Broom Kid said:
Is… is this a sign they actually went back to the 97 negative and redid all of the subsequent changes?
That’s exactly what Reliance did, yes. Their restoration started with a new scan of the 1997 negative, and then all the 2011 changes (plus a few more) were applied to it.
I’m becoming convinced through my own brand of research. All of the 04 mistakes are gone. Some weird changes made in 04 are missing (Alderaan slides into position on the DS screen again).
So it’s 2009/10, they were working on the 3D version, presumably in 4K, perhaps hoping to downscale it for the Blu-ray. Maybe recreating all of the 04 effects in 4K was taking longer than expected, so they took the 3D release changes and applied them to the 1080p/2004 master and released it in 2011, finishing the recreated 04 changes in 2012.
This doesn’t explain why they bothered to mess with Greedo for the Blu-ray. Perhaps it’s an earlier draft?
Do we know when Reliance did their scan?