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Return of the Jedi: Radical Re-Edit

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I released a pretty standard fan edit of ROTJ a couple of years ago, but since then I've been playing around with a much more extreme edit. Instead of just cutting the stuff I didn't like I've also rearranged scenes and tried to also add footage to address some of the film's weaknesses.

Here are some of the major changes:

  • Dagobah has been put to the start
  • Luke and Leia aren't related
  • The conflict between Luke and Vader has been brought to the fore with new scenes and re-edited existing scenes
  • There's a new Boba Fett subplot. He's sent to Endor by Vader and told to capture Luke. When Luke gives himself up to Vader, Fett decides to go and kill Han.
  • The following deleted scenes have been added: lightsaber scene, sandstorm scene, bunker scene, Jerjerrod's conflict
  • Lots of footage taken from fan films, including: Vader Extincion, Revelations, Makazie One and Wrath of the Mandalorian


Here are the first few minutes (password is wordpass):

https://vimeo.com/65053835

The workprint has just been uploaded to Mega. If you want it send me a PM.

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Can I be the first to say WOW! This is totally stunning work.  God only knows how much thought must have gone into the reordering and how much searching around for alternate footage you must have done nevermind the brilliant work putting it all together.  I can't wait to see how you've rescued the sandstorm footage.  A jigsaw like masterpiece where the joins between the pieces are almost invisible.

I read a comment somewhere that the opening pan down onto endor looked a bit odd without a ship passing by.  You've got me thinking how this could be solved.

My favourite bit is how you've switched up the meaning of the line "I've got a promise to keep to an old friend" by moving it to a different place in the narrative.

More! More!

Ryan

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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Awesome stuff. But be sure to edit the opening crawl so the alignment is correct.

Creator of "The Death Star II Battle" Minecraft Map.

Star Wars Revisited TESB & ROTJ Ideas.

Creator of The Black Hole Revised (in progress)

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Ryan McAvoy said:

Can I be the first to say WOW! This is totally stunning work.  God only knows how much thought must have gone into the reordering and how much searching around for alternate footage you must have done nevermind the brilliant work putting it all together.  I can't wait to see how you've rescued the sandstorm footage.  A jigsaw like masterpiece where the joins between the pieces are almost invisible.

I read a comment somewhere that the opening pan down onto endor looked a bit odd without a ship passing by.  You've got me thinking how this could be solved.

My favourite bit is how you've switched up the meaning of the line "I've got a promise to keep to an old friend" by moving it to a different place in the narrative.

More! More!

Ryan

Thanks!

The sandstorm scene is still pretty rough. I cleaned up the image somewhat with Avisynth, and then rebuilt the audio from scratch. I used some of the dialogue from the scene that ended up replacing it, with some Chewie roars and a 3P0 line from the ROTJ radio play thrown in.

Re: the "I've got a promise to keep to an old friend". Credit goes to Darth Ender for that. I just stole his great idea. :)

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The Nerd said:

Awesome stuff. But be sure to edit the opening crawl so the alignment is correct.

Yeah. Absolutely. I need to change the opening crawl to align it all up.

I used to lambast Lucas for his useless PT crawls, but I have a lot of sympathy for him now. You have to match up the exact number of characters on each line. It's a fricking nightmare.

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Hi Dan,

As han says in ROTJ "I got an idea".

Just waiting for Vimeo to upload and post a link for you.

Ryan

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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Hi Dan,

Here's a very rough idea of how the intro onto Endor could go:

https://vimeo.com/65140549

Password is: daneditor

The pan down is too quick and jumpy, the audio is rough, the colours are rough, the music needs to be more fluid but you should get the general idea (Could also use some Yoda dialogue dubbed on when you can't see his lips "beware the darkside" etc).

Ryan

I used clips from:

ESB / ESB deleted scene / ROTS deleted scene

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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I like it. It reminds me of a scene in Wars of the Stars 2 (which you should watch if you haven't yet).

The problem in this context is that Luke would look three years older in the following scene.

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Here's why I really like your idea: with a little dialogue removed from the Yoda hut scene that follows it no longer seems like Luke just flew there this morning and found Yoda five minutes before his death. I get that it's a fairy tale movie, but that's always bugged me a little.

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It would need some CGI work thats beyong my skill.

- Change lukes ESB clothes to Black ROTJ ones. Think that would be enough to sell it without aging him down.

- Maybe change that unexplained metal bar to the familiar floating rock we see in ESB.

- The landing shot from ROTS needs a slowmo to stretch it out before the cut away. I couldn't cut any later as Yoda's pod comes into view.

