Sign In

The OOT : The changes to the OT films & general OOT (1977-96) discussion thread

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The Unaltered Original Theatrical Version of the Original Trilogy…

The changes made to the Original Trilogy films from 1977 to 1996…

 

 

Introduction:-

 
To any Rebels, Imperials, Guild Members and the dedicated scum and villainy from the OT•com reading this…
 

This is just one of a seven-part set of linked threads (see the end of this post for the links) to talk about each of the four main ‘Special Edition’ releases and the respective changes made to them over time - including a post for the original unaltered theatrical version, and also an unlikely scenario where “Somehow Lucas has returned!” with more changes made in yet another improbable future release.

The reason for these threads is try and help inform, educate and highlight any new fans who are unaware or are uninitiated with some the history of these continuing changes made to the three iconic Original Trilogy films (or be a reminder for me some of more forgetful members here). As well as highlighting a lack of release for the Original Trilogy films in their classic pre-1997 Special Edition version, and also about some of the changes & tweaks made to the groundbreaking and award-winning OT films from 1977 to 1996 too…

To serve as a centralised discussion and information thread for each of the main Original Trilogy releases… and also an archive of some of the quality threads and posts on the subject which has taken place on here down the years - as well as any useful, insightful or informative articles elsewhere.

Or a chance to just chat some more about the specific & differing releases of the Original Trilogy, and in this thread, about the changes made to the 3 classic films… before the 1997 Special Edition release 😃
 

Much credit to oojason for sending me his plans & ideas for the incomplete version of these threads - ‘I will finish what you started!’
 

Below is some hopefully useful & introductory information on the unaltered theatrical version of the Original Trilogy films (or simply a reminder for us oldies)… 😉

 
 

The Announcement (+ Promo material) for the classic theatrical version of the films:-

 

Star Wars : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZUmYF7xwYg
 

Empire Strikes Back : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWLksS3wtWA
 

Return Of The Jedi : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZUmYF7xwYg

 

• Charles Lippincott’s (RIP) informative and treasure-trove blog (especially in regards to publicity of Star Wars '77):-

http://therealcharleslippincott.blogspot.com (he was the vice president of advertising, publicity, promotion & merchandising)

 

• Star Wars official website article (from 2015) on the Original Trilogy VHS releases over the years:-

https://www.starwars.com/news/collectibles-from-the-outer-rim-star-wars-vhs-releases

 

• Star Wars official website article (from 2015) on the US rleases and re-releases of the Original Trilogy over the years:-

https://www.starwars.com/news/the-star-wars-saga-us-release-and-re-release-history

 
 

‘One Last Time’ VHS video advert from 1995…:-

'Star Wars Trilogy “One Last Time” THX VHS Promo (1995) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAM8eDtN3mY

^ The voice-over quotes from the above advert:-

"For those who remember
For those who will never forget
And for a whole new generation who will experience it for the very first time…

The Star Wars Trilogy…
Three timeless adventures which changed movie-making forever!
Now, the entire Trilogy digitally remastered in THX for the ultimate in sound and picture quality.

This will be your last chance to own the original version of Star Wars…
The George Lucas masterpiece that launched the Star Wars Trilogy.
The Force is forever - for all generations!"

^ Unfortunately the “The Force is forever - for all generations!” obviously no longer applies - it has been now 25 years since the unaltered theatrical version of the Original Trilogy received a dedicated release. A whole generation missing out on the option of buying and experiencing an official release of the iconic and award-winning classic theatrical version…

 
 

For information on the 2006 GOUT DVD release the following threads may be of some assistance:-

2006 GOUT : The changes to the OT films & general 2006 GOUT discussion thread

An OriginalTrilogy.com Timeline | a history of the site | the why & how it came to be…

George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist

^ To date, the 2006 GOUT bonus disc release is the only time the unaltered theatrical version of the Original Trilogy has been officially available to buy and experience in your home. It was based on transfer from a 1993 laserdisc releases, in an obsolete letterboxed widescreen format, and with DNR quality issues affecting image quality throughout.

