Recently discussed here: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Humdinger-Analysis-Thread-Glitch-Cryptography-or-Steganography/post/550182/#TopicPost550182 decided to move it here where it's more appropriate.
Not true, when you look at these 70mm cell scans, there's actually more picture information on the sides than there is in the 2004 SE, which is the least cropped transfer to date.
It seems to me that those could be 35mm, the reason behind my thinking is that this shot wasn't in the 70mm version:
It could have been in the 1981 or 82 releases though, right?
Yeah, I have always wondered if the early cut of Empire was on all 70mm prints, even when screened as late as 1985, but to make new 70mm prints for the re-releases just to have the film updated with the late changes seen in the 35mm- version were probably to costly and it would also have been necessary to create a new six-track mix, so I very much doubt it.
I also find this interesting, "The Empire Strikes Back" opened with a modest number of initial wave engagements, reportedly 127, it appears that with the exception of a few drive-in bookings, all of the first-wave engagements were in the deluxe 70mm format. Additional 70mm engagements were added during the "expansion wave" releases throughout the summer of 1980.
Does that mean that a few 35mm prints were produced of the early cut, or was it perhaps 16mm prints on those drive-ins?
16mm at drive-ins? No way. They would have been 35mm, just like any other regular cinema.
I have no idea if those 35mm prints were of the early cut, or if all 35mm prints were of the more familiar version. Didn't 70mm prints have a longer lead time due to the extra work? (The first Star Wars would have been an exception; I've heard Ben Burtt talk about how the Dolby Stereo mix had to be rushed out so that it could be tested for the wide rollout of the system, so I'm guessing that the 35mm prints were made first in that case.)
I'm not sure how we'd be able to conclusively figure it out. On TrekBBS, I once asked a similar question, if any early 35mm prints of Star Trek II just said "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" like the 70mm prints did; I never got an answer on that.
Very interesting, those drive-in prints should definitely have been the early cut, the film was already in theaters when ILM started to work on the revised final shots.
As for that frame, I think it's 70mm. My guess would be that the later prints made in summer '80 were of the revised version. There's no reason why this second wave couldn't have been derived from the "fixed" version.
Yeah now when I think about it, I agree that it must have been the logical thing to do, it's unfortunate that so little information exists on this matter.