Could the original, unaltered STAR WARS be on its way to Blu-ray?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 21, 2013.

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  1. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    There are beautiful Techinicolor prints of ANH in private hands. One was screened in Boston a couple years back, and people took tons of screenshots.
     
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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  3. Popcorn1

    Popcorn1 Extra

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    There was a pause of about 40 seconds when it switched sides. And it was quite noisy. When the switch started, the last frame would pause on screen, and there was a message displayed in a top corner if I remember correctly.

    I always found the switch VERY distracting. And if the film was more than 120 minutes, you needed at least 2 switches (one hour max per side).
     
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  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I think you will find that most of the posters on HTF do not have a problem with "director's cuts" in general; but almost all will usually say that the original thearical versions should be released as well. There were many complaints over the Amadeus director's cut, and ET with walkie-talkies replacing the guns. The problem with the Star Wars debacle is not that Lucas fiddled with the films endlessly, but that he suppressed the originals.

    And if you are getting tired of endless Star Wars arguments, using hyperbolic phrases like "Lucas destroyed my childhood" doesn't help. I don't know if I have ever seen a Lucas basher use that phrase (though I could be wrong). What he has done is alter the film's history. Some of these films won Oscars for special effects and art direction, etc. A viewer will now be watching versions that do not reflect the award-winning work that was originally done. It's not even a case of which version one like better. One is not a bad person if one prefers the current versions and/or likes the prequels. I just don't think he should have revised film history by replacing the originals with the current versions.

    Lucas didn't destroy my childhood. He did annoy me by not releasing some significant films in their original versions. I do not lose any sleep over it. If I want to watch Star Wars, I watch the crappy non-anamorphic versions on DVD, blown up to fit my screen in all their jagged aliasing glory. I will not buy the current versions. If someone ever releases the OOT, I will enthusiastically buy it. At the end of the day, I simply regard Lucas as a once talented but neurotic guy who made some mistakes regarding the proper preservation of some classic films.
     
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  5. chrisagon

    chrisagon Extra

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    Funny you say that -- I gave my Star Wars VHS tapes some years back to my son, who still has them. He told me that they are pretty worn out due to watching them so many times over his 36 years. He has the blu-rays now (only IV,V,VI) but I know he would jump on getting BD's of the original versions.
     
  6. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Reminds me of the story about MoMA's original curator, Iris Barry, fighting to keep D.W. Griffith from running up to the projection booth with a pair of scissors, still wanting to tinker with their archival print of The Birth of a Nation sometime in the mid-1940s.
     
  7. Brian Dobbs

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    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Ahem...Wait, I mean...

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!1

    Please please please let this happen. I purposefully did not buy Star Wars on Blu-ray in hopes of one day having the original unaltered trilogy available.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I figured it was unlikely to be seamless (especially when you consider that there was a few seconds of black at the end of each side) so thanks for the info.
     
  9. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    This is how the OT looks on the DVD (direct rip)

    [​IMG]

    This is how an old print of Star Wars looks on a recent 35mm unauthorised screening. (snapped off the screen)

    :)
     
  10. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Well. yes. private collections we can hope for, as opposed to Lucas's own collections...

    (Rather like when BBC was restoring those Doctor Who: Classic episodes, whose videotapes the network had wiped back in the 60's--
    They found the only hope for restoring the audio was in some of the private collections of all those cassette tapes fans had taped off the TV set airing when they were ten...Basically the one geek dream come true, that your private collection really WOULD be the one last Noah's Ark for preserving the show if it disappeared someday, :P )
     
  11. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    In my first post in this thread, I noted that I had no objection to the original trilogy being released in its unaltered form, and I also said that that the originals should definitely be preserved for history.

    But at the same time, let's remember that Lucas hasn't "suppressed the originals", because they're still available - just not in high definition. And he definitely has the right to keep the situation status quo. As a filmmaker, he obviously wasn't satisfied with his work the way it stood, so he altered it. Rightly or wrongly, that is his choice. What many fans are saying is that - against the creator's wishes - his earlier work must be released in high definition. That to me smacks of serious entitlement issues.
     
  12. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I'm not demanding anything; I'm not saying I deserve anything, or that I am owed anything. I'm just saying it would be nice if three of the most successful and influential works in American cinematic history could be released for home viewing in a decent-looking HD presentation.

    I know everyone has their dream Blu-ray set, but all I'd really want would be the original three movies looking as good as they could (new 4k scans could look astonishing, though). Add to that the associated audio tracks: 5.1 tracks based on the 70mm mixes, along with the original theatrical 2-channel mixes and '93 remixes (plus the original mono and the '85 remix for the first film). Then seamlessly branch the two opening crawls for SW, and then (if they really wanted to get creative) seamlessly branch the 70mm and 35mm cuts for Empire.

    This would require some doing, but then we would have every (I think) pre-SE version of the three films in one tidy package.

