Sign In

Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I am working on upgrading/expanding/completing the Special Edition visual changes for eventual use on savestarwars.com, but figured I’d share it outside of that thread for those interested. I used WookieGroomer’s Splitscreen 1080p wmv to take the frame-by-frame shots, and msycamore provided the 1997 screencaps.

Star Wars 1977/2011

I’m still tweaking it, especially the text. Please submit suggestions for possible text and let me know if I missed anything.

The most interesting thing we’ve noticed is that each wipe from 2004 starts early enough to cover up the original optical wipe and the fades from black start a lot later, almost as if they were trying to cover up the original wipes instead of recreating them. This goes against all previously known facts about the wipes.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK:

Empire Strikes Back 1980/2011

RETURN OF THE JEDI:

Return of the Jedi 1983/2011

JEDIT: All links are to the final versions.

JEDIT 2: You can also find all the links on http://starwarsviscomp.doubleofive.com
 

 


 

Additional sources of information on many of the changes made to the Original Trilogy films over the years:-

 
Star Wars Special Edition Visual Comparisons’ - twitter page by doubleofive

Star Wars Special Edition Visual Comparisons’ - blog by doubleofive; as linked to above, with image pages for SW : ESB : ROTJ

StarWars•com Official 1997 Changes Articles : SW: SE : ESB: SE : ROTJ: SE - via the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine website

StarWars•com Official 2004 Changes Preservation : SW : ESB : ROTJ - compiled by doubleofive

A helpful overview of the changes to the OT - and surrounding issues - from zombie84’s SaveStarWars•com’s FAQ Page

Special Edition Changes’ - 2010 article on the changes made for the 2004 DVD release - from zombie84’s SaveStarWars•com

All Changes Made To Star Wars’ (Original Trilogy) - YouTube Videos by Marcelo Zuniga : SW - Part 1 : SW - Part 2 : ESB : ROTJ

DVDActive•com’s (& OT member Mentasm)Star Wars - The Changes’ articles (via Web•Archive•org) - SW : ESB : ROTJ : The Prequels

The Big List of Changes to the SW films’ OT•com thread on the FromScriptToDVD site’s comparison articles - by Gregatron

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes - an Empire film magazine article

Wookieepedia’sList of changes in Star Wars re-releases’ page

List of changes in Star Wars re-releases’ - from the IPFS•io website

Star Wars Comparison’s YouTube video channel for comparing theatrical cuts to official blu ray and various fan projects.

 

and also reading through these superb OT•com threads (by doubleofive):-

’Sources on the Special Edition’ - in the Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases section of the site.

’Modern SE Revisionism’ - in the Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases section of the site.

 

these two discussion threads on the issue of uncorrected mistakes that still feature in the official Special Edition releases:-

You’d think they’d clean this up… - uncorrected mistakes (2004 OT DVD release thread)

What HASN’T been changed on Blu-ray – the uncorrected mistakes of Star Wars (2011 OT Blu ray release thread)

 

as well as these Index Threads which link to many topics of discussion here on the OT•com regarding the changes made to the Original Trilogy films:-

An Index Thread for Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases…

An Index Thread for General Star Wars Discussion…

 

plus these two similarly related threads, pinned in the General Star Wars Discussion section of the site…

An OriginalTrilogy.com timeline thread - a history of the site and why & how it came to be…

George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist…

 

If you know of any suitable and quality articles, videos or links to be added to those listed above, please post them in here.

Also, if you see any broken links or errors please also post them in here too - thank you.
 

Last updated - 3rd August, 2019.

 


 

If you are new to the OriginalTrilogy•com then the following info may be of some assistance…

 
The Welcome to the OT.com; Introduce yourself in here - a good place to make your first post is just that; a place to make your first post on here - and for more longstanding members to welcome new additions to our community.

Secondly, the About and Help sections may be of interest to you regarding this site and what the OriginalTrilogy•com is about.

Thirdly, the ’How do I do this?’ on the OriginalTrilogy.com - some info & answers to members’ queries thread should also hopefully be of some help as to many of the functions of the site, along with other related info as well.

The Announcements Section - including Site Rules & Guidelines, Fan Edit & Preservation Rules & FAQ, as well info for Signatures, Linking Policy for Downloads, and Plot Spoiler Policy (and much more) that may be of use too.

If you are having any issues with the site, have a question, an idea to improve the site, or would like to give some feedback - then these can be done in the Feedback Forum and General Assistance sections.

There are also several Index Threads pinned at the top of many respective sections of the OT•com - which may help members find various topics of discussion, fan edits, preservations and other projects etc.

To Join the OT.com Discord server! click on the link. There is also the OriginalTrilogy.com Twitter too.

’An OriginalTrilogy.com timeline thread - a history of the site and why & how it came to be…’ chronicles both the history of this site & also it’s continuing evolution.

Finally, the ’George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist…' thread attempts to highlight and catalogue some of the revisionism, altering of history and contradictory claims by George Lucas / Lucasfilm as to the formation, planning and history of the Star Wars films and universe therein.
 

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

005’s List of List & Comparisons

Author
Time

 

Why did they not erase the reflexion of the wall on the floor ?

You see ? We can see the relexion of the vertical columns of the wall which is no longer present in the SE !

