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Star Wars: The Lost Cut

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I am not the first to try my hand at this edit. TM2YC had a go at it, and to my understanding intends to complete it someday.

Likewise, Obi Benuubi also began work on it, though he has fizzled out and has not been heard from for some time. To his credit, he already typed up a great deal of the same background information and links that I would provide. Therefore, I will be reusing some of his OP here.

There exists a rough cut of Star Wars: A New Hope. This has become what people now call “The Lost Cut”. This version was originally spliced together by John Jympson. The film was later re-cut to form the film I saw in theaters back in May 1977.

David Reynolds published an article in the Star Wars Insider #41 that talked about it. Here’s a brief rundown of what he mentioned:

  1. Black-and-white, silent 13 35mm reels.

  2. The reel cans are labeled “The Star Wars”, which was the original title.

  3. 30-40% different footage (including unused scenes and longer/alternate takes).

  4. Feels less dramatic than theatrical cut; more documentary-like.

  5. Live projected backgrounds were often used in place of blue screen effects.

  6. There is more time given to both main and secondary characters.

For reference, here are pictures to the article describing the “Lost Cut.”

Star Wars Insider #41 scans: Pages 68-75, 4 files, 2 pages each: http://i.imgur.com/T43degX.jpg | http://i.imgur.com/JKQGxxg.jpg | http://i.imgur.com/FmXE3YP.jpg | http://i.imgur.com/x4JVqx9.jpg

I am working on recreating this same cut as closely as we can with today’s existing footage. Admittedly, this is a hypothetical cut that comes closer to matching this “Lost Cut” than the version we all love, but it certainly is not the same.

I am very fortunate to have TM2YC’s permission to use his rough draft, where he had already made a great deal of wonderful progress. We don’t have exactly the same plans, but he did so much that I am truly amazed and appreciative of the foundation he has laid. If I do actually end up completing this project, I still could hardly take any credit for it, because truly it is his edit with my tailoring. I have no intention to steal his thunder, and therefore, if he ever decides to revoke his permission, I feel I owe it to him to give him back his work. However, I hope he will continue to allow me to work using his project as a starting point.

NOTABLE CHANGES:

The scenes will be structured to match the original script, with the novel providing assistance.
I will use as many deleted scenes and alternate takes as possible.
Existing footage will be downgraded with scratches and dirt, and all will be in black and white.
I will add audio from the Radio Drama on rare occasions to flesh out dialogue or add emotion
Luke will make two trench runs as described in the novel and originally scripted

Among the differences from the true Lost Cut are the obvious facts that I will retain sound and music. Also, there will be times when I keep shots that only existed in reshoots, such as some of the creatures from the cantina.

I also have a bit of a different vision from TM2YC when completing this project. While he was trying to retain a compelling storyline at the expense of historical accuracy, I am going to reproduce the Lost Cut with greater accuracy, though it will probably be a less interesting story for it.

REQUESTS:

I already have numerous alternate and deleted shots available, though I am open to new material if you find something I was not aware of.

I am also open to suggestions. For instance, there are times where it would be useful to have a shot, yet the closest we might have available is a single frame. Should I include these pictures, perhaps with a “SCENE MISSING” overlay and dialogue/soundtrack to help fill in gaps? Should I use stock footage from WWII at times, or should I just stick to Star Wars footage? Should I use pre-effects footage when available?

While most of the audio editing shouldn’t be too problematic, there is one area where it truly becomes difficult: the Battle of Yavin; the music and dialogue are so intertwined that one cannot isolate the dialogue, and yet the scene requires a great deal of reordering. This results in a very awkward audio experience. I intend to rebuild the audio for this particular scene, but it is difficult without isolated dialogue. I found some lines from the soundboard on starwars.com, but that is only a small percentage of the total lines. I will probably have to capture each individual line, reduce the sound, and insert a low-quality line back into the movie, hoping the new soundtrack will cover most of the flaws.

