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

Ed Rhone

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I watched this last night, I really really enjoyed it. The ending was stellar. Great place to end. :)
 

darthwagner

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I wrote to FE describing complications with Wordpress registration. I find it to be slightly ridiculous.
 

TV's Frink

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I find your attitude slightly ridiculous, especially given that this is a fanedit thread, not a registration thread.
 

darthwagner

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Oh, I'm sorry TV's. It's about Spance's request to post reviews on the first page. I really have an weird issue with wordpress and hope he or someone else could navigate me through it so I can put this on the first page for him. I posted a problem to more related topic already and here I posted a comment. It's just a patience issue of mine. However, as I was unable to do it, I would naturally like to get any kind of explenation. I wish I could have posted it there sooner as I wrote it on 13th of March.

It's this review here I'd like to post:

Well, Spence. I think I'll be writing a detailed review soon, but it's so exciting to watch Jedi this way I just have to write something now immidiately after watching it. First of all, thank you for all the hard work you've done. Only a few things:

-this edit is the bravest step till date of showing what ROTJ could really have been although it's probably still far away from an original idea in the times of Gary Kurtz's Star Wars production presence.

Here is Gary Kurtz talking, from this interview (http://movies.ign.com/articles/376/376873p4.html):

One of the reasons Jedi came out the way it did was because the story outline of how Jedi was going to be seemed to get tossed out, and one of the reasons I was really unhappy was the fact that all of the carefully constructed story structure of characters and things that we did in Empire was going to carry over into Jedi. The resolution of that film was going to be quite bittersweet, with Han Solo being killed, and the princess having to take over as queen of what remained of her people, leaving everybody else. In effect, Luke was left on his own. None of that happened, of course.


IGNFF: So it would have been less of a fairy-tale ending?

KURTZ: Much, much less. It would have been quite sad, and poignant and upbeat at the same time, because they would have won a battle. But the idea of another attack on another Death Star wasn't there at all ... it was a rehash of Star Wars, with better visual effects. And there were no Ewoks ... it was just entirely different. It was much more adult and straightforward, the story. This idea that the roller-coaster ride was all the audience was interested in, and the story doesn't have to be very adult or interesting, seemed to come up because of what happened with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones films – and the fact that that seemed to make a lot of money and it didn't matter whether there was a really good story or not – that wasn't what this kind of film was about. We had serious differences about a lot of that.



This edit tries to get closer to this first concept and does it with success! It's a enjoyable movie now, people in it behave like in adult world which is still adorable for children. I personally was wery touched by seeing it because it reminded me on that anticipation of it back at 1983. Now this is what I actually like more for a lot of reasons:

-all the lines indicating that characters in this movie are actually played by real actors, are gone, and that includes some crappy street humour from our "earthy" lives as well Tarzan - parody (not very star warsy, isn't it?), so characters "stay" in their characters which is great

-less great thing about cutting certain "character lines" like "hey!...it's me" is the fact you can't replace them with something else "more in his or her character" because there isn't anythyng else available to use. So what one ends with is an rather empty sort of character. That is what happened to Solo and Jabba in this edit.

- cutting Jabba's screen time brings less fascination for Leia killing him, it felt like Jabba is some minor character, a not very interesting space gangster like lots of others and a character one doesn't want to know more about, he just sits and threats around

- the whole Jabba's palace sequence reminded me on some new "Clone Wars" - tv - episode now. It's also almost the same length :) and I don't know is that good or bad

- after seeing "trimmed versions" of some of this movie's characters it is clear that this is as far as one can go trimming them because although they are more believable now, they also feel less personal and the whole movie like "made from a distance". I didn't feel "in it" like in ESB but looking at it "from outside" which still is better then original cliche and over the top - lines of every character. They are all gone now in that 30 min cut out.

- ewoks involment now feels appropriate and right. They don't have to hijack the whole movie any more and are actually very likable in this edit. They are really living there on Endor so now you just get along with it and one might even like them a lot without getting too patheticaly close to their characters.

- the duel doesn't seem short but simple now. It could live with one intercutting to the Endor/Space battle but this was your choice, it brings a new simplier feel now, like a chamber instead symphonic concert. It doesn't mean that it's less spectacular, it just feels new and different also because of trimmed dialogues.

- the star destroyer duel - concept is great. But overall I felt a need to see more places-introductions (Boushe walking in hallways of Jabba's palace, Trone - room from outside star destroyer) and this would probbably be neccessary in any attempt of a bigger edit then this one

- it is clear to me now after seeing this great made edit that it's impossible changing ROTJ to make it in another kind of style, but with all bounded elements that a good movie should still have but also, there are great functioning new moments in this version which are real pleasure to see (new intercuttings for example) and can represent an inspiration and orientation for Adywan and his decisions on his future ROTJ:R, because Spence, you brought a clear light on a certain road

- I allways liked to watch ROTJ, particulary it's noble opening. This version is the one I'll be looking from time to time from now on and enjoy it

- i think it would be great now to watch the whole OT with this version in it. If I do it , I'll write again how it felt. This could bring some new impacts as well

- I'll adress some cutting details and music choices in more detail soon

Congrats to you Spence, everyone who helped and thank you for your dedication!
 

