After an extensive number of viewings of the original trilogy, I have come to the conclusion that “Return of the Jedi” is by far the weakest film of the three (and no, I don’t think it is because of the ewoks). I don’t think the film is bad by any means, as it does have some of the best moments in the entire saga, such as Vader’s redemption (without the added “Noooo!”), the finale space battle, anything Luke, Vader, or the Emperor do, and the introduction of many iconic characters, such as Admiral Ackbar, Nien Numb, Mon Mothma, Jabba the Hutt (before 1997), Wicket, and Bib Fortuna. However, the film suffers from pacing issues, character issues (particularly when it comes to Han Solo), and many horrible special edition additions. In a way, “Return of the Jedi” tries to do what “A New Hope” did successfully, but fails at achieving it. The best example is the Tatooine sequences in both films. “A New Hope” manages to take what would be a very boring sequence and make it interesting, while “Return of the Jedi” gets very repetitive and boring. The movie does get better in the second act, but compared to the Death Star rescue in “A New Hope” and the separate journeys of the heroes in “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi” really does feel lackluster. Despite this, I will give credit to “Return of the Jedi” for its third act, which is by far the best part of the movie. With all that in mind, these are proposed edits for “Return of the Jedi” while still keeping the story manageable to be edited and not rewritten.
- Disney+ version
- Harmy’s Despecialized version
- Episodes IV, V, IX, and Rogue One’s soundtracks.
And now, onto the edits I would make to the film itself.
- Removed LucasFilm logo, replaced it with Disney+ show intro.
- New crawl, establishing the slightly different plotline of the film.
Luke Skywalker has returned to the planet
of Dagobah in order to finish his Jedi Knight
training so he can rescue his friend Han Solo
from the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt and so
he can defeat the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE.
Little does Luke know that spies
loyal to the Old Republic have reported
that a brand new SUPERWEAPON is currently
under construction by the EMPEROR, one
that is even more powerful than the
first dreaded Death Star.
When completed, this ultimate
superweapon will spell certain doom
for the REBEL ALLIANCE, who have been
struggling in their efforts to restore
freedom and justice to the galaxy…
- Complete color correction.
- Replaced the Death Star with Starkiller Base.
- Added atmospheres to all the planets and moons.
- Added a sun to Endor.
- Replaced the the opening Star Destroyer with the Executor.
- Added a force field effect around the hangar entrances.
- Enhanced lighting in the Starkiller Base hangar bay.
- Added Endor outside of the hangar bay.
- Corrected Moff Jerjerrod and Admiral Piett’s rank insignia plaques.
- Gave Moff Jerjerrod four code cylinders and Admiral Piett three.
- Sped up Vader’s exit from the hangar bay, as well as Jerjerrod’s turn afterward.
- Readded part of the deleted scene, “Vader’s Arrival and Reaching Out to Luke”.
- Inserted the Dagobah scenes directly after Vader’s arrival. Had it so Vader reaches out to Luke while he flies to Dagobah, preceding Luke conversing with R2 and his arrival.
- Recolored Dagobah to more closely resemble “The Empire Strikes Back.”
- Added the deleted line, “Obi-Wan would have told you long ago had I let him.”
- Enhanced Ben’s force ghost to more closesly resemble Qui-Gon’s force ghost in “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.
- Removed everything after Ben tells Luke that his sister remains safely anonymous.
- Added an establishing shot of Tatooine before we see the droids.
- Recolored the desert scenes to resemble how they appeared in “Star Wars: Battlefront.”
- Added the banthas in the desert shot for Tatooine’s establishing shots.
- Added a new exterior to Jabba’s palace when the droids arrive.
- Added Jabba’s theme as R2 bumps into the Gamorrean guards.
- Enhanced Luke’s hologram.
- Added Boba Fett flirting during Luke’s hologram.
- Removed C-3PO’s line about Han still being frozen in carbonite.
- Rescored the Lapti-Nek version of the band scene, but kept Oola in the rancor pit.
- Toned down the amount of gasps when Boush brings out the thermal detonator.
- Removed when Lando stupidly pulls down his mask.
- Removed Chewie being escorted to his cell.
- Removed the frog creature outside Jabba’s palace.
- Removed Han’s hands being unfrozen and Han starting to fall down.
