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State of the Trilogy/ annual SW depression — Page 3

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Zombie, have you ever seen the Empire of Dreams Documentary? There are shots in there of the OOT that anamorphic, such as the death star exploding without the ring, Han encountering 5 stormtroopers inside the deathstar instead of a room full of them, and of course the original crawl without Episode IV: A New Hope added. When I watch that documentary, those scenes definitely come up anamorphic, so how is that possible? Where are they taking those scenes from?

Thanks
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Ziz said:

I've been reading thru this thread trying to follow the back-and-forth of the issue and I feel like everyone keeps missing something...correct me if I'm wrong.

The first thing that was logically done to create the SE's in 97 was to digitize the theatrical cuts of the films. They had to get them INTO the computer before they could start making any changes. So logically, the OOT already exists in digital form. Whether that form is up to 1080p standards, I don't know, as the conversion would be over 10 years old at this point, but I'd imagine it's close to it considering the nature of the process and why it was being done in the first place.

I gotta go with the feeling that something is in storage for a proper OOT release, he's just waiting until he's milked the SE's as far as he can. I mean, if you go back to the various interviews over the years of the creation of the OT (77 to 83), how many times did he start contradicting himself about where the story was headed and that that direction was always his intention? Old habits die hard. He's trying to constantly come out looking like the conquering hero in spite of all the numbers showing how many soldiers he's lost.

And one more thing to consider - ANH was one of the first 25 films inducted into the National Archives as historical achievements in motion pictures...this was LONG before the SE versions, so logically a pre-SE version of the film still exists somewhere outside of Lucasland. That could always be dug out of the archives and given a new restoration and transfer.


I also feel like we're going in circles- LOL! Have been for years now. :-)

I agree 100% Ziz, that probably EVERYTHING was scanned- and the decisions about what was to be changed for the SE was done later. Remember, Lucas said that when they first considered re-releasing the films, the only thing that he really wanted changed was the vaseline smear under the Landspeeder. When he realized what else could be done with computers- well, that's when he went nuts.

This is a man who kept every scrap of film from every effects shot, which is not normally done. Many times, once a composite shot is made, the separate elements are discarded.

The OOT exists- somewhere, even if just for posterity (and to use in a documentary like Empire of Dreams, CO), even if Lucas has no intention of ever releasing it again.

I don't buy the "the original negative was cannibalized to make the SE" argument. Why would that be done in the digital age? Not only would it be unwise, but it would be inconvenient as well. The entire film had to be color-corrected because it was fading, and from what I understand it was too far gone to correct chemically, so it had to be done digitally which means it ALL had to be scanned- not just the altered shots.

Now, whether or not he'll ever give in and release the OOT on blu-ray....that's a totally different issue and I really don't have a guess as to what he'll do. The ego part of him doesn't want to, the businessman part of him might.

......and remember there's also that Technicolor dye-transfer print (of SW at least) in his private collection that was used for color reference. ;-)

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Yes, the negative was deteriorating, and much of it had to be replaced with dupes from other sources, or reprinted. Digital technology hadn't yet advanced far enough, the 1997 SE was mostly an old-fashioned photo-chemical restoration. The entire film wasn't digitized because there was no such thing as DI's back then, they just recomposited whatever shots they need, printed them back onto film and then spliced them into the neg so that it could be completed photochemically.

As for EOD, most of thats just laserdisk footage anamorphically enhanced. It was done out of house by some company, and the entire feature is anamorphic so that means they were forced to re-render the letterbox footage as anamorphic in order to include it in the feature, otherwise it would look ridiculous to have this tiny box in the center of the screen whenever they showed clips.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Even if the interpositives have been lost, which remains to be seen, RAH's offer still stands.
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zombie84 said:

Yes, the negative was deteriorating, and much of it had to be replaced with dupes from other sources, or reprinted. Digital technology hadn't yet advanced far enough, the 1997 SE was mostly an old-fashioned photo-chemical restoration. The entire film wasn't digitized because there was no such thing as DI's back then, they just recomposited whatever shots they need, printed them back onto film and then spliced them into the neg so that it could be completed photochemically.


Yea, I guess I should just stop bringing it up. People keep getting confused in regards to the '97 restoration.

