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Star Wars Trilogy 1997 Special Edition DVDs?

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I am one of the many few who actually likes the special editions over the original versions ive heard of a Star Wars Trilogy Five Star Set that contains the 1997 special editions. These are the versions i saw when they were re released in the theaters i waited in line to see each one i hate the 2004 editions why the hell did Lucas switch Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen. Has any one else heard of this set and know where i can find them? 

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I wish that LFL had simply released the 97s on DVD before 2004. Then we would at least have something besides that atrocity.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
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Why was the Lowry "restoration" even necessary. I mean wouldn't most people have been pretty happy with the quality of an anamorphic transfer from the 1997 prints?

Remember, most of the Empire of Dreams footage is from the 1997 version in anamorphic widescreen and I think that looks pretty good. Why did they need to spend all that money on a restoration that just screwed up the video and audio presentation? So they could claim "digitally remastered" on the box?

What the hell? Why does every movie have to be "Digitally restored" or whatever? I mean what if the film already looks pretty good? Do studios think people won't buy something unless they spend money on restoring it anyways?

Most people would have been amazed at the improved quality simply by it being on dvd. After all, not many people have even heard of laserdisc, fewer had the movies on that format so their previous reference would have been the vhs tapes. Seriously, how could a dvd not be light years ahead of fricken vhs?

If I had seen the 2006 original version dvds back in 2004, I would have thought they were amazing. Because I didn't know anything about video technology then and I always had the impression of the Star Wars movies looking very bad on tape. Just seeing a video master without the blurriness added by vhs would have looked stunning to me. But by 2006, I knew what laserdisc was, knew what anamorphic widescreen meant and my family purchased a widescreen television.

Take back the trilogy. Execute Order '77

http://www.youtube.com/user/Knightmessenger

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Here's a press release for the DVDs about the restoration, I don't know if you've read already or not. Of course it includes McCallum's opinions how this thing is the greatest ever. Let me know if this breaks the thread since I copied it from a document.

 

“You Can Repair Him, Can’t You?”

A meticulous, frame-by-frame digital restoration,
unprecedented in scope, makes the STAR WARS TRILOGY
look even better than on opening day

When technicians at Lowry Digital Images first viewed the negative of STAR WARS: EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE, they expected to see a lot of sand – after all, much of the movie takes place in the deserts of Tatooine. They got it, all right, but not the kind they anticipated.


“There were sandstorms of dirt on the film,” says John Lowry, CEO and founder of the Burbank, Calif.-based company. “In the desert scenes alone, we probably removed more than a million pieces of dirt. That means each frame literally had hundreds of pieces of dirt.”

In many ways, the films of the STAR WARS TRILOGY were victims of their own success. “Generally, the more successful a film, the worse condition it’s in. When a movie starts out, there are some expectations for what’s going to happen with it, how many times prints will need to be made and so forth, then the studio makes a certain number of protection masters for printing. But if they go through them all, they have to go back to the negatives again because the protection masters are just plain worn out. Of course, every time you go back to the originals, you’re beating them up again. So, the big movies, the really successful ones, are usually pretty rough.”


Since Star Wars was, for many years, the highest-grossing movie of all time, it stands to reason that even its original film elements would have experienced some significant wear. Although some of those issues were addressed with the 1997 re-issue of the films, which was accompanied by a restoration, Lowry says his company was unprepared for the state in which they actually found the films.


Armed with a bank of 600 Power Mac G5 computers – each of which holds four gigabytes of RAM – Lowry’s staff of more than four dozen people waged war against the damage that nearly 30 years of handling and storage had done to the original negatives of the three films in the STAR WARS TRILOGY.


