V4 is forthcoming. I'll just post an update here, rather than bumping all three threads.
"V4? Come on, give us a break! You can't just keep doing this forever, you know!"
I felt one more go-round was merited for this massive (for me) project. V4 will represent my final word on the subject, and will come in two distinct phases. Soon, I'll begin putting out the "classic appearance" version. The final will be based on Emanswfan's work, when it becomes available. (If, God forbid, Emanswfan doesn't complete his version, the "classic appearance" version will be "it.")
The "classic appearance" version will try to accurately reflect the look and feel of the films as they were. Episode I will continue to be sourced from the BluRay, with 35mm film grain overlaid. However, Episodes II and III will be sourced from schorman13's HDTV preservation project. This will benefit Episode II in particular, featuring more pleasant colors and overall aesthetic. No additional noise or grain will be applied to II and III. This should provide a nice contrast to the Emanswfan-sourced version, but offer a good presentation regardless.
Standard definition material, namely the DVD-sourced deleted scenes, will be freshly upscaled to 1080p by our very own DrDre. He's done two scenes so far, which do cohere better to the surrounding HD footage, at least to my eyes.
I've gone ahead and recorded fresh commentary tracks for all three, under better circumstances than the old ones. They ought to sound better, and cover the same basic material.
Now, onto what's different content-wise. The "quips" are gone during the 20th Century Fox logos. The receding STAR WARS logo has been redone inside FCP7 to avoid being able to see through it to the starfield behind, and align the rate of speed more precisely to the original. Smudger9 provided me with his template for the opening crawl, since my new Mac allows me to use FCPX. So, I've tweaked the wording slightly on them, and made sure each one has a unique color and angle. Ep1 is a rough halfway point between the BR and HDTV transfer (somewhat orange, with a wider glow to look somewhat like ESB), Ep3 is a rough match to ROTJ, and Ep2 is somewhere in between (though with more of a glow).
Because schorman13's AOTC preservation has burnt in subtitles, I got my subtitles to look as similar as possible. There was just one scene in Ep2 that required me to use the BluRay and add subtitles.
Episode I - Thanks to hunsdorfex, the flipped shot where a battle droid nods toward the protocol droid now has a yellow battle droid. It's the little things.
The "short negotiations" joke has been reinstated. Two reasons for this, one being that COD inadvertently removed Obi-Wan's sense of humor. This was one short moment to give him a human touch, which is missing from him most of the time. (I also reinstated his remark about picking up "another pathetic life form" for the same reason.) Also, the opening act is rather fast paced in my cut, so this offered a beat to pause on before jumping back into the plot.
After having the chance to watch V3 with some friends, I kept silent note of little things that seemed slightly jarring to me as someone who has the film memorized. Tiny things like, "They're no match for droidekas!" have been put back in at certain points, if it felt wrong for them to be missing.
Fixed the bad match cut that I used to trim Anakin's line as he walks Qui-Gon and company to his home.
Put back more of the dinner scene, where they mention podracing and Anakin's reflexes.
Used schorman13's preservation for the scene where Darth Maul lands on Tatooine at night, to buffer the transition to the SD "morning before the race" deleted scene.
The battle planning scene on Naboo is edited pretty much exactly like The Phantom Edit. Much less verbose, and leaves some room to be mildly curious about how this battle is going to turn out.
Episode II - Removed the first part of Obi-Wan's line in the library, "According to my information..."
Reinstated several very small bits and pieces that jarred me slightly when they were gone, including Anakin's little joke about having R2 with them.
Improved the abrupt cutaway when I cut of Anakin's line, "You're exactly the way I remember you--"
Because I trimmed the shot where Watto throws a wrench and it hits his foot, this scene was taken from the BR and given carefully matched subtitles. Everywhere else, the theatrical subtitles were used.
Thanks to jackpumpkinhead, Ki-Adi-Mundi's lightsaber is now consistently blue.
Episode III - Again, reinstated small bits of dialogue and stuff where it felt slightly jarring. Including some of Dooku and Anakin's dialogue.
Reinstated some of the Obi-Wan vs. Grievous saber duel, only because it felt jarring where I had cut it to look like he takes off his arm right away. I like the idea, but I don't think I can quite get away with it.
As much as I think hundsdorfex did an amazing job, and I appreciate it, I'm reinstating the Death Star at the end of the film. Dramatically, the scene seems to be set up for something more interesting that just Coruscant. Too bad. You all convinced me. (At some point, I'll probably put some of the bits and pieces I made use of into a package and put it on myspleen.)
Thanks to hundsdorfex, however, baby Leia now has the correct eye color.
I just need one more thing for Ep1, and I'll be ready to begin encoding and distributing. Unless anyone has any better suggestions, I'll once again encode a 1080p BR-compliant mkv, 720p iTunes-friendly mp4, and DVD5.
This hasn't ever been a thing I'd been interested in doing, but if anyone cares to craft DVD or BluRay menus, hit me with a PM and we can arrange things.