I would appreciate is some help with special effects. Yes, I know that Star Wars did not utilize the CGI I am requesting, but I believe they are within the spirit of the original movie and make certain elements work better. I cannot do even the most basic of tasks, but I imagine my requests are rather simple for some of the technical wizards I’ve seen around here:

  • Take one of the shots of Luke zooming down the Death Star trench towards the camera and add a proton torpedo launch - this is to give variety to the proton torpedo launches since Luke is making two runs. It will still be a reused element, but it will appear different with the torpedo launch.

  • Remove the view of the trench outside Luke’s cockpit after Red Leader dies and he looks concerned - as he looks far more distressed after Red Leader dies than after Biggs dies, and as we will be reintroducing the Biggs scenes, I believe it is better to switch the shots, but the reaction to new Biggs’s death shows the trench walls through the windows.

  • Add the effect of an exploding Alderaan to the screen that Leia is watching when she sees her homeworld destroyed - there is actual video of her watching the viewscreen, but this picture of her walking away is merely a lone still.

  • Assistance with recreating a different Star Wars opening crawl - this is an earlier version of the crawl with a different logo that recedes with the rest of the text. This picture actually belongs to a YouTube video that recreates the crawl, but it fades earlier than would be ideal.

Has anyone ever obtained individual sound elements from the 1983 Star Wars arcade game? I know that there are some lines there that might prove useful.

Many, many thanks go to TM2YC for putting so much work into this edit already. He has created effects that allow for the inclusion of more material and has allowed me to use his draft as a springboard.

This post has been edited.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

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Another request (shoulda mentioned this earlier):

I have a vague and possibly false recollection of seeing the entry into the Death Star trench without lasers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WBG2rJZGW8&t=5m58s

I would like to show the Y-wings entering prior to the beginning of laser fire. If this footage truly exists, can anyone point me to it?

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

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darth_ender said:

Another request (shoulda mentioned this earlier):

I have a vague and possibly false recollection of seeing the entry into the Death Star trench without lasers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WBG2rJZGW8&t=5m58s

I would like to show the Y-wings entering prior to the beginning of laser fire. If this footage truly exists, can anyone point me to it?

I’m not sure why something like that would exist considering that it’s two shots that are joined by a hidden cut in a laser flash.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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One other thing I thought of in regards to the opening crawl. Would it be possible to recreate it by actually filming it like it was originally done. I’m sure there are people here that know what the complete text was. I think that would look better than creating it digitally. Just a thought.

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use only star wars stuff,not ww2.
fill missing scenes with pics and use unfinished scenes or fx.
i´m very interested in this.

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A point you have raised i find considerably interesting.

With regards to the destruction of Alderaan from within the view screen.

Although when you consider the explosion has a big jump cut in it. This may actually explain why there is a jump cut if the destruction was to be spread across 2 or 3 shots.

Perhaps the Laser forms the cone we then see the planet hit through the viewscreen being hit and the start of the explosion

Next would be a short reaction from Leia. Then cut to Space to complete the explosion.

So although we are merely talking about half a second or so.

I think it is the answer to the Jump cut.

Also it might go the other way around Space explosion. Leia reaction. Remainder of explosion completes in the view screen.

I might have a go at that. Where can I find the reaction shot?

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Dek Rollins said:

darth_ender said:

Another request (shoulda mentioned this earlier):

I have a vague and possibly false recollection of seeing the entry into the Death Star trench without lasers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WBG2rJZGW8&t=5m58s

I would like to show the Y-wings entering prior to the beginning of laser fire. If this footage truly exists, can anyone point me to it?

I’m not sure why something like that would exist considering that it’s two shots that are joined by a hidden cut in a laser flash.

