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Hopefully the last 70mm vs. 35mm ESB audio differences thread

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Hello,

I've seen a number of posts comparing audio differences between the initial 70mm and 35mm theatrical releases of ESB, and I think some posters are confusing changes made between the original 70mm and the subsequent fine-tuning for the 35mm release, with changes made in the remixing of the soundtrack for the 1993 LD transfer, or editorial changes for the Special Edition.

I've digitized the audio of the 1985 BetaHiFi pan-and-scan Dolby digital surround tape and compared it to the 70mm in-theatre recording and the 1993 transfer that was used on the 2006 bonus DVD. I found VERY few changes between the 70mm and initial 35mm releases, and hardly any between the 1985 and 1993 transfers.

Naturally I couldn’t compare visual changes suggested between the 70mm and subsequent 35mm releases, but the audio of the Wampa cave fight - prior to Luke using the force to retrieve his light saber - is about five-and-three-quarters seconds shorter in 70mm than the 1985 and 1993 transfers, so a comment that an additional shot had been added seems about right. The Bacta tank scene runs the same length in all three versions, so the visuals may match as well (despite my previous postings on that matter).

Below are the audio "differences" which I've pulled together from several postings, with my notes on the 70mm recording; 1985 pan-and-scan transfer (85PS); 1993 transfer; and the Special Edition (SE). 

(I didn’t bother tracking other changes made specifically for the SE, like switched music cues or new footage, because I really don’t want to sit through the whole thing, it's that irksome.)

* * * * *

On Hoth, right after C-3PO tells R2 to "Switch off," R2 gives out a little "blurp." No "blurp" in 70mm; No "blurp" in 85PS; No "blurp" in 93; "Blurp" is in the SE

When Luke finally collapses in the snow, he lets out a grunt as he lands on his face.  No grunt in 70mm; No grunt in 85PS; No grunt in 93; grunt is in SE

Luke says an additional "Ben… Dagobah…" just before Han says "and I thought they smelled bad on the outside."  No additional "Ben…Dagobah" in 70mm; not in 85PS; not in 93; extra dialogue is in SE

The following dialogue is the same in 70mm, 85PS, 93 and SE:
ROGUE 2: Commander Skywalker, do you copy? This is Rogue 2. This is Rouge 2. Captain Solo, do you copy? Commander Skywalker, do you copy? This is Rogue 2.
HAN: Good morning. Nice of you guys to drop by!

When C-3PO tells Luke "It's so good to see you fully functional again," Luke replies "Thanks, 3PO."  There is no "Thanks 3PO" in 70mm; not in 85PS; not in 93; extra dialogue is in SE

The line "Headquarters personnel report to Command Center" is repeated three times instead of two.  Only 2x in 70mm; only 2x in 85PS; only 2x in 93; 3x in SE

When R2 is being loaded into Luke's X-Wing, C-3PO says the word "and" before saying "do take good care of yourself."  "And" is heard faintly in 70mm; it is MUCH fainter in 85PS; I can’t hear it at all in 93; it is MUCH louder in SE

Han's line "Transport, this is Solo. Better take off, I can't get to you. I'll get her out on the Falcon" is followed by, "Come on!" No "come on" in 70mm; No "come on" in 85PS; No "come on" in 93; extra dialogue is in SE

In the asteroid field, after C-3PO says "Oh, this is suicide," he says, "There's no where to go." "There's no where to go" is not in 70mm; Not in 85PS; Not in 93; extra dialogue is in SE

Yoda makes a frightened "Ehhhhh!" sound just before Luke says "Like we're being watched" and points his blaster at him.  No frightened "Ehhhh!" in 70mm: not in 85PS; not in 93; "Ehhhh!" is in SE

Yoda says the word "Run!" before "Yes. A Jedi's strength flows from the force." "Run" is in 70mm; "Run" is in 85PS; "Run" is in 93; also in SE

The following lines "But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight" are also much louder and clearer.  The lines are softer in the 70mm, the 85PS and the 93; dialogue is louder in SE

