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2004 SE : The changes to the OT films & general 2004 SE discussion thread


2004 Special Editions

The changes to the Original Trilogy films & general 2004 Special Edition release discussion…




To any Rebels, Imperials, Guild Members and the dedicated scum and villainy from the OT•com reading this…

This is just one of a seven-part set of linked threads (see the end of this post for the links) to talk about each of the four main ‘Special Edition’ releases and the respective changes made to them over time - including a post for the original unaltered theatrical version, and also an unlikely scenario where “Somehow Lucas has returned!” with more changes made in yet another improbable future release.

The reason for these threads is try and help inform, educate and highlight any new fans who are unaware or are uninitiated with some the history of these continuing changes made to the three iconic Original Trilogy films (or be a reminder for me some of more forgetful members here). As well as highlighting a lack of release for the Original Trilogy films in their classic pre-1997 Special Edition version, and also about some of the changes & tweaks made to the groundbreaking and award-winning OT films from 1977 to 1996 too…

To serve as a centralised discussion and information thread for each of the main Original Trilogy releases… and also an archive of some of the quality threads and posts on the subject which has taken place on here down the years - as well as any useful, insightful or informative articles elsewhere.

Or a chance to just chat some more about the specific & differing releases of the Original Trilogy 😃

Remember, this official 2004 DVD release - the first for the Original Trilogy films… had ‘no mistakes - just deliberate creative decisions’ [cough, contempt for the fans, cough].

Much credit to oojason for sending me his plans & ideas for the incomplete version of these threads - ‘I will finish what you started!’

Below is some hopefully useful & introductory information on the 2004 Special Edition release of the Original Trilogy films (or simply a reminder for us oldies)… 😉


The Announcement (+ Promo material) for the 2004 Special Edition:-


• The above image from the official Star Wars website is no longer functioning. However, it can still be accessed here:-


Star Wars Original Trilogy 2004 SE DVD Trailer - (4 minutes)


• The above image from the official Star Wars website is no longer functioning. However, it can still be accessed here:-


Sources Of Information:-

Star Wars Visual Comparisons archive of the Star Wars official website’s information on the changes made for the 2004 Special Edition releases on DVD:- (by doubleofive)


Or the above official content from the Star Wars website on the changes for the 2004 SE release can be accessed via archive•org:-

Star Wars :

Empire Strikes Back :

Return Of The Jedi :


Since the 1997 Special Editions through to the 2019 Maclunkey releases (all credit to doubleofive)

Never forget that the Death Star has been in clear site of Yavin IV from the beginning of the battle since 1997 and this is how the Special Edition should have ended.':- (and scroll down to the ‘The Game Breaker’ section)


From the Star Wars Home Video Library #14: Original Trilogy on DVD, Part 1 (2004 - 2005)’:- - 18 minute video, from the Nathan P Butler YouTube channel.


From the Star Wars Home Video Library #224: UK 2004 Original Trilogy DVD Sets’:- - 10 minute video, from the Nathan P Butler YouTube channel.


A little more info on the ‘Deliberate Creative Decisions’… re the audio issues on the 2004 OT SE DVD release…




• The Opening Post of the ‘Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes’ OT•com thread has an index for multiple source of information on many of the changes made to the Original Trilogy films over the years.



All Changes Made to Star Wars Original Trilogy’ - at the superb Marcelo Zuniga YouTube Channel

• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) PART I’ -
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) PART II’ -
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Comparison Video)’ -
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Comparison Video)’ -

^ The informative videos above were made in 2015 - and cover the changes from the OOT through to the 2011 SE release on blu ray.



For further information on the home releases of the 2004 Special Editions:-

Star Wars Visual Comparisons - Website : Twitter - by doubleofive
Star Wars On Video - Video Collector’s website
Star Wars Home Video Reference website - projectcclarke’s website
Star Wars on DVD - Prillaman’s website portal (up to 2005)
Star Wars DVD Reviews - Prillaman’s Reviews
Star Wars DVD History - Prillaman’s DVD History page (with images and info)
Star Wars Release Info: 1982-2004 - DavisDVD•com website (via Archive•org)
Star Wars - The Changes: 1997-2011 - DVDActive•com website (via Archive•org)
‘Star Wars home video releases’ - at Wookieepedia
‘Star Wars Trilogy (DVD)’ - at Wookieepedia


A 2004 SE Original Trilogy ‘1st time on DVD’ poster:-



Relevant online articles on the 2004 Special Editions:-

Why Lucas tinkered with ‘Star Wars’ - at CNN
‘Lucas talks as ‘Star Wars’ trilogy returns’ at Today
‘Obi-Swan Warns That Episodes IV-VI May Be Back More Powerful Than We Ever Imagined!!’ - at Aint It Cool
‘Five major changes in the ‘Star Wars’ DVD’ - at CNN
The Nitpicker’s Guide to Star Wars (2004) - at Chef Elf
‘Can’t Even Get the Special Edition Right’ - at the Save Star Wars website
‘Star Wars Trilogy review 2004 - DVD Playback’ - at American Cinematographer
‘2004 OT SE DVD Review’ - at Prillaman’s website
‘2004 SE The Star Wars Trilogy Review’ - at DVD Journal
‘Star Wars Trilogy Audio Defects’ (re 2004 OT SE DVD release) - at AVForums (always good to see another site’s take from the time)
The DVD Restoration - What went wrong? - at SW Legacy (2004 article - via the Internet Archive)

^ If anyone has any suggestions for any articles on the 2004 SE to be included here please post them below - thank you.