 
 

Sources Of Information:-

 
‘What are the changes & tweaks made to the Original Trilogy films before the release of the 1997 Special Editions’:-
 

‘Theatrical and Video History of The Star Wars Trilogy…for beginners’ - at the hifi celluloid monster

‘Every Version Of The Original Star Wars Movies Explained’ - at ScreenRant (includes info on changes made prior to 1997 SE)

Title change of Star Wars to ‘A New Hope’, becoming ‘Episode IV’, Empire being ‘Episode V’ (not ‘Star Wars 2’), and more… - at Inverse

‘The real reason George Lucas started Star Wars with Episode 4’ - at Looper

‘Why Was “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” Originally Released Under Another Title?’ - at The Take

‘Theatrical Audio Resources’ (an insightful & informative article on the many OT audio mixes pre-97SE) - at Saving Star Wars

‘Star Wars: what is the ‘definitive’, original 1977 edition anyway?’ - at Episode Nothing

‘The Original First-Week Engagements Of “Star Wars”’ - at In 70mm

‘The Original 70mm Engagements Of “The Empire Strikes Back”’ - at In 70mm

‘The Sounds of a Galaxy Far, Far Away’ - at Wide Angle Close Up

‘Star Wars Audio Mixes’ (with a compendium of links to many OT•com threads on the subject) - at the David Ely website

^ If anyone has any recommendations or suggestions for subjects or more articles to be added please post them below - thank you 👍

 
 

Since the 1997 Special Editions through to the 2019 Maclunkey releases (all credit to doubleofive)

Never forget that the Death Star has been in clear site of Yavin IV from the beginning of the battle since 1997 and this is how the Special Edition should have ended.':-

www.wired.com/story/put-original-star-wars-on-disney-plus (and scroll down to the ‘The Game Breaker’ section)

 
 

^ Just one of many VHS, Super 8, CED, VCD & laserdisc release videos from the comprehensive ‘Nathan P Butler’ YouTube channel
 

From the Star Wars Home Video Library #345: The Third ANH CED’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5oMfOj2yTM - 8 minute video, from the Nathan P Butler YouTube channel.
 

From the Star Wars Home Video Library #1.2: Super 8 Update #2’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oicd8JHbR2w - 20 minute video, from the Nathan P Butler YouTube channel.
 

From the Star Wars Home Video Library #132: An Early Japanese ANH Laserdisc’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZo-3tmpyyw - 9 minute video, from the Nathan P Butler YouTube channel.

 

 

• The Opening Post of the ‘Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes’ OT•com thread has an index for multiple source of information on many of the changes made to the Original Trilogy films over the years.

 

 

All Changes Made to Star Wars Original Trilogy’ - at the superb Marcelo Zuniga YouTube Channel

• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) PART I’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNbzSH84mj0
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) PART II’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvbrVFP_f0w
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Comparison Video)’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmWjPoqEhzg
• ‘All Changes Made to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Comparison Video)’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2obEPFGrMs

^ The informative videos above were made in 2015 - and cover the changes from the OOT through to the 2011 SE release on blu ray.

 

 

For further information on the home releases of the unaltered theatrical version of the Original Trilogy:-

Star Wars Visual Comparisons - Website : Twitter - by doubleofive
Star Wars On Video - Video Collector’s website
Star Wars Home Video Reference website - projectcclarke’s website
Star Wars on DVD (up to 2005) - Prillaman’s website portal
Star Wars Release Info: 1982-2004 - DavisDVD•com website (via Archive•org)
Star Wars - The Changes: 1997-2011 - DVDActive•com website (via Archive•org)
‘Star Wars home video releases’ - at Wookieepedia
‘Original Unaltered Trilogy’ - at Wookieepedia

 
 

A ‘3-in-1’ Original Trilogy theatrical re-release poster:-

 

 

General online articles supporting an official release of the unaltered theatrical cuts:-

 
Articles & info that highlight / call for a classic version release of the Original Trilogy : OT•com thread featuring 50+ articles on the subject.

 
 

Relevant OriginalTrilogy•com threads on the unaltered theatrical version:-

 
Obviously, there are countless OT•com threads about the theatrical version of the original Trilogy on here - many of which can be found in the ‘Original Trilogy Discussion’, in the ‘Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases’, and the ‘Star Wars Preservation’ sections of the site.

