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OOT Letter Writing Campaign for Blu Ray release — Page 2

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So, I'm going to be mailing my first letter to Lucasfilm later today. I handwrote it. Nobody handwrites letters these days, it seems to have a more personal touch. We'll see how it goes.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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So I put my letter in the mail just now. This was what I wrote. If anyone has any suggestions or improvements for future letters, let me know, will be good to vary the content.

 "To whom it may concern,

My name is Michael Kaminski, author of The Secret History of Star Wars. It has come to my attention that Lucasfilm is currently preparing a Blu Ray release of the Star Wars films, which is very exciting to me as a lifelong fan. However, also as a lifelong fan, I cannot help feel a sense of frustration that the original theatrical versions have not yet been restored. I know the negative is conformed to the Special Edition edit, but I also know that there are interpositives, separation masters, and fine-grain masters that would be viable for a high definition presentation of the original cuts.

I love the Star Wars series with all my heart--it is the reason why I wrote a 600-page book on the subject. However, as both a historian and an archivist, not to mention a fan, I cannot help but be disgusted and disturbed at the manner in which the history-shaping original cuts have been treated, such as the Laserdisc re-release of 2006. I urge Lucasfilm to please include the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars trilogy in high definition on the upcoming Blu Ray. I'm afraid I will have no need to purchase the set when it arrives if this does not happen. I've spoken to many other people and they feel the same way. I hope Mr. Lucas gets a chance to present his directors cut in whatever way he wants, but I also hope he can overlook his own ego and give back to the world the films that not only granted him the empire in which such Special Editions were made possible, but that changed the world of cinema, touched the lives of hundreds of millions, and has a very important spot in the cultural heritage of the 20th century western world.


Sincerely,

Michael Kaminski"

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Well written.  Do you mind if I copy it?

My name is xhonzi, author of The Secret History of Star Wars.

Hmm... Maybe I should just write my own...

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Here's an idea for a future letter. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/movies/05metropolis.html?ref=movies

It seems that Metropolis is going to be getting the full archival preservation treatment.  The film which was the inspiration for 3po, which got a colorized special edition in the 80s (something Lucas despized [colorization] at the time yet 10 years later mimiced [special edition]), well they've found a 'missing' half hour of the movie and it will be included in future released versions.  <nudge nudge wink wink>

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Just finished my letter, will drop it in the mail next time i'm out.

Dear Mr. Lucas,

 

It was recently announced by Steve Sansweet that Lucasfilm was hard at work on a Bluray boxed set of the Star Wars film series.  As a fan of these films for many years, I found this very exciting.  My excitement was tempered, however, by my knowledge of the recent history of Star Wars home video releases.  While I enjoy and support your efforts to create a director’s cut of each film that is precisely your vision, I find it alarming that this would be done at the cost of destroying the original, ground-breaking versions of these films. 

The theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy are historical landmarks that changed the film industry forever.  They also touched the lives of countless thousands of fans and movie-goers worldwide.  These original cuts deserve to be restored and preserved in the highest possible quality with today’s technology.

I would like to see this new Bluray boxed set contain the original theatrical versions of all six films alongside the final, definitive cut of each film.  Spielberg gave us both original & director’s cuts of E.T. The Extraterrestrial on DVD and three different versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Bluray.   Ridley Scott put five different cuts of the cult classic Blade Runner in a fantastic Bluray set.  These days it is quite common for studios to release both the theatrical cuts and director’s cuts of popular movies.

While I could go on indefinitely with reasons that the groundbreaking original cuts of the Star Wars films should be restored and preserved, I will conclude with this.  The only way I will ever purchase another copy of Star Wars on home video is if it includes the original theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy fully restored and presented in the highest possible quality available.

 

Thank you,

 

I wanted to add something about the various theatrical soundmixes as different audio options, but I felt it would've gotten too wordy/demanding.

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^Good letter.  I like the idea of bringing Speilberg and Scott into the argument.

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none said:

Here's an idea for a future letter. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/movies/05metropolis.html?ref=movies

It seems that Metropolis is going to be getting the full archival preservation treatment.  The film which was the inspiration for 3po, which got a colorized special edition in the 80s (something Lucas despized [colorization] at the time yet 10 years later mimiced [special edition]), well they've found a 'missing' half hour of the movie and it will be included in future released versions. 

Metropolis colorized? This is news to me. Are you sure you don't mean the color tints Giorgio Moroder used for his 1984 restoration? Tinting is a technique that's been around since movies were invented.


Where were you in '77?

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Metropolis colorized? This is news to me. Are you sure you don't mean the color tints Giorgio Moroder used for his 1984 restoration? Tinting is a technique that's been around since movies were invented.

If tinted is the correct terminology, i'll go with it.  but if the original was black and white and the '84 was some tinted color, you can hopefully see why i'd used the colorization term.  Yes it's off, but the point was it wasn't the original presentation.

 

 

(not a great argument coming up)

Having problems finding a real comparison, but if these images are close to the remake, you maybe could see the recolored point.

(NOTE : this is a 'recreation' of the '84 with comparison to the original)

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I sent an e-mail to Bill Hunt at Digital Bits. He was a big supporter and voice of public criticism back in 2006. I'm hoping he can maybe give us a spotlight and provide us with a more specific address/person to direct our protests to at LFL.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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That'll be an easy letter to write.

