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

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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by cutnshut — March 17, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

I still cant work out how to vote, dont see any way to do it on the screen… i would give this overall 8/10

Spence had his work cut out for him with this movie, the problem is the original theatrical version just doesnt live up to the epicness of Empire strikes back…and is more of a cross between a remake of the first star wars movie with the rebels attacking a new Death Star and a rollercoaster action movie… it doesnt really seem to fit well as the epic conclusion to Emmpire Strikes Back.

….The special edition seemd to turn it into even more of a musical than it was before…

Now we come to Spences Final Cut.

Obviously a lot of work went into this one and Spence has looked at the overall story and thought hard about how to re-organise it into something that makes more sense – and as far as i’m concerned has thoroughly succeeded!

After the initial opening scene from the Empire, the next scene is now on Dagobah, which makes a lot more sense – it appears Luke returned to Dagobah in the time since the previous movie took place.

It works much better, plot wise it makes more sense as it tells the audience what luke is going on…Luke must confront Vader again and there is another Skywalker…..but Obi Wan Kenobi’s ghost is cut – so it is left to luke to deal with these issues himself….making him seem a stronger character than in the previous movie.

There are more various cuts and tweaks which I won’t spoil for anyone. New to this edit…but the ending is changed and is now the perfect way to end the movie!

Any star wars fan should download this, i highly recommend it – if you werent happy with the original version.

Please note the 2004 special edition was used as the base for the edit but, spence has restored the theatrical version of the sarlac pit and the musical scene has been totally removed :) good news!

The only problem that would stop me giving this edit a 10/10 is there are some technical issues I would Like to see Spence fix at a future time.

I think a lot of people (myself included) were pushing Spence to release this as soon as possible and if he had given himself a bit more time to review his finished movie, he could have fixed the very few scenes that have off lip sink with the voices and some issues with the music and inserted credits at the end of the movie.

I think Spence needed to finish this and take a break, but i hope he will come back to it when he’s ready and just add some final polish – as it really is an amazing accomplishment and deserves to seen in the best possible condition!

So currently i would rate the movie as 8/10, hopefully at some point tho a well deserved 10/10 if he can update this to v2.

Well done Spence!
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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by bionicbob — March 19, 2011 @ 12:29 am


Return of the Jedi is one of those childhood movies that is at once both a milestone event
and an epic disappointment.

My little tush was in theatre seats in 1977, and I marvelled in awe at this new universe spread before me called Star Wars.
I was there again in 1980, when Empire shook our foundations with it’s dramatic reveal of Luke’s father and pushed our beloved heroes into darkness and dispair.
Then in 1983, our heroes returned in the final chapter in a rollercoaster adventure, that while it greatly entertained,it left me feeling completely dissatisfied!

Alot of it just made no sense to me.
At the end of ESB, everyone from Yoda to the Obiwan is telling Luke he is not a Jedi, that he needs more training.
But when ROJ opens, the recently defeated Luke is informed that he is now a Jedi!
What the….? Did I miss a memo?

Plus the death of Boba Fett just blew my mind.
The coolest movie character in recent years receives the lamest death ever put to film.
What was Lucas thinking?

Then there are all the supporting characters, all getting screen time but with very little important character development or really interesting moments.
Of course, that brings us to the Ewoks….. “ugh”…. nuff said.

Anyway, as I have said, I have watched ROJ many times, and yes it does entertain,
but for a concluding chapter to one of most important stories of my childhood,
it was a complete and utter disappointment!


Now, I have Spence’s wonderful edit that pretty much addresses every issue I had with the original ROJ.

This version is definitely very much the story of Luke Skywalker’s journey.
While all of our heroes are present, they are pretty much supporting characters
as Luke finally faces his destiny and confronts Vader and the Emperor.

The restructured opening 20-25 minutes is brilliant. The new crawl explains Luke returns to Yoda to continue his training, and it is while there he has a premonition (similar to what happened in ESB) that his friends are in trouble.
This is an excellent narrative device use by Spence. If I were so bold to suggest, it might have been even stronger is maybe an audio or visual effect was used to support Luke’s vision? Regardless, it is very clever and works wonderfully.

The recut Jabba Palace works beautifully. All of our favorite characters are reintroduced in slightly new ways that I found very enjoyable and more logical.

The removal of Boba Fett is masterful. Fantastic editting in this regard!

The Endor scenes work very well. The Ewoks have been trimmed back. They are still too damn cute and cuddlely for my tastes, but there is not much one can do about that without sacrificing pivotal plot.

The moving of the Emperor from the Death Star to the Super Destroyer, works very well too.
Some very nice F/X work done here. Bravo!

Lots of little trims have been done to the Han and Leia interplay, which I think actually made their relationship come off stronger and more believeable.

And the closing of the movie with Vader’s funeral pyre was an excellent choice. Closes the movie on the perfect note.

As you may be able to tell, I really enjoyed this edit.

Not to say there are not some minor nit-piks….. some minor audio issues, changing matte colours, and tiny errors on the closing credits… But as I said, to me these are all extremely minor and did not detract from the over all viewing experience for me at all.

I enjoyed the bonus features (though I have not listened to the commentary yet) and I think the abandoned concepts regarding the Flashbacks (as watchers of my Trek edits know, I love flashbacks) and having all the storylines converge during Luke and Vader’s battle were brilliant ideas and could have worked really well as part of the edit. But I totally understand Spence’s reasoning.

So all in all, a fantastic edit! Thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and most importantly, satisfying!

Thank You Spence for restoring my childhood.

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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by Brumous — March 19, 2011 @ 3:04 am

This is good, it is worth a watch. I think the best thing about this edit is the overall rearrangement of the storyline. Spence wanted to generate some tension in the plot that would get the viewer more involved, and this edit does accomplish that.

I never like the original very much, and there were no scenes in the original that really drew me in. Spence’s Final Cut has some highlight scenes that you can now actually enjoy. Jabba’s Palace – very good. The bike speeder chase – much improved. The final meeting of Luke, Vader and the Emperor – excellent.

Another great thing is how this edit moves right along. It zips from scene to scene with alacrity and the 93 minute length feels more like 33. The new musical backing tracks are terrific, well choreographed to the action, and add a lot of emotional punch.

Getting down to small details, there were some technical flaws. Maybe it’s my computer system, but the dialog was a little out of sync in most of the movie and there were some audio clicks at splice points. Some of the scene cuts felt a little mistimed.

Spence really was successful at making this Luke’s story, and this edit reveals that Hamill’s acting is up to the task of carrying the story. I can now buy that Luke is a fully trained Jedi.
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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by Shortround24 — March 21, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

*This rating was given before reviews were required*
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(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Review by Stepstone — March 24, 2011 @ 11:35 am

*This rating was given before reviews were required*
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