Even if we have to settle for working from theatrical prints (presumably with cigarette burns every 20 minutes, but I'm assuming that could be taken care of somehow), it would be still look better than standard dvd, and it would definitely look better than the laserdisc ports we got.
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zombie84 said:

Digital technology hadn't yet advanced far enough, the 1997 SE was mostly an old-fashioned photo-chemical restoration. The entire film wasn't digitized because there was no such thing as DI's back then, they just recomposited whatever shots they need, printed them back onto film and then spliced them into the neg so that it could be completed photochemically.

As for EOD, most of thats just laserdisk footage anamorphically enhanced. It was done out of house by some company, and the entire feature is anamorphic so that means they were forced to re-render the letterbox footage as anamorphic in order to include it in the feature, otherwise it would look ridiculous to have this tiny box in the center of the screen whenever they showed clips.


Zombie, how did you find all of this out? Do you know someone who worked on it?

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Mielr said:

zombie84 said:

Digital technology hadn't yet advanced far enough, the 1997 SE was mostly an old-fashioned photo-chemical restoration. The entire film wasn't digitized because there was no such thing as DI's back then, they just recomposited whatever shots they need, printed them back onto film and then spliced them into the neg so that it could be completed photochemically.

As for EOD, most of thats just laserdisk footage anamorphically enhanced. It was done out of house by some company, and the entire feature is anamorphic so that means they were forced to re-render the letterbox footage as anamorphic in order to include it in the feature, otherwise it would look ridiculous to have this tiny box in the center of the screen whenever they showed clips.


Zombie, how did you find all of this out? Do you know someone who worked on it?


Yes, but I wouldn't need to, you can tell just by watching it. As for the restoration, its been well documented, and in any case it was done mostly in 1995 AFAIK, and DI's didn't exist yet, so scanning an entire film would have been a historical breakthrough. I guess they still could have done so in secret for whatever reason, but why would they do that, the whole point of the SE was that Lucas wanted the originals to go away and never be released again.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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zombie, do you have any insight into how the new Close Encounters transfer was created? Same year, same unstable 70s stock, multiple releases/sources. I'm just curious, and it's semi- relevant, I guess..(it has a very filmlike, non-Lowry-smoothed appearance)
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I was wondering the same thing about disc 3 of the Blade Runner set. It fascinates me how they can use simple seamless branching and still be sure that they're staying 100% accurate to whatever cut of the film you're watching.
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Well, in the case of Blade Runner, the third disk that has 3 cuts--they are really 99% the same. Its only a handful of chapters that actually need to be programmed--now, Alien 3, thats a marvel of branching technology!

As for Close Encounters, I honestly know nothing about the new transfer and haven't even seen it. But the whole Lowry thing was just to clean up dirt and scratches, and Star Wars was particularly abused--there are many other methods for dirt removal other than Lowry. See Criterion's work, or the archival Blade Runner cuts. You don't need Lowry to make your films look good, and in fact I'd say the SW SE looks a bit too clean. The issues with the unstable film stock really relate to color issues--certain color layers begin fading at differing rates, so you get shots tinted blue or red (most commonly--the yellow layer is particularly unstable). All this requires is color manipulation, basically an advanced version of photoshop, so its not a big deal. At a certain point the colors fade to the point where theres nothing to recover--The Searchers, in particular, is plagued with this problem--but Lowry doesn't have anything to do with the coloring anyway, they are purely a dirt-removal thing.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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If I'm not mistaken, YCM labs did the work for the 1997 SE restorations.

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As soon as I realised that Star Wars Transformers were real toys I knew the franchise was dead in my heart.
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But what does that tell you about the state of the franchise? Star Trek was also pretty big right around the time of its 30th, and then look what happened, it was burned out within less than a decade.

I don't know if I have to say this in sign language, but I'm convinced that we'll get what we want when the next release hits. This damn argument between which version is better is just too obvious to everyone by now for Lucas to turn a blind eye to it. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if he includes the '97 versions as well, their being the historically significant releases that started the debate in the first place.

The 2004 version is the one Lucas decided to put the money into, fine, so be it, it's not our decision after all.

