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Community Focus Thread 2: Return of the Jedi — Page 4

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I love some of the ideas here, like having the whole Vader/Boba deal. That would add so much to the opening act and it gives Vader and Boba more to do.

Also, yes please to new Hayden force ghost.

I was always a fan of the idea that Luke was training on Dagobah between ESB and ROTJ. You don’t even have to move the Dagobah scenes to the beginning, you could just keep them in their natural place, have it say Luke’s training there in the crawl. This way Luke’s entrance will still be the dramatic mysterious one. Rearrange the Tatooine storyline so Leia’s plan comes first, then the droids are sent after they’re captured as a part of Luke’s plan (he left Dagobah to save his friends). Then he goes back.

The only thing is, though, with the whole “he was training on Dagobah the whole time” idea, it doesn’t make any sense for Luke to wait a year to get clarification from Yoda and Obi-Wan about Vader being his father, or for them to wait that long to tell him. You could technically cut those parts, but that’d only work for a chronological saga edit (which is my preferred way of viewing the saga, but that isn’t universal) and you’d lose crucial character moments. I’d hate to lose, “There is still good in him” and “He’s more machine now then man, twisted and evil.” I at one point considered having a timeskip in which there would be an opening that took place right after ESB, Luke lands on Dagobah and confronts Yoda and Obi-Wan about the truth. Then it timeskips to a year later with the Vader death star arrival. But I realized timeskips don’t work for the style of Star Wars, as talked about in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD2G0D-nyLA) and would make it not feel like a Star Wars movie anymore. So really, to me, the only way it makes sense is to just keep it the way it is (except for rearranging the Tatooine scenes so Leia’s plan is first, then Luke’s, which clears up basically all the odd decision making) and have it so Luke is a more self-taught Jedi, lose Yoda confirming Vader is Luke’s father and the Obi-Wan conversation (unfortunate but doable) or just accept the idea that the Jedi masters refused to tell Luke more about his past and his family for a year (which just doesn’t feel right).

This is something that would take new footage with fan-made costumes to pull off but I would love it if when Vader tries to see the Emperor against his command Vader has a short fight with some royal guards guarding the throne room. Vader approaches, they try to use their electro staffs but Vader force chokes and shoves them away. That gives the guards and Vader a bit more to do.

I really don’t like the idea of removing the first Vader Death Star scene and having it start with the Emperor’s arrival. The Vader arrival is such a great scene (that low angle shot of him walking out of the shuttle is awesome and I’d hate to lose it, and I love his no-bullshit attitude), it means no buildup for the Emperor and it also means no scenes with the main villains in the first 40 minutes except for the opening, which is just way too long. If you don’t have both the Vader arrival and Emperor arrival the audience is going to start wondering where they are. Also cutting a Vader scene is like heresy to me, if anything I want more of him lol

The idea with having Vader’s body fade away kinda ruins any sort of mystery for the audience as to whether he’s worthy of becoming a force ghost and makes his appearance at the party less surprising. I like how during his funeral, the audience is kinda made ready to accept that he’s dead (which makes it powerful), only for the arrival of his force ghost showing that no, he isn’t gone forever, and was truly redeemed.

I don’t quite agree with the common criticism that Han’s character is weaker here. To me it reads that Han’s always had some anxiety and that his sass has often been a mask for that, and especially regarding Leia, he’s found someone he really loves so he’s genuinely concerned to lose her.

Thank you! I know some people think that it’s stupid that Han could possibly think Leia loves Luke more then him, but insecurity, jealousy, and fear will do that to you. Fear is a powerful drug. It’s how Anakin became Vader.

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Some valid points here, but to address just one:

The emperor’s guards do serve a purpose. They exist to be dismissed by the Emperor, to show the audience just how little he views Luke as a threat, and his absolute confidence.

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EddieDean said:

Some valid points here, but to address just one:

The emperor’s guards do serve a purpose. They exist to be dismissed by the Emperor, to show the audience just how little he views Luke as a threat, and his absolute confidence.

I wasn’t denying they do. I was simply saying it would give them more to do.

