Star Wars Laserdisc Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ZackR, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    OK,

    I am looking into getting the Star Wars laserdiscs. I had them a long time ago, but well, that's a long story. Anyways, when looking around online, I see several different versions of them. Here is what I want -

    The ORIGINAL, NON-Special Edition versions of all three films... What set is the best to get for that??

    Also, I would like to get the SE's as well. What would be the best set of those to get? I know Lucas is releasing "super-duper" SE's later, but I want these two sets now. I would greatly appreciate any advice. Also, looking at a new laserdisc player as well if anyone has any suggestions.

    Thanks so much for your time,

    Zack
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    For general laserdisc information, check the LD chapter in our Beginner's FAQ.

    For the complete history of Star Wars video releases, including the LDs, follow this link:

    http://www.davisdvd.com/Miscellaneou..._directory.htm

    Short answer: The most desireable version of the unaltered trilogy is probably the so-called "Faces" releases from 1995 (research the link above for more detail). There was only one laserdisc release of the SEs, and that was a box set.

    M.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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  4. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    It's pretty easy unless you want the Pan/Scan editions.

    Down and dirty:

    Original editions 1st Widescreen releases (listed as SPecial Widescreen Edition) from 1989-1992 with the Movie Poster covers. Not really a good choice unless you are a collector. Pretty poor transfers with lot of noise, fuzzy pictures, etc. Pressings are mixed between Technidisc, Pioneer US and Pioneer Japan plants.

    Definitive Edition -- big black box with 9 discs all CAV. First Good transfers of the movie with cleaned up audio and video. Supplements on side 6 of each movie are OK though not great, audio commentary on analog audio tracks is pretty weak and very sporadic, plus has the hardback book included "George Lucas: A Creative Impulse" The first pressing lost 8 seconds at the beginning of side 3 of ESB (pretty meaningless stuff), the 2nd pressing restored those 8 seconds. It has been one of the poorer sets as far as rot goes though much is pretty mild. Nice set for collectors, but a real nuisance if you just want to want to watch the movies due to the large number of disc flips and changes. All Pressed at Mitsubishi plant in Japan.

    CLV individual movie releases from 1995. So called "Faces" set b/c the covers have Vader, Yoda, Stormtrooper on the covers. Each movie is on 3 sides so just one disc change per movie. Has a 3 part interview by Leonard Maltin with Lucas split over each movie -- pretty boring interview except for diehards. The set is not rot prone and makes watching the movies much easier. There are 2 separate pressings from Pioneer US plant and Japan Kuraray (probably the best LD plant ever). The Japanese pressings are modestly better though a bit darker overall. The best of the US pressings are about equal to the average Kuraray pressing. The US pressings seem to be a bit brighter, but are somewhat more prone to video dropouts and a touch noisier.


    The Special Edition are limited to the 1997 Black/Silver box with Vader on the cover. There is only one US release with the movie spread over 5 disc/9 sides. Very sharp transfers from the Pioneer US plant though there is a bit of digital stuff noticeable. First Dolby Digital 5.1 though many people still prefer the PCM Dolby Surround tracks.

    There are also some Japanese releases of the Special Edition with DD 5.1. There were 2 separate boxsets from 1997 and again 2000 which added the AOTC trailer. The movies were also released individually. These are possibly even a bit better transfers though do include Japanese subtitles below the frame.
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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  6. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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  7. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Can someone forgive this idiot for asking what the difference is between CAV and CLV?
     
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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  9. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    LD FAQ

    Rachael's Primer is excellent and a bit more complete.

    MODS -- if this is inappropriate, please feel free to remove it.
    Last addendum: A buddy of mine overseas is attempting to construct a comprehensive LD database including NTSC/PAL, Hi-Vision, Squeezed discs, etc. So far he has got a basic set of information from various sources, but needs a lot of help from LD end users who have an interest and the time to fill in the gaps. It is in beta testing and he continues to add features such as search, collection filtering, and a place to enter your own collection for personal use or just bragging rights (you have the option to keep your collection private or make it public). So far it is free and I think the plan is to keep it that way, but it is envisioned in the long run as kind of a barebones user driven DVD Profiler type site. It's a fun thing to go to the catalof section and look at the DTS discs or AC-3 or UA Signature Collection to see how many you have or are missing.

    Laserdisc Database - Beta
     
  10. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    WOW!

    Thanks so much for all the great information. What I am really wanting this for is that I never collected laserdiscs. I am only 23, and by the time I started having disposable income, DVD's were the thing. I want to get the best quality Star Wars I can find. I never had a laserdisc player, so I am kind of starting from sctratch. Anyways, again, I really do appreciate all the great information. I am so glad I found this forum. It is truly awesome. You all take care!!

    Zack

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Michael,

    My apologies. I did not mean to break any rules. I am editing that out of my post.

    Again, sorry. It won't happen again. [​IMG]

    Zack
     
  13. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Regarding the Japanese versions of the SE's:

    Does anyone know if the movies' subtitles (alien dialogue etc.) are included, and if so are they superimposed on the image or are they below it?
     
  14. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    2000 Special Edition Japanese Box.

    All the subtitles I can see are in Japanese only and are below the screen. I just checked the Greedo and Jaba scenes of Star Wars and no English words on the screen at all. Also checked the ROTJ Jabba's Palace sequence and no English subtitles at all -- only Japanese and below the screen.
     
  15. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  16. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    The SE individual movies were released individually only in Japan/Asia and not in the US.

    If you look around Ebay, there are occasional copies of both the individual discs and the boxset available for far less than $250. I picked up my box for around $100 a couple months ago. A sealed boxset of the 2000 SE Japanese release usually sells for around $180-200 USD.

    The Faces set goes for significantly less depending on how picky you are about jacket/disc quality.
     
  17. Duncan Jones

    Duncan Jones Extra

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    www.bigemma.com is a good place to find what the Star Wars Laser Discs you are looking for. There are also DVD's for sale as well as Laser Discs.
     
  18. Duncan Jones

    Duncan Jones Extra

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    www.bigemma.com is a good place to find the Star Wars Laser Discs you are looking for. There are also DVD's for sale as well as Laser Discs.
     

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