- There is also footage of Luke doing Lightsaber training on Endor on the Blu-Ray deleted scenes. But this would need sound and CGI. + it would also mean you'd need to move the saber construction scene to inside Yodas hut with a different matte somehow???

Looking forward to more of this edit in the future!!!!

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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There was a pretty brilliant mockup once in which the ESB deleted footage was used to show Luke putting his ROTJ saber together on Dagobah in mid-air.

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Ryan McAvoy said:

It would need some CGI work thats beyong my skill.

- Change lukes ESB clothes to Black ROTJ ones. Think that would be enough to sell it without aging him down.

- Maybe change that unexplained metal bar to the familiar floating rock we see in ESB.

It would be beyond my CGI skill as well. On account of me having no CGI skill.

I wouldn't want to use the shot from ROTS to be honest. I don't think it matches up at all well with the sets used for Empire and Jedi. Plus it has CGI creatures scuttling around.

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timdiggerm said:

There was a pretty brilliant mockup once in which the ESB deleted footage was used to show Luke putting his ROTJ saber together on Dagobah in mid-air.

Cool! I don't suppose you can remember which thread it was in?

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I liked most of it BUT (there's always a BUT) I'd have to say from a pacing and storytelling standpoint, splitting the Yoda scene up like that isn't very appealing. I watched it a couple of times as if it were the real sequel and it just doesn't work. It seems more like an excuse to show off some other clips rather than enhance the story. I'd go into more detail but I would run the risk of sounding rather rude and that's not my intent at all. I just wanted to throw that out since this edit seems to have promise. Just watch out for superfluous additions ala Uncle George.

 

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

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daneditor said:

Ryan McAvoy said:

Re: the "I've got a promise to keep to an old friend". Credit goes to Darth Ender for that. I just stole his great idea. :)

It was my idea I think and used the line "we're not going to regroup with the others" and cut "not" out intertwined with R2 beeps so it said "we're going to regroup with the others" and then "I have a promise to keep...."

But It does not matter to me Darth Ender did a good job of fleshing out ideas to be sure

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Collaborative-Fanediting-An-ROTJ-Proposition-BACK-ON-TRACK-WITH-EMANSWFAN-AT-THE-HELM-SEE-POST-1488-OR-OP-FOR-A-LINK/post/559145/#TopicPost559145

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Darth Stewie said:

I liked most of it BUT (there's always a BUT) I'd have to say from a pacing and storytelling standpoint, splitting the Yoda scene up like that isn't very appealing. I watched it a couple of times as if it were the real sequel and it just doesn't work. It seems more like an excuse to show off some other clips rather than enhance the story. I'd go into more detail but I would run the risk of sounding rather rude and that's not my intent at all. I just wanted to throw that out since this edit seems to have promise. Just watch out for superfluous additions ala Uncle George.

There's always a risk of adding stuff just to add it, but this is only a workprint and at this stage I'm just trying things out. Some things may work, some inevitably won't.

Re: Vader on Coruscant breaking up the Yoda scene. There are two reasons for it. Firstly, I think putting the whole Yoda scene right at the start of the film doesn't work too well. It's too slow paced for an opening scene in a movie like this. After Tatooine it works better because the audience can catch their breath after all the action. But a five minute scene in Yoda's hut to start the movie is a problem, IMO.

Secondly, I wanted to find ways to focus the conflict on Luke and Vader throughout the movie, and you should always set up the movie's conflict if possible in the first scene. So when the conversation with Yoda turns to Vader we cut away to see what Vader's up to on Coruscant, then cut back for Luke to ask about his parentage.

At least that's the idea. Whether it works is something else altogether. :)

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Ronster said:

daneditor said:

Ryan McAvoy said:

Re: the "I've got a promise to keep to an old friend". Credit goes to Darth Ender for that. I just stole his great idea. :)

It was my idea I think and used the line "we're not going to regroup with the others" and cut "not" out intertwined with R2 beeps so it said "we're going to regroup with the others" and then "I have a promise to keep...."

But It does not matter to me Darth Ender did a good job of fleshing out ideas to be sure

My apologies. I didn't realize.

Either way it's a great idea.

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Nice work, daneditor!

I agree with DarthStewie though that breaking up the Yoda scene didn't really work all that well. I think the scenes are so radically different that juxtaposing them is rather jarring.

Here's an idea: if you'd like to keep the two scenes together, move them to a later part in the movie. The Emperor sends Vader to Endor, while Yoda sends Luke to face Vader. This mirrors both scenes, which might make it flow better in a montage. It will give the pace of the movie a push: the Force is setting the stage, and tension will rise. To create a strong montage, use voice-overs, hard cuts, instead of wipes, and music to bring it all together.

