I was really jazzed to see this edit. I mean, a Tarantino style brought to The Empire Strikes Back? You can't lose! But after watching the movie I was left with a really mixed feeling. It was like taking two of your favorite foods and mashing them up together, only to dislike the ensuing result. Both are awesome apart, but sometimes certain things don't go together very well.
The back and forth Tarantino narrative was just fine, and replacing Yoda's dialogue with Pai Mei's was friggin genius. But the music queues kept taking me out of the movie most of the time. While Vader's intro with Inglorious Basterds audio and visual editing was pretty fantastic, the rest of the time things were all over the place. And I realized the problem is that Tarantino himself has a varied style throughout most of his movies-- 70s funk/soul, garage band grunge, Japanese classical, Old West gunslinger.
The issue for me was that ALL of them were tossed into Pulp Empire rather than one or two styles. This caused too much of a mishmash of styles for my taste. It felt like you were in the mindset of Kill Bill one moment, then tossed into Reservoir Dogs, then tossed into The Hateful Eight... just jarring. I respect what njvc attempted with Pulp Empire but I would has personally preferred to see it keep the soundtrack and queues to either Pulp Fiction/Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, or Django Unchained/The Hateful Eight.
A novel concept, executed superbly. The audio editing is nearly flawless, as is the picture editing. The movie really has that Tarantino feel, and still works as a story, which is pretty marvelous. I do think this edit sometimes straddles the line between an earnest pastiche and the sort of "if x director made y movie" parody that you might find on YouTube. Judged in a void, I would say it doesn't totally work, in that I don't know what someone who had never watched Star Wars or a Tarantino movie would get out of it, but with the context of the original Empire Strikes Back and Tarantino's filmography, it's endlessly amusing and clearly a labor of love. Great job.
I can't believe it took me this long to get to this one. This edit is perfect. It's an amazing piece of work. At first you might think it would be a weird homage to Tarantino by filling it with references, but the edit was far from it. It takes (imho) the best Star Wars film and makes it Tarantino-esque but only to a degree, because while Tarantino would have carried the film through to a 'cinematic' ending like in Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, Django Unchained; Pulp Empire evokes the old school Tarantino of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown ilk, where you don't get that crowd pleasing finale but a thoughtful, resonating end that haunts you for a while. The Neil Young closing to this was absolute genius, the montage put together at theend--I've never seen anything like--it's actually why the prequels exist: for the three minute montage at the end of njvc's Pulp Empire. I loved the out-of-left-field music choices like (!) Bernard Hermann's Taxi Driver theme in lieu of the love theme, and the opening with Morricone's theme from the Lee van Cleef classic "Grand Duel" hooked me. Substituting Pai for Yoda was hilarious and worked perfectly. The best scene in the trilogy (Luke vs Vader) scored to Ecstacy of Gold was great!
Bottom line is--this isn't a simple re-edit or remix of the original. It takes the material and uses style to create something new entirely: that's where the "Tarantino" aspect comes in. But njvc has definitely made this his own by applying deeper meaning and ambiguity to the scenes. The linear cohesion of the original is gone, the story is absorbed upon reflection after viewing, and I personally love those kinds of stories. An amazing edit, and my personal favorite of any I've seen. Score 11/10