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G&G-Fan said:

The only thing is, though, with the whole “he was training on Dagobah the whole time” idea, it doesn’t make any sense for Luke to wait a year to get clarification from Yoda and Obi-Wan about Vader being his father, or for them to wait that long to tell him. You could technically cut those parts, but that’d only work for a chronological saga edit (which is my preferred way of viewing the saga, but that isn’t universal) and you’d lose crucial character moments. I’d hate to lose, “There is still good in him” and “He’s more machine now then man, twisted and evil.” I at one point considered having a timeskip in which there would be an opening that took place right after ESB, Luke lands on Dagobah and confronts Yoda and Obi-Wan about the truth. Then it timeskips to a year later with the Vader death star arrival. But I realized timeskips don’t work for the style of Star Wars, as talked about in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD2G0D-nyLA) and would make it not feel like a Star Wars movie anymore. So really, to me, the only way it makes sense is to just keep it the way it is (except for rearranging the Tatooine scenes so Leia’s plan is first, then Luke’s, which clears up basically all the odd decision making) and have it so Luke is a more self-taught Jedi, lose Yoda confirming Vader is Luke’s father and the Obi-Wan conversation (unfortunate but doable) or just accept the idea that the Jedi masters refused to tell Luke more about his past and his family for a year (which just doesn’t feel right).

I already said this, but I think if the Jabba the Hutt sequence and the Dagobah sequence were switched around, it would improve the film structurally. For me, the Dagobah sequence sets the plot in motion and takes the film into Act II. I personally don’t think cutting Dagobah out would do any good for ROTJ. More likely, it would make it worse.

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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I was never suggesting to cut Dagobah. Way too important and some of the best scenes of the film. Only that the only way it would make sense if Luke was training there between ESB and ROTJ is to remove the times when Luke questions Yoda and Obi-Wan about Vader being his father. Because if he was training with them all that time, they would’ve had that conversation awhile ago.

Basically, doing what the Spence edit did. The Yoda death scene is still there but Luke doesn’t ask him if Vader is truly his father. It also doesn’t have the Obi-Wan scene.

But that’s not the direction I’d prefer to go for an edit of my own. Because you lose great character moments there.

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Not to completely change the topic, but Darthrush in his “Return of the Jedi: Remastered” edit, adds a beautiful John Williams cue from Revenge of the Sith (Anakin’s Dream) into Luke’s conversation with Ben on Dagobah. Now, I’m usually against faneditors changing musical cues in their SW edits, but the addition of this track takes an otherwise bland scene (dare I say) and gives it some much needed emotional weight.

If you go back and watch that scene, the soundscape is almost completely empty for when Ben starts talking about Anakin.

Start this clip https://youtu.be/U7YS0YGoGfU at (1:24), and play this track https://youtu.be/2MqBvcjxJ70 at (1:48) and synchronize in order to recreate what Darthrush did.

What do you guys think about changing musical cues in SW fanedits as a whole? And try out this change and let me know what you think.

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I think it was discussed earlier that Yoda’s restored line “Obi-Wan would have told you earlier, had I let him” could help sell the angle that Luke’s been training with Yoda between movies without getting answers about his parents.

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When I did a rough edit of ROTJ years ago that did this restructure, I had Luke say to Yoda, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The idea being that Yoda confirmed the fact offscreen sometime between the films, but now before Yoda dies, Luke is wanting to understand why he chose not to tell him.

I could see an edit skipping that by having Yoda say something like, “Unfortunate it is, that Vader told you.” It kinda of implies they’ve already talked about it, and Yoda is just lamenting how this complicates their final confrontation.

I also can see how one might wonder why Obi-Wan hasn’t appeared to Luke yet if he’s been on Dagobah all that time, but we know Obi-Wan can commune with Luke on different planets and in space, so I think that question is there either way you cut it.

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SWOTFAN25 said:

What do you guys think about changing musical cues in SW fanedits as a whole? And try out this change and let me know what you think.

I’m actually a fan of mixing the soundtracks between the trilogies as I feel it makes the entire saga feel more congruent. But only when it fits and works, and doesn’t mess with a soundtrack that’s like, super iconic.

Like, rescoring basically anything in Cloud City or Mustafar, for example, would be a big no. But one example I really liked was when IlFanEditore for his ANH edit added the track that plays when Yoda senses Anakin’s pain in AOTC after his mother dies to the part in ANH where the Millennium Falcon lands on the Death Star and Vader investigates it (mostly because of it’s subtle imperial march tone and the mysterious vibe to it) and I think it really worked. I also love how Ady added Palpatine’s teachings to the Imperial meeting in ANH:R SD.

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G&G-Fan said:

SWOTFAN25 said:

What do you guys think about changing musical cues in SW fanedits as a whole? And try out this change and let me know what you think.

I’m actually a fan of mixing the soundtracks between the trilogies as I feel it makes the entire saga feel more congruent. But only when it fits and works, and doesn’t mess with a soundtrack that’s like, super iconic.

