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Info Wanted: "GOUT" is not "unaltered"!?!?!

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 (Edited)

So, I’ve been looking at Arnie.d’s captures of the Japanese laserdiscs, and comparing them to the GOUT. Turns out that the opening shot right after the pan down from the opening crawl has a completely different starfield. Doing some further investigation, It appears that at least the starfield and the planet in the distance on the GOUT are the same as the SE!

This makes me wonder, were elements from the SE used to re-create that sequence for the GOUT? Is it possible that even the opening crawl of the GOUT might not be original, and possibly computer generated.

Thoughts?

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 (Edited)

Original elements were used to make the SE, the same ones used to make the '77 film (GOUT). That's why their starfields match.

When the ANH crawl was composited in '81(?) they used a different starfield plate than '77, the same they had used for ESB.

Or maybe it was the same plate, only flipped or rotated or something.  I'm pretty sure Zion knows the answer, and you might find it with some searches.

 

I think you'll find the Japanese SC to match all other ANH laserdiscs in that respect.

 

However, in practice you must take into account the “fuckwit factor”. Just talk to Darth Mallwalker…
-Moth3r

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^^

That sounds about right to me.

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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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Whew! This makes more sense than my theory. Thanks Darth Mallwalker.

-G

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So you could say the 1981 version of Star Wars was the first Special Edition.

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 (Edited)

Yeah.... the "new moon" appeared in 1981... that makes the most sense. That's why none of the laserdiscs match the GOUT (they're all using the '81 version).

 

The SE reverted back to the '77 moon, just like they reverted back to some of the old '77 sound effects, and the '04, as it changed so very little, simply carried this over. Mystery solved!

 

 

The GOUT is "altered" in the sense that it's using a mixture of the theatrical soundtracks, rather than the original 3 for each film individually.

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I brought this up a while ago; here is the post. Mike reckoned the same starfield was used when it was re-composited for the 1981, only flipped and positioned differently. (I could never see that , myself.)

Although hard to see, the telecine also confirms the GOUT has the original starfield.

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Yes. Tell me more of this second moon, please.

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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Moth3r said:

I brought this up a while ago; here is the post. Mike reckoned the same starfield was used when it was re-composited for the 1981, only flipped and positioned differently. (I could never see that , myself.)

Although hard to see, the telecine also confirms the GOUT has the original starfield.

i agree that the starfield post 1981 is different and not a flipped version. the stars are completely different. i flipped the starfiled from the laserdisc and overlayed it to the original starfield found in the 2004 & GOUT DVDs and there was no place that they could match

Erikstormtrooper said:

Yes. Tell me more of this second moon, please.

if you look HERE you can see that the main large moon at the left is different on the laserdiscs than the one from the GOUT & 2004 DVD set

ANH:REVISITED
ESB:REVISITED

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Aha! I've solved the moon! Not only was the starfield a recomp, the entire matte painting is a new one, which I have now found. Be back with my full report later. :p

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"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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 (Edited)

Its actually been a bit of a process. First I thought I had discovered an alternate matte painting used for the 81 release. Then I realised it was the same as the 77 painting. Then I thought the 81 release was the same painting from 77. Then I once again thought they redid the matte painting in 1981. Then I thought maybe the foreign--french/german--releases had a different matte painting. Its been a very tricky process of changing my conclusion as new pieces of evidence become available.

I've worked with

1) all the screenshots in the screenshot thread of the shot, notably the SE, GOUT, Moth3r, Citizen and Cowclops shots

2) my own screenshots from the HD-SE, GOUT, plus my VHS and my Editdroid LD rip just for the heck of it 

3) a photograph of the movie screen of this actual shot from a 1977 screening

4) a medium-quality reproduction of the matte painting itself taken from the Lucasfilm Archives book

5) high-res scan of a 16mm print of the shot from Zion's 1977 print

6) low quality reproductions of the raw matte composite

 

I have done extensive graphic manipulation to reveal that:

 

drumroll....

 

There is no "alternate" matte painting or alternate moon. Both the 1981 shot and the 1977 shot are the same. If you look at Cowclops, Editdroid, pretty much any 1981 version, the moon doesn't look very different from the GOUT/SE, other than massive detail loss and wildly fluxuating colors. The only version that looks different is the Moth3r/Citizen PAL versions. This is why I wondered if maybe there was an alternate matte used for the foreign version. But I've always noticed that Tatooine was exactly the same, just cropped, and the contrast areas on the moon match up if you look at distinctive areas, although in some areas its tenuous--did a hypothetical alternate matte artists try to replicate the look of the original? No, I realised. It IS the original.

Explanations:

1) why is it that the Moth3r/Citizen French/German captures look different? They do indeed look different. There are four reasons for this. 1) as detailed as they are, they lack the fine detail of the GOUT/SE. None of the LD captures have sufficient detail to reveal the craters and cracks that are visible on the GOUT and SE, not even Moth3r's. Yet Moth3r/Citizen's still are clearly different looking from the other R1 captures, which have even less detail. This is because 2) contrast/brightness. This is why the atmosphere haze matte line and dark side of the moon matte line are visible. This matte line visibility is seen in some of the R1 caps as well, which causes the landscape/detail of the moon to change. This is why some of the R1 caps sorta look like they might be the same moon as the R2, but not entirely. I imagine this was a home video thing. 3) cropping. If you look at the R2 Moth3r/Citizen versions, most shots have some cropping compared to other versions, but this Tatooine shot is massively zoomed in, and this also contributes to the feeling that the shot is different. But then, even when we account for these three combined factors, and play around with the levels in photoshop to equalise all the versions, the Moth3r/Citizen caps still don't quite match up--they begin to resemble the R1 caps and the GOUT/SE caps, enough to make you consider that they may all be the same matte painting, but not entirely, because they are still not 100% identical. This is because of a final, crucial factor: 

4) distortion. The actual matte painting that McQuarrie painting was very large, much larger than what is scene--yet it had to be framed and photographed within a 35mm 2.35 aspect ratio. When it was photographed, there was too much headroom--Tatooine only occuped a small section of the bottom frame. When it came time to do the final composite, it was vertically stretched to fill more room on the frame. Haven't you noticed that the moon in the GOUT/SE/original prints is so distorted? It looks eliptical. The R2 Moth3r/Citizen caps are simply the undistored, original composite, although it has additional cropping as most shots in this print do. This, I argue, is because the shot was re-composited for the foreign French/German prints because of the foreign crawls. They composited it without vertically stretching the Tatooine/Moon matte.

