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B-Wings in ROTJ, editing epiphany

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 (Edited)

Being a fan of Adywan’s work thus far, I wanted to be of some help too. Among the most common wishes for ROTJ seems to be for more B-Wings, and I would agree. However, that presents a problem with the lack of pilot footage. Well, I stumbled upon something that might help with that.

Almost everyone can agree to the ROTJ space battle as being one of, if not the greatest, space battles ever put to film. The problem though is that it is not nearly as well defined as ANH.

Let me explain.

In ANH it was made clear that Red Group were X-wings and Gold Group were Y-Wings. However, in ROTJ we see pilots clearly flying different ships referred to as being in the same group.

^ Red Two and Red Three in Return Of The Jedi, Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

I always took it to mean that the battle was so confusing that the dialogue had little connection to what we were seeing. But then again, that may not have been the intention. I recall an interview with Bill George, the guy who built the B-Wing model, where he said that they intended to use it a lot and ended up abandoning it because it was so thin that it didn’t register well with optical compositing. It was intended to be the fighter of Blue Group. Footage of pilots in strange flight suits in helmets never shown in the battle further prove this.

^ Is that guy with the moustache Ray, the Death Star contractor? (original link to image)

 
 

Now, for space battle fans like myself, the old game Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire is indispensable. And, it has a B-wing. For those who haven’t played it, it’s an arcade modeled game that uses footage of actors using original Lucasfilm props. You would think that it is some of the clearest footage available of many of the helmets and flight suits from the films. Surprisingly, Wookiepedia claims that cockpit sets were never built for the game – just an actor in a chair sitting in front of blue screen. Regardless, they showed the B-Wing cockpit to be largely a series of pipes behind the pilot, and this reminded me of the Y-Wings from ROTJ.


I'm hit!

Rebel Assault B-Wing guy compared to ROTJ “I’m hit!” guy (Ekelarc Yong - ‘Gray 3’).

 
 

The Y-Wings in ROTJ were just a mess of pipes against a solid wall. However, watching ANH, the Y-Wings looked completely different. They are noticeably roomier and have a series of windows behind them.

gold leader

 
 

Comparing these cockpits to the Y-Wing and B-Wing exteriors, I become convinced that the Y-Wing pilots we see in ROTJ are actually sitting in a B-Wing cockpit. SHOCKER OF ALL SHOCKS! But stop and think about this for a minute. We know that a great many pilot scenes shot for ROTJ were cut out of the movie, and that this was because they got rid of all the B-Wing model shots.

That would mean that there were sets built for all four fighters. Now, considering that these movies were made back to back, that would mean that the X-Wing and Y-Wing cockpits were the same ones used in ANH.

That makes sense as the X-Wings cockpits never changed. That means that the Y-Wings should not have changed either, but as I have shown, they did. Either they used B-Wing cockpit shots for the Y-Wings or they built a completely new Y-Wing set. I go for the former and here is why…

I'm on it

^ “I’m on it”

the guns, they've stopped

^ “The guns, they’ve stopped!”

“Watch out, squad at .06.”
“I’m on it Gold Leader.”

 

There it is, the Y-Wing cockpit; ROTJ on the left, ANH on the right. Notice the pipe on the dashboard and the yellow and red lights on the left. Now, here is what I think happened: I think that the editors, finding that the B-Wing footage was unusable, opted to use what they thought looked good first, and what was logical second. People don’t pay that much attention to the details of action scenes and they probably didn’t think that anyone would notice that the cockpits don’t match up with the model shots. Thirty years has proved them correct. How can anyone blame them for their footage choices? Just look at the ridiculous looking helmets they didn’t use.

 

wierd helmet
AdmiralKrane.jpg

The image on the right is from Rebel Assault II.

 

I would have made the same decision. The proof that they didn’t match the model shots with the cockpits are right in front of you. Even when you entertain the thought that the different fighters could have been in the same group, that doesn’t explain some scenes. Take for instance this woman:

Red 3

(more info here on ‘Red 3’, A-Wing pilot ‘Sila Kott’ : https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Sila_Kott)

That’s right. That’s a woman.

They dubbed her with a man’s voice. Dubbing was not uncommon because they were all British, but take this into consideration: The scene where we see her goes like this:
 

Lando (in the Falcon): “Watch yourself, Wedge. Three from above.”

Wedge (in an X-Wing): Red Three, Red Two pull in"

A-Wing Girl (with two TIE Intercepters behind her): “Got it.”

(A-Wing explodes while the Y-Wing shoots down the TIE Interceptors that were chasing it.)

Green Leader (in identical flight suit, helmet, and cockpit): “Three of them coming in, twenty degrees.”

