Much like my 97 ANH Regrade (Link here if you’re interested in that: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/anh-1997-inspired-regrade-with-se-soundmix-version-2-released/id/80173), this is a regrade of Empire Strikes Back that is intended to be close as possible to the '97 laserdisc version of the film. Originally I had chosen to recapture the laserdisc color timing simply because there weren’t any reliable sources to use for capturing the film’s theatrical look. Now I realize in recent months that a new scan is being done and we’ll all be able to know once and for all what the film looked like in theatres. Regardless, I still think this regrade has it’s place since it’s still a version of ESB that hasn’t seen the light of day past laserdisc and therefore should be brought as close as possible into an HD Reconstruction.
Along with the regraded colors, the 1997 Theatrical Audio will be included and the only SE alterations that will be present are the ones exclusive to the '97 version, which means the original emperor will remain in place. The only post 1997 change that will remain is the cropping effect applied to some of the Millenium Falcon cockpit shots.
-2020 Disney 1080p Bluray
-Empire Strikes Back 1997 DVB (TB Release)
-Empire strikes Back
-Adywan’s 1080p 1997 ESB
Here’s some video samples of the cut so far:
-Battle of Hoth: https://youtu.be/tqNrUx2LlUQ
Things to do for Version 2:
Dear god The Battle of Hoth is kicking my ass. The 2020 blu ray colors are so vastly different from the laserdisc that it takes forever to get a single shot to look anything like it did in '97. I even tried using Dre’s color match tool and even then I had problems. Noise and artifacts were being introduced into many shots even after cropping and aligning the images perfectly. I was able to get the first half of the battle color matched, but couldn’t get anything presentable out of the second half. To substitute the unfinished blu ray footage, I used Adywan’s 97 ESB footage. It’ll likely be obvious that it uses the HD 2004 broadcast footage, but it at least completes the scene for the time being.
The other thing I’m going to do is make further adjustments to make the colors match the Japanese laserdisc release. It has a much better color timing when compared to the US one and while the colors on the current version likely resemble the Japanese master to begin with, having a video reference on hand would help a lot.