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1997 Special Edition Restoration thoughts...

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Ok,
So it feels like it's been in front of me the whole time, but Lucas has said that a high quality print of the original films before the SE's doesn't exist to be able to release the OT in a high quality format.
But surely when he took the original prints he had used to be restored for the SE's, they were committed to digital files in a computer to be able to do all the SE's tweaks and fixes.
So it stands to reason that there DOES exist a high definition cleaned up digital backup of all three OT films.
Or did he delete them as he was tweaking them?

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 (Edited)

Yeah, anyway.

I seriously doubt he'd go and do ALL that DIGITAL work, and make PHYSICAL prints of it, and splice it into an OLD print, hoping only then he can get it to match up, and THEN re-dump it all into a computer for making prints later.

They have to exist.

He's holding out on us because he's a senile flannel wearing blowfish.

 

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Ridiculous, quite right, but apparently that's what happened. The original negative is the highest quality source for the movie, coming straight from the camera, so that's what Lucas wanted to use for his so called restoration. Instead of making a copy of the o-neg first and cutting all the alterations into it, he just cut them straight into the o-neg.

I've heard people say time and again on these boards that if they were in control of the situation they'd take the altered '97 negative and basically de-alter it. The rationale seems to be that the o-neg will always be the highest quality source, so we shouldn't even consider using another source like an IP or a print. Honestly, it makes no difference to me if an IP were to be used for our long-sought-after remastered OOT. I mean, the prints that you go to see in movie theaters are several generations removed from their o-negs, and a print is basically the highest quality you can actually watch a movie in, short of digital projection of course.

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That does seem all too ridiculous.

But my other question on THAT would be, in order for him to edit and add in new FX to old scenes, ( ex. Han/Greedo scene) he would have had to scan that footage into a computer to manipulate it as he did.

So at SOME point, even if he did take physical prints of the doctored scenes and splice them physically right into the restored negative, the original print negatives existed in the digital realm before being SE'inized.

Right?

 

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Right, it's just that I see it being infinitely more complicated to track down those scanned pieces of negative (if they even bothered to save the initial scan on a computer before they SE'inized it, and they probably didn't) and then cutting those back together with the unaltered pieces of the restored '97 negative. I think it would just be easier to take an interpositive and do whatever restoration necessary. Then they can make a 1080p transfer of that.

Speaking of which, what do you guys think LFL did with the '97 negative after it got scanned for Lowry's digital restoration in '04? I mean, I somehow doubt Lucas intends to have Lowry restore it all over again. He didn't want it to be done in anything higher than 1080p 'cause then it would look better than AOTC and ROTS. So is there any reason for them to hold on to the o-neg anymore?

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There's no way that anyone in their right minds would have spliced the 97 footage back into the original negative. A new print must have been created after cleaning the o-neg as much as possible, and then the 97 scenes would have been spliced into that. There is proof that the original negatives were restored (Lucas said so himself in 97!), so the question is: Where the hell are they? The 1993 "Definitive" Collection laserdiscs cannot be our historal reference print!

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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jhfagan said:

That does seem all too ridiculous.

But my other question on THAT would be, in order for him to edit and add in new FX to old scenes, ( ex. Han/Greedo scene) he would have had to scan that footage into a computer to manipulate it as he did.

So at SOME point, even if he did take physical prints of the doctored scenes and splice them physically right into the restored negative, the original print negatives existed in the digital realm before being SE'inized.

Right?

 

 

 I hope that was what he did, that means that a restored, 4K copy is still possible. I would settle for an interpositive too. Better than DVD copies of laserdiscs (that was mean of me). I really do wish he would make 4K restored copies of the unaltered trilogy, just as an act of preserving film art.

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Back in 1997, the official star wars site said the original movies had to be restored before any alterations could be made. Why they didn't use that new unaltered print for the "One Last Time" release instead of using the same master from 1993 is what really puzzles me.

Lucas would have been crazy to physically splice in the new scenes rather than make a new print. Even if he wanted to, the restored unaltered print was very fragile, it would have been very risky to cut it any further.

I think the slim box set shows LFL realizes people want both versions. I've even seen the 2004 dvd's being sold individually but with the '06 dvd included. LFL could just say we're no longer selling the originals individually but they go to the trouble of putting them in unlabeled (except for the front sticker) anyways. Maybe the Gout did sell well enough after all.