The Obi-Wan and Luke conversation could benefit from an injection of Anakin’s Theme or Across the Stars, if it fit the moment. If “Your mother/Padme once thought as you do” was inserted into ROTJ, then a slight hint of Across the Stars could work.

Speaking of Across the Stars and Anakin-Padme, would it work to insert a scene of Luke meditating and having a vision of Anakin’s fall? Such a bit would be a nice way to tie the two trilogies together. I’d suggest that it be Luke’s introduction into the movie, after Vader’s arrival on the DSII. It’d be extra nice if a voice AI could get Luke to say “Padme” in that moment.

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G&G-Fan said:

SWOTFAN25 said:

What do you guys think about changing musical cues in SW fanedits as a whole? And try out this change and let me know what you think.

I’m actually a fan of mixing the soundtracks between the trilogy as I feel it makes the entire saga feel more congruent. But only when it fits and works, and doesn’t mess with a soundtrack that’s like, super iconic.

Like, rescoring basically anything in Cloud City or Mustafar, for example, would be a big no. But one example I really liked was when IlFanEditore for his ANH edit added the track that plays when Yoda senses Anakin’s pain in AOTC after his mother dies to the part in ANH where the Millennium Falcon lands on the Death Star and Vader investigates it (mostly because of it’s subtle imperial march tone and the mysterious vibe to it) and I think it really worked. I also love how Ady added x to the Imperial meeting in ANH:R SD.

Ah yes! The “Palpatine’s Teachings” addition to ANH:R is absolutely fantastic. However, having the Imperial March in ANH is definitely a no for me. I’d love to see IlFanEditore’s addition though.

Since this is a ROTJ discussion, I know that the music at the end of the film is definitely up for debate. Of course we have the original and special addition tracks. But could there be a third track that we could use that may be superior to both? I came across this video awhile back which might spark an idea or two.

https://youtu.be/uaEwlu72BVo

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RogueLeader said:

When I did a rough edit of ROTJ years ago that did this restructure, I had Luke say to Yoda, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The idea being that Yoda confirmed the fact offscreen sometime between the films, but now before Yoda dies, Luke is wanting to understand why he chose not to tell him.

I could see an edit skipping that by having Yoda say something like, “Unfortunate it is, that Vader told you.” It kinda of implies they’ve already talked about it, and Yoda is just lamenting how this complicates their final confrontation.

I also can see how one might wonder why Obi-Wan hasn’t appeared to Luke yet if he’s been on Dagobah all that time, but we know Obi-Wan can commune with Luke on different planets and in space, so I think that question is there either way you cut it.

That last thing is true, hadn’t thought about it that way really.

Those sound like good ideas. Because I do quite like the restructuring idea, it makes the opening act less separate from the rest of the film and gives Luke more training to be as experienced as he is.

SWOTFAN25 said:

Ah yes! The “Palpatine’s Teachings” addition to ANH:R is absolutely fantastic. However, having the Imperial March in ANH is definitely a no for me. I’d love to see IlFanEditore’s addition though.

Since this is a ROTJ discussion, I know that the music at the end of the film is definitely up for debate. Of course we have the original and special addition tracks. But could there be a third track that we could use that may be superior to both? I came across this video awhile back which might spark an idea or two.

https://youtu.be/uaEwlu72BVo

I’d love to have the Imperial march in ANH but ok.

I honestly much prefer the original score to Anakin’s funeral to the alternate. It sounds more whimsical and has a hint of sadness in it which makes it incredibly fitting for a funeral. It’s a tearjerker. The alternate one sounds more bombastic, like a celebration.

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While I want to think of simpler ideas that just try to improve the movie as-is without major restructuring, I think I would still like to experiment with a major overhaul and then compare the two versions.

Without getting into it, the project I’ve thought about doing is a Revenge of the Jedi edit using Puggo Grande or 35mm Grindhouse as the base source. Any edits or vfx would feel period-accurate, and not CGI. I like the idea of it being a “lost workprint” or a film reel that somehow was brought over from an alternate history where ROTJ matured with its audience a little more. It would use some ideas like Luke having a blue saber, Luke and Leia not being siblings, etc. I feel like a heavy restructuring of the film would be appropriate for an edit like this. It wouldn’t try to be “better” than what we got, just different.

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RogueLeader said:

While I want to think of simpler ideas that just try to improve the movie as-is without major restructuring, I think I would still like to experiment with a major overhaul and then compare the two versions.

