Could the original, unaltered STAR WARS be on its way to Blu-ray?

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Interesting comment made by our friend, Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits on his Facebook page….

Interesting prospect. Now that we are done with the Batman rumor, perhaps we can discuss this one and hope that it comes to fruition.

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Ronald Epstein

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2773 Comments

  1. I think the real question is can Disney release the originals? If they can, I'm 100% sure they will. When the Disney sale first happened, I figured that George Lucas would have made sure that the deal specified that the SEs would be the only thing that Disney could release but I've softened in that view a little bit.

    I've always thought that the reason they used the laserdisc transfers for the OT DVDs was because Lucas didn't want to spend his money on 'incomplete' versions of the movies (and since it's his money, I can't fault him for doing what he wants with it). However, if it would be on Disney's dime, maybe Lucas couldn't care less if the originals come out. Or maybe it's totally out of his hands and Disney can do whatever they want. If that's the case, I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't release them.

  2. It would be silly of Disney not to. It'll get most Star Wars fans to double-dip and garner sales from the few hold-outs like myself who refuse to buy any release that doesn't include the original version.

    On top of that it'll be nice to know that the films have been restored and preserved in some fashion.

  3. Ignatius

    It would be silly of Disney not to. It'll get most Star Wars fans to double-dip and garner sales from the few hold-outs like myself who refuse to buy any release that doesn't include the original version.

    "Disney WOULD!" "Disney SHOULD!" "Disney COULD!"
    Here's a thought: How about if Disney CAN"T?
    (No, really, is that the whole defense for the rumor, that "Somebody big and new owns it now, so maybe we can ask them!"?)

    I know this theory has been brought up many, many times. But let's think logically…Forensically, if you will. Let's profile some rather odd behavior on George Lucas's part over the last five or ten years:
    – Responding to pressure to release the UOT, he releases the Limited Edition DVD's, mastered from the old 80's laserdisks…80's, as in made before 1997. Fans ask why he could be so "stingy" as to release upgraded LD sources, and they don't believe him when he says they were "the best sources still available". (They think he's just holding out, or greedy, so he can release the real one later.)
    – Later on, Lucas becomes rather disgruntled with the fans. He calls them hard to satisfy, as they keep, quote, "asking for something he can't give them anymore".
    – Finally, after years of stonewalling the fan questions, Lucas settles the arguments by petulantly stating "They're MY movies, not yours, and it's the director who has the final say on the edits!" The SE's will stay because he said so, that's why.

    Now…I consider myself a fairly good judge of human nature, and not overly suspicious or given to wild conspiracy theories.
    I just find it amusing, that's all, that there is one line even the angriest, most disgruntled Lucas-hating fan will ever cross:
    They complain about his "ruining" the saga with the prequels. They complain about his redubbing and reinserting SFX into the Special Editions. They call him "incompetent" and "gone looney", and all such hyperbolic terms.
    But the minute…the MINUTE…you raise the idea of "What if 'looney, incompetent, film-mangling' George really was 'stupid enough to' permanently destroy the unaltered originals?", watch the loyalty come out: "He wouldn't do that! He's an artist and a genius! He knows the value of these! He's too smart to compromise his vision, he's never do anything so stupid as that! He's got so much money and technology, he's sure to have them in an air-conditioned underground bunker at Skywalker Ranch, preserved in perpetuity until the time his greedy remarketing decides to release them again…Maybe in time for Episode VII!"

    (They NEVER cross that line. Something always stops them. They just can't do it.)

  4. Yeah, over the years things have been brought up such as Lucas says the original negatives etc are gone when he created the 1997 Special Edition versions. Honestly, I've always called B.S. to this. The reasoning some of your friends in the business are Spielberg, Scorsese, Ford Coppola etc all of whom preach film preservation / restoration and you honestly destroy your own negatives to the biggest cash cow movie franchise in history? B.S.! Personally I would love to see the original theatrical cuts and the 1997 S.E. cuts both released on BLU. If Disney has the rights to be able to release these versions they will for sure. It almost makes sense. They make this deal to own the films and be ale to make more films. It makes sense business wise that a good way to make sure to make good money from yet another BLU release for the original films would be to release the original cuts and possibly the 97 S.E. Otherwise just another re-issue of what we have now isn't going to break sales records even if the release is released before a new feature is shown theatrically. Yeah they can release 3D versions but Disney is smart and I bet they have something planned.

  5. Yeah, over the years things have been brought up such as Lucas ays the original negatives etc are gone when he created the 1997 Special Edition versions. Honestly, I've always called B.S. to this.

    I think it is B.S.

    I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source
    material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be
    struck.

  6. Yes, I'm sure it will happen.
    There will most likely be a new Blu-Ray release of the OT unaltered. 3 reasons I think this:
    1) Drum up more interest in a blitz-like marketing campaign(emphasis on the original trilogy and and the stars of those films).

    2) Give consumers the ultimate reason to re-buy it on Blu-Ray.

    3) Make a ton of money for Disney. Would a re-release on Blu really sell through the rafters without the unaltered OT?

    I have always thought it would not be a question of if, but rather when we would see the original trilogy the way it was originally shown in theaters.
    Lucas has always said he would never release it. Success! He never did, the weight of Star Wars is now off of his shoulders. Now that Disney owns it they should have been given the golden ticket to please fans and get them excited once again for Star Wars.

  7. There is no way Disney paid 4 BILLION dollars for Lucasifilm, only to allow GL to retain any control over the property whatsoever.

    It's been reported that Fox has rights to Episode IV forever and V/VI until 2020, but that is limited to distribution. They get a piece of whatever Disney does with those films and that is it. Their control does not extend to anything related to content. Frankly, given the money that's been spent up to now, it wouldn't surprise me if Disney bought out Fox's interests as well.

  8. I just hope if this is done, it's done properly with the actual original color timing and state-of-the-art film scanning of the source elements.

    Disney does have a good track record in restoring its classics although there has been some controvery at times.

  9. Ronald Epstein

    I think it is B.S.

    I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source
    material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be
    struck.

    But I thought Fox still held the video rights to the original trilogy? At least for several more years? Wasn't this deal with Disney strictly for new sequels and adaptations…basically anything going forward??

    Even if this fan-generated rumour turns out to be true, I'm still having a difficult time picturing Disney and Fox working together on the restoration, re-mastering, and re-release of three legacy cuts which the Filmmaker adamantly doesn't want anyone to see in that form anymore!

    Confused. :wacko:

  10. ROclockCK

    But I thought Fox still held the video rights to the original trilogy? At least for several more years? Wasn't this deal with Disney strictly for new sequels and adaptations…basically anything going forward?

    Fox only owns Episode IV at this point and I think they lose the video rights to the rest in two years.

  11. Cinescott

    There is no way Disney paid 4 BILLION dollars for Lucasifilm, only to allow GL to retain any control over the property whatsoever.

    If (and that is the keyword) keeping the originals out of circulation was a stipulation for George Lucas, Disney would be absolute fools to walk away from the deal simply because of that. It's easily worth $4 billion just to get the merchandising rights and the ability to make new movies. Yes, they'd be losing out on a potential stream of revenue by not getting to release the originals but that amount is nothing compared to what they'll be making from toys, new movies, TV shows, cartoon series, video sales, video games, marketing tie-ins, etc. for decades to come.

    Once again, I'm not saying that Disney doesn't have the rights to release the originals but it certainly would not be a deal breaker for them.

  12. Ronald Epstein

    I think it is B.S.

    I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source
    material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be
    struck.

    Gee, could that reliable source be George Lucas? Who has said, many times, that archival 35mm interpositives are in the Lucasfilm Vaults? Something confirmed by RIck McCallum, and Ron Howard, who actually asked to see them?

    GL has stated that the 35mm elements need "a lot of work". My guess is that work may very well be ongoing or already done.

    Also, the original negatives WERE re-conformed (not destroyed) to the 1997 SEs. Any Blus made from those would BE the 1997 SEs. GL himself admitted to that.

    I suspect if they are coming, we won't see them untill the new movies comes out on video. Or, possibly, not untill 2017 which is the 40th anniversary.

  13. Fox has distribution rights to Episode IV for good, and for Episodes V and VI until 2020. Lucasfilm own the actual films themselves, and all decisions relating to their release lie with them. If Lucasfilm (or their new Disney masters) want to release the original original trilogy, they will do, and Fox will distribute them like they did the last few times. I very much doubt they could even refuse (not that they'd want to).

    Fingers crossed original elements have been preserved well. Personally, a new Blu-ray release would only interest me if new scans/transfers were done of said elements, with proper colour correction and the original soundtracks. If you're going to release the unaltered Star Wars Trilogy, you get one shot and it better be done right. The fans have gone through way too much of Lucas' bulls*** to settle for something like the 2011 Blu-rays with the original footage, poorly sourced, reinserted (no doubt with a myriad of "mistakes" were proper corrections haven't been done).

  14. This should be done as a 2 part project. Pull all the best existing film elements out of the vaults, scan them in at least 4K, and have Reliance Media/Lowry Digital clean everything up using their latest tools. Then give the restored files over to 2 teams. The first will be in charge of reassembling the original theatrical versions. The second team, supervised by George Lucas, will created final Ultimate Editions of each movie, with whatever changes and VFX updates they want to make, and 3D conversions. Everyone wins. Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

  15. EddieLarkin

    Fox has distribution rights to Episode IV for good, and for Episodes V and VI until 2020. Lucasfilm own the actual films themselves, and all decisions relating to their release lie with them. If Lucasfilm (or their new Disney masters) want to release the original original trilogy, they will do, and Fox will distribute them like they did the last few times. I very much doubt they could even refuse (not that they'd want to).

    I suspect some sort of exchange was made over international rights and getting the Fox logo on VII.

  16. We may see something similar to the deal Disney made with Paramount over the Marvel Avengers series of movies, where Disney now handles distribution but the Paramount logo along with the Marvel logo bookends the films (even though Paramount has nothing to do with any future Marvel Avengers films).

  17. Mark this date in your calendar, 2017. 2017 is the anniversary date, a special 50th one and i expect to see not only the original unaltered editions out on blu ray but maybe even in 4k, i also expect a new and improved Phantom Menace without the grain reduction and probably 3D conversions of all the films, 2017 is the year Star Wars gets milked to death and many new toys are sold, i expect a new movie out that year too.

  18. Ronald Epstein

    That's a bit hard hearing "new," "improved" and
    "The Phantom Menace" in the same sentence. Wish those three films never existed in the Star
    Wars universe.

    I enjoyed them, that magnificent three way fight scene at the end of Phantom all set to Duel Of The Fates, fantastic, loved it, for me the best of the prequels was Attack Of The Clones, once again a great music score and yes i even enjoyed the love story, the dialogue was meant to be like that, the dialogue reminded me of old style forties flicks, very intentional, yep i truly enjoyed the prequels.

    Not interested in 3D conversions, shoot native or don't bother, improved is an overused word, degraining a 35mm shot film and removing detail and then converting to 3D and everything is smooth as a baby's bottom, nah, i don't call that an improvement, not by a country mile, i want the original 35mm shot version with the film grain left in, the funny thing is they shot part 3 using new and improved digital cameras and added film grain to make it look more film like and that is left in the blu ray edition but they remove it from the Phantom Menace to make it look more digital, that's just crazy and does not make any sense to me.

    The only thing i can think of is they used the degrained film print/master ( the one to be used on the 3D conversion ) of Phantom Menace for the blu ray and didn't want to pony up for a new film scan, it doesn't make sense that they add film grain to the digitally shot one but remove from the 35mm shot one.

  19. Ronald Epstein

    That's a bit hard hearing "new," "improved" and
    "The Phantom Menace" in the same sentence. Wish those three films never existed in the Star
    Wars universe.

    Ha ha. I'm not the biggest fan of the prequels either, but I watched episode 1 just the other night babysitting my niece(8 years old) and she absolutely loved it, and that upped my enjoyment of the film 100%. My three nephews are all hooked on the prequels also. I have heard the OT being quoted as "boring" from all of them. Different generation for sure, but liking Star Wars in any capacity is never a bad thing.

  20. If this did happen unless they spent significant money on the transfer it would be a massive letdown in 1080P. ANH has colour issues where they used a different film stock which faded from scene to scene. Dig out your old LD/VHS look closely at the parts on Tatooine specifically around the dusk canyon scenes with R2D2 & C3PO hiding from the Jawa the red colour on the canyon walls keeps changing tone & almost breaking up the picture in large areas onscreen. This is more noticeable on a 60" plus display but its there. I think they replaced the film stock after shooting some of those scenes but the damage was done on the original footage already. The red colour pulses a lot in several scenes. Look close enough its there!

    IMO Lucasfilm were not prepared to spend the $$$ to do the OT justice on Bluray (ROTJ has a very noticeble red line down one side of the screen at the end & ANH has a highly visible green line I detailed here back in 2011: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/308491-star-wars-the-complete-saga-member-review-thread/page-4#entry3740537).

  21. FoxyMulder

    Mark this date in your calendar, 2017. 2017 is the anniversary date, a special 50th one and i expect to see not only the original unaltered editions out on blu ray but maybe even in 4k, i also expect a new and improved Phantom Menace without the grain reduction and probably 3D conversions of all the films, 2017 is the year Star Wars gets milked to death and many new toys are sold, i expect a new movie out that year too.

    50th anniversary? What happened in 1967 that has to do with Star Wars?

  22. Stephen Brooks

    This should be done as a 2 part project. Pull all the best existing film elements out of the vaults, scan them in at least 4K, and have Reliance Media/Lowry Digital clean everything up using their latest tools. Then give the restored files over to 2 teams. The first will be in charge of reassembling the original theatrical versions. The second team, supervised by George Lucas, will created final Ultimate Editions of each movie, with whatever changes and VFX updates they want to make, and 3D conversions. Everyone wins.Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

    I would prefer Reliance Media/Lowry Digital does NOT handle these films. They botched these back in 2004 when the masters were first completed at 1080p. They also have a long history of less than optimal discs.

    I don't care for their processing of de-graining films and then re-inserting 'film grain'. This process has caused more artifacts that one could count and lacks authenticity in my opinion.

    I would rather see a company like Laser Pacific who has done a stellar job on Spielberg movies including Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  23. I would bet a large number of Republic credits that the masters of the prequels that were created for the Blu-rays, and used for subsequent 3D conversion (they had to have been well into the process on II & III when the plug was pulled on the theatrical releases) are pretty much the final word on those movies. Those movies are always going to represent the infancy of digital filmmaking. The 1080p image we see on the BDs is more or less what ILM saw on their monitors while they worked on the movies. The degraining of Phantom Menace was a very deliberate decision to get it to look more like the other digitally-shot prequels. I seriously doubt a "Now With Film Grain!" edition is in the cards. You COULD go back and rescan the film footage in 4K, but you'd basically just have a bunch of people standing around greenscreen. There is literally only 1 shot in the entire movie without CGI. Nobody is going to take the time and expense to basically remake the movie just so it looks slightly sharper on 4K displays that hardly anyone has. AOTC and ROTS were shot in 1080p and that's how they're stuck. The originals are a different story altogether……shot entirely on film, there's no reason they can't look a lot better than they currently do, whether it's the originals or a new Special Edition using a state-of-the-art restoration as a starting point. Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

  24. Dave H

    I would prefer Reliance Media/Lowry Digital does NOT handle these films. They botched these back in 2004 when the masters were first completed at 1080p. They also have a long history of less than optimal discs.

    I don't care for their processing of de-graining films and then re-inserting 'film grain'. This process has caused more artifacts that one could count and lacks authenticity in my opinion.

    I would rather see a company like Laser Pacific who has done a stellar job on Spielberg movies including Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Disney has a long ongoing relationship with Reliance, so it's quite likely that that's who they'll use. Their process has improved considerably since 2004 (when they were also subjected to Lucasfilm's ridiculously rushed schedule of 1 month per film, forcing them to rely much more on automated software than they would've like). If we get Star Wars looking as good as Alien or the new Terminator BD, I'll be happy.

    The biggest factor will be simply taking the time to do it right. Don't start the project with a specific release date that HAS to be made. Take however the hell long it takes to do it right.

    Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

  25. Stephen Brooks

    I would bet a large number of Republic credits that the masters of the prequels that were created for the Blu-rays, and used for subsequent 3D conversion (they had to have been well into the process on II & III when the plug was pulled on the theatrical releases) are pretty much the final word on those movies. Those movies are always going to represent the infancy of digital filmmaking. The 1080p image we see on the BDs is more or less what ILM saw on their monitors while they worked on the movies. The degraining of Phantom Menace was a very deliberate decision to get it to look more like the other digitally-shot prequels. I seriously doubt a "Now With Film Grain!" edition is in the cards. You COULD go back and rescan the film footage in 4K, but you'd basically just have a bunch of people standing around greenscreen. There is literally only 1 shot in the entire movie without CGI. Nobody is going to take the time and expense to basically remake the movie just so it looks slightly sharper on 4K displays that hardly anyone has. AOTC and ROTS were shot in 1080p and that's how they're stuck.The originals are a different story altogether……shot entirely on film, there's no reason they can't look a lot better than they currently do, whether it's the originals or a new Special Edition using a state-of-the-art restoration as a starting point.Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

    Yes but the whole point is that for Episode 3 they added film grain to make it look more film like and less digital, for the Phantom Menace they degrained to make it look more digital and less film like, i don't get the logic, surely if they wanted smoother and a digital look then they wouldn't have bothered adding in film grain for part 3, no for me i think Phanton Menace looks the way it does because they used a master intended for the 3D conversion, nothing else makes sense and when 4K monitors are all the rage they will redo all of them and upscale the digital shot last 2 films.

  26. And I know we're all having technical Monday-morning-quarterback fun with how Disney and Lucas should remaster them, and when to release them in time for this or that anniversary, with this or those extras, IF the originals still existed, like undated out-of-context quotes told us they must.

    But, y'see, like Lt. Columbo always said–who also found the key clue in odd behavior on the suspect's part–there's just that one little question in the back of my head I keep coming back to, because no matter what I do, I can't get my mind around it:
    Is it all just a HOAX? Is it all just an elaborately planned ruse on Lucas's part, to lead us off the scent, and "greedily" make us buy inferior in-between double-dip editions while never, hee-hee, suspecting for a second that the pristine premium 4K UOT editions are just around the corner?
    Because if acting twitchy, guilty, hyperdefensive, combative toward the fans, and changing the subject every time anyone brings up changes to the '97 and '04 editions is all really a performance….bravo, George: Your sublimely deceptive "I have no regrets, honest!" is BEYOND OSCAR-WORTHY. The sensitively realized red-herring depiction of an overly autocratic director-producer who now fears he may have made one too many self-indulgent decisions in his past and now retreats from the public eye aware that he has no ability to atone for them anymore, goes far beyond Orson Welles in Citizen Kane–The strategically fictional character created in public has me convinced beyond the proverbial shadow of a freakin' doubt. And I flatter myself that I'm rather hard to fool.

    (And they say he never could understand actors…)

  27. Tom M

    Gee, could that reliable source be George Lucas? Who has said, many times, that archival 35mm interpositives are in the Lucasfilm Vaults? Something confirmed by RIck McCallum, and Ron Howard, who actually asked to see them?

    GL has stated that the 35mm elements need "a lot of work". My guess is that work may very well be ongoing or already done.

    Also, the original negatives WERE re-conformed (not destroyed) to the 1997 SEs. Any Blus made from those would BE the 1997 SEs. GL himself admitted to that.

    I suspect if they are coming, we won't see them untill the new movies comes out on video. Or, possibly, not untill 2017 which is the 40th anniversary.

    iirc, robert harris said on this forum a few years ago that the original cut negative was not changed. a new duplicate negative was what all the work was done on prep star wars for the restoration and insertion of new footage to create the special editions.

  28. Moe Dickstein

    So I guess I'm one of two people who prefers the new versions huh?

    I love the idea of updating the OT but the execution so far has left a lot to be desired. They need to put the same care into it that Blade Runner: The Final Cut got, for example. That said, I'm reasonably happy with my Blu-rays. Most of the general public seems to be as well. How many people who already own the current Blu-rays will shell out again for a "despecialized" edition? I suspect not nearly as many as the hardcore fans would imagine. Particularly anyone 25 and under would be likely to give such a release a big "meh". Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

  29. Stephen Brooks

    Particularly anyone 25 and under would be likely to give such a release a big "meh".

    I'm under 25, as are a lot of the people I know who have been clamouring most for the original editions. Just because we're young and didn't see the films in theaters, doesn't mean we don't realise how absolutely idiotic say, the Anakin's ghost change was. I mean, it's right there on the screen. A young, modern day actor appearing as himself in a film from 1983 (when he was actually 2 years old). That's going to set alarm bells off for anyone of any age.

  30. Moe Dickstein

    So I guess I'm one of two people who prefers the new versions huh?

    I prefer some of the changes (the new effects shots in the space battle in Star Wars are great, the fixes to a number of effects in Return Of The Jedi are much better than the original shots) but some are lousy (the oft-cited Greedo shooting first in Star Wars, Vader saying "Nooooo" in Return Of The Jedi). I'm all for George Lucas getting his ever changing vision onscreen but I'd love to see all the versions of the movie available.

    EddieLarkin

    Just because we're young and didn't see the films in theaters, doesn't mean we don't realise how absolutely idiotic say, the Anakin's ghost change was.

    That change makes more sense than what was in the original movie. Anakin never looked like Sebastian Shaw (with a full head of hair, etc.) but he did look like Hayden Christensen at some point in his life.

  31. Moe Dickstein

    So I guess I'm one of two people who prefers the new versions huh?

    I too am happy enough with the newer versions. They're not perfect, but the original unaltered trilogy also has many weak points, like the human Jabba in Star Wars, the flickering faint white boxes around the green-screen-based space effects, etc. Frankly, I'm also not that bothered about whether Greedo shoots first or not; it is not the sole defining moment of the Han Solo character for me. In fact there's something to be said about Solo reacting in defense rather than coldly initiating deadly violence.

    I saw these movies in the theater when I was young, and as magical as they were at the time, I think nostalgia is blinding a lot of people as to the faults of the originals. For me, the original trilogy as it current stands is perfectly fine, and the changes also help to better blend it with the prequels. I have all six movies and I won't be rebuying any of them until they come out in a better format than Blu-ray.

    That said, I'm obviously not against the original trilogy being made available for those who want it in its unaltered form, and of course for the sake of history, the original versions should also be archived in the best possible form.

  32. I know kids who are 16 or 17 and huge fans of the series. When discussing the changes that were made to the films in '97 and beyond, they said "What changes?" There's a generation – or at least a segment of it – that has no idea of the changes. Indeed, in 20 years, they'll probably want the films they grew up with.

    That said, I will welcome the original versions in HD. While some of the more subtle changes I can live with (windows in Cloud City, for example), most of them are irritatingly bad.

  33. i'm fairly happy with the quality of the existing Blu-rays. They're certainly better than any other home video version I have ever had with regard to clarity. I was disappointed with the prequels, but I've found that to be largely a generational thing.

  34. TravisR

    I think the real question is can Disney release the originals? If they can, I'm 100% sure they will. When the Disney sale first happened, I figured that George Lucas would have made sure that the deal specified that the SEs would be the only thing that Disney could release but I've softened in that view a little bit.

    It's remarkable what effect a few billion dollars can have on someone's flexibility.

  35. Persianimmortal

    Frankly, I'm also not that bothered about whether Greedo shoots first or not; it is not the sole defining moment of the Han Solo character for me.

    Yeah, before it was changed, it was just a cool move that Han made and nothing more. Once it was changed, it suddenly became a character defining moment. I dislike that change because I think it looks goofy.

    JoeDoakes

    It's remarkable what effect a few billion dollars can have on someone's flexibility.

    Sure but Lucas is the one with the product that Disney wanted so he could have also made that stipulation if he wanted to.

  36. I completely lost interest in anything Star Wars shortly after the 'new ' versions came out. All the added CGI stuff does nothing for me.
    The only thing I want is the unaltered original trilogy in 1080p.
    Can't bear to get rid of my VHS copies of the originals, but they look terrible on the projector, so why bother watching…

    I found Episode 1 so-so, Episode 2 was a chore to watch, and I stayed away from 3, so I will never spend a penny on those.
    I just want what I saw in theatres in the 70s and 80s. Why is that too much to ask?

  37. I can't believe how bad the changes look on bluray. Some of that stuff is like a neon sign that says "THIS WAS CHANGED IN THE 90s! NOW THIS IS TIMELESS. WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?"

  38. Persianimmortal

    I too am happy enough with the newer versions. They're not perfect, but the original unaltered trilogy also has many weak points, like the human Jabba in Star Wars, the flickering faint white boxes around the green-screen-based space effects, etc. Frankly, I'm also not that bothered about whether Greedo shoots first or not; it is not the sole defining moment of the Han Solo character for me. In fact there's something to be said about Solo reacting in defense rather than coldly initiating deadly violence.

    I saw these movies in the theater when I was young, and as magical as they were at the time, I think nostalgia is blinding a lot of people as to the faults of the originals. For me, the original trilogy as it current stands is perfectly fine, and the changes also help to better blend it with the prequels. I have all six movies and I won't be rebuying any of them until they come out in a better format than Blu-ray.

    That said, I'm obviously not against the original trilogy being made available for those who want it in its unaltered form, and of course for the sake of history, the original versions should also be archived in the best possible form.

    Jabba was actually not in the original Star Wars – that was a deleted scene which was inserted into the newer versions.

  39. I would buy the unaltered originals just for nostalgia but, my kids could care less and would probably find it weird. All they've seen is the current Blu-Rays so, to have some stuff removed, from there point of view, would probably confuse them.

    One thing I find funny is many people have defended the prequels saying things like they were made for kids. When my kids ask to watch Star Wars, they ask for the one with Vader in it more then anything. So far they have shown more interest in the original trilogy then the prequels. Honestly, I think this is because, even at there young age, my kids find the original trilogy more fun to watch. The prequels are just downright boring at times.

    We just got our first 3D HDTV last week and my oldest daughter (5) has already asked to watch Star Wars in 3D. She was disappointed to find out that Star Wars is not in 3D.

  40. I'd definitely pre-order the OOT. I did not buy altered version. My last purchase of Star Wars was the non-anamorphic SD DVD version. Before that, I bought the original P & S laserdiscs, the original widescreen laserdiscs, and the "Faces" laserdiscs.

    For me, the prequels do not exist. I saw Ep. I and Ep. II twice each, and Ep. III once. I do not not plan to see them again; so any reference to Hayden Christiansen in ROTJ is unnecessary for me.

  41. See and I never watched SW until I was older and around the time the prequels came out, so I actually enjoy the political intrigue aspects of the prequels more than some stuff in the later films, plus the changes to 4-6 to make them fit in with 1-3 better are improvements in my mind. If you're watching 1-6 as a series, of course it should be Hayden's ghost at the end!

  42. I am not concerned with what makes more sense story wise, especially since I don't even acknowledge the prequels. Anakin used to look like Hayden Christensen? Not in my SW Universe.

    What really bothers me is the posterity aspect. The new and updated Return of the Jedi claims to be a film from 1983, but it no longer is. A film from 1983 cannot star an adult man who was only born in 1981. Return of the Jedi is a 2004 film (or a 2011 film, if we're keeping track). I want it to be a 1983 film again, a privilege everyone else expects from any other film released on home video.

  43. I'm a fan of these movies going back to when I saw Star Wars in movie theaters repeatedly in 1977 (and when it would be re-issued into theaters for years afterward).

    I also remember fan excitement about the Special Editions in 1997, as people wanted to see that Jabba scene and there was a lot of anticipation about how good the new CGI dogfights would look at the end of the movie. I remember people in 1997 being happy to see an alternative to the "Lub Nub" song at the end of Jedi. It was only in retrospect that fan opinion about the SE's really soured. Looking at them now, certain changes are obvious and glaring, such as Han "stepping over" Jabba's tail.

    I believe a lot of the bad blood from fans came from the fact that Lucas didn't simply include restored copies of the original versions of the trilogy. I've shown people the laserdisc-sourced copies of the OT that were included on the DVDs in 2006, just to make the graphic point that what Lucas did there was tell the fans that if they wanted the original versions, the only way they could see them was in a little box in the middle of their screen. You can blow that box up and artificially play with the sound, but it's not the same thing – the picture and sound quality notably drops.

    Frankly, I do think that Disney will be able to put the original versions out on Blu-ray but I don't think anyone is going to be spending a lot of money on restoration of them. I think what you'll see is that Disney will do HD transfers of 35mm interpositives and then have Fox issue movie singles of all 6 of the movies so far. The OT movies will have a second disc, just as the 2006 singles did – only this time the 2nd disc will be a Blu-ray with the original version of the movie, presented in high definition picture and sound. I wouldn't expect any extras on that. I would expect Disney to put a premium price on each of those OT singles, since that's how they'll pay for the cost of the transfers, and since the sales from this will not be at the level of the huge numbers Fox and Lucasfilm pulled in for the 2011 releases.

    I agree that the single releases will be in connection with the new movies. The question is really when Episode 7 is released to theaters. If it comes out in 2016, you could see these releases out that summer, which would be close enough for the 40th anniversary. I don't think they'd hold the releases back just to put the number on the package. I do think Disney would re-release the discs a year later without changes and CALL that the 40th Anniversary edition, however…

  44. If this ever does come to pass, I'd finally buy SW on blu. As it is, I haven't bought them since they are not the movies I want. No double dipping the blu-rays here since there hasn't been the initial dip in the first place.

    I do have them on DVD, but it's the re-issue set with the OOTs on the second disc. At least I could watch those and not have to swap out several CAV laserdiscs per movie from my Definitive Edition LD Box set. (My LD player is double-sided, but not multi-disc – which, of course, they never had). And, it is the OOTs I play when the mood strikes me – I think I've played the special editions only once since I've had them.

  45. TravisR

    Yeah, before it was changed, it was just a cool move that Han made and nothing more. Once it was changed, it suddenly became a character defining moment. I dislike that change because I think it looks goofy.

    It sets up the character gag that Han's answer to everything is to shoot first.
    As we see later when he shoots the Death Star com panel when he can't think of how to get out of it. (*blam!* "It was a lousy conversation anyway…")

    Other than that, that was the only '97 change that bothered me. ("Nooo!" was for the Blu-ray.)
    I bought the LE disk for Han shooting first and for the no-subtitle scroll (still sends chills down the spine of us original-generation folk), but does anyone really still want RotJ ending with the Ewok National Anthem?

    Chris Will

    We just got our first 3D HDTV last week and my oldest daughter (5) has already asked to watch Star Wars in 3D. She was disappointed to find out that Star Wars is not in 3D.

    Kevin EK

    I do think Disney would re-release the discs a year later without changes and CALL that the 40th Anniversary edition, however…

    I suspect we're finally going to find out the fate of the complete 3D Prequel trilogy (maybe that's what she was asking about?) that was just on the verge of getting its reputation back again, when the sale threw everything up into the air.
    Someone may be watching Warner's Oz very carefully, and a pre-disk theatrical release might not be off the table.

  46. Ejanss

    Does anyone really still want RotJ ending with the Ewok National Anthem?

    Yep. I like the "yub-yub" song just fine. Maybe it's because I don't like the replacement music with the new added footage. Or maybe it's just because I like the ending of the film and the music is now forever associated with it (for me, anyway).

  47. EddieLarkin

    I am not concerned with what makes more sense story wise, especially since I don't even acknowledge the prequels. Anakin used to look like Hayden Christensen? Not in my SW Universe. What really bothers me is the posterity aspect. The new and updated Return of the Jedi claims to be a film from 1983, but it no longer is. A film from 1983 cannot star an adult man who was only born in 1981. Return of the Jedi is a 2004 film (or a 2011 film, if we're keeping track). I want it to be a 1983 film again, a privilege everyone else expects from any other film released on home video.

    Oh I didn't know that it worked like we all got to pick our own personal Star Wars universe, like I said I'm not so well versed in SW fandom and foolishly assumed that the creator got to decide what was canon.

  48. Ejanss

    It sets up the character gag that Han's answer to everything is to shoot first.
    As we see later when he shoots the Death Star com panel when he can't think of how to get out of it. (*blam!* "It was a lousy conversation anyway…")

    I thought Han shooting first showed him as a ruthless ask no questions type of guy and by the end of the film he finds a cause he believes in and starts asking questions, by having him shoot at the same time they watered his character down just a little bit, spoiled the journey he takes because by the end of the film we know he isn't that shoot first guy we saw at the start.

  49. Moe Dickstein

    Oh I didn't know that it worked like we all got to pick our own personal Star Wars universe, like I said I'm not so well versed in SW fandom and foolishly assumed that the creator got to decide what was canon.

    He does get to decide what's canon, but that's different to retconning something he doesn't like anymore by digitally scrubbing away an actor. How is that any different to, say, digitally removing Brian Cox from Manhunter and replacing him with digital-Anthony Hopkins so it fits better with Silence of the Lambs? (I'm fairly sure there's a better example out there!)

  50. Moe Dickstein

    Oh I didn't know that it worked like we all got to pick our own personal Star Wars universe, like I said I'm not so well versed in SW fandom and foolishly assumed that the creator got to decide what was canon.

    Sure we can. Over in the Alien franchise, I don't acknowledge the existence of Alien3. But don't think I'm in the "Lucas stole my childhood camp". I like the versions on blu-ray.

  51. Ejanss

    but does anyone really still want RotJ ending with the Ewok National Anthem?

    Yes, even though I greatly prefer the new score (it's the one single change I liked). But again, personal preference is not the point.

  52. EddieLarkin

    He does get to decide what's canon, but that's different to retconning something he doesn't like anymore by digitally scrubbing away an actor. How is that any different to, say, digitally removing Brian Cox from Manhunter and replacing him with digital-Anthony Hopkins so it fits better with Silence of the Lambs? (I'm fairly sure there's a better example out there!)

    No need to erase Brian Cox, they simply re-made the film as Red Dragon. ( same title as the book it's based on )

  53. EddieLarkin

    Oh, better example: digitally replace Ed Norton with Mark Ruffalo in The Incredible Hulk. Is that OK?! (yeah okay, not a great movie)

    Digitally replace Paulie Shore in any film he has ever been in, now that's an improvement.

  54. I will gladly repurcahse these if we get the cuts as they were first released in theaters.

    While there are mulitple issues with the revisions, the dropping of Hayden's head on a squeezed Sebastian Shaw body is just bad f/x work. One would think a group known for F/X would not do such shoddy work over and over again in the new cuts.

    Sure, the dogfight over the Death Star in the new cuts looks phenominal, but the items like inserted Hayben's head were just so bargain basement in the manner they were done.

