It’s no secret that The Empire Strikes Back is my (and many other fans’) favorite Star Wars movie and one of my favorite films of all time. Now, a truly talented and hardcore fan, Adywan, with an eagle eye for technical details and serious editing skills has taken it upon himself to improve the high-definition version of the film with many changes in his
soon eventually to be released fanedit known as The Empire Strikes Back: Revisited. The changes range from (on the minimal side) color correction to (on the extreme side) hand painted mattes, homemade models and digital effects. The fanedits he makes are essentially his take on what the Special Editions should have been; technical improvements with no story changing elements or silly gags thrown in.
Below is one of his comparison videos. Continue reading for another. Notice the new models for the AT-AT Imperial walkers through the binoculars (along with the revised look of the binocular view). The color correction is spot on and there are more speeders and walkers visible. He even added orange stripes to a full size speeder that were missing from the original shot as they take off from the hanger.
The list of the changes that he’s made is very comprehensive. One of the little details he’s changed that I love and fans of the X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter computer games will dig is a change to the color of the the Hoth Rebel Base ion cannon blast from red to blue (as it should be). He has also re-rotoscoped the lightsaber scenes to correct color and other minor oddities. On the extremely technical side of the changes, you’ll see things like footprints in the snow (from the crew) removed from a shot where the probe droid lands and removal of a boom mic’s reflection from Luke’s goggles in another scene. Like I said, this guy is a hardcore fan with an amazing eye for detail.
A few other interesting changes include adding detail to some of the display screens throughout the movie, fixing some shots for continuity reasons, reshooting the Hoth shield generator with a new model and a better explosion, among many others. None of these changes actually affect the story or detract from the film (like some of Lucas’ controversial changes to the Special Edition versions or the Blu-Ray releases) but rather, they enhance the film (like some of Lucas’ well done changes to the Special Editions).
He has done all of this work himself and funded it with his own money and money donated by fans. If you are interested in supporting his efforts, you can donate to him at this site through the PayPal button on the right hand side. Also, important to note, this is a fanedit and he will not be selling it or making any sort of profit in any way. All of the money donated will be used to fund the equipment used (hard drives, models, materials, etc.). Also, this will be available for download, but only to those who already own the source material, which is the Blu-Ray version of The Empire Strikes Back.
Here is another example of some of the changes he’s made as compared to the Blu-Ray release. Notice how the color corrected snow appears more white than blue, the ion cannon blast is blue instead of red and the first group of ships jump to lightspeed after they get past the blockade of Star Destroyers. Also, a bit of trivia; John Ratzenberger (A.K.A. Cliff Clavin of Cheers fame) is in this clip. He’s the Rebel in the beige suit with green goggles who says, “OK, everybody to your stations! Let’s Go!”
For fans that have always wanted high-definition versions of the Star Wars movies, but didn’t like some of the Special Edition or Blu-ray changes; these are the movies for you!