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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - The Spence Final Cut

spence

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Fanedit Film Name Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - The Spence Final Cut
Brief Synopsis An attempt to make Episode VI a worthy conclusion to the Star Wars saga by improving the storytelling and narrative structure throughout.
Tagline Every Saga Has An Ending
Original Film Name Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Studio Name 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm LTD
Fanedit Type TrueFan Edit
Original Running Time 2 hrs. 20 min.
Original Release Date 1983
Fanedit Running Time 1 hr. 33 min.
Fanedit Release Date March 2011
Amount of time cut. About 40 minutes

Intention To improve the structure and storytelling of the movie to make it more compelling, emotional and involving. The existence of the prequels has also been taken into account.

Edit Details Return of the Jedi is my least favorite star wars movie. 4 and 5 are great as is, and there's prequel edits that make them work. Jedi has really never been right for me. I've tried to edit it twice, and neither of those satisfy me. Apparently, they didn't satisfy much of anyone . By the way, I'm aware of the bad quality of my version 1, and it will not repeat here. Also, that's why I did a version 2, so leave the poor first guy alone, will you?!

My quest has always been to figure out what that element of the film is that keeps it from succeeding. I assumed it was the ewoks, as I really dislike them, but its not. The biggest problem with the movie is the lack of tension.

During the entire battle on endor, there's not a single moment where it feels as of Han and Leia will not succeed. The humor of the sequence, the cuteness of the ewoks, its just really hard to think the empire will kill all the Teddy bears and capture our heroes.

Their success is what Lando and the fleet are depending on. So if Han seems like he'll obviously win, this feeling stretches to the fleet as well.

The only tense sequence is between Luke and Vader. Its the core or the story, and there are real moments of darkness and doubt within it. Except, since this whole sequence happens on the Death Star, it's essentially meaningless, as regardless of what happened, they would've all been blown up anyway.

Having seen the new edit of phantom, Shadow of the Sith, I realized how rearranging the ending can really help with the tension. everything has to feel as if our heroes will all fail.

Basic concepts:
- The set up for the movie is totally different, as per the new crawl. Luke's been training with Yoda since shortly after ESB. Chewy was already captured when he and Lando went to Tattooine at the end of ESB, and Lando has managed to get under-cover inside the palace. Leia grows restless waiting for Luke to return, and goes to rescue Han herself.
- Luke is forced to use a simpler plan, sending the droids in with his lightsaber, then going in himself to break everyone out. It clears up the original completely stupid and illogical plan.
- No Boba Fett. He isn't at Jabba's. There's really no reason for him to be there, and it gets rid of his silly death.
- No Rancor. Our first action scene is Luke being a full on Jedi, and beginning is all build up to that.
- Lots of trims to Han being an idiot. Removed all of his jealousy toward Luke. The love story was resolved in ESB, so his jealousy just makes him seem foolish.
- Lots of trims to the Ewoks. They're still likeable and kind of cute, but not over the top. you can kind of believe they succeed in their battle now, with the way it is cut.
- The emperor's throne room is moved to a big Star Destroyer instead of on the Death Star, so Luke's battle still has meaning. This Star Destroyer does not blow up in the battle. Lots of establishing shots and additions to make this very clear.
- The battle is totally reordered for pacing, making it appear that the rebellion is losing the battle up until after the emperor is killed.
- We get the release of winning the battle, then go to Vader's death, so the sequence never slows down. Because they were on the Death Star, the emotional beat with Vader had to happen before the Death Star explosion, but it totally ruins the pacing. Now, that doesn't matter, because they aren't on it.
- New ending with a little more emotional resonance. The final shot of the movie is now Luke burning Vader's body, bringing the whole saga full circle.
- Some musical call backs to the prequels.

