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Despecialized or the Special Editions; Which do you prefer - and why?

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 (Edited)

Now that we have the Despecialized and can watch the original unaltered trilogy, what are your thoughts on the special editions? Which do you prefer? This probably sounds like a stupid question but I’m really curious.

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I think almost everyone here prefers Despecialized. Even though some parts of the SE actually improved the movies, watching the original Star Wars trilogy without the terrible CGI creatures is amazing.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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I’m a historical purist. Give me all films (not just Star Wars) as they were seen by audiences in their original theatrical runs, warts and all. If there are multiple versions (like the 70mm vs 35mm ESB), include both so I watch each version. If there are later re-edited special editions or director’s cuts or whathaveyou, include those too. Film history is important and various iterations of a film should be properly preserved and made available to anyone who wishes to see them.

As for the original Star Wars Trilogy, I prefer the 4KXX versions both because they are the highest quality restorations (official or not) and, more importantly, they are the most “pure”. Meaning they are sourced as much as humanly possible from original, pre-special edition, film prints. They aren’t reconstructions that try to mimic the original (as amazing as Harmy’s work has been), they ARE the original. But, of course, 4K80 isn’t complete yet…

So yeah, I definitely prefer the original cuts to any version of the SE. But if I’m going to watch an SE, I don’t mind the ‘97 or the brand new ‘19 versions. The 2005 dvd and 2011(?) blu ray versions are pure and utter garbage that I’ll never watch.

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I know alternate versions are sometimes curiosities worth checking out from time to time – different Blade Runner cuts, extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings films, even Buckaroo Banzai with an alternate opening, and the alternate versions are even sometimes better than the theatrical versions.

But with Star Wars, there is nothing worth watching about the Special Editions, in any iteration. Their only saving grace is that they provided raw materials for Harmy’s reconstructions, allowing us to have an Original Trilogy preservation that’s very much like what a respectful Blu-ray release would have been. Harmy’s versions are still my favorite for this reason, although 4K83 1.6 really upped the color game and is now very nearly as good IMO.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Seeing the 4K upgrade by Lucasfilm (unlike 4K77) is interesting even though it is the special edition