As expected, this is nothing short of brilliant. I think the highest compliment I can give Adywan is that I didn't even notice 90% of the changes. This is what the Special Edition should have been. Everything is professionally done and it feels like a proper, commercial release, not an amateur fanedit. The only issue, and others have mentioned it, is that the video quality isn't as good as it should be for an 8GB HD file. Nevertheless, don't let that stop you from enjoying this amazing work of art.
Though some will say 'you can't tinker with the Star Wars movies!', I say to them—after 'George can, often to their detriment, but others can't?'—'as long as the original versions are available in some form, what's wrong with an alternate version?' Well, this was quite an ambitious project for Adywan, who said going in that he considers this movie perfect as-is. The original idea was to do a badly needed color correction and fix some more glaring issues, but it eventually got into fixing the nitpickiest of things. ;) That may sound bad, but if you can fix them, why not? It makes for a more seamless experience. Yes, the attention to detail and other things led to this taking many years to complete, but it was certainly worth the wait! (and to those who whined that it was taking a long time, don't forget that he was under no obligation to do this for anyone but himself)
All in all, a superb edit made with great care, and even sacrifice. If you haven't done so, feel free to check out the rollercoaster progress of this edit here: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/STAR-WARS-EP-V-REVISITED-EDITIONADYWAN-AVAILABLE-NOW/id/9060
What else can I say that hasn't already been said by literally everyone else? This is a phenomenal piece of art, handled with nothing but care and love. The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the greatest SW film as well as the greatest sequel of all time has be beautifully remastered once more, only this time not a single frame was left untouched. Right off the bat, my favorite new (large) addition is, well honestly it's a tie between the battle of Hoth and the asteroid belt chase, both having this new sense of scale and tension never personally felt since the original 1980 cut. Even the small touches, from actually seeing individual snow flakes fly across the screen on the infamous frozen ice world, to subtle changes in sound fx heard in the rear sound channel. Did I mention how amazing and how crystal clear the entire film sounds? I didn't even have a surround sound system yet it all felt like a brand new experience. Same goes for the picture quality of course, and besides the exception of an occasional artifact or two in the corner and sometimes messy film grain, this is still easily the best the whole film looks after 37 years thanks to a complete overhaul of coloring that really does it justice. Even the newly added CG fits in, I'd say, 90% of the time and even sometimes looks absolutely gorgeous (Cloud City, like everything having to do with it). If you're a defender of the Special editions, then you'll love it even more, and even if you loathe the updated cuts of the OT, you'll probably love it as well since most of the bad additions are restored to there original states. I can't praise Adywan enough for his hard work, honestly if it weren't for him I wouldn't have that much of an interest in fan editing, so thank you very much!
This must be the most waited fanedit of all time so it has a lot to live up to. I think it just does that and even exceeds all the expections.
There's so much added into the movie and some of it, well, most of it is Hollywood quality (and even better :) ). The Battle of Hoth is simply amazing with all its additions. Yoda has more personality with his new face expressions and now there are blaster blasts every time a stormtrooper is hit in the cloud city "battle". Now that's something that bothered me a bit... sometimes when a stormtrooper was hit, there was no effect. And talking about effects, there are tons of different kinds of effects going on background in this fanedit, and they sure are top quality.
There simply isn't any addition that bothered me in this edit. Well, I could say that Yoda was sometimes a bit goofy with his face expressions, heh. But mostly in a good way. This simply appears to be a flawless diamond.
My ONLY grief is the quality of the video (.mkv HD version). It appears to have a lot of film grain compared both to the blu-ray release or a 1080p rip of equal file size to this fanedit. It looks very mushy, on both, my projector and monitor. When it comes to HD, I want the image be clear. Now it seems there's always something going on even static backgrounds.
I'm not sure why exactly the video has so mushy look. The 720p shouldn't be the issue nor the bitrate. It should be high enough. But it looks like grain with low(ish) bitrate. Bad combination. Is it that the source material is different or does the color correction for example do something bad to the image quality when compiling? Or maybe something to do with the compile parameters. I'd like to hear some suggestions. And I encourage others do comparisons as well.
I hope the video quality gets better in the coming blu-ray release. It's not bad by all means but not just that great either.
I don't want to end this review with negativity so I simply say the fanedit itself is the best fanedit ever done. Period.
(Spoilers for this edit)
It was a long wait, but The Empire Strikes Back: Revisited is finally here. This is a great fan edit loaded with lots of new surprises. The battle of Hoth is phenomenal. The enhanced FX throughout the film are so seamless that shots will slip by you as if they had been that way all along (The Force Awakens bunk nestled on the back wall of the Falcon is just one example). Two new embellishments I really liked were the Snowtroopers repealing down from the AT-ATs and Mcquarrie's giant white spider from his early concept art of Degobah. The physical models used in place of the outdated background mats looked fantastic. Every laser bolt and light saber is gorgeous. This is the best version of one of the greatest movies ever made. Adywan has a dream of doing the revisited treatment on episodes 1 through 6. If you are a Star Wars fan, after watching this edit that will be your dream too. Get this edit, watch it, enjoy it, then be sure to donate at least the price of a movie ticket to help support Adywan and his crew.