- Made it Boba Fett who holds C-3PO’s mouth shut when Han and Leia are discovered.
- As a result, removed Boba Fett briefly appearing with the other bounty hunters.
- Removed Han and Chewie reuniting…as it takes place in their joint cell.
- Added the Emperor’s arrival in between Leia and Han’s capture and Luke’s arrival.
- Added a new music track (“The Old Death Star” from “The Rise of Skywalker”.)
- Added Mas Amedda accompanying the Emperor to Starkiller Base.
- Made it so Vader says “Starkiller Base” instead of “the Death Star.”
- Enhanced the wide shot when the Emperor starts to laugh.
- Added the force choke effect when Luke chokes the Gamorrean guards.
- Removed the special-edition added CGI dug (Sebulba’s species.)
- Removed the rancor breeder and have Jabba react to Luke killing the rancor, then call for Han and Chewie.
- Added sun flares around the sail barge.
- Removed Han and Leia’s conversation on the skiff.
- Restored the original 1983 sarlaac.
- Made it so Han calls Jabba a “slimly son of a bitch” instead of “piece of worm-ridden filth.”
- Removed Han’s “Right?” line and Chewie’s reaction to it.
- Replaced Han’s reaction shot with Boba Fett running up onto the deck.
- Removed Luke’s line, “Easy, Chewie.”
- Altered Boba Fett’s “demise”. As he prepares to shoot, Han silently hits his jetpack, flinging Fett to the sail barge, which he crashes onto. To replace the shot of him falling into the sarlaac, reinstated the replaced reaction shot of Han.
- Removed Lando’s “Eeyah!” scream.
- Restored Han’s 1983 line when he saves Lando.
- Removed Luke’s second time saying, “Point it at the deck!”
- Removed Luke’s calling out, “Come one.” as his lips do not move.
- After the sail barge explodes, added a shot of Boba Fett lying on the sand and passing out from “The Book of Boba Fett.”
- Added “Luke’s theme” from “A New Hope” as he converses with Han and Leia.
- Added Sullust to the exterior shots of the rebel fleet.
- Replaced the holograms of Endor and the Death Star with Starkiller Base and Endor, respectively.
- Made Shuttle Tydirium the same model shuttle as Krennic’s shuttle in the prologue of Rogue One.
- Enhanced the obvious matte painting of the Falcon.
- Removed Han walking toward the matte painting of the Falcon.
- Removed exterior shot of the Death Star and Endor when the Emperor sends Vader to the Executor.
- Added Mas Amedda to all scenes taking place in the throne room.
- Shortened Vader’s line so it is, “No. That will be unnecessary,” instead.
- Removed Vader walking away from the bridge window inside of the Executor.
- Altered how Han and Chewie are discovered by the scout trooper. Made it seem like Chewie growling altered the scout troopers, not Han stepping on a branch.
- Removed Han calling out to Luke and Leia as they speed away on the bikes.
- Enhanced the lighting during some segments of the speeder chase.
- Removedtthe scene in which Leia meets Wicket.
- Removed The two times a background ewok says, “Jabba, Jabba, Jabba.”
- Removed R2 electrocuting the Ewoks after he is set free by them.
- Removed Han’s jealously. He asks what is going on, and Leia, after a beat, says “Hold me.”
- Made General Veers be the Imperial officer who brings Luke to Vader.
- Also added Boba Fett when General Veers and the stormtroopers brings Luke to Vader.
- Vader’s line, “Good work, Commander” is replaced by “Good work, General. Bounty hunter.”
- Changed Vader’s line from “Obi-Wan once thought as you” to “Your mother once thought as you do.”
- Added a bluish hue to the engine of the Falcon.
- Enhanced how the entering and exiting of hyperspace appears.
- Changed the Emperor’s line, “Guards, leave us.” to be just “Leave us.”
- Mas Amedda quietly responds to the Emperor with a “Yes, master.”
- Removed the Emperor informing Luke about the legion of his best troopers.
- Added the “Rebel Raid on the Bunker” deleted scene with “The Battle of Endor” as its score.
- Enhanced lighting behind Colonel Dryer when he confronts Han.
- Made it Boba Fett and a group of stormtroopers who enter the bunker and corner Han and his strike team.
- Redubbed the Mon Calamari who says, “Admiral, we have enemy ships in Sector 47.”
