Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back: Custom Special Edition

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back: Custom Special Edition
Faneditor Name:
The saga continues...
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
Original Running Time:
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
Time Cut:
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
If the following strikes you as esoteric, I invite you to peruse the forums of

I do not consider this a full-blown fan edit, as I am primarily hybridizing existing official versions of the film, keeping changes I can appreciate and excluding those I feel hinder the film. Of course, this is highly subjective, and everyone's perfect blend would be slightly different.
Having satiated my restlessness with the Star Wars prequels, I wanted to put together a custom 'Special Edition' of the original trilogy to place on my shelf alongside the original, theatrical versions (currently represented by Harmy's Despecialized Editions). I thought about calling them the "So You've Decided To Watch The Special Edition" version, because they wouldn't be intended as one's sole version of the films. Rather, a companion piece to the original versions, as a Special Edition should be.
Other Sources:
I utilized three video sources for this project: The 2011 BluRay transfer, Adywan’s ESB: Revisited, and KK650's Semi-Specialized Edition. The primary audio source is the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio, though audio from Revisited was used for a few scenes, and 2011 BluRay audio for one scene.
Special Thanks:
First and foremost, credit is due to DrDre and Sir Ridley for providing color correction LUTs; Adywan for producing his ‘Revisited’ project; CapableMetal, Jetrell1969, and SilverWook for their combined efforts at making the theatrical DTS audio from the 1997 Special Edition available; ChainsawAsh for encoding a DTS mix; and MalàStrana for assisting with subtitles.
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • MP4/M4V/MOV
Special Features
This project is presented in 1080p BluRay-compliant video, with DTS and AC3 audio tracks, and English and French subtitles.
Cuts and Additions:
Here follows a list of changes made to the 1997 SE starting point for this project. 

***Video Changes

- BluRay footage has been color corrected on a scene-by-scene (and shot-by-shot, as needed) basis using LUTs generated by DrDre and Sir Ridley, applied somewhat creatively at times
- Used wampa escape scene from Adywan’s Revisited, which brings enhancements while retaining the pacing (and, indeed, sync) of the original version.
- Used the conversation between Vader and the Emperor from Adywan’s Revisited, as he essentially honored the content of the original version of the scene while realizing the potential the 2004 DVD version presents.
- Used Adywan’s Revisited to avoid a continuity error posed by the Special Edition as an expanded cityscape out a Cloud City window disappears a few shots later.
- Recreated the original pacing of the escape from Cloud City, removing Vader departing for and arriving on his star destroyer, though leaving two brief shots of the shuttle ascending.

***Audio Changes, beginning from the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio mix:

- Reinstated Luke’s line to R2 of, “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good.”
- Used 2011 BluRay audio to include updated sound design for Slave I during its first appearance to match Episode II.
- Removed Luke’s scream from the 1997 mix as he falls down the Cloud City shaft after his confrontation with Vader.

(I have included an alternative audio track that omits the following audio change.)

- Altered Ben Kenobi’s description of Yoda from “The Jedi Master who instructed me” to “A Jedi Master who instructed me” for better continuity with the prequels.
Cover art by Hal9000 (DOWNLOAD HERE)

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