Revenge of the Jedi: Redux

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The Force is strong with DonkeyKonga! Where do I start? The new title crawl is a breath of fresh air. The pacing improvements definitely benefit scene by scene. The red throne room and red lightning, hell even the red eyes were AWESOME. And of course the alternate ending is the cherry on top.

RotJ was always my favorite out of the trilogy growing up. This edit simply reinforces my love for it. I’ve seen a decent bit of the OT restorations and reconstructions but I can safely say this was my first true fanfix and I’m sure glad it was this one.

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Overall rating
 
9.9
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8.0
Definitely more digestible than the original, but its still Jedi so you have to chew a bit.

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Owner's reply April 06, 2024

This might be the funniest review I've read. I completely agree btw. There is only so much you can do with the source material after all.

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Audio and video cuts are smooth, expertly done.

I disagree with the previous reviewer; I can see no “continuity error” at 0h27m30. I do agree regarding the other (very minor) continuity error, though, at 1h08m55 (Leia’s body and head position), but it’s barely noticeable.

Nice opening crawl. Concise and objective.
Jabba acts much better in this version; damn he is a scoundrel. Boba Fett also looks a lot more competent.
The entire sail barge fight flows much better, with a bit less goofiness as well.

The briefing is a lot cleaner, and things goes straight to the point. A few changes improve the Luke / Leia conversation, and also the Leia / Han conversation.

Great way to fix the Emperor’s surprise!
Also, the Teddy Bear battle has been shortened, it flows better like this. In my opinion, even less Teddy Bears would be a win, but then there would be almost no end battle, so this seems like an unachievable fix.
Han being jealous of Luke: that’s gone, it made no sense in the original.

Great ending! I cannot praise it enough, that is the highlight of this version.
Luke celebrating in the original was insane, it always seemed a continuity error to me. Now that’s fixed, and the last scene really changes the tone, the ending becomes much more powerful.
Overall, the film gets a more mature tonality, as was the stated goal.

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(Updated: December 24, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.4
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
Really love the new opening crawl as it’s straight to the point and the casting out of Return and inclusion of Revenge is a great way to telegraph to the audience that this is not only going to be a darker take on Return of The Jedi but ultimately leads to some interesting interpretation on which of the remaining Jedi will enact there revenge which of course is brilliantly subverted later on considering who enacts said act of revenge although given his previous profession it thematically makes perfect sense.

I would have to respectfully disagree with George Lucas that Jedi are above acts of revenge as thanks to the creation of the Prequel Trilogy he has ironically added more fuel to the idea that the Jedi themselves are not above committing acts of revenge as in Phantom Menace Obi Wan fights and slices Maul in half in an act of revenge for the death of Qui Gon, in Attack of The Clones Anakin commits an act of Revenge upon the Tusken Raiders for there barbaric acts inflicted upon his mother. As for Revenge of The Sith well the meaning and philosophy is explored in both it’s narrative and title and in Return of the Jedi itself a certain Jedi comes close to committing an act of revenge.

If anything I’d say the concept of revenge is something of a trial to the Jedi regardless of rank where it tests there control of such moral carnality to see if they are either capable of suppressing it, avoiding it or confronting it and maintaining the mental fortitude to remain in the light as such I conclude that had this been the official title of the movie it would have been thematically fitting. Returning to the Jedi and my thoughts on the edit I would say that there’s a lot of great and fluid fast cuts that preserve most of the movement and continuity between scenes though there are a few cuts between scenes I felt could have been handled better.

The first being the cut between the movement of Luke’s head after his ‘’I have to try’’ and the scene where he leaves Leia as Han enters the scene and speaking of which there’s a slight continuity error from 27:30-27:31 as Han’s facial direction and position rapidly changes between cuts and in the scene where he goes to question Leia after her ‘’Nothing I just wanna be alone for a little while’’ a continuity error occurs with the movement of Han’s head and body though I do get the intention behind the cut and on an emotional and character driven level it does work.

On the subject of characterisation and Han Solo his depiction in this edit legitimately makes him a much cooler and three dimensional character and of course more like himself with the removal of him stepping on the stick being a great choice, I only wish you could have removed Chewie accidentally giving away his position so that it instead comes of like the Endor Stormtrooper has acute hearing. Though I loved how you gave Han the power to karate chop a Stormtrooper in one blow or at least that’s the vibe I got from the sound effect you used either way it was both funny and badass.

The trimmed scenes to the whole Jabba The Hutt subplot helped to improve both pacing and characterisation with my favourite alteration being Jabba himself as he now comes of as a dangerously genre savvy and pragmatic head honcho who’s reputation as a vile crimelord is completely justified and adds more credence as to why Han Solo would be in a rush to pay him back and avoid angering him further and speaking of other characters who express there anger in one way or another the exclusion of some of Vader’s lines of obedience and fatalism provide an interesting personality balance for the Emperor’s enforcer.