The Imperial fleet establishing shot after the magic tree scene has a different TIE fighter sound effect. The same TIE sound effect is in the 70mm, 85PS, and in the English language track of the 93; the French/Spanish tracks of the Bonus DVD have a DIFFERENT effect - Why?; SE effects sound different too, but hard to tell because it also has DIFFERENT MUSIC

In Cloud City, after C-3PO says "That sounds like an R2 unit in there. I wonder if it…" he says "Hello?" only once instead of twice. "Hello" is said 2x in 70mm; 2x in 85PS; 2x in 93; only says "Hello?" once in SE
 

Before C-3PO gets shot, a different voice says "Who are you?"  Line reading sounds same in 70mm, 85PS and 93; different actor's voice in SE

While C-3PO is on Chewbacca's back when they enter the carbon freezing chamber, the line "Now remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don't do anything foolish" is louder and heard more clearly. Dialogue is soft in 70mm, in 85PS and in 93; a little louder in SE

During the duel, when Luke knocks Vader from the platform, Vader lets out an "ooooh!" instead of an "aaargh!" "aaargh!" is in 70mm; "aaargh!" is in 85PS; "aaargh!" is in 93; the "ooooh!" is in the SE

Lando's line at the end, "Luke, we're ready for takeoff." is a different take. This reading sounds identical in 70mm, 85PS and 93; it's a different take in the SE

Dialogue at end:

70mm:

LANDO: Luke, we're ready for takeoff.
CHEWBACCA: Growl.
LUKE: Good luck Lando. I’ll meet you at the rendezvous point on Tattooine.
LANDO: Princess we'll find Han, I promise.
LUKE: Chewie, I'll be waiting for your signal.  Take care you two. May the force be with you.
CHEWBACCA: Growl.

 

85PS, 93 and SE:

LANDO: Luke, we're ready for takeoff.
CHEWBACCA: Growl.
LUKE: Good luck Lando.
LANDO: When we find Jabba the Hutt and that bounty hunter we'll contact you.
LUKE: I’ll meet you at the rendezvous point on Tattooine.
LANDO: Princess we'll find Han, I promise.
LUKE: Chewie, I'll be waiting for your signal.  Take care you two. May the force be with you.
CHEWBACCA: Growl.

It appears the only major audio changes between 70mm and original 35mm are extending the Wampa scene, and the final scene (more dialogue and music to cover the added FX shots).  

Apart from the mix-down from LCRS+booms to Dolby Analog Surround, only Reels 1 and 6 would have been affected in terms of revising audio tracks to match changes made to the internegative for the initial 35mm release after the 70mm debut.

Cheers,

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Actually, to my ear, the line "Luke, we're ready for takeoff" is a different take in the '85 and '93. Billy Dee seems to place more emphasis on the syllable "off" than in the 70mm.

A lot of the confusion about the 70mm comes from the differences in the Super 8 digests (which used the 70mm cut as their picture source only) as well as the "Story of" LP, and of course the SE. We mistakenly assumed that these reflected an earlier mix, but now that we know that the 70mm mix is 99 percent identical to the 35mm, it means that these changes were made after the revised mix was locked.

In true Lucas fashion, he and Ben Burtt continued to tweak the mix after the revised cut was delivered, for the 8mm digests and Story LP. This period was the origin of many of the SE audio changes. Obviously, Lucas and Burtt preferred these alterations and documented them, because 16 years later, a lot of them made it into the SE. (Others didn't, like the different ADR takes for Han and Luke in the opening scene, or Leia's second "We have to go back!", or the 8mm's robotic voice and revised dialogue for the cloud car pilot.)

Also, is it right to call it 35mm vs. 70mm? Wouldn't the initial 35mm venues (drive-ins, I think) have also used this cut? Additionally, there are frames of the bacta shot among the collectible 70mm cells from the 90s (though I have a theory that these prints were made in the 90s, especially for those cells, and thus used the revised cut...)

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I started a similar thread recently for all three films here: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/70mm-6-Track-Dolby-Stereo-mix-differences/topic/14058/

Like TServo, I also hear Lando's line as a different take compared to what is heard in the 35mm. Also, the sound effect for the TIE's after Luke's failure in the cave are definitely different in the 70mm mix vs. the 35mm mix, what's heard on the foreign tracks on the '06 bonus DVD match the 70mm, the SE is similar but sound a little bit different.

