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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. Arthur Powell

    Arthur Powell Second Unit

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    I wonder if George Lucas ever saw Chaplin's 1942 edit of The Gold Rush and thought, "Hey, that gives me a few ideas on how to treat my films."
     
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  2. Message #2802 of 2879 Apr 12, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I think he had grander visions for Star Wars from the outset. I've always believed that if anything proves limitations can make a movie better, it's the original Star Wars movie. IMO it's likely if Lucas could have done the original Star Wars the way he dreamed, with all the trimmings, it wouldn't have been as good, and probably would have been downright bad. IMO the prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, for example) makes a strong case for that, since Lucas had fewer limitations and no one around to reign in the wackier parts of his imagination--or save him in the edit. I'll always believe he got rid of virtually everyone who creatively challenged him and finally only kept people around who said "Yessir, Mr. Lucas." And the result is plain to see.
     
  3. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Bill hunt posted about the possibility of the Star Wars films on his site on April 4th:


    http://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/040419-1430


    Also, with Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode IX set to hit theaters on 12/20 of this year, we can safely assume that film will be released on 4K day-and-date with Blu-ray in early 2020. It seems likely that at least Star Wars: The Force Awakenswill finally be released on 4K as well, either late this year (in advance of the December theatrical release) or at the same time as Episode IX hits BD and 4K. As for the classic Star Wars films, now that Disney owns Fox, the way is clear for Disney to release those on 4K as well. The question remains, when? Episode IX obviously completes the existing Skywalker portion of the Star Wars Saga, so it would make sense that there will eventually be a 9-film box set on Blu-ray and possibly 4K at some point. But Disney seems to do things in their own sweet time, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for it. And don’t expect it to include the original theatrical versions. Producer Kathleen Kennedy has made it clear that no version not approved by Lucas will be released anytime soon.

    But worry not: If you want to see the original Star Wars classic trilogy in 4K, I highly recommend Googling 4K77, 4K80, and 4K83. I have 77 and 83and they’re worth seeking out (80 isn’t finished yet). Click on the links I just gave you <<< to learn more about them and how to obtain them. The point is, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And enough said.

    Regarding Force Awakens, Rogue One, and older Star Wars films in 4K, if any of you are attending Star Wars Celebration in Chicago next week, and you happen to bump into Kennedy or J.J. Abrams, ask them about it. And if you get an answer, let us know!
     
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  4. English Patient

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    Good point. And thanks for providing those numbers, I didn't know those sales figures! Although I think there are many fans/collectors out there that routinely double-dip (getting special edition steelbooks of movies they already have, for instance), I doubt the studio would get all 6 million buyers to rebuy the sets again, even if they were 4k. (And not everyone out there has a 4k set-up, so that further restrains sales.) So I think the studio probably has scaled down expectations. Sure, we'll get the films in 4k - but only the existing versions because it's far cheaper for them to do a 4k scan of an existing master than to launch an all-out restoration project. It sounds weird to say it, but I wonder if the Star Wars franchise isn't quite as popular as, say, the Marvel stuff, at least when it comes to present-day sales.
     
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  5. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    How about some heresy? I am perfectly satisfied with the re-cut special editions of the first 3 films. (Though, I am a completest, so I would buy the Blu rays of the originals if they ever were released).

    I found the re-done special effects a revelation when the movies were re-released theatrically and really enjoyed the added scenes. When the DVD sets came out and included the originals as extras, I bought them as well, even though I already had the movies on DVD, but have watched them — or rather scanned through them, once. I find them inferior. They sit untouched on my shelf next to the Blu rays.

    If you made a list, you would find hundreds of living artists that have re-tooled their art over and over, no mater what kind of art. Is it possible that the nostalgia factor is kicking in, and people just like the original version they saw as children, no matter how inferior? I remember being very disappointed with the obvious “puppet” Yoda, and really liking the CGI versions.
     
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  6. Mark VH

    Mark VH Second Unit

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    Lucas won.

    He was nothing if not a visionary, both in a business sense as well as a creative one. He seemed to understand that as Star Wars fandom grew beyond the initial generation who loved and treasured the unaltered versions that the demand for those unaltered versions would diminish. And so, here we are. How many who'd consider themselves Star Wars fans at this point even remember the unaltered versions? The "special editions" are now older than the originals were when the special editions were released (additional changes notwithstanding). There's an entire generation who grew up with and loved the prequels and now an entire generation is being introduced to Star Wars through the new films, enough so that those demanding the unaltered cuts be released have been reduced to a small, vocal minority. Add to that the fact that there's not much of a market for physical media at all any more (though Disney seems committed to 4K more so than a lot of other studios), and there simply aren't enough people left who both a) love physical media and b) are clamoring for the unaltered originals to make it worthwhile for Disney to restore and/or release them. I think more likely they'd include them, if they released them at all, as part of Disney+ in order to sign up new subscribers (especially those older fans who may not subscribe otherwise). But I honestly don't see it happening.

    You may not like it (I don't), or you may not care (I don't really any more), but either way, it's time to admit that it's over.

    Lucas won.
     
  7. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    No doubt there's an element of nostalgia in this, but I honestly think most of the changes are either pointless or for the worse. Greedo firing at Han Solo and missing from three feet away is plain idiotic, and it's followed by the Han/Jabba scene which regurgitates the exposition we've just seen.