Cut-List

-ADDED new opening crawl. Title is still RETURN OF THE JEDI. (thanks to L8wrtr)
-MOVED Dagobah sequence to right after the first Death Star scene.
-CUT Yoda confirming Vader is Luke's father.
-CUT Obi-Wan's ghost visiting Luke on Dagobah.
-CUT Lapti Nek/ Musical sequence.
-CUT Boba Fett from every scene of the movie.
-CUT frog guy eating a rodent in in the Jabba's palace wide shot.
-CUT Leia as Boussh handing Chewy over to Jabba.
-MOVED Liea freeing Han from carbonite to after Dagobah.
-ADDED Luke sensing his friends are in trouble when they get caught by Jabba, using shots from him feeling Kenobi's presence on Dagobah.
-REPLACED all of Jabba's subtitles, to give him more personality and help with my cuts.
-RECOLORED 3PO when Jabba catches Han/Leia, so he appears to be a different droid. In this chronology, he hasn't arrived yet.
-CROPPED 3PO out of many shots in this sequence.
-ADDED shots of Luke flying away from Dagobah from ESB, making it appear that he is headed for Tattooine.
-MOVED Han and Chewy in the prison cell to after Luke leaves Dagobah.
-CUT Han being filled in by Chewy on what's going on.
-MOVED Droids arrival to after prison cell scene.
-CUT 3PO's dialogue about Lando and Chewy never returning.
-CUT Eye droid (IDroid?) At Jabba's gate. 3PO knocks, begins to walk away, and the door opens.
-ADDED Leia chained up with Jabba during the scene with the droids.
-CUT/CROPPED any shots that show Leia not being there.
-CUT much of Luke's message to get to point faster.
-CUT 3PO not knowing about Luke's plan to give them to Jabba.
-CUT the end of the droid scene, ending it now with 3PO's "We're Doomed!"
-MOVED Emperor's arrival at the Death Star to after the Droids in Jabba's Palace.
-MOVED Luke's arrival to right after Emperor Death Star scene.
-ADDED Day time establishing shot of Jabba's before Luke arrives.
-CUT Luke choking the pig guards. That would get him at least 2 dark side points.
-CUT all of Bib Fortuna's dialogue with Luke. We don't know he's doing the mind trick until he repates things to Jabba.
-CUT much of Luke's dialogue with Jabba. The only lines kept are "I must be allowed to speak" "You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me" and "You can either profit from this, or be destroyed. It's your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate my powers."
-CUT Rancor sequence. Moved some shots and dialogue from Jabba to make this transition work.
-CUT the droids interacting on the sail barge.
-CUT Luke and Han dialogue scene on the skiff.
-REPLACED original Sarlaac and sounds in every shot (sourced from the GOUT DVD.)
-CUT "3PO, tell that slimey piece of..." Now Han just says "He'll get no such pleasure from us!"
-CUT a few shots of everyone looking at each other before Luke walks the plank.
-CUT Threepio on the barge from action sequence.
-CUT some of Han's dialogue.
-CUT many little things in the Skiff fight for pacing.
-MOVED 3PO and R2 falling off the barge to after Luke fires the canon at the deck. Now it looks like they jump off just as the explosion occurs.
-MOVED Rebel briefing to after they leave Tattooine.
-CUT Han's dialogue with Lando. "Well look at you, a general..." etc.
-CUT some of the dialogue after Han is announced as leading the Endor away team to remove some cheese.
-CUT the beginning of Han and Lando talking about the Falcon, so it feels like we come into the middle of their conversation.
-MOVED the shuttle arrival at Endor to right after they leave the Fleet.
-ADDED Death Star establishing shot to smooth transition between these scenes.
-CUT some of Han's shenanigans and other dialogue from the Faking the Code scene. Now the focus is mainly on Luke and Vader sensing each other.
-CUT "Hey, it's me!" sequence.
-ADDED music to Speeder Bike chase. (thanks to Rogue-theX)
-CUT various shots from Speeder chase for pacing.
-CUT Leia/Luke dialogue in this scene other than "Jam their comms!)
-CUT Leia passing out after she falls off of her speeder bike.
-CUT most of Wicket's first scene. We just see him walk up to Leia with his spear.
-CUT Luke finding Leia's helmet.
-CUT some of everyones stupidity standing around looking at the Ewok's trap. Chewy now goes straight for the meat.
-CUT Han and 3PO's exchange about "proper"
-CUT some of the end of the Levitation scene. I don't really need to see the heroes happily reunited yet again.
-MOVED Luke walking outside to earlier in 3PO's story.
-CUT 3PO's story after "Yes, R2, I was getting to that." Removed rest of that scene.
-CUT some of Leia's dialogue about her mother. She didn't really shouldn't know anything about her.
-CUT Han coming outside at the end of this scene.
-CUT Vader's dialogue about it being "Too late for me now"
-CUT some of the Ewok on the Speeder bike.
-CUT Han tapping the guard on the shoulder. It's now implied that they all followed the Ewok on the bike and we cut straight to the door opening.
-ADDED shots from ESB of Vader's shuttle flying to The Executor and landing, which moves Luke/Vader/Emperor scenes to a Star Destroyer rather than the Death Star.
-CUT "Bring those two down here!" When 3PO distracts the Imperials. It makes no sense, they only saw 3PO.
-CUT many Ewok scenes. Anything involving traps or over-cutesy stuff is gone.
-ADDED Death Star to many window shots in the Throne Room (Thanks to Bobgarcia74.)
-CUT "Witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"
-ADDED Reversal of the shot where Luke/Vader clash sabers in front of the Emperor, so it looks like they lift them up again.
-MOVED all of the Vader/Luke fight to immediately after they clash sabers.
-ADDED Duel of the Fates to the lighsaber battle.
-CUT Emperor's dialogue during the scene.
-CUT Luke kicking Vader down the stairs and him walking back up.
-CUT all dialogue from Luke jumping to the rafters to Vader throwing his saber. Now he throws it at him immediately after he jumps out of the way.
-CUT some of Vader walking down the stairs.
-CUT Luke responding to Vader while he's hiding.
-DARKENED Luke standing in the shadows.
-MOVED some of the fleet battle to after "So be it, Jedi."
-MOVED Leia and Han trying to open the door to after "we've gotta give him more time!"
-MOVED Chewy and Ewoks taking the ATST to after the extra blast doors close.
-CUT some bits of the ATST takeover to make it less silly.
-MOVED Leia being shot to after ATST sequence.
-MOVED Vader's redemption to after Han's "I've got an idea."
-MOVED Han taking the bunker to right after Emperor's death.
-MOVED Han running from the bunker and the explosion to right after they set the charges.
-CUT Han's reaction to the explosion.
-MOVED "The shield is down, commence attack!" to right after explosion.
-CUT the Executor being destroyed. The Rebels still attack it.
-ADDED Anakin's Theme from TPM over his death.
-CUT Leia and Han's dialogue about Luke. Now they look up at the explosion and kiss.
-CUT Wicket interrupting their kiss.
-MOVED Celebrations around the galaxy to after Leia and Han kiss.
-CUT Endor Celebration, other than one shot that pans down from the fireworks.
-MOVED the funeral pyre scene to the end, custom new music added (thanks to Rogue-theX)
-ADDED Iris transition to credits after the camera pans up from Luke to the fireworks.
-ADDED a couple of extra credits at the end for me and everyone who has helped me with the edit.

