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

Updated
 
8.3 (40)
5608 0 1 0 5

User reviews

40 reviews
 
40%
 
55%
 
5%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.9(14)
Visual Editing
 
8.6(14)
Audio Editing
 
7.7(14)
Narrative
 
8.2(14)
Enjoyment
 
8.2(40)
Back to Listing
40 results - showing 36 - 40
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Ordering
(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Review by bionicbob — March 19, 2011 @ 12:29 am

WARNING: SPOILERS WILL APPEAR!!!

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!

BUT NOT ANY MORE!!!

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.

THUMBS UP!!!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
8.0
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!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
(Updated: September 09, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Review by mthaslett — March 17, 2011 @ 2:29 am

I’ve been waiting for this! The thing is: I was a Star Wars kid. I was there for the first release of the OT. I was crazy about the stories, the characters, their galaxy– I got as many toys, comics, posters and magazines as I could about Star Wars and its incredible sequel “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”. Then the third movie came out… and I went to it… and I came out… so confused.

I couldn’t put it in words, I didn’t hate it, but the effect was that I never bought another Star Wars comic, toy, or poster again unless it was about the other two movies. I came to realize “Return of the Jedi” was a giant let-down.

The reasons it fails are numerous. First, it’s all a giant hand-holding romp; just a victory lap without ever building any real stakes. Second, it is totally disjointed as a story. It tries to give moments to all the characters without doing justice to any. Third, The Jabba rescue was totally inane. Forth, The Ewoks are overdone and (embarrassing) they save our heroes asses. Fifth, Everything Han does turns out wrong. Etc. Luke finished the last movie as a total punk with a few days training and a missing hand– but now suddenly he needs no more training? Suddenly Vader now worries about how it’s too late for him? None of this was keeping with the Empire Strikes Back. Empire was brutal. Jedi is a musical. They just don’t match.

Ah, but in comes SpencEdit and his Final Cut.

This fan edit has answers to all these problems and more. There is so much concern here for trying to make ROTJ fit the original Two-logy and, I am happy to report, it revives a dead film. The RETURN OF THE JEDI, um, Returns!

Spence’s strategy is simple: This edit removes the giant narrative dog-leg from the middle of the film which has Luke run off to Degobah for an exposition dump. Instead, as would more naturally follow the ass-whipping he received in Empire, the first thing Luke Skywalker does is go to Degobah for more training. So not only is this Luke more consistent with who he was, but the viewer of this story gets to identify with Luke right away as he hears he must face Vader and discover who “the other Skywalker” is. This turns the rescue on Tatooine into a test for the newly trained Jedi; it allows the mission to Endor to naturally flow out of getting the heroes back together; and it makes all the gravity between Luke and Vader feel organic. To support these grand ideas, this edit also tackles the pace of every sequence to remove as much cushion as possible. Now, when people get shot on Endor, it really hurts. Capping it all off strategically is a giant idea that I don’t want to spoil– but let’s just say destroying the Death Star won’t necessarily get the Rebels everything they want now. Now the personal Luke story has more stakes than ever.

Execution is first rate. The best example for me is the scene I’ve always hated between Han and Lando, where Han makes Lando take the Millenium Falcon. This has always felt and looked fake to me. But Spence does something brilliant, he follows it up by letting Han’s last look at the Falcon from inside the Imperial Shuttle go as a silent observation– no one but the audience gets to notice how he feels. It makes the whole thing authentic and beautiful; character driven and smart. That’s a good metaphor for the effect of this entire edit. All the characters feel more on target, stripped of their schtick and yet still given their chance to shine (the new intro of Chewie is especially effective). And not enough can be said about how this has become a fitting finish of the Luke Skywalker story (not to mention a few effective musical choices that make this a fitting finish to the Anakin Skywalker story as well– this truly completes the Saga). The final twenty minutes of this thing is perfect. I never knew this was what the footage held– it’s so much more effective and exciting.

There are only a couple things that I can take issue with– first, the way Spence chose to edit two tiny scenes jarred me a little and second there seemed to be a mix issue where the music felt muffled and then jumped up a level. I’m not technical enough to describe exactly what was wrong, but let me say that neither is enough to worry about. Download and watch this if you have any interest in a BETTER version of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

It’s almost exactly the movie I wish I’d gotten when I waited in line all those years ago. This would have kept me buying toys and comic books. Very impressed. Very happy.