ZX22

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Review of ROTJ: The Spence Final Cut
Note: This is simply my personal opinion.​

I was one of the first to see the finished version of the edit, so I feel that I let Spence down a little that I'm only now getting to reviewing it. Stuck between midterms and seasonal thawing, all the time that could be afforded was spent watching the brilliant 3rd Rock from the Sun. But guilt has now swelled to a critical point: I can no longer put this off.

Let me start this review by stating two very important things:
1) This edit is the most daring, and rewarding, of all the ROTJ edits.
2) There are problems which, for some (and for me), can be absolute deal breakers. (As in, keeping this edit from being the definitive ROTJ)

The Edit:
Spence knows storytelling. This is made most evident, perhaps, by his upcoming project "Duel of the Fates," which looks to be one of the most provocative Star Wars edits. But while "Duel" ferments, Spence has given us a wholly wondrous gift. An achievement that sat at the top of a mountain is now just an escalator away, a milestone in editting: ROTJ is no longer a disappointing sequel.

I've always felt that so many great moments were present in ROTJ, so many iconic images. I mean, Jabba the Hut, the Emperor (along with force lightning!), Vader's redemption, Yoda's death, Luke's struggle, just so much good stuff. Yet I never felt satisfied with it because, for all that was done right, something else was done wrong.

By restructuring the film and excising over a half hour of footage, The Spence Final Cut successfully embraces all that was good with the theatrical ROTJ without letting it be dragged through a shallow pool of mud. The film now focuses on Luke and his journey, everything else is cut to a minimum. Ewoks play little role in the destruction of the Empire, with nearly all silly antics removed, and the tension is turned up as a result.

Yes, this edit is close to perfect from a story point of view. A few editing choices I didn't care for, perhaps too many cuts were made. But for now, if anyone makes a ROTJ edit, it will be justly compared to The Spence Final Cut.

Editing: 9/10
The restructuring is brilliant. But a few technical glitches (like the volume level changing suddenly at the end credits) are really marring, and may prevent some from declaring this the definitive ROTJ.

Entertainment: 9/10 (Original: 8/10; for reference: ANH: 10/10, ESB: 10/10)
The edit is certainly more satisfying than the theatrical cut, but unlike prequel edits, I really wish this were longer.

Video Quality: 9/10
Yep, it looks good. On par with the retail DVD. But color correction involved boosting the levels up just a bit too much.

Audio Quality: 10/10
Besides the volume jump at the end credits, the audio sounds great. But then again, it is a Star Wars movie, the audio better sound great!

Presentation: 10/10
The menus were much nicer than the last edit I downloaded from Spence, and the extras were just killer.

Final Score: 9.5/10
This edit is an absolute must see! It may not be the definitive edit, but it's as close as we're probably going to get for a very long time.
 

spence

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God, take your time will ya! :p

Thank you for the great review! I'm glad you enjoyed the edit.
 

Waslah

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I just watched this last night and even though I'm late to the game here I'll likely do a full review fr it soon before then, however, I just wanted to say great job, spence. I've honestly never liked Return of The Jedi despite being a huge Star Wars nerd growing up, but your edit definitely fixed most if not all of the problems I had with the movie and provided me with a version that I can finally watch over and over again and view as a worthy conclusion t the series.
 

MusicEd921

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I just finished watching this a little while ago. I've never really had a problem with ROTJ and always thought it was ok, different from the others, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

After watching your edit, I couldn't believe how awesome you made this movie. Pacing was good, ideas made more sense, the concept of the duel taking place on a star destroyer was ingenious, Han Solo wasn't a buffoon anymore, awesome awesome awesome. Boba Fett lived to fight another day!!!!!

The one and only thing I was a little disappointed with, and this is in no way any sort of criticism, but I was caught off guard when you changed Vader's death music. Honestly, it's probably because I teach music and we watch that scene when talking about music in movies because of how Williams orchestrated it. As Vader is dying, he has different instruments playing the theme. It finally ends with a harp playing the theme right after he dies to signify his redemption with a heavenly feel. Again, no complaint against you as you had your vision of that scene and it was still great.

Thank you for your hard work. I really had a blast watching this.
 

spence

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I had a feeling that music change would be a little strange to some. I like it, the goal was to make that scene an ending to the character of Anakin as viewed by the entire saga, not just the OT. I think it works for some, not for others.

I'm glad you enjoyed the edit though!
 

TV's Frink

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.info listing has been fixed to spell your name correctly. :)
 

spence

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That's good. Now people will know it wasn't some other Spence that made the edit.
 

TV's Frink

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C'mon, there's only one Spence!
 

CrossCrucial

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I know this is the "Final" cut but I hope at least not the last update we see to it. A few small tweaks and this would be ready to be displayed on the shelf in my theater room. I hope with enough fan appreciation we will see a V2.
 

spence

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I'll do a revised version, but right now 1) I need some time off of that movie, I worked on it for nearly a year, and 2) I have some personal life situations that are preventing me from doing much editing of anything.

But yes, fixed version eventually.
 

Captain Khajiit

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Part09 downloads fine for me, tyler. I still have it, so let me know if you want me to upload it for you. :)
 

spence

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MU is a stange mistress. Some people have problems with certain files, some don't. I haven't quite bent my mind around it yet.
 

spence

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Thanks to everyone who voted for me on the fanedit of the month! I really appreciate it, and I'm very honored.
 
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