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

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8.3
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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Review by Sunarep — March 31, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

I remember talking to Boon about the rating system for the greatest fanedits and the fact that star wars fanedits can join the greatest fanedits with a lower score than the minimum for non-star wars fanedits to enter the greatest fanedits.
At first glance this seems unfair – why should Star Wars get a special treatment and have it “easier” to enter the hall of fame?
Well watching the Spence Edit of Return of the Jedi made me realize why: Star Wars doesn’t have it easier, it is a lot harder and when it comes to star wars movies I guess most people can be very obsessed with details and critisize even the tiniest changes because it is not what THEY wanted it to be because everyone has THEIR OWN interpretation of what star Wars should be.

Having said this I really tried to let go of this attitude and watch this fabulous edit as if I had never seen Jedi, as if i had never listened to the entire soundtrack over and over again – making it very easy for me to spot the edits in the music

And I must say: this edit is great and bold. It is not my preferred version of Jedi (see above, everyone thinks to know more about star wars than the other fans) but it is a refreshing take.
The reason I downloaded is was primarily that I had always wanted to watch an edit starting with dagobah. The entire introduction is handled very well, though jabba might fall a bit short (then again I’m saying this having the original in mind). Boba Fett and the dance numbers as well as droid torture are thankfully gone and not missed. The ommission of the Rancor (again something I like about the original) is really well done and you might not notice that there has been a scene in between.

The Speeder-bike chase was fantastic, same goes for the ewoks – they are not annoying, sure they are still cutesy cutesy, but they don’t get thrown in your face and the removal of Leia meeting Wicket is also nice.
Like TMBTM I never minded the fact that the rebells destroyed the deathstar where the emperor was since it was about vader to me, but it still works. The transition from ewok stealing the bike to stardestroyer was a little abrupt and could use a little more smoothing, but i was amazed that it really worked (with the scenes from TESB to indicated that they are now on the executor)

The stardestroyer scene is another example of how little things can disturb you just because it is star wars. In no other fanedit of a non star wars movie would I have pondered about the geography, the location of the executor etc., here it just fell into my eyes because i just know star wars and it is another example of how freakin hard it can be for an editor to deliver a star wars edit

Seeing as I heard/noticed a lot of cuts (because of my familiarity to the source material not because of technical problems) in the first segment I thought I would feel the same about the battle of endor, but nope, here really everything fits and flows fantastically.

The duel between Luke and Vader is quick, but well done. I prefer the original but this is just personal and the way spence handle’s it flows very well.
Ending with the fire is awesome as well, especially considering that after the prequels lucas said that the story was about anakin skywalker so it makes sense to end at the fire with the celebration in the sky.

This review is based on an xvid rip, so I can’t comment on the DVD:

The editing is top notch, the ideas are great and intriguing
This is not a replacement dvd for me, but it is refreshing to watch some new ideas when it comes to Jedi

Originally I would have given 8/10, but seeing that most of my “problems” were due to the fact that I know too much about star wars it went to:

9/10
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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Really liked it. This is my go to edit of Return of the Jedi. Thank you. If I'm watching the OT, its gonna be Harmy's Despecialized Ep 4, Lucas' Ep 5, and this to cap it off. I always thought it was silly that Luke appeared to be skipping in and out of his Jedi Training. I was fairly ambivalent about moving the confrontation with Palpatine off the Death Star. It never bothered me before that this took place on the Death Star, and it doesn't really bother me to have it on a ship. I felt the parts where Luke is sensing the danger on Tatooine seemed a little jarring. The transitions between the two scenes felt too quick. I do believe this movie is better off with most of the Jabba and Tatooine nonsense cut out. Not my best review, sorry, but I did enjoy it.

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Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
First off, a big hand must be given to musiced921 for supplying me with this edit. I was actually looking for the one without the Ewoks in it, but obviously it didn't satisfy Spence at the time, hence why he re-did it, and this is the edit I ended up receiving. Nevertheless, it was an interesting edit, running rather leanly at just one hour and thirty three minutes, it rearranges scenes, creating a more meaningful first scene for Luke that establishes his path.

In the original cut, he kind of acts a bit high and mighty already, almost as if he didn't need to go to Dagobah and complete his training, but here the crawl and the scene on Dagobah is structured to follow on from Vader's arrival, and we follow Luke on his journey to Tatoonie, not entirely sure of himself as Yoda says he must confront Vader to be fully realised. It's a very well woven scene, and gives both Luke and the audience less detachment from what Luke had been up to in between Empire and this.

The idea of placing the Emperor on the Star Destroyer is another great touch. After all, why would the Emperor risk making himself a sitting duck on the Death Star when chances are his plan could go tits up? Being on a Star Destroyer at least gives him the chance to take off as soon as things do.

The restructuring of the battle of Endor rattles along, there is more urgency, you feel this is a costly battle as good men die and Luke feels more entrapped with the walls closing in, his fateful duel with Vader is even accompanied by familiar cues such as duel of the fates!

I've seen a few edits that have utilised the ending with Luke burning Anakin's body as the fireworks rage on, but it's still powerful imagery to end the original trilogy on. I'd still somewhat like to see the Ewok party as it gives us all a chance to see the group of friends, now very much a family, a chance to be together one last time. Luke can always bury Vader after seeing the ghosts. Maybe the ghosts could have been watching Luke burn Anakin, there's an idea. Ah well.

And lastly the additional end credits are a hoot...though I do wonder who 'lordsidi' is and what he did to warrant an "absolutely no thanks to..." credit. Feels a bit weird to promote the DVD version of this in the credits when all I have of this is the MP4, but ah well...if someone could track the DVD version down, let me know what I'm missing, because it doesn't tell you anything here.
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(Updated: March 10, 2021)
Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
The edit is not always seamless and *sometimes* I have to do a few logical jumps, but most of the time it's pretty sound. Spence crafted a very unique take on the film which is surely very influential in ROTJ edits, and many of his cuts here should honestly become standard for all ROTJ edits going forward. Not really my go-to but a worthy and very necessary step in ROTJ fan editing.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Review by Ripplin — March 21, 2011 @ 5:04 am

Loved the new crawl, certain restructuring choices, no Fett, old Sarlacc, etc… Didn’t love jumping out of my skin when the end credit music came on. Haha. Watching the alternate scenes/ideas, it’s a shame the idea of things going bad when Luke went into ‘berserker’ mode and getting better when he calmed down didn’t work out. I thought that was really cool. Anyway, I don’t have too much to say that others haven’t already. I enjoyed it and give it a solid 8/10.
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