Header image

The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Discuss all Star Wars films here - the original trilogy, prequel trilogy and the new Disney films.
User avatar
Bonsai_Tree_Ent
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
Posts: 862
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:09 pm

The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Bonsai_Tree_Ent » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:29 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image


The Empire Strikes Back Revisited (2017) – Review by Matt Fox (May The Toys Be With You)

In short: A VERY special edition. The Empire Strikes Back gets a meticulous makeover courtesy of fan editor Adywan.

Review: I have been following the progress of The Empire Strikes Back Revisited for what seems like much of my adult life. Fx guru Adywan (Adrian Sayce) began work on the movie soon after releasing its predecessor, Star Wars Revisited, to fan acclaim way back in 2008. Here we are nearly ten years later and the finished sequel has just been released. It has clearly been a labour, but a labour of love, and after viewing the movie I can say that all those years of tinkering, polishing, correcting and perfecting really have resulted in something very special.

And it was something ‘special’ that set the Revisited project in motion. The Special Edition re-releases of the original trilogy back in 1997. Fan grievances over the Special Editions are well noted (with crowbarred-in incongruous CG and some clunky retconning - most infamously Han’s dispassionate dispatch of Greedo) but The Empire Strikes Back arguably came off the best of the three in terms of avoiding any really contentious changes. There are a few Special Edition ‘changes revoked’ in Revisited (when Luke comes to the aid of R2 on Dagobah his original 1980 dialogue “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good” is restored, as is Boba Fett’s original Clint Eastwood-esque voice) but for the most part ESB Revisited isn’t about restoring - it is about enhancing.

And wow – what a difference these enhancements make. Even if you have seen ESB a dozen times or more I guarantee that watching Revisited will feel like seeing it for the first time. The sensation of experiencing the movie afresh is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Adywan’s version - although on the flipside I’m not sure that I could go back to watching the original after being so thoroughly entranced by Revisited. Before I get too hyperbolic or mislead you as to what this version is – it is still The Empire Strikes Back that we know and love, but it so beautifully presented and polished as to shine.

The blue tint that was bluntly applied across the Special Edition of The Empire Strikes Back is now gone, and the richness of the colours are at times a revelation. The deep gold of C3PO, the obsidian sheen of Vader’s helm, and the warm skin tones of Han and Leia as their romance blossoms all contribute to enhance the already superb cinematography.

Continuity and production errors have also been corrected. The thing about ‘movie mistakes’ is that they’re usually hard to spot but once you have seen them they’re equally hard to un-see. From Adywan’s change log there are a multitude of corrected mistakes, ranging from wobbling sets to cameramen being visible in reflection. However, the really big one is the carbonite block, and the frozen Han is now wearing the same shirt that he appears in when descending into the freeze chamber. Seamlessly done.

Throughout the movie there are small enhanced details. On first viewing I’m sure I have only picked up a fraction of these. For example; the Wampa’s severed arm now has burning strands of fur from the lightsabre strike, the Snowspeeders cockpit displays are alive with new instrumentation, the hangar bays below the Star Destroyers are illuminated, and there is even a new creature glimpsed on Dagobah (the knobby white spider, first visualised by Ralph McQuarrie in his original ESB concept art).

However, the grandstanding sequence in terms of enhancements is the Battle of Hoth. The ferocity, the scale, and the sense of geography are all improved. As a child I recall the giant lumbering AT-AT’s seemed less mechanical and almost bestial to my eyes, and that sensation is now made even more acute by a contingent of AT-ST Walkers. These cluck alongside the elephantine AT-ATs almost like Velociraptors, their cannons and gaze darting here and there, protecting their larger charges. The rebels now truly do feel hopelessly outgunned, and it makes their small victories in the battle seem more significant. In fact, there is a new sight gag when one AT-AT falls that Lucas himself would have been proud of – I won’t spoil it, but it’s the kind of moment that would draw cheers and whoops from a theatre audience. Bravo Adywan!