Special Notes/Thanks
Thanks to my assistant editors
L8wrtr
Rogue-theX
Bobgarcia74
Stankpac
Hebrides

None of this would've been possible without your help.

Also thank you to adywan for fixing some of my technical issues.

Technical Info
Programs used:
DVD Decrypter
VirtualDubMod
Hypercube Transcoder
Womble Mpeg Video Wizard
Sony Vegas 10
Adobe After Effects
TheFilmMachine

Release information
  • Dual Layer DVD
Special Features
DL DVD
SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Full length commentary track
- Clips of ideas I abandoned and a little discussion about them and why they were not used.
- A Basic Fan Editing Tutorial, basically a video version of ADM's tutorial. Great for noobs!
- Rogue-theX Easter Egg
- Spence Trailer Easter Egg
 

L8wrtr

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Official Release Dates have been pushed from the first Monday of each week to the first Tuesday, so this should be seen on .info on Tuesday March 15.
 

spence

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Great, so now I'm 14 days late on my release instead of 13. :p

Thanks for posting all of that, L8!
 

TMBTM

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L8wrtr said:
Official Release Dates have been pushed from the first Monday of each week to the first Tuesday, so this should be seen on .info on Tuesday March 15.

What about the second tuesday?
 

spence

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That's a holy day for fanedit.org. Nobody works that day.

That's untrue.
 

L8wrtr

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OK, Mask, with English as your second language, you're not supposed to catch that!
 

spence

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So... um... it's Tuesday. :-|
 

Nic

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What happened to your idea of trying to explain Lucas' thought process while making the films?
 

spence

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didn't get it finished. It was tough to do it as a documentary, so it would've just been me talking, which is not interesting. I talk about it a little in the commentary, but I have a written version I might put out there. Have to clean it up first though.
 

lpd

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Just checked to download, its not up.
 

spence

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Thanks!

Can somebody fix the incorrect spelling of "Spence" in the title. It's currently spelled "Spense."
 

yads

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Congrats on getting the edit up on the site! If my internet wasn't currently as slow as an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping I'd be downloading it now.
 

havok1977

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Is anyone else having problems downloading part 17 ? Ive retried 5 times or so with no luck, it always fails midway...
 

