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

Nic

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We wouldn't see Luke constructing his Lightsaber, we'd just see his facial reactions.
 

spence

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There will not be an HD version of this edit. Sorry guys. Personally I've not made the leap to blu-ray and I don't find much of a reason to do so. SD is fine for me, and I usually rent movies digitally so they're hi-def anyway. Investing in a BD system... which for me means a player and a better tv, plus everything that would be needed so that my computer can handle the files... it just isn't a priority right now.

I'm not even certain that I'll be revisiting this edit in the near future. I think I accomplished everything I wanted to with it. Maybe it's a little rough around the edges, but with an edit this drastic it was always going to be. I accept what it is.

And yes I've redone edits before, and I'm in the middle of redoing one currently. But that's different, those are movies where my concept did not turn out as well as I wanted it to. That's not the case with Jedi, so if I went back it would just be to clean it up technically, which personally I have no interest in doing. That's not fun for me. Nor is the idea of redoing the entire thing in HD.

And I fanedit because it's fun.
 

nightstalkerpoet

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I was more talking about the inserting the scene than the HD... I didn't mean to start a trend...
 

spence

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I didn't find that scene satisfactory quality, but it probably would fit well.
 

TV's Frink

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Of course, the scene is only commercially available on the BD, so you'd have to use that....

Just saying.
 

spence

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Another good point. Another reason I won't be doing it.
 

wabid

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Not commercial but harmy used

1) Star.Wars.Episode.VI.Return.of.the.Jedi.1983.720p. HDTV.x264-DON (2004 SE)
2) Dark Jedi's 720p upscale of the GOUT.
3) 1997 SE DTV capture (G'Kar)
 

wabid

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If material has been released at no cost to the public via web, broadcast, satellite, promotional disk etc..., and never sold, that material can be incorporated into fanedits. An example of this would be a broadcast that includes deleted scenes never released for sale via media such as VHS/DVD/BD etc....

As far as I know those satellite broadcasts have never been sold.

Number 2 probably isnt legit. I think it should be though if you own the GOUT.
 

TV's Frink

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Discussion is not relevant to this edit, especially given that Spence has already said he's not using the scene. Move along...
 

NewSpock

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spence said:
I think we had this come up in the In The Works thread, but not really. The Rebels succeed on their own at blowing up the Death Star. If they blow up the Death Star before Luke succeeds, what he's doing doesn't matter because Vader and Palps are dead. If Luke never showed up on the Death Star, they'd still blow it up with Vader and Palps onboard and it still doesn't matter. And sure, they could've escaped, or dozens of other things that can be implied by watching it, but what the film actually gives you is pointless situation.

It's basically "I'm going to try and kill this guy before his house blows up and kills him." A fools errand.

But that was not the point of Luke going to Vader and the emperor. The point was a) to bind their attention and power on him and therefore helping the rebels achieve their plan and b) to try to bring back his father to the good side and if successful to bring him out alive. He is after all his father and he sensed enough good in him to try his best.

So imho it matters.

This is your edit, noone can and should force you to undo this location-change, but at least be aware that for many people the original location and Luke's attempt made perfect sense and was not futile.
 

L8wrtr

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It has been a looooong time since L8wrtr has had a nice long academic post. It's good to be back. Strap yourselves in, or move along
Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_15.gif

Spence and I talked about this issue a great deal while he was in the early stages of the edit. No matter how you slice it Return of the Jedi suffers from massive structural problems, particularly centered around the climax. This edit simply explores an alternative way to reach the same end-point while trying to mitigate some of the more glaring flaws of the story. It's not a perfect or ideal solution, and I wouldn't even say superior, but it is a fun 'what if' kind of edit.

Lucas is (or was) a student of classical mythic story structure as outlined by Joseph Campbell, and in most classical stories the climax of the story revolves around a single moment/action where the protagonist's victory IS the victory of the story. In the most well-written stories the protagonist has an outward goal which aligns with a more personal inner-goal so that the protagonist isn't just fighting for something big, but has a deep personal stake in the victory, something that will drive the protagonist to do things they might not do in order to achieve victory, or to keep them going when they might otherwise accept defeat or failure.

