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Changes to the Disney+ 2019 SE of the Original Trilogy

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It didn’t take long for the edit to the Greedo shootout to become known. And it wasn’t long before it was discovered that a scene in the desert with C-3PO had been changed again. But what other changes might there be that aren’t so immediately noticeable. Well, I found another. In TESB, when Luke is getting ready to leave Dagobah and Ben appears, in the two long shots of him standing near the trees, the new version has been edited. Previously Ben was bright and glowing down to his feet. Now he is bright and glowing down to his legs which then darken toward his feet. I couldn’t see that the other shots were changed, but those two most definitely were from the 2011 Bluray (which seems unchanged from the GOUT).

What other changes lie hidden in these new transfers? What can we uncover?

A New Hope

  1. New sky over C-3PO in the desert
  2. Changed light area on wall behind CZ droid to shadow.
  3. New Sky over Stormtroopers in the desert (1997 SE added scene) including a cloud
  4. Fixed ghost Luke at Lars homestead
  5. Added some missing shadows to the added rock in front of R2
  6. ‘Maclunkey’
  7. Fixed the fade in to Jabba (previously some of the 1997 version could still be seen).
  8. Luke’s lightsaber on the falcon has been redone and the glow is a consistent color and covers the whole frame
  9. Ben and Vader’s lightsabers have been redone and one shot of Ben’s saber where the core was missed was fixed.
  10. A Y-wing added in 2011 is missing

The Empire Strikes Back

  1. The Hoth shield generator explosion was changed
  2. Faded bottom of Ben into background in long shots when Luke is leaving Dagobah

Return of the Jedi
none at this time

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doubleofive has written three quality and in-depth articles on the topic for The Digital Bits website, titled:-

A Visual Guide to Changes, Fixes & Tweaks in the Disney 4K Version’ - for each of the three Original Trilogy films…

Star Wars

Empire Strikes Back

Return Of The Jedi

 

doubleofive’s exhaustive and comprehensive work cataloging the changes made to the Original Trilogy films (including the 2019 SE Disney+ version) can also be found at the following…

Star Wars Visual Comparisons twitter page

Star Wars Visual Comparisons website

Star Wars Visual Comparisons blog

 

The pinned Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes thread in the Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases section of the site is pretty much the default discussion thread on the overall subject.

Within the first post of the linked thread above is a list of many other sources of information which also cover the numerous and continuing alterations made to the Original Trilogy films over the years - and the differing released versions - including content on the changes made for the 2019 SE Disney+ version.

 

It also features doubleofive’s ‘Disney+ Should Offer the Star Wars Original Cuts’ article on the Wired website : #ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy : also with an OT.com thread on the article here.

 

The Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes thread also features OT•com member 13las’s insightful and informative YouTube videos on the changes made to the OT over time:-

Star Wars
Empire Strikes Back
Return Of The Jedi
The Prequels
• and also for the 2019 SE Disney+ version too.

 

Yet, yes - of course… if anyone spots any further changes not already found or noticed for the 2019 SE Disney+ version, please mention them in here…
 

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I do think there is a point to having a separate topic, at least for now, on the new changes.

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yotsuya said:

I do think there is a point to having a separate topic, at least for now, on the new changes.

Yes. As many changes have been previously found, but they are mixed into other threads, it would be helpful if you went through those threads and collected them here. Thanks in advance!

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I will collect what I can find. It would be good if others contributed as they find things. I’ll alter the first post to be a running list.

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I’ve updated the first post with what I’ve found. One thing that was pointed out in one of the links provided, does not appear to have actually been changed in the streaming version. And I am ignoring everything that is just recoloring or that has been redone (all the 2004 and 2011 changes). I’m just focus on the new changes (which are sometimes an omission). I think that overall the new prints are vastly different. In my opinion TESB and ROTJ are not really any better in terms of color.

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In TESB the new Emperor hologram now has colors while before it was just blue.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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yotsuya said:

I do think there is a point to having a separate topic, at least for now, on the new changes.

Well as far as the shield generator shot goes it’s not bad but they could have simply cut from white flash and then to the actual trailer footage of the explosion then to the AT-AT Window for the remainder of the explosion sequence so it was never really needed.

But I suppose you can argue the case for seeing the troops running into the direction of the explosion back to base. So It’s kind of acceptable but then again the background plate the troops are running on was shown a few shots earlier to be way behind General Veers AT-AT as the snow speeder spins and crashes on this Background plate too.

So still a bit muddled up… Would have been far better to simply restore the practical explosion effect and alter the Background plate.

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What about the Empire Of Dreams documentary? It says “edited for content” in the beginning. Anybody notice what they cut out?

It’s all star wars and that’s the problem!

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I think it’s been determined the editing was done to remove the original theatrical footage from the doc and replace it with the current cuts? I believe that’s the case. Everything else seems to be exactly the same.

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Broom Kid said:

I think it’s been determined the editing was done to remove the original theatrical footage from the doc and replace it with the current cuts? I believe that’s the case. Everything else seems to be exactly the same.