Very interesting find about the difference in audio length in the wampa cave! Should be quite easy to check exactly what shot was added to the 35mm cut after a little closer comparison, nice. :)

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

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msycamore said:

Should be quite easy to check exactly what shot was added to the 35mm cut after a little closer comparison, nice. :)

The distant roar of the wampa (where we see his shadow lurking) matches on both 70mm and 35mm. If one then ties the music cue where Luke sinks back down after trying to free his frozen boots and then tries to reach for his light sabre, all that - and subsequent sounds - match.


So the extra 5+ seconds occur as Luke comes to and reaches up to find his feet frozen into the ice of the ceiling. The added shot is probably the closeup of him just before he reaches up towards his boots, as seen in the master shot.

 

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When Luke finally collapses in the snow, he lets out a grunt as he lands on his face.  No grunt in 70mm; No grunt in 85PS; No grunt in 93; grunt is in SE

 

Yoda makes a frightened "Ehhhhh!" sound just before Luke says "Like we're being watched" and points his blaster at him.  No frightened "Ehhhh!" in 70mm: not in 85PS; not in 93; "Ehhhh!" is in SE

 

 

 

I can faintly hear the face-fall grunt in the pre-SE mixes.

 

There's also the grunting as he tries to free his feet from the ice in the Wampa cave and the lightsaber deactivation sound effect, which are mixed much lower in the pre-SE mixes.

The grunting as he falls down the carbon-freezing steps may have been added for the SE,  however, since I don't hear it in the earlier mixes (although I haven't heard the 70mm).

 

Also, Yoda's "Ehhhh!" was there at some point before the SE. I have an old VHS tape with a recorded 1980 tv review of the movie, and a clip from that scene shown during the review features the "Ehhhh!"

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Great discovery, love these sort of things. :) And I think you're right, that close-up of him seems to match in length. Cool, this difference was never pointed out by Matessino in that FSM issue.

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

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morgands1 said:

The distant roar of the wampa (where we see his shadow lurking) matches on both 70mm and 35mm. If one then ties the music cue where Luke sinks back down after trying to free his frozen boots and then tries to reach for his light sabre, all that - and subsequent sounds - match.


So the extra 5+ seconds occur as Luke comes to and reaches up to find his feet frozen into the ice of the ceiling. The added shot is probably the closeup of him just before he reaches up towards his boots, as seen in the master shot.

 

I ran your version in sync with the '85, and that closeup does seem to be the extra bit of footage.

This is interesting, because that shot was also included in the 70mm film cells:

As I pointed out, there are also 70mm cells of the bacta tank wide shot.

This either means that there were 70mm prints made of the revised version later in the summer, or that the cells were taken from a newly struck print made specifically to be chopped up into these individual frames. (But if so, why would they have sound-striped the print?)

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TServo, as you suggested the explanation behind those cells could probably be what we discussed in this thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/70-mm-print-of-the-Empire-Strikes-Back-Differences/topic/2321/page/3/

Not only just a 70mm cut but an early cut that was later replaced by a final cut on both formats. If that is the case, maybe new 70mm prints with the revisions were made for the US re-releases if not for the foreign markets in '80.

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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

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I take back what I said about the radar dish. It's actually not there in the film cell. You can see a cloud formation that is almost completely covered by the dish in the familiar version.

I swear I can see something at the bottom of the frame, but I'm not sure what. Maybe it's just damage. (I will note that in the Super 8, the bottom of the frame is cropped off.

This is even more perplexing - now we have film cells from the original 70mm cut and the revised cut. Even stranger, the Yoda/Dagobah-themed cells seem to come from a reddish-brown-faded, possibly Kodak SP, source - even though there are cells of other scenes from reels 3 and 4 that are not faded. So we could be dealing with multiple source prints here...

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As I'm surfing on a cellphone at the moment I have a hard time to see the details on that film cell, but remember that it's not only the dish that was added, the position of Luke was altered as well. Maybe that can help you if you're uncertain.

