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Post #1229391

Author
Hal 9000
Parent topic
The ‘Custom Special Edition’ That Almost Wasn’t, But Then Was
Link to post in topic
https://originaltrilogy.com/post/id/1229391/action/topic#1229391
Date created
29-Jul-2018, 11:00 PM
Last modified
29-Nov-2019, 11:16 AM
Edited by
Hal 9000
Reason for edit
None provided

Hal9000’s Custom Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition

This is Version 2 of this project. It has been remastered with much better source material, and a variety of improvements.

If the following strikes you as esoteric, I invite you to peruse the forums of Originaltrilogy.com.

First and foremost, credit is due to Adywan for producing his color corrected transfer of the BluRay’s video stream; CapableMetal, Jetrell1969, and SilverWook for their combined efforts at making the theatrical DTS audio from the 1997 Special Edition available; Harmy for producing the famed Despecialized Edition; Team Negative 1 for producing 4K77; NeverArGreat for producing his technicolor version; Sir Ridley for visual FX work; ChainsawAsh for encoding a DTS mix; and MalàStrana for assisting with subtitles.

Having satiated my restlessness with the Star Wars prequels, I wanted to put together a custom ‘Special Edition’ of the original trilogy to place on my shelf alongside the original, theatrical versions (currently represented by Harmy’s Despecialized Editions). I thought about calling them the “So You’ve Decided To Watch The Special Edition” version, because they wouldn’t be intended as one’s sole version of the films. Rather, a companion piece to the original versions, as a Special Edition should be.

I do not consider this a full-blown fan edit, as I am primarily hybridizing existing official versions of the film, keeping changes I can appreciate and excluding those I feel hinder the film. Of course, this is highly subjective, and everyone’s perfect blend would be slightly different.

The primary video source is Adywan’s color corrected version of the BluRay. The primary audio source is the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio. Exceptions are described in the list of changes.

This project is presented in 1080p BluRay-compliant video, with DTS and AC3 audio tracks, and English and French subtitles.

Available as a 1080p BR-compliant mkv, 720p mp4, and a DVD5.

Here follows a list of changes made to the primary video and audio sources for this project.

***Video Changes, beginning from Adywan’s color corrected BluRay transfer

  • Used an alternate language for the beginning of the crawl to correct a strange Special Edition change in which the opening STAR WARS logo recedes much more quickly than originally, or in any other film to date
  • With help from Sir Ridley, retimed the “look sir droids” scene to the original theatrical version while retaining Special Edition imagery. The scene feels like the original version without resorting to its footage or shortening the scene to remove added shots (The following scene’s opening shot of the sandcrawler remains in its Special Edition version.)
  • Thanks to Sir Ridley, the ‘cone of light’ missing from the Special Edition version of R2 projecting Leia’s image in Luke’s garage has been restored
  • Used NeverArGreat’s technicolor version of the shot of the setting suns, sourced from the original theatrical version, adjusting the rest of the scene to match by blending his and Adywan’s versions
  • Used NeverArGreat’s footage to remove a mistakenly composited image of Luke during the establishing shot of the homestead the following morning
  • The entrance to Mos Eisley has been reconceptualized to feature as close as possible to the best of both the original and Special Edition versions. This makes use of the Despecialized Edition for a few shots, creative editing, and color matching. The intended effect is to retain some of the improved visuals while avoiding the poor pacing and tone of the Special Edition.
  • Used 4K77 to restore two shots of the Wolfman alien, who had been replaced for the Special Edition
  • Used the Despecialized Edition to remove an added ugly CGI stormtrooper dismounting a dewback outside the Cantina
  • New subtitles for the Greedo scene have been added, borrowing from Catbus’ Project Threepio in order to match the look and feel of the originals as closely as possible
  • Used the Despecialized Edition to remove the added floating CGI droid to the stormtroopers’ search of the streets
  • Removed the scene between Han Solo and Jabba The Hutt added for the Special Edition, using a wipe transition rather than the original theatrical version’s cross fade in order to retain quality
  • Thanks to Sir Ridley, a new FX shot depicts the Falcon traveling through hyperspace toward the Death Star, and the following cockpit interior has been updated to correctly appear to be traveling through hyperspace (this was done for continuity with a subsequent change)
  • Used the Despecialized Edition for a few shots to restore blaster damage on the chests of Imperial officers which were censored for the Special Edition
  • Used 4K77 to restore the original dianoga
  • Thanks to laborious work from Sir Ridley, the Falcon’s interior is properly depicted as traveling through hyperspace, with a blue flicker present in the cockpit and through its windows. The establishing shot of the following scene has been gently modified without altering sync to depict the Falcon exiting hyperspace as it approaches Yavin IV.
  • Thanks to Sir Ridley, a TIE fighter has had its engine glow added which was mistakenly omitted for the Special Edition
  • NeverArGreat’s version of the Death Star explosion was used, coming very close to the 1997 Special Edition’s colors, avoiding the bleach-white coloring of subsequent releases
  • Recreated the original theatrical timing of the closing iris wipe, avoiding an awkward point at which the frame freezes during the Special Edition version

***Audio Changes, beginning from the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio mix:

  • Used the 2004 version of Kenobi’s ‘krayt dragon call,’ avoiding both the dewback sound of the original theatrical and the indescribable effect used for the 2011 BluRay
  • As a nod to the original mono mix, the Cantina band can be heard softly outside the Cantina, leading into the point at which the song has progressed when cut into the interior
  • Used a line from the mono mix as Wedge flies to assist Luke, going from “Blast it, Biggs, where are you,” to “Blast it, Wedge, where are you?”
  • Added a brief line from the radio drama after Biggs is killed, allowing Luke to react to the death of his friend to provide greater continuity to the scene between the two of them establishing them as friends in the Special Edition

(I have included an alternative audio track that omits the following audio change.)

