The Empire Strikes Back Receives Glorious Fan Upgrade

The Empire Strikes Back Receives Glorious Fan Upgrade

A dedicated Star Wars fan reworks his own special edition of The Empire Strikes Back

In 2004, a dedicated Star Wars fan, going by the name of Adywan, decided to tinker and change with the DVD release of the Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition. In his own words,

“I have to admit that I have always liked the special editions of the original trilogy, with a few minor niggles of course, so I was so excited when the 2004 DVD release was announced.

I waited in line at midnight, got my box set, raced home to watch them, switched on my cinema system (luckily the neighbours were away), loaded the DVD and prepared to be blown away. Then the film started and my face dropped. What the hell had they done to the surround mix? OMG Luke’s saber is green & Darth’s is pink!

I thought these editions would be better than my old VHS ones. Yes, the picture quality is far superior but the many new faults just plain ruined them for me.

So I decided that the original trilogy DVD’s needed fixing but just never got round to doing it until I was amazed by the ADigitalMan/Darth Editous Hybrid DVD. I loved it so much I wanted to make my own”.

After four years of hard work, Adywan released Star Wars: Revisited. This was the Special Edition of the film with hundreds of little tweaks and fixes that many fans including myself think greatly improves the film.

You can visit the FanEdit website to see all the changes listed, but here’s just a taster of the work that he has performed on just the first few opening shots!

  • Star Wars Logo: originally it receded way too quickly so this has been slowed down to match the speed in the rest of the saga.
  • The crawl appears slightly earlier now, as it did pre ANH, so it appears at the correct music cue that Williams’ intended, and how I remember it.
  • As the camera pans down to Tatooine you now see the 3 moons instead of just 2
  • Tatooine now rotates slightly as the ships fly overhead
  • Re-coloured all lasers
  • Removed the horrible blue hazing as the star destroyers engine come into view
  • Changed the explosion as the Tantive IV is hit to remove a lot of the smoke.
  • Added a jerk to the motion of the Tantive IV as it is hit
  • Speeded up the star field in that shot so the Tantive IV seems to be moving as fast as it did in previous shots.
  • Colour correction of the whole film to remove the blue tint. The Tantive IV’s walls are now white.
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Empire Strikes Back

Adywan built a new Wampa costume for his fan-edit. Now that’s dedication!

Adywan didn’t stop there! Since the release of Star Wars: Revisited nine years ago, he has been hard at work making changes and additions to The Empire Strikes Back.

I followed his blogs and Facebook page to see how the work was progressing over the years. Adywan is truly dedicated. This time around there was a lot more work than just using a home computer and some 3D modeling software.

Adywan built new miniatures of the asteroid canyon, Hoth rebel base and even the air brakes of a snowspeeder so he could insert new shots and details into the existing film. I just can’t emphasize enough how much love and attention to detail this man has put into this fan edit.

Empire Strikes Back

Adywan filming the Snowspeeders air brake miniature to add extra detail to the film.

Luckily, Twitter user @ToasterMemes has created a couple of comparison videos so you can see the alterations for yourself.

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These two videos focus on the Battle of Hoth sequence which has received the biggest changes of the film. This battle now feels like a much grander event with more hardware being used by the Empire to attack the Rebel secret base.



Adywan has no plans to stop either. He’s currently taking a short break before he starts work on Return of the Jedi. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another nine years for the next fan edit that will complete Adywan’s version of the original trilogy.

Empire Strikes Back

Adywan bought, fixed and altered a 1:1 sculpt of Han Solo in carbonite to fix a costume continuity problem!

If you want to find out more about these fan edits, you can either visit The Internet Fanedit Database or visit the Star Wars: Revisited – The Saga on Facebook.

John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.