The ESB changes are detractive but in more subtle ways than the other two films. The worst is the change in Vader’s line reading but worst of all is the wrecking of the climax’s pacing in order to shove in the new shots of Vader’s shuttle and then a shameless recycle of a ROTJ shuttle shot.
The Wampa addition is fine but the limitation of the original has more suspense and plays better.
The effect cleanups were one thing but many were recomposites if you check 005’s exhaustive thread. I really wish they would have left it alone despite fixing inherent issues like the see through snowspeeder cockpits. It should be as it was just like the rods/armatures left in King Kong. And NONE of us noticed the Wampa arm rod until a couple of years ago.
The 2004 DVD Emperor scene and Jango redubs were yet another twist of the knife and wholly unnecessary. I could understand the logic in each but neither is effective at anything other than taking you out of the film.
The Bespin flythrough is needed but doesn’t do all that much. It also sticks out as a new shot and in comparison the simplistic landing of the original is a better choice in terms of direct pacing.
The interior and Leia viewport shot are better in the original because they are intrinsic to the original composition whereas the new additions do not always mesh perfectly with the original photography.
I grew up in the years of renting various tapes so at times it was SE and not SE. The scream is fine until you realize it’s Palpy’s scream and that the fall does work better in silence.
Mostly the SE 1997 mix actually adds some things from the mono mix and is both bombastic and respectful to the original 1980 mix intentions. It does revert back to the scripted “lucky to get out of there” but that’s fine. In the SE track there are some nice alternate effects in the Bespin duel from the mono I prefer and still think of: chiefly Vader’s exclamation when knocked off the platform by Luke. In the 1980 mix it’s a simple :“Aarh!”. whereas the SE mix had a much more impressive: “Oooohhhhhh!”-this came from the mono and is one of the things the SE pulled in.
The stupid choice was the “alert my Star Destroyer” line from an ANH outtake that is emotionally out of place in that scene.
In ESB it shows yet again unimportant and incessant tweaking for tweakings sake. Each of the ESB changes are undoing pieces of the original film and it really should have been left alone.