“The dirt was the biggest single challenge. It was just incredible,” he says. “We use automated systems here, which can remove hundreds of pieces of dirt in a scene, but in this case the automated systems just couldn’t cope.” Last year, Lowry Digital Images performed a digital restoration of the three Indiana Jones films, each of which had about 100,000 pieces of dirt. “In the STAR WARS films, we removed up to 1 million pieces of dirt in a scene.”
Prior to being sent to Lowry’s company, the original negatives of the three STAR WARS TRILOGY films were transferred to high-definition video (in a 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB format) through the telecine process, then sent to Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm’s visual effects company. At ILM, technicians worked with George Lucas to digitally “color time” the movies.
“When you’re shooting a movie, things are shot at different times, on different days, under different lighting conditions,” explains Mike Blanchard, Lucasfilm Ltd. Post-Production Supervisor. “Then the film gets sent to a lab to be developed, and the chemical bath is always slightly different. That results in inconsistencies in the film, and color timing is the process by which you smooth everything out.”


Prior to the advent of digital technology, color timing was a hit-or-miss proposition done in a laboratory setting. “It was really hard to get right,” Blanchard says. “But in the digital environment, there’s a lot more control. You have the ability to fine-tune things exactly the way you want them to be and bring out subtleties in the film you couldn’t get by the traditional method of color timing. On the STAR WARS TRILOGY, we were able to retime the movie to make it look the way George originally wanted it to be.”


    The color-timing process was completed with a high-definition video version of the original negative – replete with visible signs of wear. “It was in horrible shape,” concurs Blanchard. After ILM finished its process, the newly color-timed versions of the films were sent to Lowry Digital Images.
Simply put, Lowry says, the Trilogy was the most difficult project his company has ever had. “We’ve cleaned up more dirt on these three movies than we have on any movie we’ve ever worked on, including Citizen Kane – and that was almost impossible,” he says, trying to give some idea of the challenges his technicians faced. “The end result? These films are absolutely stunning.”


    One unique hurdle that Lowry Digital faced came from the now-outmoded techniques used to create the groundbreaking visual effects for each of the three films. Images of flying spaceships, hurtling asteroids and exploding planets were often achieved by optical printing, which required running the same piece of film through a printer for each effects element, resulting in a lot of physical handling. Although the film was treated with utmost care during production, that handling invariably took its toll.


    “Optical effects reduce the quality considerably by adding at least two more film generations to the process,” Lowry explains. “In doing that, contrast comes up, the grain increases and the images are softer. The challenge is to match the opticals – which are softer, grainier, dirtier and with more flicker – with shots that are immediately adjacent to them. A distinct change of picture quality takes the viewer away from the story, and that’s obviously not the intent of the director.”


    On the other hand, some scenes actually required Lowry Digital to add grain, especially in shots added for the 1997 re-release. “There were new effects, and you’ve got to be sure they match. We were always fighting to get a consistency, to get rid of artifacts in the film that cause serious distractions.”


    Although he has restored 90 films and his work is seen by millions of people, Lowry says it’s neither audience nor critical response that pushes his company to improve the restoration process. “The biggest thrill is when we’re happy with the results. I have a team of people who live and breathe quality and dedicate themselves to creating pristine motion images. They work like crazy to satisfy what they believe in.”


    After Lowry’s restoration ended, the work of getting the newly restored images onto the DVD began. THX – the leading provider of products, services and technologies for presentation excellence, and a company that Lucas founded – was on hand to supervise the exacting process.


    “We were the eyes and ears down here on site during the transfer process,” explains Rick Dean, director of technical business development for THX. “We took the finished master and prepared it for DVD compression, which is the point at which things can often fall apart when making a DVD.”


    The job of THX was to ensure that the now-pristine images created during restoration would lose none of their artistic integrity when appearing on a DVD. “We get a sense of what George wants to portray when telling the story, and we make sure that appears on the DVD in the best possible way. While the process we go through is focused on efficiency, it is designed with the artist’s vision in mind,” Dean explained. “We want to keep the detail in the picture, but minimize the digital artifacts that could appear on a DVD. In the case of the STAR WARS films, the restored masters were created using the original film elements, so we have been able to create a DVD presentation that’s better than the initial theatrical releases.”


