I don't work in the film industry, television industry or broadcast industry so I wish i could give you an answer to what you said here
"I think there's something I'm not understanding here. Is there some reason a blu-ray couldn't be made from the laser discs like the GOUT was? Would it be impossible to make a blu-ray (up to GOUT levels) without doing a proper restoration? (I'm not very knowledgeable about the technical stuff.)"
Does anyone know the Maximum resolution of a D2 composite master tape. I know this format won't work for a dvd restoration or blu ray because it is low res for todays standards and was interlaced and non anamorphic.
Also the D2 is only as good as the film prints or negatives scanned in and the prints used on the gout were in poor shape. I personally believe that no new film to video telecine was ever even done for the THX laserdisc versions i believe they took their old video master and just cleaned it up with dvnr and did some color correction.
I hope somebody can come on here and prove me wrong stating that a telecine was undertaken in 1992 0r 1993 with then state of the art technology.
Still i need a bit of convincing that all existing film prints and negatives have been destroyed or are in too bad shape to recover.
There are a couple of places pre 1997 that show Lucas did indeed have pristine elements. The Interview with roger ebert in future of the movies, and the documentary for the special edition anatomy of a dewback part 2 where they took a trip to the Lucas cold storage film vault in the archives.
I was suprised to find this still on Lucas site: Anatomy of a dewback part 2
The thing is D2 composite masters or the same interlaced laserdisc home video masters were fine in dvd's advent when first introduced in 1997-98 . Back then almost nobody had widescreen tv and the first HDTV sets were like 10 grand. Plus the non anamorphic Star Trek releases were fine in the beginning when people had 4:3 television sets and dvd was only single layered and was not maxing out its resolution then. If he had released the gout in 98 0r 2000 nobody would have complained . But in the last 9 or ten years home video technology has evolved by leaps and bounds. and releasing a non anamorphic dvd in 2006 was nothing short of a Joke.
If in film your movies are your assets then protecting the original copies of your films in pristine shape is good business sense. So much for being a good businessman Lucas lets his biggest asset the oot negatives and prints rot. Give the consumer what they want another thing he does not undertand, neither does he understand the filmgoing Public.
The things he is good for using the Star Wars and Indiana Jones name as a license to print money and destroy any credibility he or those films ever had. If you had told me a 15 years ago that Lucas would do what Parmount did to Star Trek and Bleed it dry i would not have believed you. Seeing as The Star Wars Trilogy was 3 pretty good movies and was not over done. Their is such a thing as flooding the market with crap, derivative horseshit. Until the movie series you once loved is no more and is a shadow of its former self, star wars and indy are zombies. For the first time in my life i want star wars to go away and just die. Lucas had to do all sorts of crazy things to start me hating on star wars.
It deserved a to go out on a high note in 1983 and be remembered as it was then a grand space epic and saga. Now it goes out in a whimper with the Clone Wars movie the first star wars film to be a complete dud.
The thing is Lucas is still getting the wrong message . Just Because the Prequels and Indiana Jones IV made more than the originals does not make them better films.
I find it sad to say but it is probably bad for star wars to be under Lucas complete control. If Fox owned Star Wars we would have a Properly restored anamorphic release of the originals on dvd.
Look at Star Trek it may be a bad thing overall that Roddenberry had to give the rights up to paramount. But 2 of the better movies came about outside of his control and he fought those productions every step of the way. These being of course Nicholas Meyers Trek 2 and 6
Lucas got all rights back to the star wars when he made a distribution deal with fox on the prequels. They would make a shitload of money and the entire rights of the first trilogy 1977-1983 would revert to Lucas.