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Star Wars prequels on VHS: Original theatrical versions — Page 2

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😃

No altercation at all, I would really love to learn something about TPM home releases. Knowing that the widescreen VHS and the Laserdisc would not present the theatrical version would be a brand new information. So I really hope that Ryan-SWI will give evidence showing that I was wrong!

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A lot of newer fans or people who just weren’t paying attention to video releases at the time don’t seem to realize that there was a significant gap between the VHS and DVD releases of The Phantom Menace of over a year, whereas Attack of the Clones came out on both formats at the exact same time, so the VHS used the exact same transfer as the Full Screen DVD, which was the “2002 Home Video cut” of the film.

The only reason the DVD of TPM is different from the VHS is because the DVD was delayed and by the time George finally decided to release it on that format, he used it as an excuse to make further changes to the film. The changes to AOTC were done before any video release.

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Ryan-SWI said:

By memory there’s a very slighty different shot of Darth Maul during the final duel on the pan and scan version

In many years past, I remember seeing that listed within the IMDBs Alternate Versions section for TPM.

screams in the void said:

Just don’t get in an altercation over the alterations 😃 Interesting thread .

I see you what you did there!

A Day Without Laughter Is A Day Wasted

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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JayArgonaut said:

In many years past, I remember seeing that listed within the IMDBs Alternate Versions section for TPM.

I’ve been searching on Internet Web Archive (web.archive.org), there are regular backups of the “alternate versions” page since 2003.
I found no mention of any differences on the VHS on any backup of that page. Actually, IMDB doesn’t talk about the VHS release at all.

Here is the most complete content of the “alternate versions” page as it remained until 2015 (this one is from 2009, previous versions shows less details but also nothing about VHS):

Wayback Machine said:

There are two versions of the climactic finale where Darth Maul is killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In the original, he is seen falling down the reactor shaft, dead but in one piece. In the updated version (in general release), he is seen falling down the shaft in two pieces, cut in half at the torso. Apparently, original press screenings presented the first version, but the second version is what most people will see to make it clear that Maul is dead.

At the very end of the final credits, after the closing music has faded out, the sound of Darth Vader breathing can be heard. Reportedly, this sound was not in the prints of the film shown during pre-release press screenings.

A few USC students took the Japanese Laserdisc & made their own edit of the movie, cutting out all scenes featuring Jar-Jar Binks and making many other minor tweaks. It became known as the “Phantom Edit”. George Lucas requested to see a copy & then Lucasfilm issued a press release reiterating that it is illegal to copy and/or edit a Lucasfilm property.

The 2001 Special Edition DVD of Episode I features seven deleted but fully remastered scenes and a special documentary featuring George Lucas discussing why they were omitted:
The Coruscant Air Taxi scene features Anakin Skywalker and Jar Jar Binks boarding a air taxi to Senator Palpatine’s quarters.
A scene of the morning of the podrace where Padme Naberrie awakens Anakin on a Tatooine sunrise.
The entire un-cut 22 minute Podrace which includes an introduction to all the drivers.
The Waterfall Sequence features Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi trying to save themselves, Jar-Jar Binks and their bongo sub from going over the Theed Waterfall.
More shots of the Pit droids.
Anakin Skywalker fighting with Greedo after the Pod Race victory which is broken up by Qui-Gon Jinn.

The DVD reinstates footage into the feature and increases its running time by 3 minutes. Restored footage includes the Coruscant air taxi sequence, extended starting grid sequence and extended lap two sequence.

There was a different ending to the brief lightsaber fight on Tatooine between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul. Qui Gon leaps onto the low-flying Queen ship’s ramp, and Darth Maul leaps after him. Qui-Gon swings and knocks the Sith to the desert floor (explaining why in the theatrical release, Maul appears to be getting back on his feet as the ship flies off). This scene appears in the comic book adaptation of the movie, the screenplay, and it seems to have been at least partially filmed since there is a still photo of actors Liam Neeson ( Qui-Gon) and Ray Park (Maul) battling on the ship’s ramp in the still photo section of the Episode 1 DVD. Originaly Qui Gon was to cut part of the ramp that Darth Maul was standing on off with his lightsaber.

UK DVD version is rated ‘PG’ instead of ‘U’ because of the deleted scenes on the supplemental disc. The making-of documentary was edited (ca. 13 sec.) to remove all sexual expletives (a ‘15’ rating was available).

In the theatrical version, right after Sebulba’s name is announced in the podrace opening, there is a shot of Watto, in his booth, cheering on Sebulba with joy. On the DVD, this scene has been omitted from the actual movie on disc 1, but is still present as part of the “extended podrace sequence” on disc 2.

As an “easter egg” (in the options menu on Deleted scenes, press right while selecting the two first scenes to highlight a little button and select it), there are two bits that were even deleted from the deleted scenes. One of them is a very brief shot of Jabba’s POV of the little “toad” he eats, before he bites his head off. The other one is during the podrace, which shows a bug splatting on one of the racers face (the one with a donut-like pod) while he pokes his head out to see, which makes him lose control for a second and nearly crash Anakin (this scene is present except for the bug thing).

(I don’t pretend that I’m 100% sure that the Widescreen VHS was not altered, I just don’t find any evidence…)

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ZigZig said:

I’ve been searching on Internet Web Archive (web.archive.org), there are regular backups of the “alternate versions” page since 2003.
I found no mention of any differences on the VHS on any backup of that page. Actually, IMDB doesn’t talk about the VHS release at all.

Yes, I had also checked the Archive in the hope that it would be there. Unfortunately, it appears that the archiving began after the entry was removed.

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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Maybe the entry was removed because it was wrong…

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Maybe, but the entry for The Phantom Edit has also been removed and that was certainly not wrong. We definitely know that exists…

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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ZigZig said:

The entry for The Phantom Edit has not been removed, it was moved to the trivia section: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120915/trivia

So it actually has been removed from the section after all?

Anyway, you win.

Happy now? Now you can feel big. Enjoy the day. 😉

I Love You

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
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Oh my god. Seriously? I tought that this forum was a place where we can debate, and this particular topic about original versions on VHS. Sorry that you take this discussion for a fight. I’m a little bit too old to “feel big” because I “win” in a forum… You know what? Let’s say that you win if it is important for you 😃

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So since IMDb has never been a reliable source regardless of what it says, has anyone actually checked to see if the VHS release was actually altered or not…?

a trolling bantha

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I did check the VHS but I didn’t find any difference between the WS VHS and the Laserdisc.
So if the VHS is altered, that means that the LD (and the VCD, the ORF1 broadcast, the Scandinavian C+ broadcast) are also altered. That would mean that there is no theatrical reference at all for TPM: that would be a brand new information with huge consequences on ongoing projects.
That is the reason why I’d like to get evidences, no offense to Jay.

JEDIT: I also captured and checked the VHS “For Your Consideration” (made in 2000 for the Academy Awards): it is exactly the same master as the public VHS and the Laserdisc.
So if the VHS was altered, it was already done in the first months of 2000, and the jury of the Academy Awards didn’t see the theatrical version.