Without getting into it, the project I’ve thought about doing is a Revenge of the Jedi edit using Puggo Grande or 35mm Grindhouse as the base source. Any edits or vfx would feel period-accurate, and not CGI. I like the idea of it being a “lost workprint” or a film reel that somehow was brought over from an alternate history where ROTJ matured with its audience a little more. It would use some ideas like Luke having a blue saber, Luke and Leia not being siblings, etc. I feel like a heavy restructuring of the film would be appropriate for an edit like this. It wouldn’t try to be “better” than what we got, just different.

You might wanna be careful with turning Luke’s lightsaber blue! The reason the lightsaber was turned to green in the first place was because it blended in with Tattooine, making it hard for the audience to see. You can see the problem in this 16mm teaser trailer:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbkfYDqEQo&t=1m13s

I have altered Lucas’ visions. Pray I don’t alter them any further.

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Reposted from The Original Trilogy Radical Redux Ideas Thread

Quick and dirty mockup incorporating the deleted scene of Luke in the cave with R2 into the Dagobah scene.

(Placing this earlier before Jabba’s palace and removing Luke’s lightsaber to keep the reveal later on)

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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Eyepainter said:

You might wanna be careful with turning Luke’s lightsaber blue! The reason the lightsaber was turned to green in the first place was because it blended in with Tattooine, making it hard for the audience to see. You can see the problem in this 16mm teaser trailer:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbkfYDqEQo&t=1m13s

That is true! If you look online for tests people have made, it doesn’t look as bad as you would think, except for a few shots maybe. I think desaturating the sky could potentially help. Obviously I love the green saber and glad they changed it from blue to green, but the point of this edit idea would be more of a “what if”.

https://youtu.be/rO0HmnEWp2E

And thanks for sharing that, paja! I actually did the exact same edit way back when I did my rough ROTJ edit, but your version looks much better than what I did! The great thing about this is that it could be placed in the film where that deleted scene is meant to go, but you could add the shot of the x-wing leaving dagobah from ESB, and then cut to 3PO and R2 approaching the palace. So the film barely changes but explicitly shows Luke has been on dagobah. Or it could worth with all of the dagobah stuff at the beginning of the film, too.

Do you think you could do the whole shot like this paja or is this just a proof of concept?

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RogueLeader said:

And thanks for sharing that, paja! I actually did the exact same edit way back when I did my rough ROTJ edit, but your version looks much better than what I did! The great thing about this is that it could be placed in the film where that deleted scene is meant to go, but you could add the shot of the x-wing leaving dagobah from ESB, and then cut to 3PO and R2 approaching the palace. So the film barely changes but explicitly shows Luke has been on dagobah. Or it could worth with all of the dagobah stuff at the beginning of the film, too.

Do you think you could do the whole shot like this paja or is this just a proof of concept?

Thank you Rogue I deeply appreciate your response. Proof of concept for the moment though once I upgrade my specs I’d be happy to do finish up the shots.

Also btw if anyone has the majority of deleted scenes upscaled to 2K or higher I would like to know! 😃

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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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.

What if we just skipped Vader’s scene and went straight from the crawl to Tatooine? I think that would probably flow much better. That scene always felt so tangential thrown in at the start like that. Maybe put it back in later before Dagobah or something.

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RogueLeader said:

Eyepainter said:

You might wanna be careful with turning Luke’s lightsaber blue! The reason the lightsaber was turned to green in the first place was because it blended in with Tattooine, making it hard for the audience to see. You can see the problem in this 16mm teaser trailer:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rYbkfYDqEQo&t=1m13s

That is true! If you look online for tests people have made, it doesn’t look as bad as you would think, except for a few shots maybe. I think desaturating the sky could potentially help. Obviously I love the green saber and glad they changed it from blue to green, but the point of this edit idea would be more of a “what if”.

https://youtu.be/rO0HmnEWp2E

Oh! Carry on then! 😃

This thread is starting to go a little silent, so how about we start talking about the big huge elephant in the room. The ewoks! I have no idea what I would do to fix those guys up beyond taking out some of their goofier moments in the climax (something like all the ewoks trying to pull the rope on the walker, for example). I would love to see what others would do to try and fix those critters!

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That clip uses the 2011 source and has to apply a lot of blue to fully mask out the thick green glow. There’s less thickness in the 19SE.

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Eyepainter said:

This thread is starting to go a little silent, so how about we start talking about the big huge elephant in the room. The ewoks! I have no idea what I would do to fix those guys up beyond taking out some of their goofier moments in the climax (something like all the ewoks trying to pull the rope on the walker, for example). I would love to see what others would do to try and fix those critters!