    Who knows, buy the time these get released, Hayden may be old enought and they can re-do it again! 😉

  55. Personal preference is all fine and good in terms of 'tweaking' the Star Wars films to satisfy each viewer's subjective desires and the related discussion regarding which scenes and actors work for you and which do not.

    For me it is all about getting the original films that I saw theatrically in '77, '80, and '83 with the best possible presentations of those films with their original content – warts and all. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    If I were going to wish for SE content – I would love to see the original making of specials for Empire and Jedi that aired on network television (CBS?) to promote the films. At least that is an extra that I would love to re-experience again.

    Not a big fan of most of the changes.

    – Walter.

  56. EddieLarkin

    Oh, better example: digitally replace Ed Norton with Mark Ruffalo in The Incredible Hulk. Is that OK?! (yeah okay, not a great movie)

    It's apples and oranges. Those films you mentioned aren't meant to be a seamless "set" of films but rather are re-boots. They also don't share the same creative force behind them. Plus you take the argument to ridiculous lengths of replacing an actor for an entire film rather than basically a one shot cameo. The moment of seeing the Annakin we come to know in 3 films again at the end of 6 is far more powerful in that context than seeing the face of an actor that we've seen on screen under heavy makeup for perhaps a couple minutes.

  57. Well, it would be more powerful if it didn't a) look totally fake, b) Christensen wasn't doing his "evil Vader" stare and c) didn't remind me of the fact that RotJ now features actors that were babies in 1983.

  58. Since no one has mentioned it: From the Digital Bits' ComicCon report:

    Last but not least, a particularly interesting topic of conversation among our industry friends at Comic-Con this year was the likelihood that the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy will finally be released on disc in high quality now that Disney is in the driver’s seat on the franchise. The expert consensus was that it’s quite possible. In fact, it’s almost unthinkable that it won’t happen. Disney has the best marketing machine in the business, and what better way to instantly spark fan enthusiasm and good feelings for the studio’s planned Episodes 7, 8 and 9 feature films than by giving fans what they’ve always wanted too: the unaltered theatrical cuts of Episodes 4, 5 and 6 on Blu-ray? Again, this is just somewhat informed speculation, so consider it Rumor Mill worthy. But every time jaded fans think they’re finally done with this franchise, the Empire finds new ways to pull them back in. The Saga continues, folks.

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/072213_0010

  59. EddieLarkin

    Well, it would be more powerful if it didn't a) look totally fake, b) Christensen wasn't doing his "evil Vader" stare and c) didn't remind me of the fact that RotJ now features actors that were babies in 1983.

    The first two weren't an issue to me (I mean he's a ghost is that supposed to look "real") and the last one is your own personal hangup.

  60. If this is indeed coming down the blu-ray pipeline in a year or 2, it'll be interesting to see if Disney antes up the budget necessary to do a full 4k archival restoration with photochemical and digital cleanup of the original camera negatives and effects shots…if that happens, I'll be a first day buyer of this newly-minted set of the true Original Trilogy of the '70s & '80s!!! I like the Special Editions, but was DEEPLY disappointed that GL refused to release the original theatrical presentations with them…

  61. lukejosephchung

    If this is indeed coming down the blu-ray pipeline in a year or 2, it'll be interesting to see if Disney antes up the budget necessary to do a full 4k archival restoration with photochemical and digital cleanup of the original camera negatives and effects shots…if that happens, I'll be a first day buyer of this newly-minted set of the true Original Trilogy of the '70s & '80s!!! I like the Special Editions, but was DEEPLY disappointed that GL refused to release the original theatrical presentations with them…

    This is my thought, as well. I don't hate the Special Editions(es?), and I think Lucas truly has the right to revise them whenever he wants (hell, I might even buy 'em). BUT: he has an obligation and a responsibility to preserve and make available the original versions (which I want, above all). Anything less is a crime against cinema history.

  62. I like many aspects of the revised editions but it seems they went cheap when producing them because some of the additions are just so amateurish and not what you expect to see in films which pride themselves on their effects work, it's great i can watch The Empire Strikes Back and not have to put up with the matte issues during the Millenium Falcon asteroid field chase, for years seeing outlines around those rocks bothered me, but they still have the annoying shuttle sequence at the end which they pinched from Return Of The Jedi, intensely dislike that scene.

  63. Ron, you need to lock this thread.

    The Digital Bits just posted following on its Facebook:

    RE: The comment in today's Bits post about the possibility of Star Wars theatrical cuts being released on disc by Disney one day. This isn't a leak based on special knowledge, it's not news. It was just a report of several conversations at the Con among industry insiders that we all found interesting. We were all speculating aloud as to what we thought was likely or possible. I know movie geeks NEVER blow such things out of proportion, but let's not blow these things out of proportion, shall we?

  64. All Digital Bits is saying is that some industry people are speculating that such a release is possible. Which is something we already knew.

    By the way, I would not expect Disney to be investing in a 4K restoration or any of the rest of that. I'd expect an efficient and inexpensive transfer of the 35mm interpositives with no frills.

  65. There are films that get released on BLU all the time that we wish looked better and we usually get the response that if the film were only more popular or more of a cash grabber then a better restoration could have been done. Id hate to think if the original theatrical versions and even the 97 SE versions get a BLU release I'd hate to think the distributor would find it not in their best interest to invest in such a constant money maker as Star Wars has always been.

  66. This will arrive in same year as Song of the South blu-ray 🙂 Fox retain rights to all existing Star Wars films until 2020 I believe. So, if the blu-rays occurs, it won't happen before that. Pointless thread, as I already said.

  67. Didier R

    Pointless thread, as I already said.

    I'll take a topic that generates 5 pages of discussion in 2 days over another "Why isn't [obscure title that even many movie buffs don't remember] out on Blu-ray yet?!!!!1" thread.

  68. Didier R

    Ron, you need to lock this thread.

    The Digital Bits just posted following on its Facebook:

    So…basically, the whole thing really was started by "Say, Disney owns them now, that means everything will start over and new things will happen, right?"

    (Er, yeeeessss, assuming they CAN happen… 🙄 )

  69. Ejanss

    So…basically, the whole thing really was started by "Say, Disney owns them now, that means everything will start over and new things will happen, right?"

    (Er, yeeeessss, assuming they CAN happen… 🙄 )

    Correct. They were having a good fun, and speculating aloud. That's it.

    I'll repeat it again. Disney's doesn't own existing Star Wars films

    "Fox retains ownership and distribution of all existing Star Wars movies (until that contract expires… UPDATE 4:: Episode 4 is owned "in perpituity" and all other existing movies are owned through 2020). "

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/59381

  70. ijthompson

    This is my thought, as well. I don't hate the Special Editions(es?), and I think Lucas truly has the right to revise them whenever he wants (hell, I might even buy 'em). BUT: he has an obligation and a responsibility to preserve and make available the original versions (which I want, above all). Anything less is a crime against cinema history.

    In fairness, and just a reminder, Lucas did release the unaltered trilogy on DVD. I guess some people have the "it doesn't count" mentality because they were old, non-anamorphic LD transfers, but you can pop in versions of the movies on DVD that are at least equal to the LDs many people say they are still holding on to (versions that are even "more" original because of the removal of the Episode IV tag, and no need to change LD sides which is nice) and almost certainly better than VHS

    Honestly, I think this is because, even at there young age, my kids find the original trilogy more fun to watch. The prequels are just downright boring at times.

    Yep. I could forgive a lot of the story problems (and there are some huge ones), illogical character actions, sub par performances (not by everyone, but the cast did have some definite clunkers), laughable dialogue, overly convoluted plot etc. if they weren't so flat out boring (although this applies more to TPM than AOTC and ROTS)

    When you look at the original trilogy, you had pretty simple plot lines at the core, characters you could easily identify with, characters that were initially at odds with each other, but worked together and developed believable friendships/romance (I never believed in the PT that Anakin and Obi-Wan even particularly liked each other, let alone being great friends), bits of humor that weren't forced, a strong/scary villain and while the acting was never great, all the performances were serviceable and I certainly don't recall any clunkers in the bunch. And it's those elements made the OT fun to watch. The PT did pretty much all of that wrong.

  71. Persianimmortal

    I saw these movies in the theater when I was young, and as magical as they were at the time, I think nostalgia is blinding a lot of people as to the faults of the originals. For me, the original trilogy as it current stands is perfectly fine, and the changes also help to better blend it with the prequels.

    This, all the way. I too am one of the "older" fans, and while I think it would be interesting to see a hi-quality release of the unaltered OT, I'm not clamoring for it. I'm fine with the Blu Rays I bought two years ago, and won't be slitting my wrists just because the 1977-83 versions haven't been remastered yet.

  72. Didier R

    Correct. They were having a good fun, and speculating aloud. That's it.

    I'll repeat it again. Disney's doesn't own existing Star Wars films

    "Fox retains ownership and distribution of all existing Star Wars movies (until that contract expires… UPDATE 4:: Episode 4 is owned "in perpituity" and all other existing movies are owned through 2020). "

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/59381

    That link is incorrect. Fox hasn't retained any rights of ownership to these films, because they never had ownership in the first place (apart from Episode IV, which they relinquished back to Lucasfilm around 1999). Lucasfilm own these films, and Disney own Lucasfilm.

    How would Fox ever get ownership of Empire or Jedi when they were not involved in their production? Lucasfilm ponied up all the cash for those two, and had complete control. Fox distributed them, the rights to which they retain.

  73. Kevin EK

    All Digital Bits is saying is that some industry people are speculating that such a release is possible. Which is something we already knew.

    By the way, I would not expect Disney to be investing in a 4K restoration or any of the rest of that. I'd expect an efficient and inexpensive transfer of the 35mm interpositives with no frills.

    That would be ashame. Maybe someone like Spielberg would pony up the money to restore these correctly as he did with The Godfather if I recall? Especially considering his strong stance on retaining original versions of movies.

  74. Kevin EK

    By the way, I would not expect Disney to be investing in a 4K restoration or any of the rest of that. I'd expect an efficient and inexpensive transfer of the 35mm interpositives with no frills.

    I'd be perfectly fine with that. To me, an ideal video transfer is one that closely replicates the way a film would have looked on opening night in a good theatre.

  75. EddieLarkin

    Lucasfilm own these films, and Disney own Lucasfilm.

    I'm pretty sure that Disney bought Star Wars from Lucasfilm (rather than buying all of LFL). If Disney did own LFL, they'd own Indiana Jones and I never heard a word about that.

  76. TravisR

    I'm pretty sure that Disney bought Star Wars from Lucasfilm (rather than buying all of LFL). If Disney did own LFL, they'd own Indiana Jones and I never heard a word about that.

    Disney did buy LucasFilm (it was in the press release). They do have Indiana Jones. They have ILM and Skywalker Sound. They HAD LucasArts 🙁 Star Wars was the most disucssed, though, as it was announced concurrently that a set of movies were being made.

  77. Persianimmortal

    I saw these movies in the theater when I was young, and as magical as they were at the time, I think nostalgia is blinding a lot of people as to the faults of the originals. For me, the original trilogy as it current stands is perfectly fine, and the changes also help to better blend it with the prequels. I have all six movies and I won't be rebuying any of them until they come out in a better format than Blu-ray.

    I couldn't disagree more. Though I'd seen bits & pieces of the movies, the first time I sat down to watch Star Wars was the '97 Special Edition, so I have no particular nostalgia for the originals, but for my money, they are clearly better than any subsequent version. The various changes made to the movies range from innocuous to cringe-inducing, with only a handful registering as clear improvements in my opinion. The updates spoil the pacing of the movie (the "alert the star destroyer" scene in Empire), ruin the drama ("Noooo!" in Jedi), and just don't make a lot of sense in context (Han solo having almost the exact same conversation with both Greedo and Jabba). The changes may help the trilogy blend in better with the prequels, but that's is hardly an improvement to many fans of the originals, and it comes at the cost of incosistency within the films, which now have a distracting mix of '70s- and '80s-era effects work, and modern CGI.

    I bought the '97 special editions when they were released on VHS, but I now have absolutely no interest in any release that does not include the originals. I waited for them on DVD (crummy as that release was), and I am perfectly content to do the same on Blu-ray.

  78. EdReedFan20

    Disney did buy LucasFilm (it was in the press release). They do have Indiana Jones. They have ILM and Skywalker Sound. They HAD LucasArts 🙁 Star Wars was the most disucssed, though, as it was announced concurrently that a set of movies were being made.

    Yes.

    And, Indiana Jones was talked about. The difference there is that Paramount is involved with that series – and with a totally different setup than Fox ever had with Star Wars.

    But, even so, Disney has had the prior relationship with Paramount/Lucasfilm over Indiana Jones because of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular over at Disney World.

    Back to Fox and its distribution deal over Star Wars, I'm sure Disney could work something out with them. I remember reading years ago that Fox would love to release the original versions of the OT in new remastered editions (on DVD at the time), but that it was always up to Lucas. It's only a matter of giving them something to release, and they'll do it.

  79. Persianimmortal

    I think nostalgia is blinding a lot of people as to the faults of the originals. For me, the original trilogy as it current stands is perfectly fine, and the changes also help to better blend it with the prequels. form.

    It's a classic film from decades ago, not a plate in a dinner set. It doesn't need to match or blend with anything.

  80. EddieLarkin

    That link is incorrect. Fox hasn't retained any rights of ownership to these films, because they never had ownership in the first place (apart from Episode IV, which they relinquished back to Lucasfilm around 1999). Lucasfilm own these films, and Disney own Lucasfilm.

    How would Fox ever get ownership of Empire or Jedi when they were not involved in their production? Lucasfilm ponied up all the cash for those two, and had complete control. Fox distributed them, the rights to which they retain.

    Thank You. There is so much misinformation on this topic that it's out of control.

    Fox currently has distribution rights to the saga, not ownership, and I have a feeling even that may change in the relatively near future. Disney may presumably do as it pleases regarding video releases (barring any weird contractual agreement with Lucas) for all six movies. The catch is that Fox gets a piece of the distribution pie. No one actually believes Fox would try to bar Disney from doing any release, since that would literally be throwing away money. As has been mentioned, Fox has been more in the "let's release the unaltered version" camp than Lucas ever was, so they're probably happy as punch that ownership went over to Disney. Now they can make some money without a control freak at the helm.

  81. JColl

    It's a classic film from decades ago, not a plate in a dinner set. It doesn't need to match or blend with anything.

    Witty comment. However, it's a series of films produced by George Lucas, which he specifically intended to blend together. Funny how Director intent suddenly goes out the window here on HTF when we discuss the Star Wars trilogy, because as we all know, it's cool to bash Lucas.

  82. Persianimmortal

    Funny how Director intent suddenly goes out the window here on HTF when we discuss the Star Wars trilogy, because as we all know, it's cool to bash Lucas.

    Friedkin got a lot of flak for what he did to the initial release of The French Connection, so it's not just a Lucas-bashing thing. More of a criticizing directors for making pointless changes decades after the fact kind of thing.

  83. Worth

    Friedkin got a lot of flak for what he did to the initial release of The French Connection, so it's not just a Lucas-bashing thing. More of a criticizing directors for making pointless changes decades after the fact kind of thing.

    Ultimately, if we accept that the creator of a movie has artistic control over their content, then none of the changes are "pointless". They may not be to your taste, but artistically, I'm sure Lucas didn't make them just because he had some spare time and money. They are quite clearly aimed at fulfilling a certain vision he has in his head.

    The real problem, in my opinion, is that the Star Wars trilogy has taken on a life of its own. Rather than being seen as a simple but effective and fun space fantasy, with cheesy dialog and straightforward acting performances, it's now become almost a religion. When Darth Vader yells "Nooooo!" in the new version, it doesn't bother me, because it fits in with the overall pulp fantasy theme of the movies. But for the faithful, it's sacrilege, because it's a change to what they see as serious sci-fi.

    I've found over the years that my fondness for the Star Wars trilogy has greatly declined, not only because of the weaker prequels (which walk a muddled line between pseudo-serious "political intrigue" and outright childish nonsense like Jar Jar Binks), but because of the way the movies have become an entire industry unto themselves, with fans arguing endlessly over every little aspect of the films.

  84. with fans arguing endlessly over every little aspect of the films.

    Endless arguments and discussions are kind of the point of forums like the HTF, wouldn't you agree? 🙂

    Like I said before, for me my respect is for the original films as they first appeared theatrically and less about any director's desire to re-tune a work after the fact. I generally like James Cameron's revised editions, but for most other filmmakers; not so much.

    I meant to reply to WillG's post earlier:

    When you look at the original trilogy, you had pretty simple plot lines at the core, characters you could easily identify with, characters that were initially at odds with each other, but worked together and developed believable friendships/romance (I never believed in the PT that Anakin and Obi-Wan even particularly liked each other, let alone being great friends), bits of humor that weren't forced, a strong/scary villain and while the acting was never great, all the performances were serviceable and I certainly don't recall any clunkers in the bunch. And it's those elements made the OT fun to watch. The PT did pretty much all of that wrong.

    I could not agree more with this paragraph. Watching the original trilogy, one of the genuine pleasures of these films is the chemistry between the cast members. It provides a spark and a life to the films that the prequels, despite their technical prowess, simply cannot match. Nostalgia? Perhaps; but I know what I like and that is all that matters to me.

    – Walter.

  85. Disney has had a long standing relationship with Lucas and Lucasfilm, going back 25 years to the opening of Star Tours at Disneyland. And there's the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland as well. I see the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm as consistent with a fairly happy relationship they've had going all this time.

  86. Walter Kittel

    Endless arguments and discussions are kind of the point of forums like the HTF, wouldn't you agree? 🙂

    Endless arguments are tedious and pointless. Well-informed and interesting discussions are what we're hopefully after on forums. People spewing forth tons of vitriol towards George Lucas for "destroying their childhood", and other such heavily skewed, near fanatical viewpoints on the Star Wars movies really don't deserve the amount of space they've been given on forums in my opinion.

    I proffer that one of the key reasons why the Star Wars prequels came out so poorly is precisely because Lucas made the mistake of listening too much to the diverse fan base. As I mentioned in my previous post, the prequels are a mish-mash of very serious, bordering on tedious, storyline elements like the Senate intrigue, and the turning of Anakin to the dark side; and very frivolous, almost banally childish elements, like Jar Jar and the increasingly moronic antics of R2D2 and C3PO. Why? Because Lucas was trying to cater to both sides of fandom as he saw it: the adults who had grown up with Star Wars, who said they wanted serious space drama, and the new generation of kids whom Lucas thought would be thrilled at the clownish bumbling.

    In fact, from what I've seen, the changes based on fan feedback started as of Empire Strikes Back. Some of the changes were positive, some were negative. But ultimately, I think the fans hold every bit as much responsibility for the path Star Wars has taken as Lucas does. To quote the famous car designer Chuck Jordan "A good designer doesn’t need Mr. and Mrs. Zilch from Kansas telling him what to do." Similarly, as a filmmaker Lucas should have stuck to his original vision, for better or worse, instead of being so heavily influenced by what he thought the fans wanted.

  87. Persianimmortal

    I proffer that one of the key reasons why the Star Wars prequels came out so poorly is precisely because Lucas made the mistake of listening too much to the diverse fan base. As I mentioned in my previous post, the prequels are a mish-mash of very serious, bordering on tedious, storyline elements

    You forgot to add….in your opinion….i enjoyed the prequels immensely.

  88. Kevin EK

    Disney has had a long standing relationship with Lucas and Lucasfilm, going back 25 years to the opening of Star Tours at Disneyland. And there's the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland as well. I see the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm as consistent with a fairly happy relationship they've had going all this time.

    What I love about Disney getting Star Wars is that it guarantees that movies that I love will be seen and enjoyed by other people for decades to come.

  89. let's just say this…

    even if mr. lucas truly destroyed the original negatives in favor for all the s.e. of the trilogy, it doesn't mean the original versions are lost. there are mint 35mm release prints available. these could be used to release the movies on blu-ray, if nothing else is available.

    but on the other hand, i don't think mr. lucas really destroyed them. lucasfilm as kept every single frame of their movies. so it wouldn't make sense to just trash the negatives. besides, the 1993 thx laserdisc was done from a extensive restoration of the negatives. this process can be seen in the special features on the definitive laserdisc boxset. from these restored negatives the laserdisc master was struck.

    but the state of the whole thing is only known to mr. lucas and probably now disney and if there will ever be official high-def releases of the original uncut, uncensored and untouched trilogy.

  90. Ejanss

    "Disney WOULD!" "Disney SHOULD!" "Disney COULD!"
    Here's a thought: How about if Disney CAN"T?
    (No, really, is that the whole defense for the rumor, that "Somebody big and new owns it now, so maybe we can ask them!"?)

    I know this theory has been brought up many, many times. But let's think logically…Forensically, if you will. Let's profile some rather odd behavior on George Lucas's part over the last five or ten years:
    – Responding to pressure to release the UOT, he releases the Limited Edition DVD's, mastered from the old 80's laserdisks…80's, as in made before 1997. Fans ask why he could be so "stingy" as to release upgraded LD sources, and they don't believe him when he says they were "the best sources still available". (They think he's just holding out, or greedy, so he can release the real one later.)
    – Later on, Lucas becomes rather disgruntled with the fans. He calls them hard to satisfy, as they keep, quote, "asking for something he can't give them anymore".
    – Finally, after years of stonewalling the fan questions, Lucas settles the arguments by petulantly stating "They're MY movies, not yours, and it's the director who has the final say on the edits!" The SE's will stay because he said so, that's why.

    Now…I consider myself a fairly good judge of human nature, and not overly suspicious or given to wild conspiracy theories.
    I just find it amusing, that's all, that there is one line even the angriest, most disgruntled Lucas-hating fan will ever cross:
    They complain about his "ruining" the saga with the prequels. They complain about his redubbing and reinserting SFX into the Special Editions. They call him "incompetent" and "gone looney", and all such hyperbolic terms.
    But the minute…the MINUTE…you raise the idea of "What if 'looney, incompetent, film-mangling' George really was 'stupid enough to' permanently destroy the unaltered originals?", watch the loyalty come out: "He wouldn't do that! He's an artist and a genius! He knows the value of these! He's too smart to compromise his vision, he's never do anything so stupid as that! He's got so much money and technology, he's sure to have them in an air-conditioned underground bunker at Skywalker Ranch, preserved in perpetuity until the time his greedy remarketing decides to release them again…Maybe in time for Episode VII!"

    (They NEVER cross that line. Something always stops them. They just can't do it.)

    That line has been crossed repeatedly at OT.com over the years.

  91. Joel Fontenot

    If this ever does come to pass, I'd finally buy SW on blu. As it is, I haven't bought them since they are not the movies I want. No double dipping the blu-rays here since there hasn't been the initial dip in the first place.

    I do have them on DVD, but it's the re-issue set with the OOTs on the second disc. At least I could watch those and not have to swap out several CAV laserdiscs per movie from my Definitive Edition LD Box set. (My LD player is double-sided, but not multi-disc – which, of course, they never had). And, it is the OOTs I play when the mood strikes me – I think I've played the special editions only once since I've had them.

    There was a player that could hold two LD's and play all four sides.

    http://www.laserdiscarchive.co.uk/laserdisc_archive/pioneer/pioneer_ld-w1/pioneer_ld-w1.htm

  92. Paul_Warren

    If this did happen unless they spent significant money on the transfer it would be a massive letdown in 1080P. ANH has colour issues where they used a different film stock which faded from scene to scene. Dig out your old LD/VHS look closely at the parts on Tatooine specifically around the dusk canyon scenes with R2D2 & C3PO hiding from the Jawa the red colour on the canyon walls keeps changing tone & almost breaking up the picture in large areas onscreen. This is more noticeable on a 60" plus display but its there. I think they replaced the film stock after shooting some of those scenes but the damage was done on the original footage already. The red colour pulses a lot in several scenes. Look close enough its there!

    IMO Lucasfilm were not prepared to spend the $$$ to do the OT justice on Bluray (ROTJ has a very noticeble red line down one side of the screen at the end & ANH has a highly visible green line I detailed here back in 2011: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/308491-star-wars-the-complete-saga-member-review-thread/page-4#entry3740537).

    There are beautiful Techinicolor prints of ANH in private hands. One was screened in Boston a couple years back, and people took tons of screenshots.

  93. TravisR

    Just out of curiosity, do you know if it would seamlessly switch between sides and discs or would you still notice the change?

    There was a pause of about 40 seconds when it switched sides. And it was quite noisy. When the switch started, the last frame would pause on screen, and there was a message displayed in a top corner if I remember correctly.

    I always found the switch VERY distracting. And if the film was more than 120 minutes, you needed at least 2 switches (one hour max per side).

  94. Persianimmortal

    Witty comment. However, it's a series of films produced by George Lucas, which he specifically intended to blend together. Funny how Director intent suddenly goes out the window here on HTF when we discuss the Star Wars trilogy, because as we all know, it's cool to bash Lucas.

    I think you will find that most of the posters on HTF do not have a problem with "director's cuts" in general; but almost all will usually say that the original thearical versions should be released as well. There were many complaints over the Amadeus director's cut, and ET with walkie-talkies replacing the guns. The problem with the Star Wars debacle is not that Lucas fiddled with the films endlessly, but that he suppressed the originals.

    And if you are getting tired of endless Star Wars arguments, using hyperbolic phrases like "Lucas destroyed my childhood" doesn't help. I don't know if I have ever seen a Lucas basher use that phrase (though I could be wrong). What he has done is alter the film's history. Some of these films won Oscars for special effects and art direction, etc. A viewer will now be watching versions that do not reflect the award-winning work that was originally done. It's not even a case of which version one like better. One is not a bad person if one prefers the current versions and/or likes the prequels. I just don't think he should have revised film history by replacing the originals with the current versions.

    Lucas didn't destroy my childhood. He did annoy me by not releasing some significant films in their original versions. I do not lose any sleep over it. If I want to watch Star Wars, I watch the crappy non-anamorphic versions on DVD, blown up to fit my screen in all their jagged aliasing glory. I will not buy the current versions. If someone ever releases the OOT, I will enthusiastically buy it. At the end of the day, I simply regard Lucas as a once talented but neurotic guy who made some mistakes regarding the proper preservation of some classic films.

  95. FoxyMulder

    I'm quite happy with my VHS versions of the original trilogy. 😆

    Funny you say that — I gave my Star Wars VHS tapes some years back to my son, who still has them. He told me that they are pretty worn out due to watching them so many times over his 36 years. He has the blu-rays now (only IV,V,VI) but I know he would jump on getting BD's of the original versions.

  96. Worth

    Friedkin got a lot of flak for what he did to the initial release of The French Connection, so it's not just a Lucas-bashing thing. More of a criticizing directors for making pointless changes decades after the fact kind of thing.

    Reminds me of the story about MoMA's original curator, Iris Barry, fighting to keep D.W. Griffith from running up to the projection booth with a pair of scissors, still wanting to tinker with their archival print of The Birth of a Nation sometime in the mid-1940s.

  97. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Ahem…Wait, I mean…

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!1

    Please please please let this happen. I purposefully did not buy Star Wars on Blu-ray in hopes of one day having the original unaltered trilogy available.

  98. Popcorn1

    There was a pause of about 40 seconds when it switched sides. And it was quite noisy. When the switch started, the last frame would pause on screen, and there was a message displayed in a top corner if I remember correctly.

    I always found the switch VERY distracting. And if the film was more than 120 minutes, you needed at least 2 switches (one hour max per side).

    I figured it was unlikely to be seamless (especially when you consider that there was a few seconds of black at the end of each side) so thanks for the info.

  99. SilverWook

    There are beautiful Techinicolor prints of ANH in private hands. One was screened in Boston a couple years back, and people took tons of screenshots.

    Well. yes. private collections we can hope for, as opposed to Lucas's own collections…

    (Rather like when BBC was restoring those Doctor Who: Classic episodes, whose videotapes the network had wiped back in the 60's–
    They found the only hope for restoring the audio was in some of the private collections of all those cassette tapes fans had taped off the TV set airing when they were ten…Basically the one geek dream come true, that your private collection really WOULD be the one last Noah's Ark for preserving the show if it disappeared someday, 😛 )

  100. David_B_K

    I think you will find that most of the posters on HTF do not have a problem with "director's cuts" in general; but almost all will usually say that the original thearical versions should be released as well. There were many complaints over the Amadeus director's cut, and ET with walkie-talkies replacing the guns. The problem with the Star Wars debacle is not that Lucas fiddled with the films endlessly, but that he suppressed the originals.

    In my first post in this thread, I noted that I had no objection to the original trilogy being released in its unaltered form, and I also said that that the originals should definitely be preserved for history.

    But at the same time, let's remember that Lucas hasn't "suppressed the originals", because they're still available – just not in high definition. And he definitely has the right to keep the situation status quo. As a filmmaker, he obviously wasn't satisfied with his work the way it stood, so he altered it. Rightly or wrongly, that is his choice. What many fans are saying is that – against the creator's wishes – his earlier work must be released in high definition. That to me smacks of serious entitlement issues.

  101. I'm not demanding anything; I'm not saying I deserve anything, or that I am owed anything. I'm just saying it would be nice if three of the most successful and influential works in American cinematic history could be released for home viewing in a decent-looking HD presentation.

    I know everyone has their dream Blu-ray set, but all I'd really want would be the original three movies looking as good as they could (new 4k scans could look astonishing, though). Add to that the associated audio tracks: 5.1 tracks based on the 70mm mixes, along with the original theatrical 2-channel mixes and '93 remixes (plus the original mono and the '85 remix for the first film). Then seamlessly branch the two opening crawls for SW, and then (if they really wanted to get creative) seamlessly branch the 70mm and 35mm cuts for Empire.

    This would require some doing, but then we would have every (I think) pre-SE version of the three films in one tidy package.

    I continue to hold out hope that this will happen someday. I refuse to buy the 2011 Blu-ray set, but I would grab a set like the one I described above without hesitation.

  102. He didn't have to wait twenty years to fix the Greedo scene if he was that unhappy with it. He had a perfect opportunity to reshoot it in 1978. Then again, he probably didn't want to be seen on the set of the infamous Holiday Special. 😉

    Preventing the original Star Wars from being screened in a theater as an example of 1970's filmmaking, (as happened with an AFI retrospective last decade) a context in which the SE being shown would be pointless, smacks of rewriting history. There are already people running around who think that Jabba scene was in the movie back in 1977.

    Even though I don't much care for the SE's, I do think all the history of these films needs to be preserved though. The 1997 versions need a little love. Crappy early CGI Jabba, Luke's scream, and all.

  103. Bryan Tuck

    I'm not demanding anything; I'm not saying I deserve anything, or that I am owed anything. I'm just saying it would be nice if three of the most successful and influential works in American cinematic history could be released for home viewing in a decent-looking HD presentation.

    I know everyone has their dream Blu-ray set, but all I'd really want would be the original three movies looking as good as they could (new 4k scans could look astonishing, though). Add to that the associated audio tracks: 5.1 tracks based on the 70mm mixes, along with the original theatrical 2-channel mixes and '93 remixes (plus the original mono and the '85 remix for the first film). Then seamlessly branch the two opening crawls for SW, and then (if they really wanted to get creative) seamlessly branch the 70mm and 35mm cuts for Empire.

    This would require some doing, but then we would have every (I think) pre-SE version of the three films in one tidy package.

    I continue to hold out hope that this will happen someday. I refuse to buy the 2011 Blu-ray set, but I would grab a set like the one I described above without hesitation.

    That's a good attitude to take, and I hope for the sake of people like yourself that the original unaltered trilogy becomes available in restored HD. Unfortunately, I think if you read the general feedback that's being posted on other forums, your attitude is in the minority. Many others are demanding the OT in unaltered form, and insisting that it is their right as fans. This is where that whole "Lucas raped my childhood" meme came about – it didn't just appear out of nowhere. Spend ten minutes with a rabid Star Wars fan and you'll see just how unreasonable they can be in this regard.

    SilverWook

    He didn't have to wait twenty years to fix the Greedo scene if he was that unhappy with it. He had a perfect opportunity to reshoot it in 1978. Then again, he probably didn't want to be seen on the set of the infamous Holiday Special. 😉

    Preventing the original Star Wars from being screened in a theater as an example of 1970's filmmaking, (as happened with an AFI retrospective last decade) a context in which the SE being shown would be pointless, smacks of rewriting history. There are already people running around who think that Jabba scene was in the movie back in 1977.

    Even though I don't much care for the SE's, I do think all the history of these films needs to be preserved though. The 1997 versions need a little love. Crappy early CGI Jabba, Luke's scream, and all.

    As for why Lucas waited so long to make changes, the simple answer is that over time, the original trilogy has become his crowning achievement, and probably the main thing, if not the only thing, he will be remembered for. The Star Wars series has been so closely scrutinized and dissected over the years, that if you took a moment to step into Lucas' shoes, you'd see that only the steeliest of filmmakers would not be unnerved by all that attention. So naturally, he wants the films to look exactly the way he wants them to, and it's only been with the more recent advent of CGI that he's been able to achieve that vision. It may not be to everyone's tastes, and I certainly don't like some of the CGI changes myself, but the only logical assumption is that these are the results of Lucas' concern about his legacy.

  104. What concerns? He destroyed his legacy. On the contrary, I think Lucas did never accept that he became known as a "pop corn" filmmaker, where is true interest lies in arthouse films. So all this thinkering would be him trying to piss off the fans, at the same time gouging them out of more money that he can uses for better purposes. I think the prequels were a gigantic finger to them too, and great money-making exercice at the same time.

    At heart, Lucas is an indie moviemaker. Star Wars was a burden on his shoulders, that's why he also sold the whole lot.

  105. I'm sure those "original versions" are coming (remastered, etc) at some point. New trilogy (or whatever) is coming, new films and old films in 3D, new revival… Perfect opportunity.

  106. The best example of collecting multiple versions of a film is, IMO, the Close Encounters blu-ray, which contains three versions of the movie on one disc. Exactly what should be done with the trilogy — the original theatrical versions, the '97 editions and the 2004/2011 editions. I realize there are other minor details that might be lost (Star Wars 1979 re-release with "Episode IV" in the titles, the changes between the '04 and '11 versions) but I think that's a reasonable approach to present an historical document of the evolution of these movies.

    BTW, since this thread is based on assumptions (correct ones IMO) that come from Disney's ownership of Lucasfilm, can we also assume that we've seen the last bit of tinkering with the films? Does anyone expect to see further changes to the original trilogy?

    And while I think of it, let me add that any future ultimate box set of the films should include all the deleted scenes, including those that were exclusive to the prequel films' DVD release. Some good stuff there that never migrated to blu-ray. Also, Empire of Dreams needs a blu-ray release, as does The Making of a Saga, SPFX: ESB, and the Jedi making-of special.

