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Return of the Jedi: Dan Edit

yads

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Original film name: Return of the Jedi
New film name : Return of the Jedi: Dan Edit
Film studio name : 20th Century Fox
Date Original Film Was Released : May 1983
Date Edit Was Released : August 2010
Audio: 2.0 (sorry to 5.1 fans)
Video: Xvid Avi (1.2 gigs)
Original Runtime : 129 minutes
New Runtime : 102 minutes
Amount of time Cut/Added : 27 minutes cut


Intention:

Whenever I watch The Empire Strikes Back I get a hankering to put Jedi on, and whenever I do I'm massively disappointed. The first hour feels largely unnecessary, with the bloated Jabba's palace sequence feeling like filler, and then of course, there's the infamous Ewoks. Rather than building an interesting film about Luke coming to terms with his roots, and Leia starting on a path to become a Jedi, Lucas gave Leia nothing to do in the whole film, and until the last half hour disregarded Luke's emotional struggles.

Unfortunately these problems are much too fundamental for a newbie editor like myself to fix (hopefully Adywan will eventually get round to dealing with them), but by cutting back the Jabba's palace stuff, and reducing the infantile Ewok behaviour, the film becomes much more enjoyable.


Hardware and software information: Sony Vegas 9, WinX Platinum Ripper, Auto GK

Time needed for the edit: Between February and August 2010, on and off

Persons involved in the edit: Just me

Cuts and changes:

Reduced chat between C-3P0 and Bib Fortuna

Boba Fett taken out of the whole film!

Less laughter from Salacious Crumb

Gave Jabba new dialogue throughout

Took out entire droid torture scene

Took out the Jedi Rocks musical number

Took out beat where Boushh threatens Jabba with thermal detonator

Reworked whole scene where Chewie is led in, set to 'Bounty For A Wookiee' from the soundtrack, rather than the Max Rebo Song

Took out horrible beat where Lando very slowly and deliberately reveals his face from under the mask

That frog outside the palace doesn't burp

Substantionally reworked Leia and Han being caught by Jabba, taken out bad humour, added tense music from soundtrack

Took out entire scene between Chewie and Han in the dungeon

Added new exterior shot of palace for pacing reasons, since the aforementioned scene is gone

Reworked scene where Luke confronts Jabba, many small cuts and changes to heighten drama

Tightened up Rancor sequence to take out bad special effects, shots of Fett, and muppetry

Reworked the 'sentencing' scene with tense music, and Han/Luke cheesy dialogue excised

Many changes to Sarlacc sequence, to take out Fett, Salacious Crumb, and generally to ramp up the drama

Took out Ben’s lines about ‘from a certain point of view’

Took out Lando’s cheesy grin after Han describes him as the respectable one

Took out Han’s ‘good luck, you’re gonna need it’

Took out 3P0’s line ‘exciting is hardly the word I would choose’

Took out entire scene between Lando and Han in the ship’s hangar.

Took out Han worrying about the Falcon.

Reworked shuttle scene: the intent being to remind the audience of the scene near the end of TESB, where Luke and Vader are communicating while on separate ships; this adds foreboding and tension that Han's jokes took away from

Removed Han’s line ‘Hey, it’s me!’

No longer does Han walk on the twig and the stormtrooper turns round. It always bothered me that Chewie growls a moment earlier. So I made his growl loud enough that the stormtrooper hears, turns, and sees Han.

