From the breathtaking finesse of the Theed Hanger Duel in The Phantom Menace to the epic theatrics of Anakin vs Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith, there’s no doubt that the Prequel Trilogy introduced a greater level of visual spectacle to the Star Wars saga.
If you remove the rose-tinted glasses, at 42 years old A New Hope is starting to show its age – and nowhere is this more obvious than in the rematch between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.
Slow and stilted, for years we convinced ourselves that this was due to it being a duel between an out-of-practice old man and an amputee cyborg. Yet from Yoda vs Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones to Vader’s onslaught in Rogue One, it’s increasingly hard to countenance that Kenobi’s final fight was restricted by anything other than available film production techniques.
This is where VFX artist Christopher Clements, better known by his YouTube handle FXitinPost, has come to the rescue…
With Scene 38 Clements re-imagines how Vader and Kenobi’s climactic battle aboard the first Death Star would have played out in a style closer to the rest of the series.
It’s a kinetic, explosive fight that treats both characters with respect. Rather than biding time before electing to die, Kenobi is outmatched and worn down by a Darth Vader far more in keeping with the relentless killing machine we saw in Rogue One.
Scene 38 features some beautiful imagery that brings a new dimension to A New Hope, and by my second viewing I found the transitions between the original film and the re-imagining to be almost seamless. The addition of Anakin’s Dark Deeds from the Revenge of the Sith soundtrack was a perfect choice for both tone and thematic weight.
It’s not just gravitas and furious pacing that Clements brings to the table – he also fixes the shot where Vader strikes clean through Kenobi’s lightsaber when delivering the killing blow. It’s always nice to see a personal bugbear resolved…
Even if you think A New Hope is untouchable (and many do, you wouldn’t be alone), Scene 38 is a fun exploration of Star Wars as it was in the visual language that we know now.
Clements’ video is a fantastic piece of solo filmmaking and VFX work for which he deserves every credit. Check his site out here and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel for any future updates.