    Some of the new effects are objectively better, particularly the compositing, but I don't think most of the CG is particularly good. I suppose it's more seamlessly integrated into the picture than the old, optically printed effects, but it doesn't look any more real or natural, just different, and weirdly jarring, as everything else is clearly a product of the of the mid-70s to early-80s,

    On top of that, the blu-ray presentation is technically poor. Grain reduction, over-sharpening to compensate for the grain reduction, crushed blacks, over-saturated colours - I'd mind it all less if it at least looked as good as it did when it was released in '97.

    To see an updated edition done right, look no further than the Blade Runner final cut. It fixes mistakes, and cleans up the effects in a subtle way that doesn't take you out of the film. And at the same time, all of the other cuts of the film are available.
     
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  8. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    When the Library of Congress added Star Wars to the National Film Registry, Lucas would only agree to donate a copy of the Special Edition. They declined because that wasn't the film that changed our culture. That alone should tell you how stubborn Lucas is.

    The long and short of it is that, if Disney and Lucas won't release the originals, there are fans doing remarkable work making 4K versions available that look pretty darned good. I feel no guilt whatsoever at obtaining those releases, since the Powers That Be apparently don't want my money.
     
  9. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    Another thing is that the SEs were scanned at 2K, so unless they go back and redo everything from scratch, which would be very expensive, they're going to be upscaled.
     
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  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Upscaled is not a problem. an HDR pass would be cool but not required. Atmos. Now there's a name I have not heard for a long time.
     
  11. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    As I was listing my Blu-ray set last night and eBay, I didn’t think it was funny to think about this site coming out in 2011. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. But apparently it was a long time ago. :)
     
  12. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I respect your opinion and know many people who share it. I'm not one of them.

    I have only those "Special edition" DVDs - with the "updated" versions and non-anamorphic original cuts. I consider the "Special Edition" discs to be the "extras" in those sets and watch the original cuts when I watch those movies. They don't look the best but it's what I originally saw in the theater and how I remember the movies.

    I mostly like the re-done special effects and greatly prefer those outer space shots where you can no longer see the mattes around the ships (I've always found them a bit distracting).

    I have no use for the added scenes (most alter the pace in a negative manner), altered scenes (for example, the ghost of "new Anakin"), or CGI additions to scenes (we don't need more "creatures" to make things look more populated/crowded). The CGI Yoda looks CGI and, to me, more fake than the Muppet version (frankly, neither is all that great). It's those reasons that have stopped me purchasing BR copies of the movies. I'd watch them about as much as the DVD versions so why bother? In fact, I only own BR copies of the newest movies simply because that's what I've purchased. I don't watch the 2nd trilogy enough to warrant "upgrading" to BR.

    Yes, many artists have re-tooled their art. Unlike Lucas, most have made the originals available as well or at least not attempted to suppress them forever. Even Spielberg saw the light and "unfixed" E.T.

    I'm not an "uber fan" but would put BR copies of the original, unmodified, trilogy at the top of my acquisition list should they be released.
     
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  13. English Patient

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    Over the last few years, I've gotten the feeling that Lucasfilm's attitude toward the original trilogy is fairly lukewarm. Which makes a certain amount of sense - I guess, as a business, it makes sense to push the new products, to push the future rather than the past, especially since they've invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this new trilogy and would like to merchandise the hell out of that one to get their money back. So I think the original trilogy will be viewed by the executives as little more than an afterthought at this point. Which might be why the legacy characters were relegated to minor roles in the new movies.
     
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  14. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    What site?
     
  15. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Set! Typo!

    Time flies. It seems like the set just came out for Star Wars but it’s been years!
     
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  16. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Edit function is your friend. ;)
     
  17. Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    My parents owned the original trilogy on Laser Disc when I was born. Since then I myself have bought it in the following forms:

    The 1997 SE on VHS
    The 2004 DVDs
    The 2006 DVDs (for the non-anamorphic theatrical OT as a “special feature”
    The 2011 blu-rays

    Would I buy them again if the un-altered OT were released properly? Yep! But I’m done buying the SE versions otherwise, even in 4K. I really only bought both the ‘04 and ‘11 discs for the bonus features. And I don’t really regret it.

    But frankly, I’m over caring if they don’t ever release the true OT. I have a way to watch the true OT, and am fine with it.
     
  18. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Still have the Best Buy exclusive dvd tin box set which includes the unaltered version of all three films. Not the best picture quality but I still watch them. One of the reasons I bought a laserdisc player back in the mid 1990's was to see films letterboxed like Star Wars or Blade Runner and still have them including the Star Wars box sets.
     
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  19. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    It all depends on how you look at it. If George is going to force his altered versions on the public, with no intention of satisfying those of us who want the originals, and he succeeds in doing so due to stubbornness, then I guess in his mind he won. Unfortunately, for this issue, there are no winners- there’s just losers (us who want the original versions in the best video format possible). I can say I win because I refuse to buy the “special editions”- I won’t even watch them.
    I refuse to buy into his stubbornness, so I can say I win, but this issue is more about who’s right and who’s wrong (too many things in our society these days is about who’s right and who’s wrong).
     
  20. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Aren’t you sort of buying into your own stubbornness?
     

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