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Info Wanted: 1997 and 2004 OT preservations in HD?

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 (Edited)

With all the good work being done by Harmy and TN1 on the OOT, I thought it was worth asking about the pre-2011 officially revised versions and the best available preservations that are out there.

The 2011 OT blu-ray was based off of the exact same hd master created for the 2004 dvd release, but the 2004 version was never seen at 720/1080 home video resolution outside of hdtv broadcasts. I seem to recall seeing screengrabs of an hd recording back in 2005 or so. Would there still be any preservations intact all these years later?

While the 2004/2011 master was finished at 1080 resolution from a scan of the original negative, the 1997 restoration was done photochemically. Aside from some attempts at scanning in 35mm prints, it seems like the best available preservations out there would be based on hd broadcast captures.

Apologies if there’s a basically identical thread about this already, but I thought it would be worth asking for people’s thoughts on the various efforts over the years to preserve these two revisions of the OT at their highest possible quality.

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I’m not sure 97SE was ever shown in HD, but you’re right the 04SE was and that should be the highest quality version that I’m sure someone has on a hard drive somewhere.

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doubleofive said:

I’m not sure 97SE was ever shown in HD, but you’re right the 04SE was and that should be the highest quality version that I’m sure someone has on a hard drive somewhere.

Well, no, the broadcasts of the ‘97 version wouldn’t have been HD per se, but IIRC there were captures done of digital broadcasts in 16:9, letterboxed in 2.35:1, and these may or may not look better than the best laserdisc preservations out there.

But yeah, I didn’t see anything in the indexes about a simple hd broadcast preservation of the 2004 version.

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The 97 35mm scan is damn near perfect, not sure why someone would want to go from that to the horribly compressed Digi Beta tape version.

I was finally able to retire my Laserdisc for that film and no pink tint/orange tint, unlike the LD and no dnr smear like the broadcasts.

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JadedSkywalker said:

The 97 35mm scan is damn near perfect, not sure why someone would want to go from that to the horribly compressed Digi Beta tape version.

I was finally able to retire my Laserdisc for that film and no pink tint/orange tint, unlike the LD and no dnr smear like the broadcasts.

Right, but isn’t that 35mm scan only of ANH? I was curious what the best source was for the entire 97 OT.

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Thanks for the info, everyone.

Yeah, Schorman’s I-VI was the one I was racking my brain trying to remember the name of.

As for the ‘97 versions, it sounds like we basically have a “4k97” for ANH and a “D+97” for RotJ, but the ‘97 ESB is basically in a Harmy-esque 720p form with some of the less obvious later changes still left in?

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There is an older 1080p reconstruction of ESB 1997 from Adywan. From memory, it is mostly accurate apart from the Falcon cockpit shots which are zoomed in as seen in the 2004 and later SE. Note that the Hoth scenes are very, very white in this version - hardly a hint of blue anywhere.

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An examination of the HD broadcasts of the DVD version has shown less anti-noise processing. That plus the way they were captured makes them as good if not better than the later blu-ray release. Especially the way they have been presented for us thanks to Schorman. He also preserved the PT and that is the best quality for the DVD version of TPM and probably the best version of AOTC and ROTS.

The theatrical 97 SE has now been preserved in a scan from 35 mm. I don’t think it has been cleaned up fully and it has not had the color restored. Outside of that there are SD broadcasts from Europe that preserve those version at higher than LD quality. I would call them near DVD quality, but they suffer from missing frames and being PAL. That is also the best preservation of the full original TPM theatrical version.

Currently the only versions not preserved in any form in HD are the 97 SE of TESB, ROTJ, and the theatrical version of TPM. The original TESB and 97 SE ANH are currently unfinished and only in grindhouse form.

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Actually, 4K99 is sort of on its way. Previews have already been released.

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yotsuya said:

Currently the only versions not preserved in any form in HD are the 97 SE of TESB, ROTJ, and the theatrical version of TPM. The original TESB and 97 SE ANH are currently unfinished and only in grindhouse form.

What about the theatrical AotC (and, technically, RotS)?

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Yeah there is a version in 1080P for Phantom Menace from a 35mm scan but with no English audio at the moment.

They were going to sync an English source later.

This was a preview version with no cleanup, color stabilization.
The previews looked rather nice i just didn’t bother yet because you know no English audio.

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yotsuya said:

An examination of the HD broadcasts of the DVD version has shown less anti-noise processing. That plus the way they were captured makes them as good if not better than the later blu-ray release.

I didn’t know this. I was under the impression that, further altered scenes aside, the HDTV and Blu-ray versions were identical.

Nobody sang The Bunny Song in years…

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Return of the Jedi 2011 blu ray had noticeably more DNR than the broadcast.

I was shocked to be honest that passed standards to be pressed to a disc and sent out to stores.

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I just stumbled across this clip that was shared by someone in a comments thread on twitter:

https://youtu.be/93DzOXD_91o

Did Harmy use a really, really good LD capture for the ‘97 Jabba shots? Is it an hd upscale from either an ld capture or one of the broadcasts? Is this a 35mm scan? Or is this another of his meticulous recreations?

(btw, here’s the original tweet if anyone wants to boost its signal: https://twitter.com/danslott/status/1365894127515299840?s=21 )