Take back the trilogy. Execute Order '77

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Yeah, I wish there was some way we could see definitive numbers on how the GOUT's sales stack up against the 04 set's, though I really don't think there were that many people who didn't buy it because they knew it was non-anamorphic. Most people probably think all standard dvd's are 4:3 letterbox (how many times have we gone over to a friend's house and needed to set their dvd player to 16:9 because the picture was all stretched out?), so the people who didn't buy it either a) aren't star wars fans or b) already had the '04 set and don't care about the alterations. But there's obviously a large number of people who are neither because the GOUT still sold quite well. Even the knowledgeable on this very forum were saying they bought it hand over fist because it might be the best we ever get.

When the blu-ray comes out, there won't be some way of fooling everyone who doesn't know any better. There is only 16:9, so that's what the OOT will have to be if they include it. Of course, I'm sure they could pull something just as annoying and include a 16:9 480p mpeg-2 transfer in the corner of the same disc that has the nice 1080p SE, just so they wouldn't have to put the original version on its own disc.

Here's what I'm thinking: it only took six years for dvd to overtake vhs, which is why Lucas released the OT in '04 instead of waiting even longer like he'd originally planned. The live-action show is hitting circa 2012, and I'm betting Lucas will put out the blu-ray right before then. Live-action tv is the only medium Star Wars has never been told in, barring the holiday special. Call me naive, but I would think they'd want to make the blu-ray the definitive set at least so far as non-downloadable content goes (bd-live will allow them to put out more extras later). Once the show is on the air, I would think it'll be all about the show and - later on - the blu-ray and dvd season sets. Blu-ray will be big by 2012, but I'm thinking it's not going to be so big as dvd was in '03 (six years into its life). Maybe zombie's dire prediction of "star wars on blu-ray" being enough of a selling piont will come true, but people only had nine years with dvd before a new format came out. They're not going to be in a rush to buy Star Wars again unless it has what a lot of them want.

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 (Edited)

There was speculation from the Digital Bits and other DVD news websites that there was going to be a Big 30th Anniversary 9 disc DVD box set released back in 07' but it was delayed due to poor sales of the 06' GOUT DVD sets.  Some of the speculation was that there was going to be more changes to the movies and there was going to be a lot of new Bonus material included in this 30th Anniversary set. I think we'll probably see this Mega DVD box set released before any of the films are released on Blu-ray but then again the Digital Bit's sources have informed them that some of the Star Wars movies (probably only Episodes 1,2 and 3) may get a Blu-ray release next year.

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R2-918 said:

 the Digital Bit's sources have informed them that some of the Star Wars movies (probably only Episodes 1,2 and 3) may get a Blu-ray release next year.

 

 God, if only 1, 2, and 3 are released before 4, 5, and 6 on Blu, this site is going to get ugly real quick (no offense meant). If the Blus for 4, 5, and 6 only include the SEs or include low res copies of the originals, I suggest Lucas heads for the hiils.

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R2-918 said:

There was speculation from the Digital Bits and other DVD news websites that there was going to be a Big 30th Anniversary 9 disc DVD box set released back in 07' but it was delayed due to poor sales of the 06' GOUT DVD sets.  Some of the speculation was that there was going to be more changes to the movies and there was going to be a lot of new Bonus material included in this 30th Anniversary set. I think we'll probably see this Mega DVD box set released before any of the films are released on Blu-ray but then again the Digital Bit's sources have informed them that some of the Star Wars movies (probably only Episodes 1,2 and 3) may get a Blu-ray release next year.

 

I'm betting LFL probably just said "hey, let's wait a few more years instead. We'll make more money in the long run if we wait until we put out the blu-ray."

The digital bits' sources are usually correct, and I somehow don't doubt we'd get the prequel bd's before the originals, I just don't know about it being as soon as next year. I keep wondering what's going on with the 3D theatrical re-release they keep talking about. One rumor said they're not quite at the point of no return in regards to spending money on the 3D conversion process and George isn't sure it's all worth while, so it might simply not end up happening. If that were the case, I'd consider a 2010 blu-ray release a possibility.

