I like that sequence of events, but I feel like cutting the Boushh/Chewbacca scene makes the Lapti Nek bit feel like a non sequitur that only exists as foreshadowing, as opposed to a lead-in to the Boushh scene that also functions as foreshadowing. Plus, including the Boushh scene gives Threepio something to do immediately after his capture, which gives more connective tissue between that and Leia freeing Han than just using Lapti Nek, where Threepio is just a bystander who doesn’t do anything.
You might be right.
These are some great thoughts, Dom!
Honestly, I think ROTJ is in this weird place between being a part of the “holy” trilogy, but also being considered the weakest of three. Yes, you could edit it dramatically, and it has been before, but imo I feel like there isn’t really a definitive fan edit of ROTJ, just a few good ones that introduce some cool ideas. How much can you alter without something feeling missing?
I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently since I’ve been reading Rinzler’s Making of book, and all the parts about the earlier versions are so tantalizing. It’s funny because nearly most complaints about the film and many common edit ideas were in fact addressed in earlier drafts and story conferences (opening with the Emperor arriving, for instance, is an idea I swiped from there). The book is sort of an interesting study in trying to decipher for yourself “what went wrong?” I think many would agree the film is a big step down from the previous two. The question, when it comes to editing, is how do you fix that. I think the reason you don’t see a lot of ROTJ edits vs. PT or ST edits (despite many who think that quality-wise it is probably on par with more than one of those earlier films) is simply because we’re so used to it and because we all grew up with it. Sort of similar to now I feel like I’m seeing more people include moments in their PT edits that were never included before, just because the moments were too memorable. It’s hard imaging the film in a different way.
So, you’re suggesting opening with the Emperor scene, which honestly is a solid idea. I think the one think you lose is a slightly ominous opening for Vader, since the first time we see him in this version of events would just be in a wide shot of him kneeling down (unless you inserted a new first shot of him somehow). I like your IX related idea by the way! We definitely need to keep that in mind.
The shot of Vader walking down his shuttle ramp is one of my favorites, and there are some classic lines in there. But ultimately you have to ask yourself will cutting the scene make the film better? I think it might. Something that always bothered me too is Vader says “the Emperor is not as forgiving as I am,” which feels like a big set up, but we don’t see him make good on this in anyway. I think it could be worth keeping the earlier scene if there was some way to show the Emperor’s wrath - I always thought we should have seen him take out his anger on Vader, electrocuting him. Not sure if there’s any way to accomplish that.
You’d probably also want to cut the business with the clearance codes and the shield and all that. Obviously it’s set up for later but I don’t think it’s necessary and it just starts the film off with boring dialogue.
If you cut the first Boushh scene, I think Leia & Wicket should be kept, at the very least to not make this film less than two hours long.
This is something that I struggled with a lot when I was getting into fan edits at first, but honestly sometimes there’s nothing you can do. My PT edits are all under two hours. I wish it could be helped, but I’d prefer to worry about runtime second.
The deleted scenes would be cool to add, but it just seem infeasible to add them seamlessly. And I think Luke’s introduction in the film is great as-is, and putting Dagobah stuff earlier would just ruin that mystique.
Well for me, if you’re not removing the hologram, it’s sort of like what’s the point. The other idea is that you get to imply Luke has been training with Yoda in the interim (which would explain his change in character). But I’m not really for the change anymore, myself.
Good idea putting the first throne room scene in place of where the Emeror’s first scene originally was. I also think graphics could be added to those weirdly blank view screens that could be relevant to some potential ST-foreshadowing as well, but not sure what exactly that could be yet.
You definitely need to cut back to the real bad guys in that moment, and if the Emperor’s arrival is being moved up, it’s actually quite fortunate that this scene exists to take it’s place and basically serve as a reminder. Otherwise it’s a scene I’d suggest cutting because it’s mostly pointless.