TCFHE Press Release: Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-ray)

Adam Gregorich

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Originally Posted by Douglas Monce

I seriously doubt that this trailer comes from the source files for the blu-ray, which at this point are likely still being worked on.


Doug


I can verify that this is true. Encoding and authoring has not started yet.
 

Edwin-S

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I think that explanation about cutting up the restored negative is so much garbage. Not so much in that they did it, but in the sense that they infer there was only the one negative. What kind of idiot would spend a fortune restoring a negative to like new condition and then cut it apart before making some kind of preservation copy? What if something had gone wrong while they were adding all that CGI garbage footage to the original negative and the negative had been irrepairably damaged in the process? Then what? STAR WARS as a film would have essentially been lost? Lucas may think he is the "Emperor", but he is no idiot. I do not believe for a minute that there are no preservation copies of the restored negatives of the OOT.
 

johnSM

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What frustrates me is all this talk by Lucasfilm/others that the original negative no longer exists in its original form, and therefore the originals cannot be released because it would cost too much to get a restoration done. That the original neg has been tampered with is beyond question, BUT did Lucasfilm go and trash the pieces of negative containing the original FX? From what I have read over 30+ years now, George keeps EVERYthing! If they wanted to do it they could easily scan those pieces of film in, if indeed that hasn't already been done. It wouldn't be as good as a full restoration because they'd have to grade these older shots to fit into the cleaned up/de-grained material, but at least it would be more acceptable than the F.U's of a non anamorphic 1993 era DVD set! There are also the separation masters, not to mention confirmed sources of gorgeous looking prints of Star Wars still out there.


The other versions of Blade Runner were not taken from the original neg (bar the Final Cut) and still looked fantastic (Work Print aside), and it's not as if the team that put that bar-raising set together had as much money as Lucas/Lucasfilm at their disposal. They still did it RIGHT. Everyone is happy as whatever version they fancy watching is included, and at high quality too. As it stands, casual fans of the series get annoyed at the 'Star Wars wingers', and the Original Trilogy fans evidently get annoyed at those who tell them to stop complaining and enjoy what we do have. A release containing both versions would silence both camps and sanity would for the most part be restored. Not only that, they'd sell FAR more blurays = more money for Lucasfilm! Win-win situation!


It's not about money, this about George being stubborn (as always) and ignoring his audience, whilst on the other hand expecting them to fill his coiffers yet again. I think it's all pretty pathetic & disgraceful to be honest.


There is NO reason all versions of these cannot be released - it begins and ends with a very stubborn man who's fast becoming Citizen George by the looks of things. I'd just like Star Wars treated like any other classic release on Blu-ray - this is coming from the position of a lover of film (particularly 70s film making) by the way, not about any dumb Lucas raped my childhood madness. This is about wanting to see the films that gave such joy to many, back in 1977/1980/1983 and allowed Lucas to build his Empire and accomplish his dreams. I'd like to see these released for purposes of preserving film history, and also to honor all the hard work that went into creating many of those 'dated' special effects. More often than not, a 1977 film just seems weird with 1997/2004 CGI scenes thrown into the mix. Seems dis-jointed. I prefer watching something that was the product of its era. I wouldn't want to see Janson and the Argonauts or King Kong have their effects replaced with CGI, just because it's technically better today. Would George have liked his kids to grow up watching Kong with all new special effects? Would he like his much loved Flash Gordon serials changed so he'd never be able to see the originals again? All these films are delightful as they are, as is Star Wars. I enjoy the craft of film-making and have a great appreciation of the original versions of the trilogy. It's also fun to compare the changes over the years and could make for a really interesting documentary on one of the bonus discs. Great for old-school fans, and also for the younger generation who have a fascination with how things used to be done. I understand he needs to change things to make the old films fit in with the new as seemlessly as possible, but for the sake of history, don't treat the original versions the way they're being treated & release those too.


Come on Lucasfilm - do the right thing and release the original-originals as well as the spruced up versions! There's still 8+ months to go...


- John
 

JohnS

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I've been done with Star Wars and Lucas for years. This is NO SALE for me.
 

Kenny Kraly Jr

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This will be a day long remembered the star wars saga finaly on blu-ray disc in september 2011. I will be pre-ordering the set at the end of auguest of 2011. Great News Indeed. I know some fans are upset that the original cuts won't be on the blu-ray but for me I like both versions. Their are some changes in the Special Editions I don't like greedo shot 1st and the 1st cgi jabba in 1997 but over all I like the speocal editions of the original trilogy and I also like the prequels. No matter which versions of the ot comes out on blu-ray is fine with me.
 