  107. The saga's face as been so lifted now, it will be impossible to issue a box with all the different versions like Blade Runner: they WILL make mistakes and the fandom will be mercyless. There's been too much mixes and cosmetic changes for a simple production team to achieve this, unless they ask for fans involvement and submit to them the versions. It's like the ball have been dropped, and the parts are scattered all over the floor. The saga has been defaced, and unless they gather a top team, they won't be able to make it back.

    The easiest way would be the original releases, and forget the rest.

  108. HDvision

    The saga's face as been so lifted now, it will be impossible to issue a box with all the different versions like Blade Runner: they WILL make mistakes and the fandom will be mercyless. There's been too much mixes and cosmetic changes for a simple production team to achieve this, unless they ask for fans involvement and submit to them the versions. It's like the ball have been dropped, and the parts are scattered all over the floor. The saga has been defaced, and unless they gather a top team, they won't be able to make it back.

    The easiest way would be the original releases, and forget the rest.

    It would certainly take some doing, but I think seamlessly branching the '97/'04/'11 versions together would be within the realm of possibility. Many of the changes are also audio, so that would simply be a matter of attaching the right track to the right version.

    I personally don't need that, as I just want the originals, but I'd be happy for it to happen, so everyone would have the version that they remember.

  109. For the record, if everyone arguing that issuing the original trilogy on Blu-ray is important to "preserving cinematic history" actually cared that much about preserving cinematic history, they would find other ways to do so (there are plenty of them). Just saying.

    That said, I held off on the first Blu-ray release, and would buy the unaltered versions in a second.

  110. Mark VH

    For the record, if everyone arguing that issuing the original trilogy on Blu-ray is important to "preserving cinematic history" actually cared that much about preserving cinematic history, they would find other ways to do so (there are plenty of them). Just saying.

    That said, I held off on the first Blu-ray release, and would buy the unaltered versions in a second.

    I have thought about this, i won't buy the original unaltered versions, seeing matte lines around everything again, especially in The Empire Strikes Back would be a nuisance, i hope they do 4k film scans and archive the original trilogy but i sure won't buy them, i'm actually happy with the altered editions, i would be happier still if they removed the Jabba scene in the original, had Han shoot first, removed Darth going back to the Star Destroyer ( line and shot ) at the end of Empire, removed the noooooo from Vader at the end of Jedi, and probably a few other things but i am happy they fixed up the effects work.

    I say i'm happy but only to an extent, i would prefer brand new 4K film scans and a more consistent film look with less static grain from the Lowry process, i'd like Disney to do an ultimate edition for 2017, fix everything properly, lightsaber colours, effects work, offer the original unaltered editions to the fans from new 4K scans, offer the 97 and 2011 editions via seamless branching, i don't think seamless branching would work with the original editions due to the extensive changes in music cues and footage.

  111. HDvision

    This is how the OT looks on the DVD (direct rip)

    [​IMG]

    This is how an old print of Star Wars looks on a recent 35mm unauthorised screening. (snapped off the screen)

    🙂

    The original, non-anamprophic DVDs released are a disaster; over-brightned in most scenes, too pink skintones, very heavy video noise, strong aliasing, etc. I just cannot watch them as much as I prefer the originals.

    The Blu-rays, while not the originals and not up to the quality of better 4K sourced transfers from the era (such as Blade Runner, Jaws, Raiders, Alien, etc.) are still pretty decent PQ and a lot of scenes show very good detail and contrast. I rather watch the movies this way even if not originals. Also, the audio is good on these too. However, with that said, I would love to see these re-done as new scans whether or not we get the original although keeping fingers crossed we do. 🙂

  112. Dave H

    The original, non-anamprophic DVDs released are a disaster; over-brightned in most scenes, too pink skintones, very heavy video noise, strong aliasing, etc. I just cannot watch them as much as I prefer the originals.

    I can't speak to the skin tones – I think they are fine while the '04 editions are too pink. But the rest, yeah. On top of that, Lucasfilm ran all the movies through some sort of software that caused a strobing ghost like trail when objects moved against a contrasting background (like bright white stormtroopers running against the deathstar's dark gray corridors). It was some kind of "softening" effect that was always very noticeable on the original THX LD release. It's still there on the non-anamorphic DVDs too.

  113. Joel Fontenot

    I can't speak to the skin tones – I think they are fine while the '04 editions are too pink. But the rest, yeah. On top of that, Lucasfilm ran all the movies through some sort of software that caused a strobing ghost like trail when objects moved against a contrasting background (like bright white stormtroopers running against the deathstar's dark gray corridors). It was some kind of "softening" effect that was always very noticeable on the original THX LD release. It's still there on the non-anamorphic DVDs too.

    Even the skintones on the Blu-rays with A New Hope, for example, in some scenes take on a strange dark reddish look. In some scenes, they look fine, but others take on this look. True, you don't see this as much on the original DVD, but instead deal with those other issues. And, yes, there are some really weird artifacts on those DVDs.

  114. Sam Favate

    The best example of collecting multiple versions of a film is, IMO, the Close Encounters blu-ray, which contains three versions of the movie on one disc. Exactly what should be done with the trilogy — the original theatrical versions, the '97 editions and the 2004/2011 editions. I realize there are other minor details that might be lost (Star Wars 1979 re-release with "Episode IV" in the titles, the changes between the '04 and '11 versions) but I think that's a reasonable approach to present an historical document of the evolution of these movies.

    BTW, since this thread is based on assumptions (correct ones IMO) that come from Disney's ownership of Lucasfilm, can we also assume that we've seen the last bit of tinkering with the films? Does anyone expect to see further changes to the original trilogy?

    And while I think of it, let me add that any future ultimate box set of the films should include all the deleted scenes, including those that were exclusive to the prequel films' DVD release. Some good stuff there that never migrated to blu-ray. Also, Empire of Dreams needs a blu-ray release, as does The Making of a Saga, SPFX: ESB, and the Jedi making-of special.

    All the vintage making of docs except Making of a Saga were on the Blu Ray set. They were were sourced from crappy ancient analog video masters, as usual.

    The e-book versions of J.W. Rinzler's books on the making of the original films are going to have all new bonus content from the vaults.

  115. Joel Fontenot

    I can't speak to the skin tones – I think they are fine while the '04 editions are too pink. But the rest, yeah. On top of that, Lucasfilm ran all the movies through some sort of software that caused a strobing ghost like trail when objects moved against a contrasting background (like bright white stormtroopers running against the deathstar's dark gray corridors). It was some kind of "softening" effect that was always very noticeable on the original THX LD release. It's still there on the non-anamorphic DVDs too.

    They DNR'ed those masters back in the day. Seems to be a running theme with home video transfers of Star Wars.

  116. Mark VH

    For the record, if everyone arguing that issuing the original trilogy on Blu-ray is important to "preserving cinematic history" actually cared that much about preserving cinematic history, they would find other ways to do so (there are plenty of them). Just saying.

    That said, I held off on the first Blu-ray release, and would buy the unaltered versions in a second.

    Who's to say that they aren't? There are a lot of fans working in the industry today because they saw the originals as a kid.

    Not to mention the ones scrounging up film prints that somehow escaped George's grasp, and building telecine units in their basement. 😉

  117. SilverWook

    The e-book versions of J.W. Rinzler's books on the making of the original films are going to have all new bonus content from the vaults.

    The pre-order price on the e-book versions is only $18 each. Given how great those books are and how low the price is, I can't recommend them enough to anyone who is even remotely interested in how they make movies.

  118. SilverWook

    All the vintage making of docs except Making of a Saga were on the Blu Ray set. They were were sourced from crappy ancient analog video masters, as usual.

    Sorry, I meant to say that those specials and 1977's Making of Star Wars should be cleaned up and made suitable for blu-ray, just like the bonus material from the prequel DVDs. Which I know is unlikely to happen.

    At a minimum, Empire of Dreams should be in HD.

    RInzler's books are terrific – including his Indiana Jones book – and I'm looking forward to the ROTJ book. However, the bonus material for the e-books should be made available to those of us who have supported the pricey hardcovers over the years.

  119. SilverWook

    Who's to say that they aren't? There are a lot of fans working in the industry today because they saw the originals as a kid.

    Not to mention the ones scrounging up film prints that somehow escaped George's grasp, and building telecine units in their basement. 😉

    Not saying the two are mutually exclusive. Just saying that a lot of the people who care about "preserving film history" probably just want to own Blu-rays of the originals, and don't actually care all that much about film history. If they did, they'd find other ways to support it rather than spending time on message boards demanding the original Star Wars films be released. To me it would be more honest to say "I care about film history, but really I just don't want to have to deal with these crappy altered versions any more."

    Personally, I care very much about preserving cinematic history, and have bought many DVDs and Blus of classic films because I want to support their continued release. I've also donated to various restoration projects and organizations. But that's not why I want the original Star Wars films on Blu. I want them because I want to watch them, and I don't want to have to deal with the crappy altered versions any more. No harm in that.

  120. I love the first 2 films and tolerate Jedi.

    The prequels dont exists to me, and considering JJ Abrams involvement, I really have no interest in the newer films

    However, give me the first 3 films unaltered from their original versions, and they can have my money.

    Id love to have the non-SE version of Empire on bluray.

  121. Having listened to that interview with Rinzler, I really wonder how much new material is being included with the e-books.
    He does mention having audio of the ADR sessions with Alec Guinness, which is the first I've heard of that.
    But then he talks about a gag reel for Star Wars – I think we've seen this material already, with the compiled gag reel on the trilogy DVD set. Maybe there's more bloopers.
    He talks about a rough cut of the Hoth Battle scene using animatics and including the death of General Veers. Except that we've seen these animatics before, albeit not in one complete pass. And the death of Veers was one of the deleted scenes included on the Blu-ray set.
    He talks about some on-set video from the Crescent City shoot for Jedi.

    I'd be more interested in him attaching the various drafts of the various scripts that he referenced in the books, along with the outlines.
    I'd be interested in the actual audio and/or video of the various conferences and set situations he describes at various times – particularly the on-set discussions during Empire.
    I'd be interested if he had material about the post-production on Empire, and maybe how they were all dealing with the lawsuits over Battlestar Galactica.

    But I strongly doubt that kind of thing is included. I'll wait to see. If there's really a treasure trove of interesting material, then I could be persuaded to pick this up. If it's just a few snippets to add to what is already a series of comprehensive volumes, then I would have no problem just staying with the hardcover books and calling it a day.

  122. Kevin EK

    If it's just a few snippets to add to what is already a series of comprehensive volumes, then I would have no problem just staying with the hardcover books and calling it a day.

    Yeah, I'm guessing the new content isn't anything that major so I have no plans to rebuy them as e-books either but for those that don't already have the print versions, $18 is a great price.

  123. They probably don't even need to repress them….this is probably just a way to clear out a warehouse full of unsold DVDs and BDs ahead of losing the rights. I wish they'd release a Blu-ray 3D prequel trilogy set. Sent from my SCH-S738C using HTF mobile app

  124. I have to say I love Directors cuts and the first Star Wars is no exception. I agree with Eberts review of Star Wars and Empire. The editions were subtle when they came out on 97. I do not agree with all the stuff he added to Jedi. He completely changed the tone with that musical number in Jabbas palace. The problem is with every new medium he has made more and more changes. Not so much with Star Wars but with Jedi more than the other three. It's a question of when is enough.

  125. In fact he made no changes to Graffiti except for the titles and I think the changes to THX made the film better and kept the integrity of the film. But The Star Wars films he needs to learn enough is enough and provide both versions.

  126. Kevin EK

    If there was anything new on a Star Wars release, I guarantee you there'd be a ton of publicity about it. This is just repackaging of what people already have on their shelves.

    Specifically, it's Fox's "But…it wasn't a DVD Combo last time!" (Oh, heaven forfend. 🙄 )

  127. Brian Husar

    In fact he made no changes to Graffiti except for the titles and I think the changes to THX made the film better and kept the integrity of the film. But The Star Wars films he needs to learn enough is enough and provide both versions.

    You can't even get a crappy non anamorphic DVD of the original THX though. And the so called "director's cut" extras act like nothing was added or changed at all. There aren't any new credits like the Star Wars SE's have.
    It's disconcerting to see George talk about filming on real locations in 1970, while a CGI cityscape is shown.

  128. Brian Husar

    I have to say I love Directors cuts and the first Star Wars is no exception. I agree with Eberts review of Star Wars and Empire. The editions were subtle when they came out on 97. I do not agree with all the stuff he added to Jedi. He completely changed the tone with that musical number in Jabbas palace. The problem is with every new medium he has made more and more changes. Not so much with Star Wars but with Jedi more than the other three. It's a question of when is enough.

    Indeed, the initial changes on the 1997 were not too jarring at all except for the music piece in Jabba's palace.

    I am also curious how the color timing of those 1997 prints compares to the current Blu-rays which have some inconsistency at times especially with skin tones in A New Hope and Jedi.

  129. Dave H

    Indeed, the initial changes on the 1997 were not too jarring at all except for the music piece in Jabba's palace.

    I am also curious how the color timing of those 1997 prints compares to the current Blu-rays which have some inconsistency at times especially with skin tones in A New Hope and Jedi.

    I think they used a technicolor print of A New Hope as the basis for the colour timing of the blu ray, yes inconsistencies but i mostly liked it.

  130. Dave H

    I am also curious how the color timing of those 1997 prints compares to the current Blu-rays which have some inconsistency at times especially with skin tones in A New Hope and Jedi.

    The 1997 editions are infamous for having a heavy red push that was pretty easy to see on vhs (Star Destroyers that were white originally frequently turned pink).

  131. Dave H

    Indeed, the initial changes on the 1997 were not too jarring at all except for the music piece in Jabba's palace.

    I know this is an old debate, but I just have to disagree. Mos Eisley looks like a circus in the '97 version, the Jabba scene is pointless, and even the added Biggs scene feels out of place without the earlier scenes on Tatooine. And to me, the worst addition to the '97 versions (aside from the Jabba's palace song in Jedi) was the "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" garbage in Empire.

    At this point, though, it's not a matter of which changes were more distracting than others. The "current" versions are patchworks of different eras of filmmaking, both in technique and sensibilities, while the original versions (for better or worse) are important American cinematic landmarks, and it's just disappointing that it's become so difficult to view them in that context.

  132. Bryan Tuck

    I know this is an old debate, but I just have to disagree. Mos Eisley looks like a circus in the '97 version, the Jabba scene is pointless, and even the added Biggs scene feels out of place without the earlier scenes on Tatooine. And to me, the worst addition to the '97 versions (aside from the Jabba's palace song in Jedi) was the "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" garbage in Empire.

    At this point, though, it's not a matter of which changes were more distracting than others. The "current" versions are patchworks of different eras of filmmaking, both in technique and sensibilities, while the original versions (for better or worse) are important American cinematic landmarks, and it's just disappointing that it's become so difficult to view them in that context.

    Would you object to fixing the matte outlines and things like Lukes speeder on Tatooine or do you want completely unaltered editions, i ask because even in the VHS editions of the original trilogy i was always bothered by the matte outlines around the asteroids during the scene where the Falcon is chased by the Tie Fighters, they stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I suppose it's history and it is what it is, i wouldn't want Ray Harryhausens work changed so i shouldn't ask for these changes either, just saying they annoyed the hell outta me when i viewed them on VHS and they would probably stick out more with a higher resolution.

  133. FoxyMulder

    Would you object to fixing the matte outlines and things like Lukes speeder on Tatooine or do you want completely unaltered editions, i ask because even in the VHS editions of the original trilogy i was always bothered by the matte outlines around the asteroids during the scene where the Falcon is chased by the Tie Fighters, they stuck out like a sore thumb.

    I suppose it's history and it is what it is, i wouldn't want Ray Harryhausens work changed so i shouldn't ask for these changes either, just saying they annoyed the hell outta me when i viewed them on VHS and they would probably stick out more with a higher resolution.

    To be honest, I actually would prefer that those remain unfixed, but on the other hand, I could probably accept it if they weren't. But as we've discussed often on these boards, this is one of those gray areas of restoration. Those matte lines, while probably not invisible, were likely not as noticeable in theatrical prints (even brand new ones). I recently had the chance to see a 35mm print of Jedi ('97 version), and I barely noticed the Emperor's "slug," and probably wouldn't have at all if I hadn't seen it on video so many times.

    So if it were a matter of trying to obscure things that probably wouldn't have been quite as "sore-thumb-ish" in theatrical prints, I might be okay with that. But I agree there's a fine line there.

  134. Let me put it this way: the original unaltered trilogy must be properly preserved, first and foremost. A blu-ray release from Fox or Disney is also a must, but preferably after work is done to preserve them for future generations. Since Lucas is now out of the equation at least partially, Disney should exploit this cash cow opportunity if they can strike a deal with Fox.

  135. I would also like to post that I'm not one of those anti-George Lucas guys who want to lynch him for what he did to the original trilogy. I don't like the special editions, but that doesn't mean they can't exist. The real issue is the preservation of the original unaltered trilogy, which is very much in jeopardy as far as I know.

  136. A quote from someone who apparently worked on Jedi:

    "I actually composited that shot working for a company in Hollywood. The two black blobs around the outside of the emperor's eyes were g[arbage]-mattes to conceal makeup defects that didn't look quite right. With the theatrical release on standard release print stock the g-mattes like all the other g-mattes blend into the surrounding black areas going un-noticed. Not until the use of lower contrast video film stocks did the density mismatch become apparent."

  137. Worth

    A quote from someone who apparently worked on Jedi:

    "I actually composited that shot working for a company in Hollywood. The two black blobs around the outside of the emperor's eyes were g[arbage]-mattes to conceal makeup defects that didn't look quite right. With the theatrical release on standard release print stock the g-mattes like all the other g-mattes blend into the surrounding black areas going un-noticed. Not until the use of lower contrast video film stocks did the density mismatch become apparent."

    I'm sure that was their intention but I don't believe it was the reality. Since I saw them as a child, I'm not going to pretend that I remember the theatrical prints of the originals but I know without a doubt that mattes were visible on the SE theatrical prints. That being the case, why would the mattes suddenly become visible on the theatrical prints when it was completely seamless 20 years prior?

  138. Worth

    A quote from someone who apparently worked on Jedi:

    "I actually composited that shot working for a company in Hollywood. The two black blobs around the outside of the emperor's eyes were g[arbage]-mattes to conceal makeup defects that didn't look quite right. With the theatrical release on standard release print stock the g-mattes like all the other g-mattes blend into the surrounding black areas going un-noticed. Not until the use of lower contrast video film stocks did the density mismatch become apparent."

    I remember those garbage mattes by the emperor's eyes in the theatrical run of the movie — I called it the "magic marker effect," because it looked like a black magic marker was used on the actual film to hide something. It was very distracting then and it is now. I have no problem with using modern technology to erase these (and the matte lines around Tie Fighters) in otherwise preserved theatrical versions of the movies. To me, it's like getting rid of the glass reflection in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy is face to face with the snake (another change I remain in favor of).

  139. The original negatives most definitely existed beyond the 1997 special editions. Some of the unaltered footage appears in the documentary on the bonus disc of the DVD set (in much better quality than the laserdisc masters). The DVD and blu ray versions include new versions of scenes which were originally changed for the 1997 special edition, so obviously the original unaltered negative must have been used as a base. Maybe Lucas destroyed them after the blu ray version but that seems highly unlikely.

    Also, the DVD/blu ray versions were (bizarrely) produced from 1080p scans, The color timed negatives of the 1997 versions were thrown out and new 1080p scans were created and many effects were upgraded and/or re-rendered. A film negative does not exist, which is why the 1997 version is still used for film prints. So it seems likely that Disney will be creating new 4k or 8k scans of the negatives for future releases, which will require new color timing and restoration. It would make sense to restore the original scenes at the same time and create 4k masters of original and altered trilogies.

  140. There's a huge market for Star Wars in general. The market for the unaltered trilogy may or may not be only a small part of that, but even if it is, it's not like it would be a huge investment to release it on Blu-ray–most of us would be satisfied with a pretty basic HD release, which would still be a huge improvement over the existing non-anamorphic DVDs. And they'll surely be looking for some gimmick to draw buyers to a new release of the series…crappy though they were, the original versions were the only new features on the 2006 limited editions.

  141. Bryan Ri

    Is there really a HUGE market for the unaltered trilogy? As much as I would like to see it happen, I'm having a hard time seeing the general population rushing for this release.

    Symbolically, yes, specifically, no.
    (Ask most fans "Do you want the original trilogy?" and they start ululating battle cries and raising their rifles in the air; ask "Do you want the original 'Ewok' ending of Jedi?", the opinions start dividing a bit.)
    Even I only bought the "original" Ep. 4 of the three DVD's, and that for the no-subtitle crawl and Han Shooting First.

  142. Bryan Ri

    Is there really a HUGE market for the unaltered trilogy? As much as I would like to see it happen, I'm having a hard time seeing the general population rushing for this release.

    I think there's a big enough market for it that they could make money from it but I agree that the average buyer probably wouldn't care much.

  143. It would be great to see Lucasfilm hand them off to Criterion for a proper restoration. That would remove them somewhat from the public mass marketing hype and would give the restoration the proper cred with the fans. It would also feel less like a cash grab and more like a historic preservation effort. Most importantly, it would be done correctly.

  144. Bryan Ri

    Is there really a HUGE market for the unaltered trilogy? As much as I would like to see it happen, I'm having a hard time seeing the general population rushing for this release.

    I think the sheer amount of hype and fuss over this issue has probably generated enough interest to ensure decent sales. The general population might not care, but some might be swayed by the hardcore fans who will insist that "the only way to see Star Wars trilogy is with the original versions!!!".

    Of course, in reality what will happen is that the fans will splinter into groups and a large proportion will deride and whine about virtually any kind of release of the original versions. Some fans want the original, completely unaltered, unedited, unchanged original trilogy. Some will want things like matte lines to be removed, and other massaging to ensure the special effects don't look terrible on Blu. The infighting will ensure that no matter how it's released, there will be a vocal group who will pronounce it as being "not what the fans wanted".

  145. Persianimmortal

    Of course, in reality what will happen is that the fans will splinter into groups and a large proportion will deride and whine about virtually any kind of release of the original versions. Some fans want the original, completely unaltered, unedited, unchanged original trilogy. Some will want things like matte lines to be removed, and other massaging to ensure the special effects don't look terrible on Blu. The infighting will ensure that no matter how it's released, there will be a vocal group who will pronounce it as being "not what the fans wanted".

    Obviously I'm guessing but I think if they removed the mattes, 99 out of 100 people who want the original versions would be happy or not be bothered by that change. I don't quite know how the people who cite historical preservation would rationalize changing the movie but they would and the number of people who would be bothered would be very, very small.

  146. JeremyLG

    I think this thread just makes me want to break out my Laserdiscs of the original trilogy – sit back and enjoy all the warts and all.

    If you have the DVDs that included the non-anamorphic versions of the OOT, it is essentially the same experience as watching the laserdiscs. One of the reasons I bought an Oppo BD player was for its ability to move subtitles around. That way, I can zoom in on the non-anamorphic picture and not miss the subtiltes in the (authentic) Greedo scene and the scenes @ Jabba's domain.

    I seem to remember that when the "Faces" laserdiscs were released, they were touted as "the last chance to get the original versions". I guess they weren't kidding.

  147. I think what most people want is the restored originals sans CGI additions and soundtrack changes. The story and tone changes are what bother people. I doubt many would mind cleaned up effects as long as they are the original effects. The color timing should match what was seen in the theaters, without crushing blacks or over saturating. Ideally they would offer the mono, dolby stereo and 6 track stereo soundtracks for Star Wars. That should satisfy the majority of fans.

  148. Persianimmortal

    Some fans want the original, completely unaltered, unedited, unchanged original trilogy. Some will want things like matte lines to be removed, and other massaging to ensure the special effects don't look terrible on Blu. The infighting will ensure that no matter how it's released, there will be a vocal group who will pronounce it as being "not what the fans wanted".

    All they have to do is release something comparable to the original Battlestar Galactica – that disc has no visible garbage mattes, despite using the same FX techniques, and I don't think Universal spent much time or money restoring anything.

    There will always be a handful of people who complain, just as there are for every single release, but I think the vast majority would be more than satisfied with such a presentation.

  149. In addition, LFL has all the original mixes and 4 track masters already digitized, which they pulled for reference when doing all the new BD audio mixes.

    If someone actually did a simple scan and utilized the theatrical mixes, most would be at least somewhat satisfied. A Star Wars movie only BD50 done this way with 70mm 4.2, Dolby Stereo 2.0 and the Mono track would be ideal.

    Hate hate hate hate hate those mattes…I spend so much darn time trying to readjust settings to make them less visible.

    The 97 SE was not the worst thing in the world. That is actually the THX Director's Cut where CGI sequences are simply shoved in and perhaps even more damaging, new editing changes scene meanings and in effect changes the impact and meaning of the entire film.

  150. I want the version of Star Wars released to include the line "Close the blast doors!" before "Open the blast doors, open the blast doors!" That means it needs to include the mono soundtrack that I heard first in 1977. That line was not restored in stereo until the 1997 SE.

  151. Moe Dickstein

    I don't think they should get any fixes if they want "what came out in theaters", if you want the fixes you take them all or you take nothing.

    I agree. Original means original. However, I think some people are posting that if some minor problems like garbage mattes were fixed that it would not rise to the level of being a deal-breaker. Personally, I'd like to get the originals unaltered. However, I'd probably buy it anyway if some of those minor issues were corrected, even though I am not bothered by them.

    In any case, I don't think it is ever going to happen. This thread is like imagining what one would do after winning the lottery.

  152. I have to admit to a certain ambivalence about owning copies of the original versions. Warts and all I'm quite happy with the current Blus.

    But, what would make them a definite purchase for me would be if the original posters were used on the covers. For such important films they have suffered some awful graphic design on thier digital media. Even the Bluray box design is mediocre at best.

  153. David_B_K

    I agree. Original means original. However, I think some people are posting that if some minor problems like garbage mattes were fixed that it would not rise to the level of being a deal-breaker. Personally, I'd like to get the originals unaltered. However, I'd probably buy it anyway if some of those minor issues were corrected, even though I am not bothered by them. In any case, I don't think it is ever going to happen. This thread is like imagining what one would do after winning the lottery.

    You're mistaking the attitude of my posts. I say if people want to watch the inferior old versions then they don't get to pick and choose which fixes from the improved current versions they can keep.

  154. Ethan Riley

    They weren't inferior–I didn't notice any matte lines in 1977. A proper restoration would mean you still can't see them.

    Just because you didn't notice them does not mean that they weren't there. The matte boxes were definitely visible in the SE prints so I can't believe that they suddenly turned visible after 20 years.

  155. moviebuff75

    What about the wire work in "The Wizard of Oz." Supposedly, the wires weren't seen in 1939, but in later re-releases they are very noticeable.

    I'd assume that the difference is that there were upgrades in film prints and projection between 1939 and whenever the wires became noticeable in The Wizard Of Oz. I'm certainly not authority and anyone can correct me if they are but I doubt there was the same kind of upgrades between 1977 and 1997. If anything, I've seen people say that there was a downgrade over those years (smaller screens, ignorant projectionists, using weaker bulbs, less care taken with prints).

  156. Moe Dickstein

    You're mistaking the attitude of my posts. I say if people want to watch the inferior old versions then they don't get to pick and choose which fixes from the improved current versions they can keep.

    I thought you were saying that "originalists" were being somewhat hypocritcal by claiming to want the original versions while having a laundry list of things they'd like "fixed". Was that not your attitude?

  157. Thank god we have you to decide this. Perhaps, someday, you will not ever have to enter a thread about original Star Wars without the terrible burden of reading about original Star Wars.

  158. In the event that Disney decides to put out HD discs of the original theatrical cuts of these movies, I can guarantee you'd be seeing matte lines and a host of other issues. It's very much the same thing as the wires in The Wizard of Oz, or the obvious paintings in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Let's say that Disney decides to do 2K transfers of the IPs of SW, TESB and ROTJ. You would see every possible imperfection magnified in a way that would not have happened when seeing a theatrical projection in 1977, 1980 or 1983. You probably didn't see the garbage mattes back in 1977 – because you weren't seeing a scan right off the negative of that high of a level of detail. You were seeing a 2nd generation print, projected at whatever level of quality onto a screen of whatever level of quality. A little grain and a little distance from the original source materials can do wonders for visual effects. A Blu-ray of any quality coming from a direct scan of an IP will get you as close to the original negative as possible, and the effect will be similar to what happens at the end of the Blu-ray of Raiders – what had been an interesting closing shot that pulls back wide on an endless gigantic warehouse became an obvious painting with a small area of live action working in the center. It's not a bad thing to me – I find the process very interesting anyway, but there's no way around the fact that you'll see every painting for what it is and every composite for what it is.

  159. Spencer Draper

    The 97 SE was not the worst thing in the world. That is actually the THX Director's Cut where CGI sequences are simply shoved in and perhaps even more damaging, new editing changes scene meanings and in effect changes the impact and meaning of the entire film.

    Not to go off on a tangent here, but it's nice to see that someone else recognizes how the re-editing of THX 1138 completely messes up the narrative. I'm fine with the nice new effects, but I'm not fine with a roomful of people watching THX and LUH get busy on a monitor and not calling the police. Among other things.

    When GL says in the commentary that THX is 'birth-born' and LUH is 'of clinical origin', it shows that the man is no longer even familiar with his own movie, beyond the broad strokes.

  160. Moe Dickstein

    Absolutely. I got confused when you mentioned the reason for not doing fixes as purity, where my reason is they aren't entitled to any improvements if they are ungrateful about all the improvements

    I guess we were more or less saying the same thing. As one who wants the original originals, I don't request any "fixes". So that makes me one who is ungrateful for the relentles osessive revisionist tinkering improvements. But I was defending some who may have merely been saying what "improvements" they would tolerate and still buy a release of the OOT.

  161. Kevin EK

    In the event that Disney decides to put out HD discs of the original theatrical cuts of these movies, I can guarantee you'd be seeing matte lines and a host of other issues. It's very much the same thing as the wires in The Wizard of Oz, or the obvious paintings in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Let's say that Disney decides to do 2K transfers of the IPs of SW, TESB and ROTJ. You would see every possible imperfection magnified in a way that would not have happened when seeing a theatrical projection in 1977, 1980 or 1983. You probably didn't see the garbage mattes back in 1977 – because you weren't seeing a scan right off the negative of that high of a level of detail. You were seeing a 2nd generation print, projected at whatever level of quality onto a screen of whatever level of quality. A little grain and a little distance from the original source materials can do wonders for visual effects. A Blu-ray of any quality coming from a direct scan of an IP will get you as close to the original negative as possible, and the effect will be similar to what happens at the end of the Blu-ray of Raiders – what had been an interesting closing shot that pulls back wide on an endless gigantic warehouse became an obvious painting with a small area of live action working in the center. It's not a bad thing to me – I find the process very interesting anyway, but there's no way around the fact that you'll see every painting for what it is and every composite for what it is.

    Any reason why Disney might scan the IPs at 2K instead of 4K? I realize all of this hypothetical, but just wondering.

  162. I would like to add my opinion that if Disney is to release the original UNALTERED trilogy on blu, they should return to the best surviving elements for the films and not do any digital alterations to the special effects (hence the term 'unaltered'). The scans should be undertaken at 4k res minimum considering that the elements available are probably in horrendous shape and need to be properly restored and preserved in both the digital and analog realms. The fans whom would be clambering to get this release would be outraged at any changes and it would hurt sales. I'm not saying that a digital cleanup isn't necessary i.e. dirt removal, but no DNR or wire removal should be applied to effects shots. Disney has worried me with some of their recent releases in terms of the digital processing they have applied.

  163. One of my first memories is of seeing Return of the Jedi theatrically when I was 8 and I've been a fan ever since. That being said the only way I would buy the series on blu ray is if they find a way to integrate both the original and SE versions into an economical package. Otherwise i'll just stick with the DVDs the few times per year I get the urge to watch it again.Sent from my SPH-M830 using HTF mobile app

  164. Assuming that Disney ever does issue the original theatrical cuts of the Star Wars trilogy, it would be as a supplement to individual Blu-ray releases of the titles. And it would be done as cheaply as possible. Meaning 2K scans of the interpositives, to include as bonuses on one-movie-at-a-time Blus of the trilogy. Disney is not about to suddenly spend millions to do major cleanup work on movies that Lucasfilm cleaned up a decade ago. If this ever happens, I frankly see a release where a 2nd disc has an HD copy of Star Wars, for example. It would be a 2K scan of the interpositive, with a bunch of matte lines and other glaring problems quite visible. And the soundtrack would still be the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix.

  165. Carl Johnson

    One of my first memories is of seeing Return of the Jedi theatrically when I was 8 and I've been a fan ever since.That being said the only way I would buy the series on blu ray is if they find a way to integrate both the original and SE versions into an economical package. Otherwise i'll just stick with the DVDs the few times per year I get the urge to watch it again.Sent from my SPH-M830 using HTF mobile app

    My urge to watch the original trilogy has lessened from once a year, to now like once every few years. So although it would be great to own the unaltered trilogy on Blu-Ray, I really just don't care a whole lot anymore.

  166. I consider myself a pretty big Star Wars fan. I saw the original more than 30 times in the theater on its initial run. That said, I find I enjoy the movies more now if I watch them every 6-7 years now. Having a movie committed to memory lessens the enjoyment of it, IMO. Now, what would be a treat after all this time would be to see the original theatrical versions in HD.

  167. Sam Favate

    That said, I find I enjoy the movies more now if I watch them every 6-7 years now. Having a movie committed to memory lessens the enjoyment of it, IMO.

    Yeah, having spent my earliest years to the mid-80's and then the mid-90's to mid-00's watching the movies a billion times, even I've had to dial back over the last few years. When I worked in a video store during college, I was only allowed to watch PG rated movies so I probably saw the OT 100 times just during those years.

  168. Worth

    The matte "boxes" were largely the result of incorrect black levels on older video masters – they weren't visible on theatrical prints.

    Actually, not true.
    I saw and screened Star Wars many, many times in 1977 & 1978 and the matte-lines around the tie-fighters were visible. People regularly debated what they were at the time, many thought the green shapes around them were their 'shields' whereas some local super8 film-makers correctly guessed they were garbage mattes.
    Either way if you adjust the gamma or brightness on your TV they can be made to disappear.

    Part of the reason people don't remember seeing the faults in 1977 is that the film was *so* much better (effects wise) than anything else, it just blew you away and looked totally real. You didn't notice the little glitches because your socks were just knocked off, and we were a much less sophisticated audience back then. The amount of suspension of disbelief required to enjoy most films of the day was extremely high, we just didn't have the 'eye' for seeing the smaller faults. The matte lines were definitely there, (I viewed a 78 print recently and they were as plain as day) as were the frame jumps, and the freaky looking frame of greedo and the weird mess around that one tie fighter explosion, but most people didn't see them back then.