Relevant OriginalTrilogy•com threads on the 2004 Special Editions:-

SE Trilogy on DVD coming this Fall - by RBS-1980
“They weren’t kidding” - by Master Sifo-Dyas (Steve Sansweet on the 2004 DVD release being a Special Edition release)
General announcement re 2004 OT DVDs: please read - by Rebel Scumb
It’s official! the 2004 OT DVD release will be the Special Editions 😦 - by Michael Kent
The 2004 DVDs will be Limited Edition! No more to be produced after Dec 2004! - by RATLSNAKE
Star Wars Pan Scan - by Jimbo
Here’s a Hint of the Public’s Reaction that the '04 DVDs would not be the OOT - by Hal 9000
MORE CHANGES!!! (for the 2004 OT DVD release) - by dcsantangelo2005
Jim Ward on SE Changes… (2004) - by ChainsawAsh
An article of lies and disgust - George Lucas talks re the 2004 OT SE DVD release… - by Patrick R.
Lucas’s Explanations - by OB1-KNOB
Lucas is a businessman - Don’t believe what he says - by thinicer
It’s official, George is really losing it (claims more changes to the OT to come…) - by vtpeters (after the '04 SE release)
Lucas’ Next Step - more changes… - by starkiller
4K restoration on Star Wars - by danny_boy (re the Lowry restoration for the 2004 SE DVD release)
Changes in 2004 DVDs - by jimbo
Interview with Marc Wielage, colorist Star Wars 2004 DVD releases - by Chewielewis
A theory about the coloring on the 04 DVDs - by Octorox
Lazy, lazy Lucas - by mandalorian
SE Changes - by ChainsawAsh
Episode IV: What Has Changed? - by ESHBG
2004 DVD, Changes in Sound? - by Jambe Davdar
Star Wars DVD Music Mix Botched!! - by Neil S. Bulk
Can someone please explain WHY the audio on the 2004 ANH DVD is so messed up? - by Adamwankenobi
Why was the '04 DVD set such a botched release? - by Janskeet
Another Trilogy DVD Screw Up? - by Neil S. Bulk
Problems with 2004 ANH disc? - by Darth_Drad
Letter to LFL about DVD Defects (No OT vs SE discussion) - by ADigitalMan
Bloopers on the 2004 DVDs! - by Jambe Davdar
2004 box set changes - by Obi-wonton
Editing the ‘2oo4 Editions’ - which changes would you revert? - by Master Sifo-Dyas
BOYCOTT (the 2004 OT SE DVD release) - by Samatar
Boycott the 2004 OT SE DVD release - c’mon, you can do it - by Your Hums
Buy or not to buy. That is the question - by bigmikeisajedi
Who has caved? - by Bossk
the SE films are all that are left!!! - by MasterSkywalker
DIF - Difference tool to spot visual changes - Current 2004 vs 2019 - by none

Obi-Wan’s Krayt Dragon call changed on DVDs - by Boba Fett
Wolfman Back In? - by Jedi Master DJR
Greedo - by Figrin__Dan (re the further 2004 SE change to Han vs Greedo)
Question: Why is Greedo different? - by Master Sifo-Dyas
Yes, I bet you have! - by tlbauerle
Unbearable HC - by Prime (re Hayden replacing Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skwalker in ROTJ)
Your first reaction to Hayden is ROTJ - by Ingo Sucks
Anakin’s ghost?!?!?! - by swine
Anakin ghost old vs young - by Spuffure
Hayden replacing Sebastian Shaw in ROTJ - by Han Solo VS Indiana Jones
Why Hayden’s acting in ROTJ was bad… - by MeBeJedi
Lucasfilm acknowledging fan hate - by (re Hayden replacing Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker in ROTJ)
Why don’t people hate the Palpatine re-casting in ESB yet despise Force ghost Anakin’s re-casting in RotJ? - by FreezingTNT2
What’s the situation with Lucas saying he “forgot” to insert Temuerra Morrison’s voice into the OT? - by Adamwankenobi
All Stormtroopers with Jango’s voice - by Obi-wonton
DEVASTATED - by lostITlucas (re the Bobba Fett voice change)
ANH Space Battle aka The Battle of Yavin - by weshallpreserve
End of SE ROTJ… - by Mikes-Atomic-Dustbin
2004 - Special Edition Return of the Jedi ending is a wtf moment - by warwon
The Changes That Nobody Talks About - by Easterhay
Worst changes to OT in '97 and '04 - by jawaewokgungan
Rank the changes made to the OT from worst to best (or least worst?) - by JennyS1138
Which did you prefer, the SE or the 2004 DVD edition? - by JediKev
In defence of the 2004 DVDs - by Moth3r
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (Special Navajo Edition) Official DVD - by cfillak
Changes you want (or don’t want) to the 2007 archival editions - by adamwankenobi