To whom it may concern,

     It has been recently announced that there are plans to release the Star Wars films on high-definition Blu-Ray disc. As a fan of the original theatrical cuts, I have no interest whatsoever in the "special edition" versions of the films. The last time that these original versions were released, they were released as "bonus material," and not in anamorphic widescreen and with both the original audio tracks as well as remixes, as is the industry standard. The fans were told that an attempt was not made to restore the versions, as the did not represent the "original vision" of Mr. Lucas. As a result, not only did I choose not to purchase them, but I made the decision to dissociate myself from all future Star Wars product, as it was clear to me that I was only wanted as a fan on certain terms. As a result, I decided to simply stop purchasing any and all Star Wars and Lucasfilm productions, including action figures, toys, novels, comics, DVDs video games, and others, as well as not viewing any episodes of the Clone Wars T.V. series. These versions represent an integral part of cinema history that represent the work of many talented and groundbreaking special effects artists who worked on the film. The DVD industry has show with such releases as the Alien series, The Lord of the Rings, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Touch of Evil, King Kong, Strangers on A Train, and numerous other films. Were these versions, properly remastered and restored to surface, I would pay any price at all to acquire them, even if presented in a rather expensive and exclusive boxed set, and if these versions are not included in the future releases, I will simply choose to spend my money elsewhere. Without them, I have no interest at all in spending any money on the Blu-Ray releases of the films, or indeed any future Lucasfilm products.

 

We should make as much noise as possible. Get Kevin Smith involved, see if anyone can find a way to contact anyone in Hollywood or any OOT creators miffed by the treatment of their work. Work tirelessly to involve EVERYONE possible. Try to make it so that not only are there angry fanboys, but people in high places (Obviously, it's not possible, but it'd be great if James Cameron, et al could be involved. It's unfortunate that Michael Bay has a website, as he'd be pretty much no help :P!). I've now given up all hope of it doing any good, but we should try anyway. Make so much noise that it's not possible that anyone in any corner of the world not to know what's going on, for all the good it won't do.  Plus, we have no idea where to direct stuff anyway.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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I think I'll right a letter to Lucas as well.   I doubt it will do any good,  but it can't hurt.

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To what address is everybody sending their letters?


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Mielr said:

 

Mike O said:


That'll be an easy letter to write.

Mike? Is that you? Welcome back! ;-)

 

Yeah, couldn't log in for the longest time, combined with complete belief that we'll never win and numerous personal problems meant that I was out of commission for a while.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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Has anyon ever made contact with national newspapers in their country to help spread the word? or even monthly flm mags like empire ?  

armacham@hotmail.co.uk

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Exactly. Contact everyone who might be able to get the word out in the media, mainstream or otherwise.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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I'm sending a second version of my letter monday. Bill Hunt never got back to me. Damn you, Digital Bits!

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I'll send one too, for what it's worth. I think The Bits and every site like it should have a banner pic about this all the time, but I guess that's not likely to happen, especially these days. The blu-ray world can't even agree on what a good disc should look like and how it should be done. And when the Star Wars topic comes up, it brings out a lot of these weird assholes who actively DON'T want the old versions and don't even to like to hear about it. At this point it's like taking a controversial stand to lobby for this simple thing, it has come that level of retarded.

This post has been edited.

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Baronlando said:

The blu-ray world can't even agree on what a good disc should look like and how it should be done.

Isn't that the truth! 

Bill Hunt has failed to reply to me too on several occasions.  Why he puts his e-mail address up is anybody's guess.

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Oddly, I noticed a reference to this in an episode of American Dad! the other day.

Stan (one of the main characters) arrived at a Star Wars convention, in search of his enemy. To create a diversion, his enemy announced that Stan was responsible for the lack of an anamorphic release of the pre-Special Edition Star Wars trilogy.

I could have dreamt it, though.

Judge

rubber baby buggy bumpers

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Actually, that American Dad episode pre-dates the GOUT debacle. Spooky, but true.

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Chewtobacca said:

Baronlando said:

The blu-ray world can't even agree on what a good disc should look like and how it should be done.

Isn't that the truth! 

Bill Hunt has failed to reply to me too on several occasions.  Why he puts his e-mail address up is anybody's guess.

Bit perplexing that Bill Hunt hasn't said anything on this (I've mailed him too) and yet he supports this on todays Bits news:

http://trekweb.com/articles/2010/06/05/TrekWebcom-Launches-Internet-Campaign-to-Restore-William-Shatners-Star-Trek-V-The-Final-Frontier-for-a-New-DVD-and-BluRay-Release.shtml

Still must be a busy man and perhaps there are 'political' reasons he's staying quiet on this for the time being...

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You might be right, Nerfherder.  I saw that campaign too.  I would love a DC of Star Trek V!   

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Fang Zei said:

Actually, that American Dad episode pre-dates the GOUT debacle. Spooky, but true.

Are you sure? I could have sworn AD premiered in 2005, and the GOUT hit DVD in 2004...


Where were you in '77?

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The SE was 2004. GOUT was 2006.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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