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Info Wanted: The DIFFERENT STAR WARS versions - which is best?

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I have seen that there is a good ammount of versions of the original unaltered trilogy, and i am a bit confused about which is the best option to watch them.
If i understood well, 4Kxx are the more accurate to the original, but i also read that Blu Ray source (that was used in Despecialized) are from the original camera negative… So what is the difference between that source and the one used for 4kxx?

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

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For starters, the sources of the 4KXX projects for the original trilogy are from various theatrical release prints, the ones that the general audience saw in the movie theaters back in their day. These prints are merely copies made from the original camera negative, so, the quality on the prints are a few generations lower than the OCN.

The source of the Blu Ray releases for the original trilogy were the original camera negatives that was digitally scanned, but alterations were made on them—DNR, added CGI special effects, etc.

Harmy’s Despecialized edition of the original trilogy used a variety of sources. The primary source was the Blu Ray. The sources for the original-trilogy footage that were not found on the Blu Ray were 16mm prints and upscaled DVD video. Because these said additional sources had lesser resolution than the 1080p Blu Ray elements, the Despecialized edition was released in 720p.

For Team Negative 1’s 4K projects, each frame from the theatrical prints were digitally scanned in 4K resolution. They are released in UHD and 1080p.

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So, in terms of color, I’d rank it:

  1. 4K83 1.6
  2. 97SE
  3. Despecialized 2.5
  4. Earlier non-DrDre 4K83 releases
  5. GOUT
  6. Other Special Editions

All Special Editions later than the 97SE have huge color shifts and aren’t close at all. Harmy’s only so high on the list because he did such a good job undoing the damage of the 2011SE, but the colors on the Blu-rays were trash and there’s only so much you can correct. The only benefits of the OCN for Harmy was that it gave Despecialized much more fine detail and better contrast than any print-based preservation could ever have – but that fine detail and contrast did come at a cost.

I personally still prefer DeEd due to the detail and contrast that gives it the look of a modern respectful HD home video release. But that’s not how it was in theatres. Boosted contrast and lost fine detail came with the optical duplication process that produced projection prints, and that’s just how it looked. 4K83 reproduces that look, if that’s what you’re after (although the contrast boost in 4K83 isn’t bad at all, due to the special unicorn print they found, and ROTJ likely had more boosted contrast theatrically).

Basing things on the OCN is great for home video, especially when people don’t muck up the colors as badly as they did with Star Wars, but it’s not faithful to that projection print look. IMO it’s better, but that’s a matter of taste.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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Also of some help and interest may be the…

The ‘Which Is Best?’ Star Wars Preservation Project discussion threads… in An Index & Help Thread for Star Wars Preservations…

As well as the…

Despecialized Editions by Harmy : Index of ‘How-To’s & Help’ Threads | Index of ‘General Despecialized Threads’ | ‘Where are they? And how do I get them?’ Mega-Merge Thread… in the How-To’s and Technical Discussions section of the site.
 

Good luck with it mate 😃
 

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Alderaan94 said:

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

Most likely Despecialized 2.5 is the most accurate out of these three, followed by 4K83 1.6, or somewhere in between. For the original effects shots (as well as a chunk in the middle of the film that was out of focus on the Blu-ray) in DeEd 2.5, Harmy used a scan of a Low-fade 35mm print. These prints are very blue, and Harmy corrected the LPP shots to match the Blu-ray footage. 4K83 1.4 uses my own color correction which I based directly on an LPP scan made by TN1. I made the image warmer and wanted to diminish the blue push, but blue objects on screen still have a stronger blue tone, similar to that Despecialized shot. Though I don’t think it’s quite as saturated. It probably would have looked like that when projected back in the day.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit | The Terminator - Color Regrade | The Wrong Trousers - Audio Preservation
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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I really don’t know about The Empire Strikes Back…
should I pick Dreamastered (v1.0 or v2.0), Despecialized 2.0 or D+80 v2.0??

I know the last 2 are reconstructions, while Grindhouse is from a release print, but what do you think about colors, grain management and quality overall?

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Dek Rollins said:

Alderaan94 said:

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

Most likely Despecialized 2.5 is the most accurate out of these three, followed by 4K83 1.6, or somewhere in between. For the original effects shots (as well as a chunk in the middle of the film that was out of focus on the Blu-ray) in DeEd 2.5, Harmy used a scan of a Low-fade 35mm print. These prints are very blue, and Harmy corrected the LPP shots to match the Blu-ray footage. 4K83 1.4 uses my own color correction which I based directly on an LPP scan made by TN1. I made the image warmer and wanted to diminish the blue push, but blue objects on screen still have a stronger blue tone, similar to that Despecialized shot. Though I don’t think it’s quite as saturated. It probably would have looked like that when projected back in the day.

I am still very confused. Because some people is saying Harmy is not much accurate to the authentic color because BR that is their main source is really far from te original colors but other people is saying BR is more accurate than 4K because it uses OCN as source. So… should be distinguish between being accurate to the way it was shown in theaters in 1983 and how the OCN looked?
Why do you think it would have that blue saturation when projected in theaters? I mean, if that blue saturation on Harmy comes from a Low-fade 35mm print and 4K83 comes from theatrical release prints, shouldn´t be 4K83 the most accurate to when it was released in 1983 theaters?

