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Community Focus Thread 2: Return of the Jedi — Page 5

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 (Edited)

Nice breakdown RogueLeader, I mostly share your sentiments. I read through the entire “OT Radical Redux” thread a couple years ago and came across some excellent images from user 4throck, who hasn’t logged in recently unfortunately. Here were two that really stuck out to me:


Both can be found here. They’d really compliment the Ewok characterization you’re talking about, and it’d still be effective even if that’s all we add.

RE: Utilizing footage from the Ewok movies - I think if you don’t over do-it, it could definitely work. I’m not as familiar with them but I could rewatch it at some point and take notes as for shots and timestamps on the current version on D+ and see how we go about it.


As for my “main wishlist” for this ROTJ month I’d say these are the two most important things, both related to the Endor section:

  • Try to bring to life stuff akin to the 4throck images above, which would subtly improve the whole Ewok business a ton, making them seem more vicious and even the Empire more overconfident and greedy in the process, because it now means they completely dismiss the Ewoks as any sort of threat.
  • A new Force Ghost. While it obviously cannot be the 2004 version, Shaw’s isn’t much better. After the “I am your father” twist, which puts Vader as still a regular human at least 9 months before Luke is born, it means he’s in his 50s, guessing Anakin was in his 30s when Luke was born, PT notwithstanding. Shaw doesn’t look the part at all - in fact, he looks older than Guinness! So I would love a new ghost, an aged-up Hayden, but unfortunately I don’t know how that could come to be.

Now, there’s other things I’d love to see come to life, mostly visual changes to try and make Jedi look more appealing. The disconnected first act and the lesser Han and Leia characterizations are just too hard to fix IMO and while I love that we’re focusing on those - and almost cracking the code! - I think some of those are just out of the realm of regular fan editing abilities. So tackling another shortcoming of ROTJ is something I think could be good: pretty much everything visually. Both in its visual style and design but also the cinematography. Flat lighting, boring colors…

  • I ended up coming across some proofs of concept made by former user Angel a long time ago, seemingly meant for Ady’s ROTJ:R when that came around, and some stuff was really interesting. This one was probably my favorite, and it even fits in with ROTJ’s visual style (disregard the color grade):

  • Another thing we could try to do is a new opening shot. ROTJ’s is just so painfully boring, as is most of the movie visually, unfortunately. Maybe open with the Super Star Destroyer? Don’t know…
  • Would it be possible to get new angles of the DSII that isn’t just that flat one from the front?

And one of my favorite ideas, a couple proofs of concept from doubleofive’s “OT.com’s ROTJ Wishlist”:


Both from Bingowings. The new tribal-looking things around Endor breathe some life into the forest moon, and thankfully make it seem less like California.

That’s it I think! Lots of potential, but just throwing out ideas like this might not be the most helpful. Both my computer and FX skills are very limited but I’ll try to see what I can do. As for the color grade, TN1 managed to scan a 1997 ROTJ print recently and the colors there are certainly my favorite for this film, and it looks the best its ever looked. Environments pop and you finally feel like Endor and Tatooine are moody, even if not a lot.

Hope this contributes with something! Cheers guys!

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A very quick and dirty test of a blood-stained Ewok.

And I actually had been working on a test of Leia’s influence freeing them, and it seems like the dialogue is generally on a channel of its own. So I think a more creepy approach to the ambience and music of the scene is totally doable. I was trying to think of what music or sound effects might fit that approach.

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^ Love that mockup, RL!

I think, if it’s doable, getting a music-free version of the scene would be a great starting point, then put something else into place if it feels empty.

Though a lot can be done with creature sound effects, and even a very subtle musical idea can give a scene tension, much like the ESB scene of Luke in the Cave.

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Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Thanks for the big post, Omni! I’ve always loved a lot of those images. My VFX skills are also not the best, which is why I’ve been focusing on ideas that can achieved through simple cutting or audio editing.

That info about TN1’s scan of the 97 ROTJ is really useful to know! I’ll have to check that one out.

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And good idea, Nev! Like the example of Excalibur. Maybe we can pick out a decent source that we can use to try and play around with the sound design of that scene.

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Hal 9000 said:

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

This is why I long for a grindhoused version of ROTJ!

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

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Omni said:

  • A new Force Ghost. While it obviously cannot be the 2004 version, Shaw’s isn’t much better. After the “I am your father” twist, which puts Vader as still a regular human at least 9 months before Luke is born, it means he’s in his 50s, guessing Anakin was in his 30s when Luke was born, PT notwithstanding. Shaw doesn’t look the part at all - in fact, he looks older than Guinness! So I would love a new ghost, an aged-up Hayden, but unfortunately I don’t know how that could come to be.

Yeah feel like what gets lost in the discussion of how bad the Hayden ghost is is that the Shaw ghost is just as bad. People complain that Hayden’s expression wasn’t even for that… well Shaw had no idea what he was filming that for either. And he was older than Guinness, 77 years old.

NeverarGreat said:

^ Love that mockup, RL!

I think, if it’s doable, getting a music-free version of the scene would be a great starting point, then put something else into place if it feels empty.

Temple of Doom provides a good example of a diegetic ritual track that could be much more menacing. Obviously you wouldn’t use that one but you could do something along those lines. Some basic tribal drums could underscore a SFX driven scene.

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I just listened to the radio drama.

The opening sequence is:

Luke in Ben’s hut contructing lightsaber helped by R2
Droids go to Jabba’s palace -> Sarlaac battle
Vader arrives on DSII

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Omni said:

  • A new Force Ghost. While it obviously cannot be the 2004 version, Shaw’s isn’t much better. After the “I am your father” twist, which puts Vader as still a regular human at least 9 months before Luke is born, it means he’s in his 50s, guessing Anakin was in his 30s when Luke was born, PT notwithstanding. Shaw doesn’t look the part at all - in fact, he looks older than Guinness! So I would love a new ghost, an aged-up Hayden, but unfortunately I don’t know how that could come to be.