Apart from letting rip on the Hoth battle, Adywan has implemented the rest of the enhancements with a good degree of subtlety, elegance and restraint. The techniques he has used are varied, and certainly not all reliant on CGI. In fact, like The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Revisited is well served by going back in time and embracing physical model building and costuming. New miniatures for Dagobah and the Rebel Hangar on Echo Base are massively impressive and add to the solidity and tangible feel of the Star Wars universe. I honestly think you could watch The Empire Strikes Back Revisited and Rogue One back to back, and see them as companion pieces rather than films separated by over 3 decades.

And so, how do you watch The Empire Strikes Back Revisited? Is this some murky, illegal dark web endeavour? Not at all, but to comply with 'fair usage' and show respect to the rights holder the requirement for downloading a fan edit is that you must already own the source – in this case The Empire Strikes Back on blu ray disc. If you’re like me you’ve probably bought The Empire Strikes Back multiple times over the years on different formats, but do make sure you don’t buy Revisited – this is a free-to-view fan edit, and anyone trying to sell copies on Ebay or elsewhere is on very shaky ground.

The download is a 7.5GB Mkv file, presented in crisp and clear 720p, and it’s available through torrent sites or through Megadownloader links on the Star Wars Revisted facebook page. I know that some people watch films on their tablets or smart phones, but I would say that it’s well worth finding the biggest and best screen to properly enjoy this spectacular movie on. Now Adywan, please don’t make us wait another 9 years for The Return Of The Jedi…
Last edited by Bonsai_Tree_Ent on Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Spookedhippie
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Spookedhippie » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:16 pm

I'm so excited to watch this! Now for some serious downloading!
Image

User avatar
Clarkspie&chips
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:22 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Clarkspie&chips » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:36 pm

It's finally here! Thanks so much for the great review Matt and to Adywan if he's on here.
I too have followed this for what seems like an eternity had assumed it was never coming out.
Can't wait to get home and download now.

User avatar
Twin30mm
Jedi Trainee
Jedi Trainee
Posts: 256
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Bristol UK

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Twin30mm » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:36 pm

Thanks for the review Matt.
I've avidly followed the progress on OriginalTrilogy.com. A real labour of love.
Downloading at the moment and can't wait to see it.

Intrigued to see how he handles Return of the Jedi Revisited.
Lots of Ewoks on the cutting room floor, hopefully :wink:
"I want more life......f*cker"
WTB List: http://starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26380

User avatar
Spookedhippie
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Spookedhippie » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:32 pm

I can't find the DVD download just the mkv!?
Image

User avatar
Palifan
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 3152
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Palifan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:19 am

This all looks great but like the Star Wars one I have no idea how to download this?! Is there no way that there can just be one link that you just click and download and then it will play? As I'm someone with pretty much zero understanding of this sort of thing is there an idiots guide to this or better still a magic link that just does it all for you (I'm sure these used to be called DVD's :lol: ).

Joking aside I remember having this exact problem last time with SW Revisited and ended up having to get someone to send me a memory stick with it on. Any help would be appreciated as I've been looking forward to seeing this but had this horrible feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to have the same problems as last time viewing it.

Ian

User avatar
Spookedhippie
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Spookedhippie » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:23 am

I'm on the long process of downloading what is there, once I've done that, which should be in the next few days, I'll see if I can manage to figure out how to out it in to DVD...if I get that far I'll let you know and do you a copy! If not I may need help too!
Image

User avatar
Bonsai_Tree_Ent
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
Posts: 862
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Bonsai_Tree_Ent » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:08 am

Palifan wrote:This all looks great but like the Star Wars one I have no idea how to download this?! Is there no way that there can just be one link that you just click and download and then it will play? As I'm someone with pretty much zero understanding of this sort of thing is there an idiots guide to this or better still a magic link that just does it all for you (I'm sure these used to be called DVD's :lol: ).

Joking aside I remember having this exact problem last time with SW Revisited and ended up having to get someone to send me a memory stick with it on. Any help would be appreciated as I've been looking forward to seeing this but had this horrible feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to have the same problems as last time viewing it.