Author
Time

Good eye, I've never noticed that :-)

  • www.facebook.com/despecialized
  • IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DESPECIALIZED EDITIONS, PLEASE READ THE FIRST POSTS OF THESE THREADS, WHICH HAVE UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION: SW, ESB, ROTJ, 97SE RE-ED
    IF YOU DON’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THERE, TRY ASKING IN THE APPROPRIATE THREADS - MOST REGULAR POSTERS KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS AND SOMEONE WILL LIKELY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.
    IF I GET A PM WITH A QUESTION, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN ANSWERED THROUGH THESE MEANS, IT WILL BE IGNORED. SORRY BUT I AM NOT THE LOCAL INFO BOOTH. THANK YOU.
Author
Time

You also have a CGI desert in that shot, it looks horrible.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

Yes, you can even see some computer generated sand blowing in the wind from the left of the frame.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

God, what did they not change in 04?

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

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

Author
Time
 (Edited)

 

Well, what with the colour creative fuck-ups erm... decisions, there isn't a single unmolested shot in the 04 version.

 

  • www.facebook.com/despecialized
  • IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DESPECIALIZED EDITIONS, PLEASE READ THE FIRST POSTS OF THESE THREADS, WHICH HAVE UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION: SW, ESB, ROTJ, 97SE RE-ED
    IF YOU DON’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THERE, TRY ASKING IN THE APPROPRIATE THREADS - MOST REGULAR POSTERS KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS AND SOMEONE WILL LIKELY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.
    IF I GET A PM WITH A QUESTION, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN ANSWERED THROUGH THESE MEANS, IT WILL BE IGNORED. SORRY BUT I AM NOT THE LOCAL INFO BOOTH. THANK YOU.
Author
Time

I think you can change the description to this comparison.

The original opening crawl had the text on 21 lines, so to still keep it as 21 lines when adding two new lines (Episode IV, A NEW HOPE) they simply changed the spacing of the words in the first two paragraphs of the text. That's my theory, but they still didn't get the timing exactly right as the music is now slightly out of sync with the reveal of Tatooine.

Secondly, the capitalization of "Rebel" was not done to match the first (the first Rebel starts a sentence, that's why it has a capital "R") I think it was done to match how it now was written in Empire, I also think they capitalized rebel when they revised the script to ANH in '79.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

You have done a good job on this, doubleofive. Several changes I didn't know existed, the alternate takes for example, very interesting.

I checked the '97 version for you, and I can confirm that this Alderaan shot is a 2004 alteration.

...and maybe you could use this pic for a better demonstration of this comparison and definitely change the description of it.

I like how they managed to erase a big part of the speeder in the process of "improving" this shot. ;) 

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

ray_afraid said:

msycamore said:

I like how they managed to erase a big part of the speeder in the process of "improving" this shot. ;) 

I'm not seeing it...

The whole bottom of the speeder is completely shaved off, Look at how much thinner the new speeder looks compared to the old one.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Thanks guys, that is a much better frame. I'll try to replace it tomorrow. Keep the suggestions/confirmations coming. This can't be all of them, can it?

Any way we can confirm the timing on the wipes or fades? Does the 97 fade to 3PO have as much blank screen as the 2004? That may be the easiest one to test.

EDIT: just realized that that was my frame, you just wanted me to replace the GOUT image with that one. Where did yours come from, so I can label it?

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

005’s List of List & Comparisons

Author
Time

It looks like it's from the JSC set.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

Author
Time

It's slightly thinner, helps give the speeder the illusion of a little more lft. Never been a big deal to me..

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Check this out:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_1WBvrwBY-EI/TIkheFqWMZI/AAAAAAAAFWU/cjbwHWzCc8Y/s400/Comp-126.jpg

It looks like the canopy is completely different. CG, you think?

EDIT: looking at it again, they may just have used a retimed original element.

I just finished going through and restoring the original captions back to their original wording (I kept my grammatical fixes as some of them were in present tense) and put them in quotes, with space for commentary at the bottom. I also more clearly labelled when the change first took place.

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

005’s List of List & Comparisons

Author
Time

doubleofive said:

Any way we can confirm the timing on the wipes or fades? Does the 97 fade to 3PO have as much blank screen as the 2004? That may be the easiest one to test.

EDIT: just realized that that was my frame, you just wanted me to replace the GOUT image with that one. Where did yours come from, so I can label it?

I'm not sure which fade you're talking about, I believe the wipes on the '04DVD is the same as on the '97SE, but I can of course check it for you.

Yes, that pic is from the JSC LD.

This is a '97 recomp, the '81 version only changed the opening scene and when it cuts to this shot it's back to '77 again.

I cannot see why they recomposited this shot, there is a different starfield but I can't see any significant improvement done, not to the blockade runner either, maybe the material was damaged or too dirty? Any ideas?

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

msycamore said:

I'm not sure which fade you're talking about, I believe the wipes on the '04DVD is the same as on the '97SE, but I can of course check it for you.
I'm talking about this:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_1WBvrwBY-EI/TIk3vv4ecRI/AAAAAAAAFhg/dMinwhFcG7U/s400/Wipe-006.jpg

The 1977 version fades to 3PO almost completely before the 2004 version even starts, leaving black screen for a longer period of time. It's not an issue of the wipes being the same, its that the timing is different.

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

005’s List of List & Comparisons

Author
Time

I checked that fade to C-3PO in the oil bath and the timing is exactly the same on the '97 SE as in the '04 DVD.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com