Probably the best edited version of ROTJ. Not every cringe moment is cut (kind of depends on how much you like Boba Fett) but enough of them to be a major improvement. This cut strikes a nice balance between purity and revisionism. If you want something more radical, go to Spence...but if you want a version of ROTJ that is both good and true to the original film, I recommend.
Compared the Spence's final edit, this is more of a gentle trimming. Boba Fett's awful death is here. Obi-Wan's force ghost is present. Leia talks about memories with her mother and the cheesy ending remains (with Sebastian Shaw's ghost). I was hoping mostly that the Ewoks had been cut down quite considerably, but unfortunately not as much as I'd hoped.
But that aside, it's still a brilliant edit if you want a more fuller lengthier version of RotJ and if you are a fan of the film then I think this would be the edit more to your likening. The cuts are seamless. The audio has no faults. It uses some of the "remaster edits" as I did see the odd CGI character (yet the Sarlacc Pit is the original version - maybe the editors on here just prefer the original? Who knows). Jabba's Palace does seem more lengthier, but the cheesy dance numbers are removed, which will please many.
Conclusion? If you aren't a purist and desire a more film length edit then here it is. No big shocks or anything to annoy the fans really.
Darthrush has truly done god's work here. When reading the cutlist, I did expect an improvement, but just a milder one. What I ended up watching was not a mere improvement. Darthrush has turned the black sheep of the original trilogy into a masterpiece on par with the other two movies. No longer is the whimsical tale of some ewoks messing around on Endor somehow kicking the Empire's ass, but rather the story of the redemption of Darth Vader and the victory of the rebellion against all odds.
The pacing of the movie is the most beneficial of any change. He could have left out most of his other changes he made to this edit, but it still would have been a worthy replacement to the original if the pacing was improved. Needless to say, Darthrush delivered. The movie flows like a dream, just like the other 2 movies, not only on a movie-wide scale, but even many individual scenes flow noticeably better.
My biggest fear going into this edit was the erasure of a lot of Han's scenes. Sure, the butchering his character got in the theatrical release was awful, but I was worried that the complete absence of such an iconic character from the climax of the trilogy would be just as damaging. Thankfully, even when all of the bad Han scenes are cut out, he still has a decent amount of screen time and there isn't a hint of a toned down personality. The Han in this edit is the one we all know and love, not some awkward, unfunny, jealous mess that he originally was.
The screen time given to the worst part of the movie, the ewoks, is handled masterfully. They get *just* enough screen time that they give some flavour and variety to the setting without completely destroying the tone. Making them less cuddly and cute was well done, and they're purpose as an early distraction, without actively fighting back the enemy, is well implemented. Now that their scenes gradually devolve into defeats against the empire, it actually strengthens the narrative, as both the rebellion and our new friends are being brought to their knees.
I can't talk about every little change he made in this edit due to how many there are (though I would love to if given the time), so for the sake of brevity let me just say that every tweak was done in good taste and every single one subtly improves the movie. From the music/audio ques, the tiny trims and even added vfx, the level of subtlety in this edit is masterful to say the least. Even the jumps between theatrical and special edition footage was remarkably tasteful.
To cap this review off, this ending is just perfect. The best of both versions, really. SE music, city celebrations and eyebrow-less vader face, original force ghost intact and 'wesa free' gone. Vader fading away like yoda and obi-wan is not only a great touch on it's own, it's coincidentally been strengthened by the end of Rise of Skywalker.
If you're reading this, please just watch this edit. No longer do I sigh and switch my brain off when I near the end of a star wars marathon. This edit enhances a genuinely mediocre film into a conclusion worthy of a New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Granted, we all know that Adywan will present a superior edit when he returns from his righteous crusade to perfect this movie, but until that day, this will remain my go-to for this movie.
I really enjoyed this edit and many of the decisions, but ultimately this just cannot be my go to version of the film...
PROS: I loved the added music during the Obi-Wan & Luke scene.
Very much enjoyed the change-up during when Chewie is introduced.
NO MORE JEDI ROCKS DANCE SEQUENCE!
The Special Edition Ending is the ending I always preferred.
Greatly reduced Ewoks!
Vader is more menacing in shuttle tydirium sequence.
Dialogue and cheesy scenes in the film are reduced (almost a little too much).
CONS: The subtitles from Jabba change from odd "imovie" type to then the despecialized subtitles.
I personally miss the despecialized dance sequence cut from this edit.
The dialogue scenes with Lando are pretty much cut entirely.
Boba Fett shots are not flipped.
No more Leia and Wicket scene.
I miss Vader's eyebrows.
But overall I think the film just loses too much of its charm while the edits aren't super effective.