I skimmed it the other night and the original crawl, the Alderaan and Death Star explosions, and Han running into the stormtrooper hallway were the same as they were in the OUT. Not sure why some footage was changed and some wasn’t, because I remember hearing about the footage being changed to SE too.

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I found another one. When C-3PO and R2-D2 meet up again in the sand crawler, The CZ droid previously cast a shadow on the wall he is leaning against. Now the light area is turned into shadow (probably to get rid of the strange shape his head made). I updated the list in the OP.

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yotsuya said:

  1. Changed light area on wall behind CZ droid to shadow.

We didn’t notice this one, well done! How did you even see it?! I wonder if it was done during the 3D conversion so they wouldn’t have to worry about that weird piece of architecture going off at a weird angle.

  1. New Sky over Stormtroopers in the desert (1997 SE added scene) including a cloud

Not sure what you’re seeing here, the skies look identical to me.

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

Star Wars Visual Comparisons WordPress / Twitter

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The column appears to also be entirely gone in the tracking shot of R2 heading towards 3PO, which seems to confirm my 3D conversion theory. I added both shots of the CZ to my rough draft album and credited you, yotsuya!

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

Star Wars Visual Comparisons WordPress / Twitter

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This falls more into the ‘fix’ category, as the compactor closes there is a shot of Chewie roaring while he pushes on the wall. [1:21:50] At the bottom of the frame there used to be some red bleeding up. 2019 they’ve done a black fade removing the red glare.

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An interesting article about Disney altering and censoring films for its Disney+ streaming service. Maclunkey gets a mention but it’s more about a Tom hanks film that they’ve cgi’ed out a butt. The cool thing about the article, though, is they actually comprehend and articulate the danger this trend presents to history. This kind of writing needs more support and broader attention in the public eye!

https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/14/21220576/splash-tom-hanks-disney-plus-butt-cgi-hair-streaming-physical-digital

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The Verge is a very well-read website, arguably the most read tech-focused site currently. It looks like this post is taken from a very similar article at Slate, which is also a very widely read site, albeit one more focused on politics and culture than tech and entertainment.

It might seem like it’s not getting a lot of attention because there are no comments underneath it, but many writers on that site decline to allow comments on their articles, partially because comment sections don’t really provide any usable/monetizable traffic, but mostly because comment sections are terrible and some writers and editors just don’t want to deal with the mean-spirited mess they usually become.

But I would imagine a million or so people have seen both those articles by now. The egregious way Disney is curating Disney+ is definitely a mainstream story by now.

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Yeah, I just wish there was enough of a voice from the consumer base that these companies would actually stop doing this kind of thing, or at least give the consumer the choice of which version they’d prefer to watch.

I thought this article was noteworthy because, while it touches on the Star Wars issue, it was written with a much broader scope (and more important issue) of digitally revising history and the dangers it presents.

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If they erased Daryl Hanna’s butt, what did they do the subtitled line John Candy says in Swedish to fake out the security guard? Arguably the biggest laugh in the movie.

And what does Ron Howard think of Disney messing with his movie? You don’t want to mess with Opie…

This is probably the dumbest case of censoring prudishness since ABC snipped Raiders for it’s network premiere, so you couldn’t see the butts of the Hovitos chasing Indy. All the skewered corpses and melting/exploding heads were intact of course.

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Where were you in '77?

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Disney is being so WEIRD about Disney Plus, and it doesn’t make any sense.

none of their content decisions regarding “protecting the children” make any sense as long as they’ve got The Simpsons there. (Most of the Simpsons is incorrectly framed anyway)

If they want Disney plus to be THAT squeaky clean, they basically have to pull the Marvel and Star Wars channels, as well as the Simpsons, and put all that on Hulu.

It’s just ridiculous that they went out of their way to create this platform, make sure it has something for everyone in the family, and then once it’s up and rolling start aggressively neutering everything as much as possible. That’s not why anyone signed up.

So Daryl Hannah has bad digital fur technology applied, but Anakin is burning alive with no issues, and The Simpsons are making porn jokes.

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Broom Kid said:

Disney is being so WEIRD about Disney Plus, and it doesn’t make any sense.

none of their content decisions regarding “protecting the children” make any sense as long as they’ve got The Simpsons there. (Most of the Simpsons is incorrectly framed anyway)

If they want Disney plus to be THAT squeaky clean, they basically have to pull the Marvel and Star Wars channels, as well as the Simpsons, and put all that on Hulu.

It’s just ridiculous that they went out of their way to create this platform, make sure it has something for everyone in the family, and then once it’s up and rolling start aggressively neutering everything as much as possible. That’s not why anyone signed up.

So Daryl Hannah has bad digital fur technology applied, but Anakin is burning alive with no issues, and The Simpsons are making porn jokes.

That’s Disney for you. lol.

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 Theatrical released versions; including Prequels. So that future generations can enjoy these historic films that changed cinema forever.

Yoda: Try not, do or do not, there is no try.