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Movie Pros and Cons: Return of the Jedi

Time for my final entry in my look at the changes, alterations and additions made to the Star Wars Special Editions as I look at Return of the Jedi. Again, I won’t get into changes that were already discussed previously, such as the Praxis Effect or the CGI lightsabers. OK, let’s go.

Change #1: Giant door
Verdict: On-the-fence
Explanation: Lucas wanted Jabba’s door larger and more threatening. OK, I guess, but really who cares?

Change #1: Jedi Rocks!
Verdict: Pro
Explanation: Some people prefer the old song, because of the puppetry and lack of CGI, but I never understood that sentiment. The old song is boring and sounds like lame 80’s synth-pop. It’s super dated and I love how they replaced it with this big-band number. It’s over-the-top and stupid, but so much fun, which is exactly how I feel about the movie Return of the Jedi.

Change #2: Oola’s new scenes
Verdict: Pro
Explanation: I mostly proed this one because it’s kind of cool how Femi Taylor, who played Oola in the original Jedi looked so good 15 years later and kept in such good shape that they were able to film a few new shots with her and add them seamlessly into the original film. I just think that’s awesome.

Change #3: Boba flirts
Verdict: Pro
Explanation: I loves me some Fett and here we get to see his more romantic side.

Change #4: Sebulba?
Verdict: Con
Explanation: We really don’t need a CGI dug in Jabba’s palace. At all.

Change #5: The Sarlaac
Verdict: Pro
Explanation: The Sarlaac is just a boring pit with like three tentacles in the original. Here, it has a beak, a bunch of tentacles and is much more threatening and interesting to look at.

Change #6: Blinking Ewoks
Verdict: Pro
Explanation: Some people were against this, but it does make the Ewoks a little more realistic now that they can blink. Just sayin’.

Change #7: R2’s added gadgets
Verdict: On-the-fence
Explanation: Once again, it doesn’t really add anything except to make the film look prettier and possibly add some gadgets that are shown earlier, but don’t show up when his body explodes. Still, it’s mostly unnecessary.

Change #8: No!
Verdict: Con
Explanation: Much has been said about this too. What possessed Mr. Lucas to take one of the most made-fun-of scenes in movie history and throw a piece of it into another one of his films is beyond me. Darth Vader doesn’t need to say “No!” I believed his transformation without it.

Change #9: Sebastian Shaw’s face
Verdict: On-the-fence
Explanation: When Luke takes off Vader’s mask, Shaw’s eye-brows are digitally removed and some other minor cosmetic alterations to his face are made to reflect how he was burned in Revenge of the Sith. I’m usually against ret-conned changes (such as changing Boba Fett’s voice), but this one is so subtle that I didn’t even notice it until I read about it online, which is why I’m going to stay on the fence.

Change #10: The end celebrations
Verdict: Con
Explanation: It’s pretty ridiculous that the entire Empire would fall suddenly with one giant galaxy-wide celebration. Destroying an old regime entirely would be a slow process. News wouldn’t travel that fast, even in the Star Wars Universe.

Change #11: New Ewok celebration song
Verdict: On-the-fence
Explanation: I honestly feel like both songs were fine.

Change #12: Old Anakin/ Young Anakin
Verdict: Con
Explanation: Not only was the new footage of Hayden Christensen that was added into the Jedi ghost shot taken from a costume test, it was done without Christenson’s knowing or consent and it’s a massive disservice to Sebastian Shaw to just slap another actor on top of him like that. I get that it makes no sense how Darth Vader dies all white and gross and then appears as the same old man, but without his white grossness, but I don’t care. I still accepted it as just the power of the force or something. Every time I see Hayden Christensen show up, I wanna punch George Lucas in the face.

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