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Return of the Jedi 1997 Special Edition HD Reconstruction

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Hi everyone!

As the title suggests this is an HD reconstruction of the 1997 version of ROTJ. This is a project I’ve been intending to do for a while now and I finally have something that I can call watchable. Since there are two very well made reconstructions of the 97 versions of ANH and ESB (thanks to Harmy, Team Blu, and Adywan) I figured ROTJ needed a reconstruction done in some capacity!

I used 3 sources for this project:

  • DNR version of 4k83 (for scenes that weren’t altered in the 97 edition i.e. Shaw force ghost, theatrical “A long time ago” text)
  • TB SD broadcast **REPLACED BY LASERDISC UPSCALE AND MERGE (thanks ZigZig!)
  • 2004 HDTV broadcast provided by schorman

There are still a few things that need to be done to make this reconstruction complete (if anyone would be willing to help with these things send me a message!) :

  1. Adding theatrical style subtitles for when Jabba says, “Ah! Do that again!” before the Jedi Rocks scene (DONE thanks to Schorman for helping!)
  2. Zooming in and color correcting the Gkar broadcast clip so the black bars and color are consistent with the other scenes before and after it (DONE, using ZigZig’s ld merge for all scenes of planets celebrating)
  3. Syncing to the DTS and Laserdisc audio (DONE)
  4. Color correct entire film to match the Gkar version of ROTJ (In progress)

I’m not sure how long it’ll take for me to get around to doing these things that still need to be done since I am busy with college classes at the moment, but I’ll get around to it eventually!

Video dimensions: 1280x720p, 23.976fps
File Size: 14gb mkv

PM me for a link and share some feedback here if you’d like. Thanks!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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A difficult task and I can’t wait to see what you come up with. We have had similar ideas at the same time, except I won’t be using the despecialized at all. I’m going to use 4K77, the Dreamaster DNR version of TESB, and 4K83 as well as the BR and the HDTV broadcast of the pre BR edit. Plus both preservations of the SE broadcast from the EU. I don’t know if I will be sharing my work or not. I almost have my restoration of the 2011 BR finished. Even it has required dipping into 4K77 for some shots that are just too horrible to fix.

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I had thought about using 4K83 but since Harmy used Blu-ray for his main source and I’m using the Blu-Ray to restore some changes I figured they would blend better. You’re projects sound interesting and I hope to see them get released! I bet they’ll be miles better than what I’m able to accomplish. I’ll pm you a link to what I have done!

Edit: Looks like I’ll be using 4k83 after all!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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This sounds excellent! I grew up with the '97SE and have lamented the lack of a good HD reconstruction. Count me in as excited to see the results.

STAR WARS: a film with comic book characters, an unbelievable story, no political or social commentary, lousy acting, preposterous dialogue and a ridiculous simplistic morality. In other words: a BAD MOVIE.’ - The New Yorker, 1977

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Yes, every preservation is worth it, especially when it comes to a version for which little has been done so far.

Many thanks, and count on me if I can help!

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Thanks for the interest! This will definitely be a group effort so I’d be happy to receive help of any kind!

And I have a minor update regarding the subtitles for Jabba’s extra scene. I used Illustrator to recreate the theatrical subs and they came out pretty well! I’ll still have to make the resolution of the subtitles match the resolution of the film to make it blend in better. Would I be able to use this png to add subtitles on video? (I’m using Movavi Video Editor if that helps answer the question)

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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It might be easiest to just render that out using AviSynth. I can do it for you if you want.

If I had some gum, I’d chew a hole into the sun…

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schorman13 said:

It might be easiest to just render that out using AviSynth. I can do it for you if you want.

If you could do that, that would be great! I really appreciate it! And also I’m looking forward to your revised HDTV broadcasts 😃

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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Ok, sent a PM with the clip. Excited to see what you can do with this one.

If I had some gum, I’d chew a hole into the sun…

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Got it! Thanks so much

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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Could I have a link please? and also will you do A New Hope 1997 Special Edition Reconstruction?

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Harmy already did ANH 1997, and Adywan did ESB 1997. This is to fill the hole left by no one having yet done ROTJ 1997.

a trolling bantha

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Subtitles are finished thanks to Schorman for helping!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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One thing I noticed was that you used the Theatrical “A long time ago” text, instead of the newer version that appeared in the Special Editions and prequels. However, upon further inspection of a '97 PAL DVD and '97 Laser Disc, for some reason the new text was only added to Empire and ANH, and Return of the Jedi still has the theatrical text, so your reconstruction is still accurate.