In any event, if the 3D conversion is a definite green light go, I would think we're not seeing the blu-ray until after that hits theaters. It would be a lot easier for LFL and Fox to go "Hey everyone, you've only been able to watch the (SE) OT in good-quality-for-dvd and, if you've really been lucky, hdtv broadcasts. Now we bring it to you like you can only truly experience in a movie theater!"

Okay, current prediction from me:

The pattern we've (perhaps coincidentally) seen continued by the cgi The Clone Wars movie is one-new-star-wars-release-in-theaters-every-three-years. 2011 will be the next cycle, and the clone wars show is supposed to have run its course by then. Wouldn't it be a smart marketing move for them to put out the 3D conversion then? 2011 is the year before the 35th anniversary, kinda like how 1996 - the year before the 20th - was when they were originally planning on releasing the SE. They could use that to build up hype for the live-action show, which at this rate won't hit until 2012 at the earliest. They could put out the definite blu-ray sets with AOTC, ROTS and both versions (oldest and newest/final) of the OT and TPM at some point prior to when the show debuts. Maybe they could throw in a preview for the show on the set or - better yet - wait until the show debuts and advertise the hell out of the blu-ray during commercial breaks.

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I have a feeling that we'll never see the '97 SE again. It will become the lost version, and an eventual blu-ray will posess only the altered '04 version (likely to be further augmented) and a better version of the originals in some anamorphic transfer.

The only hope for the '97's seems to be Max Rebo's superset preservation as our tapes are starting to wear thin. 

The old interviews on the tapes have Lucas talking about almost losing the original negatives due to decomposition and that they were restored to former glory before embarking on the SE footage. there are even short comparisons between the damaged negative and the 97 restoration!! IV had the most damage, and this is why it cost the most to repair and remaster. V and VI were then done as a: "Oh that was cool with the first one, why not redo the other two..."

What does this mean? The negatives were remastered, but all we have to show for it is the 93 Definitive laserdisc? Nice try, but even the THX 95 faces set is better than the 93 set. The OT was restored in '97 and is probably sitting in a Lucasfilm vault somewhere in the Dune Sea.

 

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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I would be content if they at least put out the oldest and newest/final versions in equal home video quality.

That said, I think it would be really cool if they included all of the theatrically released versions. This would basically mean the 77/81, 97 and final versions for Star Wars; the 80, 97 and final versions for TESB; and the 83, 97 and final versions of ROTJ. They would have to do three-disc sets for each movie, since none of the three versions could really be branched with each other. They could get someone like RAH to restore the older versions and he could use the OUT and 97 IP's as a starting point.

For Star Wars '77, they could still presumably use that technicolor separation master we've heard so much about. That, along with the '77 IP, would provide a pretty good reference.

The '04 version is what I think will end up as the "lost version" most likely. If they do indeed put out the movies theatrically in 3D in the year 20xx, I think it'll probably have some additional (and probably minor) alterations from the '04 version. Hey, if people really end up wanting a preservation of the '04 version, they can come right to this very website for information!

As for the prequels, well, I can't imagine Lucas would alter AOTC and ROTS. Digital Yoda in TPM is a given, but that's about it. I would really hope that he includes the original version though, since it's one of the highest grossing theatrical releases of all time. I can't help but think GL made that longer dvd cut to distance himself in some way from the summer of '99 and all the negative reactions.

If they really wanted to go all out they could branch in the 35mm versions on the AOTC and ROTS discs, or even the AOTC IMAX edit, but I'd settle for the versions we have. Just give me the theatrical TPM and I'm happy.

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I really do hope the Blu-Ray is "definitive" with every version in a properly treated anamorphic transfer. As it has been said many times, SW deserves a Blade Runner treatment. Ridley Scott's letter in the set reads: "I have included every version restored so that you may enjoy the film however you wish." Why can't GL swallow his pride and do the same? RS has his personal final cut but was happy to restore and release everything down to the unfinished workprint! We deserve one final set with Theatrical, 97, and 04 versions with all soundtracks!

Unfortunately this is likely never to be. Even THX-1138 could not escape GL's CGI paintbrush.  I just wish the 97 SE wouldn't be cast off into the Sarlacc for 1000 years.

