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DIFFERENT STAR WARS versions - which is best?

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 (Edited)

I have seen that there is a good ammount of versions of the original unaltered trilogy, and i am a bit confused about which is the best option to watch them.
If i understood well, 4Kxx are the more accurate to the original, but i also read that Blu Ray source (that was used in Despecialized) are from the original camera negative… So what is the difference between that source and the one used for 4kxx?

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

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For starters, the sources of the 4KXX projects for the original trilogy are from various theatrical release prints, the ones that the general audience saw in the movie theaters back in their day. These prints are merely copies made from the original camera negative, so, the quality on the prints are a few generations lower than the OCN.

The source of the Blu Ray releases for the original trilogy were the original camera negatives that was digitally scanned, but alterations were made on them—DNR, added CGI special effects, etc.

Harmy’s Despecialized edition of the original trilogy used a variety of sources. The primary source was the Blu Ray. The sources for the original-trilogy footage that were not found on the Blu Ray were 16mm prints and upscaled DVD video. Because these said additional sources had lesser resolution than the 1080p Blu Ray elements, the Despecialized edition was released in 720p.

For Team Negative 1’s 4K projects, each frame from the theatrical prints were digitally scanned in 4K resolution. They are released in UHD and 1080p.

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 (Edited)

So, in terms of color, I’d rank it:

  1. 4K83 1.6
  2. 97SE
  3. Despecialized 2.5
  4. Earlier non-DrDre 4K83 releases
  5. GOUT
  6. Other Special Editions

All Special Editions later than the 97SE have huge color shifts and aren’t close at all. Harmy’s only so high on the list because he did such a good job undoing the damage of the 2011SE, but the colors on the Blu-rays were trash and there’s only so much you can correct. The only benefits of the OCN for Harmy was that it gave Despecialized much more fine detail and better contrast than any print-based preservation could ever have – but that fine detail and contrast did come at a cost.

I personally still prefer DeEd due to the detail and contrast that gives it the look of a modern respectful HD home video release. But that’s not how it was in theatres. Boosted contrast and lost fine detail came with the optical duplication process that produced projection prints, and that’s just how it looked. 4K83 reproduces that look, if that’s what you’re after (although the contrast boost in 4K83 isn’t bad at all, due to the special unicorn print they found, and ROTJ likely had more boosted contrast theatrically).

Basing things on the OCN is great for home video, especially when people don’t muck up the colors as badly as they did with Star Wars, but it’s not faithful to that projection print look. IMO it’s better, but that’s a matter of taste.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Also of some help and interest may be the…

The ‘Which Is Best?’ Star Wars Preservation Project discussion threads… in An Index & Help Thread for Star Wars Preservations…

As well as the…

Despecialized Editions by Harmy : Index of ‘How-To’s & Help’ Threads | Index of ‘General Despecialized Threads’ | ‘Where are they? And how do I get them?’ Mega-Merge Thread… in the How-To’s and Technical Discussions section of the site.
 

Good luck with it mate 😃
 

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 (Edited)

Alderaan94 said:

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

Most likely Despecialized 2.5 is the most accurate out of these three, followed by 4K83 1.6, or somewhere in between. For the original effects shots (as well as a chunk in the middle of the film that was out of focus on the Blu-ray) in DeEd 2.5, Harmy used a scan of a Low-fade 35mm print. These prints are very blue, and Harmy corrected the LPP shots to match the Blu-ray footage. 4K83 1.4 uses my own color correction which I based directly on an LPP scan made by TN1. I made the image warmer and wanted to diminish the blue push, but blue objects on screen still have a stronger blue tone, similar to that Despecialized shot. Though I don’t think it’s quite as saturated. It probably would have looked like that when projected back in the day.

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I really don’t know about The Empire Strikes Back…
should I pick Dreamastered (v1.0 or v2.0), Despecialized 2.0 or D+80 v2.0??

I know the last 2 are reconstructions, while Grindhouse is from a release print, but what do you think about colors, grain management and quality overall?