Here is just a small selection of threads…

How many pre-SE versions exist? _- by pittrek _
Is there a list for Pre 97 Versions and their changes both audio/visual ? - by Afton Robotics
The Theatrical Differences - by ChainsawAsh
Print variations in '77 Star Wars - by mysycamore
70mm Print info Hope its Useful - by StarWarsFan1976
George Lucas’ Technicolor print - by kujythrgefdw
The Academy Award winning editing of Episode IV - by RepDetect
1977/1981/1997 Crawl Differences - by Darth Lucas
In search of the correct colors for ANH… - by yotsuya
Original Trilogy: Luke’s lightsaber color - by Agahnim32
Luke’s saber appears to be green in the making of Star wars documentary - by danny_boy
Original colour of Luke and Obiwan’s lightsabres - by theprequelsrule
Lapti Nek appreciation thread - by DominicCobb
The Surprisingly Strange Story of “Lapti Nek” - by AntcuFaalb
Lapti Nek History and Intrigue - by none
The Definitive - tractor beam - Close the blast doors - Blast it, Biggs/Wedge - you don’t taste very good - Noooooo!!!" - Preservation Guide - by russs15
Am I the only one who prefers the old ewok music? - by swfan_79
The original ending of Ponda Baba - by pittrek
R2 doesn’t taste very good - by jeffreyschmid
The lost song from Jabba’s palace - by lord3vil
“Close the blast doors” - by stealthboy
Beru’s voice - by Moth3r
Voice dubbing in the first film - by TServo2049
Star Wars sound mixes - by Moth3r
Hopefully the last 70mm vs. 35mm ESB audio differences thread - by morgands1
70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo mix differences - by mysycamore
Questions about audio mixes - by Vaderisnothayden
Pre-'97 VHS sound mixes? - by clutchins
A New Hope: Theatrical 1977 stereo mix vs. 1993 stereo mix - by SpacemanDoug
Question about the 85 mix - by Vaderisnothayden
Project: The other differences in the SW mono mix - by TServo2049
I thought this was interesting - sound differences in OT releases - by 20th Century Mark
OT Audio Changes - by SkyderHouseMafia

How many home video masters are there for the original trilogy? - by MisterBuggles
Difference between the theatrical versions and the first VHS home releases? - by J00CE
Star Wars on RCA CED Format - by StarWarsFan1976
Anyone still watch the LD releases? - by bigmonkey2382
1992 Full Screen versions are the best way to watch Star Wars - by 1990osu
1992 VHS release of the OT - by theprequelsrule
1992 vs 1995 video releases - by arcadayn
What was changed for 1995 THX version? - by Cthulhunicron
I’m finally getting the OOT on vhs - by MathUser
“Best” home releases of the pre-SE original trilogy? - by Sigmoid

I say forget the OOT on DVD, lets target HD-DVD/Blue Ray Now - by CO
The Special Edition wasn’t needed - by bkev
Lucas talks DVD’s, Special Edition’s, OT and TV Series - by Jambe Davdar
George Lucas’ explanation why the OT is obsolete to him - by Master Sifo-Dyas
Here’s my stance - by casuallimp
“They belong to Lucas and are his to change” - by Zombie Chewbacca
Lucas changes the OT to better suit his PT - by Luke Skywalker
Remember what Lucas said about the OOT not existing…? - by MeBeJedi
The audio on the Library of Congress’ copyright deposit print of the 1977 Star Wars film - by Ebaillargeon82
“Original Vision” - by Jack Spencer Jr
The Original Vision Post Trilogy: Special Edition - by vote_for_palpatine
What happened to all the original SW prints? - by Vader21
Are the original prints of each film still out there? - by Markdav
Best OUT materials at Lucasfilm? - by THX
Star Wars Negatives and Interpositives - by Cthulhunicron
Evidence of OOT at Lucasfilm? - by Jambe Davdar
George Lucas to host showing of Star Wars “1977” for AFI’s 40th anniversary. - by Mielr
ANH screening with modelmaker Lorne Peterson…WHY ARE THEY SCREENING THE SE?? - by zombie84
Free “farewell” Screening of 1977 Star Wars collector’s print (British I.B. Technicolor) - by Darth Cracker
70mm screening - by Darth Mallwalker (2008 thread)
If George Lucas won’t allow public screenings of the unaltered original trilogy… - by Nien Nunb

Is it Lucas, or Fox, who has prevented the restored OOT release? - by TawnyMadison
Ok, straight up… is this the last time we will ever see the OOT? - by Mike O (2006 thread)
McCallum Wishes OOT Were on Blu-Ray - by 1990osu (2012 thread)
Do you think Disney will release the unaltered versions for DVD and blue ray - by arctofire
Will we ever see the original trilogy released - by https://originaltrilogy.com/user/wymjafett2112/id/17803
"By withholding a DVD release you are ignoring… - by spoRv
More OUT Rerelease Rumors from John Landis! - by bkev
Star Wars theatrical versions not coming in 2015 - by DrDre
“Lucasfilm currently has no plans to release the original versions of Star Wars” - by Alderaan
OOT release not in anyone’s plans… - by DrDre
Celebration 2017 Speculation - by nickd47
Our open letter to Disney and Lucasfilm - by SilverWook
There should be a proper release of the 1977 Star Wars at this point - by kujythrgefdw
If Lucas did a proper oot restoration for blu ray and dvd would he be forgiven for the special editions and the prequels? - by skyjedi2005
The level of acceptability for an “O-OT” - by nohandluke
opinions on film restoration/preservation and how it applies to Star Wars - what do you think should/should not be allowed? - by S_Matt
I want my kids to see the unaltered Original Trilogy in a real theater - by Tighe
George Lucas on the O-OT - by Scruffy
What can Be done to save the real original star wars trilogy from 1977-1983? - by skyjedi2005
Kickstarter Tiers - Getting the OOT on BD - by xhonzi

