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OT 1997 Special Edition Color Timing Accuracy

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 (Edited)

Hey everyone. I was hoping to get some info on the color timing of the 1997 Special Editions. It mainly comes down to debunking conflicting information I keep seeing across internet.

  1. I’ve been told that when the 1997 versions came out on VHS and Laserdisc, the color timing wasn’t the same as when it was in theaters. Is that really the case?

  2. Between Team Blu’s 720p upscale of ANH and Harmy’s Respecialized, which one is considered to be the more accurate to how they were released theaters?

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  1. correct
  2. neither

There is a 97SE scan of Star Wars on swt.com It shows what the theatrical colors of the 97SE Star Wars

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I think its fair to say that a home release closely matching a release 35mm print is the exception rather than the norm.

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True. With how digital mastering and all that other technical stuff is so complicated and difficult to get right, I would guess some accuracy is lost. I just wouldn’t think it would be drastically different in terms of color pallette. The home releases look to have a lot of blue and teal in the image. Tatooine has a bizarre amount of it for being a desert location. I mainly asked because I kinda prefer Harmy’s Respecialized color timing.

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I don’t think telecines done for home video were ever meant to be representative of anything, much less a color source.

At least the negative for Star Wars is not gone, nor are other surviving prints or elements.

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Very true. We’re fortunate to have enough people passionate about the films as well as knowing what to do with the surviving materials.

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Even the “digital” home video remasters deliberately departed from the theatrical colors to create a specific “aesthetic” to their look.

The 04 and 11SEs, I really don’t know what they we’re going for. Incompetence maybe?

The 1920SEs have gone for a muted and more desaturated look. Empire has a green/blue push introduced, whilst Jedi has a red push making everything look kinda brown. However in these releases there is pretty good shot to shot consistency so you can do a lot with a single color correction to the whole films to improve them.

Check out Jedi Destiny if you’re interested. We’re also working on Empire atm.

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Stotchy said:

Even the “digital” home video remasters deliberately departed from the theatrical colors to create a specific “aesthetic” to their look.

The 04 and 11SEs, I really don’t know what they we’re going for. Incompetence maybe?

The 1920SEs have gone for a muted and more desaturated look. Empire has a green/blue push introduced, whilst Jedi has a red push making everything look kinda brown. However in these releases there is pretty good shot to shot consistency so you can do a lot with a single color correction to the whole films to improve them.

Check out Jedi Destiny if you’re interested. We’re also working on Empire atm.

If memory serves me, George wanted the 2004/2011 releases to have a similar look to the prequels…which really doesn’t work on films from the late 70s and 80s. I think if the blacks weren’t crushed, highlights weren’t clipped and the overall saturation was brought down by 20%, they could’ve been better.

I REALLY don’t know how to feel about the 2019 releases. They just look so desaturated. The original cuts weren’t that saturated to begin with, but they still found ways to make the image vibrant. You aren’t wrong though, a bit of correction would definitely work considering the image is consistent in color. In fact, don’t the 2019 releases base the color timing on the 1997 releases? Obviously not one to one, but I compared certain frames to 1997 scans and they match up with the exception of color temperature.

I’ll definitely check that out. Been looking at newer projects lately ever since I joined recently. I’m a kid in a candy store right now.

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one way I get around the color saturation issues with the blu ray is that I have a 55 inch LG smart tv that allows me to apply various filters …so for the 2011 blu ray release , I just apply the “cinema” filter ,which automatically desaturates the image and gives it a more filmic look . For the 2019 release , I apply the "vivid " filter ,which helps boost the color a little bit .Now , if I hook my vcr up to that tv and pop in the 97 SE ,it strikes a nice balance , at the loss of hd of course ,but the colors look nice .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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screams in the void said:

one way I get around the color saturation issues with the blu ray is that I have a 55 inch LG smart tv that allows me to apply various filters …so for the 2011 blu ray release , I just apply the “cinema” filter ,which automatically desaturates the image and gives it a more filmic look . For the 2019 release , I apply the "vivid " filter ,which helps boost the color a little bit .Now , if I hook my vcr up to that tv and pop in the 97 SE ,it strikes a nice balance , at the loss of hd of course ,but the colors look nice .

Interesting work around. I’ll keep that in mind next time I feel like watching them. I honestly find it funyy how it never seems we can get an entirely solid release of the OT. The 2011 blu ray is too dim and saturated, but then you have the reverse issue with the 2019 releases. It just sucks that fans have to resort to fixes like that in order to enjoy a movie.