can subtitles be rendered from images - I mean, if I cut the subs directly from one frame of a 35mm scan, could that be turned into a soft sub?
Both DVD and BD subtitle streams are image overlays of pre-rendered text, if I’m not mistaken, as long as you stick to a method like that I’d think you’d be able to establish a pretty consistent look. Branching opening crawls might be a world of hurt, though.
One big perk of soft subbing Greedo/Jabba scenes might be that people can choose between theatrically accurate placement and subtitles shifted into the black bars (I for one would enjoy an option of unobstructed image). And your preservation of the Han Shoots Only (First, as we know, is a misnomer) scene would be more widely accessible for others to use for examples or in their own projects; so… two, two big perks!