Well, we see both X- and A-wings, at least, with red markings. But where do you get the 3 wing groups from? From memory I think there’s Gold, Red, Green and Grey squadrons name-dropped in the film.
There is a recording of the Throne Room march (in fact Ady used it in his extended credits) that alters the final note so that rather than segueing into the credits it leaves it hanging.
I like the idea, although I agree that “less is more”. A wipe to a single shot of Darth Vader’s TIE fighter exiting hyperspace, and slowly panning to reveal the Executor in the distance (with a planet in the BG and maybe a couple of regular Star Destroyers for scale) would be enough for me.
There are two very different kinds of explosion effect in the OT. Where they’ve blown up a miniature it’s great. Where they’ve merely match cut to a firework going off it’s hardly more “realistic” than a CG one. The latter can still work fine (they used it for the Death Stars after all) but in some cases the mismatch between the miniature and the firework is jarring.
Hear me out on this one.
R2-D2 is basically a sentient Swiss Army knife. We see him use all sorts of appendages, sometimes for plot purposes, sometimes for the sake of a quick gag (fire extinguisher, anybody?).
When R2-D2 is serving drinks on the sail barge, they missed an obvious opportunity to depict him with a corkscrew attachment, or at the very least a bottle-opener for someone to crack open a cold one on.
Any chance of a one-second cutaway during the sail barge sequence to correct this glaring omission?
I believe he did confirm that the ESB:R Blu-Ray is on hold and will be released alongside the others.
We all would. Can’t blame the guy for drawing a line under the OT, though.
I do hope he’s kept whatever notes or plans he had for the PT. I’d be very interested to see what he had in mind, and surprised if someone else (preferably with but even without Ady’s blessing) didn’t end up trying to follow at least the general idea.
Lower-ranking Imperial officers were generally cast with American accents; they just didn’t really show up in ESB, so people got the idea that it had changed the rules and made all Imperials British (and glossed over the fact that the stormtroopers sounded as American as ever). In ANH the roundtable officers have British or at best mid-Atlantic accents (compare Motti’s accent to the same actor playing an American in Raiders of the Lost Ark or Who Framed Roger Rabbit), while the lower-ranking officer class (eg. “Where are you taking this… thing?”, “She’ll die before she tells you anything!”) has American accents, so there’s hardly a continuity error in retaining this guy’s accent. It’s a class thing, not a good guys/bad guys thing — leaving the prequels and sequels aside, just in this movie we have Mon Mothma, the closest thing there is to a Rebel leader, depicted speaking in practically the Queen’s English.
FWIW, the crying rancor keeper is one of my favourite moments. It’s the most creative moment in the whole Jabba sequence, IMO. It adds a bit of depth to the world, and it’s just plain hilarious.
I can understand why it’s polarising, but my vote is for keeping it. I also love the ironing droid in TLJ, so maybe I just have a thing for bathos.
Throwing another idea out there for the “your mother” scene, that ties in with “from a certain point of view” as well as with Kylo Ren: in an episode of Rebels, James Earl Jones as Vader delivers the line “Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.” I’m not sure if the audio of the line could be found isolated from the SFX in the scene — and indeed, if Ady has an impersonator available, there’s no need to restrict himself. I’d just found out that JEJ voiced Vader in Rebels and went looking to see if there was anything that might be suitable, following the “your mother” discussion earlier.
The edit is now complete and approved by the Academy. It’ll be up on IFDB this weekend. Blu Ray version will follow. PM me for details.
The use of tracked-in music in ROTJ is definitely noticeable in places — the use of “Here They Come!” from ANH during the space battle, most prominently. Are there any other points in the movie where we have a version with the original music? (Is that what ChainsawAsh is referring to, or just this one scene? I haven’t seen that release.) For the Obi-Wan scene, though, I don’t think the score adds anything. It may just be because it’s the way I’m used to hearing it, but I think it’s more effective without music.
I’m also wondering how we all feel about deleting the line “It is too late for me, son.”
Personally I love that line, a great bit of voice acting and really adds depth to Vaders character. Makes him seem real rather than just a cut and paste bad guy. I remember seeing it at the cinema on first release and thinking, wow maybe, just maybe Luke can get through to his Dad.
Agreed. It isn’t telegraphing his later turn or creating some kind of illogicality. I think it’s one of his most important lines, in terms of the insight we get into his character.
Ady, if you mess with this one, we riot.
Also, is it stated in the movies (OT) that the Empire is drafting people? I kinda figured it was indoctrination and the lure of the darkside.
BIGGS: I know it’s a long shot, but if I don’t find them I’ll do what I can on my own… It’s what we always talked about. Luke, I’m not going to wait for the Empire to draft me into service. The Rebellion is spreading and I want to be on the right side – the side I believe in.
LUKE: Well, I’ll be at the Academy next season… after that who knows. I won’t be drafted into the Imperial Starfleet that’s for sure… Take care of yourself, you’ll always be the best friend I’ve got.