Ian


Here you go Ian, the instructions and download links are the top post on the Star Wars Revisted facebook page, and it's a public page so you don't even need a facebook account to look at it.

https://www.facebook.com/swrevisited/

Regarding the DVD file, I don't believe this format has been released yet. The format is mkv but it's actually higher quality than a DVD at 720p. So you download the file to your PC, and then either watch it on PC or better still copy it on to a USB stick and watch it on your TV (as long as your TV isn't too ancient it should have a USB slot that will read media off a stick).

User avatar
Spookedhippie
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Spookedhippie » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:38 am

Ah memory stick would be far easier....just need to find one that has that much memory! Thanks bonsai....I was looking as it said the DVD was released!
Image

User avatar
Palifan
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 3152
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Palifan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:39 pm

Bonsai_Tree_Ent wrote:
Palifan wrote:This all looks great but like the Star Wars one I have no idea how to download this?! Is there no way that there can just be one link that you just click and download and then it will play? As I'm someone with pretty much zero understanding of this sort of thing is there an idiots guide to this or better still a magic link that just does it all for you (I'm sure these used to be called DVD's :lol: ).

Joking aside I remember having this exact problem last time with SW Revisited and ended up having to get someone to send me a memory stick with it on. Any help would be appreciated as I've been looking forward to seeing this but had this horrible feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to have the same problems as last time viewing it.

Ian


Here you go Ian, the instructions and download links are the top post on the Star Wars Revisted facebook page, and it's a public page so you don't even need a facebook account to look at it.

https://www.facebook.com/swrevisited/

Regarding the DVD file, I don't believe this format has been released yet. The format is mkv but it's actually higher quality than a DVD at 720p. So you download the file to your PC, and then either watch it on PC or better still copy it on to a USB stick and watch it on your TV (as long as your TV isn't too ancient it should have a USB slot that will read media off a stick).



Thanks for that!

I'll take a close look at your link and see if I can figure it out, at the least IT at work should be able to help me with it and it'll all give them a good laugh :D

Can't wait to see it though after your review, it really does sound amazing.

Ian

User avatar
Palifan
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 3152
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Palifan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:41 pm

Spookedhippie wrote:I'm on the long process of downloading what is there, once I've done that, which should be in the next few days, I'll see if I can manage to figure out how to out it in to DVD...if I get that far I'll let you know and do you a copy! If not I may need help too!



Thanks for the offer man, really appreciate it although it sounds like we'll all have to wait a little longer to get a copy on disc. Hopefully it will work fine for you DLing it and I'll be able to get my head around it, we'll get there in the end! :D

Ian

User avatar
Spookedhippie
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Spookedhippie » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:13 pm

If not I'll send it to you on memory stick,..fear not!
Image

User avatar
chipsteak
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
Posts: 745
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:27 am

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby chipsteak » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:39 pm

It's very impressive.

Adywan's obsession with physical placement makes the action feel somehow closer. Seeing the harpooned ATAT, to name one example, from Wedge's window gives added physicality to the scene. Similarly, Adywan doesn't seem to like inserted shots such as R2's sensorscope peeping out the water without giving it some welcome surrounding context. I love these details.

I found some of the added vehicles a bit unnecessary but they don't get in the way. For my taste 'Star Wars Revisited' was a bit gratuitous but this, despite Adywan actually doing much more, is so much fun.

It's a beautiful alternative version of The Empire Strikes Back.

User avatar
Palifan
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 3152
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Palifan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:57 pm

Spookedhippie wrote:If not I'll send it to you on memory stick,..fear not!



Thank you sir!

I'll DL all the parts and then try to figure out how to open them......I may well be back in touch :lol:

Ian

User avatar
Seahawks
Regular
Regular
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: The Empire Strikes Back Revisited - Review

Postby Seahawks » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:00 am

Palifan wrote:
Spookedhippie wrote:If not I'll send it to you on memory stick,..fear not!



Thank you sir!

I'll DL all the parts and then try to figure out how to open them......I may well be back in touch :lol:

Ian


Definitely use Winrar to extract it once you have all the files downloaded. I got an error the first time I tried to extract, but worked fine the 2nd time.

I finished watching it last night and I was very impressed. I enjoyed it much better than the ANH version. The additional stuff added during the Hoth battle is excellent.


Return to “Star Wars Films”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests