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The Official Lucasfilm Response — Page 9

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I agree completely mverta. That is how it was taught to us in my Film Theory class. My prof is a huge Star Wars fan and we had a whole segment devoted to the "space opera / space western" genre where Star Wars was the main event. She can't stand what Lucas has done to the films (she must be pretty excited about the September release).

Han was a cowboy. He dealed smuggling drugs (Star Wars calls it "spices") and other illegal paraphanalia. He lived in a rough and tumble world where he would be shot dead if someone was given the chance. He knew that and blasted away Greedo. It is of no consequence to him. Better safe than sorry.

And like you said, if anything was done in cold blood, he redeemed himself during ESB. Lucas is just an idiot. We know his films better than he does.
"I am altering the movies. Pray I don't alter them any further." -Darth Lucas
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Originally posted by: mverta
By having Han shoot first, you firmly establish for the audience that he is indeed a shady character on some level. He hangs around in hives of scum and villiany, and shoots people - justified or not. It's like in the old Westerns when guys would blow away each other over card games and think nothing of it. It just lets the audience know that with this guy, ANYTHING could happen. And our heroes (Luke, the droids, Obi-Wan) are hooked up with this guy. Are they going to be safe? Can this guy be trusted? It's an important tension and drama builder.

It also sets up Han Solo's all-important character arc - he goes from self-serving, ruthless smuggler only interested in money, to finding his "heart" and coming back to help Luke in the end. It's only because you're so firmly established in who he is, that his return at the end is a surprise.


Yeah, to be truthful, the first time I saw the movie, I remember being very shocked as a little kid by that scene. It was intense. You didn't want Han to die, but you didn't expect a typically-portrayed good guy to shoot under the table either. Killing someone like that seemed immediately wrong, but only somewhat as I knew his life would have been toast otherwise. It gave Han that bad-guy edge, but you still supported him just as much as any of the other good guys despite it, and perhaps even more because of it. When he comes back at the end, that is quite the nifty surprise as you said.

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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I wonder how people would feel if da Vinci came back from the dead and repainted the Mona Lisa to look like Pamela Anderson because his tastes changed?


Sorry to go off on a tangent, but, after the stupidity with which the "Da Vinci Code" has blinded the general populace, i have to correct you. (No, i'm not saying you're dumb, just that people have been fed all sorts of falsities from that book/movie) & this is one i just can't stand. Leonardo da Vinci's name is LEONARDO. Da Vinci is NOT A NAME. It simply clarifies that you're talking about Leonardo from the town of Vinci, and not some other Leonardo. It'd be like if you knew a guy named Bob who was born in Chicago and contantly referred to him as "from Chicago"..... "hey, from Chicago, wanna go catch a movie tonight?"

Oh, & that's not the best example either. If i recall correctly, it's widely believed/accepted that Leonardo carried the Mona Lisa around with him for most of his life & did make changes to it. (the one that comes to mind is that she was originally bracketed by columns on either side, but he later cut them off.)
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That card is retarded and just reeks of revisionist history. 1977-1997, Han shot first. 1997-2004, Greedo shot first. 2004-2006, Greedo still shot first, but Han was a little bit faster on the draw. 2006, hell, we're not quite sure anymore, it all depends on your point of view and how intoxicated we were when we filmed this.

So instead of it being a revision, it's now an "artistic decision." I can just hear George saying in a few months, "What I was really trying to do was to show this scene through the point of view of the eyewitnesses and make a statement about how truth is relative. But I couldn't really show that in one movie, so I made several different versions, each one corresponding to how a certain wacky alien creature saw it." Just like the ducks, it's just an attempt to canonize everything under a safe blanket, no matter if they conflict. I wonder if it's been changed on Greedo's bio at the official site yet?

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Originally posted by: Invader Jenny
I agree completely mverta. That is how it was taught to us in my Film Theory class. My prof is a huge Star Wars fan and we had a whole segment devoted to the "space opera / space western" genre where Star Wars was the main event. She can't stand what Lucas has done to the films (she must be pretty excited about the September release).

Han was a cowboy. He dealed smuggling drugs (Star Wars calls it "spices") and other illegal paraphanalia. He lived in a rough and tumble world where he would be shot dead if someone was given the chance. He knew that and blasted away Greedo. It is of no consequence to him. Better safe than sorry.

And like you said, if anything was done in cold blood, he redeemed himself during ESB. Lucas is just an idiot. We know his films better than he does.


Yeah - you know, something that people rarely talk about anymore in regards to the whole Han Shooting First thing is its relation to his last minute help in the Death Star attack.

If Han isn't such a self-serving jerk at the beginning, reinforced by the morality (or lack thereof) of him shooting first under a table, his return to save Luke at the end of the movie is lessened.

The first time you saw the movie, you probably thought he was gone for good; he got his money for saving the princess, so he was done. With the softening of his character in recent years, that change that makes him come back matter less, or is less obvious.

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Originally posted by: ricarleite

Are you telling me that there are no copies of STAR WARS left? Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox, two multi-billion corporations from the United States of America, who produced and distributed the most popular movie in the world, cannot provide ONE SINGLE COPY of the movie in it's original form? They have to resort to a LD because there is NO other way? And he has used the original films to make the SEs? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see how it's possible to overwrite celluloid. What did he use to make the 1993 and 1995 sets? It obviously didn't come from an inferior form. Did he BURN it afterwards? Maybe they just burned it as an accident and are too embarassed to say, because that is the only reasonable explanation that comes to mind.

I know for a fact that George Lucas owns a pristine, Technicolor Dye-Transfer print of Star Wars. As a matter of fact, he wanted the folks at YCM (or whoever did the '97 SE restorations) to use the print as an example of what he wanted the finished restorations to look like (Dye-Transfer prints don't fade like chemical-based Kodak prints do).

Why couldn't we have that gorgeous print on DVD? Even if he doesn't own D-T prints of ESB or ROTJ, at least we could have a beautiful example of SW on DVD for posterity.

When they say "laserdisc" masters, do they mean the one with the hair in the gate? (from ROTJ) Or the one with the scanlines removed, to hide the hair in the gate? Or, the corrected 1995 versions?

Am I the only person who doesn't think the people involved in this would even know the difference? They "searched exhaustively" for laserdisc masters? Give me a freakin' break!


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Originally posted by: Mielr
I know for a fact that George Lucas owns a pristine, Technicolor Dye-Transfer print of Star Wars. As a matter of fact, he wanted the folks at YCM (or whoever did the '97 SE restorations) to use the print as an example of what he wanted the finished restorations to look like (Dye-Transfer prints don't fade like chemical-based Kodak prints do).
How do you know this?

War does not make one great.

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Originally posted by: canofhumdingers
I wonder how people would feel if da Vinci came back from the dead and repainted the Mona Lisa to look like Pamela Anderson because his tastes changed?


Sorry to go off on a tangent, but, after the stupidity with which the "Da Vinci Code" has blinded the general populace, i have to correct you. (No, i'm not saying you're dumb, just that people have been fed all sorts of falsities from that book/movie) & this is one i just can't stand. Leonardo da Vinci's name is LEONARDO. Da Vinci is NOT A NAME. It simply clarifies that you're talking about Leonardo from the town of Vinci, and not some other Leonardo. It'd be like if you knew a guy named Bob who was born in Chicago and contantly referred to him as "from Chicago"..... "hey, from Chicago, wanna go catch a movie tonight?"


Yes, but that's how all last names started. People with the last name "Tailor" or "Taylor" are decended from people who were tailors by trade, people with the name "DiGiacomo" (which means "Of James") were decended from someone named "James", or some people's surnames came from the region they came from like "Da Vinci". So, it's not really incorrect to refer to him as Leonardo DaVinci.

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Wasn't the technicolor print used to restore the OOT? Shouldn't it have frames missing?

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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Originally posted by: Yoda Is Your Father
Originally posted by: Mielr
I know for a fact that George Lucas owns a pristine, Technicolor Dye-Transfer print of Star Wars. As a matter of fact, he wanted the folks at YCM (or whoever did the '97 SE restorations) to use the print as an example of what he wanted the finished restorations to look like (Dye-Transfer prints don't fade like chemical-based Kodak prints do).
How do you know this?

I read an interview with one of the film restorationists who worked on the SE (can't remember the guy's name- it may have been someone at Lowry) who said that Lucas took him into a vault, and showed him the print and said something to the effect of "this is what I want the film to look like".

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Originally posted by: zombie84
Wasn't the technicolor print used to restore the OOT? Shouldn't it have frames missing?


No, I don't think they actually cut up the Technicolor print, they used it as a guide as to what the color saturation should be, etc. Even if it was directly used, I imagine the frames would have been scanned, rather than physically cut.

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Originally posted by: Mielr
Originally posted by: zombie84
Wasn't the technicolor print used to restore the OOT? Shouldn't it have frames missing?


No, I don't think they actually cut up the Technicolor print, they used it as a guide as to what the color saturation should be, etc. Even if it was directly used, I imagine the frames would have been scanned, rather than physically cut.


No, if it was used it would have been cut, not scanned and copied. Hmm. I had also heard that the 85 interpositive was used to fill in the rotting section. But then someone told me it was the technicolor print. I wonder which one it really was now (both? neither?)

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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Originally posted by: zombie84
Originally posted by: Mielr
Originally posted by: zombie84
Wasn't the technicolor print used to restore the OOT? Shouldn't it have frames missing?


No, I don't think they actually cut up the Technicolor print, they used it as a guide as to what the color saturation should be, etc. Even if it was directly used, I imagine the frames would have been scanned, rather than physically cut.


No, if it was used it would have been cut, not scanned and copied. Hmm. I had also heard that the 85 interpositive was used to fill in the rotting section. But then someone told me it was the technicolor print. I wonder which one it really was now (both? neither?)

I doubt very much that they cut apart the Technicolor print. It was my understanding that the INs -which were the notorious CRI or "color-reversal intermediate" Kodak stock that was used in the 1970s, and it deteriorated quickly, so they had to go back to the original camera negatives.

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The original negative ITSELF was what was deteriorating because of the film stock. Sometime dupe prints are made but in this case the rotting of some sections of the emulsion indicates that it was not a dupe but the original negative. The interpositive from 1985 is fine AFAIK --it was even used for the 1993 Laserdisk.

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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Originally posted by: zombie84
The original negative ITSELF was what was deteriorating because of the film stock. Sometime dupe prints are made but in this case the rotting of some sections of the emulsion indicates that it was not a dupe but the original negative. The interpositive from 1985 is fine AFAIK --it was even used for the 1993 Laserdisk.

I don't know, but that's not the way I understood it. It's true, that ALL of the film stock (camera negatives, INs, IPs, prints, etc.) is in some stage of deterioration, but from the info I've seen, the elements that were in the best shape were the original camera negs. But even with the original camera negs, in order to make new IPs, they had to wash the sand off much of the film that was collected when they were shooting in Tunisia (which could have only happened to a camera negative) because it was incorrectly washed the first time. They said that they couldn't just use a print (even one in good condition- like the LD prints or IPs) because the resulting prints would end up being to grainy after duplication, to use in theatrical releases. And as far as I know, GL doesn't have Technicolor D-T prints for ESB or ROTJ. Technicolor had stopped making D-T prints in the early '70s in the US, and in the late '70s in England (which means GLs Technicolor print is from England).

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As I recall, the technicolor print was used only for reference, because it had held up much better than the other prints. here's something from an article on technicolor:

"An article on the 1997 restoration of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (original version 1977) claimed that a rare dye-transfer print of the movie, made for director George Lucas at the British Technicolor lab, had been used as a color reference for the restoration. The article claimed that conventional color prints of the movie had all degraded over the years to the extent that no two had the same color balance."

So, it's sitting there. I'll scale the wall. I need people outside The Ranch to create a diversion. Ready...break!
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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero

So, it's sitting there. I'll scale the wall. I need people outside The Ranch to create a diversion. Ready...break!

Cool..

I'm in!!



Here's an interesting interview with John Lowry of Lowry Digital, BTW. VERY relevant to this discussion:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=671&page_number=1

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IIRC, both the o-neg and the IP that was used to make the DC/Faces tape masters were cannibalized in the creation of the SE. The dye-transfer print is untouched and would likely form the best source for a restoration (of ANH only).
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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
As I recall, the technicolor print was used only for reference, because it had held up much better than the other prints. here's something from an article on technicolor:

"An article on the 1997 restoration of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (original version 1977) claimed that a rare dye-transfer print of the movie, made for director George Lucas at the British Technicolor lab, had been used as a color reference for the restoration. The article claimed that conventional color prints of the movie had all degraded over the years to the extent that no two had the same color balance."

So, it's sitting there. I'll scale the wall. I need people outside The Ranch to create a diversion. Ready...break!


Ya the technicolor print has never been cut or anything, it is in great shape. there is also a pre-se master for ESB(I don't know whether it is the 70mm or 35mm), and ROTJ. They were remastered in 1993-1996 for the SE's. So masters for all there OOT films are there in the archive, but LFL is lazy(at least with GL running it) and will old use an LD master for us.
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Here's the letter I've sent to Lynne Hale, John Singh, and Jim Ward at Lucasfilm (with slight variations for each). It might help, it might not, but at least I let my feelings be known. I suggest you all do the same, if you haven't done so yet.

lynne.hale@lucasfilm.com
jim.ward@lucasfilm.com
john.singh@lucasfilm.com
publicity@lucasfilm.com

Dear Mr. Ward,

I recently found out that the “original” versions of the Star Wars Trilogy will be released on DVD on September 12th. My initial excitement was dashed, however, when I found out that the films will not be presented in the anamorphic format.

I’ve read the response that Lynne Hale has sent to those concerned about this issue, and I must admit, I’m a bit puzzled by it. She stated that “We want you to be aware that we have no plans – now or in the future – to restore the earlier versions”. Star Wars fans such as myself, never asked that the original movies be “restored” or “remastered” or even “cleaned”, for that matter. All we asked for, was a new anamorphic transfer of the films for DVD, which is not the same thing as a “restoration”.

Star Wars fans are among the most sophisticated film enthusiasts on earth, due in no small part to the very high standards that George Lucas himself set with his THX program. To present these films in a non-anamorphic format, which will not display properly on today’s 16:9 televisions, quite frankly, smacks of laziness. All films released on DVD in 2006, no matter how obscure, are presented in the 16:9 format, if that is how the movie was originally filmed. Why? Because most new television sets have a screen ratio of 16:9.

To say that “we could not put the extraordinary time and resources” into the DVD transfers of these films is insulting. Star Wars fans are some of the most loyal on the planet, and have purchased multiple releases of the Star Wars Trilogy over the years, spending hundreds of dollars - without complaint - all because we were just thrilled to have the latest and the best editions of our favorite films. To now present these films on DVD from the 1993 Laserdisc masters, is simply unacceptable. Are the "powers that be" even aware that there were problems with the 1993 Laserdisc masters that had to be corrected for the 1995 Laserdisc release? For instance, with Return Of The Jedi, there was a hair hanging in the gate during the first shot in the film, which was "fixed" by removing several top scan lines. Finally, the problem was correctly fixed by removing the hair and restoring the missing scan lines for the 1995 Laserdisc release. Which version should we expect to appear on DVD? The version with the hair? The version with the missing scan lines? Or the corrected 1995 version?

Ms. Hale also stated that “The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition”. That is patently false. It is common knowledge that George Lucas himself owns a British Technicolor print of Star Wars, that is in pristine condition. As a matter of fact, it was used as color reference when the films were restored for the Special Editions in 1997. Also, I highly doubt that there are NO existing prints of original versions of The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi that would be suitable for a new DVD transfer.

I know that this is just one of many letters you will receive about this matter. I hope that all of these letters will convince you to reconsider this project, and release these films in the 16:9 anamorphic format, thus giving the films, and the fans, the respect they deserve.

Sincerely,
------------

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Here is what appears to be a fairly accurate post from hometheaterforum:

"At first, the intention was simply a re-release of ANH only, using new elements struck from the o-neg. But when they had a look at it, they discovered that much of it had "gone pink". Much of the film had been shot on a new Eastman stock that, as it turned out, was unstable (I recall reading that the Jaws negative also suffers from this).

This shows that when the film was originally conformed, original camera negative was cut, and not dupe negative as is sometimes done instead.

Before any other tricks were done, the negative was meticulously cleaned and treated at YCM labs: removing dirt by hand, fixing splices, etc. The pink portions were then duped and fixed photochemically--as far as I've been able to determine, shots that were not being further enhanced with new effects were not scanned and color-corrected digitally (but anything's possible).

A few bits of negative were too far gone and had to be replaced using new neg struck from existing postive(s). One such source was a three-strip Technicolor (yes!) print Lucas had had made back in the day for his personal archive. I know that sounds unlikely as late as 1977 but that's what I came across in my research.

While they were at it, they replaced all the wipes and dissolves: when opticals are made, at least two generations are lost as the shots are duped and rephotographed, so it was determined that redoing them with 1996 duping technology would yield better results, and it did. (This would indicate that the oneg trims of this footage still existed, which is amazing.)

New negatives of these shots were then cut into the negative, replacing the deteriorated portions.

