Return of the Jedi: Revisited Production Begins

After a very short break (well, almost) from completing ESB:R, I will now be starting work on ROTJ:R . Although the full list of fixes and changes will still take time to compile, here are some of the things I have planned so far :
  • Add more B-Wings/ Pilots to Endor Space battle
  • Replace the lower quality matte painting with miniatures/ digitally enhanced versions
  • Remove the slapstick Ewok moments during the battle
  • Add more rebel troop action to Endor ground battle
  • Remove the 2011 addition of Vader saying “No” during the climactic scene
  • Remove “Jedi Rocks” and the additions of the Special Edition in that scene
  • Remove the Sarlaac SE beak
  • Add female pilots
  • Replace the Tydirium shuttle with a more cargo based shuttle (new design)
  • Re-rotoscope the lightsabers
  • Larger ground and space battle
  • New super-stardestroyer destruction
  • Complete new colour grade
  • And more…..
Thanks to all the things I learned doing ESB:R, with the miniatures etc., I now know what can and can’t be done, so things can now move faster.
The first part of the production will be the live action shoots. This includes the B-Wing pilots and the Endor ground action. While we’re pretty much covered for costumes for the California shoot for Endor (apart from some props) , the B-wing pilots costumes and Cockpits need to be made from scratch. This will include 4 costumes and the same number of helmets and 1 full size cockpit, with interchangeable parts that can swapped around so that it doesn’t look like the same set used for all 4 pilots. Auditions for the needed pilots will be opening up shortly, but more on that once the time comes. Although there are costumers already out there with B-wing costumes that people have made themselves, It would be impossible to utilise what’s already out there because I need to have them identical and also because It would be a logistical nightmare to find people close to where I live that have the costume and can also act. So the only course of action is to create them myself. Another thing is the helmets. The original B-wing helmets are probably the worse helmet in the entire series. They’re not even helmets, just ear muffs. So these are getting a tweak. And, as we don;’t see the original helmets close up in the film anyway, redesigning them is no problem.
There are also a few props that will need to be made for the Endor shoot and ship them to California.
The second part will be the Miniatures. The main Matte paintings being replaced are the Home One Hangar scenes. The paintings just don’t hold up well and the scenes with Lando and Han have never looked any good. So a 1/48 scale miniature is being created for these shots. Luckily there are some X-wing, Y-wing and B-wing kits available in that scale, but the A-wings will need to be made from scratch by the looks of things. For the Falcon I will be using the 1/48 scale Hasbro hero play-set. That thing is a great little toy. Very close to the 32” inch studio model in terms of size, but perfect to be in scale with the other ships for the miniature. We will be 3D printing parts and scratch building other bits to kit out this Falcon to make it fit for filming. People that have already modified this toy know just how amazing this can look.
Now the shuttle Tydirium is going to be changed. One thing that has always bugged me is that the same model ship that is used for dignitaries, is also being used to transport cargo and troops. This ship needs to be a different model. More in line with a cargo shuttle, similar to what was seen in Rogue One and the troop transport in the SE ANH. So a 1/48 scale ship needs to be built and then it’s digital double for the flying scenes.