Today is Easter, and this day always remind me of the Ewoks because my parents gave me both of the Ewok movies as a Easter present when I was little. I didn’t even know they existed at the time, so it was a surprising and bizarre experience to discover there were more “Star Wars” movies. So I felt like today would be a good day to talk a little bit more about the Ewoks.

I know common change made is to trim some of their goofier moments in the climax, like Eyepainter mentioned. I think a few existing edits take the approach of having Ewoks act more as a distraction, and we don’t really see the Ewoks winning against the Empire. I haven’t seen this done in a fully-realized edit yet, but it would be interesting to use some of the shots of Ewoks using blasters from the Battle for Endor movie. I don’t think you could use all of the available shots, unless you flipped and reused some of the stormtrooper firing shots. I know this has already been mentioned in the thread.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this, but I do feel that when you go from ANH to ESB, it feels like the Saga ages up with the audience. I feel like ROTJ should’ve continued that, and in some ways it does, but the way the Ewoks are generally presented goes against that, and feels obviously aimed for children. Reading Rinzler’s book, you could tell a lot of the production staff felt ambivalent about them, even though they did the best they could to fully-realize them to the best of their ability. One exception being McQuarrie, who left the project and seemed to lose motivation when George’s feedback kept pushing them towards basically being teddy bears.

I think a key to make them both cute and “cool” is to lean more into the idea that they eat people, and let that slowly dawn on our heroes in a clearer way. Yes, it does seem like they’re about to cook them when they bring them to their village, but we’re given no indication that they’ve actually ate people before. One idea I had was to give Han and the rest a few more hints that they’re in serious trouble. One example, when Han is tied up and looking around the village, we could cut to the shot of an Ewok using stormtrooper helmets as drums from the finale. We also could edit a shot or two of some Ewoks at the village having blood-stained fur around their mouths. Kind of an assumption but I think it would just take some masking and tracking to recolor some of the fur around their mouths red. Once Han starts piecing everything together, then he could say, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Then 3PO basically confirms this when he tells them they’re to be the main course in a feast.

Instead of Luke saving them by tricking the Ewoks into thinking 3PO has magic, I’d like to see Leia be the one that rescues them. So you would still build up to the Ewoks almost setting the logs on fire, then Leia comes out, and she tells 3PO to tell the Ewoks that they are her friends, and then the Ewoks let them go. I know it is not uncommon to cut the Leia and Wickett scene (and instead leave her fate ambiguous until we see her at the village), I think it would be nice to give Leia more to do in the film and use her political/leadership skills to establish a friendship with the Ewoks. So to me, I think it would be helpful to show Leia’s encounter with Wickett, and see how she builds trust between her and the Ewok. Then, Leia having enough clout with the Ewoks to get them to spare her friends makes more sense. I think it still could work without that scene, though, if someone didn’t want to include it.

Just a few other random ideas. At the Ewok village, it could add a little bit to their creepy factor if we gave some of the Ewoks that eyeshine you sometimes see in animals at night. I think you can find some tutorials online about how to recreate what is basically the replicant eye effect. During the battle itself, whenever the Ewoks physically attack stormtroopers, we could alter the sound effects a little bit to make the Ewoks sound more violent. Perhaps some Ewok sounds can be pulled from Battlefront 2. I kind of imagine the sound of a vicious little dog trying to tear a chew toy apart. And maybe have the stormtroopers scream instead of just silently getting beat up. The Ewoks might look like mogwai, but they can act like gremlins. I like the idea of leaning into that. And I think it actually makes their cuteness work better, because the audience automatically makes expectations about them based on their appearance, but once they (and the audience) see their other side, we’re like “Oh shit.” And I generally think it makes them a little more nuanced, interesting, and fun.

Idk if this would be a plus or minus, but I think Hal or someone else suggested adding a 3PO line from the radio drama where he refers to Ewoks by name. That may not be necessary though.

Sort of related to the Ewoks, but I also think the ending of the film would be stronger without Yub Nub or Victory Celebration. Maybe the Luke and Leia track. Anyway, that’s down to each individuals preference probably.

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Give some of them blood stains on the fur around their mouths.

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A lot of good ideas, RL! I second the notion of using the Ewoks with Blasters footage if possible.

Rewatching the feast preparation scene, I suddenly realized why it doesn’t feel threatening: the music. Almost the entire scene has a tribal beat which gives a clear ‘happy festivities’ vibe. The only moment that feels in any way dramatic is when 3PO starts levitating, which also happens to be when the tribal music stops.

My solution would be to remove the tribal music from the scene. It would probably be tricky since there’s so many other sounds, but I am willing to bet that if that scene had only dialogue and sound effects, it would be 200% more creepy.

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