  • Altered Kenobi’s line to Luke introducing the lightsaber for continuity with the prequels. Rather than, “Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough,” it now reads, “I wanted you to have this when you were old enough.”

Hal9000’s Custom Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition

(This is Version 2 of this project. It has been remastered with much better source material, though no changes to the content have been made compared to Version 1.)

If the following strikes you as esoteric, I invite you to peruse the forums of Originaltrilogy.com.

First and foremost, credit is due to DrDre and Sir Ridley for providing color correction LUTs; Adywan for producing his ‘Revisited’ project; CapableMetal, Jetrell1969, and SilverWook for their combined efforts at making the theatrical DTS audio from the 1997 Special Edition available; ChainsawAsh for encoding a DTS mix; and MalàStrana for assisting with subtitles.

Having satiated my restlessness with the Star Wars prequels, I wanted to put together a custom ‘Special Edition’ of the original trilogy to place on my shelf alongside the original, theatrical versions (currently represented by Harmy’s Despecialized Editions). I thought about calling them the “So You’ve Decided To Watch The Special Edition” version, because they wouldn’t be intended as one’s sole version of the films. Rather, a companion piece to the original versions, as a Special Edition should be.

I do not consider this a full-blown fan edit, as I am primarily hybridizing existing official versions of the film, keeping changes I can appreciate and excluding those I feel hinder the film. Of course, this is highly subjective, and everyone’s perfect blend would be slightly different.

I utilized three video sources for this project: The 2011 BluRay transfer, Adywan’s ESB: Revisited, and KK650’s Semi-Specialized Edition. The primary audio source is the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio, though audio from Revisited was used for a few scenes, and 2011 BluRay audio for one scene.

This project is presented in 1080p BluRay-compliant video, with DTS and AC3 audio tracks, and English and French subtitles.

Available as a 1080p BR-compliant mkv, 720p mp4, and a DVD5.

Here follows a list of changes made to the 2011 BluRay starting point for this project.

***Video Changes

  • BluRay footage has been color corrected on a scene-by-scene (and shot-by-shot, as needed) basis using LUTs generated by DrDre and Sir Ridley, applied somewhat creatively at times
  • Used wampa escape scene from Adywan’s Revisited, which brings enhancements while retaining the pacing (and, indeed, sync) of the original version.
  • Used the conversation between Vader and the Emperor from Adywan’s Revisited, as he essentially honored the content of the original version of the scene while realizing the potential the 2004 DVD version presents.
  • Used Adywan’s Revisited to avoid a continuity error posed by the Special Edition as an expanded cityscape out a Cloud City window disappears a few shots later.
  • Recreated the original pacing of the escape from Cloud City, removing Vader departing for and arriving on his star destroyer, though leaving two brief shots of the shuttle ascending.

***Audio Changes, beginning from the 1997 Special Edition theatrical DTS audio mix:

  • Reinstated Luke’s line to R2 of, “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good.”
  • Used 2011 BluRay audio to include updated sound design for Slave I during its first appearance to match Episode II.
  • Removed Luke’s scream from the 1997 mix as he falls down the Cloud City shaft after his confrontation with Vader.

(I have included an alternative audio track that omits the following audio change.)

  • Altered Ben Kenobi’s description of Yoda from “The Jedi Master who instructed me” to “A Jedi Master who instructed me” for better continuity with the prequels.

ROTJ

Return Of The Jedi is still a work in progress, but once Adywan eventually releases his color corrected BluRay transfer, that will serve as the primary source.

  • Use pre-2011 footage for the establishing shot of the exterior of Jabba’s front door.

  • Use OOT for Lapti Nek.

  • Use the SE addition of Oola falling into the Rancor pit, without other SE elements prior (no FX work needed).

  • Either use OOT or apply manual work in order to remove two SE shots of Boba Fett with the SE backup singers. (Or not, if it’s not doable.)

  • Use pre-2011 footage to remove the added CGI effects as Han is thawed out.

  • Use pre-2011 footage to remove the added CGI dug prior to Luke entering Jabba’s throne room.

  • Use pre-2011 footage to remove any and all CGI blinking ewoks.

  • Use pre-2011 footage to remove CGI additions to R2 after he is shot while trying to break into the bunker.

  • Use OOT, or manual work, to remove the added shockwave around the second Death Star explosion.

  • Use the 2011 galactic celebration montage, modified: Matching the 1997 SE’s timing and audio, replace Tatooine with Naboo manually. (EDIT: Not really possible, but “we’d agree” line removed.)

  • Use pre-2004 footage to feature Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker’s ghostly visage.

  • I wouldn’t imagine a great deal of fruit in any alternate audio tracks for this one.