Sign In

HBO Star Wars preservations

Replies
164
Author
Time

Growing up a huge Star Wars fan, I was of course beside myself when HBO started airing Star Wars. I would basically leave HBO on all the time, and the second I heard the Fox fanfare, I would run into the living room, hoping and praying I would see "A LUCASFILM LIMITED Production". More often than not, I was disappointed, as it wasn't Star Wars playing, but when it was, anything I was doing or had planned to do that day came to a screeching halt, and I would again be absorbed into the adventures of Luke Skywalker. 

Then we got a VCR, and everything changed. I made a copy of Star Wars, and to this day I have no idea how it survived the amount of times it was played. Later on, 

When the LaserDiscs Came out, I promptly bought those and my SW tapes were filed away. 

Recently, having been assaulted with the shiny, new and "improved" Star Wars, I have been craving a way to watch Star Wars that truly takes me back to the "good old days". 

So long story short, I'm trying to find a copy of the original HBO airing of Star Wars, as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESg_adb6sJE

I've already asked the uploader if still has a copy, but he informed me that his copy has been tossed, minus a copy he made of the intro. 

I ran across my VHS tapes recently, but unfortunately I had taped my LaserDiscs over the original taping. 

Does anyone have a copy of this?

If I can't find a real copy of this, i'm considering making a recreation of it, with a copy of the intro, and a time appropriate version of SW, adding some old VHS effects.

Does anyone know which version might have played on HBO? I would assume that it would have been one of the same prints that made its way onto a VHS or LD version.

FE<3OT

Author
Time

Would be the initial, pre-1985 home video P&S master, not?

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

Author
Time

One would think, but I honestly have no clue.

FE<3OT

Author
Time

I have an HBO airing on an old Betamax tape, but the recording was started after the famous flying logo in space opening that would complete the experience. I also have a second Beta tape that was recorded from a different cable outlet at the same time, but apparently from the same master.

According to one source I can't find right now, the HBO version is sourced from 16mm and has different pan and scan from the CBS/Fox video master. The one telltale sign is Luke's binocular screen display when he's spying on the sandpeople is squeezed.

I would love to see this preserved as well. My Betamax deck is almost around the bend as far as clean video playback goes right now though.

 

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

It's not time compressed if the counter on my Betamax is accurate.

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Interesting, because that clip on YouTube definitely has higher-pitched audio. I'm not doubting you, of course.

Author
Time

There are plenty of non kosher ways to digitize analog video though. ;)

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

From the Wayback machine:

davisdvd.com said:


What You Didn't Know: Despite popular belief, this was not the only transfer made of Star Wars. At some point, a second fullscreen video transfer was created from a 16mm flat print source. Since an anamorphic (2.35:1) 35mm print had been reduced down to a flat (1.33:1) 16mm print, this 16mm source featured different pan & scan decisions made during the print reduction. One main difference in this transfer was that Luke's macrobinocular POV shot of the Banthas was squeezed to actually show the Tusken Raider walking to the side of the frame. This video transfer was only shown on HBO and was never offered for sale or rent [ Special Thanks to David C. Fein ]


I'll point out that Mr. Fein has been wrong before, in particular regarding the Mitsubishi SWE's shrinking ratio.
I've no evidence to doubt him on this HBO story though.

This post has been edited.

However, in practice you must take into account the “fuckwit factor”. Just talk to Darth Mallwalker…
-Moth3r

Author
Time

I've not seen the squeezed macrobinocular shot in any of the early home video transfers, only in the "HBO version".

Thanks for finding that. :)

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

I've not seen the squeezed macrobinocular shot in any of the early home video transfers, only in the "HBO version". 

That shot is squeezed in the transfer used for the '82 CED and LD release, the '82 tapes and later Pan & Scan releases used a different transfer. So the info Mallwalker provided is probably true aside from the part that it wasn't offered for sale, the HBO broadcast would be interesting to have preserved as the CED and LD's were time-compressed.

This post has been edited.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

silverwook, i have a way oof getting the full intro in dvd quality. It will cost a little money, but I'm willing to pay it if you think you can get me a copy of your betamax version.

 

FE<3OT

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

I've not seen the squeezed macrobinocular shot in any of the early home video transfers, only in the "HBO version".

Thanks for finding that. :)

I too have seen this shot on my 1988 PAL VHS. as discussed here http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/PAL-VHS-Archive-Collection/topic/3829/  in posts 8 and 10. The pictures are long gone. Sorry. In fact I have seen 3 versions of this shot, a slice in the middle of the screen, a slice to left or right and the squeezed shot discussed here in this thread.