Another idea: I really liked the transition you made from Vader to Luke as Vader is reaching out through the Force. I think this would be a very cool introduction to Luke in the movie, and might also keep some ambiguity to his character: he's dressed in black and communicating with Vader; has he turned to the Dark Side? He even looks and behaves like a Sith when he enters Jabba's palace. It won't be until he ignites his green saber on the barge that viewers realizes he is still good old Luke. Setting things up like this could highlight Luke's struggle with the Dark Side, and adds more tension to his duel with Vader.

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SilverKey said:

Nice work, daneditor!

I agree with DarthStewie though that breaking up the Yoda scene didn't really work all that well. I think the scenes are so radically different that juxtaposing them is rather jarring.

Here's an idea: if you'd like to keep the two scenes together, move them to a later part in the movie. The Emperor sends Vader to Endor, while Yoda sends Luke to face Vader. This mirrors both scenes, which might make it flow better in a montage. It will give the pace of the movie a push: the Force is setting the stage, and tension will rise. To create a strong montage, use voice-overs, hard cuts, instead of wipes, and music to bring it all together.

Another idea: I really liked the transition you made from Vader to Luke as Vader is reaching out through the Force. I think this would be a very cool introduction to Luke in the movie, and might also keep some ambiguity to his character: he's dressed in black and communicating with Vader; has he turned to the Dark Side? He even looks and behaves like a Sith when he enters Jabba's palace. It won't be until he ignites his green saber on the barge that viewers realizes he is still good old Luke. Setting things up like this could highlight Luke's struggle with the Dark Side, and adds more tension to his duel with Vader.

Thanks for the feedback.

Everyone I've shown this to has thought the same as you: that breaking up the Yoda scene doesn't work at all. I personally like it, but I guess it needs to be changed.

I agree that Luke in the cave on Tatooine is a good introduction to the character, but I want to keep the Dagobah scenes at the start. I think I have another good way to introduce Luke -

Something I've been thinking about this morning, inspired by Ryan's video yesterday, was taking Ben Danger's great idea of showing Luke using the force to construct his lightsaber as the opening scene, then Vader on Coruscant, then back to Yoda's hut for his death scene. I think that could be really effective. Obviously I'd ask Ben for his permission first, and then somehow would need to figure out how to do all the special effects shots.

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Luke building a new Saber after Yoda's death

Decided to have a bit of fun mocking up what it might look like if Luke had stayed behind in Yoda's hut to build his lightsaber after Yoda had died. So Yoda would've just said "You must confront Vader, then and only then a Jedi will you be".  So Luke thinks well I better build something to confront him with!

Nice that it looks like he's wearing a mourning cloak.

A still image is one thing. god knows how to do this as a video lol

 

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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Or even...

Luke showing he cares

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I flipped through this video to check out what was new effects-wise.  Admittedly, a few things are rough - and that's to be expected when you're pulling from fan films etc.  Plus, you're really early in the editing stages.  If there were any way to improve the CG matte shots on Coruscant I think it would be a lot less anachronistic in relation to the rest of the film; I would love to see it work properly, but right now it stands out too much to me.

I really liked what you did with the Jabba introduction.  It's too the point and by flipping the sequencing of the 3PO and Leia scenes you've managed to make him intimidating right off the bat - and no musical number is definitely a plus.  I wasn't a big fan of the pan-down to Tatooine when Vader tried to reach out to Luke with the force, though - again, anachronistic.  And I don't mean necessarily in terms of the effect itself, I mean the editing.  It feels, for lack of a better term, too modern.  It would have stood out like crazy in 1983.

Also a big fan of how you cut down the 3PO/R2 intro to Jabba's Palace via the deleted scene.  THAT cut felt really natural to me.

 

tl;dr a little rough as expected at this stage but looking forward to what comes of this.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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I'm in agreement with the rest of the people who don't like the Yoda scene split. It just seems like a speed bump to me.  I really like everything else that I saw.  I wish that I could offer some advice on how to work around that, maybe I'll have an idea after watching your workprint.  I don't think it hurts to leave it intact - I do like that you cut the scene with Ben entirely.  I was disappointed first seeing this in the theaters because Yoda's dialogue is mostly recycled, then Ben shows up and doesn't really say much of anything new or different outside of Leia is your sister....and there is nothing wrong with leaving that to be a force revelation during the final saber battle.

 

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Ryan McAvoy said:

Luke building a new Saber after Yoda's death

A still image is one thing. god knows how to do this as a video lol

 

Awesome! - and believe me, if I was able to recreate this as a video, and other shots of this kind, this radical edit would be way, way more radical than it is.