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

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mysycamore said:

... maybe new 70mm prints with the revisions were made for the US re-releases if not for the foreign markets in '80.

It's difficult to tell without a video of the original 70mm, but perhaps new 70mm prints were struck of reels 1 and 6 (which incorporated changes to Wampa cave, Luke and Vader telepathy and Lando's departure) to switch out with existing prints, rather than strike entirely new (and expensive) 70mm prints as the film opened wider, if other major changes weren't made.

That could also explain why the Luke/Wampa cave 70mm cell exists.

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But entirely new prints would've been needed, as more than two reels were affected by revisions.

At least one fx-shot in the snow battle was redone and we also have the redone hologram of the Emperor. That is reel 2 & 3. Hmm, it's a little odd that so little info exist on this.

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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

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Even if new prints wasn't struck due to being too expensive, the 70mm prints overseas could have been the revised "final cut." In Sweden, and other European countries, the film didn't open until August that year, and in many other countries, in December. It depends of course when the prints for foreign markets were prepared.

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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

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As I am unable to listen to your 70mm recording at the moment, I must ask you guys something regarding the 5 - 6 sec difference in the wampa cave, is the cue John Williams wrote for this sequence a different take? I can't remember any noticable editing in his score for this sequence.

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

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I'm digging this thread. Can anyone put some audio comparisons together?

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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Sorry, didn't realize the 4shared site requires registration to download. Will fix later.

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Sounds like the missing shot is the closeup I posted the film cell of. What's interesting is that because of the missing shot, the 70mm version has a music edit. Listen to how you can just hear the end of the first French horn note, so it sounds like a "grace note".

The Dolby Stereo version contains more music over the extra shot, including the missing beginning of the first French horn note.

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Ah, so there is an edit in the score at that point, was thinking for a moment that the sequence could perhaps been re-scored for the 35mm, it's a little bit odd though. Makes you wonder if they cut that shot at the very last minute then decided they put it back in again for the 35mm release, it would've been more natural to have an audible edit in the 35mm than in the 70mm.

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

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morgands1 said:
This link will work, too:

http://www.wideanglecloseup.com/Wampa_comparison.mp3

 
Thanks for posting this! Well, it's a quite clear audible edit at that point. Hmm, this is weird, is there a possibility that you have repaired this segment at some stage and forgotten about it? It doesn't sound like it, maybe that print was damaged at that point?

The reason behind my thoughts is that the wampa cave sequence as seen in the 35mm release must be what Williams wrote the music for, an earlier cut of the scene doesn't make any sense to me unless they decided to cut that close-up of Luke at the last minute.

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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

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msycamore said:

 

Thanks for posting this! Well, it's a quite clear audible edit at that point. Hmm, this is weird, is there a possibility that you have repaired this segment at some stage and forgotten about it? It doesn't sound like it, maybe that print was damaged at that point?

The reason behind my thoughts is that the wampa cave sequence as seen in the 35mm release must be what Williams wrote the music for, an earlier cut of the scene doesn't make any sense to me unless they decided to cut that close-up of Luke at the last minute.

I was thinking the same thing - the 5-second jump may be because of a splice in that specific print. Also, the missing 5 seconds does not exactly correspond to that shot.

The following screenshots are from the Japanese Special Collection laserdisc, since it has the '85 track. If I the 70mm/'85 synched-up version in sync with this video, the 70mm audio cuts out in the middle of this shot:

...and resumes about here:

Michael Matessino did not mention a missing shot in the Wampa cave, and he supposedly saw the film 70 times in its original release. My guess is that the print had some damage there and the projectionist spliced it out...

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msycamore said: Thanks for posting this! Well, it's a quite clear audible edit at that point. Hmm, this is weird, is there a possibility that you have repaired this segment at some stage and forgotten about it? It doesn't sound like it, maybe that print was damaged at that point?

No repair was done by me, and the scene doesn't correspond to a reel change.

I don't think it was a case of damage to the print. If there is another 70mm bootleg of ESB (mono even), perhaps it can be compared?

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