Out of all the Star Wars films, Return of the Jedi remains my favourite, closely followed by The Phantom Menace. Return of the Jedi has been my favourite probably since the first time I watched it, and continues to be such an enjoyable watch many years later. There is one scene though that has been changed a little since the film’s release on Blu-ray. Thankfully not the awesome scene where Darth Vader arrives on the (Spoiler Alert!) second Death Star, that is unchanged (and still brilliant!).
At the end of the film, there is the great moment which still pulls at my emotional strings to this very day: it’s the moment where Darth Vader saves his son (Spoiler Alert!), Luke Skywalker from being killed from the hands of the Emperor. Now, originally this scene just involved Darth Vader looking on as the Emperor zaps Luke, only then for his paternal instincts to kick in and save Luke from being killed. It’s still the same today except for a couple of extra lines of dialogue.
The dialogue added, was never needed, as while Vader’s mask is void of making any facial expressions, the use of angles, light, music and everything else made it actively look like Vader was sad, and in some extent show a possible tear forming in his eye. Well; as of the Blu-ray release, Vader now shouts “NOOO!” twice before picking up and disposing of the Emperor just like before. When I originally heard they did this to the film, I was a bit miffed, as the scene really doesn’t require the dialogue. It actually put me off watching the film for a while as I felt (without watching it) that it spoilt the scene. Well, I have since watched it and saw the moment as that’s the version they show on TV now, and well; it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be more like the screaming yell Vader shouts near the end of Revenge of the Sith when he finds out Padme died.
Instead of that, we get something a bit more reserved and defiant. It’s actually a bit more toned down than that and to some degree feels like the right way to shout ‘NO!’ given the situation. It doesn’t take away anything from the scene as that only takes about a second and then the rest of it is pure Jedi! I still enjoy this film as much as I have, and now feel like nothing has really been taken away from the film by adding this dialogue. You still see the build up and welling up of Vader in the scene, they just added a bit of extra dialogue, and that’s all it feels like. Plus it doesn’t take away any of the enjoyment I have still received. So I can now just watch this film as much as I have in the past.
But just in case, I’ll hang on to my DVD copy of Jedi (released before this bit of editing trickery).