This process inspired Lucas to let ILM warm up for the prequels by creating new material for the re-release. So all the necessary shots (not the entire movie) were scanned in at 2K, the new CG elements added, and were then shot back out to film and cut into the negative. A few 1976/7 special effects shots were scanned in for the sole purpose of cleaning them of printed-in dirt and whatnot; I have b-roll of an ILMer clone-stamping out dirt blobs from Luke training with the lightsaber aboard the Millennium Falcon, a shot that was not plastered with new CG elements.

You see what's happening to the negative all this time? It's being subsumed by new material, bit by bit. Some of it avoidable, some not. Somewhere I have a sound bite of Lucas saying the negative now contains something like 250 (I don't remember the exact number but it's in the 200s) pieces of new negative. This is the reason Lucas has said the original "doesn't exist anymore", because from the perspective of original elements as the ideal, it doesn't. The fact that one could always go back to existing positive elements is of course what made the statement truthful only from a certain point of view."

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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But is it necessary that a new print can only be struck from a neghative? Why not use existing film as the source. We know that Lucas could not have destroyed EVERY copy of the reels that exist.
There's good in the Original Trilogy, and it's worth fighting for.
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Using a release print would be fine except they are all somewhat dinged up and faded, and of course the main reason is that the negative is absolute highest quality available.

Really if Lucas' technicolor print is so immaculate they should just make a new negative based off that. But theres no reason to--the o-neg is there it just needs to be re-constructed. Hell, I'll do it for them in a day.

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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it just irks me to no end. Lucas has vast resources and people willing and able to do it for him. This whole huge cost line is a crock. THe restorers would consider it a labor of love. Zombie I think I poted a link on the fact that Cellestial is restoring the over 700 Shaw Brothers movies. I own over 50 of them that have been released and the results are spectacular. And I think most people know that Hong Kong studios are notorious for how they treat their own films. It's not like these remastered DVDs are selling millions of copies, it's definitely niche, but they are doing well enough for Celestial to continue with the process. Yet Lucas and co keep spouting the spin taht the cost and the work involved is not worth it. Maybe not to him, but they are definitely worth it to the fans who actually love these movies.
There's good in the Original Trilogy, and it's worth fighting for.
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
http://www.myspace.com/harlock415
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Originally posted by: zombie84
Here is what appears to be a fairly accurate post from hometheaterforum:

"At first, the intention was simply a re-release of ANH only, using new elements struck from the o-neg. But when they had a look at it, they discovered that much of it had "gone pink". Much of the film had been shot on a new Eastman stock that, as it turned out, was unstable (I recall reading that the Jaws negative also suffers from this).

This shows that when the film was originally conformed, original camera negative was cut, and not dupe negative as is sometimes done instead.


A few bits of negative were too far gone and had to be replaced using new neg struck from existing postive(s). One such source was a three-strip Technicolor (yes!) print Lucas had had made back in the day for his personal archive. I know that sounds unlikely as late as 1977 but that's what I came across in my research.


New negatives of these shots were then cut into the negative, replacing the deteriorated portions.

This process inspired Lucas to let ILM warm up for the prequels by creating new material for the re-release. So all the necessary shots (not the entire movie) were scanned in at 2K, the new CG elements added, and were then shot back out to film and cut into the negative. A few 1976/7 special effects shots were scanned in for the sole purpose of cleaning them of printed-in dirt and whatnot; I have b-roll of an ILMer clone-stamping out dirt blobs from Luke training with the lightsaber aboard the Millennium Falcon, a shot that was not plastered with new CG elements.

You see what's happening to the negative all this time? It's being subsumed by new material, bit by bit. Some of it avoidable, some not. Somewhere I have a sound bite of Lucas saying the negative now contains something like 250 (I don't remember the exact number but it's in the 200s) pieces of new negative. This is the reason Lucas has said the original "doesn't exist anymore", because from the perspective of original elements as the ideal, it doesn't. The fact that one could always go back to existing positive elements is of course what made the statement truthful only from a certain point of view."


Yes, and remember that all of the "new" stuff for the SE, weren't added onto to the original camera negatives (that would be impossible)- all of the original elements were scanned, then the new stuff added digitally, then it was all output to NEW negatives.

BTW, I have several strips of a 70mm print of Star Wars from 1977, and they ARE pink!

And...I'm still not buying that there are no existing, useable prints of the original trilogy, that they could use for a decent anamorphic DVD transfer.