Merry Christmas to us all!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
January 4, 2012

A very bold edit that makes a flawed movie much more on par with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Not every change worked for me (I’ve never had a problem with the Rancor scene for example) but a lot of the big changes were pulled off very well. The greatest change is taking The Emperor, Vader and Luke off the Death Star in the second half.
As well, Spence’s commentary and special features were a real treat. I had a blast watching it.

P.S. I can’t believe you left that terrible matte background in during the Han and Lando scene. Jeez…. ;)

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
*Major Spoilers*

Big strides in taken in this edit towards achieving a worthy end to this saga, but honestly I still prefer the actual film.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Luke spent time in between flicks training with Yoda.

I love the removal of Lopti Nek or Jedi Rocks.

I LOVE the removal of Boba Fett completely, there was no reason for him to be there in the first place.

Outside of that I'm kind of luke warm.

This is just me, but too much is removed. The movie only actually runs 1:21, and it just feels way too short.

No Obi Wan at all for one, and granted I hate that because he is my favorite character in Star Wars, but the scene on Dagobah also brings nice closure as to why he lied to Luke about his father, and while I totally understand editing the scene to remove Obi Wan's reveal of Leia, the scene could be kept in with that detail removed. Also, why edit out Yoda confirming Vader as Luke's father? Luke would definitely want confirmation of that and if you're running with the idea that they had already talked about it, IMO its very powerful to have Luke only have the medal to finally really bring up what's been eating away at him the past 2, 3 years because he knows its his last chance. And its something as an audience that we would like to see. What if Vader had lied ya know?

I liked the idea of removing the frog thing outside Jabba's, but instead it was a pretty obvious still picture, just felt off to me.

I really didn't like removing Luke force choking the guards, IMO the point of this movie is the fear that Luke is leaning towards the dark side, if he does this that confirms that in a way. Besides his continuous death threats to Jabba aren't very Jedi like either.

Idk why the Lando/han convo before the briefing was cut, sure their winks at eachother is a little odd, but han's last line is a funny quip relating to a convo in Empire before Lando betrayed him, its pretty good if the audience notices and more importantly it shows that han isn't pissed anymore at the guy that you know, TURNED THEM OVER TO DARTH VADER. Kind of major IMO.

Really liked han's silent moment looking at the Falcon.

I do not understand at all removing Vader's "it is too late for me, son." I love that line. It shows that Vader isn't just a shell of his former self, he doesn't just do things because of the great "power of the dark side" he's taking his rage out on the galaxy over his sins and the choices he's made for so long he doesn't know what else to do. IMO his admitting it is too late for him almost shows a light at the end of the tunnel.

I love Ian McDiarmid's performance (who doesn't) but a lot of him is cut. I understand removing the two scenes with him and Vader pre arrival of heroes so that his master plan is revealed more suddenly, but I still think they are executed well, and I think the second one is important but I understand the choice.

Frankly I thought moving the Emperor to the Executor was pointless. Cool idea to see the Death Star outside the window. (Except for sometimes you could see it and sometimes it clearly wasn't where it was in the scene moments before. But it looked BOSS when it was there.) But I thought the whole point of moving Luke, Vader, and the Emperor to a Star Destroyer was so that Vader's death could play out after the battle was over, and the emotional beat could happen after everything was resolved. It took place in the exact same place it does in ROTJ, just on the Executor...but right before Vader dies it shows the Rebels attacking the Executor so...I don't see the point.

So I have to admit something quickly, I was so excited for this edit. As I was downloading it I stumbled upon Spence's youtube channel and checked out some of his test videos for this. And honestly...the test videos of Vader's death and the ending montage are better. The music just climaxes at a better time in the Vader death test and the finale test is WAY more satisfying. I loved the low key force theme playing over everyone dancing with the Ewoks, I like it better than the actual ending in this cut and the real film.

So I know I just wrote a novel about this and griped the whole time, but I do recommend this edit for those who want to see a glimpse at what Jedi could have been, and I applaud Spence for making some really drastic choices here, some that worked very nicely. I'm also aware that I'm such a hardcore fan of the Wars that I have opinions that are ridiculously impossible to please.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
I
Top 500 Reviewer 8 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
40 results - showing 36 - 40
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8