That’s funny that I never realized that. Obviously my memory is faulty.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

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cosmicjazz said:

Are you going to remove the matte shots by utilizing old photos like this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MERFX04Jndg/VngaAzjcp6I/AAAAAAAAh5g/ZC5LfA_qdjU/s1600/matte%2Bpainting%2Bstrange%2Btales%2Bharrison%2Bellenshaw%2Bsand%2Bcrawler%2Bstar%2Bwars.jpg

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--YRwKE0u5--/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/hsstfavfl3wxpxeoxd9x.jpg

http://www.blueharvest.net/images/set/tat/behind-lukeben.jpg

Unfortunately, I don’t have much in the way of special effects skills. I would love to use shots without effects, but unless the shot already exists in motion, I will not be able to change it on my own. That said, if anyone is able to restore the pre-effects shots, I’d be pleased and would make use of them.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

Author
Time

cosmicjazz said:

One other thing I thought of in regards to the opening crawl. Would it be possible to recreate it by actually filming it like it was originally done. I’m sure there are people here that know what the complete text was. I think that would look better than creating it digitally. Just a thought.

That would be fun. Not sure anyone is willing to go to those lengths but that would be nifty.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

Author
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benduwan said:

use only star wars stuff,not ww2.

Sounds good. I agree.

fill missing scenes with pics and use unfinished scenes or fx.

I have so many pictures that I might have to limit my use of pictures to the most important occasions, but I think I agree with you, I should use pictures to fill in some holes. Thanks!

i´m very interested in this.

I’m glad. No disrespect to any other editor, but TM2YC’s Lost Workprint edit was probably my favorite fan edit if all time. I love the inclusion of all these deleted scenes! Hopefully I can do justice to the edit in those portions I’ve taken on.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

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Ronster said:

A point you have raised i find considerably interesting.

With regards to the destruction of Alderaan from within the view screen.

Although when you consider the explosion has a big jump cut in it. This may actually explain why there is a jump cut if the destruction was to be spread across 2 or 3 shots.

Perhaps the Laser forms the cone we then see the planet hit through the viewscreen being hit and the start of the explosion

Next would be a short reaction from Leia. Then cut to Space to complete the explosion.

So although we are merely talking about half a second or so.

I think it is the answer to the Jump cut.

Also it might go the other way around Space explosion. Leia reaction. Remainder of explosion completes in the view screen.

I might have a go at that. Where can I find the reaction shot?

You might be right. I would love to see any mockup you could do!

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

Author
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darth_ender said:

Ronster said:

A point you have raised i find considerably interesting.

With regards to the destruction of Alderaan from within the view screen.

Although when you consider the explosion has a big jump cut in it. This may actually explain why there is a jump cut if the destruction was to be spread across 2 or 3 shots.

Perhaps the Laser forms the cone we then see the planet hit through the viewscreen being hit and the start of the explosion

Next would be a short reaction from Leia. Then cut to Space to complete the explosion.

So although we are merely talking about half a second or so.

I think it is the answer to the Jump cut.

Also it might go the other way around Space explosion. Leia reaction. Remainder of explosion completes in the view screen.

I might have a go at that. Where can I find the reaction shot?

You might be right. I would love to see any mockup you could do!

It’s weird but I have been thinking about this part recently… Anyway can you point me to the Leia reaction shot if possible?

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darth_ender said:

cosmicjazz said:

One other thing I thought of in regards to the opening crawl. Would it be possible to recreate it by actually filming it like it was originally done. I’m sure there are people here that know what the complete text was. I think that would look better than creating it digitally. Just a thought.

That would be fun. Not sure anyone is willing to go to those lengths but that would be nifty.

If I knew the text I may give it a shot

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darth_ender said:

benduwan said:

use only star wars stuff,not ww2.

Sounds good. I agree.

fill missing scenes with pics and use unfinished scenes or fx.

I have so many pictures that I might have to limit my use of pictures to the most important occasions, but I think I agree with you, I should use pictures to fill in some holes. Thanks!

i´m very interested in this.