    I continue to hold out hope that this will happen someday. I refuse to buy the 2011 Blu-ray set, but I would grab a set like the one I described above without hesitation.
     
  13. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    He didn't have to wait twenty years to fix the Greedo scene if he was that unhappy with it. He had a perfect opportunity to reshoot it in 1978. Then again, he probably didn't want to be seen on the set of the infamous Holiday Special. ;)

    Preventing the original Star Wars from being screened in a theater as an example of 1970's filmmaking, (as happened with an AFI retrospective last decade) a context in which the SE being shown would be pointless, smacks of rewriting history. There are already people running around who think that Jabba scene was in the movie back in 1977.

    Even though I don't much care for the SE's, I do think all the history of these films needs to be preserved though. The 1997 versions need a little love. Crappy early CGI Jabba, Luke's scream, and all.
     
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  14. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    That's a good attitude to take, and I hope for the sake of people like yourself that the original unaltered trilogy becomes available in restored HD. Unfortunately, I think if you read the general feedback that's being posted on other forums, your attitude is in the minority. Many others are demanding the OT in unaltered form, and insisting that it is their right as fans. This is where that whole "Lucas raped my childhood" meme came about - it didn't just appear out of nowhere. Spend ten minutes with a rabid Star Wars fan and you'll see just how unreasonable they can be in this regard.

    As for why Lucas waited so long to make changes, the simple answer is that over time, the original trilogy has become his crowning achievement, and probably the main thing, if not the only thing, he will be remembered for. The Star Wars series has been so closely scrutinized and dissected over the years, that if you took a moment to step into Lucas' shoes, you'd see that only the steeliest of filmmakers would not be unnerved by all that attention. So naturally, he wants the films to look exactly the way he wants them to, and it's only been with the more recent advent of CGI that he's been able to achieve that vision. It may not be to everyone's tastes, and I certainly don't like some of the CGI changes myself, but the only logical assumption is that these are the results of Lucas' concern about his legacy.
     
  15. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    What concerns? He destroyed his legacy. On the contrary, I think Lucas did never accept that he became known as a "pop corn" filmmaker, where is true interest lies in arthouse films. So all this thinkering would be him trying to piss off the fans, at the same time gouging them out of more money that he can uses for better purposes. I think the prequels were a gigantic finger to them too, and great money-making exercice at the same time.

    At heart, Lucas is an indie moviemaker. Star Wars was a burden on his shoulders, that's why he also sold the whole lot.
     
  16. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    I'm sure those "original versions" are coming (remastered, etc) at some point. New trilogy (or whatever) is coming, new films and old films in 3D, new revival... Perfect opportunity.
     
  17. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    The best example of collecting multiple versions of a film is, IMO, the Close Encounters blu-ray, which contains three versions of the movie on one disc. Exactly what should be done with the trilogy -- the original theatrical versions, the '97 editions and the 2004/2011 editions. I realize there are other minor details that might be lost (Star Wars 1979 re-release with "Episode IV" in the titles, the changes between the '04 and '11 versions) but I think that's a reasonable approach to present an historical document of the evolution of these movies.

    BTW, since this thread is based on assumptions (correct ones IMO) that come from Disney's ownership of Lucasfilm, can we also assume that we've seen the last bit of tinkering with the films? Does anyone expect to see further changes to the original trilogy?

    And while I think of it, let me add that any future ultimate box set of the films should include all the deleted scenes, including those that were exclusive to the prequel films' DVD release. Some good stuff there that never migrated to blu-ray. Also, Empire of Dreams needs a blu-ray release, as does The Making of a Saga, SPFX: ESB, and the Jedi making-of special.
     
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  18. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The saga's face as been so lifted now, it will be impossible to issue a box with all the different versions like Blade Runner: they WILL make mistakes and the fandom will be mercyless. There's been too much mixes and cosmetic changes for a simple production team to achieve this, unless they ask for fans involvement and submit to them the versions. It's like the ball have been dropped, and the parts are scattered all over the floor. The saga has been defaced, and unless they gather a top team, they won't be able to make it back.

    The easiest way would be the original releases, and forget the rest.
     
  19. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    It would certainly take some doing, but I think seamlessly branching the '97/'04/'11 versions together would be within the realm of possibility. Many of the changes are also audio, so that would simply be a matter of attaching the right track to the right version.

    I personally don't need that, as I just want the originals, but I'd be happy for it to happen, so everyone would have the version that they remember.
     
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  20. Mark VH

    Mark VH Stunt Coordinator

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    For the record, if everyone arguing that issuing the original trilogy on Blu-ray is important to "preserving cinematic history" actually cared that much about preserving cinematic history, they would find other ways to do so (there are plenty of them). Just saying.

    That said, I held off on the first Blu-ray release, and would buy the unaltered versions in a second.
     

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