Made several small pacing cuts to the speeder bike chase

After Luke lightsabers the speeder bike and it crashes into the tree it no longer makes that annoying, comic, out-of-control sound

Whole scene between Leia and Wicket has gone

Han’s line ‘I hope she’s all right’ has gone - it’s too on the nose

Small cuts to the gang’s first scene with the Ewoks, fewer Ewok shots and Han’s ‘proper?’ also taken out

Several cuts during the scene where they’re going to be cooked for dinner. As much cutesey Ewok stuff as posible edited out

Threepio's story telling scene has been tweaked, to reduce Ewok cute stuff and Han's bad jokes

The beat outside between Han and Leia now plays out in near silence: He asks her what’s up, she looks sad then says hold me

When that Ewok (Paploo, or whoever) takes the speeder bike, he zooms away and that’s the end of the scene

When the Rebel fleet appears and ‘it’s a trap’ the ships fly towards the Empire’s fleet… it cuts to Luke watching the battle

During the big battle sequence there are many cuts, mostly from the Ewok section, to reduce silliness and build drama between these three fights

The awful call-back to Empire, where Han says I love you, Leia says I know, has been replaced by tense music

When Luke is hiding from Vader I made the image slightly darker to make his hiding more plausible - it’s always bothered me

Took out the humongous exploding shield generator. It seems to wipe out half the forest

Took out Lando ‘Yeehaaa’ or whatever cheesy line it is, when they escape the Death Star

Then the ending:

I used a section of the end credits music, it's an uplifting piece, but with a hint of melancholy, which seems appropriate; most importantly it feels Star Wars, unlike both Yub Nub and the SE music

The Ewok party is cut right back, I used the Han/Leia/Luke hugging from the GOUT, which is longer, then cut to:

Sebastian Shaw’s ghost


I'll begin uploading the files to Rapidshare in a few minutes time. I have a slow connection so it'll take all night. I'll update this thread when it's all online.

Dan.
 

elbarto1

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woot, a jedi fanedit! :eek:
while I am one of the few that doesnt really have a problem with the original film, I will for sure check this out!
 

L8wrtr

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Jedi is an interesting fan edit project. I have two different ideas for an edit kicking around my brain, so I'm curious to see what you have planned. I'll definitely give this view when it comes out.
 

yads

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Quick update. My ISP's upload speed is dreadful: It took 5 hours to upload the first 500 megs. My plan is to up the next 500 megs tonight (UK time) and then the last 200 megs Saturday morning.
 

spence

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I'm greatly looking forward to this! I was. Never really happy with my version of Jedi', and this sounds great. Removing boba entirely might work for you as well. Upon reflection I've realized there's really no reason for him to he there other than fans like Fett.
 

yads

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The files are on RS now.

I don't know what the procedure is for getting the download links to people, although I know I can't link directly.
 

yads

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Re the Fett. I took him from the Sarlaac scene, but did keep him at Jabba's palace.

If I redo the edit, I'll try and take him out of the film altogether. Trouble is, once you've removed a lot of cheesy nonsense there's hardly any decent reaction shots left, besides Fett.
 

yads

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Thanks. I just replied.
 

L8wrtr

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Based on our PM exchange, I am moving this to the 'In the works' section while you gather feedback from a preview audience.
 

yads

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Yeah I was just about to start a new thread. Cheers man.

I'm not especially happy with the edit. I'd appreciate if a few people could take a look at it, partly to let me know what you think of the editing and partly because of a technical problem I've been trying to overcome.

I started this edit in February, and didn't take enough time to get a high quality rip to work with. About a month ago I decided I'd experiment and see if I could improve the picture without starting over. I made a higher quality rip then changed the name of the folder containing the original MPEG, opened Sony Vegas and when it couldn't find the MPEG I directed it towards the new rip.

To start with I thought I'd got away with it, but subsequently I've been noticing that the cuts have been looking a bit 'off' - it's like there's a faint white flash during the cut. I've tried everything I can think of to get rid of it. I switched from smart resample to disable resample, I checked all the cuts - and they're clean. I just can't get rid of it.

I'm wondering now if some of the problems stem from where a slightly slow down clip is cut with a normal speed clip, but really I'm close to giving up and starting over... which is incredibly annoying because I have so many more important things I need to concentrate on besides this edit. But I really don't want to abandon it after spending months on it.

Anyway, if you want a look at the edit and don't mind giving me a review, send me a PM.
 