    I would like to see a warts n all version released in HD, it is easy enough for people to make their own 'improved' versions from that.
    For personal, modern viewing I'd like to see a de-glitched version, but would be happy enough to do the de-glitching myself. (e.g. Matte line removal, fixing some lighting issues, obvious frame-jumps when sabres turn on and off, some dodgy frames etc.)

    I think it is more important that the film be preserved and available 'as it was', even if with our more sophisticated eyes it now looks hokey in places, and that our memories of it might be different to how it actually was.

    De-glitched versions would be great too, no matte lines, better composites, making matte paintings less obvious etc. but *everyone* will have a different idea of what is okay and what isn't.
    So preserve cinematic history release the originals warts and all, and let people make their own personal versions from there.

  169. "Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!"

    I thought I was done with all things Star Wars, at least until Episode J.J. came out. Lucas was going to take the OOT to his grave with him and we'd never see the likes of it again…and now this news!

    In the spirit of putting my money where my mouth was, if they release the OOT–whether it be completely unaltered from the best remaining elements, garbage mattes and all, or a FX-only-cleaned-up version with no "SE" type of CGI additions/edits–I will definitely buy it. Disney, take my money please!

  170. It would be great if they could release the original, no CGI Star Wars. I hate the added CGI and refuse to buy those versions! If they do release them, I am spending a whole day watching Star Wars with my family in our movie room!

  171. laserman

    De-glitched versions would be great too, no matte lines, better composites, making matte paintings less obvious etc. but *everyone* will have a different idea of what is okay and what isn't.
    So preserve cinematic history release the originals warts and all, and let people make their own personal versions from there.

    Speaking of "personal versions", have you seen "Star Wars Revisited". It's pretty dang cool.

    You can see a ton of the changes in this trailer. He even re-drew every single laser blast from the ships and guns to give them "cores".

    Watch the Tie Fighter battle starting at 3:00 in this clip to see what he did.

  172. ijthompson

    Not to go off on a tangent here, but it's nice to see that someone else recognizes how the re-editing of THX 1138 completely messes up the narrative. I'm fine with the nice new effects, but I'm not fine with a roomful of people watching THX and LUH get busy on a monitor and not calling the police. Among other things.

    When GL says in the commentary that THX is 'birth-born' and LUH is 'of clinical origin', it shows that the man is no longer even familiar with his own movie, beyond the broad strokes.

    Some of the new shots are just plain bad, or sloppy. The scene where THX fills out a punch card to report on SEN had a video monitor with a overhead shot of his hands added to it. Problem is, the left hand of Duvall's double on the video screen isn't even in the same position! How hard could it have been to match such a simple thing?
    One new shot of THX's car coming to a stop in a tunnel looks like a flat cutout being moved across the background.

    I would have loved to have seen the faces of the FX guys when Lucas explained his desired addition of the machine that pleasures THX in his apartment. 😆

  173. I think it's been well established (ad nauseum) that the trouble most fans have with Lucas and the SE versions of Star Wars isn't that he made so many changes, but that he decided to NOT make the original films available as well. That's certainly the way I feel about it. If the OOT does indeed get a proper BD release then the main gripe many have with Lucas and his revisionism will be rendered moot. Bring it on.

  174. Kevin EK

    Assuming that Disney ever does issue the original theatrical cuts of the Star Wars trilogy, it would be as a supplement to individual Blu-ray releases of the titles. And it would be done as cheaply as possible. Meaning 2K scans of the interpositives, to include as bonuses on one-movie-at-a-time Blus of the trilogy. Disney is not about to suddenly spend millions to do major cleanup work on movies that Lucasfilm cleaned up a decade ago. If this ever happens, I frankly see a release where a 2nd disc has an HD copy of Star Wars, for example. It would be a 2K scan of the interpositive, with a bunch of matte lines and other glaring problems quite visible. And the soundtrack would still be the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix.

    I wouldn't be so quick to say that. However, your prediction may be the case if Disney doesn't listen to the fans, which Disney's marketing department must do to guarantee the best sales for this release. What I'm all about is Asset Protection. That wouldn't be as simple as a 2k scan of the IPs. That would mean 4k res minimum scans of IPs or whatever the best available elements are and creating digital preservation as well as new film elements. The IPs for Star Wars and Empire (particularly the first film) are probably suffering from severe fading and that would need to be fixed. So, to avoid a fan backlash which may hurt sales, Disney can and should put some extra effort into the work. I doubt it would take *millions* to have this project done. The other kicker, however, is the audio. Look at the audio page on originaltrilogy . com for more info, but that is another major issue considering how many mixes there are available to be archived.

  175. The only way I'll ever buy the OT is if I can get the unLucasized theatrical versions, warts and all. That's part of what makes it so great. I skipped on the current BD release and will keep playing my 'faces' LDs until the day it happens. Heck, I don't even want extras. I would gladly plunk down $50 for a bare bones movie only set.

  176. Moe Dickstein

    if the movies were "unLucasized" they wouldn't exist since I believe he did have some involvement with them back in the 70s and early 80s…

    He did, but "Lucasize" had not entered the film lexicon back in the 70's and early 80's. From the Urban disctionary:

    [​IMG]

  177. Kevin EK

    Assuming that Disney ever does issue the original theatrical cuts of the Star Wars trilogy, it would be as a supplement to individual Blu-ray releases of the titles. And it would be done as cheaply as possible. Meaning 2K scans of the interpositives, to include as bonuses on one-movie-at-a-time Blus of the trilogy. Disney is not about to suddenly spend millions to do major cleanup work on movies that Lucasfilm cleaned up a decade ago. If this ever happens, I frankly see a release where a 2nd disc has an HD copy of Star Wars, for example. It would be a 2K scan of the interpositive, with a bunch of matte lines and other glaring problems quite visible. And the soundtrack would still be the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix.

    Disney will revisit them one way or another because the DVD and Blu Ray versions only exist as 1080p digital masters. If they want 4k masters they will have to re-scan the negatives (probably at 8k), re-render all of the effects created for those versions and do a new cleanup and color grade. The 1997 SE versions exist as film negatives, but it doesn't seem likely they will want to go back to those versions. They will need to scan the original, unaltered negatives and re-render the CGI effects in 4k. So it makes sense that they would make 4k masters of the original versions at the same time.

  178. Dave MJ

    Disney will revisit them one way or another because the DVD and Blu Ray versions only exist as 1080p digital masters. If they want 4k masters they will have to re-scan the negatives (probably at 8k), re-render all of the effects created for those versions and do a new cleanup and color grade. The 1997 SE versions exist as film negatives, but it doesn't seem likely they will want to go back to those versions. They will need to scan the original, unaltered negatives and re-render the CGI effects in 4k. So it makes sense that they would make 4k masters of the original versions at the same time.

    Why would they need to scan 35mm negatives at 8K resoltution? As for re-doing the effects at 4K, I doubt it. I don't think Cameron redid the effects for TITANIC 3-D at 4K, for example.

    Vincent

  179. Vincent_P

    Why would they need to scan 35mm negatives at 8K resoltution? As for re-doing the effects at 4K, I doubt it. I don't think Cameron redid the effects for TITANIC 3-D at 4K, for example.

    Vincent

    I'm just saying if they want a 4K ultra HD master they will have to re-scan at some point. Doesn't have to be 6k or 8k but that would make sense for a future proof digital negative. It's what WB has been doing with their high profile films. Lucas was very short sighted in that he only scanned and finished the DVD/blu ray versions at 1080p so they would match the digitally shot prequels.

  180. FoxyMulder

    Yes but the whole point is that for Episode 3 they added film grain to make it look more film like and less digital, for the Phantom Menace they degrained to make it look more digital and less film like, i don't get the logic, surely if they wanted smoother and a digital look then they wouldn't have bothered adding in film grain for part 3, no for me i think Phanton Menace looks the way it does because they used a master intended for the 3D conversion, nothing else makes sense and when 4K monitors are all the rage they will redo all of them and upscale the digital shot last 2 films.

    None of the prequel films exist in a completed form on film. Episode 1 was shot on film, but all post production was done at 2k digital resolution. I'm unaware of any degraining done to the original masters of this film. It was likely unneeded, as the film was shot with anamorphic lenses using the full academy aperture of the film. With the film stock available in 1999, its likely the grain was all but invisible in the direct transfer from the negatives to 2k video.

    Episodes 2 and 3 were both shot digitally at 1080p on Sony cameras. I saw both films projected digitally on a 55 foot screen and believe me no grain was added to them. They were smooth as silk.

    Doug

  181. Has there ever been any word on it? It's all been speculation.

    So here's my speculation: in 2015 Disney will release the "Oh For Crying Out Loud! Shut Yur Yaps Edition." These will be the original trilogies as theatrically released.

    Unfortunately, the source will be bootleg beta tapes. The blu-rays will be so loaded with copy protection they only play on 1 out of 10 blu-ray players. The trilogy will be priced at $149, but that includes the Christmas Star Wars.

    Psst! Disney! I've got a beta vcr just gathering dust if you need it. 😛

  182. ".. with a bunch of matte lines and other glaring problems quite visible."Who cares? I mean who cares if there are some "issues" with the original trilogy in HD. The whole point is that we don't want Lucas-ish perfection or smooth (yet lifeless) cgi with the original trilogy. We just want them just as they were back in the days in the movie theatres (no more, no less).Is this really so hard to understand? Really? You have your "perfect versions" by Lucas. Now we want those less-perfect versions.

  183. Actually, there is a slightly left-of-center version that I think many people want — that is, the original films as we remember them, with no added scenes, changed dialogue, or goddamn dancers in Jabba's Palace, but with things like matte lines and magic marker effects corrected. That would make a lot of old-timers happy, and it would ensure the longevity of the original versions, as kids (today and tomorrow) wouldn't look at them and balk "Yeah, but all those matte lines and boxes are distracting!"

  184. Sam Favate

    Actually, there is a slightly left-of-center version that I think many people want — that is, the original films as we remember them, with no added scenes, changed dialogue, or goddamn dancers in Jabba's Palace, but with things like matte lines and magic marker effects corrected. That would make a lot of old-timers happy, and it would ensure the longevity of the original versions, as kids (today and tomorrow) wouldn't look at them and balk "Yeah, but all those matte lines and boxes are distracting!"

    Sam, that's what I was thinking, too.

    A sort of 'original, but just tidied up a bit' version, a little like they did with parts of Blade Runner.

    It's been changed so many times I don't know how many versions of Star Wars there are now, but a release of the original film in its completely unaltered state, together with this 'tidied up' version should really put a lid on it.

    Steve W

  185. Yorkshire

    Sam, that's what I was thinking, too.

    A sort of 'original, but just tidied up a bit' version, a little like they did with parts of Blade Runner.

    It's been changed so many times I don't know how many versions of Star Wars there are now, but a release of the original film in its completely unaltered state, together with this 'tidied up' version should really put a lid on it.

    Steve W

    I'm good with that but the reality is that unless it is really cheap, like $25 or less I won't be buying it because I can't see spending more money on a set of movies that I like only a modest amount. I am old enough to have seen the OT in the theaters during their initial runs and I care (maybe more of a preference) but not too much when it comes to cost.

    I found it funny as I was watching Empire the other night, that people kept talking about the line "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" and I didn't know where that line was or what the big deal was. Then at the end of the movie when it happened I was like "Wow, that was terrible and very jarring. No wonder fans want it changed back to the original."

  186. Chuck Anstey

    I found it funny as I was watching Empire the other night, that people kept talking about the line "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" and I didn't know where that line was or what the big deal was. Then at the end of the movie when it happened I was like "Wow, that was terrible and very jarring. No wonder fans want it changed back to the original."

    That's an awful change, i detest that line.

  187. "Bring my shuttle" was delivered perfectly by JEJ to convey the anger that Vader felt over his son's apparent preference for death over joining his father. It conveyed equal parts anger, disappointment, and still maintained the "I'm the bada$$ boss" tone that Vader was famous for.

    What kills me is that Lucas's justification, that the line be changed because he actually wanted to insert the shot of the shuttle going to the Death Star, was completely ludicrous. Because "Bring my shuttle" does just that, and much more.

    That, and Greedo shooting first, are the two unforgivable changes to me. With regards to other changes I range from ambivalence to dislike, but those two really showed me that GL had no concept of the importance of both of those events as they were originally filmed.

  188. The other very offputting change to me, aside from the Greedo debacle, is that Tatooine (especially Mos Eisley) is now teeming with activity. Isn't the desolate nature of Tatooine the primary reason that Luke wants to get off the planet in the first place and at least one reason that Ben is safely in seclusion there (the other being to monitor Luke, I guess)?

  189. Jay*W

    The other very offputting change to me, aside from the Greedo debacle, is that Tatooine (especially Mos Eisley) is now teeming with activity. Isn't the desolate nature of Tatooine the primary reason that Luke wants to get off the planet in the first place and at least one reason that Ben is safely in seclusion there (the other being to monitor Luke, I guess)?

    I agree. The entire Tatooine sequence is too "slick" in the new versions. The rustic look of the original conveyed the place perfectly, IMO.

  190. Not only teeming with activity, but by today's standards poorly rendered CGI activity. Most of those SE Mos Eisley effects look horrible and dated now, and they're a great example of why revisionism is such a slippery slope.

  191. I'm remembering something in the Lawrence of Arabia thread where Robert Harris said he wasn't sure if they were even legally allowed to replace missing frames, because that would constitute a material change to the last version of the film that David Lean approved.

    My guess is that if George Lucas were to keel over of a heart attack tomorrow (a possibility now that he has a much younger wife to keep up with!), the masters used for the 2011 Blu-rays, which represent the most recent versions approved by Lucas, would be the only versions that Disney or Fox would ever be able to legally distribute.

  192. Stephen Brooks

    I'm remembering something in the Lawrence of Arabia thread where Robert Harris said he wasn't sure if they were even legally allowed to replace missing frames, because that would constitute a material change to the last version of the film that David Lean approved.

    My guess is that if George Lucas were to keel over of a heart attack tomorrow (a possibility now that he has a much younger wife to keep up with!), the masters used for the 2011 Blu-rays, which represent the most recent versions approved by Lucas, would be the only versions that Disney or Fox would ever be able to legally distribute.

    That may be true (from a certain point of view….NO! I mean, to a certain extent…) But the difference is that we aren't talking about creating something that wasn't there, like "missing frames" (from previous edits to the OCN). There are prints of the original STAR WARS trilogy already in existence that could be used in cooperation with / instead of the OCNs. Plus, we do not know what the agreement between Lucas and Disney entails…whether it gives the company carte blanche to do what it wishes with the previous content as well as future.

  193. Stephen Brooks

    My guess is that if George Lucas were to keel over of a heart attack tomorrow (a possibility now that he has a much younger wife to keep up with!), the masters used for the 2011 Blu-rays, which represent the most recent versions approved by Lucas, would be the only versions that Disney or Fox would ever be able to legally distribute.

    The Disney company just spent billions for these movies. They're going to get to do whatever they want with them, ultimately. If they see a revenue stream in the original films, they will see the light of day on blu-ray. Everything else is just paranoia.

  194. Sam Favate

    The Disney company just spent billions for these movies. They're going to get to do whatever they want with them, ultimately. If they see a revenue stream in the original films, they will see the light of day on blu-ray. Everything else is just paranoia.

    I have a feeling they only spent billions for the right to make new movies and they don't care that much about the old ones.

  195. FoxyMulder

    I have a feeling they only spent billions for the right to make new movies and they don't care that much about the old ones.

    Even with the way that Disney looks to be trying to whore Star Wars into another Marvel, the merchandising is probably still going to be worth more than the movies.

  196. FoxyMulder

    I have a feeling they only spent billions for the right to make new movies and they don't care that much about the old ones.

    I think of far greater value is the ability to have complete control of the property to use in their theme parks. The movies are just advertising for the parks and merchandise. If they make money, even better.

  197. TravisR

    Even with the way that Disney looks to be trying to whore Star Wars into another Marvel, the merchandising is probably still going to be worth more than the movies.

    Yeah i agree with you, merchandising and movies, they will both help sell one another.

    Chuck Anstey

    I think of far greater value is the ability to have complete control of the property to use in their theme parks. The movies are just advertising for the parks and merchandise. If they make money, even better.

    True.

  198. I have not previously bought the films on home video and would certainly buy the theatrical versions (a little tidying up would be acceptable to me) on blu-ray. I am fairly confident they will be released during my lifetime for the simple reason that, like so many other classic films (Wizard of OZ etc), the studio wouldn't be able to resist making another huge pot of money out of them.

  199. FoxyMulder

    I have a feeling they only spent billions for the right to make new movies and they don't care that much about the old ones.

    Yes because Disney never re-releases their old movies…wait…what? 😀

    I bet they do something really mean like "Disney Vault" the original Star Wars films. Buy the original films again for the first time in their original incarnation. Get them now before they go back into the vault!

    I never got the argument that "toys/merch will be worth more" or "new movies will be their focus". I mean it's not a mutually exclusive thing, and all three ventures will make money! Why would a company say all three make money so let's do the one or two most money-making things and ignore the third. A corporation's only duty is to generate revenue/profit. If all three will do it, then you better believe they'll do all three.

  200. Carlo Medina

    I never got the argument that "toys/merch will be worth more" or "new movies will be their focus". I mean it's not a mutually exclusive thing, and all three ventures will make money! Why would a company say all three make money so let's do the one or two most money-making things and ignore the third. A corporation's only duty is to generate revenue/profit. If all three will do it, then you better believe they'll do all three.

    My point is that the merchandise is the biggest revenue generator. Of course, they need a movie or TV show to drive those sales but the merchandise earns more than the movies themselves.

  201. TravisR

    My point is that the merchandise is the biggest revenue generator. Of course, they need a movie or TV show to drive those sales but the merchandise earns more than the movies themselves.

    Exactly and it's the reason George Lucas dumbed down Return Of The Jedi, to sell toys, at the same time we will of course get the originals and prequels re-sold to us, probably 3D editions too, i hope they don't get the "animated classics" treatment and i am not talking vault here.

  202. Sam Favate

    Actually, there is a slightly left-of-center version that I think many people want — that is, the original films as we remember them, with no added scenes, changed dialogue, or goddamn dancers in Jabba's Palace, but with things like matte lines and magic marker effects corrected. That would make a lot of old-timers happy, and it would ensure the longevity of the original versions, as kids (today and tomorrow) wouldn't look at them and balk "Yeah, but all those matte lines and boxes are distracting!"

    As a parent with a 16-year-old who actually sat and watched the original trilogy with me several times over the years starting back when he was 10, he never once made a comment about "matte lines and boxes" which were visible on the laserdiscs I played first and the DVD of the original versions I later played.I think we assume too much as to what kids notice and don't notice on these things that we've scrutinized ourselves for so long. My son tells me all the time about things that he just doesn't really care about that I'm always bringing up. Especially when it comes to the technical aspects of how a movie is made.Basically, with kids, whether they know it or not, if the story engages them, they will forgive just as much as we did when we first experienced the story. It's not like I never noticed the technical glitches in the theater back in the day after seeing Star Wars a total of 11 times in its original run.I think that's what it comes down to.

  203. Joel Fontenot

    As a parent with a 16-year-old who actually sat and watched the original trilogy with me several times over the years starting back when he was 10, he never once made a comment about "matte lines and boxes" which were visible on the laserdiscs I played first and the DVD of the original versions I later played.

    Very good (and important) point. I'm sure there are kids and young people that just can't watch films or tv series that look "old", doesn't have fancy CGI etc, but many are like Joel's son: They just enjoy good story telling, interesting characters and rich fantasy/sci-fi/etc world.

    Too bad that Lucas never got that point.

  204. I think George has always been on the cutting edge of film advances, so when CGI happened he embraced it. In order for his Star Wars creation to stay relevant as long as possible into the future. However, if there is ever a point in filmmaking where CGI becomes old, or boring, and films are once again made almost entirely physical then his prequels and additions to the OT will seem "dated".

  205. Bryan^H

    I think George has always been on the cutting edge of film advances, so when CGI happened he embraced it. In order for his Star Wars creation to stay relevant as long as possible into the future.

    Plus, he had been saying that the original movie didn't live up to his expectations all the way back to 1977 so when he had a chance to 'fix' what had been eating at him for almost 20 years, he took it.

  206. Joel Fontenot

    Basically, with kids, whether they know it or not, if the story engages them, they will forgive just as much as we did when we first experienced the story. It's not like I never noticed the technical glitches in the theater back in the day after seeing Star Wars a total of 11 times in its original run.I think that's what it comes down to.

    I was 15 at the time when I saw the first movie and I definitely remember the matte lines. Now it didn't stop my enjoyment since the effects were so revolutionary for the time. However, I would find it difficult to understand going back to the original without at least cleaning up some of the technical issues that had nothing to do with the story. If they released with the anomalies intact, I would just wait for the next cut because you know there would be an outcry and a new release to fix them as well.

  207. Bryan^H

    I think George has always been on the cutting edge of film advances, so when CGI happened he embraced it. In order for his Star Wars creation to stay relevant as long as possible into the future. However, if there is ever a point in filmmaking where CGI becomes old, or boring, and films are once again made almost entirely physical then his prequels and additions to the OT will seem "dated".

    His additions to the OT already look very dated IMO.

  208. dpippel

    His additions to the OT already look very dated IMO.

    You think the space battle scenes look dated? I'll give you that the CG creatures look dated but I think the new X-Wing, TIE Fighter and Millennium Falcon shots still look pretty darn cool even after 16 years.

  209. TravisR

    Plus, he had been saying that the original movie didn't live up to his expectations all the way back to 1977 so when he had a chance to 'fix' what had been eating at him for almost 20 years, he took it.

    The production of the infamous Holiday special in 1978 seems like it would have been a perfect opportunity for George to fix that pesky Greedo scene that had been bugging him. Borrow Harrison and Greedo, and go shoot in the corner of the cantina set.

    I'm sure there are certified documents and written statements proving George wasn't within 100 miles of that production at any time though. 😀

  210. The biggest problem I'd say that Star Wars has right now is layering. 1997 they did a mostly photochemical restoration with some new footage and digital effects. In 2004 they transferred the Special Edition preservation negatives to 1080p HD, layered some additional CG changes, and did the super rushed Lowry restoration. In 2011 they do ANOTHER layer of changes and fixes over those same masters. What they need to do is just junk everything and go back to original camera negatives (or first-gen dupes where necessary), restore the original cuts, and then make "ultimate special editions" that don't contain any 1997 or 2004 CGI. And they need to do it soon, while George Lucas is still able to be involved.

  211. SilverWook

    By themselves, sure, but intercut with the original physical models they kind of stick out.

    A number of the space battle shots that were replaced were of just one slow moving physical model against black and in my opinion, those shots stick out as much or more than the CG stuff does. And leaving out CG done 20 years after the fact, I think it's fair to say that some of those space battle shots stick out even when you look at what they did in the other two movies.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not arguing in favor of burying the original version. I'm just saying that I think some of the new shots do work better than the original ones.

  212. SilverWook

    By themselves, sure, but intercut with the original physical models they kind of stick out.

    This. The CGI ships are very apparent to me, although a lot of them do work. The shot of the X Wing squadron flying out from Yavin to attack the Death Star in Star Wars however is particularly noticeable, especially with it's little CGI R2. It's the Tatooine stuff that's really wretched though.

  213. I've always thought that the Falcon looked fatter in the first movie than in the others. I think they made a new model of it for The Empire Strikes Back (used again for Return Of The Jedi) so I wonder if the CG Falcon used the 'thinner' second one as its model.

  214. I don't believe there would be any issue with Disney issuing the original theatrical cuts of the trilogy in the future – unless there are any complications with Fox.

    Eight years after Stanley Kubrick passed away, his later movies were released on home video in their theatrical aspect ratios – something that Kubrick would not permit during his lifetime. But with the passing of time, with the larger presence of widescreen televisions and with a clear public interest in seeing the movies in those ratios, Jan Harlan and the family consented to the releases.

    There are certainly interpositives and masters that exist for the Star Wars trilogy that have been carefully preserved by Lucasfilm, so the inclusion of the original cuts would be something that Disney could do inexpensively as a bonus in their marketing of future Blu-ray releases. As I said before, I wouldn't expect Disney to spend millions of dollars on such a project. If anything gets an 8K mastering in the future, that will be the last version of the trilogy that Lucas approved in 2011. I also can't picture Disney funding a project wherein they take the original cuts and spend millions on VFX cleanup, when they already have the 2011 version with those effects already cleaned up.

    It's interesting to speculate what Disney might or might not do here, but expecting them to spend more than a minimal amount is simply not realistic. I wasn't trying to be pessimistic in pointing out that a good 2K scan of the original cuts will reveal issues with the VFX. Just realistic. The final shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark on the Blu-ray is a great example – the matte painting of the warehouse in the final shot is obvious on the Blu-ray where it was not nearly as noticeable on the previous DVD release or the theatrical release. Similar shots in Star Wars and company will have the same issues. Lucas has noted that he cut nearly all of the VFX sequences in Star Wars to be very short shots so that the flaws would not be as noticeable. (There are exceptions – like the flyover at the very beginning, but that was for a good reason) I don't have a problem seeing a version of the movie where the mattes are visible, but I would want viewers to keep the issue in mind so they don't get a bad surprise if Disney ever does issue the original trilogy in this manner.

  215. Kevin EK

    I don't believe there would be any issue with Disney issuing the original theatrical cuts of the trilogy in the future – unless there are any complications with Fox.

    Eight years after Stanley Kubrick passed away, his later movies were released on home video in their theatrical aspect ratios – something that Kubrick would not permit during his lifetime. But with the passing of time, with the larger presence of widescreen televisions and with a clear public interest in seeing the movies in those ratios, Jan Harlan and the family consented to the releases.

    There are certainly interpositives and masters that exist for the Star Wars trilogy that have been carefully preserved by Lucasfilm, so the inclusion of the original cuts would be something that Disney could do inexpensively as a bonus in their marketing of future Blu-ray releases. As I said before, I wouldn't expect Disney to spend millions of dollars on such a project. If anything gets an 8K mastering in the future, that will be the last version of the trilogy that Lucas approved in 2011. I also can't picture Disney funding a project wherein they take the original cuts and spend millions on VFX cleanup, when they already have the 2011 version with those effects already cleaned up.

    It's interesting to speculate what Disney might or might not do here, but expecting them to spend more than a minimal amount is simply not realistic. I wasn't trying to be pessimistic in pointing out that a good 2K scan of the original cuts will reveal issues with the VFX. Just realistic. The final shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark on the Blu-ray is a great example – the matte painting of the warehouse in the final shot is obvious on the Blu-ray where it was not nearly as noticeable on the previous DVD release or the theatrical release. Similar shots in Star Wars and company will have the same issues. Lucas has noted that he cut nearly all of the VFX sequences in Star Wars to be very short shots so that the flaws would not be as noticeable. (There are exceptions – like the flyover at the very beginning, but that was for a good reason) I don't have a problem seeing a version of the movie where the mattes are visible, but I would want viewers to keep the issue in mind so they don't get a bad surprise if Disney ever does issue the original trilogy in this manner.

    An 8K scan of the 2011 version is impossible. Every version after 1997 has existed only as 1080p digital video. If they go back to the negatives for a new scan, all the work for the 2004 DVDs and the 2011 BDs will have to be completely redone. Hopefully they go back even further than that and redo all the 1997 work too.

  216. That's right, for Disney to properly rescan/restore these films would require going back to the '97 editions and prior…everything since 2004 was definitely scanned and save in standard HD. The same holds true for the prequels as with the exception of Episode 1, they will never look better than they do now outside of color correcting, etc.

  217. kitt1987

    That's right, for Disney to properly rescan/restore these films would require going back to the '97 editions and prior…everything since 2004 was definitely scanned and save in standard HD. The same holds true for the prequels as with the exception of Episode 1, they will never look better than they do now outside of color correcting, etc.

    It would cost serious money but then they are going to make some very serious money in the next few years from the new film, i would love it if they go back to the original negatives, re-scan at 6K and redo all the ropey looking CGI, correct everything that needs to be corrected and then offer up all the different versions via seamless branching.

    1) The original trilogy editions with no changes whatsoever and original sound mixes
    2) The original trilogy with fixed matte lines and some other minor fixes to lightsaber colours etc etc
    3) The original trilogy with the 1997 changes but original released CGI and updated CGI
    4) The Original trilogy with the 2004 changes also with original CGI and updated CGI
    5) The Original trilogy with the 2012 changes, original and updated CGI

    Then go back to the Interpositive of The Phantom Menace and re-scan, keep the film grain intact, the interpositive should be high quality and should have all the effects work completed.

    Episode 2 and 3 look very good to me already, certainly as good as the camera tech allows so leave them alone.

  218. I never know what to think. There's still mistakes in ESB, like when the Falcon flies thru the tunnel and you briefly see a moon that was from the original version and replaced (almost) for the SE. I can't believe they didn't fix that in2012, when they were fixing other junk that didn't need to be fixed.

  219. Ethan Riley

    I never know what to think. There's still mistakes in ESB, like when the Falcon flies thru the tunnel and you briefly see a moon that was from the original version and replaced (almost) for the SE. I can't believe they didn't fix that in2012, when they were fixing other junk that didn't need to be fixed.

    That's been one of my major issues with this whole thing. By continually picking at things that no one ever noticed before, they've called attention to other things that no one ever noticed before, and now we're having discussions like, "Yeah, I guess R2 never was completely hidden there; wait, well how did he get back there then?" and "So does your Force Ghost revert back to how you were before you fell to the Dark Side? But if Vader redeemed himself at the end, then what's Hayden Christensen doing there?" And did anyone ever truly notice the Wampa's arm being incomplete? I sure never did.

    I've gotten into some pretty silly conversations about Star Wars minutiae, but this is ridiculous.

  220. And yet they keep certain goofs in there, like the Stormtrooper hitting his head in Star Wars (and no, I don't refer to it as Ep4 or ANH). Personally I love that and hope they never do. But it's curious what they choose to fix and not fix. And have they ever properly rotoscoped the lightsabers in Star Wars? Nope, it still looks like a plastic light stick when Obi-wan swings his saber a certain way during the fight with Vader before Luke sees them both.

    Whatever they choose to do, I think the OOT as it came out in the theaters in its best possible presentation must be a starting point (what they released in non-anamorphic DVD in terms of content – so no A New Hope in the opening scroll). But restored and/or culled from the best available sources. And no I don't believe for one minute that Lucas destroyed all the original elements when he made the SEs in 1997. The film historian in him is still alive and I can't fathom he allowed that to happen.

    Personally if they only release the OOT, warts and all I won't complain. If they released a version with only cleaned up effects, so no changes in dialogue or action, no additional CGI, just clean up of effects like the vaseline smear under the landspeeder, the matte boxes around the tie-fighters, the lightsaber effects, I also wouldn't complain. Any other "cuts" and "SEs" are unnecessary, as there already exists Lucas's final SE effort on Blu-Ray. So basically I'm only advocating for #1-2 on FoxyMulder's list. #3-5 to me either already exist in BD format, or are unnecessary.

  221. I would like to get the ORIGINAL UNALTERED VERSIONS (the theatrical versions) of Star Wars version 4,5,6. I have seen the expressions "original Trilogy" such as at
    http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Original-Trilogy-Episode/dp/B000PMLFRA/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1384095213&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Original+Trilogy
    and am unsure if that means the original UNALTERED versions. I would appreciate advice as I live in Germany how to get this, Was there or will there be blue rays of this. I have the orginals that I biught a few years ago in SC which as not anamorphic widescreen. I have read that the release date should be 2008 and have seen on this link 2011, Would appreciate any info . should I wait? Thanks.

  222. Sumnernor

    I would like to get the ORIGINAL UNALTERED VERSIONS (the theatrical versions) of Star Wars version 4,5,6. I have seen the expressions "original Trilogy" such as athttp://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Original-Trilogy-Episode/dp/B000PMLFRA/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1384095213&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Original+Trilogyand am unsure if that means the original UNALTERED versions. I would appreciate advice as I live in Germany how to get this, Was there or will there be blue rays of this. I have the orginals that I biught a few years ago in SC which as not anamorphic widescreen. I have read that the release date should be 2008 and have seen on this link 2011, Would appreciate any info . should I wait? Thanks.

    Nope. Today, the term "Original Trilogy" only refers to Episodes 4, 5 and 6 as Lucas sees them now, and has since the "Special Editions" of them came out and then the "Prequel Trilogy" releases. There is no current release of the "Unaltered" or sometimes called "Original Original Trilogy", or OOT, except the non-anamorphic laserdisc transfers included on the "bonus disc" of the last DVD release

  223. Joel Fontenot

    Nope. Today, the term "Original Trilogy" only refers to Episodes 4, 5 and 6 as Lucas sees them now, and has since the "Special Editions" of them came out and then the "Prequel Trilogy" releases. There is no current release of the "Unaltered" or sometimes called "Original Original Trilogy", or OOT, except the non-anamorphic laserdisc transfers included on the "bonus disc" of the last DVD release

    This definition will come as a great shock to members of originaltrilogy.com 😆

  224. Oh, I would love to see the unaltered versions on Blu.
    I never had the Laserdiscs (only the Special Edition :wacko: ), but the non-anamorphic DVDs. I can't watch them projected. :thumbsdown:

    Carlo Medina

    Technically it would be "Han is the only one who shoots" since Greedo never gets a shot off.

    Ouch, you're so right. 😀

  225. Moe Dickstein

    It's his film he can do anything he wants with it.

    Well, not anymore. SW belongs to Disney now. They don't pay zillions to Lucas and then wait for his "approval" when it comes to new trilogy and (future) Blu-ray releases of the old ones.

  226. Jari K

    Well, not anymore. SW belongs to Disney now. They don't pay zillions to Lucas and then wait for his "approval" when it comes to new trilogy and (future) Blu-ray releases of the old ones.

    I've already been told that I'm totally wrong about this but I wouldn't be too sure that Disney can release the original versions. If George Lucas was really serious about the SEs being 'the' versions of the movies, it's not hard to imagine that there's a stipulation in the sale that only allows Disney to release the SEs. With the amount of money that Disney will make from merchandise (Star Wars merchandise earned nearly $1.5 billion in 2012 alone and that's without a movie boosting toy sales), new movies, sales of new & old movies, not being able to release the original versions of the movies would be a non-issue for Disney.

    I'm certainly not saying that this IS the case but until the original versions get announced, I'm not assuming that Disney can release them.