Chad R

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Originally Posted by cafink

Adam, I'm confused. You say that "it's not a simple process to bring the original editions to new HD telecines," but the article you quote says that it is "very easy to simply put the original pieces back and conform [the negative] to the original version, or use the separation masters and IPs, or simply scan the old pieces for a digital restoration."

Well, the article is wrong. Negative cutting -- physically cutting negative -- destroys at least one frame on either side of a cut. If Lucas did indeed completely dissassemble the negative then he just can't drop the stuff back in without damaging shots and scenes.


But I do find it hard to believe that's what he did. Because assembling the Special Edition negative would have similarly destroyed frames of shots he wanted to keep. So there's just no way that the original assembled camera negative was rechopped to make the Special Edition. And even if it were, it would be just as easy to scan the negative and the excised pieces and digitally create a new IP for making a ditial master for future release on any number of formats, including theatrical digital projection.


Anyway you look at it, it's not physically impossible to get the original cuts back. At the very least there's very high quality archival prints in either Lucasfilm's vaults or Fox's. It's just a matter of Lucas not thinking that it's finanically profitable to invest the money to restore any of the available sources to High Def. He just doesn't want to spend the money on it, for whatever reason. And I mean "for whatever reason". We can all speculate about his "real" reasons, but no one knows for sure. So speculating won't get us anywhere.
 

Adam_S

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exactly, if the original negative was cut apart and reconformed, it would be as Lucas says, "it no longer exists" as an extant negative. The writer of the article is unaware just how bad it is to change an original negative.


It would make a magnificent Yellow Layer Failure column to see RAH interview the restorationist in charge of the 1997 special edition. I wonder if that's possible...
 

TravisR

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Originally Posted by Chad R

And I mean "for whatever reason". We can all speculate about his "real" reasons, but no one knows for sure. So speculating won't get us anywhere.


I don't think it's too big of a leap to think that the real reason is simply because the Special Editions are the versions of Star Wars that he prefers and he doesn't have any desire to spend money on releasing versions of his works that he views as incomplete.
 

Douglas Monce

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Originally Posted by cafink

Adam, I'm confused. You say that "it's not a simple process to bring the original editions to new HD telecines," but the article you quote says that it is "very easy to simply put the original pieces back and conform [the negative] to the original version, or use the separation masters and IPs, or simply scan the old pieces for a digital restoration."


My understanding was that separation masters were never made for the first Star Wars film. The release started out in something like 300 theaters, then a few weeks later a few hundred more were added, then more and more. The film was constantly being handled, and prints were in theaters for over a year in some places. Supposedly they just never got around to doing separation masters. This is also one of the reasons that that film was in such bad shape.


Of course it should be possible to scan Lucas' technicolor print, but he just doesn't want to do that. But you never know what will happen in the next year.


Doug
 

Xenia Stathakopoulou

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And I have the release date ! Amazon Uk, sent me an update on my preorder, " Scheduled to ship September 26-27 !!!!
 

Will_B

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Originally Posted by Adam_S

exactly, if the original negative was cut apart and reconformed, it would be as Lucas says, "it no longer exists" as an extant negative. The writer of the article is unaware just how bad it is to change an original negative.



They said the same thing about Apocalypse Now -- that the Redux had destroyed the original. I don't believe that Lucas only restored the 97% he needed for the special edition. Doesn't seem likely that he'd have known exactly what he needed, and told them to hold off on the other 3%. Even if his minions had been tasked with that, I doubt anyone would have failed to restore the entire thing; simply because it is more practical to do it all at once.


Having recently read that piece on Marcia Lucas (winner of the Academy Award for her editing of Star Wars, along with 2 others), I'm suspecting that his real motivation -- consciously or unconsciously -- is to spite her by ensuring that her cut of Star Wars is lost forever.


Along with spiting Marcia Lucas, George is also giving the finger to the National Film Registry, which had included Star Wars (the original) as one of the films of cultural significance that it would preserve for all time.
 

Edwin-S

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^^^^^^^


What piece was that? Why would Lucas want to spite her? Do you have a link? I'd be interested in reading that article.
 