Now this unfortunately isn’t going to be cheap, so I really need your help. There will be some items that was used for ESB:R coming up for sale soon (Hangar set pieces, model ships etc.) , but this will only cover a small percentage of what is needed to accomplish this. (The Blueprints book posted earlier on the page is our 3rd unity directors own personally purchased copy that was used for reference until I managed to pick up a copy myself, so the funds he raises from the sale of that won’t be going towards Revisited as there may only be need to the first and second units this time around). While I have a small amount of materials left over from ESB:R, I don;t have anywhere near enough to be able to start.
The things I will need the funds for will include:
Lot’s of silicone and various resins, wood, electrics for the cockpit, material for costumes, vaccum-formed helmet goggles, fibreglass, set dressings, lots of various styrene sheets and pieces etc. etc.
Now every penny raised goes into the cost of the materials. None of it ever goes to anything other than this. Everything ranging from travel expenses to the added cost of electric bills etc. comes out of our own pockets. We do not take a penny of donations for personal use or for anything outside of the cost of materials. Never have, never will.
So the ROTJ Donation Drive is now officially open…..
If you can donate then you can donate through Paypal [on the sidebar of the site here]
Now, after completing ESB:R, I didn’t fully take a break. I started work on the colour correction side of things for ANH:R HD. I will post some screenshots of its progress over the coming weeks. I can only do so much at the moment thought because all the hard drives are almost full. With all the extra content for the ESB:R Blu-ray to sort out before I can even start that, I can’t wipe them to clear up some space. So I will have to get some extra drives/ replacements. The PC is also playing up, but I didn’t want to mention that because this started late last year while completing ESB. I was praying it would last and luckily is did. I don’t know how much longer its going to be any good to use. Lots of crashing in after effects. A complete system wipe didn’t clear that up though, so its looking hardware based. Add to that, the on-board USB ports are buggy, with the USB3 ones failed completely. Damn Asus board. So part of the donations may need to go towards new board, memory and processor along with large capacity drives. Luckily the power supply seems fine, and I recently upgraded the graphics card to a much better one that helps with speeding the rendering. It’s annoying that the new revision of the 2011 sockets won’t accept the 6 core i7 that I have presently, so I have no choice but to get a new 6 core (higher cores are way too expensive) to go with the new board/ memory. But the drives will be one the first things out of all the materials/ parts for me to be able to start ROTJ:R.
I will post a progress bar for donations on regular intervals so you will be able to see how things are going. Once the donation target is reached and all the materials are purchased , then donations will be closed. After working out the cost of materials for the live action and model shoots, it’s looking like just shy of £6,000 needed in addition to what I can raise myself at the moment 😦 . So, if you can help, then it would be greatly appreciated.
So it all starts now. On Force Friday……..
ROTJ:R & ANH:R HD are now in production. Let’s hope this time things go more smoothly……
And now onto the last thing….
This will be my last edit. It’s obvious to me now that it is likely not possible to do all of the things I wanted to do to the prequels. Not without a huge budget. I don’t have the funds myself to do these projects, and I don’t want to keep having to rely on the generosity of others. I also just don’t have the love for those films, that I have with the OT, for me to spend years working on. So the Revisited saga will be episodes 4-6. These edits take up so much of my life as it is. To end up working on 3 more after this one (and recreating ANH in HD too) would take me another decade at least. It’s time for me to know when to stop. And that time is as soon as ROTJ:R & ANH:R HD are complete and all formats released.
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Empire Strikes Back Revisited MKV Available (DVD-5 Soon)