  227. TravisR

    I've already been told that I'm totally wrong about this but I wouldn't be too sure that Disney can release the original versions. If George Lucas was really serious about the SEs being 'the' versions of the movies, it's not hard to imagine that there's a stipulation in the sale that only allows Disney to release the SEs. With the amount of money that Disney will make from merchandise (Star Wars merchandise earned nearly $1.5 billion in 2012 alone and that's without a movie boosting toy sales), new movies, sales of new & old movies, not being able to release the original versions of the movies would be a non-issue for Disney.

    I'm certainly not saying that this IS the case but until the original versions get announced, I'm not assuming that Disney can release them.

    You're probably right. I used to think they would have to be released because it's the biggest selling point for another trilogy release on Blu-Ray. But with the advent of 4k……well the SE would sell itself with a new 4K transfer.

  228. Jari K

    Well, not anymore. SW belongs to Disney now. They don't pay zillions to Lucas and then wait for his "approval" when it comes to new trilogy and (future) Blu-ray releases of the old ones.

    No, they are still his films in the sense that he is the creator. Every creator of a film's rights in this area should be respected, regardless of what entity owns the negative.

  229. Moe Dickstein

    No, they are still his films in the sense that he is the creator. Every creator of a film's rights in this area should be respected, regardless of what entity owns the negative.

    His opinion can be respected, but in film, movies, television, music, if you agree to go under a major studio/label/etc. the studio tends to own as much or more of the share. Sure it may have been "your idea" as a filmmaker, but the studio gave you the financing to get the actors, additional writers, crew, equipment, etc. It's not as if Lucas worked on Star Wars all by himself and some studio came in and is taking the credit. Unlike painters, who for the most part truly do control the creation process from beginning to end, without the studios there is no Star Wars (just like without Lucas there is no Star Wars).

    Films are nowhere near a solitary endeavor, and Star Wars is no exception. His opinion is respected, but if he no longer owns the property rights (via a 4B sale to Disney) then as long as there is no prohibition clause, Disney can now do with the property as they see fit.

  230. Even when Lucas DID own it all, lock stock and barrel, the originals still found their way on DVD as unrestored, bonus features.

    If Lucas was able to force any stipulation at all, it would likely forbid the OOT from being the main program of a home video release. To forbid Disney from releasing the OOT at all in any form would be a stricter stance than he himself took.

  231. Lucas is the original creator of SW and of course Disney and fans respect that. People respect the films so of course they also respect Lucas.But the fact is that it was Lucas himself that let his films to be released as they were back in the days (and creating these "original versions"). Finished films that were shown in the movie theatres.So some people are still saying that after all these years and especially after the megadeal with Disney Lucas still has the final word? I just don't believe that.But of course it could be that eventually Disney doesn't see enough money/revenue when it comes to "original versions". Sure, many fans would buy them and they could probably do a limited theatrical run in some selected theatres. But is that enough?

  232. Moe Dickstein

    No, they are still his films in the sense that he is the creator. Every creator of a film's rights in this area should be respected, regardless of what entity owns the negative.

    If being the creative "owner" of the films was important George Lucas, he could have kept them at Lucasfilm. Instead, he elected to sell the rights to Disney. If the money Disney paid him was more important to Lucas than was maintaining creative ownership of the films, what commitment should I, the viewer, have to Lucas over Disney? Of course he was well within his rights to sell the movies, but you can't have it both ways.

  233. I'm saying it's his call. If he doesn't care now then that's his call. And just because some inferior version was released earlier, and people experienced it, that doesn't mean that people have a perpetual right to that version. They have the right to what the creator chooses to make available.Kubrick withheld rights to his films in the UK for decades – WB owned them but they agreed to his request.People who restore films know that they can't just alter them – thats why people like RAH insist on leaving half frames out of Lawrence, that's the version that Lean approved so even though it can be "fixed" now you don't do it because the director can't approve it. Studios know the same thing, just because they own it they will often defer to the request of the director.

  234. You can't create "art", finish it, publish it, distribute it, promote it, show it to the wide audience, put it out there for years and years… And then suddenly decide that people can't see it in HD and in "great quality". It's just too late for that. It's not his "call" anymore.

  235. Moe Dickstein

    Studios know the same thing, just because they own it they will often defer to the request of the director.

    They often choose to; they don't have an obligation to.

    Whether or not to release the original versions of the Star Wars movies *used to be* George Lucas's call. If being in the position to make that call was important to him, Lucas could have retained that right simply by keeping the rights to movies at Lucasfilm. But once he sold them to Disney, he gave up that right (ostensibly, anyway–as Travis mentioned, there may have been some stipulation about this in the sale). The films don't belong to George Lucas anymore, and they're not his to do whatever he wants with.

  236. If you do release the originals, what do you change? Which sound mix do you use? (I believe there were three original mixes: mono, stereo, and one mullti-channel)

    What amuses me is that fans want the original, but not really: they'll want a 7.1 mix, a product reaching some level of technical perfection that never existed in the first place, some dolled up restoration that only exists because new technology created it.

    So what to do, what to do? What's okay to change and what isn't?

  237. Jari K

    But the fact is that it was Lucas himself that let his films to be released as they were back in the days (and creating these "original versions"). Finished films that were shown in the movie theatres.

    That the movies got released to DVD is the one thing that makes me think his attitude towards them is that he doesn't mind them being out there as long as he wasn't spending any of his money on what he considers unfinished versions of the movies. Now that it would be Disney's money, maybe he doesn't care at all if they're out there. That being said, I'm not making any assumptions because, like I said, it would be such a non-issue to Disney that if he wanted them buried, they're buried.

    Carabimero

    What amuses me is that fans want the original, but not really: they'll want a 7.1 mix, a product reaching some level of technical perfection that never existed in the first place, some dolled up restoration that only exists because new technology created it.

    So what to do, what to do? What's okay to change and what isn't?

    From what I've gathered from my time on the internet is that for some people, changes that they like are OK (erasing matte lines that were originally visible) but changes they don't like (Greedo shoots first) are bad. You can also find people who essentially want some kind of pick-and-choose-the-changes version where they get the better space battle shots but drop stuff like Greedo shooting or the CG Jabba.

  238. The question I always ask, for example if War of the Worlds is ever released on BD: If the original creator's could have made the wires completely invisible, would they? If the answer is yes, you remove the wires for the BD. But I'm not sure that kind of question works with Star wars, since one could conclude if Lucas had gotten what he wanted back in 1974, episode 4 would be pretty awful.

    Me? For Star wars I'd be happy with scratches and matte lines removed (since I don't think the creators wanted those visible), and the original multi-channel mix.

  239. If all that were offered to me was the original theatrical versions warts and all (garbage mattes, vaseline smears, etc.) along with a selectable mono/stereo/surround soundtrack, I'd be happy.

    While I'd also be happy with a "cleaned up effects" version (with no substantive changes, i.e. Greedo shooting first, Bring My Shuttle, random CGI creatures inserted for no reason), I'll take the above if I can only have one.

  240. Moe Dickstein

    I'm saying it's his call. If he doesn't care now then that's his call. And just because some inferior version was released earlier, and people experienced it, that doesn't mean that people have a perpetual right to that version. They have the right to what the creator chooses to make available.Kubrick withheld rights to his films in the UK for decades – WB owned them but they agreed to his request.People who restore films know that they can't just alter them – thats why people like RAH insist on leaving half frames out of Lawrence, that's the version that Lean approved so even though it can be "fixed" now you don't do it because the director can't approve it.Studios know the same thing, just because they own it they will often defer to the request of the director.

    I thought it was just A Clockwork Orange that had been withdrawn?

  241. Carabimero

    If you do release the originals, what do you change? Which sound mix do you use? (I believe there were three original mixes: mono, stereo, and one mullti-channel)

    What amuses me is that fans want the original, but not really: they'll want a 7.1 mix, a product reaching some level of technical perfection that never existed in the first place, some dolled up restoration that only exists because new technology created it.

    So what to do, what to do? What's okay to change and what isn't?

    Why not all three original mixes? Not like there isn't room on a Blu Ray for them.

    I'm a big fan of the mono mix myself. It's the one they put the most spit and polish on, since nobody knew in 1977 if Dolby Stereo was going to catch on. A couple competing sound systems have never been heard from again. Pun intended.

  242. SilverWook

    I'm a big fan of the mono mix myself. It's the one they put the most spit and polish on, since nobody knew in 1977 if Dolby Stereo was going to catch on.

    Wasn't the mono mix the one that wasn't really handled by Ben Burtt and Lucas?

  243. Carabimero

    What amuses me is that fans want the original, but not really: they'll want a 7.1 mix, a product reaching some level of technical perfection that never existed in the first place, some dolled up restoration that only exists because new technology created it.

    I see your point, but at the end of the day that's not the point. I mean the problem is not that Lucas wanted to "tweak" his films during all these years. Adding new CGI effects/elements, cleaning stuff, making new audio mixes, etc. Not a problem (well, perhaps excluding the "Han shot first" scenario).

    THE problem is that at the moment fans can't choose between the remastered "Lucas director cuts/final cuts" and remastered "original versions". Usually the original versions are ALSO included when these alternate ("better" for some, I'm sure) versions are being released. And I mean released in "remastered", the old non-anamorphic laserdisc masters just doesn't cut it.

    And with those "original versions", I'm perfectly happy to get the "original audio" also (not sure what it was at the moment, though?). They don't want to add 5.1 mixes with the original versions? So be it, I can live with that.

  244. Jari K

    I see your point, but at the end of the day that's not the point. I mean the problem is not that Lucas wanted to "tweak" his films during all these years. Adding new CGI effects/elements, cleaning stuff, making new audio mixes, etc. Not a problem (well, perhaps excluding the "Han shot first" scenario).

    THE problem is that at the moment fans can't choose between the remastered "Lucas director cuts/final cuts" and remastered "original versions". Usually the original versions are ALSO included when these alternate ("better" for some, I'm sure) versions are being released. And I mean released in "remastered", the old non-anamorphic laserdisc masters just doesn't cut it.

    And with those "original versions", I'm perfectly happy to get the "original audio" also (not sure what it was at the moment, though?). They don't want to add 5.1 mixes with the original versions? So be it, I can live with that.

    It's not just Star Wars, if i want the original theatrical version of The Last Of The Mohicans, i can't get it, oh sure i can view a DVD but not a blu ray, you could say to someone go and view VHS if you want the original Star Wars trilogy ( yes i have them on VHS ) but i do think original cinema versions should be available along with any new cut of a film.

    I guess my point is that there are a number of films being made available on blu ray that do not contain the original cinema version, as far as audio mixes go, well i'd sure like the original 6 track magnetic ( 70mm blow up ) to be used as a source as well as the original 4 track AND a new mix, why should it be one or the other, just give us it all.

  245. May I ask a question?

    I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I think this would be something that would apply across a number of films.

    I seem to remember someone saying there were still A+ condition 70mm prints out there (of the original versions) which could be scanned. I then remember RAH saying (and please someone correct me if I'm wrong) that a 70mm print wouldn't be up to it (sorry, can't remember exactly what was said), and you need to go back further.

    So my question is this. If you scanned a great condition 70mm print at 2K, 4K, 8K, whatever, how good could it be potentialy be?

    Better than the non-anamorphic DVDs?

    Better than an anamorphic DVD?

    As good as an iffy Blu-ray Disc?

    Just wondering (and sorry if my memory has failed me on this one).

    Steve W

  246. SilverWook

    That would be news to me.

    I took a look at The Sounds Of Star Wars book and I see my error. Ben Burtt did the mono and foreign mixes. What I was thinking of was that Sam Shaw (sound editor supervisor) was hired to do the 6 track and stereo mixes and he and Burtt had disagreements on those mixes.

    More about the disagreements on pages 39 and 41 of the Sounds book,

    "In the end it was not the most pleasant experience for either Sam or myself" says Burtt. "Sam assumed that he had been hired to do all the sound on the picture, and it was difficult for him to deal with me, because I had coauthority. In fact, I overruled him… on any sound effect that I'd made.

    "Although Sam and his people worked very hard, and they worked incredible hours, month after month, the biggest problem was the creative aspect of their work," says Burtt. "Generally speaking, they did not always choose the best effect for the right spot in the film. I would listen to what they did and then consult with George to see if he agreed that we should change something. If he said yes, then I would try to fix it by recutting that sequence or just making new tracks altogether for a substitute. And of course, there wasn't time for me to do that in every area that I felt needed it. So in the end it was a compromise.

    Shaw oversaw the stereo mix and again conflicts ensued. "I started showing up at the mixes and playing my hand, and pretty soon there were some sparks," says Burtt. Part of the problem was that neither Lucas nor Kurtz had fully explained Burtt's role to the mixers. "I was just an intruder," Burtt says. "But by the time we finished the stereo mix, it was obvious to the mixers that I was originator of the sound effects and that I represented George's ideas when he wasn't there. They began to rely on my judgment."

    It sounds like they weren't all that satisfied with the results of any of the mixes (which fits right in with Lucas not being satisfied with the original version of the movie and not being able to stop tinkering with it). On page 41:

    "…So we compromised. George and I agreed in the end on the overall balance, although we thought the sound was about thirty percent successful in view of what we had intended."

    The missing seventy percent was mostly due to the fact that Burtt and Lucas had to rely on surrogates during the mix-Don MacDougall, Ray West, and Robert Minkler-who rose to the occasion but were short of time.

    "Mixing is a performance," Burtt explains. "You sit down at the console. You're alert, and you're playing parts in the picture; You're a robot, you're a door, you're a laser gun. And you get into it; you should be breathing and sweating when it's over with. Getting that performance out of the mixers is difficult, because they're not used to that.

    "They have a lot of integrity and they try very hard, but if we could have done it ourselves, gotten in there and pushed the knobs and dials, we would have gotten what we wanted. We may not have gotten as good of a picture, perhaps, I don't know, but we would have gotten what we wanted and lived with that."

    I picked up The Sounds Of Star Wars a few months back at Barnes And Noble on clearance. It comes with a 'sound effects box' that contains like 250 sounds from the movies and then gives commentary on them. If you're interested in sound effects, it's pretty interesting.

  247. Carabimero

    If you do release the originals, what do you change? Which sound mix do you use? (I believe there were three original mixes: mono, stereo, and one mullti-channel)

    What amuses me is that fans want the original, but not really: they'll want a 7.1 mix, a product reaching some level of technical perfection that never existed in the first place, some dolled up restoration that only exists because new technology created it.

    So what to do, what to do? What's okay to change and what isn't?

    The best way to handle it would be to use a Criterion approach: Remaster the original version as if it were some obscure film from 1977. Do a new 4k scan of the original negative elements and provide the best possible and most accurate picture quality (matched to dye transfer prints) along with the original mono, 4 track and 6 track mixes. Don't fix matte lines or make any other visual or audio changes. If the film is accurately graded to reflect what was seen in theaters, the mattes won't be that much of an issue. Fans can (and will) make their own versions from there.

    If Disney was smart they would hand this off the Criterion to lend credibility to the project and remove themselves from the inevitable controversy. Then it would be done correctly and marketed to film buffs as a high end restoration. It would be separate from the mass marketed SE versions and there wouldn't be much chance of your average movie watcher picking it up by mistake and wondering what happened to CGI Jabba.

  248. Dave, Criterion are not beyond a tiny bit of revisionism.

    TG's Final Cut of Brazil was a brand new creation for them (as far as I'm aware it doesn't, never has, and never will exist outside the bounds of the Criterion releaes). On a similar note, not Criterion I know, but TG (again) cleaned up one small error that's always niggled him on the recent Time Bandits.

    As I've said before, if I were Disney I'd "do a Blade Runner". Put the original cut unaltered (as you've suggested), and a 'cleaned up' version – effectively the original versions with a few small errors put right (I understand there are things like sound effects going from left to right when they should be right to left).

    Stick these out there – we already have the 'much doctored' versions – and I think everyone would be happy.

    Steve W

  249. Yorkshire

    May I ask a question?

    I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I think this would be something that would apply across a number of films.

    I seem to remember someone saying there were still A+ condition 70mm prints out there (of the original versions) which could be scanned. I then remember RAH saying (and please someone correct me if I'm wrong) that a 70mm print wouldn't be up to it (sorry, can't remember exactly what was said), and you need to go back further.

    So my question is this. If you scanned a great condition 70mm print at 2K, 4K, 8K, whatever, how good could it be potentialy be?

    Better than the non-anamorphic DVDs?

    Better than an anamorphic DVD?

    As good as an iffy Blu-ray Disc?

    Just wondering (and sorry if my memory has failed me on this one).

    Steve W

    I don't have a clue but i would have thought a blowup 70mm would have more prominent film grain and look softer.

  250. There are so many variables to scanning a 70mm print, I really don't know where to begin, but here goes:
    1) Wrong aspect ratio. Because of 6-track magnetic sound, the aspect ratio is limited to 2.21:1, slicing portions off the side of the image.
    2) Elements used to create the 70mm print. If the print was created off the OCN, not so bad (but bad for the OCN); if not, dealing with multiple generational loss, resulting in grain buildup and softening of the image.
    3) Method of creating the 70mm print. Most 70mm prints were optically printed, meaning that any dirt, dust and negative damage would be "baked in". Not fatal, but serious cleanup would need to be done.
    4) Fading. Unless the print used was stored in optimal conditions, shrinkage and fade would be issues.
    5) Contrast. This goes hand in hand with generational loss; the further away from the negative we are, the greater the likelihood of contrast being crushed due to generational loss. Contrast is also problematic for the handful of 35mm dye transfer prints produced in Europe; while they look fine in a theatre, a scanner is less forgiving, and issues unique to dye transfer make this a less than viable option.
    6) Colour. There is no guarantee that a 70mm release print would reflect the properties of a properly timed answer print, especially given the number of times Star Wars and its sequels were printed,reprinted and run. Many of these prints (including 70mm) would be worn out by now.
    In short, while a scan of a 70mm element may yield something that looks "better than DVD," we shouldn't have to settle for such a low standard.

    I think that what all of us are really hoping is that GL was smokescreening us in saying the originals are dead, and that archival materials were properly prepared and stored following the 1997 SE releases, as major cleanup and restoration were required at least for Star Wars [not calling it Episode IV] when the SEs were created.

  251. Stephen_J_H

    I think that what all of us are really hoping is that GL was smokescreening us in saying the originals are dead, and that archival materials were properly prepared and stored following the 1997 SE releases, as major cleanup and restoration were required at least for Star Wars [not calling it Episode IV] when the SEs were created.

    Even if the original negative was re-cut to create the SEs, there are surely IPs and INs that still exist.

  252. Thanks everyone.

    Now this might sound like a daft question, but here goes.

    If you found the best print available (70mm or 35mm) of a film and scanned that at the highest resolution available, could you then produce a Blu-ray Disc that looked pretty much the same as if you went to the cinema and watched that print (not withstanding the limitations that Blu-ray Disc has on any film)?

    Steve W

  253. "Do a Blade Runner" would be the smart way to release these films. You know, let the audience decide.I would love to watch the "original versions" with the audio (solo) commentary by Lucas. He could explain why he wanted to change some of the scenes, effects etc.

  254. Yorkshire

    Thanks everyone.

    Now this might sound like a daft question, but here goes.

    If you found the best print available (70mm or 35mm) of a film and scanned that at the highest resolution available, could you then produce a Blu-ray Disc that looked pretty much the same as if you went to the cinema and watched that print (not withstanding the limitations that Blu-ray Disc has on any film)?

    Steve W

    Sure. Release prints struck from an IN are typically softer than blu-ray already, so there wouldn't be any advantage to scanning at anything higher than 2K. 70mm blow-ups in the 70s and 80s tended to be very grainy, so you'd probably get better results going from 35mm.

  255. Some people may feel that'd be settling for second best.

    But to get on a little £10 disc at home a picture pretty much as good as on a good print at the cinema would be a damn fine second best.

    There are people who collect(ed) 35mm print for years who spent an awful lot more than that on each of them.

    Steve W

  256. To echo the other info that has been posted, the best approach would be the 'Criterion' for Star Wars:
    4k, 6k or 8k scan of surviving, usable, unaltered portions of OCN (Lucas may have altered them for the '97 SEs, but no one can be certain). Yes, an 8k may be overkill but with the film elements must be preserved at the highest possible quality.
    Equivalent scans of YCM seps and any dupe elements that must be used.
    Color graded against a dye-transfer IB Tech print.

    Leave the matte lines/special effects errors as they are to preserve originality and save money in restoration.

    On the audio side, include remastered (as in digitally cleaned up: no retooling) 70mm 6-track, Dolby Surround (Dolby A Stereo), and Mono mixes.
    DolbyTruHD for the 6-track and Dolby mixes, and LPCM (or TruHD) for the mono track.
    Access original print masters for these if they survive. Worst case scenario, use intermediate sources.

    For Empire and Jedi, the same should be done in terms of the image source.
    Audio-wise, 70mm 6-track and Dolby Stereo tracks should be provided.
    I understand 6-track cannot be completely replicated with today's HT setups, but the mix should be restored and included for the sake of completeness.

    The restoration should then be recorded back to 35mm film, with new audio elements of both the digital and analog varieties created as well.

    I'm all about restoring and preserving for the long term, that's why I support at the very least a restoration of all audio mixes and returning to the original picture negs. I doubt Disney would bother with this kind of detailed work, but if they want the best response from fans and the best sales (although I'm sure fans would buy any edition of the unaltered trilogy), they should follow this template.

  257. Worth

    Even if the original negative was re-cut to create the SEs, there are surely IPs and INs that still exist.

    The negative most definitely survived beyond the 1997 SE versions. Several of the altered scenes were completely re-done with new CGI for the 2004 DVD version, so the negatives (or good copies of them) must have existed in 2004. Several original versions of shots are also featured on the DVD bonus disc along with numerous outtakes. I suppose Lucas could have ordered the negatives destroyed after the 2004 version, but that seems extremely unlikely. If nothing else there are probably the 1080p digital scans used to create the 2004 version.

  258. Dave MJ

    I suppose Lucas could have ordered the negatives destroyed after the 2004 version, but that seems extremely unlikely.

    There's no way that Lucas "ordered" the negatives to be destroyed. That's absurd. The original version are "out there" (from the LD masters), so it's too late.

  259. All I want is something better than the '06 "bonus features" for the OOT. Watching those on my old tube tv is fine, but on my HDtv it looks GOD AWFUL because I have to blow it up to fit the screen better. I'd of course love to see it in the best possible picture typical of Blu-ray, but I'd totally settle for SOMETHING better than watching the non-anamorphic DVD, even if it was standard-def quality. I'd just like it to fit on the screen right and look decent.

    I haven't watched the special editions for almost a decade, and if I have to I will put up with the '06 DVDs for the rest of my life.

  260. Tommy R

    I'd of course love to see it in the best possible picture typical of Blu-ray, but I'd totally settle for SOMETHING better than watching the non-anamorphic DVD, even if it was standard-def quality. I'd just like it to fit on the screen right and look decent.

    There's no reason why Star Wars shouldn't look at least as good as the original Battlestar Galactica on blu-ray.

  261. Dave MJ

    The negative most definitely survived beyond the 1997 SE versions. Several of the altered scenes were completely re-done with new CGI for the 2004 DVD version, so the negatives (or good copies of them) must have existed in 2004. Several original versions of shots are also featured on the DVD bonus disc along with numerous outtakes. I suppose Lucas could have ordered the negatives destroyed after the 2004 version, but that seems extremely unlikely. If nothing else there are probably the 1080p digital scans used to create the 2004 version.

    Even though parts of the 1080p scans could be used for a Blu-ray release of the unaltered original versions, that would be inadequate for restoration, which as I said above would require a minimum 4k scan from the other film elements on the originals that are available.

    Jari K

    There's no way that Lucas "ordered" the negatives to be destroyed. That's absurd. The original version are "out there" (from the LD masters), so it's too late.

    Lucas is a self-described 'hoarder'. He even kept the original effects negatives which were used for the '97 Special Edition. I doubt he's thrown anything away; it's probably hiding in the Lucasfilm vaults. Getting to it is the tricky part.

  262. Lromero1396

    He even kept the original effects negatives which were used for the '97 Special Edition.

    In the ideal world we would get the uber megaset:
    -Original versions
    -97 Special Editions
    -04 Special Editions
    -3D versions

    (lol)

  263. I would actually really like a comprehensive box set that included all the major revisions of each film. For the origianl trilogy, that means the original versions, the '97 special editions, the '04 DVD versions, and the '11 Blu-ray versions.

    Failing that, I'd be happy with even a basic, barebones Blu-ray release of the original versions.

  264. The only thing keeping a "Blade Runner 5 Disc Collector's Edition" version of Star Wars coming out would be the original director's wishes (whether he has a rider clause preventing Disney from doing it, or he's made it clear to Disney he wouldn't want them to do it and they're respecting his wishes).

    Because if WB can do it for Blade Runner, whose sales will be a fraction of what an OOT would sell, then financially there's no reason for Disney not to do it. In fact, I argue it's the only way they can make money off of the original trilogy.

    Let's look at this logically: with Lucas handing over the franchise to Disney he's done tinkering with the original trilogy. So really Disney has no cash cow with the original trilogy in terms of Special Edition versions – those are already out on Blu-Ray and 4K is many years away from becoming mass-market. So really the only thing that Disney can release that would generate public interest is the OOT. That's the only version of the films that are not out on HD that audiences will pay for.

    Lucas has gone to the well too many times with SE versions. Even if he has another updated SE, do we really think people who have bought the SE OT BDs are going to upgrade for a few more CGI creatures inserted here and there, and some more slight dialogue changes? Or maybe Han shooting now a microsecond *ahead* of Greedo, as if that would appease the OOT fans? 😀 The only logical way Disney can make a decent amount of money off of the original trilogy is to sell the OOT in HD, as every other iteration is already out in HD, or if they do another minor set of tweaks SE version I would highly doubt that it sells a lot of units.

  265. arstechnica got one thing wrong, though: Warner owns the theatrical and video rights to the Clone Wars movie and TV series; Fox owns the video rights to the earlier 2D animated Clone Wars series produced by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. Other than that, the article is accurate.

  266. Can someone explain to me how Fox owning the distribution rights to these films would any difference whatsoever to a future release? Lucasfilm decided what would be on the last Blu-ray and when it would be released, and they'll decide what will be on the next one and when it will be released. Why would it make a difference to Fox that Kathleen Kennedy is in charge now instead of George Lucas? What, they're going to say no to a release that would net them millions in revenue? It's not like they can put out their own versions!

  267. Rumor has it GL took JJ to a hypnotist before he signed the SW7 contract. Anytime JJ reads or hears any hint of Original SW, his brain is programmed to send a message to his visual cortex that mimics a lens flare, but in reality it's actually a subliminally coded message to his Frontal lobes that erases that message from his short term memory while simultaneously a reinforcing message is sent to his Hypothalamus that makes him incredibly nauseous. Over time the Pavlovian effect is to condition JJ in a way him to make it physically impossible for him to be able to even conceive of such an idea much less be
    involved in implementing such a plan.

  268. The changes to the original trilogy are so substantial that the special editions are not even the same movies. From additional scenes, deleted scenes, changed scenes, color grading, music changing, Foley effects, you name it, film history almost demands that these films be returned to their original form as released. Just visit originaltrilogy.com and educate yourselves on the total transformation of these films by Lucas. It is truly amazing (and for me, not in a good way).

  269. Jari K

    Someone should ask J.J. Abrams about this. Meaning, that would he like to see the original trilogy on BD (unaltered). J.J., are you reading this? Help us out brotha.

    Hmm, is J.J. Abrams on the side of revisionist who don't mind alternative versions of sacred properties, or no?

    Let me think: Is the director of Star Trek: Fire the Red Matter and Star Trek: Into Benedict Cumberbatch strongly against altering aspects of beloved franchises for new generations?

    Hmmm…

    Hmmmm….
    But, to be serious, I was always under the impression that it was Fox, kowtowing to Lucas' desires, in not releasing the "OOT" (as we seem to be calling it now) as opposed to Fox just not giving a damn. The arstechnica article seems to imply that now, Fox would stand in the way of Disney releasing it, when it would seem to me that, under the current deal, it would actually be Disney that isn't about to just gift six restored films to Fox for them (Fox) to release. In other words, Disney probably has the means, but not the inclination. What I don't get is why Fox wouldn't want to do it themselves, as they could make piles of money between now and 2020. Although after 2020, I guess Fox would then be gifting five restored films to Disney, so maybe in the long term, it doesn't make sense for Fox.

  270. McCrutchy

    I was always under the impression that it was Fox, kowtowing to Lucas' desires, in not releasing the "OOT" (as we seem to be calling it now) as opposed to Fox just not giving a damn. The arstechnica article seems to imply that now, Fox would stand in the way of Disney releasing it, when it would seem to me that, under the current deal, it would actually be Disney that isn't about to just gift six restored films to Fox for them (Fox) to release. In other words, Disney probably has the means, but not the inclination. What I don't get is why Fox wouldn't want to do it themselves, as they could make piles of money between now and 2020. Although after 2020, I guess Fox would then be gifting five restored films to Disney, so maybe in the long term, it doesn't make sense for Fox.

    Fox can't release the originals by themselves. They have no control over the film elements – they're just the distributor. Lucasfilm (i.e. Disney) would have to do the restoration and then have Fox distribute it, something that seems pretty unlikely. Maybe once Disney controls distribution of everything but the first film, they'll be willing to cut a deal with Fox, but that's still several years away.

  271. Worth

    Fox can't release the originals by themselves. They have no control over the film elements – they're just the distributor. Lucasfilm (i.e. Disney) would have to do the restoration and then have Fox distribute it, something that seems pretty unlikely. Maybe once Disney controls distribution of everything but the first film, they'll be willing to cut a deal with Fox, but that's still several years away.

    Yes, when Disney owns the rights to everything except episode IV I could see them making a deal with FOX so they could release complete trilogy sets.

  272. EddieLarkin

    Why would they wait until then? Why would Lucasfilm care about distributing through Fox now when they never have before? Especially when episode IV is never coming back to them anyway!

    Because Lucasfilm used to be an independent entity. Now it's a subsidiary of Disney. Why would Disney help Fox to line its pockets when it can wait a few years and take the lion's share of the profits.

  273. "Hmm, is J.J. Abrams on the side of revisionist who don't mind alternative versions of sacred properties, or no?"Well, that's the question, isn't it? It would be interesting to hear his thoughts about the matter, but I guess he's so "close" to SW now that he has to please everybody. So his PR assistant would probably say: No comments.And they're not his films anyway.But just to make it clear one more time: Altering original films (Dir Cut, Unrated, Extended, etc etc) is not a problem (for me, at least). This is not the main issue here.The problem is that the "best" version of the original, unaltered trilogy is 480i non-anamorphic laserdisc master. Something is wrong when it's still the "best" version in 2014. It's not only wrong, it's also quite sad.

  274. Jari K

    It would be interesting to hear his thoughts about the matter, but I guess he's so "close" to SW now that he has to please everybody. So his PR assistant would probably say: No comments.

    Yeah, considering his age and the impact the movies had on him, I think it would be fair to assume that J.J. Abrams wants the original versions to be available but I'm sure he's friendly enough with George Lucas that he's not going to speak against the SEs in public.

  275. TravisR

    …he's not going to speak against the SEs in public.

    I don't think he has to do that. And perhaps he actually prefers the current versions.

    But I guess he could say something like: "While I prefer the current versions and truly see George's original vision, it would be nice to see those first versions after all these years in HD. That would be fun. Let's see what I can do when I talk to Kathleen and George."

    I personally haven't seen the original trilogy in years (never on HD), since I've waited the "unaltered" versions on BD. My son is 3 years old now, so I have still time… He should see the "unaltered" versions first. I'm a pretty soft dad, but you have to draw the line somewhere!

  276. Even if, God forbid the OCNs are gone; there should be enough prints of the 1977 version to piece together a "restored" new print. The OCNs for Citizen Kane and Double Indemnity are long gone yet look at prints and HD/blu of those films.

  277. Ken Volok

    Even if, God forbid the OCNs are gone; there should be enough prints of the 1977 version to piece together a "restored" new print. The OCNs for Citizen Kane and Double Indemnity are long gone yet look at prints and HD/blu of those films.

    As black and white films Citizen Kane and Double Indemnity fortunately don't have issues with fading. Only SW EpIV had Technicolor IB prints made which won't fade and not all prints were these. The color on prints of episodes V and VI have long faded.

  278. Worth

    Fox can't release the originals by themselves.

    Well, according to arstechnica, yes, they could, if Fox control theatrical and home media distribution, then they can decide if and when the films get released theatrically and on video. My point is, since Disney now owns the raw materials, I doubt they want to give Fox access to them to perform any restoration, and there is no incentive for Disney to undertake restoration themselves, since Disney cannot release what they would have paid to restore.

  279. If I may be the bleeding heart here…

    Without knowing exactly how much a restoration would cost, I'm fairly confident that there would be plenty of profits to go around with a release like this. Fox would get a final, epic blast of revenue from the franchise, and the amount of goodwill it could create among longtime fans would be priceless for Disney going forward.

    Both studios could stand to gain a lot from something like this. With their wisdom, I'm sure they could work out an arrangement that would be mutually beneficial, and enable them to avoid any unpleasant confrontation.

  280. Wayne_j

    As black and white films Citizen Kane and Double Indemnity fortunately don't have issues with fading. Only SW EpIV had Technicolor IB prints made which won't fade and not all prints were these. The color on prints of episodes V and VI have long faded.

    If you read the article linked in this post: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/325198-could-the-original-unaltered-star-wars-be-on-its-way-to-blu-ray/?p=4085794 … it's mentioned that new IPs were struck of all three films in 1985 from the original negatives. Those should all have their color and could be used to make high-quality new HD masters.

    Vincent

  281. Bryan Tuck

    With their wisdom, I'm sure they could work out an arrangement that would be mutually beneficial, and enable them to avoid any unpleasant confrontation.

    I see what you did there. 😀

  282. Here’s a kind of convoluted rumor for you to chew on as we continue to wait for no news about Star Wars: Episode VII. According to an interesting e-mail we’ve intercepted, and which purports to come from within Disney’s marketing department, the studio are planning to re-release A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi on DVD/Blu-Ray/On Demand in their original form, without all the things George Lucas changed for the “Special Edition” releases back in 2004.
    The new trilogy is going to be very closely tied to the original (and not so much the prequels, if you’re reading between the lines) and will be marketed as a direct sequel to those, so this particular re-release strategy makes a certain sense.
    Going forward and looking at the much bigger picture, there are more dubious rumors to consider, like Disney potentially phasing out the prequel trilogy by lumping them in with the “Legends” non-canon fodder. This has apparently been the subject of gossip near Disney, though it’s very possibly just that – gossip amongst the worker bees. Anyway, it would allow for a reboot of sorts, with new prequel movies featuring Yoda, Darth Vader, etc.
    But like I said, that rumour is much more dubious. Sure, they probably don’t want people to think too closely how disappointing the last three Star Wars films were in the run up to a new release, but to erase them from canon… would be a totally different story.
    For now, though, there is room to remain hopeful about a new original trilogy re-release.

