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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. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    This article has me wondering if any original 1977 prints of the film are even out there anymore. Did Lucas see to it that they were all accounted for and withheld?
     
  2. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    I've read where there are at least several low-fade Technicolor 35mm prints in the hands of private collectors, including the British print that was shown at the Senator Theater in Baltimore in 2010:



    George Lucas also commissioned a private print from Technicolor when he made the film, which has been loaned to various places for reference purposes.

    Any of these prints in good condition would make for a fine source for a low-cost HD transfer of the original version, with the possible exception of the "Episode IV: A New Hope," crawl, which seems to have been spliced into most known copies as of 1980 or so. That would probably be easily correctable, though.
     
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  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Actually, Harry, my question for YOU is: do you think there's been anything of value on the even-numbered pages?!? :D

    Dammit! This is falling on an odd-numbered page. Harry'll never see the question...
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I love those movies but as they age, I think that's just what happens to nearly all scary movies. I can't imagine being scared by Dracula or Frankenstein but I know that they were terrifying to audiences when they originally come out.

    That being said, the part in Alien when Tom Skeritt stumbles upon the alien is still f-ing scary. :)
     
  5. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter

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    Then it should please you to know that I've been working on my "drivel template" Koroush:
    Well [Insert Member, preferably identified by 1st Name] I disagree. If what you say is true, then...lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum...as shown in the following clip:
    [​IMG]
    So how would you explain this [flaw/oversight/contradiction], other than by accepting that...sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem...anything less would be unacceptable.
    Unless of course...lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum...but you know the way these things tend to go.
    Alhough I still say...sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.
    I mean, what was [he/she/they] thinking?

    Anyway, feel free to adapt or share!
     
  6. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    The Atlantic article is interesting, in that it reveals that "Harmy" is actually a 25 year old Czech fan playing with the movie at home. And "Adywan" is actually a British fan doing the same thing in his home. ("Adywan" has admitted that he has no training or professional experience and that he has taught himself what he needed to do this stuff.) Which goes right to the point I was making earlier, probably on one of the odd-numbered pages.
     
  7. gizzy2000

    gizzy2000 Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, to be fair, neither of them claim that they're attempting to be the equivalent of professional film restorationists. They are just fans who want to recreate the movie in as high of quality as possible with what they have. From what I've seen, the "Harmy" versions are quite impressive given what they are.

    EDIT: Sorry, apparently this "Adywan" person is actually making his own edits, it's just "Harmy" that's recreating the original.
     
  8. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Screenwriter

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    I think we know that Lucasfilm at least has a print of the original opening crawl - they used it on the non-anamorphic DVD. You can tell the image quality is much clearer during that whole opening scene - from the "STAR WARS" opening and prologue crawl to the the distant planet on the left (much more detailed than the actual laserdisc image) to the Star Destroyer passing overhead. The very next shot - of the Blockade Running coming toward us - is back to the old overly video-processed, smeary, aliasing laserdisc transfer.

    I will say that, to this day, I'll still play only that crap DVD if I want to watch any of the OT movies. I simply refuse to watch the SE versions anymore. And I have two sets of them - the 2004 box set with the fourth bonus disc, and the individual 2006 issues to get the original versions.

    I didn't bother with the Blu-rays because there is nothing there I want to ever see.
     
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  9. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    That's pretty much how I feel.

    It's not really about boycotting or "voting with my dollar" or trying to "punish" anyone. It's just that every time I entertain the notion of finally getting Star Wars on Blu-ray, I think... $90 for three films I only like certain sections of, three former classics that have been repeatedly defaced over the last couple of decades, and three extras discs, only about one-and-a-half of which I care anything about. Never mind.
     
  10. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I may be way off on this, but I thought someone had stated that the fan edits were being done by professional editors and VFX artists. It wouldn't be the first time if I was wrong there.And to be fair about the blu rays, a big selling point for me was the deleted scenes from the original trilogy. I had previously been able to see a couple of the Star Wars bits on the Behind the Magic CD ROM, but they were in better quality on the blu. I think the only bit we wound up missing on the Blus was the original shoot of the Han/Leia apartment scene at Bespin.
     
  11. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I think you know that i said that, at the time it was an hypothesis* based on how professional the work looked, i also recall you saying you didn't want to discuss it anymore and we should move on, it's funny how the world works, when a discussion doesn't go someone's way people generally want to move on to another subject but when it's really all going their way they want to pull the subject back up and discuss it, i can appreciate that, let's move onto another subject shall we. :D

    *hypothesis
    hʌɪˈpɒθɪsɪs/
    noun

    [*] a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
    [/list]
     
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  12. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    I have the Blu-ray Saga set and like it. The quality is actually very good for the original three films, given their transfer was done over a decade ago.

    The problem for me with the whole issue is the unavailability of the originals. Yes, I know that the DVD sets from '06 have the original versions, but so little work went into their quality that it's hard to come to any other conclusion than Lucasfilm didn't want them to be watchable compared to other SE versions. That's just contemptuous, plain and simple. Did George Lucas have the legal right to control everything Star Wars? Sure. Ethics are another matter, though.