Death of the Author

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Can’t wait until I can have my complete box set with theatrical-97-04-11 and revisited all together. For now other reason then I totally need 5 different ways to watch the same movie

Green is not a creative color

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SparkySywer said:

One thing I noticed was that you used the Theatrical “A long time ago” text, instead of the newer version that appeared in the Special Editions and prequels. However, upon further inspection of a '97 PAL DVD and '97 Laser Disc, for some reason the new text was only added to Empire and ANH, and Return of the Jedi still has the theatrical text, so your reconstruction is still accurate.

Huh I didn’t even know there was a difference! I’ll have to use 4k83 to put the theatrical text back in for V2. Thanks for sharing that info!

Also that’s weird that they forgot to update the text for ROTJ

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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dgraham414 said:

Can’t wait until I can have my complete box set with theatrical-97-04-11 and revisited all together. For now other reason then I totally need 5 different ways to watch the same movie

I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants to make a box set like that! I’m actually trying to make three multi-disc boxsets for each movie like the Blade Runner box set!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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trillary dump said:

dgraham414 said:

Can’t wait until I can have my complete box set with theatrical-97-04-11 and revisited all together. For now other reason then I totally need 5 different ways to watch the same movie

I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants to make a box set like that! I’m actually trying to make three multi-disc boxsets for each movie like the Blade Runner box set!

I’ve long said that if we ever got an official set that included more versions than just the original and “most recent” (presumably revised even further from the 2011) that it should be the ‘97 that takes priority over the ‘04 and ‘11 versions, which were only ever seen on home video and tv anyway with the exception of a few screenings in theaters here and there every now and again.

But the irony is that if they really wanted to still include the ‘04 and ‘11 versions they could simply branch them onto the ‘97 disc, just as the middle disc of the Blade Runner set branched the ‘92 and both ‘82 versions. They would have to conform everything to the same color timing (preferably the ‘97 color) and they’d have to include three separate audio tracks, but it’s totally doable.

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Sorry for slightly off topic but I would love my set to be 4 discs

Disc 1-2 would be both despecialized discs
Disc 3 would be 97 and 04
Disc 4 would be revisited

Green is not a creative color

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 (Edited)

UPDATE: I have officially finished the v2 of this project using all new sources (listed above). There are now theatrical subs, DTS synch, and improved sources. I want to give special shoutouts to ZigZig and Schorman for helping me out!

Zig was kind enough to purchase PAL and NTSC laserdisc sets, capture the scenes I needed from them, add in the TB and Gkar broadcasts, upscale all of that using SuperResolution, and finally merge all of them together using the “PANup” method (https://forum.fanres.com/thread-25.html) to get the best possible quality out of all of the SD frames. It basically gets pseudo-HD frames out of it, and in the words of Larry David, it looks pretty, pretty, pretty good!

Here are some screenshot comparisons (the third screencap is especially impressive!):

Instead of having the sources switch midshot, I just had Zig’s footaage replace all of the planets celebrating since it’d be too jarring to have it switch without a cut. So as of right now everything is finished except for color correction, the film is color timed to the 2004 versions (minus the botched lightsabers, those shots are replaced by the Blu-Ray). At first I was thinking of getting this color corrected to DrDre’s 4k83 LUT, but now I’m leaning towards learning to make my own LUT based off of the Gkar release and applying it. Hopefully that’ll get done soon!

I have a link for v2 at the ready so PM me if you’re interested!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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I am very interested in v2.0 because I love all these cool reconstruction projects!

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trillary dump said:

the film is color timed to the 2004 versions (minus the botched lightsabers, those shots are replaced by the Blu-Ray).

Does this mean that the color is HDTV matched to the Blu-Ray in those shots or that they just use the Blu-Ray? IIRC, the HDTV version uses the 1997 recomposites, just with messed up color. The Blu-Ray uses new digital cores.

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WDW203 said:

trillary dump said:

the film is color timed to the 2004 versions (minus the botched lightsabers, those shots are replaced by the Blu-Ray).

Does this mean that the color is HDTV matched to the Blu-Ray in those shots or that they just use the Blu-Ray? IIRC, the HDTV version uses the 1997 recomposites, just with messed up color. The Blu-Ray uses new digital cores.

Yeah, it would definitely be more accurate to fix the color on the 2004 HDTV lightsaber shots than to use the Blu-Ray. However…were the lightsabers in Jedi actually ever recomposited before the cores were replaced in 2011? I seem to remember that only being the case for a few shots in ANH, with ESB and ROTJ’s lightsaber composites being untouched in 1997…

a trolling bantha