The 2006 release was a shameless cash grab. It doesn't mean it's the death of the OOT. Once you remember that's it's all only on standard dvd (granted, non-anamorphic standard dvd), it doesn't become that hard to imagine us getting a blu-ray OOT. Because, as I've said before, HOW IN THE HELL ELSE IS HE GOING TO SELL US THE EXACT SAME THING ALL OVER AGAIN?! How many people even are there with blu-ray players that aren't PS3's? Actually, it begs the question of whether he'll even bother to release any of the versions of the movies on blu-ray AT ALL, especially judging by his comment from that interview a couple years ago, "What's the surest way to prevent piracy? Pay-per-view."

But, nah, I'm sure he'll release them anyway. It's only more money to be made, really, and pirating them will be hard anyway. But, as I said, a 1080p SE alone will not be enough of a selling point IMO.
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Consider these questions:
Did Lucas even read Joseph Campbell, or even heard of him before the PT?
Is the SW saga supposed to be a modern mythology, or just some homage to cheesy 30's serials?
Did you know that the first star wars was based on the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress?
Did Lucas think of anything from the PT before 1990?
Why Darth Vader's name means 'father" in Dutch, even though Vader wasn't established as Luke's father until 1978?
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Fang Zei said:

The 2006 release was a shameless cash grab. It doesn't mean it's the death of the OOT. Once you remember that's it's all only on standard dvd (granted, non-anamorphic standard dvd), it doesn't become that hard to imagine us getting a blu-ray OOT. Because, as I've said before, HOW IN THE HELL ELSE IS HE GOING TO SELL US THE EXACT SAME THING ALL OVER AGAIN?!


Star Wars SE in high def on Blu-Ray. Thats how.

As I said before, the promise of seeing the films in HD will be much, much more than enough to make the SE Blu-Ray set the biggest release in the format's history. It does not need the OOT.

If they want to do a second Blu-Ray release some years later, like they did with DVD, thats when they need to start getting creative. But there's really no reason to include the OOT on the first release unless they simply want to as a token of good faith, because its totally unnecessary for its success. People just want to see Star Wars in HD. They might even be willing to pay for a 6-film boxset just to see the 3 originals in SE form!

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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yea, but look at it this way

Sure, they might make Episode VII SOME DAY, but for now, the movies are finished. People, I would think, are starting to move on. When the dvd hit in '04, ROTS hadn't even been released yet!!! Now, with this blu-ray, I would think that what they'd do is release the movies individually in really nice editions. Because, after all, there isn't another movie on the way. The saga is finished, the '04 set was just a giant advertisement for Episode III. We're just going to have to agree to disagree on whether or not the Special Jedi Rocks Edition in 1080p will be enough to get people to buy it again.

Ok, what I'm really trying to say here is that Lucas doesn't have that much of a reason to not go back on everything he's been saying these years. Heck, he's already done that by releasing the OOT on dvd when he said it would never happen!

You say that most people regard the SE as the definitive Star Wars. There's a world of a difference between the OOT and the SE.

So, let me ask you guys, how would you put together an ultimate Star Wars blu-ray and/or dvd set (remember that we're debating content, not quality)

Just to keep things simple, let's just take Star Wars from 1977.

You have,

the '77 35mm and 70mm versions, with at least three different soundtracks between them
the '81 re-release with ANH at the front (are there any other differences in the actual picture in this particular release?)
the '97 SE

and that's pretty much it as far as theatrical releases go, unless I'm forgetting something. I'm not counting the 2004 version, since that hasn't been released theatrically yet (and when it does, it will probably have even more alterations than what we saw in 2004, heh).

