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Star Wars Saga DVDs

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by SVTStingRay, Aug 31, 2008.

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  1. SVTStingRay

    SVTStingRay Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to say welcome. any news on the uber-star wars saga box set thats always been rumored to be released or possibly on bluray?
    whats your opinion on why it hasnt come out, lucas has always been a fan of high tech yet hes dragged his feet in regards of dvd technology and now with bluray as well. thanks
     
  2. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Thanks for the welcome, Daniel...

    I can only say that I personally have no news regarding any SW uberset... although I'm sure they have it in their master plan at some later date.

    I think that for Lucasfilm it has less to do with the "let's push technology" side of them than the business side. Home video and ancillary markets like toys are what the bulk of the LFL empire is built upon (Lord knows we've all contributed to that!). Like Spielberg, Lucas is a savvy-enough businessman when it comes to his bread-and-butter income areas to wait until the kinks of the format are worked out by someone else and the market penetration is high enough to guarantee an immediate high profit. Only then will they release the crown jewels in the format, to maximize the return... so THEN he can put some of that money back into being on the cutting edge of technology.

    So I guess the lesson there is that if we want the SW films out on BD sooner, we need to get the general public to fully embrace BD like they did DVD!

    It's very shrewd from a business standpoint on LFL's part; I will leave it to others to decide if it seems too coldly calculating. As you may know, ILM let go of their entire physical miniatures shop in order to focus on digital effects only... some of those modelmakers had been making ILM what it was for 30-plus years. People said the same thing about Eisner: you might not like the often-brutal business practices he brought to Disney (like dumping a lot of Walt's loyal cel animators) and think he's sold out the brand, but there's no arguing that he raised the profits of that company.

    Fortunately for the ILM modelmakers, one of their own bought out the shop and have made it a separate company that ILM now can bring work to when they need physical models (which thank goodness is still quite a lot), without LFL itself having to carry the overhead. They did the same thing with THX as a division.

    As for my part, there is no guarantee that I will be working on any future SW projects. I'd certainly be honored and am interested as a fan, but that's up to LFL. One of the other casualties of the modern business climate --regardless of what business you're in-- is employer loyalty. If they do not value the level of work and think it can be done cheaper elsewhere, it goes elsewhere. To be fair, there are also other creative directions to go for which they may want to try different (and potentially cheaper) service vendors, or they might simply want their contractors to know that everyone is expendable when it comes to making a higher profit (i.e. Master Replicas). From a shrewd business standpoint, you have to respect it, but from a loyalty and quality standpoint... well, it's kind of like shooting Old Yeller, but without the emotional angst over it. ;-)

    V
     
  3. Oliver_A

    Oliver_A Well-Known Member

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    Dear Mr. Ling,

    I am sorry in advance if I my questions are in any way inappropriate here, since you may either be the wrong person to ask, or just unable to answer these questions for legal or other reasons, but there are some issues which many Star Wars fans are pondering about, and it might be worth to ask them here.

    Every release of the classic Star Wars trilogy is always accompanied by one neverending issue to most fans: what about the unaltered originals? The 2004 set did not have them, but the 2006 release first shocked the fanbase with the announcement they would include the original releases and then again with the announcement the masters would just be the non-anamorphic 1993 laserdisc masters, which, apart from being non-anamorphic, have lots of problems due to heavy noise filters applied to them.

    We all appreciate your work on the Star Wars DVD's, and we know those kind of decisions are made by Lucasfilm. You are clearly the wrong person to direct any kinds of complaints to, since I strongly assume you would, like most fans, love to have the unaltered trilogy in good quality, too.

    The question however, which might be interesting to ask you is, do you have any theory what changed their mind to include the original releases on the 2006 DVD set? Was it due to fan protests? To dry out the bootleg market for the original releases? Or any other kind of "pressure" from "outside" ?

    The key question, to what this post is leading to, is: what can we fans do to signal Lucasfilm there is a market for the unaltered trilogy to appear on high definition formats? Was the 2006 release a direct result of fan requests, or the fan preservation efforts?

    Anyway, again, I am sorry if this question is inappropriate here, and everyone should understand if you can not answer it. If it causes any inconvenience here, then please delete it, because you are doing a great job here interacting with the users, and I most certainly don't want to make this an unpleasant experience for you.

    Keep up the great work!
     
  4. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Oliver: I certainly cannot speak for Lucasfilm, but it is my belief that they will never release the unaltered original trilogy in any new transfer, let alone in high-def. Lucas pretty much has called those versions "works-in-progress" and considers the Special Editions to be the legitimate final versions of the films. Apart from the fact that the amount of work it would take to do new transfers from old dupe negs is probably not worth it to Lucasfilm, doing so would also cast some doubt as to the legitimacy of the Special Editions.

