Sign In

How did you prefer to watch SW before the fan edits came along?

Author
Time

Before the fan edits such as Harmy’s and 4Kxx came along, what was your preferred way of watching the trilogy? Did you put up with the low quality of the GOUT, watch on an old VHs or LaserDisc, or just give up and watch the special editions?

For me personally, I first saw SW in the early 2000s on an old 80s VHS tape, that was obviously pre-special edition. After that though, I mostly would rent the DVDs from Blockbuster, without even paying attention to whether they were special edition or not. I was still too young to care.

Around 2012 or so when I found out about the special editions and all the changes that had been made, I was determined to only watch the theatrical cut from them on. I went on eBay and bought the GOUT DVD for Star Wars. I was unimpressed with the quality (I was watching on an HD TV), but I was happy to be once again watching the theatrical versions, at least.

Before I could get to the other two though, I discovered that Harmy’s Despecialized was a thing. That’s been my go-to way to watch the trilogy ever since. I prefer the “cleaner” look over something like 4K77.

Author
Time

I grew up watching them on VHS. Both the 1995 “faces” box set and the 1997 set. I was aware that they were two different versions of the movies, and I liked having the option to watch both. I even kind of preferred the special editions at the time, since they were still relatively new. Then I got the 2004 DVDs, which I loved at the time, and then I got the GOUTs, more out of a sense of completionism than anything else. It was only around 2011 or so, after the Blu-rays added more changes, and the Special Edition CGI continued to age poorly, that I finally got fed up and just watched the GOUT exclusively.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I was lucky enough to have the “Dr Gonzo” version of the OOT on DVD in the early 2000s. I think it was “Dr Gonzo”, or something similar, a couple of years before the substandard GOUT DVDs was released.

And also the unofficial “Look” 1997 Special Edition on DVD, but I think I only watched them once or twice. It wasn’t good, but it was Star Wars on DVD which was a big thing at the time.
 

http://www.prillaman.net/starwarsdvdreviews.html, http://www.swonvideo.com and the https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/An-Index-Of-Projects-Help-Thread-for-Star-Wars-Preservations/id/57297 covers some of the unofficial DVD options before the official GOUT was released in 2006.
 

Before I got the “Dr Gonzo” version on DVD I think it was recordings of the films being shown on TV on VHS.

The Imperial need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks. Authority is brittle. Oppression is the mask of fear.

Author
Time

I started out renting the OT from Blockbuster. At that time both the original and special edition versions were laid out to choose between. So I had rented and seen both a good handful of times that way before getting my parents to buy a set, the pan-n-scan SE. I traded my SE copy of ROTJ to a friend (who was casual toward SW) for his OOT copy. Later I’d buy a widescreen copy of the SE also.

I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

VHS recorded from tv!
It was Christmas 1985 I first see Star Wars (now called a new hope) I was 6 years old and my dad who has no interest in sc-fi whatsoever said hey son there’s a space film on TV you might like ‘Star trek’ I think it is 😂 I didn’t move the entire 2 hours i was totally hooked, luckily my dad had pressed record on the vhs so I got to re watch it over and over with 80s advertisements every 15-20 mins 😂 but still it was my favourite vhs.

It wasn’t until a year later that I see my next movie Return of the Jedi!
There was a re-release late 1986 in London, about 45 min drive. A dress up competition and meet darth vader! My dad booked it and helped me create a darth vader costume from cardboard and paper mashay.
I was totally confused lol!
Not about vader being luke’s father (kids talk)
It was han solo turned to stone!luke in black! etc.

Empire was the last one I got to see and it was around a friends, there parents had rented the trilogy from blockbuster so we had a marathon night and I gotta say I was really disappointed with empire at the time! I found it to be kinda boring compared to a new hope and Jedi but obviously I know better now and empire is top of my list but I was only 7 at the time 😂 I finally got the trilogy on official vhs around 1989 and I’ve had pretty much every physical realise since, I’m 43 now 😂

Author
Time

I think you and I have followed the same path with Starwars, Crossvader. Only it was my best mate who had the VHS recording and we kept playing it until the tape broke.

I’ve had it on tv recordered VHS, offical VHS release, Special edition VHS release, Laserdisc release of a new hope, DVD and now Blu-Ray boxset.

Weirdly, it’s The War of the Stars that really gives me the original viewing feeling I remember as a kid.

Check out - http://www.youtube.com/moviesremastered

MR Discord (Quickest reply to edit requests) - https://discord.gg/EBdQVXhDUh

Author
Time

GOUT. And it’s still the way I “prefer”* to watch SW.

*Not really, but there’s a large ethical gulf between myself and the fanediting community which makes it tremendously difficult for me to watch fan edits/restorations. Won’t go into a long spiel here, but suffice to say, I’m anti-copyright.

“Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth — penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”

― Joseph Campbell