Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum

my profile | my password | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » These Most Certainly Are The Star Wars Re-Releases You're Looking For...

Author Topic: These Most Certainly Are The Star Wars Re-Releases You're Looking For...
Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3836
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 09-25-2015 01:33 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In my feed this morning from MoviePilot:


These Most Certainly Are The Star Wars Re-Releases You're Looking For...

By Rob Harris - 22 September 2015

After over 30 years of waiting, the unaltered theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy is finally coming to Blu-ray, at least according to John Landis.

Landis, who is a close friend of Lucas, dropped this proton bomb of an announcement during a Q&A at Universal Studios Orlando, which Empire magazine reported on:

His exact words were:

"First of all, they wouldn’t let me. George owns his movies, so he can do what he wants ... My personal opinion is George hurt his movies by doing what he did. However, George said to me, 'But they're my movies.' ... I thought, 'That’s fair.' ... Did you know Disney, by the way, is putting out the original Star Wars the way it was. So, you know Disney, they’re like money on the floor.

That sounds like a solid confirmation to me - and just in time to get reacquainted with the restored originals in the lead up to The Force Awakens!

Finally, we can now watch these timeless movies as they were first experienced by theater audiences, meaning Han will again shoot Greedo first, rather than the other way round, as in the updated versions.

Legal Issues

The only clear obstacle standing in the way of this long since requested re-release is, as is often the case, rights-related. Although Disney owns Lucasfilm, the original theatrical distribution rights belong to 20th Century Fox, meaning they'll have to sign off on it.

But considering there're boatloads of money to be made, this doesn't seem all that unlikely.

What do you think - would you be interested in an unaltered theatrical version of the original trilogy?

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2253
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 09-25-2015 03:47 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The question is not whether they are going to be released. The question is if they are going to be remastered so they fit and look good on BluRay. I already have the original theatricals on DVD which were just a crappy transfer that were not even formatted to fit the screen.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-25-2015 06:08 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe they should remaster and reissue them, but only on VHS. That'd cause a whole lot of people to buy the tapes, and sell a lot of VHS players too. Then when they've milked that cow dry, they could still sell just as many Blu-Rays. (And probably more, considering all the publicity they would get from the public outcry over the VHS stunt.)

 |  IP: Logged

Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 579
From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted 09-25-2015 06:19 PM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Geoff Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll believe it when I see it.

Until then, there's always Harmy. [Smile]

On a related note, it's amazing to me that Disney & Fox aren't teaming up to re-release one version or another of Star Wars, Empire, & Jedi to theaters this fall before The Force Wakes Up.

It would be like printing money. For Disney, it would be a huge marketing move, and for Fox, it would be one last way to cash in.

Unless maybe they are afraid that The Force Gets Out Of Bed won't hold up against the first three...

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-25-2015 06:38 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Who knows? Maybe they tried to do that and couldn't come to terms. Or maybe the Disney deal dictated that Fox could do reissues only with Disney's permission, or some wacky thing like that. If that was the case, Disney would never want Fox stealing their 4 billion dollar thunder.

As for the new one holding up to the first 3.... I think most people will be happy if it's at least better than the last 3. They'll never top the first 3, just due to the cultural firestorm they set off. It just can't happen again. It's like losing your virginity -- you can only have that exact same thrill once.

 |  IP: Logged

Aaron Garman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1470
From: Toledo, OH USA
Registered: Mar 2003

 - posted 09-25-2015 08:28 PM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If they do get released in their "original" form, I'm curious about the sources they will use. As the story goes, the negative was permanently changed in 1997 for the Special Editions. While I don't believe that, if it is true, I'd imagine that a nice IP exists somewhere which could produce a nice master. There are efforts in the works by fans to scan prints of the original trilogy, including an IB tech print of A New Hope, but if an IP where in an official vault somewhere, that seems like it would do very well, maybe even better than the negative at this point.

Funny, I don't think you'll ever get an "original" version of Star Wars because it never really existed. Even in 1977, there were 3 separate sound mixes, then we got A New Hope added, then further changes to the sound mix on video, different colors and sound for the THX remasters, and of course more special effects, CGI, extra scenes, etc. post 1997. At this point, every generation has the version they "grew up with".

The only real way to do this right is to preserve 3 versions: the 1977 version (with all 3 sound mixes), the 1997 version, and whatever George wants to call his "definitive" version. A Blu-ray could in theory hold all those versions. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.


 |  IP: Logged

Wayne Keyser
Master Film Handler

Posts: 272
From: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Registered: May 2004

 - posted 09-27-2015 11:29 PM      Profile for Wayne Keyser   Author's Homepage   Email Wayne Keyser       Edit/Delete Post 
Surely we've learned by now (thank you, Peter Jackson) - here's how it works:

1 - "Original Edition" re-release (whatever edition they decide is most original)
2 - "Original Edition" Blu-ray
3 - "Deluxe original edition" release with all three, or however many, original cuts plus bonus restoration doc

That's three sales for super-fans right there, and I'll bet they can squeeze out one or two more.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3357
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 09-28-2015 12:02 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe they can use Harmy's Despecialized Editions as the source? [Smile]

I watched the Blu-Ray release of Episode 4 quite recently and I just couldn't stand it. All those alterations seemed so totally out of place and many of them just looked bad, like someone's High School Hack-Job.

So, I ended up giving in to the bad side of the Force and watched the Despecialized Editions instead and had my cookies. Yeah, maybe we're not supposed to have them, but on the other hand, who gave George Lucas the right to mess with history so much?

My girlfriend, not wanting anything to do with this whole Star Wars stuff suddenly started to respect this whole Star Wars thing, even though I made her watch the whole Episode 4 all over again. I also made clear that you best pretend the whole Episode 1 to 3 thing never happened. Before the Despecialized Editions, Star Wars was like Barbie for little boys to her. She couldn't get a grip on why grown ups would give a damn about this childish stuff.

The more I think about it, I do believe George Lucas always hated the Star Wars we all came to love. The Star Wars we got was the "compromise version". Usually, when studios meddle with the end product, it turns for the worse, but here it might actually have saved it.

Once he got the money to do whatever he wanted, he gave us the Star Wars he had in mind... quite an eyeopener. Well, maybe this could have served as an eye opener too. [Wink]

 |  IP: Logged

Ari Leedsw
Film Handler

Posts: 53
From: Stoughton, MA
Registered: Feb 2016

 - posted 02-20-2016 09:39 AM      Profile for Ari Leedsw   Email Ari Leedsw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe now LucasFilm (or Disney) will be pressured to actually do a proper rerelease from the original elements.

Pretty sad that the fans have to go and do it themselves.

Lucas is just a jerk.

2K "remasters" inadequate resolution that already look dated, sits on the original material, tries to tell us what to do with trailers.

I saw this in a clip on YouTube, and I agree wholeheartedly: Someone said that the original dogfight in the first film is one of the only "redos" of the effects that is an actual improvement. Almost all of the rest makes things worse.

After the first one, the model work improved substantially, so much so, notice, that they leave it alone (although the element composite is redone digitally) in Empire, and don't even recomposite, leaving the junk mattes, in Jedi.

I wonder if that last was laziness/cost (they supposedly had to combine hundreds of pieces of film, all of which would have to be rescanned if they wanted to take out matte artifacts) or something else.

I would argue that "Jedi's" dogfights looks substantially better than the majority of CGI mush today. An incredible piece of work.

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 02-20-2016 10:30 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember reading that the original camera negative was badly damaged from poor storage when they were trying to clean things up for the 1997 re-release, but I'm curious, where is the master 70mm blowup negative? Did Fox even keep it? Did anyone look at it to see if perhaps it survived in better condition than the 35mm elements?

 |  IP: Logged

Ari Leedsw
Film Handler

Posts: 53
From: Stoughton, MA
Registered: Feb 2016

 - posted 02-20-2016 10:58 AM      Profile for Ari Leedsw   Email Ari Leedsw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad: I would say that's a distortion of an amateur trying to interpret the technical description of poor storage.

My understanding is they used CRIs (direct reversal copy film, to save one generation of loss) ONLY on the wipes, like the one where 3PO gets lifted up. Those were the only effects that were lost, because this film was incredibly unstable, fading to black after less than 10 years. Even if copies of the CRIs didn't exist, it would be simple to redo them from scratch.

Someone at LucasFilm took an opportunity to take a bunch of cheap shots at film, which has improved considerably since 1977.

As to the negative, my understanding is that they got cheap and didn't properly clean it not at the original, but the multiple re-releases. They allowed the dust to get caked in, instead of paying the lab the 2c/foot to clean it between runs. Kinda like with records, letting them sit in dust. Not really the record's fault.

Not sure about the 70mm master. I'm sure what the fans have, three or four generations removed in some cases, there is a far better, earlier generation in a vault somewhere (whether 35mm or 70mm) that could have been rescanned at higher resolution, a copy with less grain or co9ntrast buildup, but due to George Lucas's digital arrogance, is not.

Maybe he's afraid of a higher-than 2K scan of the original outdoing his 2K "remasters." I wonder starting with 2048 lines in 1997, how many lines made it onto the screen on a 4th generation 35mm print. Probably 1100 or 1200.

And Kodak redid a Disney film in 4K in 1994. What a joke.

 |  IP: Logged

John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5438
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 04-15-2016 01:29 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Harmy's will do me just fine.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 04-15-2016 12:21 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A guy gave me a copy of A New Hope but it only had 2-channel sound. What was the sound in '77? They didn't have split surrounds then, right? Would it have been 4.1?

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 04-15-2016 03:37 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The original Star Wars release was Format 42 "Baby Boom," 3 stage channels, 1 mono surround and stereo sub-bass channels. Very common for 70mm throughout the late 70's and all of the 1980's. Not nearly as many 70mm prints had Format 43.

 |  IP: Logged

Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7474
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 04-15-2016 08:02 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Ari Leedsw
Brad: I would say that's a distortion of an amateur trying to interpret the technical description of poor storage.
Why, exactly? Dye coupler color stock manufactured, struck and processed in 1977 (or thereabouts), will, barring a miracle, be pink, shrunk, brittle and stinking of vinegar if it has been stored at anything close to room temperature and humidity for any significant proportion of the intervening 39 years. There have been many occasions on which restorers have had to use elements affected by deacetylation and dye fading as the source material for new preservation masters, even of titles that were a popular and commercial success at the time of their release.

It's important to remember that deacetylation (vinegar syndrome) and dye fading weren't widely understood until Scorsese's awareness campaign in the late '70s which led Kodak, and later other manufacturers, to come up with more fade resistant stock. Furthermore, the research by Michelle Edge, the IPI and others which proved that cool and dry storage could slow down both processes (in effect, that atmospherically controlled, long term storage is as necessary for acetate base and dye coupler emulsions as it is for nitrate) wasn't basically done until the early '90s. When I was in film archiving school from 1995-96, the results of this research was the hot news, and part of the reason why preservationists were embracing polyester base so enthusiastically, and trying to persuade the film makers to produce the stocks they used for preservation duping on polyester.

I can think of no reason not to believe that when the initial post-production and distribution was done, the cut o-negs and intermediate Star Wars material was put straight into storage with no atmospheric control. In Southern California, that's especially bad news (though the climate here is pretty dry). In the late '70s, even people who knew and cared about film preservation believed that cold storage was only necessary for nitrate. Indeed, acetate was seen as the savior of cinema because it was believed that it didn't need cold storage; and most dye coupler elements hadn't existed for long enough to have gone seriously pink.

 |  IP: Logged

All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Powered by Infopop Corporation

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2020 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.