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/05/15/new-star-wars-rumors-include-original-trilogy-re-release-on-blu-rayvod-and-more/

  283. I can't see them ever deleting the prequels from canon, but I could see the so-called stand-alone films covering some of the same ground.

    I can sure see the original films coming to blu-ray and DVD.

  284. re: the prequels not being canon anymore

    Didn't Disney just make an official announcement over the past few weeks clarifying what is, and isn't, canon? All six movies and the Clone Wars and upcoming Rebels series are canon. All expanded universe novels no longer are. All Star Wars films, books, television series and multimedia spinoffs from now on will exist in the same universe, and that will be the universe of the six films and television shows.

    At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they said.

  285. Josh Steinberg

    re: the prequels not being canon anymore

    Didn't Disney just make an official announcement over the past few weeks clarifying what is, and isn't, canon? All six movies and the Clone Wars and upcoming Rebels series are canon. All expanded universe novels no longer are. All Star Wars films, books, television series and multimedia spinoffs from now on will exist in the same universe, and that will be the universe of the six films and television shows.

    At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they said.

    Yep. As for the prequels being removed from continuity, I'd say there's a much better chance that J.J. Abrams will be fired from Episode VII and I'll be hired as his replacement than that happening.

  286. According to an interesting e-mail we’ve intercepted, and which purports to come from within Disney’s marketing department, the studio are planning to re-release A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi on DVD/Blu-Ray/On Demand in their original form, without all the things George Lucas changed for the “Special Edition” releases back in 2004.

    2004? Lucas made changes in 1997 too.

    Those 1997 changes will also have to be removed. Much of these changes have been documented by fans on Star Wars forums. Also, the 1997/2004 versions have a completely different color grading than the original theatrical prints. And it's not just the video, the sound mix also went under drastic changes for the Special Editions too.

    Disney will have their hands full. Good luck to them.

  287. Jari K

    The 1997 "versions" are not released on DVD, only on VHS, right?

    I'm confused. You mean the original theatrical versions, right?

    Anyway, whatever you mean both the original theatrical versions and the 1997 special editions are avaiable on DVD.
    The 1997 ones are in good quality, but the original theatrical ones are released in non-anamorphic DVDs (a transfer from Laserdisc from what I hear).

  288. "I'm confused. You mean the original theatrical versions, right?"First were the "unaltered" versions AKA the laserdisc masters.Then Lucas tweaked the films first time. These versions were released on VHS.Then Lucas tweaked the films second time. These versions were released on DVD and later on on BD.I'm sure you'll find some links to these different versions.

  289. Jari K

    The 1997 "versions" are not released on DVD, only on VHS, right?

    They were on laserdisc too.

    Without falling down the rabbit hole of discussing all the differing sound mixes, there's:
    – the original version of Star Wars (from 1977): available on DVD (non-anamorphic)
    – the original version of the sequels (from 1980 and 1983): available on VHS, laserdisc and DVD (non-anamorphic)
    – the 1981 re-release of Star Wars (with the 'Episode IV- A New Hope' title added): VHS and laserdisc
    – the 1997 special editions of the trilogy (with new CG shots, etc.): VHS and laserdisc
    – the 2004 DVD versions of the trilogy (with some more tweaks): DVD
    – and the 2011 Blu-ray versions of the trilogy (with a handful of changes): Blu-ray

  290. TravisR

    Without falling down the rabbit hole of discussing all the differing sound mixes, there's:
    – the original version of each movie (from 1977, 1980 and 1983): available on VHS, laserdisc and DVD (non-anamorphic)
    – the 1981 re-release of Star Wars (with the 'Episode IV- A New Hope' title added): VHS and laserdisc
    – the 1997 special editions of the trilogy (with new CG shots, etc.): VHS and laserdisc
    – the 2004 DVD versions of the trilogy (with some more tweaks): DVD
    – and the 2011 Blu-ray versions of the trilogy (with a handful of changes): Blu-ray

    I believe Star Wars – without the Episode IV tag added for the '81 re-release – has only ever been released on DVD. I'm almost certain that all previous video versions on any format had the "New Hope" addition.

  291. Worth

    I believe Star Wars – without the Episode IV tag added for the '81 re-release – has only ever been released on DVD. I'm almost certain that all previous video versions on any format had the "New Hope" addition.

    You're absolutely correct. I was just thinking how the originals were on VHS and that detail slipped my mind.

    EDIT: I corrected the post.

  292. Was it definitely the '81 re-release and not the '78 re-release that included the "Episode IV – A New Hope" subtitle? I recall seeing that subtitle on the big screen back in the day and me and my friends wondering how the hell there were three other movies out there that no one had ever heard of, but that wouldn't have been an issue if we'd already seen The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

    Maybe I'm remembering the past incorrectly. Wouldn't be the first time. 😀

  293. ijthompson

    Was it definitely the '81 re-release and not the '78 re-release that included the "Episode IV – A New Hope" subtitle? I recall seeing that subtitle on the big screen back in the day and me and my friends wondering how the hell there were three other movies out there that no one had ever heard of, but that wouldn't have been an issue if we'd already seen The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.Maybe I'm remembering the past incorrectly. Wouldn't be the first time. 😀

    Yes, it was the 81 reissue. When Episode 5 came onscreen opening day of Empire, you could hear dozens of people going, "What?"

  294. ^ Sort of in addition to that, I think that Star Wars didn't get re-released in 1980 so the 1981 re-release was the first time after Empire and its Episode V title that Star Wars would have had a chance to be seen with Episode IV on it.

  295. I hate to be the one to say it, but I don't know that the demand for the OOT is as big as we might think it is. As much as I'd like to see the OOT on BluRay, I don't know if this would be a major selling point for the general public.

  296. Bryan Ri

    I hate to be the one to say it, but I don't know that the demand for the OOT is as big as we might think it is. As much as I'd like to see the OOT on BluRay, I don't know if this would be a major selling point for the general public.

    Not like I have any scientific data to back this up but I don't the average person cares (outside of friends that are hardcore fans, I don't know any one that even remotely cares about the changes and after 17 years, most people probably don't even remember that changes were made) but I would think the number of hardcore fans that would buy the originals would make it a profitable venture. Of course people will complain when there isn't an 8K restoration or all the versions of the movie aren't included or all the sound mixes aren't included or whatever excuse they want to use to have something to complain about but if the originals are on a Blu-ray disc, people will still buy it.

  297. The originals would sell enough to make it worthwhile but most people don't care. In fact, you're gonna piss off people who grew up with the '97, '04 and '11 versions, who are going to balk "Where's my favorite scene where Jabba's outside the Millennium Falcon!? Disney has ruined my childhood!"It will never end.

  298. I don't know that this is particularly reliable information. It sounds like rumor and conjecture from within Disney's employee pool. The part that gives it away is where they play the notion that Lucas would abandon the prequel trilogy, which is something he'll never do.It all seems to be coming from the actual news that Disney is really abandoning the EU novels to allow JJ Abrams to tell a different story than Heir to the Empire for the upcoming movies. And once you drop the Zahn books, the rest of the EU falls away as well.As for the idea of the original versions of the original trilogy coming to blu, I'll be happy to see it if it happens. Frankly, I think it's more likely that Disney will just re-release singles of all the existing blu-rays to help promote the new films, or they may even finish the project of doing 3D conversions of episodes I thru IV.

  299. Kevin EK

    …or they may even finish the project of doing 3D conversions of episodes I thru IV.

    I'm really hoping that happens at some point, even if it's just on BD3D and not theatrical. Episodes II and III may even be completed, or almost completed.. they had been announced for a Fall 2013 release and were cancelled in early 2013, so there's a possibility that that some work may have been already done. (I have no inside information on this.) Phantom Menace 3D grossed an extra $100 million from the conversion when all was said and done worldwide, and I think that was the SW film people were least interested in seeing on the big screen again. I think the business on the original film, for instance, or even Episode III, would have done better than Phantom Menace. But I kinda understand the idea of Disney wanting to focus on the future. I just hope the 3D versions see the light of day at some point.

    I'm glad they're abandoning the EU stuff, more on principle than anything else. I'm sure there have probably been some great books and other stories along the way (I've only read a couple), it's not a judgment on the quality of the work. I liked the prequel films a lot, but one of the hard parts about telling a story that way is everyone knows where it's going. One of the things I most look forward to about Episode VII is that I have no idea what it's going to be about, where it's going, or what the new trilogy will be all about. If they were just adapting the existing EU books and stories, then much like the prequels, we'd know everything that was going to happen.

  300. Sam Favate

    The originals would sell enough to make it worthwhile but most people don't care. In fact, you're gonna piss off people who grew up with the '97, '04 and '11 versions, who are going to balk "Where's my favorite scene where Jabba's outside the Millennium Falcon!? Disney has ruined my childhood!"It will never end.

    I don't think there was much backlash when Ted Turner "colorized" versions of old movies were finally shown in their black and white glory 😉

    Seriously, while I don't think the OOT would sell millions of copies, I'm relatively comfortable saying that it would turn a nice profit for Disney, even factoring in what it would cost to restore the movies and produce the discs. Plus they'd then have an archival copy for future re-releases, and they can give SW OOT the "Disney Vault" treatment to artificially create future demand like they do for all of their major animated films! 😆

  301. One of my first memories is going to see Return of the Jedi when it was released theatrically. I was about 9 at the time, and I've been a fan ever since. Outside of pan n scan versions on vhs or television I've never seen the holy trilogy in it's original form. I still have the series on DVD. The only way that I'll buy them again is if they are dirt cheap, or if they include some phenomenal special features. Including both both the original and SE versions in one set is almost a necessity at this point.

  302. Well, I've seen the first movie when the second was going to be hit the screens, late 1980 in Germany.
    I've seen it again, when the third was released three years later.

    Unfortunatly, I don't recall if the scroll had the Episode IV tag in 1980. I'm pretty sure, it was there in 1983. Because I was also confused about the Ep.IV tag, probably it was also there 1980. Or, another possibility, I was confused about the Ep. V tag in the scroll of the second movie.
    Who knows? Long time ago. 😉

    Sam Favate

    The originals would sell enough to make it worthwhile but most people don't care. In fact, you're gonna piss off people who grew up with the '97, '04 and '11 versions, who are going to balk "Where's my favorite scene where Jabba's outside the Millennium Falcon!? Disney has ruined my childhood!"It will never end.

    There will be no reason for that complain, because the 2011-versions are out on Blu-ray and the 2004-versions on DVD.

    We are complaining because the OOT is not out on BD and the DVDs are unworthy.

  303. Would the original versions sell well? That's a good question.

    I've just always assumed they would, but let's suppose the marketting team does their research and decides they won't sell all that many.

    Two words spring to mind – Twilight Time.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting they give them to Twilight TIme. I'm just suggesting that, if they don't think they're going to sell in huge amounts (and personally I still think they will) they could do a limited run of the number they know will sell at a fixed price, maybe using a similar model to the one TT uses, but with a different number.

    I'm damn sure they would still make money. Does anyone seriously think they'd sell fewer copies than TT sold of Christine? I think worldwide they'd have to press more than 3,000 requests for review copies alone, with every reviewer happy to pay $30 for the privilage.

    Personally, I feel they'd sell more than enough for a standard/traditional release. And let's not forget the inevitable theatrical run.

    Steve W

  304. Sam Favate

    The originals would sell enough to make it worthwhile but most people don't care. In fact, you're gonna piss off people who grew up with the '97, '04 and '11 versions, who are going to balk "Where's my favorite scene where Jabba's outside the Millennium Falcon!? Disney has ruined my childhood!"It will never end.

    The '97 versions have never been on DVD or Blu Ray. I've yet to encounter anyone who misses the Weird Science version of Jabba, or laments the removal of Luke's inexplicable scream while falling in Empire. 😉

  305. AshJW

    Well, I've seen the first movie when the second was going to be hit the screens, late 1980 in Germany.
    I've seen it again, when the third was released three years later.

    Unfortunatly, I don't recall if the scroll had the Episode IV tag in 1980. I'm pretty sure, it was there in 1983. Because I was also confused about the Ep.IV tag, probably it was also there 1980. Or, another possibility, I was confused about the Ep. V tag in the scroll of the second movie.
    Who knows? Long time ago. 😉

    There will be no reason for that complain, because the 2011-versions are out on Blu-ray and the 2004-versions on DVD.

    We are complaining because the OOT is not out on BD and the DVDs are unworthy.

    The Episode IV title did not appear until the 1981 reissue.

  306. SilverWook

    The '97 versions have never been on DVD or Blu Ray. I've yet to encounter anyone who misses the Weird Science version of Jabba, or laments the removal of Luke's inexplicable scream while falling in Empire. 😉

    The original version of the trilogy is the most important to me, the one without which I won't buy a DVD or Blu-ray release. But for sentimental reasons, the 1997 special edition is the one I'd like next. I don't think *any* of the altered versions is an improvement on the original, but I do at least have fond memories of seeing the 1997 versions in theaters, an experience I might be inclined to recreate should those versions be available on DVD or Blu-ray.

  307. I agree with Bill on all fronts. I don't get why Fox would be a problem. There are plenty of discs out there right now that have two major studio logos at the beginning. The studios all speak the same language: money. I do believe that if Disney puts forth the effort to create a great master of the OOT, Fox will find a way to make this release happen.

    But as Bill has said, there are other alternatives until then. And Disney/Fox are no dummies, they know that, and they know there is still interest in the OOT. Also they have a pretty high benchmark set by Harmy, so they won't be able to pull that non-anamorphic DVD transfer George gave us back in the day (not that they would).

  308. As regards who would buy them, it's worth asking how many of us rushed out to buy the crappy 2006 dvd release of the original cuts – I know I did – even though we already had the 2004 SE dvds sitting on our shelves.

  309. ijthompson

    As regards who would buy them, it's worth asking how many of us rushed out to buy the crappy 2006 dvd release of the original cuts – I know I did – even though we already had the 2004 SE dvds sitting on our shelves.

    I also had the laserdiscs with the same transfers. As a matter of fact, I'm crazy/dumb enough to have had both the boxset LDs and the 'faces' LDs which were the same transfers as the non-anamorphic DVDs and I still bought the non-anamorphic DVDs.

  310. TravisR

    I also had the laserdiscs with the same transfers. As a matter of fact, I'm crazy/dumb enough to have had both the boxset LDs and the 'faces' LDs which were the same transfers as the non-anamorphic DVDs and I still bought the non-anamorphic DVDs.

    QFT.

    I also own multiple incarnations of the OOT on laserdisc (the non-restored early '90s deluxe boxed set w/ book, the THX-remastered "faces" discs, etc.), and I too also purchased the 2005 DVDs just for the OOT inclusion (despite having also bought the 2004 set).

    I'm such a whore for these movies.

  311. Maybe I am in a fandom bubble, but I just can't fathom the OOT not selling well enough to justify the time and expense necessary to prepare it for release.

    I know Criterion operates under a slightly different business model, but if we can get the original theatrical cut of Red River, which has hardly been seen in decades, there is no reason to think the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy in HD wouldn't be a profitable undertaking.

  312. Bryan Tuck

    Maybe I am in a fandom bubble, but I just can't fathom the OOT not selling well enough to justify the time and expense necessary to prepare it for release.

    I know Criterion operates under a slightly different business model, but if we can get the original theatrical cut of Red River, which has hardly been seen in decades, there is no reason to think the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy in HD wouldn't be a profitable undertaking.

    I'd still complain, i want the original "Han was the only one to shoot scene" but i also like some of the updated effects sequences during the final battle, i'd like to have Boba Fett's original voice back in Empire and to get rid of the awful scene showing Darth Vader returning to the super star destroyer at the end of Empire but i also like the inclusion of the new Emperor.

    I know some fans have their own edits, that would be the only way to please me completely.

  313. The Twilight Time suggestion was made in another thread about a year or so ago – the notion that Fox or Lucas would decide to farm out Star Wars movies to an independent distributor, using versions of the movies that Lucas has repeatedly said he does not wish to distribute any further. My response to that one is the same one I gave a year ago – Nice try. It's a fun idea but it will never happen.

    As for the Bill Hunt op/ed, I think it's nice that he wants to see the original versions come out in HD. I'm not as sanguine about his promotion of bootleg cuts of the movies as this just gets us into the oddity of people doing their own "home version" of movies, and that idea is anathema to anyone concerned about creative rights and copyright infringement.

    I do think it's possible that Disney may at some point release the original versions of the first Star Wars movies in high definition, but I can't imagine it being anything more than bonus features – along the lines of what was done with the 2006 DVDs. I could see them releasing each movie in a single release, with a second disc holding a new HD copy of that movie's original version. This wouldn't be something they'd spend a lot of money to do – They'd likely do a quick pass at one of the IPs that exist or something along those lines. It certainly wouldn't be an 8K or even 4K transfer – there's simply not enough money to be made in such an endeavor. It's also possible that they could simply include the earlier bonus discs from 2006 as the bonus feature here, but something tells me the hardcore fans' heads would explode all over the world…

    I also think it's likely that such a release may not happen for some time. We don't know what Lucas' own instructions about this to Disney have been, but we do know his preference. Disney certainly has the ability to make new movies, as they are doing, but I don't know that they would wish to publicly tell Lucas that they intend to release versions of his existing movies that he'd asked them not to put out. Disney is known for their patience – I wouldn't expect them to do anything other than re-issues of the existing Blu-rays for the time being.

  314. Bryan Tuck

    Maybe I am in a fandom bubble, but I just can't fathom the OOT not selling well enough to justify the time and expense necessary to prepare it for release.

    I know Criterion operates under a slightly different business model, but if we can get the original theatrical cut of Red River, which has hardly been seen in decades, there is no reason to think the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy in HD wouldn't be a profitable undertaking.

    I'm in the court that believes that these won't sell as well as the fans believe. People who inhabit sites like this one or BluRay.com are not the mass market. The mass market doesn't care about the changes as much as everyone here would like to believe and if they're interested in Star Wars at all, they already own it on BD or DVD and they've probably purchased it a number of times. The question is whether they're going to dip again. Since overall BD sales aren't that great in the first place (as of 5/3, running just 4.28% ahead of last year in units and just 0.43% in dollars in the U.S. in spite of the massive success of "Frozen"), I don't see another Star Wars release of any type doing all that well. I think even fans will want to put their dollars into buying the Episode VII release.

    And I also agree with those who think there would be a generation of fans who, having grown up with the altered releases, might not actually like the originals.

    For me personally (which means nothing), I'd buy an unaltered original trilogy if the 3-film set was priced no more than $22.

    As for the rumors stated above that Disney will "phase out" the PT and/or not consider it canon, my opinion is that that's wishful thinking. It's highly unlikely that episodes VIII and IX will be anything but direct sequels to Episode VII anyway. And there's plenty of material to mine without having to go back to the Anakin origin story again anyway.

  315. I think the originals would do well if packaged with whatever the current version of the movie is at the time of the release. I don't think that a release of just the original versions would break any records, but should easily sell more than a Twilight Time release or most Criterion releases. Packaging them together with the current updated versions would satisfy the purists as well as those who would complain if the altered versions weren't included.

  316. zoetmb

    For me personally (which means nothing), I'd buy an unaltered original trilogy if the 3-film set was priced no more than $22.

    $22 is OK but $23 is too much? 🙂

    Wayne_j

    I think the originals would do well if packaged with whatever the current version of the movie is at the time of the release. I don't think that a release of just the original versions would break any records, but should easily sell more than a Twilight Time release or most Criterion releases. Packaging them together with the current updated versions would satisfy the purists as well as those who would complain if the altered versions weren't included.

    Yeah, I'm sure there's people out there that have deluded themselves into thinking that the whole world cares about the originals as much as they do but like you said, if small companies can turn a profit with vastly lesser known titles then Star Wars can certainly earn some money.

  317. TravisR

    Yeah, I'm sure there's people out there that have deluded themselves into thinking that the whole world cares about the originals as much as they do but like you said, if small companies can turn a profit with vastly lesser known titles then Star Wars can certainly earn some money.

    That's all I'm saying. I don't know if it would break any records, but it would certainly turn a profit. I would think that's all it needs to do.

  318. The original Battlestar Galactica is available on blu-ray and it looks pretty decent. Not spectacular, but not bad. I don't imagine Universal spent millions or even hundreds of thousands restoring it. There's no reason why the Star Wars films couldn't look at least as good, and I'm sure they'd outsell Galactica.

    I'd be more than happy with a quick scan from the IPs or INs, some colour correction using the Technicolor prints as a guide, plus the original mono, stereo and six-track sound mixes.

  319. Remember as Bill Hunt points out there are likely some very good quality prints out there available for use, so even if the OCN was lost to history, all would not be lost. Also, while a true film restoration a la RAH's work on Lawrence, Vertigo, etc. even RAH notes now have a bevy of digital tools to help create a really good 2K (and maybe even 4K) master without needing to go through the millions of dollars and time consuming process of true film restoration. When talking about what he'd have liked to see Universal spend to get the Vertigo BD up to his standards, I think his answer was low six-figures. (you can check his rather lengthy A few words about Vertigo thread if you want the nitty gritty).

    So based on that, one could likely make a very good OOT at BD resolution available for in the high six, or low seven figures. You figure this box would MSRP at $49.99, retail at $39.99, studio to distributor price would be $20-$25. So for the set to make the studios $2 million dollars, it would need to sell 100,000 units (if we lowball studio cut at $20).

    While I agree that the masses do not enjoy SW the way some of us here at HTF do, does anyone doubt that the OOT wouldn't sell at least 100,000 units? Frozen sold 3.2 million in first day sales.

    Don't forget who the target demographic is now: people in their late 30s and older, who were kids when the OOT was out, and who coincidentally have more disposable income than many millennials who are just entering the job market. So while "the kids" may not go out and get SW in droves, I'm sure more than 100K adults will, which is enough to turn a profit. My conservative guess is that at minimum it would sell at least 500K units, which at $20 per pop to the studio, would net $10 million. Not a bad return on investment on what would likely be a $1-2 million mostly-done-with-digital-tools restoration.

    If Harmy can generate a wonderful 720p transfer on basically his home PC in his spare time, Disney can surely do better without breaking the bank.

  320. I have recently seen a nearly pristine IB Tech of kthe 1977 release, as well as a good LPP of the 1977 release. I have also watched an LPP of Return of the Jedi on 35mm recently that had perfect colour, and was in very good shape.
    I have only ever seen one print of Empire Strikes Back that still has good colour, it would be the most difficult to find, as I don't know if any low fade prints were ever struck of it.

    So yes, a 'As you saw it in the Cinema' bluray could be made from the prints that exist out there, at least for Star Wars and Jedi, but part of the problem is the existing Bluray release.
    It was taken from a negative, and heavily degrained. In some areas detail was extracted from the negative that was never on the theatrical prints.

    Now in my opinion, this makes the Bluray release overly sharp in many scenes, and reveals details that should never have been seen, making some matte paintings look far more fake, some costume flaws more obvious etc. It also looks too stable and the skintones are flat, and the lack of grain leeches some of the life out of the image.

    However, it contains more 'details' in many scenes than are on the prints.

    A restoration to what people saw in the cinema, will look quite soft and grainy in comparsion. Many people will remember it looking a lot better than it actually did in the cinema, and will have adjusted their memories by having watched home releases for so long.

    So I think even if Disney did a fantastic restoration, and made it look exactly like any given print that was released at the time, many people would complain that the resulting BD was too soft, too grainy, lacking detail, not how they remembered it etc. etc.

    I do wish they would do it anyway, but I reckon there would be initial enthusiasm, followed by people bitching that it wasn't "done right" in their eyes 🙂

  321. I think we can guarantee that no matter what Lucas or Disney do in this matter, there will always be people complaining about it.

    Interesting to hear about the dye-transfer print and the Low-Fade prints. I wonder if there is a Low-Fade print of Empire somewhere out there. If there is, I have a feeling they'd find it. If they ever do an actual transfer from those prints.

    I realize that people are looking for a happy answer here, but I can't imagine Disney or Lucas spending into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, let alone millions of dollars, to do work on versions of the movies that Lucas feels are simply bonus features at this time. It's just not something we can reasonably expect. We also can't expect that they would make sales from just the original versions in excess of maybe 10 or 20 thousand units. They might be able to do better than that by doing the releases as part of single-movie sales, where they could amortize the costs in multiple sales between singles of each movie. But there's no way they'd be selling half a million copies, as much as I'd love to see that happen.

    I believe it's better to be realistic about what could be done here. While I think we may eventually see the original versions in high definition, I honestly don't see that being a huge fanfare moment. And I don't see them spending anything beyond the minimum to just put those versions on a disc – meaning that they'd spend the lowest amount to just scan what they could and do the most basic work, and then be done with it. That would be a budget far lower than six figures for the whole thing. I would love to be proven wrong on this, but I have too much experience with the reality of how this mindset operates.

  322. Not necessarily complaining here….

    All of us here tie STAR WARS with Twentieth Century Fox.

    That logo in front of the movie is just as exciting as the space
    crawl text that follows it.

    Just not going to be the same with a Disney logo in front.

    ….and count me in as someone who is also confident that the
    original versions will be released to Blu-ray. It's the opportunity
    Disney has been looking for. My only concern is the packaging.
    Good chance it's gonna have the Disney touch to it, and I don't
    know if that is necessarily a good thing.

    …but I am putting the cart before the horse here, aren't I.

  323. Obviously, you can't please everyone, but I think there would be a pretty straightforward way to please almost everyone who wants the original versions (I think I've posted this before, but here goes)…

    ———-

    A 3-disc set with a new scan of the best available elements (4K would be great, but 2K would be fine) with something resembling the original color-timing for each film, and some standard pop/hiss/click cleanup on the audio (and no extra logos, but I honestly don't think that would happen, anyway):

    Disc 1 – Star Wars – both opening crawls seamlessly branched; the three original theatrical mixes (the 70mm could be approximated with a 5.1 track), and the '85 and '93 remixes

    Disc 2 – The Empire Strikes Back – both original theatrical mixes and the '93 remix (possible bonus: the 35mm and 70mm cuts seamlessly branched, but I could live with the just the 35mm cut)

    Disc 3 – Return of the Jedi – both original theatrical mixes and the '93 remix

    ———-

    With this, we would have (to my knowledge) every pre-1997 version of the three films in one tidy package (not counting foreign dubs, but there would probably be room for a couple of those, too). Of course, a full-blown restoration and assorted extras would be welcome, but I for one would be 100% satisfied with just the above.

  324. Kevin EK

    I believe it's better to be realistic about what could be done here. While I think we may eventually see the original versions in high definition, I honestly don't see that being a huge fanfare moment. And I don't see them spending anything beyond the minimum to just put those versions on a disc – meaning that they'd spend the lowest amount to just scan what they could and do the most basic work, and then be done with it. That would be a budget far lower than six figures for the whole thing. I would love to be proven wrong on this, but I have too much experience with the reality of how this mindset operates.

    I would even buy that. As long it is a proper presentation it's ok with me.

    And in three years we face the 40th anniversary…

  325. I have refused to buy the original trilogy on blu-ray but was just about to buy the cheapest DVD set for my son's birthday. I will now hold off in anticipation of a proper release of the theatrically presented films. It is a shame that George Lucas has had so little respect for his iconic creation.

  326. Ronald Epstein

    Not necessarily complaining here….

    All of us here tie STAR WARS with Twentieth Century Fox.

    That logo in front of the movie is just as exciting as the space
    crawl text that follows it.

    Just not going to be the same with a Disney logo in front.

    ….and count me in as someone who is also confident that the
    original versions will be released to Blu-ray. It's the opportunity
    Disney has been looking for. My only concern is the packaging.
    Good chance it's gonna have the Disney touch to it, and I don't
    know if that is necessarily a good thing.

    …but I am putting the cart before the horse here, aren't I.

    Ron – I can't imagine they'll completely do away with the Fox logo and fanware, which I agree are the way that the OOT ought to start. I can imagine they'll have the Disney logo as the disc is loading, and when you press play movie, the Disney logo may play again, and then the screen will go to black, we'll hear the fanfare, then the Fox logo, and then the movie. Disney did keep the Studio Ghibli logo in front of their Miyazaki films, I think they'll respect the original Fox logo simply because it is how millions of people who are still alive remember the films beginning. Universal did that for the Hitchcock films they recently released individually (i.e. Vertigo with the new Uni logo and then a fade to black and then the black and white Paramount logo)

  327. Ron – I can't imagine they'll completely do away with the Fox logo and fanware, which I agree are the way that the OOT ought to start. I can imagine they'll have the Disney logo as the disc is loading, and when you press play movie, the Disney logo may play again, and then the screen will go to black, we'll hear the fanfare, then the Fox logo, and then the movie.

    No…perhaps I described my feelings wrong….

    I understand that is the way it will work for the Blu-ray releases, but
    the new Disney movies themselves will be absent of the Fox fanfare logo.

    …that will get some getting used to.

  328. Bryan Tuck

    Obviously, you can't please everyone, but I think there would be a pretty straightforward way to please almost everyone who wants the original versions (I think I've posted this before, but here goes)…

    ———-

    A 3-disc set with a new scan of the best available elements (4K would be great, but 2K would be fine) with something resembling the original color-timing for each film, and some standard pop/hiss/click cleanup on the audio (and no extra logos, but I honestly don't think that would happen, anyway):

    Disc 1 – Star Wars – both opening crawls seamlessly branched; the three original theatrical mixes (the 70mm could be approximated with a 5.1 track), and the '85 and '93 remixes

    Disc 2 – The Empire Strikes Back – both original theatrical mixes and the '93 remix (possible bonus: the 35mm and 70mm cuts seamlessly branched, but I could live with the just the 35mm cut)

    Disc 3 – Return of the Jedi – both original theatrical mixes and the '93 remix

    ———-

    With this, we would have (to my knowledge) every pre-1997 version of the three films in one tidy package (not counting foreign dubs, but there would probably be room for a couple of those, too). Of course, a full-blown restoration and assorted extras would be welcome, but I for one would be 100% satisfied with just the above.

    I know I'd be happy with that. It's funny because I've never really considered the idea of the originals coming out without the SEs. I just assume that to avoid consumer confusion, they will always have both (or all the) versions in one release.

  329. Bryan Tuck's hypothetical release would pretty much be a dream come true for me. If they threw in the other major versions of the trilogy (the 1997 SE, the 2004 DVD version, and the 2011 Blu-ray versions) in a huge box set then it would be a perfect release in my eyes.

  330. Ronald Epstein

    No…perhaps I described my feelings wrong….

    I understand that is the way it will work for the Blu-ray releases, but
    the new Disney movies themselves will be absent of the Fox fanfare logo.

    …that will get some getting used to.

    Ah I get ya Ron.

    Yes that will be weird. All of my life the Star Wars movies have always started with the Fox Fanfare and Studio Logo, followed by the Lucasfilm logo, into "A long time ago…"

    So yeah I'm with you. That Disney logo for Episode JJ and beyond will be weird. But if JJ delivers a fantastic movie, I'll be happier with that over what I got with the PT. If he can recapture that old Star Wars magic onscreen, I'll learn to deal with the Mouse's logo. 😀

  331. I don't see this actually happening but I think it would be an interesting compromise and a nice nod to the fans to use the Disney logo for the sequels but play the Fox fanfare over it.

  332. I'd also be happy with Bryan Tuck's version, and I'm also fine with Kevin EK's warning about the studio spending low six figures. Their benchmark is pretty easy to beat: the non-anamorphic OOT from Lucasfilm, and the 720p DeSpecialized edition from Harmy which he did for much less than six figures and without access to any of the film elements. So even if Disney spent $300K for all three films (and let's be honest, they'll likely spend at least that if not more, a million to the Disney corporation is like a penny to you and me), they should easily surpass the Harmy versions, and be able to bring Bryan Tuck's version to BD.

  333. cafink

    I don't see this actually happening but I think it would be an interesting compromise and a nice nod to the fans to use the Disney logo for the sequels but play the Fox fanfare over it.

    I hear ya, on both fronts. It would be nice but I also don't find it likely. Actually the whole opening will be a little off anyway, because it always was Fox to Lucasfilm to "A long time ago". Now they'll have to put a Disney logo in there. And a Skydance credit as well. And then Lucasfilm. Unless JJ is so true to the original intent that he will forego the opening credit for his production company and put it in the end credits.

  334. I'm fine with no Fox logo or fanfare. It's a new era, one that wouldn't be possible without Disney, so I'm okay with the Disney logo, which is pretty cool itself.Keep in mind that Disney's Marvel movies have no Disney logo at all, just Marvel Studios. Maybe just the Lucasfilm title?As for the blu-rays, the Close Encounters Blu-Ray should be the model, with branching used to put each version of the movie on the same disc.

  335. Sam Favate

    As for the blu-rays, the Close Encounters Blu-Ray should be the model, with branching used to put each version of the movie on the same disc.

    I asked about using branching before and the reply i got was that it would be too complex.

  336. Carlo Medina

    I hear ya, on both fronts. It would be nice but I also don't find it likely. Actually the whole opening will be a little off anyway, because it always was Fox to Lucasfilm to "A long time ago". Now they'll have to put a Disney logo in there. And a Skydance credit as well. And then Lucasfilm. Unless JJ is so true to the original intent that he will forego the opening credit for his production company and put it in the end credits.

    Isn't Bad Robot JJ's production company?

    [​IMG]

  337. FoxyMulder

    I asked about using branching before and the reply i got was that it would be too complex.

    I think it would be possible to seamlessly branch the '97/'04/'11 versions together if there was the will to do so. Of course, there are a lot of audio differences between all those, so it would be tricky. But doable.

    But I'd imagine the originals would have to be on their own.

  338. questrider

    Isn't Bad Robot JJ's production company?

    Is Abrams producing? I guess he is, but seeing that logo in front of Episode VII says to me that Abrams will be involved in the entire trilogy. I was kinda hoping for different directors for VIII and IX, like the OT had.

  339. questrider

    Isn't Bad Robot JJ's production company?

    [​IMG]

    Good point. Then whose is Skydance? They must work together a lot as I remember seeing Skydance in front of a lot of JJ Abrams films. But yes you're right. Still having the Bad Robot in front will throw off the timing, but I won't really care if the films are great.

  340. I think Skydance is Tom Cruise's company (so you'd have seen both the Skydance and Bad Robot logos on the last couple Mission: Impossible movies). Bad Robot is Abrams' production company.