I’m glad. No disrespect to any other editor, but TM2YC’s Lost Workprint edit was probably my favorite fan edit if all time. I love the inclusion of all these deleted scenes! Hopefully I can do justice to the edit in those portions I’ve taken on.

Was that edit released? Never saw it.

This post has been edited.

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Ronster said:

darth_ender said:

Ronster said:

A point you have raised i find considerably interesting.

With regards to the destruction of Alderaan from within the view screen.

Although when you consider the explosion has a big jump cut in it. This may actually explain why there is a jump cut if the destruction was to be spread across 2 or 3 shots.

Perhaps the Laser forms the cone we then see the planet hit through the viewscreen being hit and the start of the explosion

Next would be a short reaction from Leia. Then cut to Space to complete the explosion.

So although we are merely talking about half a second or so.

I think it is the answer to the Jump cut.

Also it might go the other way around Space explosion. Leia reaction. Remainder of explosion completes in the view screen.

I might have a go at that. Where can I find the reaction shot?

You might be right. I would love to see any mockup you could do!

It’s weird but I have been thinking about this part recently… Anyway can you point me to the Leia reaction shot if possible?

Around the 1 hr 8-9 minute mark.

https://vimeo.com/32442801

Of course now looking at it, she speaks so quickly that it might not fit but I was planning on combining the different angles of “You call yourselves humans” anyway. I’ll just have to silence her dialogue from the back.

This post has been edited.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

Author
Time

cosmicjazz said:

darth_ender said:

cosmicjazz said:

One other thing I thought of in regards to the opening crawl. Would it be possible to recreate it by actually filming it like it was originally done. I’m sure there are people here that know what the complete text was. I think that would look better than creating it digitally. Just a thought.

That would be fun. Not sure anyone is willing to go to those lengths but that would be nifty.

If I knew the text I may give it a shot

This video replicates it perfectly, but it fades out too soon.

https://youtu.be/eNHQmHVrORc

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

Author
Time

cosmicjazz said:

darth_ender said:

benduwan said:

use only star wars stuff,not ww2.

Sounds good. I agree.

fill missing scenes with pics and use unfinished scenes or fx.

I have so many pictures that I might have to limit my use of pictures to the most important occasions, but I think I agree with you, I should use pictures to fill in some holes. Thanks!

i´m very interested in this.

I’m glad. No disrespect to any other editor, but TM2YC’s Lost Workprint edit was probably my favorite fan edit if all time. I love the inclusion of all these deleted scenes! Hopefully I can do justice to the edit in those portions I’ve taken on.

Was that edit released? Never saw it.

It was never released, but I saw a rough draft. Though I’ll be using his draft as my base, I still don’t feel comfortable sharing that draft as it is without his permission.

The ROTJ collaborative thread is a wealth of ideas, both on how to edit Return of the Jedi, as well as how to collaborate in an edit.

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I doubt the “LOST CUT” will ever get an official release. A version produced by STAR WARS fans would be great.

It’ll never be 100% accurate but there is enough deleted/alternate material out there to construct a rough approximation.

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darth_ender said:

Ronster said:

darth_ender said:

Ronster said:

A point you have raised i find considerably interesting.

With regards to the destruction of Alderaan from within the view screen.

Although when you consider the explosion has a big jump cut in it. This may actually explain why there is a jump cut if the destruction was to be spread across 2 or 3 shots.

Perhaps the Laser forms the cone we then see the planet hit through the viewscreen being hit and the start of the explosion

Next would be a short reaction from Leia. Then cut to Space to complete the explosion.

So although we are merely talking about half a second or so.

I think it is the answer to the Jump cut.

Also it might go the other way around Space explosion. Leia reaction. Remainder of explosion completes in the view screen.

I might have a go at that. Where can I find the reaction shot?

You might be right. I would love to see any mockup you could do!

It’s weird but I have been thinking about this part recently… Anyway can you point me to the Leia reaction shot if possible?