Wedge (in an X-Wing): “Cut to the left, I’ll take the leader.”
 

Woah! Here we are shown two people in almost identical getup, in the same cockpit, portraying two different types of fighters. The implication is that Green Leader, clearly in a A-Wing cockpit, was flying the Y-Wing. Proof, in my opinion, that the editors weren’t being picky about what went where. I humbly submit to my respective fellow fans, that we never lost the B-Wing pilots – we lost the Y-Wing pilots.

side ANH
side ROTJ

Notice how the side views, like the face views, don’t match up either. Pay close attention to the cockpit itself, such as the piping on the left and the wiring on the right.

 

Still, it was an awesome battle.

 

 

Some have asked to see the Falcon’s gunners during the battle. There is a well-known photo of an older guy in camouflage manning the turret (Airen Cracken), so we know footage exists.

Well, you can see in the film where it was supposed to go.

falcon

^ Right here.

“They’re heading for the Medical Frigate.” “Pressure steady.”

You can tell because the sound effect and the laser blasts line up with the turrets from ANH. Later when the Falcon fires in the Death Star, we hear the familiar splat sound associated with Rebel lasers.

 

P.P.S. I may be the only one who feels this way, but can we have the option of keeping the new musical number in Jabba’s palace? I may be the only one who likes it, but it has always made sense to me that Jabba would have a blues band.
 
-G

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It's a shame we didn't get to follow the girls (there were a few) and guys in the fighters in a more structured way.

The fighter pilots of ANH have nice character quirks which make them identifiable so when they are killed or 'can't stay with us' (you know who I'm talking about) we feel for them even though we barely get to see them outside of that sequence.

Indeed the mysterious shiny helmet squadron (blue in most versions, red in ANH:R) are pretty much the connecting tissue other than Luke (and Red Leader and Biggs in the SE and ANH:R) between that sequence and the rest of the film which makes the connection the audience has with the pilots all the more remarkable.

For ROTJ edits it might be a good proposal to make a hybrid fanfilm/fanedit where new actors replace some of those seen in the current versions of the film.

We get to meet some of them, see them at the briefing, hear their hopes and concerns before getting into their ships and see them in the battle.

It would be a great way to give each ship class a unique identifying flight outfit and match the pilots to the ships as well as identify the pilots themselves so when we see them take risks and die we care more.

In it's long form it could play out like one of those Galactica mini-episodes for example, the Razor Flashbacks.

But with careful editing hopefully some of the unique qualities of the performances could survive truncation when edited into the film itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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 (Edited)

 

TheBigBadGman said:


Now, considering that these movies were made back to back, that would mean that the X-Wing and Y-Wing cockpits were the same ones used in ANH. That makes sense as the X-Wings cockpits never changed.

Actually, they did:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a115/doubleofive/RotJR/CockpitDesigns.jpg

RotJ's cockpit is radically different from the other two. Not sure how that affects your ideas.

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 (Edited)

Couldn't the slightly changing cockpits be chalked up to advances in the tech? Life support systems, ect.? And looks like Wedge likes listening to some tunes while flying around, so he had better speakers installed behind his chair ; )

Oh and also in regards to the OP, Jabba and the blues makes sense in my mind. Jabba and a horrible CGI Las Vegas show-tunes band doesn't. That new song HAS. TO. GO.

Ray’s Lounge
Biggs in ANH edit idea
ROTJ opening edit idea

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I'm willing to admit that I may be wrong on the cockpits thing.  005, I see your point on the X-Wing cockpits; I guess it slipped by me because there was no big change in the windows.  That's what caught my eye on the Y-Wings.  I've seen photographs of the X-Wing and Y-Wing movie sets before, does anybody know of any on the others?  

Ray, I always connected the CGI band to be like an alien Ike and Tina Turner.  Everyone's entitled to their opinions, and mine just so happens to be different.    

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I'd actually say you're dead wrong about the B-Wing/Y-Wing switch. The ROTJ-Y-Wing shot you posted appears to be the same window-shapes as the ANH-Y-Wing shot, only the camera is in front of the pilot, rather than behind, thus we see less of the side-windows. You can see the the corners of the side windows starting, however. The ROTJ-Y-Wing has struts coming up on the left and right sides of that screencap, while photos of the B-Wing model show that there really shouldn't be any struts there. The interior of cockpits may have changed, but I'd bet they got window-shapes pretty close to correct.

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Don't misunderstand me.  With the picture comparison you are referring to, I was trying to say that, according to my theory (I'm willing to admit I'm wrong), there are Y-Wing shots in the film.  That POV shot shows an identical cockpit set to ANH, that's why I said to note the lights on the dash.  

