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If George Lucas won't allow public screenings of the unaltered original trilogy...

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Why does he allow screenings of 1997 SE prints?

Surely these no longer conform to his definitive vision of the films, which has already changed twice since 1997. I would be more embarrassed of people seeing that hideous '97 CGI Jabba up on the big screen than any effect in the original versions.

I don't understand why he is so stubborn about letting the originals see the light of day yet he seems to have no problem with letting versions with outdated revisions continue to circulate.

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Because his laziness is a stronger motivator than his "vision" (hardy har har).  The '97s were the last version to have a theatrical release, and, thus, a theatrical print.  Why bother to make new prints when, well... you're lazy?

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This is why I think it is ultimately about money and not about vision to George. Why else would he have even bothered to put out the GOUT instead of nothing at all? That right there is proof to me that it's all about money because the guy didn't even want to spend money to remaster the thing, he just wanted to make money off of it.

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Hasn't this only happened once? I thought no theater could even book the SE at all. If any are allowed it's for the digital 04 version. That ROTJ screening might allow for an opening however. I'd just like to see a film version of SW again.

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The recent ROTJ screening was in Lucas' hometown. Somebody might have called in a personal favor.

The last public trilogy screening I know of was timed to George getting his AFI award, and they were the '97's.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Yeah from what I recall of the speech in the ROTJ screening, that's exactly what happened.  Someone they knew had a connection with Lucasfilm and did pull in a favor.  I didn't get the impression, though, that it was too hard for them to set up, so hopefully they'll do it again sometime.

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Yeah as long as he is making money from the 2004 spike is airing i doubt he is going to have it pulled.

He made changes so the blu ray is not exactly the same as the broadcast, so fans are not getting a free view of the blu ray at home on their HDTV.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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They were showing the '97's at the AFI in Silver Spring, Maryland back during the summer of '05.

Honestly, I think Jim Ward's comment back in '04 about them now having a "digital negative" is kinda laughable. A 1080p master of a cinemascope film is sure as hell not a digital negative.

The past seven years bears that out. Has there yet been an actual theatrical projection of the '04 master??? Sticking the dvds in a player at a convention doesn't count.

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Eh, well I think back at Celebration V they used the '04 master. Yes it was at a convention but it was projected in HD using professional equipment on a gigantic screen. Fantastic resolution, you could see their pores. I'm still not sure where that video was from though, unfortunately they held their screenings late at night so I couldn't stay to watch them as walking back to our hotel would have been a nightmare. But I did catch a bit of ANH and I swear Luke's blade was white on the Falcon.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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Lucasfilm will officially tell you that SW screenings are on hold. There are exceptional circumstances in which they will provide a print like DGA screenings (where the 1997 SE was last screened i think), but these are exceptional. I don't think its about money. That's quite absurd, if it was about money then we'd have had the OOT all along, douple dipped every year. This is about pride and ideology. I guess Lucas figures if his colleagues have one or two special events in which they need a print, then the 1997 SE best represents the version of the films he wishes people to see. He can't show the 2011 version because it still can't officially be shown and he doesn't show the 2004 version because there are no actual prints that exist, only DVDs and HD masters for cable television. I think the only time the 2004 HD version was screened was at Celebration once, when it first came out. Maybe television companies have exclusive rights to it now, or maybe the screenings since have not been digital projection equipped or have a 35mm-only policy (a lot of repertoir/specialty theatres have such a policy). So it's a small compromise for exceptional circumstances.

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The Celebration screenings were last year actually.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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Wasn't there screenings in 2007? Or does this happen every year?

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"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Hmm, well I was there at Celebration IV, there probably were screenings but I don't remember them or going to any of them. Celebration V last year had the digital projection screenings I mentioned in my other post. Celebration I was in 1999, II in 2002, III in 2005, IV in 2007 and then V was last year. I was surprised to hear the announcement about the next one in 2012, wasn't expecting it so soon.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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It would be nice to have official screenings of the vintage versions of the films fully restored from the negative and best possible surviving sources.

We all know Lucas is never going to allow that.

Even the 1997 version is now orphaned, while the 2004 is readily easy to find if not on blu ray.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Celebration Europe had the 2004 version.

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skyjedi2005 said:

It would be nice to have official screenings of the vintage versions of the films fully restored from the negative and best possible surviving sources.

We all know Lucas is never going to allow that.

Sky, these are my thoughts exactly.

Every time I read about a classic film getting a nice theatrical restoration (the most recent example being Ben-Hur), I think of how awesome that would be.

That's why it kinda gives me a kick to think that the next best thing - literally - happened in Baltimore last Summer.

Still, it's nice to dream about the smaller revival houses across the country screening digital prints of the OOT while Lucas gets to have his cake with the 3D versions in multiplexes.

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I am as the same mind as Robert Harris, its not a real restoration if it is only done for home video.

 

Too bad he never updates his column on the bits website.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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skyjedi2005 said:

I am as the same mind as Robert Harris, its not a real restoration if it is only done for home video.

 

Too bad he never updates his column on the bits website.

I believe he's had serious health issues recently.

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Robert Harris Restorations are tops.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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TV's Frink said:

Never mind, I was thinking of Barrie Maxwell.

The classic cinema guy, that is still a sad thing to hear.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.