I'm going to do a graphic-heavy analysis of this so people can see for themselves, because they probably don't entirely believe me. I'm not 100% on this yet--but I'm 99% that this is the explanation.

 EDIT

Further revelations on the 77 comp: it appears it was manipulated far more than we may have imagined. Each planetoid--Tattoine and its two moons--seem to have been isolated in three matting stages and each one manipulated as a seperate element and then re-composited with the starfield and ship models. This is concluded by comparing the raw matte element to the final optical composite. 1) The colors have been shifted on all three elements. Tatooine has been darkened and has more blue in it, while the moons have been rendered black and white from their original pale reddish color. This may be why the moons appear blue, green and grey in various prints/transfers, due to recompositing in 1981 and for foreign re-comps. 2) after being broken up into three seperate elements, each one has been repositioned! Tatooine remains as it was, basically, while the large moon has been moved higher in the frame and slightly to the left, and the small moon has been moved way higher and slightly to the right. 3) Theres been distortion applied on top of this. The small moon has been left as is, but the large moon has been stretched vertically. Additionally, it appears Tatooine may have been stretched horizontally, though it is a bit difficult to tell.

This is why, on some of the artificially brightened home video captures like Moth3r's, there are matte lines around the large moon (VERY visible on its darkside) and the atmosphere haze on Tatooine--even though it was painted as one matte painting, it was recomposited as seperate elements!

Reading The Making of Star Wars, there was two starfield passes done because Lucas didn't like the first one. This may be where the other 1981 starfield came from. Interesting.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"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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zombie84 said:

...This, I argue, is because the shot was re-composited for the foreign French/German prints because of the foreign crawls.


The French laserdisc (used in the Citizen and Mother transfers) has the English crawl (with French subtitles in the lower black bar). The German disc I believe does have a German-language crawl, and I do remember seeing screenshots from someone'e capture - but I don't think they went as far as the planet reveal.

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That makes sense; I should revise what I said earlier--after comparing all the various screenshots for the home video versions, the matte painting is all the same. In other words, the Moth3r/Citizen transfer simply provided the best point of comparison because they are the clearest 1981. Bottom line: all home video versions have been the same and they are all the same as the 1977 except the composite is different--the 1977 version had distortion, while the 1981 re-composite had a new starfield and no distortion, and either the same Tatooine as 1977 or a new composite of it as well; I'll have to take a further look at that and the small moon.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"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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 (Edited)

That's no moon.  That's a space station.

 

So the moon gets re-comped because they didn't like where it was.  They should have stopped when they were ahead.

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Sluggo said:

That's no moon. That's a space station.

 

So the moon gets re-comped because they didn't like where it was. They should have stopped when they were ahead.

Win, Sluggo, win.

Regarding other "GOUT" changes, wasn't it discovered that at times fine details were blurred out? Compare.
GOUT: http://aptirrelevance.com/otscreenshots/images/resized/GOUT-PAL-r-036.jpg

Moth3r: http://aptirrelevance.com/otscreenshots/images/resized/moth3r-r-036.jpg

Note certain parts of R2.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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 (Edited)

Just to cut to the chase, barring a very detailed and convoluted detective chase, this is ultimately the conclusion:

This crude gif is a comparison between Zion's 1977 16mm print, which is clearly identical to the GOUT and the SE (minus the optical matte line on the star destroyer and the coloring of the moon, both of which are on the GOUT) and Moth3r's 1981 shot, which I'm sure all will agree is the most apparently different version, and thus, if this can be shown to be the same as the 1977 then all others should be as well. I cranked the contrast on Moth3r's to get the low-con milky blacks closer to the film print and also to really bring out the shading and texture of the moon's surface to more clearly show the detail.

I think what you'll find here is what I said earlier: the 1981 moon is the same as the 1977 moon, only stretched horizontally, and with smeared detail due to the poor technology of laserdisk display and capture. Also note that this comparison is not the same exact frame as the film print, merely the same shot.

1977 VERSUS 1981

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"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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 (Edited)

OK, Zombie, I'm almost convinced, but how do we know that the difference isn't just a difference of the aspect ratios of each of the frames.  Is it only the moon that is the different shape?

 

EDIT: Nevermind.  I went back and watched the scenes again.  The matte lines around the moon was enough for me.  My faith in LFL is shaken! 

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Sluggo said:

OK, Zombie, I'm almost convinced, but how do we know that the difference isn't just a difference of the aspect ratios of each of the frames.

 

Well, whether you compare Zion's 16mm print, the GOUT or the SE its all the same--I just used the 16mm print for the comparison because it was the highest resolution of all the options. And in any case, even if it was an aspect ratio thing, which its not because you can just sub in the SE or GOUT, the point is that the 77 moon is the 81 moon, you can clearly see that the detail and contrast areas match (barring the slight horizontal strecthing).

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"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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bkev said:

Regarding other "GOUT" changes, wasn't it discovered that at times fine details were blurred out?


That's not an alteration; just a mastering fuck up.

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Good thanks for clearing up this mystery!