So, I don't think they'd bother to include the 70mm version as it is PRETTY MUCH the same as the 35mm once you get past the laundry list of minor differences, most of which are soundtrack differences that they could include on an alternate track anyway. I think most of us would settle for a 2.35:1 1080p transfer of the 35mm version so far as the picture is concerned, though. You could seamlessly branch the '77 and '81 cuts together on one disc, but you would have to put the '97 version on another disc and the final version on yet another disc. So, I think that's why they probably wouldn't bother including the '97 version. It's a historical curiosity, and it would be nice if they did include it for that sake, but it's nowhere near a necessity when compared to OO Star Wars.
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It just seems to me they could have it all. Release the original versions on dvd and blu-ray NOW (call it the "Star Wars archive" or whatever). Then the final version saga set when more people can swing a 200 dollar blu-ray purchase. The people who want that full saga are going to buy it either way. Why not make a few bucks (and do the right thing) in the meantime?
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My point still stands though. You're just injecting your personal preference as a course of action Lucasfilm must take. The matter is that the OOT is not needed to sell Star Wars on Blu-Ray, the same way it wasn't needed to sell Star Wars on DVD in 2004. Hell, Spike TV just aired the saga in the SE--also in HD--and it was the highest rated airings on the networks history. You are just deluding yourself if you think LFL has any reason to include a remastered OOT. Given their schizenphrenia they might one day do as a token of good will to fans, but Lucas doesn't want it out, and if they just released the SE and made you have to buy the friggin prequels with it because its in a 6-disk boxset, it would still be the highest selling release in Blu Ray history. Because people will buy just because its star wars in high-def. End of story. Its a painful truth to face, but you have to stop deluding yourself.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Baronlando said:

It just seems to me they could have it all. Release the original versions on dvd and blu-ray NOW (call it the "Star Wars archive" or whatever). Then the final version saga set when more people can swing a 200 dollar blu-ray purchase. The people who want that full saga are going to buy it either way. Why not make a few bucks (and do the right thing) in the meantime?


This is exactly my point. If there apparently aren't THAT MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE who would like the OOT in good quality, what's to stop LFL from doing exactly what you're describing? Just put it out in a small, limited run (and then watch it run out really quickly since there actually are a lot of people out there who wanted it!!!!).

zombie84 said:

and it was the highest rated airings on the networks history.


Actually, I didn't know that. No wonder it was such a big deal when they got the broadcast rights several years back.

What Lucas generally seems to be saying is "Look, it's my movie, take it or leave it. If you want to keep giving me your money, well, I didn't ask for it, and the more you give me, the more millions I can donate to USC. If you want to go out there and make your own movies, go right ahead, maybe I'll even help you out in that department. But as for the Star Wars saga, it's my movie, mine."

That's why he didn't bother remastering the OOT in '06, it's because as far as he's concerned, no one is forcing us to go out and buy it. If we shell out for it now and get burned later, it's our asses. Unfortunately, the problem exists of having to vote with our wallets. If we don't go out and buy it, how is he suppossed to know that we really wanted it after all? But if we do go out and buy it, we're pretty much throwing away money unless a) we didn't already get the set in 2004 and/or b) we want to get just one of the movies individually.

All I'm saying is that the numbers seem to have spoken. I don't think the originally rumored '07 saga set was pushed back for any particular reason, I think it's just that we were reading too much into what happened with the 2006 release. I mean, they sold pretty well didn't they? all things considered?
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I can't believe my ears! Nobody cares about the OOT, even on this website!? SW is truly dead to me now.
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Fang Zei said:

If there apparently aren't THAT MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE who would like the OOT in good quality, what's to stop LFL from doing exactly what you're describing? Just put it out in a small, limited run (and then watch it run out really quickly since there actually are a lot of people out there who wanted!


Once again--they don't want to. Lucas doesn't want them to. I'm sure the Lucasfilm board of directors would jump at the chance to do this because its tapping into a huge market, but Lucas has made it very clear that he doesn't want this to happen. Since the Blu Ray sets will be absolute smash hits with just the SE, he therefore has no pressure at all, financially, to do it. Getting this yet? Look, I'm not arguing with you here because I agree it would be a good idea for what you are proposing, but you're looking at the situation from your eyes and not the perspective of the people actually in charge.

Fang Zei said:

All I'm saying is that the numbers seem to have spoken. I don't think the originally rumored '07 saga set was pushed back for any particular reason, I think it's just that we were reading too much into what happened with the 2006 release. I mean, they sold pretty well didn't they? all things considered?


Actually, word is that LFL was dissappointed. Which boggles my mind, really.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I agree with Zombie. You guys have to understand there are two types of markets that buy home video, the masess and the diehards, and the masses are only going to buy one set for each new generation (ie VHS, Laserdisk, DVD, BluRay, etc.)

Whatever version of SW/OT came out in 2004, whether it was the OOT, '97, or the '04 version, they would have sold pretty much the same numbers. Sure if the OOT were released that year, the numbers would have been alittle better, but the masses will not nitpick when it comes to which version they want.