In such a well-written story the outward motivation and the inner motivation are intertwined and inseparable - the hero wins, everyone wins. The hero loses, everyone loses. Of course a great example of this is... Die Hard. (thought I was going to say Star Wars didn't you?) John McClane isn't just fighting to save everyone in the Nakatomi Tower, he's trying to save his wife. The movie literally ends with him flying to California trying to save his marriage. It's personal and he will stop at nothing to defeat the bad guys, saves his wife, and literally saves his marriage.

The problem that Lucas created for himself was that he loves simultaneous storylines, and this obsession reached critical mass in RotJ (and then reached ridiculous levels in TPM). American Graffiti is the definitive multi-storyline movie, and it works because none of the stories overpower the other, they all resolve nicely, but the focus is Richard Dreyfus' character, his resolution is the one that brings all the others into focus.

ANH has a more straight through narrative, but secondary storylines ebb and flow as needed, but ultimately the climax is a single storyline, one man, alone in a fighter against terrible odds.

Now in ESB the multiple storylines worked fantastically for three reasons; first, the primary storyline is that of Luke's Journey with the secondary storyline serving the first storyline, providing additional motivation and kickstarting the hero, almost a latent call to adventure. These two stories are perfectly interwoven. Second, in spite of the fact that the secondary storyline is not the point of the story, it is so well told, the characters so dear to us that we care about it every bit as much as the first, and in some cases possibly even more at times. While Luke is stationary and training (visually uninteresting) Han and Leia are running for their lives, providing the much needed action beats. Then finally the two stories reconnect in the 3rd act and everything hinges on Luke's actions. Lastly, it is the 2nd act of a 3-act story, so it doesn't have to end in victory. ESB's famous down ending is bold and emotional, and only possible because ESB was the middle chapter.

Lucas could have easily used the same structure to end the film on a heroic high note and still left room for the 3rd and final movie:
Luke arrives at Bespin and helps his friends escape, he confronts Vader and is in fact victorious, he has Vader at his mercy and is ready to deliver the fatal blow when Vader reveals their family history. Stunned by this revelation, Luke's guard is down and Vader gets his opening to escape. Luke joins his friends and the movie still ends with the Rebellion on the run and Luke needing to resolve his absentee father issues. ROTJ still can happen, just minus the 40 minutes of rescuing Han.
I'm not saying this would have been better, I think ESB's downer ending is brilliant, but the point here is that the structure is what matters, the ending hinges on the hero's actions, and the secondary story does not overshadow it.

With RotJ, Lucas boxed himself into a hole on a few points. His first error was in returning to his original draft of The Star Wars where the conclusion is a high-stakes winner-take-all battle centered around a battle station, and a primitive race is the key to victory. This climax (minus the primitive race) works perfectly for Episode IV because in the original drafts, Vader was never Luke's father, Luke's journey is more simple, one of coming of age, saving the princess, saving the realm, and defeating the enemies which had killed his family. With ESB and making Vader Luke's father, Lucas altered and added complexity to the story that simply wasn't in his original drafts. ANH works because it lacks that complexity, the finale is straight forward. Now Luke's journey does have to be about confronting the man who corrupted his father, trying to defeat him and simultaneously saving his father's soul. But also, because of Episode IV & V, the movie also has to address the struggle between the Empire and the Rebellion.

If Lucas had come to Jedi without the crutch of his original climax, this is a BRILLIANT situation - Outward motivation, defeat the Empire. Inner-motivation, complete his journey to become a Jedi by defeating the Emperor and saving his father. These two goals align so perfectly it can only be described as either pure genius or the best dumb-luck ever. The only problem is that they don't really align with a massive battle centered around a giant space station and a primitive race where the key to victory is the overlooked primitives thwart the Emperor's vision and allow the Rebels to blow up the battle station along with the Empire's leader.

Luke's journey is now counter to the set-up of the story. Jedi sets up that the key to the Rebellion's victory is the destruction of the Death Star, both because it's a freaking Super Laser, and the Emperor will be on board. Luke and his relationship to Vader have nothing to do with this storyline, and trying to infuse how important it is that he 'distract' them is trying to retcon some sort of purpose where there really was no purpose.

Because each group gets a victory, Luke's is the most meaningless of the three in terms of the Galaxy, even though it has the most personal significance. Even if Luke failed, the Rebellion wins, and while you can try to argue well, his presence there still enabled the victory, that's horrible storytelling.

Even still, the situation could have been salvaged. All Lucas had to do was take a cue from his own movie, ESB where the alternate storylines serve the primary. Unfortunately Lucas inexplicably decided that each character had to be victorious in their own way. Han, Leia and Chewie are victorious in blowing up the generator, and Lando and the Rebel Fleet are victorious in blowing up the Death Star.