    For the STAR WARS TRILOGY, all of the restoration teams knew they had to apply even higher standards than usual. As Lowry says, “These are really, really important films that have to be spectacular.”
Rick McCallum, producer of Star Wars: Episode I and Episode II, as well as the STAR WARS TRILOGY Special Edition, said Lowry Digital’s restoration and the work of ILM and THX surpassed expectations.


“This is probably one of the most extensive restoration projects in movie history, but we needed to spend the time and effort to deliver a phenomenal final product,” McCallum said. “When people see the DVD, I think they are going to be amazed at the quality. But more importantly, these movies have been rescued and restored and will look their best forever.”

#   #   #

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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I'm one of those people who if I had to choose to keep either a 2004 SE or a 1997 SE DVD, I would take the 1997 SE DVD every time. The 1997 SE had far less problems with the colour timing, and there were aspects of the movies that still adhered to the originals.

The big thing that totally made up my mind about the 2004 SE being trash was how they screwed up the lightsabers - one of the most important features of the movies and they screw up the colours. Darth Vader with a pink lightsaber? I think I'll pass...

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TheDoctor1987 said:

I am one of the many few who actually likes the special editions over the original versions ive heard of a Star Wars Trilogy Five Star Set that contains the 1997 special editions. These are the versions i saw when they were re released in the theaters i waited in line to see each one i hate the 2004 editions why the hell did Lucas switch Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen. Has any one else heard of this set and know where i can find them? 

 Hi, i have this set and can send you a copy if you like ,get in touch.

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Also, there are several projects now working to preserve the 1997 SEs.

Dark_Jedi is making a DVD set from the digital broadcasts and the laserdisc 5.1 mixes, which will probably be the highest-quality version available.

Another member is also working to capture the PAL laserdiscs of the 1997 SEs, and I believe another is working on the NTSC laserdiscs.

So in the near future, the 1997 SEs will be more widely available than they have been since ... well, before 2004.

a trolling bantha

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 (Edited)

Yes i would very much like a copy of Empire and Jedi which has the real ending with Sebastion Shaw and not Hayden Christensen thanks to Adywan Han shoots first again are they in 5.1 surround sound?

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PAL versions are available for many many years and they look good even on a full HD monitor :-) A real pity that the Tatooine scenes are pink in ANH :-(

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TheDoctor1987 said:

Yes i would very much like a copy of Empire and Jedi which has the real ending with Sebastion Shaw and not Hayden Christensen thanks to Adywan Han shoots first again are they in 5.1 surround sound?

Dark_Jedi's upcoming SE'97 set will have the laserdisc 5.1 audio for all three films.

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh said:

TheDoctor1987 said:

Yes i would very much like a copy of Empire and Jedi which has the real ending with Sebastion Shaw and not Hayden Christensen thanks to Adywan Han shoots first again are they in 5.1 surround sound?

Dark_Jedi's upcoming SE'97 set will have the laserdisc 5.1 audio for all three films.

" I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this."

I would love to be made known when these are completed and where to acquire them.  : )

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The Five Star Series of the 97' is my favorite. It always takes me back to seeing the re-release on the big screen (in 1997).

I am so happy I have the original pressed copies of the three films

Remember, Highlander, you’ve both still got your full measure of life. Use it well, and your future will be glorious.

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I've been scouring the entire web to find info like this. I'm not old enough to have seen the original trilogy in theaters back in the day. BUT, the 1997 Special Editions? Oh yes I did. And I've been wondering if they would ever give them a proper widescreen DVD release. Seems like that's never happening.

I keep hearing about this Dark_Jedi guy and his project to get the widescreen laserdiscs transferred to DVD. Can anyone tell me how I could possibly get in touch with him, or ANYONE for that matter that has all three films in widescreen on DVD? Feels like I've been looking for a needle in a haystack trying to find this out.

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Keep in mind that the special editions still had the "Greedo shoots" change, all the terrible and pointless "Episode 1" flavored CGI added to Mos Eisley, and Jar Jar's voice at the end of ROTJ....Plus, there's the terrible scream from Luke in the SE version of TESB.

