Star Wars - Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – A Q2 Fanedit
With the Blu-Ray release and even more tinkering by Lucas I decided to revisit this edit and do a proper HD version. Utilizing the Blu-Ray release as the main source, and Harmy's 720p version of the Despecialized Edition, I am happy to announce the release of Return of the Jedi: Q2 Edition - Remastered.
v.2.1 - fixed video stuttering some viewers experienced with the AVCHD and BR versions v.2 - HD release ... 2011 Blu-Ray used as source
v.1 - original release ... 2004 DVD used as source
Some might wonder why I didn't cut Sebulba or the blinking Ewoks. When these changes were first highlighted with the BR release I was skeptical like many others. I had heard that Lucas was lazy and hadn't bothered to give Sebulba a shadow, making the addition look fake. However, when watching the footage he does have a shadow and he looks fine. While it was an unnecessary change it doesn't look bad and doesn't hurt the film.
The same can be said about the Ewoks. Yes... for those of us who grew up with non-blinking Ewoks it looks a little strange, but it doesn't look bad, just unfamiliar. And while it was sloppy of Lucas to only add blinking in certain shots, it again doesn't hurt the film.
Some may disagree with me, but these two changes don't bother me.
Cover art based on the work of QuickCut. "VI" image provided by Wabid.
- NTSC DVD-5
- AVCHD (DVD-9)
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
- original theatrical ending
- restored original Jabba's palace door
- replaced "Jedi Rock" with the original dance number from the theatrical cut
- removed subtitle "I want fifty thousand. No less." C-3PO translates this immediately after, so it felt redundant.
- cut burps from giant toad and Sarlacc pit
- restored all shots of the theatrical beakless Sarlacc pit
- restored Solo's original line "Trust me!" at the Sarlacc pit
- removed Vaders "No. Noooooo!"
- while I left the new galaxy-wide celebration intact, I did cut "We'sa free!" and restored the older Anakin
I must start by saying that Q2 has made something very refreshing by re-releasing his fanedit with superior video/audio quality. I wish some other faneditors would revisit their old projects and do the same. I never saw the original versions of this fanedits but the image quality of the HD edition is great. It's not perfect but still very good.
I liked the blu-ray release but I also must admit that it had some terrible moments like "Noooo!", Jedi Rocks and Sarlacc pit for example. I feel Q2 has addressed all the things that bothered me in the blu-ray release... he's done not too much and yet not too little. As I personally already love Return of the Jedi, I don't feel it needs more editing.
Out of all the Return of the Jedi fanedits this is the one I want to watch the most.
Great cut of ROTJ! The worst SE additions have been removed, while the ones which are fine or enhance the film are left in. Q2 strikes a really great balance here. I personally would have liked to see another nip or two (looking at you blinks), these are minor quibbles. The main offenders (Nooooooooooo, Jedi Rock, Force Ghost) have all been restored. There's not a lot else to say about this that hasn't been said. The editing is top notch and this is a perfect version for you if only the "worst" stuff from the SEs bother you.
For me, this and Harmy's will be my two go-to ROTJs. Just depends on the mood (insert Al Green music here).
Truly a wonderful cut of ROTJ, keeping almost everything I wanted from the Special Edition(s), and deleting the truly unpleasant additions. I had my daughter watch (first time) the whole series over the last month or so in Machete order, with the Adywan SW-Revisited, the original BluRay Empire, L8twrtr's prequels, and now Q2's ROJ)
It was important to me to get my daughter to watch a proper version of Jedi this first time out, in particular to get Sebastian Shaw at the end. It was a nice touch however, to keep the celebrations and the banthas earlier in the film, but delete the annoying Sarlacc beak and the "Noooo".
I don't have much a taste for visual or audio finesse, so other than Lai Nek, I din't really notice any SD/HD differences, and even then it didn't bother me. Audio seemed fine too.
The only thing I missed in the whole film was the satisfying Sarlacc burp after Fett goes down. It's the one thing I would have kept, especially since it was in the theatrical version (I think).
However, why quibble? The end product is masterful and will now replace the Bluray on my shelf. Well done, Q2. Well done.
I've always liked Return of the Jedi, but the story always felt a little flat and tensionless. Plus the special editions put some stuff that worked and didn't work. Like changing the band in Jabba's palace and putting Hayden Christensen in the movie is ridiculous, but changing that stupid song "Yub Nub" or "Ewok Celebration" or whatever, with "Victory Celebration" and adding the Galaxy Celebration is great (aside from "Wee'sa free!"). Neither the Theatrical Cut/Harmy's Despecialized Edition nor the Special Edition were perfect for me. Then, I found Q2's hybrid cut.
The M4V quality was great, the audio was great, and it put Lapti Nek and old Anakin to the movie! For lots of hardcore fans of ROTJ, that's amazing.
For now, this is my go-to ROTJ. ADigitalMan has the same concept but this is better, I haven't seen the Dan edit and the Spence makes no sense at times.
1080 MKV looked great. Audio sounded good, glad it was included. Overall this was a good edit, my go-to ROTJ.
A/V Quality - 10
Editing - 10 visual, 8 audio
Narrative - 9
Enjoyment - 9 (OUT 9, SE 7)
Recommended drink: Shift (Pale Lager)