In the end the story should have come down to Luke, he wins, the Rebellion wins. He loses, the Rebellion is lost. In Spence's version, even though the Rebels manage to destroy the DS2, true victory still requires that Luke defeat the Emperor in some manner, which he does by redeeming his father who then kills the Emperor.

Moving the Emperor to the Command Ship is not a perfect solution, and I'm certainly not even going to say it's superior to the theatrical, but the problems of RotJ are real and unavoidable, that Luke's victory has no affect on the success of the Rebellion is really a terrible flaw in terms of screenwriting. Spence's edit is a fun and interesting approach to addressing it.

Oh, and to truly:
deadhorse.gif


Let's return to Die Hard. What if the Special Agents Johnson had in fact defeated/thwarted the bad guys? What if the only thing McClane did in the movie amounted to saving his wife? And not only that, that she would have lived anyway had he never even gotten on the plane to fly from NYC to LA? That movie would have tanked and deservedly so. The hero's victory has to be personal, and it has to be tied to the bigger picture. McClane saves everyone (almost), kills every bad guy (almost), and saves his wife specifically, after he's rescued everyone else along the way.
 

spence

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Um, yes. That.

I think L8 understands my edit better than I do!

And I do understand that people prefer or are fine with the original version. That's fine. I don't make fanedits to claim that they are better than the original. They're simply a different way to look at it. Whether you prefer it or not is entirely up to you.

Oh and the whole "divert their attention" thing is not backed up by anything in the movie. Plus Palps has the force and a giant ass window. I think he can keep an eye on it.
 

nightstalkerpoet

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Honestly, I don't have as much of an issue with the end of the film... but after viewing the rearranged beginning, it's hard to watch the film without starting it with Yoda. It picks up on the down tone of ESB's ending, while also showing how Luke has grown even more powerful between the two films. While this edit in its entirety may not be my go-to version of Jedi, I must admit that were I to ever create my own edit, I would base the beginning off of this edit (with the Lightsaber scene added to show the transition to Tatooine).

One of the best things that ANH and ESB do is keep a constant narrative running between the protagonists and the antagonists. We know exactly what each side is thinking at nearly all times. This also carried over for the most part to the PT. It is one of the few examples of both sides being represented equally, and I think it is one of the most overlooked pieces of Star Wars storytelling.

RotJ fails miserably at this from the very beginning. For all of Jabba's Palace (other than a few sentences in the crawl) we have no clue what our heroes are doing. Sure, they're moving into place, but the lack of their true perspective is the biggest failing for me. Showing Yoda's death, then placing Luke and the Droids on Tatooine (deleted scene) explains everything in a way that parallels the first two films. The rest of Spence's setup brilliantly avoids any continuity issues and allows this to play out flawlessly.
 

NewSpock

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L8wrtr said:
It has been a looooong time since L8wrtr has had a nice long academic post. It's good to be back. Strap yourselves in, or move along:)
Spence and I talked about this issue a great deal while he was in the early stages of the edit. No matter how you slice it Return of the Jedi suffers from massive structural problems, particularly centered around the climax. This edit simply explores an alternative way to reach the same end-point while trying to mitigate some of the more glaring flaws of the story. It's not a perfect or ideal solution, and I wouldn't even say superior, but it is a fun 'what if' kind of edit.

Lucas is (or was) a student of classical mythic story structure as outlined by Joseph Campbell, and in most classical stories the climax of the story revolves around a single moment/action where the protagonist's victory IS the victory of the story. In the most well-written stories the protagonist has an outward goal which aligns with a more personal inner-goal so that the protagonist isn't just fighting for something big, but has a deep personal stake in the victory, something that will drive the protagonist to do things they might not do in order to achieve victory, or to keep them going when they might otherwise accept defeat or failure.

In such a well-written story the outward motivation and the inner motivation are intertwined and inseparable - the hero wins, everyone wins. The hero loses, everyone loses. Of course a great example of this is... Die Hard. (thought I was going to say Star Wars didn't you?) John McClane isn't just fighting to save everyone in the Nakatomi Tower, he's trying to save his wife. The movie literally ends with him flying to California trying to save his marriage. It's personal and he will stop at nothing to defeat the bad guys, saves his wife, and literally saves his marriage.

