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Just saw "The Empire Strikes Back" on good ol' THX-certified LD. A few opinions... (1 Viewer)

Javier_Huerta

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1) This movie is better than Star Wars. Yep. I finally said it. I didn't want to believe it myself, yet it's true. Very enjoyable.
2) I can't even begin to imagine how people say Attack of the Clones is better than this one. This movie is magic because of its actors: Harrison Ford steals the show, while the rest of them are quite charismatic. AOTC looks like every actor was forced at gunpoint to make the movie.
3) I didn't remember LD looking so soft and blurry. And I hated the fact that I had to stand up and change the disc 3 times in order to watch the movie. Still, I love the format.
4) Do you think this version is the "definitive" one right now (before they come out on DVD)?
5) What are the differences between the "Special Edition" and this version? Is it all better special effects?
6) Should we try to stop Lucas from destroying the Star Wars legacy by filming Episode III? :)
7) I hadn't used my LD in ages. The motor is starting to sound quite weird. Any ideas on where to buy a new one (no e-Bay, please)?
I feel the need to watch my "Return of the Jedi" LD now. :D
 

Javier_Huerta

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I wanted to add that I'm not trolling on points #2 and #6. It's just my opinion, though I think some Star Wars fanatics might take offense. Sorry, I just don't like the new trilogy. If you feel offended, please ignore my comments. Thanks.
 

Rob M.

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Empire is the only of the Special Editions that I refuse to watch. The only worthwhile changes were in the backgrounds on Cloud City, which opened things up a bit using digital effects, but that in no way makes up for the butchering of Vader's "Bring my shuttle" line, and the unnecessary addition of shots of his shuttle in flight to the the Star Destroyer. If you havent seen the SE, basically the line is changed from seething and angry to a phoned in "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival," followed by shots of the shuttle if flight. I hate Greedo firing first in ANH, but I can handle it; this change in Empire completely ruined the flow and tone of the movie to me.

So, yes, I think this will be the definitive version of this movie on home video, unless Master Lucas changes his mind about releasing the originals on DVD.
 

Lewis Besze

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I doubt that the OT will ever be released on DVD in it's original theatrical format.I'm almost sure that Lucas will make changes to even the current SE's to "tie" the whole 6 episode saga togheter,to his more "current vision".Why do you think that he refuse to release those movies now,I think he and his people working on those changes gradually along with the current trilogy's filming.Those who won't bear the idea of the SE's, or even further revision,on the OT,better hang on to those LD's!
 

Ned

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1) Of course it's the best from the first 3 :) ESB is probably my #1 movie of all time.
2) AOTC was pretty good but Empire is pure magic that will never be bested.
3) I own the Definitive set and the separate LD's and ya, they look pretty crappy compared to DVD :frowning:
4) Yes this is the best cut. The SE's are a *butchering* beyond comprehension. Showing the snow monster = bad, cloud city enhancements good. I'd lose the cloud city changes to gain back the original snow monster sequence.
5) SE = new scenes most of which degrade the original movies. New sound. Overall worse than the originals.
6) No, EP1 was pretty lame but EP2 was good. Regardless of how Ep1-3 turn out they will never tarnish the originals for real fans.
7) LD replacement parts, that's amusing :)
 

JeremySt

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While I really enjoyed seeing the SE's in theaters back in '97, I still consider the OT's to be the true versions. The changes that Lucas made were trivial and distracting at best. I thought that EMPIRE was the least effected (that is a first time viewer might not pick them out) JEDI was competely ruined. The new Jabba's dance sequence is an abomonation. and the new Ewok celebration scene was horrid beyond words. I recently picked up an LD player and obtained the non-THX 1989 edition trilogy, as well as episode IV THX 1995 edition. I MUST find the THX Empire and Jedi Editions!
 

Neil S. Bulk

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One good thing can be said about the SE that many have overlooked. The special effects druing the battle on Hoth have been re-composited. Same elements used, just sandwiched together digitally. This eliminates some of the bleed through seen in 1980. Now, I hate what Lucas did to the SE's from a dramatic standpoint, but cleaning up an original optical effect is fine with me. Superman - The Movie and Star Trek - The Motion Picture also did this recently.

Neil
 

Chad R

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1) This movie is better than Star Wars. Yep. I finally said it. I didn't want to believe it myself, yet it's true. Very enjoyable.
But ask yourself this: would it still be as enjoyable if you'd never seen the original?

Sure, Empire is a more polished film, but it absolutely requires the introductions from the first film. I don't see how people can seperate the two. I consider the original trilogy one movie with a great opening, great development but somewhat of a let down ending.
 

Tom-G

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Sure, Empire is a more polished film, but it absolutely requires the introductions from the first film. I don't see how people can seperate the two. I consider the original trilogy one movie with a great opening, great development but somewhat of a let down ending.
Exactly right! I've been saying that for years. I don't see why so many people feel the need to rank the Star Wars movies. The only film so far that can stand alone is Episode IV.
 

Dalton

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The change to the OT that bothers me the most, and i am sure many will agree with me, is that god awful Greedo shooting first scene. If Lucas removes that abomination I could almost forgive some of the other changes.
 