In some ways he comes of as far more ruthless and totalitarian like in the previous films yet at the same time his silence and body language convey his internal conflict in a much more stoic and subtle manner, which is a great example of a fanedit displaying to an audience that one does not entirely need to rely on dialogue to convey ones emotional state and respects the viewers intelligence and keen eyesight and insight.

The burning of Vader as the final scene of the edit not only helps to eliminate some cheese but serves as a satisfying end to his character arc especially if taking the Prequels into account as the act of torching his metal body could essentially symbolise the extinguishing of the Vader persona and the reincarnation and passing of the Anakin persona as he becomes one with the force itself where as the burning on Mustafar represented the slow death of the Anakin persona and the slow twisted birth of the Vader persona though in conclusion on the subject of Vader I think Luke’s ‘’I will not fight you’’ could have been removed.

My reasoning for this is that it could suggest that rather than Luke giving away his location Vader is using the force to hone in on Luke’s thoughts like a radar which could further be supported by his later line of dialogue during his search for Luke in the shadows ‘’Your thoughts betray you’’ though on the subject of Luke the alteration to the reveal of who his sister may be is set up in a clever way as it gives Luke and the audience both the intelligence and initiative to figure it out themselves.

In terms of audio there are several instances before Jabba’s Palace where the sound plays exclusively in one ear or veers from one area to the right ear rather than being in the centre or traveling all around like traditional 5.1 Surround sound though in the visual department I did notice some camera shake on the ‘’A long time ago in a galaxy far far away’’ though I think that may be an issue with the original source, would it be possible to fix this or at least lessen the camera shake?

So I proposed the idea of changing the colour of the throne room sequences to DonkeyKonga so that they matched the cover art that a certain talented Cover Artist in the fan editing community had created which has now become a reality in an alternate file viewing option known as True Revenge of the Jedi and oooh boy does it change the tone of those sequences in the film both visually and narratively and I mean that in a good way.

To start the redish purple tint makes the whole sequences look downright evil and dare I say it ‘’Satantic’’ with the Emperor literally giving of cult leader vibes as he tries to indoctrinate Luke into his twisted religion but than saying that The Sith Order themselves are essentially a warped religion as displayed in both the films and written out in the various expanded universe books of the Star Wars mythos, speaking of Luke the altered visuals of this cut really bring out his internal conflict with the first of my favourite moments of said conflict being the close up where he gains Sith Eyes and his face becomes veiled in the lights of his and Vaders sabers.

This perfectly telegraphs his rising emotional anxiety and that his desire to shield his sister from Vader’s influence and his desire to bring Vader out of the darkness and into the light are beginning to conflict with eachother and overwhelm him with enhancement of this thematic idea carrying fourth into the scene where Luke goes ballistic and towards the end of his rage the colour of his eyes can be seen flickering from yellow to blue emphasising his struggle to maintain his original objective and remain in the light if anything he comes much closer to edging towards the dark side here than he does in the original cut.

Though of course much like the original cut he is able to pull himself back into the light and given how he came much closer to losing his sense of self than he does in the theatrical edition his mental fortitude to regain and maintain his sense of self after the chaos of his own anger is made that much more powerful thanks to the edition of the Sith Eyes in the scenes I mentioned up above and for those who may have never done this before colour grading and tracking eyes during fast moving scenes like this on a consistent basis is not an easy feat to accomplish as such I tip my hat to you DonkeyKonga.

A little bit of trivia the altered colouration to the Emperor’s Force Lightning is actually a real world weather phenomenon known as ‘’Sprite’’ or ‘’Red Lightning’’ and it behaves much differently to regular yellow lightning so the fact the Emperor is able to manipulate the direction and intensity of such power makes the sequence of him torturing Luke far more painful and harder to watch, It is truly amazing how changing the colour of certain sequences and objects within those sequences can impact both the tone and narrative in a meaningful way

This alternative viewing option is a fantastic example of this and I encourage more Faneditors to try something like this using the colour of there designed cover art to provide a fun and artsy viewing option for more growing audiences who may have the desire to experience there favourite or fixed films in a unique and experimental way.

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Owner's reply December 22, 2023

Thank you for the in depth review! I loved the suggestion of the color changing to red, so I did this with the Throneroom. It is now dosed in right lights rather than blue ones.

It was a bit tricky but you basically get Vader looking exactly like he does in the poster during the moment where Vader taunts Luke with his sister!

P
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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I would highly recommend this edit to anyone who wants to see a light edit of ROTJ (like me). There are no major structural or narrative changes. What you will get is the same story with the same pacing just as you remembered it but with a more mature, less goofy feel to it all. A lot of silliness is removed, dialogue is sharper, characters have better arcs. All those changes are very well done.

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