What video format offers Star Wars' original sound mix?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Garman, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    Hello all. After reading some posts, and owning four versions of Star Wars on VHS and Laserdisc combined, what version holds the most faithful sound mix to the 1977 release of the film? Some people have said that the THX versions are remixed, and I know the Special Editions are definitely different. Can anyone give me a rundown of all this info on the sound mixes? Thanks.

    Aaron Garman
     
  2. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The old grey label Fox Widescreen releases are said to have very faithful sound. I used to have them. I gave them to my brother near 10 years ago when I got the THX discs. The Deffinative CAV set has the same sound as the greys, I think. The even older releases are P & S and some are even edited to make STAR WARS and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK fit on two sides instead of the three it takes. There are even P & S CAV releases from way back when in the 80's. Stick with the grey label stuff me thinks. Best wishes!
     
  4. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    There are essentially 3 "original" sound mixes for Star Wars in 1977: the original mono mix, the dolby stereo mix, and the 70mm six-track magnetic mix. Few theaters were Dolby equipped, so two separate 35mm optical versions had to be sent to theaters to maximize sound quality. Neither of these mixes are identical however, and sound effects are slightly different in several places in order to deal with the limited bass response and noise floor of a non-dolby optical mono track. To make matters worse, apparently the first prints of Star Wars which did not have the "Episode IV" in the opening crawl had a different mix from the later prints that did. Further, the 70mm prints had another mix with different lines of dialogue as well as a few short cuts/additions that were not in other releases. The 70mm mix is that one that included the "close the blast door." and "A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave." lines that didn't exist together on on 35mm prints until the release of the special editions.

    When re-released in 1980 a month before The Empire Strikes Back, the film's soundtrack was again sweetened to further refine soundtrack quality. It is this mix of the film that was used to master the broadcast and first home video versions on VHS, Beta, and P&S LD. It is also missing the two lines mentioned above if I am not mistaken.

    Essentially, the very first mixes have never been released on any video format, making the sound track from the 35mm 1980 re-release prints the closest to the original theatrical release.
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Wow.

    I never realized there were so many mixes.
     
  6. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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  7. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  8. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    The mix on all pre-Definitive Collection releases is the original (or 1980 re-release, if Grosskopf is correct)stereo track, but later releases have the extra dialogue (which are actually from the MONO mix, which was done LAST) dubbed in. Also, speaking of the mono mix, according to some accounts, Aunt Beru was dubbed by someone else, and Luke said, "Blast it, *WEDGE*, where are you?" But I haven't seen it, so I dunno.
     
  9. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    I know this is slightly OT, but when I saw Star-Wars a few

    times during it's first run, I could SWEAR the last shot

    of Darth Vader was his TIE fighter spinning out of control.

    ..But when I watched Star-Wars again in 1980, there was a

    shot showing his TIE fighter stabilizing and flying off.

    Is there a website that lists the minor differences from

    the 1977 to 1980 cut?
     
  10. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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  11. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I have a bootleg copy of Star Wars on VHS that was taken before 1981 and it DOES NOT have the Episode IV in the opening.
     
  14. Tom J. Davis

    Tom J. Davis Second Unit

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    Anybody have the Widescreen Review issue that has a review of the Definitive Collection LD set in it? I used to have this years ago. It had an article about the different mixes, but I don't remember alot of the details.
     
  15. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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  16. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    No, I saw both 16mm "bootleg" prints (which were 'scope, I saw one less than a month after it opened) and legit prints of SW. They didn't start renting SW legitimately for several years (both flat and 'scope); most films have campus 16mm availability within months. I think the earliest legitimate 16mm's of Star Wars were for the military market.

    I remember the Raiders reissue in 1983 (I played it at my theater). The poster tag was "The Return of the Great Adventure" and the newspaper campaign had my favorite tag line of all: "If you don't go to the movies, you won't see Raiders of the Lost Ark!".

    As far as I know, there was no 16mm Dolby Stereo process (although I'm sure there were some experiments). I know you could do a two-track mix on 16mm magnetic sound prints, but I don't think they ever did optical stereo on 16.
     
  17. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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  18. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    So which print has the Stormtrooper searching the mos eisley doors saying "it's secure ... move onto the next one" as opposed to "This door is locked, move on to the next one."

    So many different versions of the film. I'd also swear there were two different effect shots of the Falcon blasting off into the Mos Eisley sky ... The colour of the sky was different in each version.

    Regards
     
  20. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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