UK differing 2004 Star Wars Trilogy DVD BoxSet Covers… (2004 thread; re MVC black box and HMV gold BoxSet exclusives)
6 DVD Box Set for this November (2005) - by JangoxFett
OT Released AGAIN!!! ( article on possible new box set…) - by Adamwankenobi (a 2005 repackaged re-release)
2007 DVD repackage - by Luminous being
Yet ANOTHER DVD boxed set…sigh (2008) - by digitalfreaknyc

Star Wars HD coming in November! All SIX movies! (2006) - by DarkGruson
New HDTV Broadcasts? (2010) - by Chewtobacca
3D STAR WARS for the masses…has ARRIVED! (2009) - by ImperialFighter
3D Conversions - by MathUser
CNN writer blasts Star Wars in 3D (and other stuff George’s changed) (2010) - by canofhumdingers

^ If anyone has any suggestions for any other OT•com threads to be included here please post them below - thank you.


A YouTube video of the original ‘Han Shot First’ scene - and all 4 changes made to it since:-


Han Shot First - All Changes Comparison (1977, 1997, 2004, 2011, 2019)’- - at the OriginalTrilogyDaily YouTube channel (2 mins long)



General online articles on the Special Edition changes & releases:-

‘Disney+ Should Offer the Star Wars Original Cuts — All of Them’ - at Wired
‘What We Want And How To Make It’ - at SWVC, by doubleofive
‘Special Edition Changes’ at Saving Star Wars, by Zombie84
‘The Star Wars Special Editions’ - at The Star Wars Trilogy
‘15 Changes to the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy That Still Make Us Crazy’ - at Yahoo Entertainment
‘Star Wars Original Trilogy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ - at ScreenRant
‘Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes’ (actually, it is more of an overview) - at Empire Online
‘Greedo Shoots First’ and ‘Greedo Shoots First, Take 4: Maclunkey’ - at SWVC, by doubleofive
‘Star Wars: 10 Worst Crimes Against the Original Trilogy’ - at Den Of Geek
‘The 12 Worst Changes George Lucas Made To Star Wars’ - at Goliath
‘How Star Wars’ Special Edition Ruined Mos Eisley’s Scum & Villainy’ - at ScreenRant
‘Star Wars: Why Do People Hate Vader’s Added Line in ROTJ So Much?’ - at CheatSheet
‘The Version of Star Wars on Disney+ Changes the Canon Once Again’ - at Wired
‘J.J. Abrams Wants The Original Star Wars Trilogy Theatrical Cuts To Be Released Again’ - at ScreenRant
‘The Star Wars Blu-Ray Blues’ - at Saving Star Wars (debunking Lucas’ 2010 claim of the ‘difficulties’ in restoring the OOT)
‘Save Star Wars’ - doubleofive’s Blog article (re Lucas’ disingenuous 2010 comments on the ‘difficulties’ of restoring the OOT)
‘Untouched is impossible: the story of Star Wars in film’ - 2010 article at ARS Technica
‘Could Disney finally give us the remastered, unedited Star Wars we want?’ - 2017 article at ARS Technica


General OriginalTrilogy•com threads covering the Special Edition changes & releases:-

An Index & Help Thread for Original Trilogy Discussion
An Index & Help Thread for Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases
Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes
An Timeline | a history of the site | the why & how it came to be…
George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist
A celebration of the Original Trilogy | Some informative threads | How you can help…
Articles & info that highlight / call for a classic version release of the Original Trilogy
4K restoration on Star Wars

Modern SE Revisionism
Reasoning Behind Changes from Release to Release
It seems like nobody involved in the making of the OT has spoken up about GL’s oppression of the OOT
You’d think they’d clean this up - the unfixed issues of the 2004 OT SE DVD release…
What HASN’T changed on the 2011 OT SE Blu-ray release – the uncorrected mistakes…
Uncorrected mistakes or unfixed issues of the 2019 (Maclunkey) Original Trilogy release?
Credits & Leaders Thread




‘The changes to the Original Trilogy films & general Special Edition discussion’ threads:-

• The OOT : link (1977-96)
• 1997 SE : link
• 2004 SE : link
• 2006 GOUT : link
• 2011 SE : link
• 2019 SE : link
• 2026 SE : link (“Somehow… Lucas has returned!”) - a possible future SE release (though unlikely)


If you know of any articles or OT•com threads that are relevant, or would improve this thread, please post them below - thank you.