However, I will agree that they're "better" than the 2004 versions, but the 2004 versions of each film are "better" than the Blu Ray versions, and the Blu Ray versions of each film will be better than the 3D versions coming out in a few years. 

You know what's better than them all though? 

 

The ORIGINAL versions. 

-Someone, someday, needs to bring back the LIGHT SIDE to Star Wars.  Has anyone else noticed striking similarites between the character of Anakin/Vader and George Lucas, or is it just me? 

-It's called STAR WARS. NOT "Episode IV: A New Hope". Kids, get this straight.  

-Please read the Archie Goodwin daily SW comics: Too good to be forgotten! 

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Star Wars Purist said:

Keep in mind that the special editions still had the "Greedo shoots" change, all the terrible and pointless "Episode 1" flavored CGI added to Mos Eisley, and Jar Jar's voice at the end of ROTJ....Plus, there's the terrible scream from Luke in the SE version of TESB.

However, I will agree that they're "better" than the 2004 versions, but the 2004 versions of each film are "better" than the Blu Ray versions, and the Blu Ray versions of each film will be better than the 3D versions coming out in a few years. 

You know what's better than them all though? 

 

The ORIGINAL versions. 

Jar Jar's voice isn't at the end of the 1997 version of RoTJ, is it?

“I’m in a dark theater. The movie starts, and I start to see things that I recognize.” - James Cameron on Terminator Genisys

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Judge said:

Star Wars Purist said:

Keep in mind that the special editions still had the "Greedo shoots" change, all the terrible and pointless "Episode 1" flavored CGI added to Mos Eisley, and Jar Jar's voice at the end of ROTJ....Plus, there's the terrible scream from Luke in the SE version of TESB.

However, I will agree that they're "better" than the 2004 versions, but the 2004 versions of each film are "better" than the Blu Ray versions, and the Blu Ray versions of each film will be better than the 3D versions coming out in a few years. 

You know what's better than them all though? 

 

The ORIGINAL versions. 

Jar Jar's voice isn't at the end of the 1997 version of RoTJ, is it?

 

Nope, hell Naboo wasn't even in the 97 SE. I love the SE's as much as the originals. It's a shame we never got these on DVD. 

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TV's Frink said:

Krycek87 said:

I love the SE's as much as the originals.

Hmm...

 

hmmm.. indeed.

 

later

-1

[no GOUT in CED?-> GOUT CED]

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I DO think LFL had a unique opportunity with the S.E. and he just failed to follow through.  Making it a "one last time" DVD package to celebrate it would have been far better than what we got when the 2004 set arrived.

 

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 (Edited)

I apologize for getting the ending to the 97 SE of ROTJ wrong.  I confused that with the 04 SE ending (which is horrific of course).  

I actually don't mind the Victory Celebration song at all (and actually kind of enjoy it), it's just weird in the context of the ending scene and I prefer Yub Nub for it. 

-Someone, someday, needs to bring back the LIGHT SIDE to Star Wars.  Has anyone else noticed striking similarites between the character of Anakin/Vader and George Lucas, or is it just me? 

-It's called STAR WARS. NOT "Episode IV: A New Hope". Kids, get this straight.  

-Please read the Archie Goodwin daily SW comics: Too good to be forgotten! 

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 (Edited)

Mitch said:

The Five Star Series of the 97' is my favorite. It always takes me back to seeing the re-release on the big screen (in 1997).

I am so happy I have the original pressed copies of the three films

These are "imports".....not original pressed copies of these films....sorry.  And, these really suck unless you watch them on an older CRT T.V. ..... on an HD T.V. they look horrible...they were designed for a different time.

There is a preservation movement going on for the 1997 SE as people have mentioned.

:)

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 (Edited)

Why did they make the 1997 versions darker and less colorful than the original versions? 

Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.

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 (Edited)

I too prefer the 1997 to theatrical. I think 1997 versions were an honest attempt to improve the original versions. Plus I can't stand Yub-Nub.

The 2004 and 2011 on the other hand, were just an opportunity for Lucas to infest the OT with his PT parasites (Hayden, NOOO etc.).

真実