The problem that Lucas created for himself was that he loves simultaneous storylines, and this obsession reached critical mass in RotJ (and then reached ridiculous levels in TPM). American Graffiti is the definitive multi-storyline movie, and it works because none of the stories overpower the other, they all resolve nicely, but the focus is Richard Dreyfus' character, his resolution is the one that brings all the others into focus.

ANH has a more straight through narrative, but secondary storylines ebb and flow as needed, but ultimately the climax is a single storyline, one man, alone in a fighter against terrible odds.

Now in ESB the multiple storylines worked fantastically for three reasons; first, the primary storyline is that of Luke's Journey with the secondary storyline serving the first storyline, providing additional motivation and kickstarting the hero, almost a latent call to adventure. These two stories are perfectly interwoven. Second, in spite of the fact that the secondary storyline is not the point of the story, it is so well told, the characters so dear to us that we care about it every bit as much as the first, and in some cases possibly even more at times. While Luke is stationary and training (visually uninteresting) Han and Leia are running for their lives, providing the much needed action beats. Then finally the two stories reconnect in the 3rd act and everything hinges on Luke's actions. Lastly, it is the 2nd act of a 3-act story, so it doesn't have to end in victory. ESB's famous down ending is bold and emotional, and only possible because ESB was the middle chapter.

Lucas could have easily used the same structure to end the film on a heroic high note and still left room for the 3rd and final movie:
Luke arrives at Bespin and helps his friends escape, he confronts Vader and is in fact victorious, he has Vader at his mercy and is ready to deliver the fatal blow when Vader reveals their family history. Stunned by this revelation, Luke's guard is down and Vader gets his opening to escape. Luke joins his friends and the movie still ends with the Rebellion on the run and Luke needing to resolve his absentee father issues. ROTJ still can happen, just minus the 40 minutes of rescuing Han.
I'm not saying this would have been better, I think ESB's downer ending is brilliant, but the point here is that the structure is what matters, the ending hinges on the hero's actions, and the secondary story does not overshadow it.

With RotJ, Lucas boxed himself into a hole on a few points. His first error was in returning to his original draft of The Star Wars where the conclusion is a high-stakes winner-take-all battle centered around a battle station, and a primitive race is the key to victory. This climax (minus the primitive race) works perfectly for Episode IV because in the original drafts, Vader was never Luke's father, Luke's journey is more simple, one of coming of age, saving the princess, saving the realm, and defeating the enemies which had killed his family. With ESB and making Vader Luke's father, Lucas altered and added complexity to the story that simply wasn't in his original drafts. ANH works because it lacks that complexity, the finale is straight forward. Now Luke's journey does have to be about confronting the man who corrupted his father, trying to defeat him and simultaneously saving his father's soul. But also, because of Episode IV & V, the movie also has to address the struggle between the Empire and the Rebellion.

If Lucas had come to Jedi without the crutch of his original climax, this is a BRILLIANT situation - Outward motivation, defeat the Empire. Inner-motivation, complete his journey to become a Jedi by defeating the Emperor and saving his father. These two goals align so perfectly it can only be described as either pure genius or the best dumb-luck ever. The only problem is that they don't really align with a massive battle centered around a giant space station and a primitive race where the key to victory is the overlooked primitives thwart the Emperor's vision and allow the Rebels to blow up the battle station along with the Empire's leader.

Luke's journey is now counter to the set-up of the story. Jedi sets up that the key to the Rebellion's victory is the destruction of the Death Star, both because it's a freaking Super Laser, and the Emperor will be on board. Luke and his relationship to Vader have nothing to do with this storyline, and trying to infuse how important it is that he 'distract' them is trying to retcon some sort of purpose where there really was no purpose.

Because each group gets a victory, Luke's is the most meaningless of the three in terms of the Galaxy, even though it has the most personal significance. Even if Luke failed, the Rebellion wins, and while you can try to argue well, his presence there still enabled the victory, that's horrible storytelling.

Even still, the situation could have been salvaged. All Lucas had to do was take a cue from his own movie, ESB where the alternate storylines serve the primary. Unfortunately Lucas inexplicably decided that each character had to be victorious in their own way. Han, Leia and Chewie are victorious in blowing up the generator, and Lando and the Rebel Fleet are victorious in blowing up the Death Star.

