooine. I assume this scene was cut because they felt his introduction was better served during his entrance to Jabba’s palace, but I do think there are some benefits to restoring it. But obviously an issue with using the deleted scene is the quality not being super great. This wouldn’t be an issue as much for an edit using something like '83 Grindhouse or Puggo Grande (which I’m personally planning to do), but not might work as something that could be shared with other editors wanting to keep the material they use consistent.

I know some people have suggested putting the Emperor’s arrival at the beginning of the film and cutting the original opening, but you sort of end up with the same issue either way. Maybe this isn’t a big issue, but it is something that I was thinking about when rewatching the film recently.