Rogue-theX

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^ That happened to me with part 9 and 17, if it stops midway and says something like "timed out" and you get a ten minute or so countdown, just leave it, for me those two kept timing out but eventually after it restarting on it's own it completed.

Spence, i watched this yesterday, i really like what you've done, but there are some technical errors, so i wanted to know if you plan to fix these? if so then i will hold off reviewing for now, is this cool?
 

havok1977

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Cheers Rogue, problem is, JDownloader won't resume the file throws a "Server does not support chunkload" error message then just carries on with the rest of the queue; only a reset will make it try again... which leads to another failed attempt each time :(
 

Rogue-theX

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Check and see if jdownloder has any updates, i just opened mine and it had 61 updates to install, that may help, or maybe "restore jd" or "restart", you may have to restart it a couple times.
 

spence

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I'll do a version 2 when the blu-rays are released, but till then it's not getting updated. I need a break from the movie, and I don't think the technical problems are THAT bad.
 

bionicbob

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A Review of RETURN OF THE JEDI: THE SPENCE FINAL CUT.

WARNING: SPOILERS WILL APPEAR!!!

Return of the Jedi is one of those childhood movies that is at once both a milestone event
and an epic disappointment.

My little tush was in theatre seats in 1977, and I marvelled in awe at this new universe spread before me called Star Wars.
I was there again in 1980, when Empire shook our foundations with it's dramatic reveal of Luke's father and pushed our beloved heroes into darkness and dispair.
Then in 1983, our heroes returned in the final chapter in a rollercoaster adventure, that while it greatly entertained,it left me feeling completely dissatisfied!:-(

Alot of it just made no sense to me.
At the end of ESB, everyone from Yoda to the Obiwan is telling Luke he is not a Jedi, that he needs more training.
But when ROJ opens, the recently defeated Luke is informed that he is now a Jedi!
What the....? Did I miss a memo?:-o

Plus the death of Boba Fett just blew my mind.
The coolest movie character in recent years receives the lamest death ever put to film.
What was Lucas thinking?

Then there are all the supporting characters, all getting screen time but with very little important character development or really interesting moments.
Of course, that brings us to the Ewoks..... "ugh".... nuff said.:p

Anyway, as I have said, I have watched ROJ many times, and yes it does entertain,
but for a concluding chapter to one of most important stories of my childhood,
it was a complete and utter disappointment!

BUT NOT ANY MORE!!!:)

Now, I have Spence's wonderful edit that pretty much addresses every issue I had with the original ROJ.

This version is definitely very much the story of Luke Skywalker's journey.
While all of our heroes are present, they are pretty much supporting characters
as Luke finally faces his destiny and confronts Vader and the Emperor.

The restructured opening 20-25 minutes is brilliant. The new crawl explains Luke returns to Yoda to continue his training, and it is while there he has a premonition (similar to what happened in ESB) that his friends are in trouble.
This is an excellent narrative device used by Spence. If I were so bold to suggest, it might have been even stronger if maybe an audio or visual effect was used to support Luke's vision? Regardless, it is very clever and works wonderfully.;-)

The recut Jabba Palace works beautifully. All of our favorite characters are reintroduced in slightly new ways that I found very enjoyable and more logical.

The removal of Boba Fett is masterful. Fantastic editting in this regard! :)

The Endor scenes work very well. The Ewoks have been trimmed back. They are still too damn cute and cuddlely for my tastes, but there is not much one can do about that without sacrificing pivotal plot.

The moving of the Emperor from the Death Star to the Super Destroyer, works very well too.
Some very nice F/X work done here. Bravo!:)

Lots of little trims have been done to the Han and Leia interplay, which I think actually made their relationship come off stronger and more believeable.

And the closing of the movie with Vader's funeral pyre was an excellent choice. Closes the movie on the perfect note.

As you may be able to tell, I really enjoyed this edit.:D

Not to say there are not some minor nit-piks..... some minor audio issues, changing matte colours, and tiny errors on the closing credits... But as I said, to me these are all extremely minor and did not detract from the over all viewing experience for me at all.

I enjoyed the bonus features (though I have not listened to the commentary yet) and I think the abandoned concepts regarding the Flashbacks (as watchers of my Trek edits know, I love flashbacks) and having all the storylines converge during Luke and Vader's battle were brilliant ideas and could have worked really well as part of the edit. But I totally understand Spence's reasoning.

So all in all, a fantastic edit! Thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and most importantly, satisfying!

Thank You Spence for restoring my childhood.

THUMBS UP!!!:)
 
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