Jefferson Morris

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On the fence about this one -- although I do appreciate having the opportunity to get the OT without the prequels.


But the older I get, the less tolerant I become of the special edition changes. And of course any notion about it being "too hard" to restore the originals is a bunch of nonsense. This is 'Star Wars' we're talking about, for God's sake. It can be done.


I still hold out hope that the original versions will be released someday, for one simple reason: I mean, how long is Lucasfilm going to leave all that money on the table?
 

TravisR

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Originally Posted by Edwin-S

^^^^^^^


What piece was that? Why would Lucas want to spite her? Do you have a link? I'd be interested in reading that article.



There's some conspiracy theory that's been around for years that says that George Lucas made the SEs so he wouldn't have to give money to his ex-wife (the SEs don't have an effect on it) or that he was married to her for 14 years but he's spent double that time trying to get back at her or that he tied her to a train track while twirling his moustache and laughing. It's just internet speculation that seems alot more based in wanting to assign evil motives to everything Lucas does rather than fact.
 

RobertR

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Originally Posted by Edwin-S

^^^^^^^


What piece was that? Why would Lucas want to spite her? Do you have a link? I'd be interested in reading that article.
Marcia left George for another man. To quote from The Secret History of Star Wars,



Today, she has been practically erased from the history books at Lucasfilm. Looking through J.W. Rinzler's Making of Star Wars, she is mentioned only occasionally in passing, a background element, and not a single word of hers is quoted; she is a silent extra, absent from any photographs and only indirectly acknowledged, her contributions downplayed. In the documentary Empire of Dreams, she is barely even mentioned in passing, except when the narration states that she edited the film and Lucas says he "got divorced as Jedi was complete" in the last two minutes of the supposedly-definitive documentary. Other products fare not much better, since many of them are published through Lucasfilm; her entire existence has nearly been ignored. Marcia Lucas, the "other" Lucas, has basically become the forgotten Lucas. Perhaps it is the painful memories of the final unhealthy years of their marriage, during which Marcia finally left Lucas for another man and got a large cash settlement, that has prompted him to essentially never speak of her again.

Having enduring bitterness about an ex spouse happens sometimes. Does Lucas have such bitterness? We don't know for sure, but he'd be far from the only example, and the above quote tends to support the idea. The theory about denying her money can't be proven, but it is interesting speculation that doesn't seem to be out of the realm of the possible. I don't think it's an attempt to portray him as "evil" (why would any SW fan care about his marital history?), so much as an attempt to explain why he seems to despise the originals so much.


http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/marcialucas.html
 

Carlo Medina

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I just think it's odd that whenever there are retrospective pieces about important historical films that he cares about (especially Kurosawa films) Lucas is usually front and center about film history, preservation, integrity, etc.


It's so out of line with the way he treats his own works. That's probably why conspiracy theories abound. If Lucas were all about modernizing and re-CGI'ing everything, then at least he'd be consistent. But in various interviews I've seen with him over the years he's been a staunch supporter of film preservation, yet claims to have destroyed his originals for the OOT.
 

Bryan Tuck

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Funny thing is that if the 2004 work was done at 1080, then the original cuts, if properly scanned and restored, could actually end up looking better than the special editions.
 

Will_B

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http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/marcialucas.html


as Robert provided is indeed the article. I share his belief that there is no conspiracy theory, but rather, as he said above, just a psychological explanation for why George Lucas cannot bear to see the film as it existed when he was at his peak and happily (at least in his mind, if not hers) married. It's the same motivation for why people redecorate after a spouse moves out -- they want to put a new coat of paint on things to diminish the association with the past. And boy, claiming years later that the film "was never the way he envisioned it" sounds like he may be talking about his relationship more than about the film.


It's the first good explanation I've read to explain why he doesn't share the world's love of the original Star Wars film.
 

Douglas Monce

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[COLOR= rgb(120, 101, 84)]Marcia Lucas came into the editing of Star Wars at the very last moment to help out as they were a rushed to meet their release date. This was mainly because she was a little busy as the supervising film editor of a little Martin Scorsese film called New York, New York which took up most of her time.[/COLOR]


[COLOR= rgb(120, 101, 84)]The vast majority of the editing of Star Wars was done by Richard Chew and Paul Hirsch. Lucas himself also did quite a bit of editing on the film uncredited.[/COLOR]


[COLOR= rgb(120, 101, 84)]Doug[/COLOR]
 

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