How George Lucas created the O-OT fanbase… - by CO
When/Why did you become an OT purist? - by DominicCobb
Explaining the shoddy OOT treatment in public - by Vigo
You know you’re an O-OT fan when… - by JennyS1138
Random memories from 1977-83 - by CO
Fondest Memory from the OT Days - by Cable-X1
How do you feel about Star Wars being re-titled A New Hope in 1981? - by ray_afraid
• The ‘Threads Highlighting efforts for a theatrical version of the Original Trilogy’ section of the An Index & Help Thread for Original Trilogy Discussion… may also be of interest.

^ If anyone has any suggestions for any OT•com threads on the OOT/GOUT to be included here please post them below - thank you 👍

 
 

A YouTube video of the original ‘Han Shot First’ scene - and all 4 changes made to it since:-

 

Han Shot First - All Changes Comparison (1977, 1997, 2004, 2011, 2019)’-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcswEZFvGgM - at the OriginalTrilogyDaily YouTube channel (2 mins long)

 

 

General online articles on the Special Edition changes & releases:-

 
‘Disney+ Should Offer the Star Wars Original Cuts — All of Them’ - at Wired
‘What We Want And How To Make It’ - at SWVC, by doubleofive
‘Special Edition Changes’ at Saving Star Wars, by Zombie84
‘The Star Wars Special Editions’ - at The Star Wars Trilogy
‘15 Changes to the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy That Still Make Us Crazy’ - at Yahoo Entertainment
‘Star Wars Original Trilogy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ - at ScreenRant
‘Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes’ (actually, it is more of an overview) - at Empire Online
‘Greedo Shoots First’ and ‘Greedo Shoots First, Take 4: Maclunkey’ - at SWVC, by doubleofive
‘Star Wars: 10 Worst Crimes Against the Original Trilogy’ - at Den Of Geek
‘The 12 Worst Changes George Lucas Made To Star Wars’ - at Goliath
‘How Star Wars’ Special Edition Ruined Mos Eisley’s Scum & Villainy’ - at ScreenRant
‘Star Wars: Why Do People Hate Vader’s Added Line in ROTJ So Much?’ - at CheatSheet
‘The Version of Star Wars on Disney+ Changes the Canon Once Again’ - at Wired
‘J.J. Abrams Wants The Original Star Wars Trilogy Theatrical Cuts To Be Released Again’ - at ScreenRant
‘The Star Wars Blu-Ray Blues’ - at Saving Star Wars (debunking Lucas’ 2010 claim of the ‘difficulties’ in restoring the OOT)
‘Save Star Wars’ - doubleofive’s Blog article (re Lucas’ disingenuous 2010 comments on the ‘difficulties’ of restoring the OOT)
‘Untouched is impossible: the story of Star Wars in film’ - 2010 article at ARS Technica
‘Could Disney finally give us the remastered, unedited Star Wars we want?’ - 2017 article at ARS Technica

 
 

General OT•com threads covering the unaltered theatrical version & releases:-

 
An Index & Help Thread for ‘Original Trilogy Discussion’
An Index & Help Thread for ‘Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases’
Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes
An OriginalTrilogy.com Timeline | a history of the site | the why & how it came to be…
George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator & Time Travelling Revisionist
A celebration of the Original Trilogy | Some informative threads | How you can help…
Articles & info that highlight / call for a classic version release of the Original Trilogy
4K restoration on Star Wars

Modern SE Revisionism
Reasoning Behind Changes from Release to Release
It seems like nobody involved in the making of the OT has spoken up about GL’s oppression of the OOT
You’d think they’d clean this up - the unfixed issues of the 2004 OT SE DVD release…
What HASN’T changed on the 2011 OT SE Blu-ray release – the uncorrected mistakes…
Uncorrected mistakes or unfixed issues of the 2019 (Maclunkey) Original Trilogy release?
Credits & Leaders Thread

 

 

^ https://twitter.com/starwarsviscomp/status/1084857678944325635

 
 

‘The changes to the Original Trilogy films & general Special Edition discussion’ threads:-

 
• The OOT : link (1977-96)
• 1997 SE : link
• 2004 SE : link
• 2006 GOUT : link
• 2011 SE : link
• 2019 SE : link
• 2026 SE : link (“Somehow… Lucas has returned!”) - a possible future SE release (though unlikely)

 
 

If you know of any articles or OT•com threads that are relevant, or would improve this thread, please post them below - thank you.