  341. Sam Favate

    I don't think Tom Cruise has anything to do with Skydance, which is an independent production company with ties to Paramount (where Cruise makes a number of movies).

    Yeah Tom Cruise's production company is TC (formerly C/W).

  342. FoxyMulder

    I asked about using branching before and the reply i got was that it would be too complex.

    It would be simply because the color timing of the special editions and theatricals are much different from one another.

    Not to mention the audio is different too.

  343. laserman

    I have recently seen a nearly pristine IB Tech of kthe 1977 release, as well as a good LPP of the 1977 release. I have also watched an LPP of Return of the Jedi on 35mm recently that had perfect colour, and was in very good shape.
    I have only ever seen one print of Empire Strikes Back that still has good colour, it would be the most difficult to find, as I don't know if any low fade prints were ever struck of it.

    So yes, a 'As you saw it in the Cinema' bluray could be made from the prints that exist out there, at least for Star Wars and Jedi, but part of the problem is the existing Bluray release.
    It was taken from a negative, and heavily degrained. In some areas detail was extracted from the negative that was never on the theatrical prints.

    Now in my opinion, this makes the Bluray release overly sharp in many scenes, and reveals details that should never have been seen, making some matte paintings look far more fake, some costume flaws more obvious etc. It also looks too stable and the skintones are flat, and the lack of grain leeches some of the life out of the image.

    However, it contains more 'details' in many scenes than are on the prints.

    A restoration to what people saw in the cinema, will look quite soft and grainy in comparsion. Many people will remember it looking a lot better than it actually did in the cinema, and will have adjusted their memories by having watched home releases for so long.

    So I think even if Disney did a fantastic restoration, and made it look exactly like any given print that was released at the time, many people would complain that the resulting BD was too soft, too grainy, lacking detail, not how they remembered it etc. etc.

    I do wish they would do it anyway, but I reckon there would be initial enthusiasm, followed by people bitching that it wasn't "done right" in their eyes 🙂

    35 mm (which these movies were filmed on) contains far more resolution than 1080p is capable of delivering.

    Now, if you are talking about a multi-generational print that has seen a lot of work on a projector not calibrated, then a Blu-ray may indeed show more detail, but this would be the only scenario.

    There will be no reason these will look soft and grainy as a number of 70s and 80s titles look incredible on Blu-ray when properly restored. Star Wars is no different.

  344. Kevin EK

    The Twilight Time suggestion was made in another thread about a year or so ago – the notion that Fox or Lucas would decide to farm out Star Wars movies to an independent distributor, using versions of the movies that Lucas has repeatedly said he does not wish to distribute any further. My response to that one is the same one I gave a year ago – Nice try. It's a fun idea but it will never happen.

    As for the Bill Hunt op/ed, I think it's nice that he wants to see the original versions come out in HD. I'm not as sanguine about his promotion of bootleg cuts of the movies as this just gets us into the oddity of people doing their own "home version" of movies, and that idea is anathema to anyone concerned about creative rights and copyright infringement.

    I do think it's possible that Disney may at some point release the original versions of the first Star Wars movies in high definition, but I can't imagine it being anything more than bonus features – along the lines of what was done with the 2006 DVDs. I could see them releasing each movie in a single release, with a second disc holding a new HD copy of that movie's original version. This wouldn't be something they'd spend a lot of money to do – They'd likely do a quick pass at one of the IPs that exist or something along those lines. It certainly wouldn't be an 8K or even 4K transfer – there's simply not enough money to be made in such an endeavor. It's also possible that they could simply include the earlier bonus discs from 2006 as the bonus feature here, but something tells me the hardcore fans' heads would explode all over the world…

    I also think it's likely that such a release may not happen for some time. We don't know what Lucas' own instructions about this to Disney have been, but we do know his preference. Disney certainly has the ability to make new movies, as they are doing, but I don't know that they would wish to publicly tell Lucas that they intend to release versions of his existing movies that he'd asked them not to put out. Disney is known for their patience – I wouldn't expect them to do anything other than re-issues of the existing Blu-rays for the time being.

    If these are going to be restored, they will most certainly be restored from at least 4K. They are going to need to do this for archival purposes and the fact eventually there will be a 4K format.

    Disney has also done a wonderful job on restorations with a large number of titles. (Have you seen Mary Poppins?) Star Wars would be right up their alley and there is no way they would release these with no effort as Lucas did with DVD back in 2006.

  345. "I think we can guarantee that no matter what Lucas or Disney do in this matter, there will always be people complaining about it."If they release the original, unaltered versions (on BD) it's pretty much a win-win situation for them:- True fans have to buy everything related to SW.- Fans of the "unaltered" versions finally get what they want.- SW gets a lot of headlines and articles, especially now when the new films are coming.- If they do it right (stamp of approval by Lucas etc), Lucas is a hero.- They can release "original characters" type of line of toys, legos, games, etc etc.- Money. SW on home video makes money. Always have, always will.What's actually the negative thing about this? I mean we all know that the "current" versions are the dir cuts of Lucas. And most of us respect that.

  346. Ronald Epstein

    No…perhaps I described my feelings wrong….

    I understand that is the way it will work for the Blu-ray releases, but
    the new Disney movies themselves will be absent of the Fox fanfare logo.

    …that will get some getting used to.

    I don't think I could bear that absence for 10 seconds without kicking my bluray player across the room.
    The Fox fanfare is so etched into my mind.

  347. I think I wasn't very clear before, so I apologize for that. I was not saying that Disney would ever spend in the low six figures to make bonus features for a dvd release. I was saying that it would be lower than six figures. As in less than 50K, all in. That would give them quick HD scans of whatever materials they have of the earlier cuts, and a couple of days to check the color on each. It's simply not realistic to expect them to spend any more time and money in this way. IIRC, the 2011 blu rays are from 4K masters, so as far as Disney is concerned, they already have that area covered.I'd love to see something more elaborate, but experience says otherwise. In any case, we'll all see what they have in mind next year as they gear up for either a late 2015 or May 2016 release of Episode 7…

  348. andySu

    This George Lucas quote makes me so angry.

    First there was George Lucas the Barbarian, followed by George Lucas the Destroyer.

    [​IMG]

    I see this quote trotted out all the time and it's obvious that he's talking about someone like Ted Turner colorizing a movie or a studio taking a hacksaw to a movie and not about an artist going back and 'fixing' their work. That's not to say that I like that he buried the originals but it's not the hypocritical statement that the "George Lucas raped my childhood" crowd tries to make it out to be.

  349. I have said this many times before probably not this thread, but in terms of film preservation the fact the Lucas has been friends with many directors such as Spielberg, Coppola, and Scorsese I find it hard to believe that Lucas would have destroyed his original films before the 97 restoration without any backup. I don't believe it and never will.As others may have mentioned you don't need the original negatives to get a good HD BLU transfer. When it comes to the current S.W. Films on BLU there is even room for improvement. I think it has been pointed out that with a true 4K or 8K scan of the special editions as they are currently the image would be improved. I always thought this was only so a future release could be issued again, and would improve on the current BLUs. I'm not against the special editions all the way, I rather liked many changes that were made for the 97 SE versions. I thought the Jedi ending music etc was much improved, but I hate the fact original actors were replaced by actors from the prequels.When it comes to ownership and distribution of the original trilogy I wouldn't be surprised if the public isn't privy to all the details regarding home video releases. I fall into the category of I'll believe it when and of official news is announced. I think we would all love an Ultimate Box set with the original trilogy, 97 Special Editons.

  350. Kevin EK

    IIRC, the 2011 blu rays are from 4K masters, so as far as Disney is concerned, they already have that area covered.

    I don't think that's true. I'm pretty sure it was determined that the 1920×1080 masters from 2004 (not even full 2K) were utilized and touched-up for the Blu-ray, and that all the FX work done in both 2004 & 2011 was completed at that resolution.

  351. Powell&Pressburger

    I'm not against the special editions all the way, I rather liked many changes that were made for the 97 SE versions. I thought the Jedi ending music etc was much improved, but I hate the fact original actors were replaced by actors from the prequels.I think we would all love an Ultimate Box set with the original trilogy, 97 Special Editons.

    Agreed. I also hate dropping Hayden Christianson in over the original actor. There was no setup for it. How would Luke know the new guy was Annakin? Had there been some digital morphing of Annakin from one to the other when he died, then it would make sense. As it was, I kept expecting Luke to say, "Who's THIS guy?"

  352. Dave H

    35 mm (which these movies were filmed on) contains far more resolution than 1080p is capable of delivering.

    Now, if you are talking about a multi-generational print that has seen a lot of work on a projector not calibrated, then a Blu-ray may indeed show more detail, but this would be the only scenario.

    There will be no reason these will look soft and grainy as a number of 70s and 80s titles look incredible on Blu-ray when properly restored. Star Wars is no different.

    Nope.
    The BD was mastered from the Negative, the negative holds a shitload of detail that even the best prints do not, (and a lot of that detail is not meant to be seen), so there are many examples where the BD will have more detail.

    Yes, in theory the film holds more resolution than the BD, and there are areas where this is definitely the case, but in many areas the BD is more detailed than any print.

    The 70s and 80s titles that 'look incredible' (I'm guessing you mean sharp and relatively grain free) are also taken from negatives, not from prints. The negative inherently is sharper, has far less grain and a massively wider dynamic range.

    I have scanned a few frames from the TECH IB print of Star Wars, at 4K, and compared them to the BD. The tech print is about as sharp and fine grained as a print can be, but the BD has more detail, no question.
    There are some areas where the print has more resolution, which can reveal some details not quite visible on the BD, but when scaled down to BD they disappear anyway.

    The prints are intentionally soft, that was the look that Lucas was going for (he wanted the gauze-like look of a fairy tale [Skywalking, Dave Pollock] ) and Lucas had the prints graded to be over-lit and soft.
    They are also grainy, some shots are many, many layers composited optically, and each layer increases the grain. The colour grade is also all over the place on Star Wars.

    I love the way it looks on film, it is very much of its time, grainy, blown out skies, gritty even, it adds to the realism and helps hide the flaws in the sets, matte paintings etc.
    I personally would love to see a UHD and BD release from the prints, graded to the prints, to recreate the experience of seeing a first-day, clean print, but with all the grain and other 'flaws' that for me, make it the movie I saw so a long time ago, in a small town far, far away.

    But your comment points out why they probably won't do that, people would freak out and say it is all soft and grainy, and the colour grade is incosistent and it doesn't look as good as other films from that era that are on BD etc. etc.

    If they did do an 'unaltered' release, I would expect it to not look much like the original films at all, it would most likely be oversharpened, re-graded with teal shadows and crimson faces, grain removed and over-stabilised, just like the Disney releases of Alice in Wonderland etc. that look nothing like the original movies.

    I would still prefer this to the SE, but what I really want is something closer to a preservation, rather than a restoration/recreation.
    That is why I am doing my own 🙂

  353. laserman

    Nope.
    The BD was mastered from the Negative

    What makes you say that, Lowry created 1080p masters in the digital realm and the BD comes from them, they were using technology that is now dated, compression on those masters is not the best and that's an area they could easily improve today, static film grain in some scenes is not nice at all, is it even the real grain or did Lowry take it all out and then add some back.

    It's an old argument with regards the detail you get on BD compared to what you would see on a cinema print, i'll take the extra detail if done right because the argument that things stand out that shouldn't is in my opinion not valid, the effects in many films from Jason and the Argonauts to Ghostbusters look just the same to me regardless of resolution and they still work just fine.

  354. Kevin EK

    In any case, we'll all see what they have in mind next year as they gear up for either a late 2015 or May 2016 release of Episode 7…

    Is there reason to doubt the Dec. 18, 2015 date that has been made public?

    BTW, this rumor made the rounds this week:
    http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/star-wars/30572/has-the-star-wars-cinematic-line-up-been-leaked

    Fall 2014: Rebels
    2015: Episode VII
    2016: Boba Fett
    2017: Episode VIII
    2018: Solo
    2019: Episode IX
    2020: Red Five

  355. Jari K

    "I think we can guarantee that no matter what Lucas or Disney do in this matter, there will always be people complaining about it."If they release the original, unaltered versions (on BD) it's pretty much a win-win situation for them:- True fans have to buy everything related to SW.- Fans of the "unaltered" versions finally get what they want.- SW gets a lot of headlines and articles, especially now when the new films are coming.- If they do it right (stamp of approval by Lucas etc), Lucas is a hero.- They can release "original characters" type of line of toys, legos, games, etc etc.- Money. SW on home video makes money. Always have, always will.What's actually the negative thing about this? I mean we all know that the "current" versions are the dir cuts of Lucas. And most of us respect that.

    This is an incredibly optimistic and naive view of what would actually happen. In reality, as we've discussed earlier in this thread, aside from a handful of "purists" who would actually accept the original movies in completely unaltered form, the vast majority would want various types of cleanup performed on the movies.

    For example, I am sure that many who are clamoring for "the originals" would suddenly be very annoyed to see the flashing white boxes (garbage mattes) reproduced in all their crisp, high resolution detail around the ships in space scenes. And that's just one example where the original effects would look terrible on Blu.

    So what is it going to be: completely unaltered "original", cleaned-up "original", some effects being changed and not others (and which?), or something in between? The truth is that no matter what is done, a large proportion of the fan base will whine loudly and proudly about it. Sadly, I think this issue is no longer actually about the Star Wars movies, and more about geeks trying to prove their fan credentials by rallying around the "original" movies, and taking pot-shots at Lucas.

  356. I tend to agree with Koroush on the last.I'd be happy to stand corrected on the full definition of the scans done for the SW Blus. Of course, the only movies where any further detail can be gleaned are I and IV-VI. II and III are already maxed given the way Lucas shot them. If Disney doesn't have 4K masters of the other four, I'm sure they'll eventually have them made. But those would be from Lucas' most current versions. The original theatrical versions would not see that kind of time or money.Koroush also makes a good point that just scanning an IP of the original versions would reveal a host of spfx issues that would be quite distracting to anyone watching the movies today. Those issues could be dealt with, but that would mean spending a LOT more time and money than they're willing to expend.Regarding the release dates, I wouldn't rely on that schedule, unless someone thinks that they can crank these movies out that fast. Abrams has never been able to deliver movies that quickly, and these will be complicated. Given that they just started shooting now, and given how long Abrams normally takes in post, I'd say that December of next year is really optimistic. That would give him just over a year to have everything finished once they stop shooting. For a movie like this, that's cutting it really close. Had they started shooting in January, as I originally understood they were planning, then maybe. Not with a production start over 4 months later. I could be proven wrong, but my expectation is that they'll roll the release back to May 2016 and line it up with the usual timing for Star Wars releases. Which would of course roll the promotional video re-releases of the other movies later as well.

  357. laserman

    Nope.
    The BD was mastered from the Negative, the negative holds a shitload of detail that even the best prints do not, (and a lot of that detail is not meant to be seen), so there are many examples where the BD will have more detail.

    Yes, in theory the film holds more resolution than the BD, and there are areas where this is definitely the case, but in many areas the BD is more detailed than any print.

    The 70s and 80s titles that 'look incredible' (I'm guessing you mean sharp and relatively grain free) are also taken from negatives, not from prints. The negative inherently is sharper, has far less grain and a massively wider dynamic range.

    I have scanned a few frames from the TECH IB print of Star Wars, at 4K, and compared them to the BD. The tech print is about as sharp and fine grained as a print can be, but the BD has more detail, no question.
    There are some areas where the print has more resolution, which can reveal some details not quite visible on the BD, but when scaled down to BD they disappear anyway.

    The prints are intentionally soft, that was the look that Lucas was going for (he wanted the gauze-like look of a fairy tale [Skywalking, Dave Pollock] ) and Lucas had the prints graded to be over-lit and soft.
    They are also grainy, some shots are many, many layers composited optically, and each layer increases the grain. The colour grade is also all over the place on Star Wars.

    I love the way it looks on film, it is very much of its time, grainy, blown out skies, gritty even, it adds to the realism and helps hide the flaws in the sets, matte paintings etc.
    I personally would love to see a UHD and BD release from the prints, graded to the prints, to recreate the experience of seeing a first-day, clean print, but with all the grain and other 'flaws' that for me, make it the movie I saw so a long time ago, in a small town far, far away.

    But your comment points out why they probably won't do that, people would freak out and say it is all soft and grainy, and the colour grade is incosistent and it doesn't look as good as other films from that era that are on BD etc. etc.

    If they did do an 'unaltered' release, I would expect it to not look much like the original films at all, it would most likely be oversharpened, re-graded with teal shadows and crimson faces, grain removed and over-stabilised, just like the Disney releases of Alice in Wonderland etc. that look nothing like the original movies.

    I would still prefer this to the SE, but what I really want is something closer to a preservation, rather than a restoration/recreation.
    That is why I am doing my own 🙂

    The Blu-ray is from a ten-year-old master that is not nearly up to par to newer 4K+ scans that have been. If you truly have done scanning work, then you should know scanning technology has improved significantly over the years and continues to do so.

    There are movies which are inherently more grainy that have been handled well with proper restorations so that is not an issue.

    The Blu-ray suffers from edge enhancement and DNR – as well as other digital artifacts. The color timing is a mess but that is another issues. The image takes on a digital look compared to the analog look of film transfers that are more recent. Alien, Blade Runner, Godfather I and II, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jaws, The French Connection, Apocalypse Now, and others look far more film-like than these decade old Star Wars transfers.

  358. Kevin EK

    I think I wasn't very clear before, so I apologize for that. I was not saying that Disney would ever spend in the low six figures to make bonus features for a dvd release. I was saying that it would be lower than six figures. As in less than 50K, all in. That would give them quick HD scans of whatever materials they have of the earlier cuts, and a couple of days to check the color on each. It's simply not realistic to expect them to spend any more time and money in this way. IIRC, the 2011 blu rays are from 4K masters, so as far as Disney is concerned, they already have that area covered.I'd love to see something more elaborate, but experience says otherwise.In any case, we'll all see what they have in mind next year as they gear up for either a late 2015 or May 2016 release of Episode 7…

    The Star Wars Blus are not from 4K masters. I am not sure where this misinformation is coming from. They are 1080p transfers which were the same used for the broadcasts which were done about 10 years ago.

  359. Kevin EK

    I think I wasn't very clear before, so I apologize for that. I was not saying that Disney would ever spend in the low six figures to make bonus features for a dvd release. I was saying that it would be lower than six figures. As in less than 50K, all in. That would give them quick HD scans of whatever materials they have of the earlier cuts, and a couple of days to check the color on each. It's simply not realistic to expect them to spend any more time and money in this way. IIRC, the 2011 blu rays are from 4K masters, so as far as Disney is concerned, they already have that area covered.I'd love to see something more elaborate, but experience says otherwise.In any case, we'll all see what they have in mind next year as they gear up for either a late 2015 or May 2016 release of Episode 7…

    How do you really know how much they would exactly spend? Or have you talked to someone over there about it? 🙂

    Look at the work Disney has put into restorations that would sell far less than Star Wars.

    Either way, in some incarnation, the original movies will have to be done in 4K for the next format. Period. Now, will that be the originals or the special editions? Of course, it remains to be seen. Disney has done some great work here with other titles though. Either way, it will be vastly superior to the mediocre Blu-rays which only look slightly better than the DVD versions.

  360. FoxyMulder

    What makes you say that, Lowry created 1080p masters in the digital realm and the BD comes from them, they were using technology that is now dated, compression on those masters is not the best and that's an area they could easily improve today, static film grain in some scenes is not nice at all, is it even the real grain or did Lowry take it all out and then add some back.

    It's an old argument with regards the detail you get on BD compared to what you would see on a cinema print, i'll take the extra detail if done right because the argument that things stand out that shouldn't is in my opinion not valid, the effects in many films from Jason and the Argonauts to Ghostbusters look just the same to me regardless of resolution and they still work just fine.

    What makes me say that, is that it is true 🙂

    Yes, the Lowry method was a bit of a hack-job in my opinion, the last part of my career was in film scanning, and the Lowry effort was substandard even for the time really. Yes, a better job could be done now, but that only reinforces the point I was making.
    i.e. that the BD often has more detail than what was in the theatrical prints, and so the concept of releasing the OT from scans of theatrical prints, would in many scenes, give an end product that had less detail than the current BD release. (This is fine by me, but the general public might be expecting the opposite)

    Why would I say that the BD often has more detail than the prints? Because I have both in front of me, and can compare the two.

    It might be an old argument re the detail on the BD vs the theatrical prints, and that extracting more detail from the negative for the BD release is often a bad idea, but it doesn't mean it isn't true.
    Maybe not many of the people here worked in film in the 70s and 80s, but those of us who did will remember that we chose the make-up, the set dressing, costumes, colour palletes, lighting, film stock etc. based on our knowledge of how the final product would look in the cinema on a *print*.
    i.e. we would have to over-emphasize some make-up, some colouring as we knew how much detail and colour loss we would get by the time it was on the final print. The matte painters knew what shadow detail would be lost, what colours would change and how, and just how much detail they needed to paint in to make it realistic enough to pass muster.

    Unfortunately this has been forgotten or ignored by the people doing the 'remastering' for BD quite often. They pull detail from the negative that wasn't meant to be seen. They keep colours from the neg that were intended to be muted or shifted for the final release.
    This ends up with things like Leia's makeup looking ridiculous on her close-ups on the Tantive for example. She looks almost clown like on the BD. They had to overdo the makeup as much of that colour would be muted down by the time you got to a print.
    It also ends up making matte paintings, that look quite convincing in the print, stand out like dogs-balls on the BD.
    It makes costumes look crappier, because they pull details out of the shadow areas that were meant to be lost.

    Now of course, they don't have to. They could do a grade that gave us a bit of extra sharpness and detail (to suit current audience appetites) but regrade the ropey areas, like matte paintings, garbage mattes etc. to make them more seamless.
    This is originally what I was hoping back in 1997 that the special editions were going to be, going back and 'remastering' the movie to remove some of the glitchiness, fixing garbage mattes, and dodgy composites, fixing some of the jump-cuts (like when Luke turns his sabre on on the Falcon and his hands are in a different position), and just generally taking the rough edges off, that pull me out of the film a bit now as an adult viewer.

    I really want an archive version that is as close to the theatrical release as possible, with all the grain, jumpy bits, all the bumps and warts, it is important to be able to see such an iconic film the way it was, if only as an example of where the cutting edgefilm tech of 1977 was.

    I also want a 'cleaned up' version, no added sequences or new effects, but a more consistent grade, and the glitches fixed that pull you out of the movie.

    But that is my personal wish, others will want something different. They might want the whole film timed to look more like a current blockbuster, and all the grain removed and the film completely stabilised. They might want all new effects to replace the ones that aren't all that great (like the dodgy costumes in the Cantina, the Ben disappearing scene, the sandcrawler sequences etc.)

    I don't think it would be possible to have a release that would stop us all whinging 🙂

    But I am doing my own for me. An archive version at 4K (because I think it needs to be done before the prints degrade and it becomes impossible) and a 'deglitched' version at 4K, for my own personal satisfaction.
    I still hope Disney might swing a new scan of whatever is left of the original elements and negs, separations and whatever other masters they have.
    This film changed film-making forever, it should be preserved as well as is possible, before it is too late.

  361. Dave H

    Look at the work Disney has put into restorations that would sell far less than Star Wars.

    This I think is what's being overlooked. Disney has a pretty decent track record of putting in effort for their catalog titles, and SW will now be officially considered part of their catalog…and a pretty significant part at that.

    And if you don't think Disney can put a spin on the eventual OOT release that will generate excitement…then you don't know Disney. 😉 They'll do this right.

    And yes, as Kouroush says, we probably won't get a straight transfer from the best available sources, as that would reveal garbage mattes, etc. There probably will be some level of cleanup. But digital tools have progressed so far in the last two decades that they will be able to do minor tweaks/fixes relatively quickly and cheaply, without altering the dialogue, introducing new CGI characters, changing musical numbers, altering character arcs, etc.

    If Harmy could do it in his spare time with his home rig, Disney will be able to do it right as well. Look at the way they treat their Disney vault titles, I would expect similar treatment for Star Wars.

  362. Carlo Medina

    And yes, as Kouroush says, we probably won't get a straight transfer from the best available sources, as that would reveal garbage mattes, etc. There probably will be some level of cleanup. But digital tools have progressed so far in the last two decades that they will be able to do minor tweaks/fixes relatively quickly and cheaply, without altering the dialogue, introducing new CGI characters, changing musical numbers, altering character arcs, etc.

    If they make minor tweaks, it's not the original movie anymore. The mattes were visible theatrically so they should be on the Blu-ray too.

  363. When I watch my 2006 non-anamorphic DVDs, I don't take ANY notice to matte lines or gray boxes around the spaceships. The only thing I don't like is I have to "zoom" into the picture to make it fit the screen which makes it look bloody awful. I wouldn't mind something that wasn't full-on blu-ray quality, I just want it to fit my widescreen tv without looking like total crap. Those non-anamorphic DVDs actually look really nice on my Sony Trinitron tube-tv. Just wish that same quality could be carried over to my widescreen tv.

  364. Tommy R

    When I watch my 2006 non-anamorphic DVDs, I don't take ANY notice to matte lines or gray boxes around the spaceships. The only thing I don't like is I have to "zoom" into the picture to make it fit the screen which makes it look bloody awful. I wouldn't mind something that wasn't full-on blu-ray quality, I just want it to fit my widescreen tv without looking like total crap. Those non-anamorphic DVDs actually look really nice on my Sony Trinitron tube-tv. Just wish that same quality could be carried over to my widescreen tv.

    The problem is that the extra resolution will make those matte-lines etc. stand out much more.
    But I'm with you, I just want a version without the new stuff that looks good on my projector.

  365. Dave, I would ask that you please look at my subsequent posting, wherein I noted I was happy to stand corrected regarding the source of the transfers for the 2011 Blu-rays.

    Regarding the amount of time and funds that I believe Disney would invest into the restoration and presentation of the original theatrical cuts of IV-VI, I have no special knowledge outside my own experience of working 20 years in production and 7 years in writing reviews of Blu-rays for this site. My experience in dealing with studio accountants and Blu-ray releases is that they don't tend to spend more than they think they can easily make back in a much larger number. My quote of under 50K, all in, is based on the notion that Disney is not about to spring for 4K or 8K restorations of earlier versions of these movies that George Lucas has publicly stated he thinks are outmoded, just to provide what will really be a bonus feature on a future Blu-ray release.

    The notion that a massive box set of the original cuts of the original trilogy of Star Wars would somehow pull in around 500 thousand sales is optimistic beyond even my own rosiest perspective. It's frankly a lot more likely that nearly all of the general public fans of the series picked up what they wanted in 2011 or one of the sales since then. The people who would by an "OOT" Blu-ray set are going to be the hardcore fans, who have advocated for such a release for ten years. And even that group will argue over such a release, debating about whether this or that should have been changed or not. I think Disney would do well to reach maybe 20K sales, maybe a little higher, for such a limited appeal release. This is certainly higher than the 3K Twilight Time model, but if you do the math, it won't cover the cost of a massive 4K or 8K restoration with an expert like RAH leading the work.

    Which is why I believe Disney, if they undertake this notion, will simply have cheap scans done of the IPs, with a few days taken to double check the color from whatever prints are available and a rudimentary level of work done. Which means that many of the VFX shots will stand out in a manner never intended by George Lucas and will likely distract any viewer watching on a decent HDTV. Any scans of the original trilogy will be done to buttress further releases of Lucas' 2011 editions of these movies, in the same way that the 2006 singles included the original cuts on a second disc. I believe that promotional single releases of each of IV-VI will give Disney the best chance to spotlight this kind of thing, allowing them to get money from new fans who haven't bought the Blu-rays before and from older fans who have been waiting for decent HD transfers of the original trilogy.

    As for the notion that the 2011 Blus are "mediocre" and "only slightly better than the DVD versions", I don't agree with that. There is plenty of detail visible on the existing Blu-rays that would never have appeared before this age.

  366. TravisR

    If they make minor tweaks, it's not the original movie anymore. The mattes were visible theatrically so they should be on the Blu-ray too.

    And fair enough too, original should mean original. But I think you'll find that a lot of fans who are clamoring for the "original" Star Wars trilogy don't really understand just how rough it will look, and might balk when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is and buy such a Blu-ray set. I have a strong suspicion that a lot of the vocal public supporters of the push for the "original" films might quietly avoid buying the actual original unaltered trilogy, at least not until it hit bargain prices.

    For preservation purposes, there's no question that the original Star Wars movies need to restored and archived in their completely unaltered, theatrical release form – and Lucas/Disney have absolutely no excuse if they don't allow that to happen. The original unaltered films need to be preserved as part of the history of popular culture. Imagine if future generations really can't see for themselves that Han shot first… oh the humanity! (I kid, I kid!).

    The problem is that beyond that fundamental responsibility lies a giant minefield of trying to please all manner of fans young and old with a variety of wants, not all of which conveniently fall precisely into the category of "original and unaltered". It's not so much a question of cost, as it is of pleasing some fans and pissing off a whole lot of others, whichever way you go.

  367. TravisR

    I see this quote trotted out all the time and it's obvious that he's talking about someone like Ted Turner colorizing a movie or a studio taking a hacksaw to a movie and not about an artist going back and 'fixing' their work. That's not to say that I like that he buried the originals but it's not the hypocritical statement that the "George Lucas raped my childhood" crowd tries to make it out to be.

    His more recent statement that it was too expensive to restore the originals stinks to high heaven though.

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/14/star-wars-films-coming-to-blu-ray-next-year/

    A bizarre cult movie like Manos: The Hands of Fate exceeds the Kickstarter goal needed for it's restoration, but one of the biggest movies of all time can't be restored, because George can't afford it?

  368. TravisR

    If they make minor tweaks, it's not the original movie anymore. The mattes were visible theatrically so they should be on the Blu-ray too.

    Were the mattes visible in correctly timed prints though? I never saw them in the Tie Fighter battle until I watched them on someone's tv where he'd jacked up the brightness to silly levels – original version here too.

  369. Regarding the money that Disney would be willing to invest in a new HD transfer of the Original Trilogy, let's not forget that Disney purchased Lucasfilm for 4 BILLION dollars in 2012 with no significant ROI until 2015/16. If their goals include a restoration/preservation with a Blu-ray as a benefit, I highly doubt they would be cheap now. $50k for extras? Maybe, but let us not forget that Star Wars Inc. is now one of the major franchises in Disney's canon.

    This reality sets it apart from many other Disney holdings, at least to a much higher degree. Theme park attractions are in the works. Numerous offshoot films. More toys, etc. If Disney execs were to see a dubious anticipated return on new Star Wars Blu-rays, I highly doubt that they would care much. The quality of such releases will from this point forward be associated with the Disney brand and they know it. They'll spend whatever is necessary to do it well. The profits for an original, unaltered Blu-ray release (ultimate box set) of the Star Wars Trilogy (IV-VI) may not light up the profit sheets, but Star Wars as a whole will rake in huge sums for them. If this unaltered release ever comes to pass (and I believe it will), it will be done well. The costs compared to whatever has already been spent are miniscule. To put it in perspective, if Disney shelled out $1,000,000 for a Star Wars HD project to bring the films up to speed for this century, that would represent .0002% of what has been spent already on Lucasfilm since 2012 with very little return. There's far too much invested in Star Wars to be cheap now.

    Also, regarding the many comments I have read about Twentieth Century Fox keeping any releases from happening, let's look at reality for a moment. Disney is a huge multinational corporaton with assets of over 81 billion dollars. TCF is a small fraction of that. The Fox Entertainment Brand recently had a valuation listed at 13 billion, which includes all their media holdings. TCF is only a small piece of that. The idea that TCFHE could hold anything over Disney for distribution of Star Wars isn't reality. If Disney wants to release something, Fox will gladly distribute it (as is their contractual right), but to think Fox would tell Disney "no" is ludicrous.
    Keep in mind too that Fox does not own Episode IV. They own the right to distribution of it, which is a very different thing. Disney is calling the shots now and nothing that TCF may or may not want has anything to do with it. The tail doesn't wag the dog in real life.

  370. John-Weller

    Were the mattes visible in correctly timed prints though? I never saw them in the Tie Fighter battle until I watched them on someone's tv where he'd jacked up the brightness to silly levels – original version here too.

    Yes they were visible in the cinema. I screened the movie literally hundreds of times between 77 and 81, and you could see the garbage mattes in all prints. Faint, but clearly there.

  371. I would be ok with clean up with the original Trilogy with the matte lines etc. No offense because he does good work but as long as Ben Burtt doesn't come in and lower the volume to the John Williams score I'm fine with minor touched that help the overall presentation in regards to the FX shots etc.

  372. I think the target should be something like Blade Runner.

    Original version – completely unaltered.

    Original version – cleaned up and errors/dodgy sfx 'corrected'. You could probably fit those two versions on one disc – two maximum.

    Would Disney not make money from this? I dunno, which film is bigger, Star Wars or Blade Runner?

    I think, looking at the Blade Runner 5-discer, if that can make money, then anything with "Star Wars" written on it must surely make double.

    Steve W

  373. I don't believe Lucas was saying it was too expensive to do restoration work – he was just noting that the work to digitally prepare the movies for Blu-ray was expensive, and it was. He was noting, consistent with his earlier statements, that he was doing that work for the newer versions of the movies as they were closer to his vision of what they should be. And there were people commenting on that article at the time who immediately announced that they would refuse to buy the Blu-rays. As there were people here who said the same when the Blu-rays were released and reviewed.

    I agree with Scott that Disney has invested a heck of a lot of money in Lucasfilm, and they expect to make a lot more than they invested. But I would stress that the place they'll be making that profit will be from the new movies they wish to make, starting with JJ Abrams' Episode 7. They'll pour upwards of 200 million dollars into that movie, in the hopes that it will bounce back and make a billion dollars in theaters by itself – not counting all the merchandising and ancillary products and tie-ins. And they'll pour money into the other Star Wars movies they've discussed making. All they need for this to work will be for about three of these movies to hit the jackpot, and based on the performance of the prequel trilogy, Disney has every expectation that they can do it.

    As for home video releases, Lucas has been extremely savvy about them. I note that this sale to Disney happened after he had already mined the Blu-ray sales with the 2011 sets. That earlier article has a couple of places where he makes comments about having released Star Wars too early on VHS and other formats. My memory from that time is that Lucas actually delayed releasing Star Wars on home video for some time while he continued to re-release it in theaters. Star Wars didn't hit cable for years, and wasn't priced to sell on VHS for years after that. I would argue that he's always been savvy about waiting for demand to build up. It's the reason the original Star Wars trilogy didn't hit DVD til 2004, when people had been clamoring for it for 5 years. And it's the reason he didn't release the Blu-ray set til 2011.

