This isn’t my go-to version of ROTJ, but it’s pretty well done.
Technical quality – 8/10 – in general, the video was pretty good quality, but there was some flickering or something during the opening crawl. The audio was great except for the end credits when the volume abruptly went really high.
Presentation – 8/10 – special features and scene selection were a nice thing to include, but the random clip after I clicked play was rather abrupt and unnecessary.
Editing – 8/10 – all the transitions were nice, but there were some choices I didn’t particularly like that I’ll address in the entertainment section.
Entertainment – 8/10 – if a few things were cleaned up it would have been a 10. First of all, the cutting between Luke and Han/Leia. I got why you were doing it, but it wasn’t real clear. The transitions to Luke were too abrupt. When Luke and the rest leave Tatooine, it makes no sense why Luke leaves since you relocated the Yoda scene. The Ewoks could have been trimmed a little more and the scene where Wicket pokes Leia with his spear was way too short. There are various bits that could have been trimmed but I won’t recount them all. I half-wish you had left in the ghosts at the end. Other than that, I liked most of your cuts, especially the trimming of the Tatooine sequences, the edits to Han’s character, the changes to the battle, and the added prequel music (only good thing about the prequels).
I would have to agree, this to me was by far the worst of the original trilogy, and with that said this is a great edit of the final episode in an epic saga.
A part of me really misses the rancor pit scene (though i agree with the reason that u took it out).
One of the little shots that always bothered me was – at the execution scene where r2 launches Lukes saber into the air, why does luke have to look up to catch it? hes a jedi, he should just catch it, light it, and swing it all in one movement. little things like that would make the jedi’s in the movies look that much tougher in my mind.
The only cut that looked strange to me was after the rescue when Luke leaves the group he just pops back up in the next scene and is like “hey guys!” while i was just like “wait, didn’t you just leave?”, a very strange cut in my mind. I think the talk he has with Obi Wan should be left in.
The only real problem i had with this edit was that the ending, it felt a little flat to me. I mean this is the final episode in an EPIC saga, and the ending should show that. Now with that said i still hate the original ending and yours is still superior.
Review by Captain Khajiit — April 16, 2011 @ 2:54 pm
Spence’s edit shows that ROTJ has the potential to be much better than it is. I didn’t think that I would enjoy watching a ROTJ edit this much.
Video: The quality was good overall. In some scenes the color correction doesn’t quite work, but this aspect of fanediting is *very* hard to pull off. Some extremely ambitious effects work was undertaken, mostly successfully. 8 out of 10
Audio: The audio editing and audio quality were excellent. Most of the cuts were smooth, which was impressive given that they were done in 5.1 and this film is rather heavily scored. There were a few relatively minor audio problems that others have noted. 8 out of 10
Entertainment: I found this more enjoyable than watching the theatrical cut or the special editions. 8 out of 10
Editing: There were many clever edits and most of the changes were successful. I still feel that more could be done with this film, but Spence has really shown the way. 8 out of 10
Presentation: there is cover art available for those that want it. The menu is basic, but that’s fine with me. There are some nice special features. Great to see and hear you, Spence! 8 out of 10
Overall: It’s a solid 8 out of 10 from me. I hope that Spence will consider revisiting this film at some point after he has had a break from it, but as it stands this version is very highly recommended. :-)
Review by tylerdurden389 — April 14, 2011 @ 8:47 pm
Just finished watching this. Here’s my thoughts. First let me start by saying that I am not a huge Star Wars fan anymore. Never cared for it as a child, but I was quite obsessed with it around the time leading up to the special editions (I was 12-13 years old during this time). I did actually see Phantom Menace (4 times to be exact), but my fascination with all things Star Wars fizzled out shortly afterword, and I never even saw ep. 2 in theaters.
Anyway, I definitely like this version over the theatrical/special edition. However, I feel it’s too short. I understand that dialogue and Ewok stuff was cut to avoid camp, but I think some things could’ve been retained. I LOVED the entirely new opening. From the text crawl, to the introduction of characters. Superbly done. I like how now we understand that Luke has been training since the end of Empire. I always wondered about the timeline between Empire and Jedi, and what Luke’s training consisted of. I liked how we got through the Jabba stuff much quicker. However, I didn’t understand where Luke flew off to after they fly off of Tatooine. Also, his return when they’re discussing the plans to attack the Empire. I understand that by using the fade cuts of Luke being aware of what’s going on with his friends meant him rushing to save them (Which was GREAT btw. I loved how they did this at the end of Empire and was disappointed it wasn’t utilized in Jedi), however I hated losing his conversation with Obi-Wan. I understand that the dialogue was bad since it negates things from the first film, but it left me wondering how Luke figured out that Lea was his sister. I suppose this works better though.
I personally didn’t care for the added music during the forest speeder chase. We heard the triumphant Star Wars-ey music during the big action sequence from before, so no need to re-hash. Actually, I just say that cuz for some reason I LOVE the sounds of those speeders. Speaking of music, since I could care less about the prequels, I DID NOT care for the “duel of the fates” music for the first half of the saber fight at all. Also didn’t care for the music change for the Vader reveal at the end. i also didn’t like the special edition ending with all the other planets celebrating, but it’s better than the Ewoks celebrating. As for the final shot of Luke burning Vader’s body, there was no sound of fire, only the music. The scene didn’t seem “complete” (ugh, I hate using that word in context of this film, lol).
Lastly, did you add in sound effects of Harrison Ford grunting from the Indy films for when he fights the stormtroopers? Nice touch if you did. Anyway, this film will never be on par with the first 2, but this edit certainly is an improvement. I consider the theatrical/special edition about a 6 out of 10. I give this fan edit an 8 out of 10.
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: