However, I think I would prefer a cleaned up GOUT that is closer to the VHS. Does anyone know what versions those would be as there are so so so many now?
The project that literally fits this requirement is dark_jedi’s “V3” trilogy:
But there are better options.
I don’t disagree that Star Wars Despecialized, even v2.7, has lots of visible seams, especially in Mos Eisley. IIRC those shots were upscaled from the GOUT, and, well, since the GOUT really isn’t even proper DVD resolution, mixing that with Blu-ray footage (even a low-quality Blu-ray like the 2011 set) isn’t ever going to be perfect. If the seams are the biggest issue, you may want to look into the DVD5 downscales of Despecialized. By capping the video quality at 480i, the Blu-ray and GOUT-sourced footage blend much better.
I do see a couple seams in Empire (nothing that bothers me, but bothering is relative), but Jedi for me seems smoothest of the bunch. Jedi is exactly frame-matched to the GOUT, so if you see any timing issues, you’ll see the same in the GOUT. You may be seeing something wonky with the VFX that’s part of the source that we’ve all gotten used to (or revealed in HD), or maybe it’s a judder/interpolation thing on your display. But if you prefer the SE ending, just go with the SE and don’t worry about it.
I’d also look into the 4K77 & 4K83 projects (the Destiny Editions seem to be a promising branch from these sources as well). They’re from scans of film prints, so while they don’t have all of the fine detail of Despecialized, they still generally have a lot more than the GOUT – and they’re all from one source, so it’s a consistent level of detail. I am personally not a huge fan of 4K77 (there’s something to complain about with every Star Wars preservation), but 4K83 is very nice and worth a look and the only gripe I have is the lack of fine detail compared to Despecialized. Since you’ve already indicated you’re willing to sacrifice some fine detail for a more consistent image, 4K83 may be a perfect fit for you, assuming you can grow to love Yub Nub 😉