I wanted to layout an idea for some changes to the Sail Barge Assault in Return of the Jedi.
Mostly, the point is to make Boba Fett’s last appearance do a little more justice to the bounty hunter.
While Ady has hinted at a more definitive death for Boba in his own edit, I wanted to suggest some ideas that don’t radically change his fate.
I’ve mentioned some of this before in his ROTJ: Revisited thread, but I wanted to reiterate those ideas here as well as add a few others.
First of all, I think something that I hope Ady might add, and would make an awesome general addition, would be to add some saber cuts and possibly dismemberment to the guards Luke wildly swings at during the fight. The whole scene is still great fun, but when you watch it, Luke might as well just be swinging a bat at them!
Moving onto Boba, I think a few changes could really make this scene more tense, as well as make Boba look a bit more competent.
Starting off, as soon as Boba lands, a new blaster shot should be added right as he lands, which Luke barely manages to avoid before cutting Boba’s blaster. A quick shot and close call.
Next, while not exactly necessary, I think it could be effective to add some yellow energy to the rope Boba shoots at Luke in an attempt to disable him. As is, a thin rope seems pretty ineffective against someone wielding a lightsaber, so adding that little effect could make it seem a little more dangerous.
Here’s an example of what I’m suggesting, seen in this clip from Rebels, around the 1:25 mark. (Hoping the link works!)
Third suggestion I wanted to throw out here is to reuse the shots of Luke’s hand getting shot on the sail barge to when Boba shoots at him right before Han hits his jet pack.
I feel like if anyone can get a shot off a Jedi, it should be Boba rather than a random thug. Just think it would be nice if Boba “almost” got him.
So basically, Boba shoots at Luke from the other skiff, you would rotoscope the close-up of Luke’s hand getting shot to match, then rotoscope the quick reaction shot of Luke reacting to it, then cut back to Han swinging the axe at Boba. Or something along those lines.
I feel like this way, it feels a lot more like a close call, Boba seems more competent and it feels more satisfying when Han takes him out. Speaking of which, I would also suggesting adding a bit more of a gap between Han saying “Where?” and hitting Boba, maybe adding a Chewbacca growl inbetween. This makes it a little more open to interpretation whether it was an accident, or Han asked “Where?”, Chewbacca said, “Behind you!”, then Han swings behind him. Not a big difference, but small enough to where people can interpret whichever way they prefer.
The only issue you’d run into with this idea would be that you wouldn’t see Luke’s damaged hand for the next several shots, it would take some work but you could add the damage to moments where that hand is in clear view.
But even in the theatrical version, you don’t really see the damage in any further shots after his hand gets damaged either, so I don’t think continuity should make or break this idea.
Beyond that, I think removing Boba’s screams and the Sarlaac burp would help too.
I think these changes would give us a little bit more cool Boba action that people back in ‘83 might have hoped for originally.
The biggest change would be having Luke getting shot by Boba, but I honestly think it would work in that moment.