Around the 1 hr 8-9 minute mark.

https://vimeo.com/32442801

Of course now looking at it, she speaks so quickly that it might not fit but I was planning on combining the different angles of “You call yourselves humans” anyway. I’ll just have to silence her dialogue from the back.

Yeah ok so I am roughly looking at it and it and what is apparent straight off the Bat is the music is all wrong. If you track back from the millennium falcon the music is right. Basically it’s equivalent to reaching the climax before you should 😃.

The music builds up and up and then releases before the planet is destroyed. I don’t think John Williams would write it like that which means the music needs to start a bit later by ? amount which leaves room for the extra bit of ? length after the explosion which should join exactly with the music on the falcon which is correct. So I think if you listen to the music it’s pretty obvious where the explosion should go before the strings come in as we watch all the debris fly away. I would also imagine the shots in the control room will also fit better and the Laser will fill the Gap in the rhythmic stabs.

I’ll have a go tomorrow and see what it’s adding up to.

To Parch your curiosity It’s just an extended explosion (extra 3 seconds approx) nothing more.

This post has been edited.

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Ok I did it! (What little hair I have left disappeared with Lightworks Suite and it’s audio bugs! anyway I had to render it in Movie Maker as it was the only program that I have that could read 2 audio files in the same manner as Video audio and a Wav exactly the same to switch between…)

https://vimeo.com/250641294

I will talk you through the process and decisions.

I did a rough color correction on it. The most notable are the first shot inside the Death Star Command with Tarkin in front of the viewscreen. Second is the Death Star Firing Cone. They Both had Hue alterations done on it as they were out on Hue and the Death Star Laser Core was made Yellow on the cone.

The Audio was re-done from the part from “Dantooine is too small to be an effective demonstration” That is I think is where it was cut?

The explosion was restored using the Bluescreen shot And Mike Verta’s Vimeo Clip as I needed to see what was going on to line up the Blue Screen shot properly. I slowed it down quite a bit so this does not rule out Leia’s Line at all. I will send you the clip stand alone if you would like which runs a bit faster. Slowed to 87% the explosion…

I Guessed that the Explosion Dissolved into the Falcon shot. Because the music seems to suggest that but this is my interpretation. And I don’t like to fight against John WIlliams he Rules so you must fit with him as the Video shows. I felt anymore Dialogue after the explosion would be anti climactic. You could just as easily hard cut it also.

The main Take away is the music rather than special effects.

Do you like it?

Something else I have noticed is that see Tarkin mouth the same lines twice from a different angle. I would imagine that after “Name the System” should be cropped to remove Tarkins Mouth.

EDIT

Ok realised I messed up the sound effects for the Death Star firing I will fix this and re-up so at least if someone wants to use the audio then they can… So I will do a version 2 and polish it off.
Sorry about that!

Also this whole repeated shot of Tarkin has me thinking it was a cover shot for showing the view screen changing to show Alderaan. i.e. Alderaan was not on there until after he says “Home planet of Alderaan” then the screen changes from a graphic to video (also in Radio Drama) the dialogue is then moved a bit later and only shows one take but also We need not see in video Alderaan until this point as Motti says “We have reached the Alderaaan system” If Tarkin could see Alderaan out the window why did he need someone to tell him they were there???

So that is very important. Doing that second shot in the clip I posted is beyond me I think but I could do the Alderaan Reveal and move the dialogue later that is easy enough.

So to properly get it right the half moon Alderaan on the second shot out the view screen needs to be replaced with something other than Alderaan and some sort of graphic. (This would not be the Lost cut but the lost bit of Overbridge control Room 😃 )

If someone wants to have a go at the second shot I will do the transition shot otherwise leave it as open…

Also not taking away from Darth Enders project at all.

I Think Andrea should join in also (Hint!)

This post has been edited.

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do you have start with this?
is it possible to make 2 versions of this?
your b&w and a colorized?
thanks

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