- Added R2 beside C-3PO when the latter calls out to the Imperial officers.
- Since Red Three is a female, made her voice reflect it.
- Added General Madine to the space battle. He is killed when Starkiller Base shoots for the first time.
- Made Starkiller Base’s blaster shots be red, not green.
- Made it Boba Fett who shoots R2 and Leia during the ground assault.
- Added the “Jerjerrod’s Conflict” subplot according to where they should be.
- General Veers and Boba Fett are now among those who are sent to the back door.
- Added a missing clapping sound when the Emperor claps when Luke attacks Vader.
- Added hints of the “Force Theme” when Luke fully rejects the dark side.
- As the shield generator explodes, added Slave I flying away in the background.
- Redubbed Lieutenant Endicott so his voice matches how he sounded earlier in the film.
- Removed Vader’s “Nooo!”
- Restored Anakin’s 1983 look (yes, the one with eyebrows.)
- Made the Starkiller Base hangar entrance’s force effect fail as the superweapon collapses.
- Removed Han saying that he “won’t get involved” in Luke and Leia’s relationship.
- Altered the victory celebration: Removed the other planets celebrating and one of the special edition shots. However, the rest of the celebration, bar the edition of Hayden Christensen and removal of Sebastian Shaw, is from the Disney+ version.
- Changed “CARRIE FISHER as Princess Leia” to “CARRIE FISHER as Leia Organa”
- Added “KENNY BAKER as R2-D2” in front of “FRANK OZ performing Yoda”
- Removed Kenny Baker as R2D2 during the “Supporting Cast” roll-up.
- Altered the “Supporting Cast” credit roll-up:
Moff Jerjerrod MICHAEL PENNINGTON
Admiral Piett KENNETH COLLEY
General Veers JULIAN GLOVER
Bib Fortuna MICHAEL CARTER
Bib Fortuna (voice) ERIK BAUSERFIELD
Wedge DENIS LAWSON
Admiral Ackbar TIM ROSE
Admiral Ackbar (voice) ERIK BAUSERFIELD
Mon Mothma CAROLINE BLAKISTON
General Madine DERMONT CROWNLEY
Nien Nunb MICHAEL QUINN
Nien Nunb (voice) KIPSANG ROTICH
Wicket WARWICK DAVIS
Paploo KENNY BAKER
Boba Fett JEREMY BULLOCK
Boba Fett (voice) JASON WINGREEN
Boush (voice) PAM WELSH
Oola FEMI TAYLOR
Max Rebo SIMON WILIAMSON
Sy Snootles ANNIE ARBOGAST
Fat Dancer CLAIRE DAVENPORT
EV-9D9 RICHARD MARQUAND
Droopy McCool DEEP ROY
Salacious Crumb TIME ROSE
Bossk ALAN HARRIS
Dengar MORRIS BUSH
Teebo JACK PURVIS
Logray MIKE EDMONDS
Chief Chirpa JANE BUSBY
Ewok Warrior 1 MALCOM DIXON
Ewok Warrior 2 MIKE COTTRELL
Nicki NICKI READE
Mas Amedda JEROME ST. JOHN BLAKE
Emperor’s advisers ANTHONY LANG, FRANIC BATSONI
Starkiller Base Lieutenant Endicott GLYN BAKER
Executor Controller #1 ADAM BAREHAM
Executor Controller #2 JONATHAN OLIVER
Executor Captain Gherant PIP MILLER
Executor Captain #2 TOM MANNION
Colonel Dryer BEN BURTT
Commander #1 ANTHONY SMEE
ATST Captain #1 RICHARD MARQUAND
ATST Captain #2 ROBERT WATTS
Major Derlin JOHN RATZENBERGER
Captain Rex L. BURNER
Green Leader HILTON MCRAE
Red Three POPPY HANDS
Gold Four MICHAEL DREW
Red Five RONNY CUSH
Jabba Puppeteers TONY PHILBOT, MIKE EDMONDS, DAVID BARCLAY
Puppeteers MICHAEL McCOMRMICK, DEEP ROY, HUGH SPIGHT, SWIM LEE, RICHARD ROBINSON
- Added the Epilogue from “The Mandalorian” episode “Chapter 16: The Rescue”.
- Made Boba Fett’s armor more closely resemble his armor in the original trilogy.