Similarly, I did a screenshot page to highlight changes in another shot of Fullscreen releases  http://homepage.ntlworld.com/russdawson/gtf/swfull.html

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

Author
Time

I know I've seen different pan and scan decisions over the decades, so my brain is fuzzy on which is which at the moment. The old PAL transfers may have their own unique crops.

The one crop that varies over time is the last shot in the Falcon cockpit before the ship is pulled into the Death Star. It's a two shot of Luke and Chewie, and it's ends up either being a closeup of one or the other in full frame.

Guess I'm going to have to dust off the beta and get some screencaps. Keep your fingers crossed!

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

Wish I still had a copy of this. Would make for a great cover?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb4PBYQdJbs

 

That would make a great cover. If a high res can't be found, it wouldn't be too hard to replicate. 

Need a preservation to wrap it around first though :)

FE<3OT

Author
Time

I remember watching Star Wars on PRISM, a defunct pay service back in the day.  My grandmother had HBO.  Neither channel showed the same transfer as the FOX video version...which was definitely the version shown on CBS. I can't confirm if it was a 16mm transfer, but I watched my VHS transfer a hundred times as a kid and it was definitely not the home video version.

Author
Time

msycamore said:

SilverWook said:

I've not seen the squeezed macrobinocular shot in any of the early home video transfers, only in the "HBO version". 

That shot is squeezed in the transfer used for the '82 CED and LD release, the '82 tapes and later Pan & Scan releases used a different transfer. So the info Mallwalker provided is probably true aside from the part that it wasn't offered for sale, the HBO broadcast would be interesting to have preserved as the CED and LD's were time-compressed.

I cannot confirm the 82 CED but have checked and agree with the above. I have also checked my PAL VHS tapes and the 82, 88 and 89 versions all have the squeezed macrobinocular shot - BUT - they too are at PAL speed which is equivalent to the time-compressed NTSC versions....

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

Author
Time

davisdvd.com said:


What You Didn't Know: Despite popular belief, this was not the only transfer made of Star Wars. At some point, a second fullscreen video transfer was created from a 16mm flat print source. Since an anamorphic (2.35:1) 35mm print had been reduced down to a flat (1.33:1) 16mm print, this 16mm source featured different pan & scan decisions made during the print reduction. One main difference in this transfer was that Luke's macrobinocular POV shot of the Banthas was squeezed to actually show the Tusken Raider walking to the side of the frame. This video transfer was only shown on HBO and was never offered for sale or rent [ Special Thanks to David C. Fein ]

When reading this again, it doesn't seem to be correct. From what I have seen the '82 HBO/CED/LD transfer was made from the same source that the other pan & scan transfers - '82 US Betamax/VHS and '85 LD was made from. The same ugly splices, glue marks and damage can be found on them even though the transfers are different with its different pan & scan decisions and framing. It seems all video transfers from '82 to '89/'92 was made from the same IP/source until they digged up a different IP in '92, this one seems to have first been used on the '92 Special Letterbox Collector's Edition VHS then later used for the '93 SWE LD (technidisc), '93 Definitive Collection and '95 Faces.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

How does the pan and scan process actually work? I can't recall reading anything that went into the nuts and bolts of the process. Are shots panned and scanned during the transfer process or after?

Trying to finish some things so I can get boxes of old tapes out the door. Then I will have the space to get the betamax hooked back up.

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Fingers crossed that your tape looks decent, but even if it doesn't, I would still like to make a preservation disc of it.

FE<3OT

Author
Time

I had a peek at it when I tried to transfer the THX-1138 beta a few months back, and I thought it looked good for nearly thirty year old recording.

There were a couple HBO promos after the movie, including one for Fraggle Rock, so it might be possible to date when this was actually taped.

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

How does the pan and scan process actually work? I can't recall reading anything that went into the nuts and bolts of the process. Are shots panned and scanned during the transfer process or after?

I have no idea how it really worked, sometimes the operator was even forced to make new cuts in the middle of a scene instead of panning back and forth between the important sections of the action, IIRC it happens several times in the SW transfers.

reave said:

Fingers crossed that your tape looks decent, but even if it doesn't, I would still like to make a preservation disc of it.

If the version aired on HBO really is the one used on the LD's and CED, you could maybe take use of those if you want better quality for the main feature. Like russs15 described, time-compressed meant it was just sped up by 4% just like PAL-speedup, so I think a simple conversion should do the trick.

This post has been edited.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

To the top