    As for the 2006 original versions on DVD, I believe that it was purely a business decision to sell more DVDs. They basically took the three feature discs from the 4-disc Trilogy set (which I worked on) and slapped an existing transfer of the original versions on separate new bonus discs (which I did not work on), and sold each film separately so that you had to buy literally the same feature discs you already had from the Trilogy set AGAIN just to get the original versions. The fact that those versions were just from the existing laserdisc transfer masters meant that it cost them virtually nothing to put them on DVD, and they can simply say that they gave the fans what they wanted --the "original versions"-- even though some true fans wouldn't buy what they might have considered to be a half-assed bit of lip service that was less of an accommodation of the fans than kind of a "screw-you, let's see if you'll buy anything from us" business opportunity. The fact that these 2006 discs did not sell too well (so I've heard) was likely considered by Lucasfilm to be "proof" that the market for the original versions is too niche to be respected, and that in reality only a small group of rabid fans really want it. So as far as the Lucasfilm business folks are concerned, they gave the fans what they wanted and not many of them bought it, so now it's REALLY a dead issue.

    Note that this is all speculation, and that this is just the cynical side of me rendering an analysis/opinion on the subject. I will note, however, that I don't have another side on this issue. ;-)

    V
     
  5. Oliver_A

    Oliver_A Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing with us your POV on this issue. I guess it's better to be cynical, hoping for nothing and then suddenly be positively surprised when things turn out differently. As long as there are active fans out there, being really concerned about the state of the original films, not all hope will be lost.
     
  6. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Oliver - as a big fan of the originals myself, I actually try to take this following analogy in perspective: it's like seeing a girl you dated in high school now having gone through a lot of plastic surgery (perhaps excessively so)... she's still around, and you can sort of visit with her if you want, and you can respect her choices and her vanity for doing what she did to herself and acknowledge that she no longer looks like the same person you knew back in the day... but you'll always have the memories of prom night to hold onto and remember, and you still have the grainy prom photos you can look at. So you move on, share the photo with your kids if you want, and let it be.

    Understand that fully half the moviegoing experience is what YOU as a viewer bring to it, and no one can take that away from you. And while we all want to relive the seminal moments in our lives (the original "Star Wars" certainly changed mine), I think we can cherish the memories without demanding that someone else try to resurrect it for us... especially if they are reluctant to do so. To use another analogy, perhaps we should stop trying to resurrect our loved ones after they've gone by desperately digging them up and burying them in that old Indian burial ground... remember, "sometimes dead is better".

    I mean this in all respect to die-hard fans who hold that torch... carry your old memories close to your heart, but instead of just trying to relive them, let them inspire you to focus on making NEW memories... that's what I tried to do by becoming a professional in the film industry, and maybe pay it back by helping to inspire others through my work as those before me inspired me. That's MY homage and tribute to these wonderful films.

    V
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to say that's a great, insightful (and edifying) reply, Van. [​IMG]

    Now... where is my OAR Blu-ray of The Last Emperor?? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Van, that's the best post on the subject that I've ever read. And I'm a big Star Wars fan so I've seen lots of posts about the OOT.

    On a Star Wars-related note, the menus for the SW DVDs were amazing. I worked at a video store when The Phantom Menace DVD came out so I got a copy about a week and a half before the street date. Me and a buddy (who is a SW maniac) were excited about getting a copy early and about finally seeing SW on DVD and the menus just added to the fun viewing experience for us.
     
  9. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Well-Known Member

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    Van, although I agree with your post in part (the nostalgia bit) it's a bit different for me.
    I'm younger than the most Star Wars fans. The versions I watched for the first time were the Special Editions. I only got to see the original ones a couple of years later, on bootlegs. They were better, I thought. Everything looked right to me.
    For me, it's not so much a nostalgic feeling, but just the feeling of preservation. The monumental Star Wars film from 1977 should also be available. I know George Lucas regards them as incomplete, and of course (as the creator) he has the right to change them if he wants. But Star Wars was such an iconic film (the story, the special effects, and almost every aspect of it) that it deserves to be well preserved.
     
  10. Oliver_A

    Oliver_A Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. I am in no way an obsessed Star Wars worshipper, and I would never consider to judge my well-being or life just on the current state of those films, because, as you said, when everything fails, I still have my personal memories and experiences connected to them. I also agree with you that creating is much more valuable than just consuming.

