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Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes — Page 56

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V.I.N.Cent said:

What We Want And How To Make It’ - article by doubleofive

https://starwarsviscomp.wordpress.com/2020/08/21/what-we-want

#ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy
 

^ Well worth taking the time out to give this article by doubleofive a good read, and then his other posts below it from the link above.

A really good read, and worthy successor to doubleofive’s excellent article on Wired.

I really hope it gets people sitting up and taking notice, and asking Lucasfilm those awkward questions they’ve been avoiding answering for far, far too long.

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V.I.N.Cent said:

What We Want And How To Make It’ - article by doubleofive

https://starwarsviscomp.wordpress.com/2020/08/21/what-we-want

#ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy
 

^ Well worth taking the time out to give this article by doubleofive a good read, and then his other posts below it from the link above.

The thought of a Star Wars Original Trilogy Criterion boxset… man, what a wonderful fantasy of impossible things that would never happen because it’s too good of an idea.

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That is a fantastic article you wrote on wordpress doubleofive. I agree with it.

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 Theatrical released versions (Like 4K77,4K80 and 4K83); 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.

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That’s a great article, doubleofive. I would buy that set in a heartbeat (why not, I already have an entire media shelf full of Star Wars on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray…).

The Blade Runner set is an apt comparison. It’s a terrific set that sets the standard for home video releases.

On a personal note, I wouldn’t mind having an official release of something along the lines of D77+ or whatever it might be called currently. Basically the theatrical cut with redone/recomposited optical effects. I would absolutely not substitute the original theatrical cuts, warts and all, but it would be nice to have a “Special Edition-Lite” version where some of the more rough special effects were redone. If they could make everything just look “clean” (mostly getting rid of garbage mattes) that would be nice for an alternate version. I realize everyone would have a different opinion on what this would entail, but just figured I’d mention it.

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Nibcrom said:

On a personal note, I wouldn’t mind having an official release of something along the lines of D77+ or whatever it might be called currently. Basically the theatrical cut with redone/recomposited optical effects.>

I’d buy that in a heartbeat, but then, I buy everything they release so I’m probably not one to talk.

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 (Edited)

I read your article on WIRED and since I’m not sure where else to post this I thought I may as well do this here.

Most of your article is actually good and informative. However, one thing from it honestly rubs me the wrong way: “Then, when the film does return to Jedi’s main heroes and their celebration, their scenes together are cut to ribbons, shifting focus to the main characters of the prequels: Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda. Shots of the protagonists of this trilogy hugging and smiling at one another are gone, replaced by ghosts from other movies.”

What?

Which version of the special edition did you watch? Certainly not one that actually exists. I’m curious to see whatever alternate universe version of the end of Return of the Jedi you watched. None of the main characters of the original trilogy had their scenes cut in the ending. A couple shots were shortened by a couple seconds to fit with the new music and nothing more. It’s not even noticeable at all. They literally ADDED a shot with Wedge, an original trilogy character, so there is no way you can actually say they tried to remove the original trilogy characters from the ending. They were not “cut to ribbons” at all. And what do you mean “shifting the focus to the prequel characters” and “replaced by the ghosts”? The ghosts literally had more screen time in the original version of the movie then in the special edition. You’re acting like they gave the force ghosts a ton of new screen time when they didn’t. They still only appear for a grand total of three shots. What you’re saying would be like if they cut the shot of Luke and Leia reuniting and replaced it with one of Anakin and Obi-Wan reconciling, which didn’t actually happen. Most of the scene still focuses on the original trilogy characters. I seriously don’t understand how you got this impression. Your point was already very well made, you didn’t need to exaggerate anything to support it even more.

Also it seems that you don’t ever acknowledge that the changes could have multiple purposes. You say everything was just for the sole purpose of practice for the prequels while not realizing that maybe it was killing two birds with one stone: making changes George wanted to make while also allowing to test new techniques. If they actually didn’t care about the original films at all, why would they fix up some of the garbage mattes, redo the wipes, revamp the sound mix, and do every other change that objectively improved the films?

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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 (Edited)

All three ended up with shots and scenes not in the original films, and while folks can argue those changes involved aspects of the movies that Lucas had a problem with, many of them also conveniently line up with techniques that could be useful for the prequels.

And I’m watching the version where instead of focusing on the ghosts appearing for a few seconds and greeting one another, then Leia comes to get Luke, who winks at them as he leaves to rejoin his family, it’s the one where they focus on the ghosts, have Leia walk up, come back to the ghosts greeting one another, then comes back to Luke as he’s walking away. It cuts out the moments where Luke turns away from the party, where Leia has time to walk slowly up to Luke, where Luke winks at the ghosts. All of the little poignant moments are gone in favor of moving the film faster to the end. It’s very evident in splitscreen.

I may have been a little hyperbolic in my description, but I felt like attention needed to be brought that it’s not just the new planets, the entire ending is redone.

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G&G-Fan said: If they actually didn’t care about the original films at all, why would they fix up some of the garbage mattes, redo the wipes, revamp the sound mix, and do every other change that objectively improved the films?

Ohhhhhh I don’t even know where to begin with this…

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No that’s not what I meant. I’m speaking in regards to you claiming they fixed what they fixed cause they “care about the original films”. If they cared for the original films then the original versions would still be around. Additionally it isn’t exactly fair to refer to the “flaws” as such when they simply are a reflection to the limits of technology to the time.

