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The Empire Strikes Back - May 70 mm vs June 35 mm

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Nice find, which will hopefully complete the puzzle.

And is this some incomplete monster sized Falcon model in the foreground? 😮

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I bet that’s the model used for the shots of Lando coming out the top hatch. Weren’t some of those shots miniatures, or at least planned to be at one point?

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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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canofhumdingers said:

I bet that’s the model used for the shots of Lando coming out the top hatch. Weren’t some of those shots miniatures, or at least planned to be at one point?

That’s what I thought too.
They actually built part of the ship to film Lando catching Luke, but then ended up using the dummy.

SOLO: A Subtler Remaster of ‘The Bold One’
(My homeworld is Australia so be wary of timezones!)

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yotsuya said:

It seems that other than just rumors and eyewitness reports (as well as in in theater recording of the 70 mm version), we now have official word what was changed and someone could use this to make a 70 mm cut of TESB.

https://www.starwars.com/news/empire-at-40-star-wars-the-empire-strikes-back-ending-changes?

Good to see some detail on this at last… Gary Kurtz has mentioned it a few times in interviews in the early 2000’s (IIRC… Lucas’ ‘good enough’ attitude sneaking in for a 1/2 sub-standard shots for this last-minute scene towards the end of Empire - yet Kurtz wanting to ‘get it right’).
 

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 (Edited)

The OT had made some discussions about the specific changes in this alternate cut.
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/ESB-70mm-Soundtrack-1980-in-theatre-recording/id/12501/page/1
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Hopefully-the-last-70mm-vs-35mm-ESB-audio-differences-thread/id/14128/page/1
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/70-mm-print-of-the-Empire-Strikes-Back-Differences/id/2321/page/1

Someone did a recreation of that alternative ending on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmbl8tLOfFE
The audio in that video is a vintage In-Theater recording of a screening from that alternate cut.

Details about that audio recording can be found here:
http://wideanglecloseup.com/starwarsaudio.html

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While normally I hate changes, this is one change I can get completely behind of. Not only does the scene flow better, I’ve always loved the soothing start of the scene where you can pretty much relax for the first time in 30 minutes. Still, it would be great to have the original cut preserved.

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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70mm is the only way I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980. I saw it only twice at AMC’s Midland Theater in Kansas City. The next time I saw it was on home video in 1984, and I do remember being a little confused by the additional shot of the rebel fleet flying away from the camera at the beginning of the scene. I prefer the original flow of the scene starting with the camera passing though the fleet front to back, and ending with the fleet flying past and away from the camera. The second shot of the fleet passing the camera at the beginning of the scene just serves as an unnecessary interruption to the flow for me. I’m also a bit biased toward what John William’s scored. I’m not much of a fan of cutting and pasting music to fit later edits.

That being said I would love to see (and hear) both of the 1980 original release versions preserved and made available to the public.