    Again, thanks for your elaborate participation. You mentioned in another thread you did a presentation on the trend of remodernizing classic films. It is indeed a very hard answer to determine where exactly the line could/should be drawn, especially to determine: what is restoration and what is revisionism? Are films art, or merely just a product, wrapped in plastic, in constant need to be re-evaluated and adapted to the current market?

    But again, I don't want to make this a big issue here. Because the worst aspect of this would be people (especially fans) fighting and arguing over things which they simply have no impact on. Life is too short and wonderful, and I am looking forward to your next projects. [​IMG]
     
  11. Kevin Lamb

    Kevin Lamb Well-Known Member

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    Here's a question Van just answered via PM regarding the lightsaber colors on the OT DVD's:

     
  12. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Concerning the "Special Editions", it has always seemed to me that Lucas made a huge mistake at the end of "Return of the Jedi." Remember the shot where Luke sees the spirit form of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Annakin? In the original, Annakin is the actor who actually played him in "Return." In the Special Edition, it's Hayden Christenson who played Annakin in the second (first?) trilogy. Luke gives satisfied look before turning back to celebration.

    Problem: LUKE HAS NEVER LAID EYES ON THE CHRISTENSON ANNAKIN! That's not the Annakin he knows. It's not the one he's seen. Without some morphing from one to the other, or a new scene to let Luke know what Annakin looked like pre-Darth Vader, that whole sequence makes no sense. What's more, Obi-Wan and Yoda are how they looked when they physically died, yet Annakin is who knows how many years younger.

    In other words, they should take Hayden out of the Special Edition, or give Luke some reason to know who he is.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    In the original version of Return Of The Jedi, Anakin died bald but had hair as a ghost. It makes more sense to me that his ghost appear as he appeared at some point in his life rather than in the original version when his ghost has an appearance that he never had in his life.

    As for Luke recognizing him, I've always thought he knew who it was through The Force. Just like Leia 'heard' Luke as they flew away from Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
     
  14. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    My understanding is that Lucas' explanation for this is that since good Jedi Anakin "died" when he became Darth Vader, his return to the good side of the Force is in the form of young Anakin at the last point he was an actual Jedi... so he would look like Anakin from mid-Episode 3. Of course, if one considers that he died as a good Jedi again at the end of ROTJ since he saved Luke from the Emperor, then he should be shown in his old bald state... his older, non-bald appearance in the original version of ROTJ is somewhat confirmation that Lucas did not have all of Vader's backstory worked out yet when he did the scene in 1982-83, and only decided sometime in the late 1980s or 1990s that Anakin turned to the Dark Side when he was young. It's all a bit of a retcon anyway, but there you go.

    Of course either way, George can't win... if he had left ROTJ alone and kept Sebastian Shaw as Anakin, I'm sure that there would be fans asking "why doesn't he look like an older version of Hayden?" ;-)

    V
     
  15. JediFonger

    JediFonger Well-Known Member

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    i'm part of the generation that grew up on OT first (nonSE). i personally never liked the OT without the cleanup. in fact i wasn't even a fan of SW.

    when SE was re-released in 97, that's when i became a huge SW fan. those of us in HT really know it when i say that watching SW in the cinema in 5.1 and hugeass screen=pure heaven. it was such a monumental experience. the PQ was awesome, the audio was out of this world astounding.

    thus, i always preferred SE, even the extended scenes of the prequels and the further modifications on DVD of all 6 movies.

    let's just hope that the initial BD 6 movie pak is moderately priced. most SW fans are broke from all the LFL merchancising [​IMG]
     
  16. radonja

    radonja New Member

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    Welcome mr.Van Ling!only i want to say is that you are brilliant brain and your creative ideas is incredible!!Thank you very much for that fantastic films!!
    Big fan... [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Well-Known Member

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    There has been a Lucasfilm release every August every year for many years.
    There looks to be nothing out this year tho
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    RUMOR has it that the first three Indiana Jones movies may come to Blu-ray this year. Plus, the first season of The Clone Wars is definitely coming.
     
  19. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about indy, bit late to get them out for August tho
     
  20. Oliver_A

    Oliver_A Well-Known Member

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    My opinion? I would totally be willing to pay a collector's price for a Blu Ray edition which is done RIGHT. RIGHT means the following:

    - The original theatrical versions (and the Special Editions as a bonus via branching).
    - All the different sound mixes, because each of them have their own distinctive characteristics (different dialogue takes and sound effects).
    - All previous extras from the DVD and Laserdisc editions.
    - The deleted and alternative scenes, preferrably in HD.

    For this edition, I would be more than glad to pay the additional price. If something is done right and with care, it should be rewarded.

    *hinting at Blade Runner 5 disc set*
     

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