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FWIW, I disagree. I think that 4K83 has been in the color doghouse so long that people are used to simply dismissing its color accuracy. But I think 1.6 changes the narrative, and 4K83 is now the one to beat in terms of color accuracy. Harmy is always very good, but suffers from uncorrected SE-related tweaks here and there. I think it’s safe to say 4K83 is the closer of the two in terms of how the colors looked in a theatre. Of course, you do still lose a lot of fine detail with 4K83, but that’s the trade-off.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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 (Edited)

Alderaan94 said:

Dek Rollins said:

Alderaan94 said:

I have also noticed that the epic force ghosts scene in ROTJ looks different in every version.
Check this screenshots:

From 4K83 DrReel Color Correction (4K83 1.6)
https://i.imgur.com/lbQaGAE.png

From Harmy Despecialized v2.5 (newest version), clearly looks more “blue”. Why?
https://imgur.com/sLur4VQ

From 97 Special Edition :Again there is a color change? Now looking more “grey”.
https://imgur.com/NypkA7m

Which of this is the more similar to the way it was shown in ´83 cinema?

Most likely Despecialized 2.5 is the most accurate out of these three, followed by 4K83 1.6, or somewhere in between. For the original effects shots (as well as a chunk in the middle of the film that was out of focus on the Blu-ray) in DeEd 2.5, Harmy used a scan of a Low-fade 35mm print. These prints are very blue, and Harmy corrected the LPP shots to match the Blu-ray footage. 4K83 1.4 uses my own color correction which I based directly on an LPP scan made by TN1. I made the image warmer and wanted to diminish the blue push, but blue objects on screen still have a stronger blue tone, similar to that Despecialized shot. Though I don’t think it’s quite as saturated. It probably would have looked like that when projected back in the day.

I am still very confused. Because some people is saying Harmy is not much accurate to the authentic color because BR that is their main source is really far from te original colors but other people is saying BR is more accurate than 4K because it uses OCN as source. So… should be distinguish between being accurate to the way it was shown in theaters in 1983 and how the OCN looked?
Why do you think it would have that blue saturation when projected in theaters? I mean, if that blue saturation on Harmy comes from a Low-fade 35mm print and 4K83 comes from theatrical release prints, shouldn´t be 4K83 the most accurate to when it was released in 1983 theaters?

A Low-fade 35mm print is a theatrical release print. 4K83 is made from a 35mm show-print that was in very good condition and is only one extra generation away from the negative rather than three or four like a release print would be. The 4K83 print is not Low-fade stock and was faded red, which is why it needed extensive color correction in the first place.

Despecialized 2.5 sourced that shot from a Low-fade release print, which of course still had most of its color information intact because it’s Low-fade. The rest of the film may or may not be accurate, I don’t have it to compare, but I’m just talking about the force ghost shot that was being referenced. I’m sure Despecialized lacks accuracy in some scenes, in which case 1.6 would have more accurate color consistency.

I mention the stronger blues being more accurate because the majority of prints people saw would have been Low-fade positive prints (LPP), and every LPP people in this community have access to or have seen projected, have had strong blues. 4K83 1.6 looks very nice and, as I mentioned, retains accurate shot-to-shot consistency, but I don’t think it’s accurate to an unfaded projected print circa-1983. The colors in 1.6 are just a bit dull, and I feel it lacks both the warmth of warmer colors as well as lacking stronger blues. It’s not very colorful. There are scans of Kodak prints (not LPP) that haven’t faded very much, and they show similar color biases to 4K83 1.4 with my correction based on an LPP reference.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but in this case it’s a bit difficult. All the evidence I’ve seen points to 1.4 being the most accurate representation of the original color timing to date, though both 1.4 and 1.6 retain accurate color consistency. Of course which version of ROTJ you watch is entirely up to personal preference, but I’m talking about accuracy.

I hope none of that was confusing. 😃

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit | The Terminator - Color Regrade | The Wrong Trousers - Audio Preservation
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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I also much prefer 1.4’s colors over 1.6’s and they feel more accurate to me (a guy who wasn’t even alive when ROTJ was in theaters so bear that in mind).

a trolling bantha

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 (Edited)

Alderaan94 said:

I am still very confused.

Fair enough. If you are just discovering the options then it would be very confusing considering the amount of context you would require.

What should dictate the version you go for is your preference. Do you want:

  1. The highest picture quality and best colors - much like a commercial bluray release should have been, but not necessarily a complete replication of the in theatre experience in 1983, or
  2. The closest to the in-theatre experience in 19XX but at the expense of some quality - e.g. less detail, grain, dirt, faded colors etc

If the answer is 1 then go with the D+XX (D+77 and D+80)series by oohteedee in either 1080p or 4K and choose the latest version.

If the answer is 2 then go with the 4KXX (4k77 and 4k83)series in either 1080p or 4K. There are lots of variations here for people’s different preferences. You’ll need to read up on them to find out which version will best suit your tastes.

An important thing to note is that users on these forums tend to fall into 2 camps:
Purists - they will recommend film print based preservations and not recreations based on home video sources
Everyone else - don’t really care what the source is and just want the highest picture quality and colors