    I keep reading "his vision," "his work," etc. and I agree that he made the largest contribution to Star Wars' very existence: the idea. However, films are never, ever a solo enterprise and I think it is disrespectful to the many dozens of craftsmen on these projects to tinker with their work after-the-fact, especially after they've been awarded recognition for it via Oscars, etc. Make Special Editions, fine, but don't make every attempt to wipe the originals from existence forever. Read Phil Tippetts' opinions on the matter for a fresh perspective. He was a model designer on the first three films:

    http://www.movies.com/movie-news/phil-tippett-star-wars/4324

    Harmy's Editions, while not "professional' in the most limited scope of a definition, definitely display "professional-level" results. The main end-result difference between Harmy's work and a hypothetical Lucasfilm/Disney release of an original Star Wars IMO? Lack of access to original materials. That's about it. His work is in 720p, mainly due to the variations in quality among the various sources, although I was hard-pressed to tell. Beyond that, he has collaborated with fans around the world to present as fine an edition as possible. And as he has said, he's looking forward to the day when his editions will become obsolete.

    Harmy's Star Wars has extensive color work/correction compared with a Technicolor print, DTS-HD audio, DD audio, an original mono track, multiple audio commentaries, multiple foreign language tracks, and multiple subtitle tracks. Many of these tracks were contributed by native-speaking fans. All done out of love for the films, with no profit motive. I'm even hard-pressed to call his work "fan editing," since what he is trying to do is restore the films the way they were originally. These editions are remarkably well done. Most in my experience who have bashed the effort are doing so without ever having watched the end product. It's quite impressive.
     
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  13. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Malcolm, actually I didn't remember the exact wording of your prior posts and I haven't had the time to look through the prior pages. I was making an honest comment and not trying to snark. The rest of my comment had to do with the just-linked Atlantic article, as it helped clarify the points I had made earlier. This isn't about a discussion going any particular person's way - the last post was about the current article being cited.

    Scott, I'm very interested in Phil Tippett's comments and am checking out that link right now.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Like Joel and Bryan, I own (and have owned) many "official" versions of the OT/OOT/OT:SE, purchased through official means. Lucasfilm has many hundreds of my dollars, I bought expensive LD and VHS sets, as well as DVD and BD versions.

    The only ones I watch now (and have any interest in watching) are Harmy's versions. When friends who are around my age (35-45) come over, I show them Harmy's efforts and they are amazed. It's like they've time-traveled back to their youth and are watching again the films they grew up loving.

    As Scott said, "fan edit" doesn't begin to describe the DeSpecialized Editions. I view a "fan edit" as what fans tried to do with "The Phantom Edit" (removal of Jar Jar, never a bad idea!) or even what Adywan is trying to do with the OT. What Harmy is trying to do is recreate, as close as he can, the original theatrical experience with the admittedly imperfect pieces and limited technology he has access to, and is doing it all on his time, making zero profit on it (so actually losing money in terms of the time he and others are investing in the project), and IMO has done a magnificent job.
    And as Harmy has also said, I too look forward to the day when his versions are obsolete. As soon as LFL/Disney put out a decent 1080p (or better) transfer of the OOT, then they will once again get my money and support, and those will be my go-to versions.
     
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  15. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    Still misses the point that it's not their film to alter/edit and redistribute in the first place. Again, put yourself in the shoes of a creator, and imagine that someone is changing and then distributing your work, without your permission, against your wishes, and being cheered on by others to boot. I imagine it would be a frustrating experience for any creator. I don't accept that you can effectively blackmail a creator into releasing a version of their film: "Release the OOT, or we'll just do it ourselves anyway!"
     
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  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    That's definition Straw Man argument 101 Koroush. Nowhere does Harmy try to effectively blackmail LFL into doing anything. That's your interpretation.

    Lucas has stated "those versions are gone". Period. End of story. Harmy is trying to fill the void for something that LFL has, until we hear otherwise from Disney, said is never coming back.

    One could argue that Harmy's work keeps interest in Star Wars alive for a portion of the fanbase. I know if they didn't exist, I would have checked out of SW years ago, and without the knowledge that there is still interest for the OOT, maybe Disney doesn't even consider ever putting out the OOT due to people giving up interest on it.

    There is more than one way to look at things.
     
  17. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    One could argue a lot of things, but they would not be correct. This really isn't a complex issue, and it also centers around an entertainment product, not a necessity. Lucas created Star Wars. Disney owns Star Wars. They decide which version of the films get distributed, not fans. When fans distribute edits of a movie without permission, "in the hopes that one day they no longer need to do so", they are effectively blackmailing the creator/rights owner.
     
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  18. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    So I take it you don't agree with the statement: "American works of art belong to the American public; they are part of our cultural history"?
     
  19. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Put 4 billion dollars in my bank account and you can do anything you want to anything I ever created.
     
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  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    What's interestng is that Lucasfilm and Disney are no strangers to C&D letters, yet to my knowledge have not taken any action on Harmy despite the very high awareness of the DeSpecialized editions to the fanbase. So Koroush seems more intent in asserting Lucas's rights than the company. Maybe the company also gets the world isn't black and white, but many shades of gray.
     

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