As an aside, this convo with Luke completely dispels the EU misconception that Luke was joining an Imperial Academy. Why would Biggs and Luke be worried about being drafted into the Empire if they were already signing up? On the contrary, it points to the Academy either being part of a local municipality or the equivalent of a trucker school. Just one of those things that the EU got wrong that has always bugged me.
On the other hand, you could interpret this about going for officer to avoid being drafted as a grunt.
IIRC the idea in the deleted scene was that it wasn’t (or wasn’t just) a military academy. Biggs came back with a commission on a civilian freighter.
Ignore the troll.
Well, that’s not intimidating at all. XD
So I’ve got a rough playlist of music to try out. I won’t just be replacing the featured pieces; I’m considering pieces where to replace the existing score in places too.
- “On the Run”, by Pink Floyd, for the rooftop chase, as mentioned
- “Mammagamma”, by the Alan Parsons Project, to replace “Dissolved Girl”
- “The Dark Side”, by Muse, in the fetish club
- “Zer0 Gravity”, by Code Elektro, for the car ride to meet Morpheus
- “Afterlife”, by Wendy Carlos, for Neo’s awakening in the Real World
- “Escape from Midwich Valley”, by Carpenter Brut, to replace “Clubbed to Death”
- “Speedboat Night Sweat”, by Swimware, to replace “Prime Audio Soup”
- “Torment (Interlude)”, by Alex feat. Tokyo Rose, for Morpheus’ interrogation
- “Adrenaline Burst”, by Midnight Danger, to replace “Spybreak!”
- “The Dark Side (Alternate Reality Version)”, for Neo’s resurrection as the One
- “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me”, by the Mute Gods, for the last scene and end credits.
All of the above are on Spotify, so you can have a listen to this playlist and let me know what you think.
Some of them seem to work extraordinarily well. “The Dark Side” has repeated chords at the end that can blend very well into Neo’s alarm clock, similar to the original. “Adrenaline Burst” is in the same key as “Torment (Interlude)”, and based around a very similar riff, so follows it very organically. I haven’t tried them all out in terms of syncing to picture yet, but I have high hopes. None have key or tempo changes of the kind that would make cutting them up to fit a problem.
On the other hand, I probably won’t be using “Algorithm” in the movie itself. It’s a brilliant song and very fitting, but too much of a show-stopper. It already sounds like trailer music, so I just might use it as that.
As for actual edits, to the film, here’s what I have in mind so far:
- Moving Morpheus’ line “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself,” to later, after the first scene in the Construct, when he comes to apologise to Neo in his bunk. The idea could be either that it’s impossible to tell the truth inside the Matrix without the Agents finding you, or that the Matrix itself prevents the mind from accepting it. Either way, I prefer it to the idea that they only free kids, and it makes Morpheus’ initial dramatic vagueness more explicable.
- Altering the first Construct scene to depict the Machines as using human brains for computing.
- Deleting Cypher’s dinner date with Smith. He explains his motives adequately during his Bond-villain monologue, so we don’t need to flag it in advance.
- Moving the scene where Cypher and Neo share a drink to earlier, before Neo’s training.
- Removing most or all exterior shots of the Nebuchadnezzar and Sentinels. The effects haven’t aged too badly, and the grading I’m doing doesn’t hurt in that regard, but it ought to make the Real World segments feel more claustrophobic, especially at the end when the Sentinels find them.
- Deleting Smith exploding. I know it’s kind of an odd choice, but it comes out of nowhere (unlike the rest of that scene, which is all heavily foreshadowed) and the effect has not aged well. I like the idea of the Agents all just running away at the end, and if I do end up doing a sequel edit, it avoids the problem that his second death is basically just his first multiplied by several hundred.
- Trimming a few pieces of redundant or “prompting” dialogue here and there.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. I haven’t started the cutting process yet, and more edits will no doubt suggest themselves, but I thought I’d give you an update on where things are at, while we wait for Scott Pilgrim.
Proof of concept will drop soon. Hopefully this week.
NeverarGreat’s headcanon is reasonable. I think the official explanation is that the Falcon (and most ships) had a backup hyperdrive, designed only to get you (slowly) to an inhabited system for repairs.
My preferred explanation is that it’s a fairly dense area of space, such that systems are closer together than in our region, and that it still probably took several months to get to Bespin. This, of course, aligns with Luke needing more than a few days’ training with Yoda.
Assuming I can figure out how to do branching, I’ll make it an option on the Blu Ray for you. I’ve not authored a disc before so that’s the only caveat; I’m basically teaching myself everything with this one.
Despite what I said in the first post, I’ve found something perfect to replace “Wake Up” in the end titles: “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me”, by the Mute Gods.
I’ve made a fresh thread here.
I’ve started work on this edit while Scott Pilgrim is pending Academy approval, so as to have a proof-of-concept ready to début alongside that edit. It will involve far more advanced FX and colour-grading work than Scott Pilgrim did, although not perhaps as demanding as The Hobbit is going to end up requiring, because I’m going for a stylised look for this one. Although I’ll only be working in HD, I waited for the new 4K transfer of the film to be available to work from, and I’m glad I did, because the new transfer is beautiful (and omits the retconned later colour grading most versions have).