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Wanting to improve the films shows care for them. If they didn’t care about them they wouldn’t bother putting in the time, money, and effort to do things like re-matte an entire sequence to make it look better. When you don’t care about something you don’t put any effort into it, you just ignore it. Pretty sure adywan does his edits out of love for the movies.

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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If Adywan went and prevented the release of the Special Editions and the unaltered movies, I’d begin to question if he did his edits out of love for the movies.

Death of the Author

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I started work on Version 2.0 of Return of the Jedi! I have GOUT, 4K83, 19SE, 11SE, 04SE, and 97SE frame synchronized in Premiere Pro, a much better setup than just having the WookieeGroomer splitscreen I made the originals with.

I started with Jedi Rocks, which I’ve already released as a preview to how 2.0 will look.

4K83 (1080p) and 19SE Blu-ray are the base sources now, and they come out in Full HD PNG files. I’m very pleased with the things I’ve already discovered and my new way of tracking and logging changes shot by shot!

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The ROTJ 11SE has the Fox logo bumped back in the timeline, so far that instead of it fading and LFL fading up, LFL pops on screen to keep its place on the timeline.

I’m not even sure how that happens.

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The updates look great! What is the methodology you’ve got going on in the timeline? Do you keep slicing where the variations occur and shift everything downstream to expose the grey “Not in” messages? Are you keeping all the variations in one timeline or doing head to head match ups? Is a video output to replace WG in your future?

On the LFL logo, can’t explain why it’s shorter, but the intro green and outro orange color shifts are gone, so the logo is just fade into the grey then out. The logo is less showy now, but also lacks the historical nod to previous LFL logos.

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Well, I started by dragging 4K83 and 19SE into the same timeline. Then I went to the extended sections I knew about and made cuts to shift them to be on the same frame later, then kept going back to find where the frames had been shifted. This wasn’t the best idea to start with, but it didn’t take long and I was excited. I did move Jedi Rocks into its own sequence so I could move things around without messing with the rest of the movie.

Then I dragged GOUT, 97SE, 04SE, and 11SE into the same giant timeline and tried to get them to line up using the same methods. Again, mistake. Eventually I remembered that Premiere can now do Scene Edit Detection, so I used that (which took an hour or so per version) to let me at least SEE where the frames were off. It was 97SE that was the culprit, as GKAR’s preservation has 4-5 missing frames at some reel breaks. Which I learned by…

Separating the film into reels. Which I should have done to each version immediately. So now I have 13 Premiere sequences (15 if you count the main sequence and Jedi Rocks’ subsequence), each much more manageable. I’m not planning on outputting a video to replace WG, it’s much easier for me to scrub through the main 4K83/19SE, find a frame I like, turn all all of the other versions one by one to see if they’re noticeably different in any of them, then turning them off. I have a base layer of “NOT IN”, and a “1983/1997” overlay, so I just take the screenshot from inside Premiere and move on. It’s much easier than WG, where I’d have to take all the shots in VLC, then bring them into Photoshop and remember why I took the shot and crop it and overlay it. I’m baking in the overlay so that the next time Red Letter Media uses one of my images in their video, I get credit. 😉

For organization, I’m separating each change into its reel and using that Google Sheets spreadsheet of every shot in the film, the one by… checks notes you (thanks!), which I numbered and am using a four digit code in the file name so that they’re sorted in the right order (example: SW6-0001-Fox 2019).


It’s 11SE where the Fox logo comes late, not 19SE. All of the other versions have the logo fully faded in before 11SE starts, then they all fade out and LFL starts fading in. 11SE Fox logo finishes fading out and LFL pops on screen not having time for its fade. The fanfare is noticeably off sync to the Fox logo in 11SE.

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 (Edited)

Another thing I’m doing is sequences that have have been completely re-edited get an entry for each shot that isn’t in the edit and each shot that has been added. You can see this in Jedi Rocks. They’re not going to get a one-on-top-of-the-other “this shot replaces this shot” unless it’s something like Fett flirting with the dancers, where the edit is the same but the shots are actually replaced.

I also counted frames, so now during the Celebration you’ll know exactly how many frames of Leia hugging Luke were cut (a lot).

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 (Edited)

Last night I got through Reel 4 (Sarlacc Battle). I’m much more free with the count, so several shots have 3 images associated. I noticed that about half of the Rancor recomposites done in 2004 actually start the live action plate 2 frames earlier or later than the original edit. The Rancor movement and the edit is exactly the same, but it’s technically over different footage of Luke or the guard.

Thanks to a discussion I had with Terrence Masson (one of the Senior Technical Directors for the SE, who oversaw the Sarlacc Battle), I’ve been able to identify more recomposites and now can tell the first shot in the Star Wars Saga with a CG lightsaber (it’s during Luke’s “Force Kick”). If there was a recomposite in the battle, any blaster fire or lightsaber in that shot was recreated in CG instead of finding the original elements, though I still feel like some shots where they just added the beak to a fully live action shot with effects don’t have any recompositing, just inserted the beak into the original final. It’s only if a film element like a skiff or Boba Fett or a matte painting was recomposited.

It’s a lot of fun to just focus on one movie (since it’s the only one “complete” by TN1). I’m reading the Rinzler book and just absorbing as much as I can about RotJ.

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Awesome.

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 Theatrical released versions (Like 4K77,4K80 and 4K83); 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.