Review Detail

8.3 40 10
(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by geminigod — March 24, 2011 @ 3:15 am

I have enjoyed watching some of your past edits, Spence, so when I saw the positive reviews for this and a couple of your listed changes, I simply had to check it out. It is funny, I have always had a soft spot for this movie, and probably as a result I have never given much consideration to ways it could be better until after watching your edit, and now my head is swirling with thoughts about how Jedi fails in its story structure and pacing.

This brings me to the most positive part of this review. Your creativity in this edit has lit my brain on fire, and for that there is no question that you deserve a 10/10 for creativity/originality. I have always been annoyed by the timeline of Luke going to see yoda in the middle of the movie and how apparently easy it is for one to become a jedi, considering such little time seems to have passed in-between Empire and Jedi. Moving this to the beginning with a different title crawl that establishes a modified timeline is such a no-brainer now thinking about it in hindsight.

Other good editing choices that stand out in my mind are your treatment of the ewoks. I never hated them as much as some, but I like how you gave them a more ominous, warrior-like feel as well as leaving Leia’s fate more of a mystery.

One edit that I am neutral on is the removal of Bubba fett. The Rancor scene as well. Honestly I am neutral on most of the Jabba stuff. They way you have it setup feels like there is something missing and it is a little too rushed, but on the other hand I have always felt like the Jabba stuff dragged on too long. Not sure what the happy middle is here, or how best to cut it. The two biggest things that stood out in my mind as annoying with the Jabba stuff are: a) There needs to be a lead-in sequence of some kind to Jabba’s palace and the characters therein before having Leia free Han from the carbon freeze, and b) the quick cuts to Luke looking disturbed on Tatooine as if he has had a vision with the force I found to be annoying and distracting from the present scene and totally unnecessary. I’m sure there are plenty of Rebel friends he can communicate with to find out the bad news. No explanation needed for Luke’s arrival. Perhaps you could lead into the jabba scenes with the droids arriving? I always enjoyed the long walk down the corridor and the scary monsters with 3PO yelling to R2 to wait for him and the subsequent intro to Jabba (and then contrarily the calm walk Luke takes down that corridor later showing off his powers with the force and completion of his training as a Jedi). I suppose the problem with this idea is then how does R2 get Luke’s lightsaber. Spare? Maybe he force sneaks it to R2 when first entering Jabba’s palace? Not sure an explanation is needed.

Now onto other more critical aspects.

1) There is a super tiny 1/2 second musical error during scene transition between vader scene and yoda scene. Sounds like a tiny bit of tatooine music is still there.

2) On a general note, I feel as thought you went a little too overboard in making cuts. Some of these things convey important information, develop characters, help to build suspense, or provide some comic relief that for this viewer was sorely missed. While my motto is usually “less is more”, in this case I think you took it a bit too far at the cost of the story, and not even for the sake of excising bad dialogue or scenes. Some examples: The Obi-wan conversation, The big corridor walks in Jabba’s palace, the chat with the droid eyeball in the door to Jaba’s palace, the shortened party sequence where they are accepted into the ewok tribe and 3PO tells their story. Han telling Chewy to “fly casual but don’t look like you are flying casual,” Han getting angry with Leia for being so lovie with Luke, Han saying, “Not bad for a little fuzzball.” And so on.

3) Still a little fuzzy on the point of placing the Emperor on the star destroyer instead of the death star. From the Emperor’s point of view this strikes me as highly strategically illogical , and thus I find it to be far more bothersome than the minor issue of pacing that you were attempting to address. (Nevermind the whole issue of the emperor falling into the reactor core!)

4) One slightly weird sound issue at 0:23:19.

5) There is a major sound problem in the end duel where you try to stick in the duel of the fates music. In principle this is a fun idea to subliminally cue into Anakin’s fate from the prequels (plus it is a good score!). However the sound quality of this is god awful! Better to stick with the original score if you can’t incorporate it at a fidelity comparable to all the rest of the sound in your edit!

6) There is a sound volume issue with the end credits. It is at much higher decibel level and just about blew my ear drums out when it came on!

Video is fantastic. Movie looks great to me on a HD screen and I didn’t notice any technical issues with this or hard cuts. The added visual effects you put in also look awesome! (Cept for the fact that I dislike the reason you put them there in the first place! Sorry. :( .) 10/10 visual.

Sound is tough to rank because overall the sound quality (i.e. resolution) is quite good on it, which I scrutinized with a professional-grade (2-channel) audio setup. However you have a few critically serious sound problems that need to be addressed, as described above. Audio = reluctant 6/10.

General story flow, pacing, scene transitioning, etc. = 9/10.

Overall, Great job! I really really hope that you can take the time to do a second pass at this and do a version 2. Given my dislike for the special edition from Lucas, and the poor video quality from my original edition, this is a strong contender for being my primary edition of this movie if the above mentioned issues can be addressed!

PS: Chewbacca making Tarzan noises is an example of hockey comic relief not at all missed. Good cut!
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