I have a fairly shrewd idea, should stock footage be insufficient.

  1. Use a double of Hayden, wearing an outfit similar to the original Shaw outfit or a color-flipped version of Anakin’s ROTS outfit (brown becomes tan and black becomes brown) and a wig (to match the TROS: Ascendant footage).
  2. Deepfake Hayden’s face upon the double, who basically recreates Shaw’s facial movements.
  3. Add some age to the deepfake, if possible.

There are only two shots that need this creation - the full 1983 ghost shot (for maximum utility) and the distant image of the spirits. It should not be too hard to replicate this with any prosumer camcorder these days alongside an appropriate background for keying. Heck, Adywan’s “third unit” already did this a few times for Vader and rebel troops.

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Ice said:

I just listened to the radio drama.

The opening sequence is:

Luke in Ben’s hut contructing lightsaber helped by R2
Droids go to Jabba’s palace -> Sarlaac battle
Vader arrives on DSII

Interesting!

“That’s not how the Force works!”

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If the movie starts with Luke constructing his lightsaber, it would be better if he doesn’t ignite the blade? For a surprise and impact reason in the sail barge action scene

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NabooDuck said:

If the movie starts with Luke constructing his lightsaber, it would be better if he doesn’t ignite the blade? For a surprise and impact reason in the sail barge action scene

Agreed

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I spotted in Faraday’s TROS novelisation thread something worth considering here:

In the original draft of ROTJ, the forest moon of Endor was orbiting Coruscant as a kind of nature sanctuary, hence the ‘sanctuary moon’. I wonder if there’s a value add by revisiting that idea, which you could potentially achieve via the crawl, some C-3PO dialogue, and VFX to add the planet in the background.

Pros would be that it’d bring the climax nearer to the heart of the galaxy, increase the jeopardy, contrast Coruscant’s industrialisation with Endor’s nature, and add some nice options for visuals and alternate options regarding the location of the Emperor’s throne room and the way the SSD/DS2 are destroyed.

Cons would be that it might bring the fleet strengths into question (you’d expect a lot more defence above Coruscant, and a more likely pincer trap), and it might conflict with other movies which feature Coruscant or the DS2 wreckage.

The Clone Wars: Refocused

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I actually love the idea. I have thought it would be cool if the throne room battle took place in the Emperor’s throne room on Coruscant, the only problem being that then there wouldn’t be a reactor for Vader to throw the Emperor in.

I don’t think the Imperial fleet was weak at all, the fleet was huge. They were ordered not to attack because of the Emperor’s arrogance and overconfidence. And I don’t care about TROS (it’s not a part of my canon) and I don’t really see how it would conflict with the prequels.

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My Star Wars Fan-Edits

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EddieDean said:

I spotted in Faraday’s TROS novelisation thread something worth considering here:

In the original draft of ROTJ, the forest moon of Endor was orbiting Coruscant as a kind of nature sanctuary, hence the ‘sanctuary moon’. I wonder if there’s a value add by revisiting that idea, which you could potentially achieve via the crawl, some C-3PO dialogue, and VFX to add the planet in the background.

Pros would be that it’d bring the climax nearer to the heart of the galaxy, increase the jeopardy, contrast Coruscant’s industrialisation with Endor’s nature, and add some nice options for visuals and alternate options regarding the location of the Emperor’s throne room and the way the SSD/DS2 are destroyed.

Cons would be that it might bring the fleet strengths into question (you’d expect a lot more defence above Coruscant, and a more likely pincer trap), and it might conflict with other movies which feature Coruscant or the DS2 wreckage.

I think the credibility cons outweigh the pros for this, but I could be wrong.

I don’t buy (1) the Empire building the DSII in such plain sight and (2) nobody taking a shot at it sooner. BUT if they had been building it somewhere in secrecy and it’s now finished enough to be moved to Endor over Coruscant (like Yavin IV with red Yavin in the background somewhere) for some kind of dedication ceremony that Palpatine is planning as a cover story for drawing out the Rebel forces? That idea I would buy much easier.

“That’s not how the Force works!”

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That idea is neat, but I think it would feel out of place considering the setup. The ‘bait’ aspect of the Death Star and the Rebel’s attack plan both hinge on the Death Star being hidden and isolated from the rest of the galaxy and the Imperial fleet. If the Death Star were to be constructed around Coruscant (or moved there at some point in its construction), there would be no way to keep that a secret and so the Death Star would fail to be enticing as a target to the Rebels since they would expect a trap.

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Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Do we want to revive Byss from Legends? Because Byss would fit that role pretty well (core world that’s Empire-aligned, but not as obvious as Coruscant).

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NeverarGreat said:

That idea is neat, but I think it would feel out of place considering the setup. The ‘bait’ aspect of the Death Star and the Rebel’s attack plan both hinge on the Death Star being hidden and isolated from the rest of the galaxy and the Imperial fleet. If the Death Star were to be constructed around Coruscant (or moved there at some point in its construction), there would be no way to keep that a secret and so the Death Star would fail to be enticing as a target to the Rebels since they would expect a trap.

Yeah, and this must be why they chose to change its location to far from the core worlds.

The Clone Wars: Refocused

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It would make it weird because the Ewoks seem unknown to everyone, hardly the case if they were on a moon of the capital

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I personally dig the “mistake”, it makes him look rather sick and unwell, which further signals that he’s on his deathbed.

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In the final space battle, I’d like to see an interdictor star destroyer, it makes sense for the Empire to try to prevent the rebels from escaping. This can then be one of the star destroyers later seen being destroyed during the battle