I never understood why the 97's weren't released on DVD. They could have easily been put on an early dvd-even a snapper case-and we would have been much more satisfied than we are with the abominations of 2004.

The only way to have the 97s is to preserve them ourselves. I would like to personally track down 35mm prints, but I have a sinking feeling GL destroyed them. Who knows? If they were discovered in Kansas, the world wouldn't hear about it for years.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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Well, I think we will all have what we desire when George Lucas finally passes away.  The the rights hopefully will fall into someone else's hand who is interested in milking it for all it's worth.  I don't care if they release shitty Star Wars crap after shitty Star Wars Crap.  Just give me my OUT in HD 1080p and I will be done forever buying Star Wars Movies.

It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage.

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 (Edited)

Unless he writes it into his will that the original versions are never to be released again, period.

I think he already had it written into his will that no more star wars films can be made after his passing, especially episodes 7-9.

But the EU will practically go on forever as a separate thing.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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 (Edited)

A will doesn't mean a thing.  Someone will gain the rights to Star Wars and then it's up to them how and if to continue it.  I mean, if someone owns the patent to the telephone and they die, they can't have a will and say no one can ever again make a telephone.

It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage.

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All we're going to get in the near future are BDs of the Prequels. Oh boy. I can't tell you how excited that makes me. Why is it so hard for Lucasfilm to actually make an attempt at a definitive home video version?

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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The most galling thing, I think, is that all the 2004 changes etc are made on a 1080p master! I really cannot fathom why GL, a billionaire many times over, didn't go with a 4K or 8K transfer for his most important films! Even the SEs had the advantage of a 2K transfer for the scenes that were augmented, apparently - and that was back in 1997!

The problems are summarized by Michael Kaminski, author of "The Secret History of Star Wars", here:

http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html

 

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

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8K wasn't available at the time of the 2004 SE. 4K was, but it wasn't yet widely used for home video--though it was widely used for films intended for theatrical exhibition, which would include the SE since this is effectively a new negative. But no, not even 2k, which had been in place since the 1990s. Oy. But if you think about it, its consistent with his feelings at the time--Episodes II and III were shot on 1080p resolution as well.

TPM is the one caveat in that it was scanned at 2K resolution, which was the highest resolution possible in 1997 when the live action was processed. It was shot on film, of course, but, since every single shot except one had to be digitized for an effect in it, the negative for TPM, which is probably saved in a computer, is only in 2K (the actual physical negative, since it would have been made from a computer print-out of a 2K scan, would be actually lower resolution).

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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 (Edited)

Lucas basically thinks the 1080 master is good for all time right?

This is the same man who belongs to a film preservation board,lol.

The chances he will undue to the damage done to the original negative on the 1997 special edition are most likely zero percent.

A real restoration as Robert Harris has said should not cause further damage to the original negative and the film must be viable for future theatrical releases.  Damaging the o-neg for a video release is stupidity.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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bilditup1 said:

The problems are summarized by Michael Kaminski, author of "The Secret History of Star Wars", here:

http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html

zombie84 said:

8K wasn't available at the time of the 2004 SE. 4K was, but it wasn't yet widely used for home video--though it was widely used for films intended for theatrical exhibition, which would include the SE since this is effectively a new negative. But no, not even 2k, which had been in place since the 1990s. Oy. But if you think about it, its consistent with his feelings at the time--Episodes II and III were shot on 1080p resolution as well.

TPM is the one caveat in that it was scanned at 2K resolution, which was the highest resolution possible in 1997 when the live action was processed. It was shot on film, of course, but, since every single shot except one had to be digitized for an effect in it, the negative for TPM, which is probably saved in a computer, is only in 2K (the actual physical negative, since it would have been made from a computer print-out of a 2K scan, would be actually lower resolution).

That's so cool to quote a book and have the author clarify what he wrote.  LOL

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skyjedi2005 said:

Lucas basically thinks the 1080 master is good for all time right?

This is the same man who belongs to a film preservation board,lol.

...and that's why I'm waiting for a new home video format to come about. Just wait... somthing will come with higher, much higher resolution than 1080...

...and then.....

I will laugh... oh how will I laugh!!!!! mwhahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!

mwhahaahahahaaaaaaaaaaa-cough-cough-cough-blasted cold-cough