So, I did an experiment last night with ANHSE by making a spreadsheet cataloging the changes. I used 005's changes album as the reference, but there were shots in the saber duel that he didn't include (an other shots had multiple pics for a single shot) so I had to go through that shot by shot myself to get each cut; there were a lot. I suspect this may also be the case with the trench run regarding some of the cockpit BG replacements, as the changes album only includes the one shot of Luke. So, my spreadsheet might need to have more added. The 2011 changes aren't included, but I did note when the 2004 version introduced something or modified something, but I didn't include the 1981 crawl as a change.
Anyway, the way I did it was that I had 4 levels of alterations.
The first is Level 1. These are invisible fixes, mainly re-done wipes, but also recomposites where it resembles or basically resembles the original image but just is cleaner. I also included a few background things that no one tends to notice unless it's pointed out, like the redone prison hallway (I debated about this one) or the new holograms composites, or the continuity fix on the background when Luke discovers R2 is missing (I debated this one too). It's basically the stuff that some people ask to be "fixed" if they got an OOT, and the stuff that if this was all the SE ever was no one would care about the original.
Level 2 were minor additions or modifications. This includes stuff like adding a ronto to a background, or replacing the background matte to the sandcrawler approach, or adding the floating droid to the sandtroopers. This includes Greedo shooting first, which maybe seems unfair but I am just going by superficial modifications and not their impact on plot, character, etc. or how well they integrate. There actually weren't a lot of these.
Level 3 is a change where a shot has been nearly totally redone (like Han chasing the troopers or the ronto with Jawas) or has been totally redone (like most of the x-wing shots). So it could include all-CG shots as long as they were represented by model/matte shots in the original version.
Level 4 were shots that never existed editorially in the first place. This mainly includes the Jabba scene, but also some of the dewback search, Biggs, and the Falcon escaping from docking bay 94, etc.
In total, these were the findings, and they could increase as a more complete list is created for sequences in which there are repeat cuts.
There are a total of 276 altered or new shots in the film.
Of these, 199 are Level 1. Mainly re-done wipes and re-done optical composites, but also the odd "invisible" fix for continuity or inconsequential background stuff. A very large amount of these were introduced in 2004 when they re-comped the saber fight.
There are 24 Level 2 shots, where minor additions have been made, usually enhancing a matte or adding a notable CG element to the image.
There are 37 Level 3 shots, where a shot in the original edit has been nearly re-done or totally redone. Most of these are in the trench run, but there are a few others like Ben's hut.
There are 16 brand new shots introduced into the edit. Exactly 8 of them are in the Jabba scene.
The 2004 SE introduced a whopping 103 new shots, but they are all Level 1 fixes. Mainly the saber duel (60-something shots) and the prison shoot-out (about 20).
The 2004 SE modified 9 shots already altered in 1997, about half of that figure being replacing the Jabba model.
Just thought people would be interested in this. It's an awful lot of changes, and we haven't even gotten to 2011 BD yet!
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