    I agree with Scott that Disney has no intention of releasing substandard home video editions of any of these movies. Neither does Lucasfilm, and neither did Fox. If 4K transfers of the movies have not been made, I think we all agree that Disney will make sure that they're done – albeit only of Lucas' preferred versions of the movies, and not of Episodes II and III. I also think we all agree that Disney will likely make the original cuts of the movies available in high definition at some point, as part of a future Blu-ray or digital release. Where we're differing is on how much time and money Disney will spend on what Lucas has told them are essentially bonus features. To you and me, these are the original versions of the movies we saw in theaters when we were kids. To Lucas, they are archival versions that didn't fully reflect his vision – mostly applying to the original 1977 film. Simply put, Lucas doesn't see this the way many fans do, and that's his right. These are his movies, after all, and even a sale to Disney doesn't change that fact.

    We're also differing on how well such a release would do on home video, as a stand-alone. Some people here believe that somehow Disney could sell hundreds of thousands of units of such a set. I frankly don't see that, and I don't believe that Disney's accountants do either. I stand by my belief that the way we could see the original cuts on high definition would be as part of a new sale of single releases of each movie on Blu-ray, likely in connection with the theatrical release of Abrams' Episode 7. Disney could re-release the existing Blus of the original trilogy, pairing each with a second disc containing additional special features – including an HD copy of the original cut of each movie. This makes it a lot easier for Disney to quickly sell them, and helps the bottom line.

    As for whether Disney would lavish a large sum on the original cuts of these movies, I can only say that my experience tells me otherwise. Yes, they invested greatly to get the rights to make new movies and new merchandise. Yes, they can enhance their sales of the existing movies by finding new wrinkles, and this would be a good one. That doesn't mean that they'll spend millions or even hundreds of thousands to do restoration work on archival versions. I named a figure of 50K as a thought of what Disney could reasonably invest in bonus features for DVDs of multiple movies – and frankly, that's a high number for Disney or any other studio. They normally don't spend a lot of money on VAM. This isn't a matter of being cheap – it's a matter of not spending heavily in an area that won't bring that large of a return. Disney doesn't see that as skimping – they see it as good business sense. As an example of this, look what the guys doing the Star Trek TNG Blus have gone through in preparing VAM for those releases for CBS. Keep in mind that this scenario would allow the fans to have something of the original cuts in high definition, albeit not in a 4K situation or the kind of restoration work done for the Godfather movies.

    We should also keep in mind that this discussion is already showing that hardcore fans will still likely not be satisfied after getting to see the original cuts in high definition. Some people will be upset that the VFX doesn't look right. Some people will complain about the sound mix. Some people will say they want some kind of hybrid between the original cuts and the special edition versions. There is no way to please everyone, as we've seen time and time again on this subject.

    As to Fox's distribution rights, I don't think anyone is saying that Fox would prevent a home video release where they could make some money. That's not the issue at all. The issue is that if Disney waits out Fox's contract, they won't need to share as much of the revenue. That's another area where the accountants will save money – properly timing a new home video release would maximize Disney's profitability. And profitability is the dog that wags the tail of all of this.

  374. Kevin EK

    …As for home video releases, Lucas has been extremely savvy about them. I note that this sale to Disney happened after he had already mined the Blu-ray sales with the 2011 sets. That earlier article has a couple of places where he makes comments about having released Star Wars too early on VHS and other formats. My memory from that time is that Lucas actually delayed releasing Star Wars on home video for some time while he continued to re-release it in theaters. Star Wars didn't hit cable for years, and wasn't priced to sell on VHS for years after that. …

    This reminded me that when I was in high school, around 1979 if memory serves, a fellow student took a VHS camcorder and recorded Star Wars at a drive-in. He showed it in the student lounge after school one day and it was SRO. You can imagine how poor this tape was – and the sound was almost unintelligible – but we clamored to see it and it seemed like such a treat. I also recall that it was "letterboxed" and I remember wishing that all wide screen movies would be shown on television in that manner.

  375. Didn't the original blu ray boxset make over 100 million dollars within three days of it's release ( or am i thinking of the Jurassic Park boxset ? ) anyways i know they made a huge amount of money, there was no excuse for not spending a few million of that in restoring the original versions and giving us great looking special editions with George's updated effects, they could have done it perfectly using the tools they had but chose not to do so to save a few bucks, if they had spent the money they would still have made a small fortune in sales.

    @Peter/Laserman

    Lowry may have originally scanned everything at 4K, i don't know, but my point was that they created 1080p masters from this scan using technology which has now been vastly improved, i was very impressed with the work done on Alien/Aliens, other than colour changes the level of detail was superb and we got a film like look, i am not a fan of grain removal, i believe i remember reading somewhere that Lowry recommended new scans of the Star Wars original trilogy but Lucasfilm turned the idea down, they knew they would make an absolute fortune in sales regardless of how the films looked on blu ray.

    I can see 2017 as being the year they re-release everything, i just hope Disney retain the film grain and fix the colour timing, not impressed by what they do to their animated classics and some of their back catalog like The Color Of Money.

  376. Kevin EK

    …We should also keep in mind that this discussion is already showing that hardcore fans will still likely not be satisfied after getting to see the original cuts in high definition. Some people will be upset that the VFX doesn't look right. Some people will complain about the sound mix. Some people will say they want some kind of hybrid between the original cuts and the special edition versions. There is no way to please everyone, as we've seen time and time again on this subject.

    If you want the "originals" with cleaned-up effects, you don't really want the originals – you want an SE done to your specifications.

  377. laserman

    Yes they were visible in the cinema. I screened the movie literally hundreds of times between 77 and 81, and you could see the garbage mattes in all prints. Faint, but clearly there.

    I think "faint" is the key word there. They wouldn't be as apparent as they have been on the video masters over the years. As much as I've preached about having the "original" versions, I actually would be okay with some slight tweaking of those shots, if the intention was to make it look like a high-quality print with "faint" matte lines. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this has been done on other films).

    But I would still be satisfied if they didn't do that.

    At any rate, I don't feel that in particular constitutes a "hybrid" between the originals and special editions.

  378. "would suddenly be very annoyed to see the flashing white boxes…"Sorry, but I stopped reading already at this point. No idea what came next, but these "Iiik! Old effects on BD!" arguments are just nonsense.Most of us are movie fans and most of us respect the original work. Most of us also understand how the old sci-fi movies look on BD. It could be news to you, of course.

  379. Jari K

    "would suddenly be very annoyed to see the flashing white boxes…"Sorry, but I stopped reading already at this point. No idea what came next, but these "Iiik! Old effects on BD!" arguments are just nonsense.Most of us are movie fans and most of us respect the original work. Most of us also understand how the old sci-fi movies look on BD. It could be news to you, of course.

    Exactly. Unfortunately, evidenced by some of the comments there are not many real Star Wars fans in this thread.

  380. Worth

    If you want the "originals" with cleaned-up effects, you don't really want the originals – you want an SE done to your specifications.

    I disagree. Remember that ILM actually not only recomposited some effects digitally for the SE releases, they actually rendered new CG elements (I'm specifically referencing SW here), added painted backgrounds to certain scenes and adjusted transparency of composited elements (TESB) and created all new musical numbers (ROTJ). I only recall seeing garbage mattes once the films were made available on home video, which can at least be partially attributed to the common practice at the time of using low-contrast prints in telecine. If a digital restoration were to be undertaken with respect to the original films, I would only expect "clean-up" by way of a wet-gate harvest, to fill in scratches and other wear and tear, proper colour timing and contrast, and dustbusting and scratch removal for those problems that can't be fixed by wet-gating. On the audio side, I would expect a cleaned-up mono track, a 4.0 Dolby Stereo track, and the 70mm 6-track represented as 4.1 (since this is a baby boom era track for LFE). If Disney wants to add 7.1 audio, they can do that, but only if the original audio is represented. Do these things, and I'm a happy camper. Whatever Disney sees fit to do with the SEs also doesn't bother me. None of the above strikes me as "an SE done to [my] specifications."

    If, however, Disney sees fit to recomposite the special effects, that is a form of revisionism, as it is using tools previously unavailable to create a "better" version of the film. Using digital tools to dustbust and remove scratches is not, as it is an attempt to return the film to its original form.

  381. Stephen_J_H

    I only recall seeing garbage mattes once the films were made available on home video, which can at least be partially attributed to the common practice at the time of using low-contrast prints in telecine.

    I'm too young to remember seeing the mattes on the originals (though I've seen plenty of people say that they remember them) but I know without a doubt that they were on the SE prints (and I saw three different prints of the Star Wars SE in three different theaters). I realize that the original prints and the SE prints are two different things but between people saying that the mattes were there originally and the mattes being visible on the SE prints, I believe that the mattes have always been visible theatrically.

  382. It's obvious from this thread that Disney is walking into a minefield here. They could finally give us a beautifully restored set of the OOT, and someone will find a recomped shot from the SE that snuck in, or some defect erased, or a missing sound effect, or it will have a little too much DNR or the color won't be precisely what you flawlessly remember from when you saw it at your neighborhood theater 30 years ago, and everyone will FREAK OUT.

  383. Stephen Brooks

    It's obvious from this thread that Disney is walking into a minefield here. They could finally give us a beautifully restored set of the OOT, and someone will find a recomped shot from the SE that snuck in, or some defect erased, or a missing sound effect, or it will have a little too much DNR or the color won't be precisely what you flawlessly remember from when you saw it at your neighborhood theater 30 years ago, and everyone will FREAK OUT.

    For what it's worth, I'm mostly playing devil's advocate because, while I'd prefer the original version, I don't particularly care if they erase the garbage mattes. However, the most frequently cited reason that I see for releasing the originals is for the sake of history and I think anyone who uses that reason should want the original version warts and all.

  384. Yorkshire

    I think the target should be something like Blade Runner.

    Original version – completely unaltered.

    Original version – cleaned up and errors/dodgy sfx 'corrected'. You could probably fit those two versions on one disc – two maximum.

    Would Disney not make money from this? I dunno, which film is bigger, Star Wars or Blade Runner?

    I think, looking at the Blade Runner 5-discer, if that can make money, then anything with "Star Wars" written on it must surely make double.

    Steve W

    Well, that would be true, had Star Wars not already been released on Bluray, DVD, Laserdisc, VHD, CED, VHS, Beta, multiple, multiple times.

    That well has been drawn from so many times that it must be getting nearly dry. Had Blade Runner been milked so hard already, the box-set probably would not have done anywhere near as well.
    I'd bet that many Star Wars 'fans' would end up just torrenting an Original Trilogy release and justify it in that it wasn't the exact version they wanted. I've had people request a copy of my 'workprint' from the 4K scan, but not be willing to pay the $4 to send me a Blank BD50 disc and return envelope.

    On the matte lines being visible, they were always there for anyone that wanted to look. I remember kids arguing whether the green blobs were the TIE Fighter's shields or not. For most of us though, we were either very young, or just so blown away by the incredible realism in the film that we weren't going to notice glitches. It was so much more realistic than anything out there at the time, that most people would have been too in awe to see the faults.

    Releasing the movie these days, even if restored to the level of a first run print, people would be surprised just how rough the film actually was. I can't see producers ever agreeing to let that out the door. Best case would be a Disney re-mastering like on their animated films. Would still be preferred to the SE, and would probably be closer to how people *remember* the film looking, but would in reality be a lot different to the theatrical release. It would probably make most people happy though.

    The big problem is that TVs now are insanely brighter than cinema screens, or the brightness levels they used to be. Couple that with high definition, or UHD/4K and the film will look really rough, unless remastered to look good on the new delivery medium.

    I was talking with the colourists that worked on the Seinfeld Bluray release. They had a huge problem that when they transferred the film to 1080P, suddenly the sets didn't hold up anymore. It was suddenly really clear that Jerry's wooden floor in his apartment was just painted concrete. You could see the gaps in the seams between the set-pieces, the wallpaper in the Diner was clearly just stenciled on.
    None of these things were visible on Standard Definition CRT sets, it wasn't even really visible when making a 16mm print, but it was immediately clear (and awful!) when scanning the negatives and converting the HiDef.

    So to get the same experience as Star Wars at the cinema, if scanning from the Neg, or original 3 strip seps, or similar, it would be necessary to remaster, and in some cases willfully throw away the detail that wasn't meant to be seen, to fix some of the comps and so forth, or you will actually end up with something that technically has more detail than the original prints, but actually looks worse, and is less 'true' to the theatrical experience.

    Anyway, there is no way to capture the original experience, we were all far less educated/experienced cinema goers, the world was a different place, and the film would have looked totally different depending which print you saw, what stock it was on (Eastman, LPP, TECH_IB etc.), the size of the screen, the light source in the projector (Xenon, Carbon Arc), and the light levels in the cinema.

    C3PO would have been anywhere from yellowy-gold to orangey-bronze, Skies would have been anything from pure white to mildly blue, the Death-Star interiors battleship-grey or ocean-green. It would have been quite saturated and grainy, or more contrasty and subtle-colour. The film looks different on nearly every print I have seen, and our memories have been reconditioned in the last 37 years by all the other home releases.

    My main concern is that a variety of prints are scanned, graded back to the print, and archived, so that in the future people can look at this important piece of cinema and get an insight into how it looked at the time.
    For my own entertainment at home, I'd love a nice looking UHD release that came from the best elements available, and was cleaned up to look good on current screens.

    Everyone wants something different, the SE versions have been released so many times, (and in 3 years will have been out for longer thant the originals were) that I can't see them selling hundreds of thousands of another BD release, no matter what was on it.

    I can see a 'Criterion' edition of the unaltered trilogy being a mild success though. I'd happily back that on a Kickstarter 🙂

  385. TravisR

    For what it's worth, I'm mostly playing devil's advocate because, while I'd prefer the original version, I don't particularly care if they erase the garbage mattes. However, the most frequently cited reason that I see for releasing the originals is for the sake of history and I think anyone who uses that reason should want the original version warts and all.

    I'm just saying…..can you name a single classic Disney movie release that's pleased everyone, particularly on this forum? Amplify that by about 1000000x and you get an idea of what the reaction to a Star Wars release would be like.

  386. Jari K

    "would suddenly be very annoyed to see the flashing white boxes…"Sorry, but I stopped reading already at this point. No idea what came next, but these "Iiik! Old effects on BD!" arguments are just nonsense.Most of us are movie fans and most of us respect the original work. Most of us also understand how the old sci-fi movies look on BD. It could be news to you, of course.

    I don't think that is true, most people have no idea how the old SciFi movies would look on BD if a straight transfer was done, without a ton of tweaking. I don't think it has ever been done.

    Even newer movies like The Matrix were completely changed for the BD releases.

  387. Jari K

    "would suddenly be very annoyed to see the flashing white boxes…"Sorry, but I stopped reading already at this point. No idea what came next, but these "Iiik! Old effects on BD!" arguments are just nonsense.Most of us are movie fans and most of us respect the original work. Most of us also understand how the old sci-fi movies look on BD. It could be news to you, of course.

    Dave H

    Exactly. Unfortunately, evidenced by some of the comments there are not many real Star Wars fans in this thread.

    Thank you guys for demonstrating my earlier point regarding this topic being more of an excuse to prove fan credentials than anything else 🙂

  388. Persianimmortal

    Thank you guys for demonstrating my earlier point regarding this topic being more of an excuse to prove fan credentials than anything else 🙂

    Condescending comments like this are really not necessary and a smiley face doesn't help justify it.

    I will just say, read Bill Hunt's article. He hits it right on the head. This is the reality of the situation and Bill is usually right on these things. (And Bill has as many inside contacts as anyone.)

    http://www.digitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/051914_0010

  389. Stephen Brooks

    I'm just saying…..can you name a single classic Disney movie release that's pleased everyone, particularly on this forum? Amplify that by about 1000000x and you get an idea of what the reaction to a Star Wars release would be like.

    I think that's a pretty good analogy. The plus side for Disney is that even though people will gripe, most of those same people will still buy whatever Disney puts out.

  390. I'm usually with Bill on things, but I'm just not sure the sales are there, especially when Fox picks up the $$ from distribution.
    I genuinely think that it wouldn't sell, just like the 3D versions of the prequels flopped.
    People think anything with Star Wars on it = instant money, but people have already bought Star Wars on a home format so many times, I'm just not sure they would shift enough units to make it worthwhile.

    Home I'm wrong though!

  391. The 3D release of Episode I made more than enough to cover the cost of converting all 6 episodes, should they decide to continue the project. I'm sure that an OOT release would at least be profitable enough to pay for itself, but I doubt it would set the world on fire. The question is, how many people who already own Star Wars on BD would pay for it again for a "now with no CGI!" version? How many people ACTUALLY stayed strong and skipped buying the BDs in protest of the theatrical versions not being included? My guess is not enough to be significant source of profit for a company that doesn't release most of its live action classics on BD at all.

  392. Stephen Brooks

    The 3D release of Episode I made more than enough to cover the cost of converting all 6 episodes, should they decide to continue the project.I'm sure that an OOT release would at least be profitable enough to pay for itself, but I doubt it would set the world on fire. The question is, how many people who already own Star Wars on BD would pay for it again for a "now with no CGI!" version? How many people ACTUALLY stayed strong and skipped buying the BDs in protest of the theatrical versions not being included? My guess is not enough to be significant source of profit for a company that doesn't release most of its live action classics on BD at all.

    The Episode II conversion was finished, and it was screened at Star Wars Celebration Europe last year. There are Viewmaster reels for AOTC and ROTS on the market, which must have been in the pipeline before the theatrical releases were scuttled.

  393. Oh I had no doubt that they went ahead and finished the conversions for II & III…..they had to have been almost finished when the plug was pulled on the theatrical release. If Disney put the prequels on Vudu in 3D, I'd buy them in a heartbeat. I think that's more likely than a Blu-ray 3D release since they seem to be winding down their support for 3D on disc. I imagine all six episodes will show up on Disney Movies Anywhere towards the end of this year, using the same masters that were used for the BDs. If the theatricals are to be re-released, I imagine it will happen in Oct. or Nov. 2015, to build as much buzz and goodwill as possible going into Episode VII. If this were to happen, I'd expect an official announcement during Celebration 2015.

  394. laserman

    The big problem is that TVs now are insanely brighter than cinema screens, or the brightness levels they used to be. Couple that with high definition, or UHD/4K and the film will look really rough, unless remastered to look good on the new delivery medium.

    You calibrate to achieve 12ft lamberts to 16ftl, when they do these transfers they do them to a set standard, some of us have projectors and view them on quite a large screen and have the equipment necessary to calibrate to the aforementioned standards.

    You get your contrast/brightness correct, you get your sharpness correct, you adjust white balance and get your greyscale correct and then you get the hue, saturation and luminance of your colours correct and work on your Gamma, for most people using a CMS for the colours is a no go area but they will get the other things right and the Gamma will be very close just by choosing the correct setting of their display. Of course your average consumer likes their television too bright, too contrasty, too sharp.

    It doesn't matter how bright a television can go in torch mode, i wouldn't expect home theater forum readers to view in that mode and studio's do not master their content to take into account torch modes, movies are mastered for blu ray to a reference standard and use the Rec.709 colour gamut, if they didn't have a standard then every release would be different and require a slightly different setting on your projector/television to view it correctly.

    Once my display was calibrated i have never had to alter brightness for any blu ray 2D release.

    Prior to 2011 SMPTE recommended a Gamma of 2.2, after 2011 it was a Gamma of 2.4 for dark room viewing, around the world you still get anywhere between 2.2 and 2.4 but i'm sure you already know all this and also know about the Rec.2020 colour gamut that we might be lucky enough to get with 4K discs, i say might be lucky enough to get because so far the current crop of televisions/projectors are unable to achieve Rec.2020 and since hardware manufacturers sit on the blu ray standards committee they might veto it and stick with Rec.709 and 8 bit colour and that would be a shame.

    Personally i calibrate Gamma using the BT.1886, it's far better for retrieving shadow detail and makes more sense.

    It doesn't help those of us who calibrate when studio's sometimes do the wrong thing and play with their little dials, turning the contrast up too high or changing the colours or altering the sharpness to the point halo's appear everywhere, this is the wrong approach but still they sometimes do that, probably more often than the purist would like.

  395. Stephen Brooks

    How many people ACTUALLY stayed strong and skipped buying the BDs in protest of the theatrical versions not being included? My guess is not enough to be significant source of profit for a company that doesn't release most of its live action classics on BD at all.

    We can get a good indication of how the lowest common denominator went by looking at the Star Wars BD poll over at Blu-ray.com. The thread itself reads like a litany of insults against Lucas, but look at the actual votes: 72.48% said they would purchase the full saga boxed set, a total of almost 80% planned on buying the BDs in some form or another, and only around 20% said they weren't going to buy the BDs at all. And that's just a poll of intentions; whether some of those that said they weren't going to buy the BDs actually did in the end is unclear.

    What is clear though is that the majority of the rank and file Star Wars fans have already voted with their wallets, by buying the current BDs.

    One good idea raised in this thread is a Blade Runner-style multiple version release. Have the original unaltered films, then have four different cuts of them as well with variations of edits/sfx tweaks. My personal preference would be a version with the original storyline, minus the hokey Special Edition CGI additions, but with digital enhancement/cleanup of the special effects. In any case a multi-cut edition would stand the best chance of gaining wide fan approval, or at least exponentially decrease the potential for childhood rapage.

  396. FoxyMulder

    You calibrate to achieve 12ft lamberts to 16ftl, when they do these transfers they do them to a set standard, some of us have projectors and view them on quite a large screen and have the equipment necessary to calibrate to the aforementioned standards.

    You get your contrast/brightness correct, you get your sharpness correct, you adjust white balance and get your greyscale correct and then you get the hue, saturation and luminance of your colours correct and work on your Gamma, for most people using a CMS for the colours is a no go area but they will get the other things right and the Gamma will be very close just by choosing the correct setting of their display. Of course your average consumer likes their television too bright, too contrasty, too sharp.

    It doesn't matter how bright a television can go in torch mode, i wouldn't expect home theater forum readers to view in that mode and studio's do not master their content to take into account torch modes, movies are mastered for blu ray to a reference standard and use the Rec.709 colour gamut, if they didn't have a standard then every release would be different and require a slightly different setting on your projector/television to view it correctly.

    Once my display was calibrated i have never had to alter brightness for any blu ray 2D release.

    Prior to 2011 SMPTE recommended a Gamma of 2.2, after 2011 it was a Gamma of 2.4 for dark room viewing, around the world you still get anywhere between 2.2 and 2.4 but i'm sure you already know all this and also know about the Rec.2020 colour gamut that we might be lucky enough to get with 4K discs, i say might be lucky enough to get because so far the current crop of televisions/projectors are unable to achieve Rec.2020 and since hardware manufacturers sit on the blu ray standards committee they might veto it and stick with Rec.709 and 8 bit colour and that would be a shame.

    Personally i calibrate Gamma using the BT.1886, it's far better for retrieving shadow detail and makes more sense.

    It doesn't help those of us who calibrate when studio's sometimes do the wrong thing and play with their little dials, turning the contrast up too high or changing the colours or altering the sharpness to the point halo's appear everywhere, this is the wrong approach but still they sometimes do that, probably more often than the purist would like.

    Or you could just say you run a calibrated display 🙂
    I am a colorist, and saying that a BD release is calibrated "to a reference standard and use the Rec.709 colour gamut" doesn't really mean much at all.
    I can deliver a look that will have all the garbage mattes be very bright and visible, or one where they are crushed into the blackness, and both will be happily inside Rec.709.
    I run a Flanders Scientific OLED calibrated display for my work, but can make Star Wars look a million different ways, that are all 'legal'.

    If you never have to change your display for any Bluray release, then you have been very lucky in your movie choices. Unfortunately many releases are graded all over the place, and require adjustment for maximum viewing pleasure.

    All of this is irrelevant anyway, major studios don't give a rat's about the

  397. laserman

    If you never have to change your display for any Bluray release, then you have been very lucky in your movie choices. Unfortunately many releases are graded all over the place, and require adjustment for maximum viewing pleasure.

    If a movie is then altered by the studio in a negative way i am not going to re-calibrate for that film, my point is it shouldn't happen, the whole point of calibration is that everyone should be pretty close in standards and not need to alter settings once you are calibrated, the fact that some releases are graded all over the place is not lost on me but adjusting for every single film is not something i want to do, it's something no one should have to do, the studio's need to cut that nonsense out.

    If you read some of the posts and threads at this site you will see we often complain when they do negative things to a release.

  398. Stephen Brooks

    The 3D release of Episode I made more than enough to cover the cost of converting all 6 episodes, should they decide to continue the project.I'm sure that an OOT release would at least be profitable enough to pay for itself, but I doubt it would set the world on fire. The question is, how many people who already own Star Wars on BD would pay for it again for a "now with no CGI!" version? How many people ACTUALLY stayed strong and skipped buying the BDs in protest of the theatrical versions not being included? My guess is not enough to be significant source of profit for a company that doesn't release most of its live action classics on BD at all.

    Stephen Brooks

    The 3D release of Episode I made more than enough to cover the cost of converting all 6 episodes, should they decide to continue the project.I'm sure that an OOT release would at least be profitable enough to pay for itself, but I doubt it would set the world on fire. The question is, how many people who already own Star Wars on BD would pay for it again for a "now with no CGI!" version? How many people ACTUALLY stayed strong and skipped buying the BDs in protest of the theatrical versions not being included? My guess is not enough to be significant source of profit for a company that doesn't release most of its live action classics on BD at all.

    I didn't know that, I thought it barely made a profit. What was its final gross?

  399. $103.5 million worldwide, according to boxoffice.com. Plenty to pay for quality conversions of the other 5 movies. The key word there is "quality". It seems like they really did intend, at least at one point, to use the 2004 HD transfers of IV-VI as a basis for 3D conversion and theatrical rerelease. This would have been a preposterous and cheap move. I'm all for seeing the OT in 3D, and I don't mind if it's a Special Edition version, but it deserves at least the same kind of 4K treatment that Jurassic Park and Titanic got.

  400. I'm still quite flummexed as to the idea that these won't make money due to the SEs already having been out.

    Just off the top of my head, a very good restoration was performed on Time Bandits recently. Releases of the original, unaltered trilogy would be met with great approval if they looked anything like as good as that.

    Is anyone really suggesting Star Wars would sell fewer copies than Time Bandits? As for Blade Runner already being released, has anyone seen the re-releases?

    Let's be clear, we're talking about Star Wars. Grown men spend hundred, if not thousands of dollars on the original toys.

    TOYS!

    They pay hundreds of dollars to go to conventions so they can have their photo taken with Warwick Davis, and these fan conventions attract thousands of people, who travel from all over the country, sometimes from the four corners of the world.

    Of course they'd make money.

    Steve W

  401. If Disney had any understanding of the "collector" mentality of many Star Wars fans, a Blu-ray re-issue of the films done right would sell very well. By that I mean qualities that set it apart from the current Saga boxed set.

    Start with newly minted transfers of the unaltered original trilogy. By all means have them as "extras" along with the Special Editions, but include them. That would draw the core audience up-front. Satisfy Lucas' "vision" and fans of the films in one go. No matter that they have the existing set, they will buy. Add to this a comprehensive presentation of extra features, both old and new. Documentaries, trailers! (how these were left off the existing set is beyond me), and other value-added material that need not be expensive, but adds to the perception of "must have." Create some new high-definition material and promotional spots for Episode VII and the collector in many of us would pay a lot. Disney could even add promotional material for future Star Wars theme park projects to tie the whole world closer to the Disney brand.

    Then, do the simple things right, like house the discs in some unique, attractive, sturdy packaging that shows some respect for the history of these films. Put some original concept art on the box (and discs) and make it so attractive that the self-described "true fan" wouldn't be able to resist. You can't stream something attractive onto a collector's shelf.

    Lastly, do something simple that would send the experience over the top, like create a new Disney opening logo for the films that ties it in with the traditional Fox opening. Hire John Williams to write a short musical cue that blends the old with the new and gives the opening to the films a new excitement, yet retains some familiarity, and generates more excitement for the new set of films. Simple things that would leave the existing set in the dust with regard to perceived value. Sell the whole concept to the accountants as a big love letter to Disney's new cash cow before the orgy of toys and fast food tie-ins for Episode VII begins.

    Regarding the pricing point…….$59.99 for the first three films. High enough to make a decent profit, low enough to not insult those who paid $79.99 for six films in 2011. Also, it makes sense to me for Disney to focus on the OT only, since the next trilogy will be continuing that story line.

    I'd buy a set like this in a heartbeat, and I'm not the core audience for Star Wars.

  402. Yorkshire

    Let's be clear, we're talking about Star Wars. Grown men spend hundred, if not thousands of dollars on the original toys.

    It's not just the old toys that cost thousands, check out the new $7,000 life-size Han in carbonite: http://www.sideshowtoy.com/collectibles/star-wars-han-solo-in-carbonite-sideshow-collectibles-400072/ or the new $7,500 life-size Boba Fett: http://www.sideshowtoy.com/collectibles/star-wars-boba-fett-sideshow-collectibles-400111/

    Disney spent $4 billion on Star Wars so they could make new movies but they could have made a profit just off the merchandising.

  403. Yorkshire

    I'm still quite flummexed as to the idea that these won't make money due to the SEs already having been out.

    Just off the top of my head, a very good restoration was performed on Time Bandits recently. Releases of the original, unaltered trilogy would be met with great approval if they looked anything like as good as that.

    Is anyone really suggesting Star Wars would sell fewer copies than Time Bandits? As for Blade Runner already being released, has anyone seen the re-releases?

    Let's be clear, we're talking about Star Wars. Grown men spend hundred, if not thousands of dollars on the original toys.

    TOYS!

    They pay hundreds of dollars to go to conventions so they can have their photo taken with Warwick Davis, and these fan conventions attract thousands of people, who travel from all over the country, sometimes from the four corners of the world.

    Of course they'd make money.

    Steve W

    Agreed on all fronts. Everyone talks about all the incarnations of Star Wars already available, but let's realize the OOT is the only thing that has not yet been released in high quality home video. So that actually argues for the fact that these will sell. Sure it won't generate Frozen numbers, but they're also not going to sell in the tens of thousands. It will be significantly higher than that. And let's trust the marketers at Disney to be able to drum up interest in giving us "a magical experience that hasn't been available since our childhood". That line can and does apply to any of their vault titles, so it's not like they've never had experience re-selling something over, and over, and over again. Now they'll at least have something legitimately "never available in HD home video before" to sell.

    Disney's whole enterprise is based on 1) selling to kids, and 2) selling to adults by getting them to recall and relive their youth. They will work their marketing magic on anything Star Wars they sell, and they do that better than anyone in the ballgame.

  404. I detest STAR WARS, but I do have the original three on widescreen laserdisc (bought for my son). I would think some kid could transfer them to a Mac and tweak them for resolution and color and copy to a DVD or Blu. Are they worth something?

  405. John Maher_289910

    I detest STAR WARS, but I do have the original three on widescreen laserdisc (bought for my son). I would think some kid could transfer them to a Mac and tweak them for resolution and color and copy to a DVD or Blu. Are they worth something?

    Sentimental value?

    In 2006, Fox/Lucasfilm released the laserdisc transfers as "bonus features" to the special editions on DVD — so the originals exist on DVD in a non-anamorphic version comperable to the Laserdisc quality.

  406. Josh Steinberg

    Sentimental value?

    In 2006, Fox/Lucasfilm released the laserdisc transfers as "bonus features" to the special editions on DVD — so the originals exist on DVD in a non-anamorphic version comperable to the Laserdisc quality.

    Unfortunately the audio was released on lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 instead of the PCM of the laserdisc.

  407. Stephen Brooks

    $103.5 million worldwide, according to boxoffice.com. Plenty to pay for quality conversions of the other 5 movies. The key word there is "quality". It seems like they really did intend, at least at one point, to use the 2004 HD transfers of IV-VI as a basis for 3D conversion and theatrical rerelease. This would have been a preposterous and cheap move. I'm all for seeing the OT in 3D, and I don't mind if it's a Special Edition version, but it deserves at least the same kind of 4K treatment that Jurassic Park and Titanic got.

    Episode II 3D was screened in Europe at Celebration a year ago I believe.

    I'd be up for a set of the original OT films on blu ray. I have the current blu ray set as well. Would the set include the theatrical audio in mono and stereo mixes only as well?

    Now, would the set also include the theatrical versions of the prequels as well? : ) The Phantom Menace had the additional lap scene when it was released on DVD.

    I'm sure Disney and Fox are hard at work on a new set of the films to coincide with Episode 7.

  408. Josh Steinberg

    Sentimental value?

    In 2006, Fox/Lucasfilm released the laserdisc transfers as "bonus features" to the special editions on DVD — so the originals exist on DVD in a non-anamorphic version comperable to the Laserdisc quality.

    As I thought, worthless.

  409. I happened to catch a little of The Black Hole in HD on cable the other day. It wasn't flawless, but it didn't look that bad. I know the FX techniques were a little different, and the budget was certainly bigger (and of course this was from a broadcast master), but I'd be very happy if the OOT ended up looking comparable to that.

  410. John Maher_289910

    I detest STAR WARS, but I do have the original three on widescreen laserdisc (bought for my son). I would think some kid could transfer them to a Mac and tweak them for resolution and color and copy to a DVD or Blu. Are they worth something?

    So, you're that one guy! 😉

    They still sell on Ebay. They are worth a lot more if signed by one of the actors. I saw video of Harrison Ford at some event and people were handing him Laserdisc covers to sign.

    A dedicated group of fans have been trying to squeeze every last bit of detail out of the Laserdiscs for years.

  411. Lord Dalek

    Not sure if mentioning it in a roundabout way is verboten here or not but you guys are aware of the Despecialized Editions right?

    Its been flagged up in this topic, but I believe his latest version of Star Wars is better than 720p and now has DTS-MA and a plethora of other soundtrack options.

  412. brioni

    Its been flagged up in this topic, but I believe his latest version of Star Wars is better than 720p and now has DTS-MA and a plethora of other soundtrack options.

    It is still 720P.

  413. I suspect Disney is not going to be as kind about these various fan edits and Revisited/Despecialized Editions as Lucasfilm was. The Mouse will start throwing people in jail once they've fully secured the right to the original movies.

  414. Stephen Brooks

    I suspect Disney is not going to be as kind about these various fan edits and Revisited/Despecialized Editions as Lucasfilm was. The Mouse will start throwing people in jail once they've fully secured the right to the original movies.

    Wouldn't that be a PR disaster for them? It would be like Paramount going after all those Star Trek fan film productions. Has any studio ever actually gone after the creator of a fan edit?

    There was another "rebel" screening of a Technicolor print recently.