The first wave of the release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited is available for download. This wave consists of the 720p MKV (high definition, no menu).

The MKV is a compressed 8 GB but still HD version of the film, with no menus or audio options. This file can be played on your computer using a program like VLC Player, on your TV through a lot of Smart TV and Blu-ray players, or converted to a file format of your choice.

Next will be the DVD-5, a 5 GB ISO file that will be able to be burned onto a single-layer DVD (available at most stores and burnable by every DVD burner) using a program like ImgBurn. The resulting disc will be playable on most NTSC DVD/Blu-ray players right out of the box. This will be a compressed standard definition version.

Later will come less-compressed dual-layer DVD-9 versions (in both NTSC and PAL) and a BD-25 ISO burnable to Blu-ray disc. These versions will have more refined menus and options, with bonus features such as behind the scenes footage, interviews, alternate versions, and trailers. Also in the works is a DVD-5 of the bonus features. 

Thank you for your patience, and we hope that the movie is everything you’ve been dreaming about for almost a decade.


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Two Updates On The Wampa


After seeing some of the comments on my last post, i need to address a few misconceptions about the wampa and what it was being used for:

1- There is no test footage of the wampa. It didn’t get to a stage where everything was complete in order to start any test shooting. It only got as far as the costume fitting stage.

2- It wasn’t being built to add any extra scenes into the film. The editing of the cave scene is being reverted back to how it was in 1980. The extra inserts of the Wampa eating etc have all been taken out (apart from the added arm in the one shot where it is approaching luke as he cuts himself free). It worked better the way it was in 1980 when we only got glimpses of the Wampa. So the suit was created to replace the two shots in the original cave scene( the “sliding” wampa shot and the final lunge where it is a completely different design from the one we saw attacking luke originally) . It was also going to replace the first two puppet shots so that there was a consistent looking wampa throughout.

3- release a version now without the Wampa and then another one later with it added once i can get it working. This is something that won’t be happening. From ESB onward there will be only one version released of any of the films in HD and SD formats.

4- Get someone else to wear the suit. It was built specifically to fit my wife. I can’t even get my head into it without all the padding. Unless someone was the exact same dimensions then it wouldn’t fit. It would require months of work to modify it to fit anyone else, which would include rebuilding the whole skull and bodysuit.

But, there may be a glimmer of hope. After making my last post about the Wampa cancellation, a few ideas came to mind that might enable me to use the wampa for just the two cave shots needed, so i haven’t given up on it fully anymore. well, not just yet. If these ideas work, then i can just replace those two shots and keep the original puppet ones at the beginning. I’ve been modifying the face slightly ( repainting the horns to be the lighter grey on the puppet along with the end of the one horn being chipped off) and i will be doing some tests over the weekend, If it works, then i can finish the dirtying up and adding the wax ice on the fur and shoot the thing towards the end of next week. If it doesn’t then i can just get everything rendered out and release it. It’s still a very long shot that this might work, so don’t get your hopes up.


The Wampa is now complete and ready for the test shoot tomorrow. Fingers crossed that the new plan works…….

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Bad News, Good News

Bad news…. The wampa is being scrapped

Did a full costume test fitting of the wampa today and it’s just not working. One disaster after another. Claustrophobia and heat are a huge factor in the problems. But also the head slipping, causing the mouth not to open. It would take stripping out the inner head and remaking it. Months worth of work. But i’ve spent too much time and money on it now and i really don’t think that spending the extra is worth it. It was a long shot that failed and I’m sorry. I really wanted to be able to do this. But there comes a time when you just have to stop. Maybe its the curse of the Wampa. 😉

Good news…… ESB:R will be out very soon. Check back in a couple of days for an update……

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End of June Update

Things are progressing very nicely now. Wampa body is completed and all that is left to do for the costume is the adding the detailing, like dirtying and adding the ice etc. The costume is pretty big and bulky, as you can see from scale of the mannequin head compared to the body in the one photo.

Work has started on the wampa cave set so filming the very final shots for ESB:R shouldn’t be very far away……

The end is so close now……

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Just A Little Longer

Progress is a little slower than i had anticipated. Finishing this damn wampa is proving more of a pain that i’d hoped, but it’s getting there. It didn’t help that, while watching the final workprint, i noticed that two shots i had thought were complete were missing a couple of elements, so i needed to get those filmed and added into the compositions.

I assure you i am working as fast as i possibly can, but there is no possible way this can be completed before the end of this month, and that is if everything continues without any holdups. But the end is in sight and will be just a few weeks away.

This means there will be no break for me after ESB:R is completed. I will be starting work on ROTJ the day after ESB is released.

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Final Model Shot

On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes back received it’s World premiere……

On this day in 1968, i was born…….

And, on this day, the very final model created for ESB:R is being filmed. Just a few finishing touches to the miniature set, like straightening out the ceiling lights and getting the Falcon into the correct position, and it’s ready to go. The miniature will be mixed in with the original set in post, which is why you can see certain uncompleted sections of the model.

We are so close to the end now. After this, all that is left are the Wampa shots. The mouth mechanism has been sorted, so filming the Wampa is back on. 🙂 Fingers crossed that the completed version will hold up on camera and work in the final version.

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