TV's Frink

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Captain Khajiit said:
spence said:
I've realized there's really no reason for him to he there other than fans like Fett.
Fans with a Boba Fettish!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

yads

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Spence has given me permission to copy/paste his review of the workprint in this thread. Here it is:

'Dan, great edit. I was very impressed. Some of your ideas are very good.

There were some video hiccups where the frame rate gets choppy, i think that's a result of the changes you made to the file in womble. Just re-edit those parts so they don't jump, and you're fine quality wise.

As far as the edit itself goes, there's only a few minor quibbles.

- I thought Jabba's line about putting Leia in "something sexy" was just a little too present day sounding and didn't really fit in with the Star Wars universe.

- I think you should just cut Fett totally. He really is there for absolutely no reason now.

- This isn't specific to your edit, but the Dagobah sequence just is way too damn long. I always wished I'd cut some of that as well.

- Your cutting of the battles at the end is very good.

- I wasn't a huge fan of the stuff you did at the end, I must admit. The flashes to the rest of the series and the BSG music/Freeze frame just didn't feel quite right. Again, it just doesn't fit with the way the series is. This may work for some people, that's just my personal feeling toward it.

Overall this is a very well done fanedit and you should be proud of it. My recommendation would just be to fix those technical hiccups and possibly continue to trim little things here and there. Redundant lines, bad performance, unfunny jokes, etc. Really fine tune it and you'll be ready to rock.

If you do not like my suggestions, feel free to not use them! Congrats, and good luck!'
 

spence

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I am Spence, and I endorse the previous message. :)

Seriously though, other than the transition hiccups, this will easily get approved. Even the stuff in the edit I wasn't crazy about was well done.
 

yads

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spence said:
I am Spence, and I endorse the previous message. :)

Seriously though, other than the transition hiccups, this will easily get approved. Even the stuff in the edit I wasn't crazy about was well done.

Re: your suggestions, I've been working on a few things: I cut the Fett altogether, you're right it's pointless showing him at the palace but not killing him (and no way was I ever gonna include that atrocity of a beat). I also tightened up the Sarlacc fight a little and redid the 'from a certain point of view' cuts. And I'm constantly trying to fix this white flashing thing between some of the cuts... so far with no joy.

Also spent a few hours downloading and listening to a load of tracks from Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Forces, Jedi Knight 2 and The Force Unleashed. The only track I thought might work was the Juno Eclipse/Finale from TFU - awesome piece of music, very John Williams-ey. But after trying it out it was just a little too sombre. So right now my plan is to wait until I get some more feedback and if the consensus is that the new music is too un-SW then I'll create a second edit, identical to the first except it has the SE celebration music, plus obviously Sebastian Shaw.

Speaking of feedback anybody else who wants to watch it and doesn't mind sharing their thoughts on what they see - send me a PM. It's on RS as I type this.
 

spence

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The complete score for RotS has an unused End credits song. Its a version of the throne room music from ep.4 and the end credits contain music from the entire series. Should fit nicely and be a strong ending. You might want to try it. PM me if you need help finding it.
 

yads

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spence said:
The complete score for RotS has an unused End credits song. Its a version of the throne room music from ep.4 and the end credits contain music from the entire series. Should fit nicely and be a strong ending. You might want to try it. PM me if you need help finding it.

I checked out the track on Youtube. It's definitely got potential - the one thing that worries me: there are a couple of Chewie growls on the soundtrack, although hopefully they wouldn't be the CD.

The length of the track is just about perfect if it starts as the camera pans down after the round-the-galaxy montage.

Thanks again for your help. I don't really want to have to go back to the SE celebration music/montage - largely because it'll mean putting back all the dancing ewok nonsense.
 

spence

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I have the cd with that track on it, and no wookiee growls to speak of. It's actually my favorite piece of star wars music.
 

Rogue-theX

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Is that the song adm used for his return of the jedi montage?
 
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