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Post #1229391

Hal 9000
Parent topic
The ‘Custom Special Edition’ That Almost Wasn’t, But Then Was
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Date created
29-Jul-2018, 11:00 PM
Last modified
1-May-2019, 9:03 AM
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I have long wanted to put together a definitive “custom Special Edition” version of the OT, ever since I was aware of there being two (at that time) different versions of the movies out there. I couldn’t do justice to the incredible preservation work this community has produced in the last 15 years, so I will not attempt to go into that here.

Below is an outline for one such project which requires idealized versions of source material that doesn’t exist. This project will more than likely never actually be produced, though I wanted to at least spell out a specific plan for what I would like to do.

What stands in the way of completing this project, and what are its goals?

The goal would simply be to harmonize the various official versions of the films to produce a suitable ‘custom Special Edition’ version to compliment one’s OOT preservation of choice. It would not be intended as a definitive version, and certainly not as a replacement to the OOT. But, it should still be a consistent and quality presentation of fundamentally the same films.

The biggest obstacle would be source material. I would not want to venture on a project like this until relatively stable source material exists. The primary source would be a color corrected 2011 BluRay transfer, with a secondary being a yet-future 1080p “final” Despecialized Edition. These two sources ought to be color corrected to closely match each other, by whatever means, as a starting point.

Several of these changes would require manual FX work. In these instances, we would move beyond the goal of strictly picking and choosing from various versions of the films. Sometimes this would be needed in order to pick and choose between elements present within the same shot, or when merely cutting between versions would not do. Sometimes it is desired to use a SE shot, but extended manually in order to match the timing of the original. These have been specified below.

So, here is my dream list of (visual) changes to the 2011 BluRay master, save for color correction and all the preliminary cleanup. Again, I don’t expect that the stars will ever align to see this actually get made, but here it is anyway.


  • Ala Adywan, recreate the timing of the crawl in relation to the music (including the timing of Tatooine entering the frame), while retaining "Episode IV: A New Hope.”

  • If using NeverarGreat’s technicolor 2011 (tweaked slightly) version as the base, ask Neverar to export a version of R2’s jump cut-less shot. (He re-added a jump cut for his version.)

  • Add missing SE vaporators to one shot. (Or simply use OOT to remove them from the first shot.)

  • Use OOT in order to include the “cone of light” emitted from R2’s projector for three shots in Luke’s garage.

  • Remove the ghostly image of Luke caused by a (re-)compositing mistake right before Owen calls (sings) for Luke in the morning.

  • Get rid of the rocks added in front of R2 for the 2011 version.

  • Use the 2004 version of the Krayt Dragon call (with the original available in an alternate audio track)

  • Mos Eisley entrance. I want to keep enough of the CGI expanded atmosphere to have other short bits fit in nicely, such as when the Falcon takes off.

    • The speeder approaches the city…
    • Use SE shot of speeder, the one with mirror image troopers added.
    • If possible, given music and pacing, include the OOT establishing shot which went on to include a Jawa swinging from a Ronto
    • OOT version of ‘traffic stop’ sequence.
    • Beginning with final shot of ‘traffic stop’ sequence, or perhaps beginning with the next shot, use 2011 footage to include expanded establishing shots and added Rontos and dewback in front of cantina.
  • Use OOT to reinclude the Wolfman for two shots.

  • Use OOT to remove Greedo shooting at Han.

  • Use OOT to remove the SE flying droid accompanying the troopers as they search for the droids.

  • Remove the SE Jabba the Hutt scene using OOT.

  • While retaining the SE version of the Alderaan explosion, manually remove the added shockwave. [Would be nice to not have every major explosion in the OT, and only the OT, have a shockwave. This way, only Death Stars do this. Or, alternatively, you could have ONLY Alderaan do this, while neither Death Star would.]

  • Use OOT to reinstate the blaster flashes that were censored in a few SE shots.

  • Manually reanimate a blinking light in a wide shot of the Death Star which was accidentally removed for the SE.

  • Use pre-2004 footage to use the original dianoga.

  • Ala Adywan, depict the Falcon as being in hyperspace (blue) during the “not a bad bit of rescuing” scene.

  • Ala Adywan, retain the SE Biggs scene, though smooth R2’s vertical trajectory to avoid an awkward jump cut masked by a passerby in the foreground. [If this was done, use the line, "Blast it, Biggs, where are you,” and use Adywan’s audio idea to let Luke acknowledge his friend’s death.]

Potentially use the OOT Death Star explosion, depending on what was possible about Alderaan. [See Alderaan explosion comment.]

  • Idea: manually modify R2’s red/blue light to reflect the rest of the saga ONLY during the final scene, after he was shot during the battle

  • Manually fix the SE’s little issue where Leia starts to move her hands upward right as the frame freezes as we wipe to credits.

  • (A few different audio mixes could be created to provide multiple options, such as a “mostly 2011” mix or a “mostly 1997” mix, etc.)


  • Stick with the SE wampa scene, but use OOT (or a manual transition) to remove one particular Wampa cutaway shot as Luke dangles after his initial attempt to reach the saber.

  • Use pre-2004 footage to feature the original framing of all Falcon cockpit scenes which were zoomed in for the 2004 version.

  • Use Adywan’s version of the Emperor scene. Another slight deviation from the rules, though very much in the spirit of hybridizing the OOT and SE. Worth making a slight exception.

  • Use pre-2011 footage to remove the added CGI sparks as Chewie struggles with the ughnauts to reclaim 3PO.

  • Use OOT to remove the added elevator outside a new window in the Cloud City hallway which poses continuity issues later in the scene.

  • Manually fix the scale issue between the added Cloud City balcony and our heroes as they run past. (The scene where they meet up with R2.) Could borrow from Adywan, though would need to use the SE’s version of the sky over his for continuity’s sake.

  • Recreate original content and timing of the Falcon’s escape, removing the added sequence of Vader’s shuttle landing aboard the Star Destroyer. (No FX work needed.)

  • I can imagine creating at least two audio mixes for this one: “mostly 1997 SE” and “mostly 2011 (including new Boba Fett voice).”


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.