Seth Paxton

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Greedo shooting first bugs me most, Luke's scream is 2nd worst, Han stepping on Jabba is 3rd.
YMMV.
I think the LDs can look very good depending on your player. If your player is starting to act up that could be part of the problem.
Remember that the video on an LD is ANALOG, despite using a laser to read it. It is not 1's and 0's. It does contain both digital and analog AUDIO tracks of course.
So I think the pick-up systems in LD, along with the comb filter, can make a huge difference. For any average LD player going to a medium to high quality TV you are better off taking the composite video right off the LD (that's how it is stored on LDs, in composite form) and sending it out to the TV.
The exception is that SOME LD players automatically run it to S-Vid internally and then back down to composite for the composite out jack. :rolleyes:I forget which models do this.
I have a cheap RCA player that I got for $25 as a backup. The S-Vid is horrible compared to the composite thanks to the comb filter in the TV vs the LD player.
The original, AWARD WINNING films are the definitive films.
I have no problem with Lucas wanting to make Star Wars: Redux. Just make sure to call it SW: Redux and treat them as seperate entities that have their own purpose in the world. It makes no sense to wish away the original versions. I wonder what Lucas would think of Kurosawa going back and chopping up all his "influential" films after Lucas had been influenced by them.
"Sorry George, you dummy, but the film you thought was good was really a sloppy mess that I must now fix. I will then keep the crappy version that you liked from ever seeing the light of day again. Can you believe people gave me awards for this shit?"
That's 100% what GL is saying to the Academy who foolishly awarded SW with an Oscar for it's groundbreaking effects that have now been "fixed" forever.
 

Lewis Besze

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and the new Ewok celebration scene was horrid beyond words
You got to be kidding!
The original dumb "song" almost ruined the whole film[actualy the whole Ewok idea was dumb but that besides the point]it was like a bad imitation of a Muppet show song,the new theme from John Williams is far more enjoyable,but YMMV.
 

Ned

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Lewis-

Disagree with you 100%. The new happy-interplanetary joy ending is total garbage. The original ewok ending was simple and charming.
 

Larry Sutliff

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The original dumb "song" almost ruined the whole film[actualy the whole Ewok idea was dumb but that besides the point]it was like a bad imitation of a Muppet show song,the new theme from John Williams is far more enjoyable,but YMMV.
I don't mind the "Yub Yub" song, but the new ending with the beautiful John Williams composition is more appropiate for the conclusion of the saga.

And to keep on topic, if you want the best available copy of an untampered ESB, than the THX Laserdisc is the way to go.
 

Aaron Reynolds

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One good thing can be said about the SE that many have overlooked. The special effects druing the battle on Hoth have been re-composited. Same elements used, just sandwiched together digitally. This eliminates some of the bleed through seen in 1980.
In addition, smoke effects look much much better in the SE. On the THX faces/Definitive discs, black lines can be seen around smoke clouds during the speeder battle, most notably when Luke's speeder is crashing. On the SE it looks much better.

Also, the type or amount of video noise reduction appears to be less or "better" on the SEs: they're a little sharper (but with no edge enhancement) and don't seem to be as smeary, though I didn't really look too thoroughly for evidence of that. One of these days soon I'm going to have to do an ultimate head-to-head of these discs.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Sure, Empire is a more polished film, but it absolutely requires the introductions from the first film. I don't see how people can seperate the two. I consider the original trilogy one movie with a great opening, great development but somewhat of a let down ending.
Exactly. As stand alone movies, both AOTC and ESB are inferior movies. Neither have a satisfying beginning or conclusion unless you've seen what came before. Still, in the context of the saga, both are incredible acheivements in film-making.
 

Javier_Huerta

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I agree on many of your points...
1) "Empire" without "A New Hope" would be unwatchable. Yesterday night I was thinking how ANH sets the pacing, introduces the characters and generally does the best it can within its time frame. In "Empire" you already care about everyone and know everything about then, so it's all about action and intrigue.
2) The special effects are a bit cumbersome at times. The Hoth battle scenes sometimes look too much like miniatures. It doesn't bother me too much, it's just that I thought Lucas would concentrate on those small details instead of changing the lines of the characters.
3) I never thought about Lucas holding up the release of the DVDs in order to change a bit the plot to fit with the new trilogy, but it seems a definite possibility. Obi-Wan telling Luke to go to the Dagobah system to be trained by Yoda is the first thing that comes to mind, since Obi-Wan tells Luke Yoda "trained him", when in TPM it's Qui-Gon Jin (sp???) the one who trains him.
4) I'm sure the analog video on my LD is shot, since the image looked just like a VHS video. But I think I just tracked down a nicely cared for LD with digital audio output and AC-3 RF output. :)
Thanks for your comments!
 

Aaron Reynolds

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t doesn't bother me too much, it's just that I thought Lucas would concentrate on those small details instead of changing the lines of the characters.
Just for the record: much of the "changed" dialogue in the Special Editions was changed in a previous mix -- they've just started with a different set of stems when doing the new mixes. For instance, in Jedi, when Han is hanging off the skiff and Lando shouts, "No, wait, I thought you were blind!", Han responds, "It's all right, I can see a lot better." This is what he says on my picture LP of Jedi, too (a 40-minute edited version of the film's audio), and what I hazily recall from seeing the film in the theatre in 1983 (though I'll readily admit that my impression was probably corrupted by listening to that LP about a trillion times between 1983 and 1986 or 1987 when Jedi came to pay TV). My original 1985 VHS tape, however, has the line "It's all right, trust me!" instead, which is much funnier. My 1995 THX CLV disc also has this line, as does the Definitive box, but the 1997 Special Edition set reverts back to "It's all right, I can see a lot better".

I've read explanations about how the 70mm mix was done before the 35mm mix, and that one has minor variations (like those) from the other, and depending on what source material the audio for the transfer is derived from, the dialogue can change.

Other notable examples:

"Close the blast doors!"

"You're lucky you don't taste too good" vs. "You were lucky to get out of there".

"...until I get the shelter built" vs. "until I get the shelter up".

"A power loss at any one of the terminals..."

Oh my God, I am a geek.
 

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