For example, I like ET, but it is not one of my favorite movies of all-time. When it was first announced in 2002 for DVD, it was only going to be the SE, and I was sorta mad, but I still would have bought it. In the end, the Original Version was added last minute, mostly cause it didn't well in the theater, and they added that version when the DVD came out in October, but the bottom line was I was buying it cause it wasnt life or death to me, although I preferred the Original ET version.

Same goes with the OT, 95% of the fans prefer the OOT, but most fans aren't going to go crazy if Lucas puts out the SE, and like myself with ET, they will settle for whatever comes out. Lucas has one shot to get the masses for BluRay, just like he had for DVD, and just like he had on Laserdisk. After that, he then has to tweak each edition to get the diehards to buy it again: Deleted Scenes? OOT remastered? PT with added scenes? New documentaries?

So OOT could be on the horizon when SW BluRay hits the shelves, but if it is the SE, then it will do just fine sales-wise. And that makes me sad, but there isn't much we can do about it.
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I would even disagee with "95% of fans prefer the OOT", I don't think thats even close to being accurate, I would say only about 50% of the fans prefer the OOT because 95% of younger fans like the SE and prequels, and this is LFL's primary demographic right now, that under-20 years old crowd, the one that loves Spiderman 3 and Iron Man and The Matrix. Its sad, but being here, or being amongst friends in the over-20-years-old bracket gives you a warped perspective, just as young fans who only knew the PT-SE and think no one likes the older versions have a warped perspective. So when its just the SE on video, theres backlash but its not huge, and at the end of the day, 95% of the people who DID complain--like, lets face it, most of us, the oldest of oldschool--still buy it.

Who here doesn't have the Lucasfilm DVD's? Maybe 10%? And we are the most stubborn, self-rightous group of fans there is. That says a lot. We'll buy the SE because its still Star Wars, just like most of us will buy the SE on Blu Ray when thats the only version sold and just like most of us will see the SE in theaters in 3D when it comes out in a few years.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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"You have to stop deluding yourself"? I was just suggesting a way to release the thing, no lecture is necessary.
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zombie84 said:

I would even disagee with "95% of fans prefer the OOT", I don't think thats even close to being accurate, I would say only about 50% of the fans prefer the OOT because 95% of younger fans like the SE and prequels, and this is LFL's primary demographic right now, that under-20 years old crowd, the one that loves Spiderman 3 and Iron Man and The Matrix. Its sad, but being here, or being amongst friends in the over-20-years-old bracket gives you a warped perspective, just as young fans who only knew the PT-SE and think no one likes the older versions have a warped perspective. So when its just the SE on video, theres backlash but its not huge, and at the end of the day, 95% of the people who DID complain--like, lets face it, most of us, the oldest of oldschool--still buy it.

Who here doesn't have the Lucasfilm DVD's? Maybe 10%? And we are the most stubborn, self-rightous group of fans there is. That says a lot. We'll buy the SE because its still Star Wars, just like most of us will buy the SE on Blu Ray when thats the only version sold and just like most of us will see the SE in theaters in 3D when it comes out in a few years.


This is exactly what I'm getting at, zombie. There are kids into Star Wars today who hadn't even been born in 1997. Unfortunately, as you point out, even if it's an entire 50% of the fans who prefer the OOT, it's the younger, non-OOT exposed group who are forking over the cash, not the people who were around in '77.

In regards to your "who doesn't own the dvd's?" question, well, I don't have the GOUT. I got the '04 set because I'd read so much in articles on the internet about the Lowry restoration, about the additional changes, about the commentaries and documentaries. And even then, I didn't pay for it, my mom did. It's still sitting on the shelf back at home.

It wasn't an issue until LFL decided to hang a carrot out in front of us with that stupid GOUT release. It would've been better had he just not released it, unless of course he really does plan on that being the last time he ever does it. But, at the end of the day, I just have to remind myself that it's coming, eventually, and that the guy from wired magazine was true in his words "they're not going to make the fans happy because the happy fan has everything that he or she needs."

If Lucas hadn't done anything with the OOT on dvd, I wouldn't mind an SE-only blu-ray. But now that I know better, guess what, I won't be buying it if the OOT isn't in there also.