35mm film still has more resolution than HD. 4K comes closer.
It’s not normal for a film to be noticeably “scratched”. Scratches occur on theatrical prints after heavy use.
So is this why the GOUT and the SSE look like they do? Or is the gout different in some way?
The GOUT discs weren’t made directly from prints—that’s the whole reason the GOUT is so derided in the first place, why they’re non-anamorphic, and why they’re considered such a slap in the face from Lucasfilm. They were made from leftover 4:3 video masters (originally made from prints) that were used to make the 1993/95 laserdiscs, probably some sort of tape-based masters, I would imagine.
I’m sure there’s someone here who has a better understanding of the 1990s print>>>laserdisc-release workflow.
DarkJedi’s anamorphic versions are one of the most watchable versions of the GOUT, IMO.