Edit 2: Despecialized 2.7 builds off of 2.6 with additional color changes, mostly removing some green from the desert and Death Star. Additionally, the “A Long Time Ago” card is a cleaned up version from the Silver Screen Edition (SSE). It also features Catbus’s excellent Greedo subtitles that were derived from the SSE, and Darth Lucas rotoscoped the lightsaber blade in Ben’s hut from the SSE. This version has better video quality as I used Harmy’s lossless encodings. It features a Hindi track and Project Threepio v9.2 subtitles.
Comparison gallery: http://picsurge.com/g/cCwnAo
EDIT: This is now available as Star Wars Despecialized 2.6 as AVCHD, MKV, and BD iso with alternate crawl options. MKV format releases have a fixed Castilian audio track as well as Russian, Ukranian, Thai, and Navajo dubs (in addition to the tracks in 2.5). Replaced some shots using TN1’s Silver Screen Edition, mostly for purely GOUT based shots like Luke heading to his X-wing. I did some extra manual and automatic cleanup and stabilization, and did my best to match the color, contrast, grain, and sharpness to surrounding shots. An older version without cleaned up 35mm footage replacing GOUT shots is available as Despecialized 2.5 (Recolorized) in MKV format.
First of all, thanks to Harmy for all the endless hours he has put into making the best versions of the Star Wars trilogy currently in existence. As the title suggests, this is a color adjusted version of Harmy’s Star Wars Despecialized 2.5. I was hesitant to make a thread about it, since some may see it as an attack on Harmy (it is not at all). But Harmy himself gave the blessing to make the thread.
The latest ESB and RoTJ are damn close to perfection and look approximately like what an official Blu-ray release should look like. SW 2.5 is great as well, with more despecialized shots than the other two films. But in this case, Harmy took a unique take on the color timing. Because he had access to frames of a scanned IB Technicolor print, he based the 2.5 coloring on that. Harmy did an amazing job matching those scans. Some of the big differences in color could have only made his job more difficult, and his product looks like Technicolor scans.
IB Tech prints of SW were struck in the final days of operation for the UK Technicolor lab, and it is thought that their dye processing quality control was less than ideal, resulting in green color shifts. And, of course, no two IB Tech prints were the same. Most importantly, Harmy was not aware at the time that his scans had not yet been corrected to match the way the print looks when projected. He plans to adjust his color timing for his version 3.0.
The goal is just to make a more consistent version color wise that, for me, is ideal for watching in a trilogy with Harmy’s other two releases. Instead of shooting for the look of an uncorrected scan, it is simply a little bit less jarring to me. Others will definitely prefer the look of Harmy’s untouched v2.5, and I think that is fantastic. Now that he knows that the IB Tech scans were not corrected to the print, his v3.0 will be much better than this. However, feedback for this color adjustment (including from Harmy himself) has generally been positive, so I’m happy to share it with anyone else who is interested.
Largely, I actually used the 1997 Respecialized version that Harmy made himself. In his 1997 edition, he shot for the same color scheme as his v2.5 Despecialized. However, a refined technique resulted in more natural skin tones and, occasionally, other major improvements. I used Harmy’s versions as much as possible to remain true to his intent.
Some shots in Harmy’s version have very strong tints. They are matched well to the uncorrected Technicolor scans, however, they do not match the surrounding shots/scenes. I adjusted the RGB curves and occasionally tweaked the saturation. While I did have TN1’s release, the GOUT, and other scans and sources handy as a reference, it should be clear that I did not aim to color match anything precisely. The general color scheme, however, still adheres to the Technicolor look in general. Every shot should still look like it belongs in Harmy’s release rather than a print with Eastman or GOUT timing. I did not flatten and desaturate the film as a whole. Skin tones are still rosy at times and walls may still be brilliant blue.