In the end the story should have come down to Luke, he wins, the Rebellion wins. He loses, the Rebellion is lost. In Spence's version, even though the Rebels manage to destroy the DS2, true victory still requires that Luke defeat the Emperor in some manner, which he does by redeeming his father who then kills the Emperor.

Moving the Emperor to the Command Ship is not a perfect solution, and I'm certainly not even going to say it's superior to the theatrical, but the problems of RotJ are real and unavoidable, that Luke's victory has no affect on the success of the Rebellion is really a terrible flaw in terms of screenwriting. Spence's edit is a fun and interesting approach to addressing it.

Oh, and to truly: :deadhorse:

Let's return to Die Hard. What if the Special Agents Johnson had in fact defeated/thwarted the bad guys? What if the only thing McClane did in the movie amounted to saving his wife? And not only that, that she would have lived anyway had he never even gotten on the plane to fly from NYC to LA? That movie would have tanked and deservedly so. The hero's victory has to be personal, and it has to be tied to the bigger picture. McClane saves everyone (almost), kills every bad guy (almost), and saves his wife specifically, after he's rescued everyone else along the way.

Nicely explained, now I understand better the motivation to change the location. By the way I love your Star Wars III edit, but I always get an eery feeling when people refer to themselves in the third person:behindsofa:

Imho in star wars IV, the protagonists are Leia, Luke and Obi Wan. With one activating the next: Leia is the rebel-princess that smuggles the information about the death star and through R2D2 Luke gets set in motion, his motivation being his desire to have an adventure and becoming something more important than a farmer. He then ignites Obi Wan Kenobi who sees an opportunity to reanimate the Jedi-culture by teaching Luke.
For all of them Vader is the antagonist.

They free the princess and Kenobi sacrifices himself in order to become a spiritual guidance for Luke and then Leia leads the rebellion to destroy the death-star. All rebel-pilots fail to hit that small entrance into the core of the death star with a rocket, but Luke with the guidance of Kenobi achieves to use the force to make the impossible possible. All three protagonists serve unique roles, Leia is the leader, Kenobi the mentor and Luke is the hero, and the very success-moment is the central overlapping moment of all three protagonist's story-arcs. (Leia's rebel-plan, Luke's adventure/becoming pilot/hero-plan and Kenobi's rekindling the jedi-culture).

Vader fails to stop them and flies away to regroup.

In Star Wars V it's different, there Vader is the protagonist proposing a plan to his emperor that would see Luke changing to the dark side and becoming an ally or to kill him if he doesn't. He captures Leia, Han and Chewbacca, knowing that the force would tell Luke through his prophetic emotions about this and leading him to try to free them. Luke is the antagonist, and goes on half-trained as a jedi to stop Vader hurting/killing his friends. Luke has power that Vader wishes to be on his side. But he withstands the challenge and rejects the offer and then Vader tells him the ultimate truth, that he is his father and that the emperor foresaw that Luke would dethrone him and offered that they should rule together and create a new order.

Now it's Luke that is defeated and flies away to regroup.

In Star Wars VI Luke, Kenobi, Leia, Han, Vader and the emperor are all protagonists and antagonists at the same time. Vader and the emperor create a trap for the rebels to fall into by giving out secret informations about a new death-star to the rebels. Of course they want to destroy it not knowing the futility.
Kenobi tells Luke about his father's fall to the dark side and about his sister and tells him that to defeat the empire Luke has to face again his father and kill him.
But Luke has different plans, he sees still enough good in Vader to try to bring him back to the light side.
So they come together with Luke trying to convince his father to leave the dark side, while the emperor and Vader try to seduce Luke to the dark side. In the last moment it is Luke that succeedes as Vader discovers that he has fatherly love inside him when he watches the emperor trying to kill Luke, and then he kills the emperor.

At this point the story could have been told different to give it more meaning. The rebels actions could have remained futile being pinned down by the empire's army and/or the plans about the death-star being fabricated, so that they can't blow it up... And Vader could have either told his army to stand down before dying or he could have told Luke where the real plans of the death star are and Luke transfers them to the rebels or he could have initiated the self-destruction of the death star...

What do you think?
 

DavFlamerock

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I saw the DVD9 of this on the info site, but not the DVD5, and as I only have regular-sized DVDs at the moment, I was wondering if there were plans on uploading a DVD5 version of the movie? I'm really looking forward to watching it!
 

Neglify

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You could just watch it on your computer for the time being.
 
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