Editing-wise, it’s intended to be fairly conservative, bringing the parables of self-discovery and self-actualisation in the original to the fore, and backgrounding the man-versus-machine angle. I’m guided in part by Marcy Cook’s excellent analysis here.
I do plan to include a change, based on what was apparently the Wachowskis’ original intention, to depict the plugged-in humans as having their brains used for computing power rather than their body heat used for electrical power. To this end, the second half of the “Desert of the Real” sequence will need to be more or less replaced wholesale. Most of the trimming I’m going to do, though, will be from the “real-world” scenes around the middle of the film.
I would also like, if I possibly can, to hint that the Machines did not have their origin in a robot rebellion (although the characters still believe so), but that a cabal of humans built both the Matrix and the Machines, and may still be around and running the show for their own benefit. If I decide this idea is tenable, whether it ends up making the cut in this one or not, I have some further ideas for assembling a much more radical (single-film) sequel edit to explore it, in which, for example, the Merovingian isn’t a program but one of these rulers.
The main focus of the edit, though, as suggested by the name, is stylistic. The original film is heavily noir-influenced, of course, among many other things, and many scenes set inside the Matrix are virtually monochrome already; anything brightly coloured (the woman in red, the coloured pills) deliberately stands out. So I intend to render the scenes set inside the simulated world in high-contrast black and white, and regrade “real-world” scenes to contrast with this — removing the (thankfully already dialled-down in the new transfer) blue tint and emulating the classic Technicolor look. A handful of plot-important objects which exist specifically to alter the Matrix itself (the aforementioned pills, the red dress, the green phosphor of Neo’s computer monitor) will remain coloured.
However, it isn’t as simple as dropping the saturation and upping the contrast, or even dropping in a LUT and tweaking a few settings, as (inspired in part by the original Tron) many light sources within the simulated world — computer screens, neon signs, traffic lights — will be coloured, and will colour their otherwise black-and-white surrounds accordingly. I’ve also found, in doing the proof-of-concept, that outdoor and indoor scenes require a very different grading approach to look “right” in B&W.
The other element I’ll be having some stylistic fun with is the music. The Matrix is blessed with a mostly clean centre channel, and to go with the Tronesque aesthetic I’m planning to replace several music cues. Thus far, I have in mind a couple of tracks from Muse’s latest album, Simulation Theory, which explicitly deals with the same themes as the movie:
- “Algorithm” (Alternate Reality Version), for the opening titles, if I can get hold of an instrumental version.
- “The Dark Side” as a theme for Trinity, first playing in the fetish club and then (in its alternate reality version) replacing the score at a couple of points near the end of the movie.
A few other retro electronic/synthy pieces I’ve considered:
- “On the Run”, Pink Floyd’s pioneering electronic piece, for the rooftop chase in the prologue (as heard in the proof-of-concept).
- “Afterlife”, a microtonal piece by Wendy Carlos, for Neo’s awakening and rescue.
- “Speedboat Night Sweat”, by the delightfully retro synthwave group Swimware, probably to replace “Prime Audio Soup”.
There are several other spots where I want to replace the music, but don’t have any particular piece in mind yet, and am open to suggestions. They’re all good pieces, and their use in the original movie was iconic, but for this alternative version I want to feature a different type of music — think more synthwave than industrial EDM. These are the pieces I’d primarily be looking to replace:
- “Dissolved Girl” (playing on Neo’s headphones when we first see him)
- “Clubbed to Death” (the Woman in Red scene)
- “Prime Audio Soup” (going to see the Oracle)
- “Spybreak!” (the lobby shootout)
- “Rock is Dead” (end credits)
I feel that the use of Rage Against the Machine is too awesome to delete, although if I come across something that fits the end of the movie as well as “Wake Up” does, I’m not completely averse to replacing it. I’m undecided about keeping the BGM in the dojo sparring scene, but I’m probably similarly happy to keep it unless something even more appropriate shows up.
So that’ll be fun. I’ll be working on this and The Hobbit in tandem for the next little while, but at this rate, this one will probably come out first. Proof of concept is ready to go and will come out alongside Scott Pilgrim.
I’m keeping the theatrical ending. I feel that the alternative ending negates a lot of character development for all three characters involved. I’m open to including the alternative ending as an option on the Blu-Ray, but I’m not changing it in the edit proper.
The “serial killer” joke ending I’ve made is just a mid-credits gag; it’s not to be treated as canon, if you care about that sort of thing.
It’s been on the back burner while I hone my skills on other projects, but it’s definitely still happening! My first fan edit, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Editor, is complete and awaiting review from the Academy folks over at fanedit.org. I’m going to release it via fanedit.info as soon as they give it the OK, alongside a proof-of-concept of The Matrix: Édition Noir et Néon, which I’m going to be working on alongside The Hobbit. I’m aiming to have them both out at some point next year, although depending on how things go with The Matrix it may come out sooner.