What I was trying to say is that the side and face views do not match up between the two films.  If they built a newer, more detailed set, why did they go through the trouble of making the front of it match ANH and not the back and sides?  

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Well, I can say that you think a lot like I do.  However, as a filmmaker I can tell you that the inconsistencies are much less important than the overall feel of the battle. I do not agree with glaring inconsistencies that alter the story or somehow take the viewer out of the viewing experience. However, in this case I can accept the fact they switch everyone around and changed voices of the woman (never knew that btw).

I am doing my own edits "Star Wars: A Renewed Hope" and the entire 'Renewed' trilogy will come in time. The likelyhood of me skipping ESB and going on to ROTJ is very high. I am chomping at the bit to get a hold of that film. Unlike Adywan, I am not trying to perfect the films. His goals and mine are vastly different. I am basically trying to fix all the things that has bothered me and then make the 'Special Edition' we should have been treated to in 1997. So, that being said, when I get a hold of the Endor Battle it will be ramped up to the Nth degree. B-wings will make a bold statement in ROTJ: Renewed. I am fortunate enough to be a collector for about 30 years now and I have a little of everything. I have a B-wing, A-wing, 2 Y-wings, and several X-wings to shoot the live action with. The only thing i lack is a large TIE and a better SD for close up shots.  When I am finished the entire battle will be completly re-edited to accomodate the new shots.

Have no fear my friend. You will get your beloved B-wings into ROTJ finally as well as some secret surprises I have in store. I might need your insight on who is who as far as pilots go. I haven't finished 'A Renewed Hope' yet so I haven't really torn apart ROTJ yet. Keep up the good work and if you can somehow get the game footage in better quality let me know. I can't play my games on my new 64 bit computer so I haven't the ability to rip the footage.

 PS - As far as the original song in Jabba's palace, it will make a rousing comeback in my edit. I have already seen somebody (don't know who) re-edit the original footage with the CGI footage and the way it was done was seamless. They have done almost exactly what I'll do. I even have a way for Yub-Nub to make a comeback without losing the new score at the end of the film. Tricky of course but it works. I already did a quick mock-up last year and it totally works. Don't worry dude, I'm like Uncle George when it comes to tinkering with these movies but I, unlike Georgy Poo, understand the films and what makes them great. I am changing things just because I want to play around in the Star Wars universe but in the end, I want Yub-nub and B-wings and all the stuff I dreamed about as a kid to finally make it on screen.

Peace brother ~ Steven 

 

 

If once you start down the dark path... wear comfortable shoes.

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Darth Stewie said:

I am doing my own edits "Star Wars: A Renewed Hope" and the entire 'Renewed' trilogy will come in time. The likelyhood of me skipping ESB and going on to ROTJ is very high. I am chomping at the bit to get a hold of that film. Unlike Adywan, I am not trying to perfect the films. His goals and mine are vastly different. I am basically trying to fix all the things that has bothered me and then make the 'Special Edition' we should have been treated to in 1997. So, that being said, when I get a hold of the Endor Battle it will be ramped up to the Nth degree. B-wings will make a bold statement in ROTJ: Renewed.

I guess the edits are not so dissimilar then because i have stated that i will be doing exactly the same thing with the Endor battle on numerous occasions, especially with the B-Wings as i will be filming new B-Wing, A-Wing & X-Wing pilots to flesh out the space battle and give it a grander scale. As i called it "The battle to end all battles", which is as it should be.

 

ANH:REVISITED
ESB:REVISITED

DONATIONS TOWARDS MATERIALS FOR THE REVISITED SAGA

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It would be nice to have a few of the pilots for a grander ROTJ battle make their first appearance escorting ships out of the Hoth arena.

That way you would have Wedge surviving through all all battles, a few from ESB still holding in there and a few new ones mixed in for the final conflict.

There were a few fighters that made it out of the first Death Star battle other than Luke and Wedge.

As well as getting rid of the never seen again 'shiny helmet squadron' it might be a plus to add a few pilots into ANH who can be the pilots in those ships and have maybe one of them fly along side Wedge in the final battle too.

It could build up a believable background of minor characters for the eagle eyed to spot from episode to episode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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As the topic of needing more women in these movies has been brought up, and as the OP pointed out that one of the pilots is a male-dubbed female actor, a humble recommendation would be to dub her with a female voice again.  I kind off imagine a tougher woman's voice, someone with a little deeper voice.  I like your idea, Bingowings, with the surviving pilots, by the way.

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As the actress was probably English I think she should probably have an English accent.

Perhaps we could research this further, find out who she is and if she is still around restore her real voice to the film.

That would be something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M